LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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THE END-TIME REVIVAL

 

 

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. Revelation 19:11

 

After seeing the end-time revival from the vision of the bowls of God’s wrath in chapter sixteen to the marriage of the Lamb in chapter nineteen, verses 7–9, John once again sees heaven open for him. The vision of the Revelation began back in chapter 4:1. After seeing the vision of the glorified Christ in chapter 1 and hearing the letters to the seven churches in chapters two and three, John says in chapter 4:1, “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven.” John was caught up in the spirit and entered through the door; the first thing he saw was “a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne”—Who we found at the beginning of the vision is the glorified Christ as He leads His church into history.

Now, in chapter nineteen, John is permitted to see how the end-time revival takes place and who leads this revival. The first thing he sees is a white horse. Have we seen a white horse previously in the Revelation? Yes; we saw this horse in the first seal in Revelation 6:2, “And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” We know this horse represents the early church from the Day of Pentecost until apostasy begins to set in around the fourth century. The rider of that white horse is the head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ. The bow He carries is the gospel and He wears a crown showing that He alone is king in the Kingdom of God.

We find here in chapter nineteen that the glorified Christ is also the leader of the end-time revival. God has moved throughout the history of the church entrusting His work to different men at different times in history; men such as Martin Luther and John Wesley just to name two familiar people whose names we have heard. They were not perfect men but they were faithful to Christ and they worked to teach the word of God as they were given understanding. We see now in chapter nineteen that Jesus is the one who leads the end-time revival. It seems the old adage is true: if you want something done right, do it yourself.

Jesus entrusts the everlasting gospel to men to preach, and they must preach it to other people, but Jesus takes the leadership of the revival into His own hands. He does not hand off the responsibility to a particular movement or a chosen end-time prophet. He alone is identified as faithful, true and righteous. In this end-time revival He personally judges and makes war. He assures us that as the everlasting gospel is preached across the world, it is taught in truth, it is faithful to the character of God and worthy of the sacrifice of Christ’s blood that brought it into being, and that it produces the righteousness of God in the lives of people that receive it. Jesus does not entrust the leadership and determination of what and how the gospel is taught to some theology committee, board of supervisors, or gang of clergymen.

The description of the glorified Christ is seen once again in verses 12–13, “His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.”

We learned that His eyes being like a flame of fire indicates His deity. He sees everything and nothing is hidden from Him—ever!

He is wearing many crowns on His head. This tells us that Jesus has been the king in the Kingdom of God through every age of time in the history of the church and that He has ruled over every circumstance the church has faced, whether good or bad. He alone has been the power God’s people could look to and depend upon.

He has a name written that no one knew except Himself. This is a rather odd expression as we all know Him as Jesus. Barnes can help us understand what this means. “This cannot here mean that no one could read the name, but the idea is, that no one but himself could fully understand its import. It involved a depth of meaning, and a degree of sacredness, and a relation to the Father, which he alone could apprehend in its true import. This is true of the name here designated—“the word of God”—the Logos; and it is true of all the names which he bears.” In fact, the next verse tells us His name is “The Word of God” and verse 16 tells us His name is also “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

And we are told that He is “clothed with a robe dipped in blood.” In the vision of the glorified Christ in chapter one Jesus appears wearing a robe that resembles the robe of the Jewish High Priest. Christ is our high priest before God. He interceded in behalf of the entire human race with His death for sin on the cross. His leadership and authority over the church is established because He purchased the church with His own blood on that cross. Nothing else could have ever made atonement for the sin of mankind. As the glorified Christ leads His church in this end-time revival, we are constantly reminded of the blood of Christ that alone cleanses us from all sin. Because of this the theme of the end-time revival is the atonement in Christ.

There is no one man or woman that will be the leader of this end-time revival. Verse fourteen tells us that “the armies in heaven . . . followed Him on white horses.” The church scattered in locations around the world will follow the glorified Christ in this revival wherever they may be found on earth. The first seal in chapter six depicts the church as a white horse ridden by the glorified Christ. There it was seen as one horse, one church, because the church originated in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost and went out from there to cover the world. Here in chapter nineteen we see the movement of the end-time revival happening spontaneously across the world, so in this sense, while it is still one church, it is represented by white horses, plural, because the revival happens in many places across the world and may never flow physically or organically into a single, unified organization—like a denomination or organic movement.

Notice that even in this physical separation, the church of the end-time revival is white, it is clothed in fine linen, white and clean, which we are told in verse eight is the righteousness of the saints. Righteousness is the paramount characteristic of the everlasting gospel. Christ’s robe dipped in blood enshrouds His followers in robes of His own righteousness because they have been cleansed from sin and are being kept from sin by means of His grace and the Holy Spirit. Even though the end-time church is scattered across the world it has a genuine unity in that, wherever it is, it is following Christ in His mission wherever it is located.

The glorified Christ leads this revival with one and only one weapon. Verse fifteen identifies that weapon, “Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” We first saw this same sharp sword in chapter one in the vision of the glorified Christ. Chapter 1:16, “Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.” This is nothing more or less than the word of God. This is the only weapon the early church used to take the gospel to the world. This is the only weapon that defeated heresy. This is the only weapon that produced the great moving of God during the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent awakenings that have taken place during the last five hundred years. And this is the only weapon that can defeat religious Babylon in all its forms and at the same time rule over the church Jesus leads.

In particular, the glorified Christ personally “treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” We encountered this winepress of the wrath of God in Revelation 14:19 where we learned this winepress is the everlasting gospel under the final gathering of the Lamb on Mount Zion. The judgment placed on sin by the everlasting gospel is so strong that it crushes the influence of sin for the redeemed and puts an unbearable pressure on those that profess religion but yet hold on to their sins. This is not just preachers shouting at people and condemning them; this is the authority of Christ that upholds the absolute truth of the everlasting gospel as it is preached under His leadership.

Verse sixteen tells us that Christ’s robe that was dipped in His blood also bears His nametag: “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Of this nametag Barnes writes: “The custom here alluded to of inscribing the name or rank of distinguished individuals on their garments, so that they might be readily recognised, was not uncommon in ancient times.” You will notice that no other individuals are given authority over the church or any part of the church. Yes, God places ministers in the church to teach and exhort on the things of God; and God gives us pastors to feed the flock of God. While God charges us with the responsibilities of leadership in the church, ministers cannot be heads or looked upon as final authorities over people’s lives. Christ alone is recognized as the head of His church wherever it may be found. Our loyalty is to Christ and His body as He leads it. His name, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords,” is written in His blood, which is a constant reminder of Who made our salvation from sin possible.

With Christ firmly in charge of the body of Christ and with the church following Him in absolute submission we find that the end-time revival faces opposition.