Contrasts Between Jesus and Christ

Written by:  Robert D Brinsmead

Here is some quote and commentary on the Christ of Revelation 19 (from Christian sites). Note the sharp contrast with the central teaching of HJ in places like Matt. 5 and Lu.6. Note also things like the harshness toward any who disagree with this Christ myth. They are met with domination, retaliation, severity of punishment, mercilessness. The contrast between the love your enemies Jesus and this destroy your enemies Christ illustrates the stunning shift between Q1 and Paul’s Christology. The themes of Paul’s theology/mythology run through this- devouring, destroying, punishing, torturing…. The writer below speaks of the graphic, grotesque destruction of the beast but that is also true of the graphic, grotesque destruction by this Christ.

“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. 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. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 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. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

a. Now I saw heaven opened, and behold: There is a sense in which all previous in Revelation has been an introduction to this revelation (unveiling) of Jesus Christ.  Now He returns to earth in power and glory.

i. According to Zechariah 14:3-4, when Jesus returns He will come first the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.  The plea of Isaiah 64:1-2 is now fulfilled: Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence; as fire burns brushwood, as fire causes water to boil; to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence!

b. Faithful and True: This glorious title shows Jesus is the keeper of promises, including His promises of judgment.

c. In righteousness He judges and makes war: Jesus comes as a judge and a general, to make war.  The world that rejected Him before rejects Him again, but this time Jesus judges those who reject Him.

i. “The world likes a complacent, reasonable religion, and so it is always ready to revere some pale Galilean image of Jesus, some meager anemic Messiah, and to give Him a moderate rational homage.” (Torrance)

ii. “Any view of God which eliminates judgment and his hatred of sin in the interest of an emasculated doctrine of sentimental affection finds no support in the strong and virile realism of the Apocalypse.” (Mounce)

iii. This is a Jesus we can’t control.  Here we see Jesus as someone who demands not only our attention, but also our submission.

iv. It’s good for us to remember that this dramatic display of judgment comes only at the end of a long time of grace, patience, and mercy.  This is no “rush to judgment.”  Jesus has amply displayed His nature of mercy, forgiveness and grace to this fallen world.  He comes now to judge a world hardened and totally given over to their rebellion against Him.

v. “All of these passages point to the sad conclusion that in the day of judgment it is too late for men to expect the mercy of God.  There is nothing more inflexible than divine judgment where grace has been spurned.  The scene of awful judgment which comes from this background is in flat contradiction of the modern point of view that God is dominated entirely by His attribute of love.” (Walvoord)

vi. Remember that He does it all in righteousness.  “The wars which he wages are from no principle of ambition, lust of power, or extension of conquest and dominion; they are righteous in their principle and in their object.  And this is perhaps what no earthly potentate could ever say.” (Clarke)

vii. “Jesus is the only king who always wars in this fashion.  There have been brilliant exceptions to the general rule, but war is usually as deceitful as it is bloody, and the words of diplomatists are a mass of lies.  It seems impossible that men should deliberate about peace and war without straightway forgetting the meaning of words and the bonds of honesty: War still seems to be a piece of business in which truth would be out of place; it is a matter so accursed that falsehood is there most at home, and righteousness quits the plain.  But as for our King, it is in righteousness that he doth judge and make war.  Christ’s kingdom needs no deception: the plainest speech and the clearest truth — these are the weapons of our warfare.” (Spurgeon)

d. His eyes were like a flame of fire: “Why are they like flames of fire? Why, first, to discern the secrets of all hearts.  There are no secrets here that Christ does not see.  There is no lewd thought, there is no unbelieving scepticism, that Christ does not read.  There is no hypocrisy, no formalism, no deceit, that he does not scan as easily as a man reads a page in a book.  His eyes are like a flame of fire to read us through and through, and know us to our inmost soul.” (Spurgeon)

e. On His head were many crowns: The last time this earth saw Jesus He wore a crown of thorns, but not in Revelation 19.  Now, He wears many crowns.  The ancient Greek word used for crowns here is the diadema, the crown of royalty and authority, not the stephanos, the crown of achievement.

i. The fact that there are many crowns means that Jesus is the ultimate in royal authority and power.  It is a visible manifestation of what we mean when we say King of Kings.  It is an expression of unlimited sovereignty.

f. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood: His robe is dipped (or, sprinkled) in blood.  Bible students debate whether this is His own blood (reminding us of the cross) or the blood of His enemies.  Either is quite possible.

g. The armies in heaven: These are God’s people (Revelation 17:14, Jude 14-15).  There is little doubt that angels will also accompany Jesus and His people, but the main idea is that the Son of God leads the people of God from heaven against earth.

i. There is no mention of any kind of armor or weapon for any soldier in the great army that follows Jesus.  The only armor or weapon they have is the only one they need: clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

h. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword: The idea isn’t that Jesus holds a sword in his mouth like a buccaneer, or that He is “spitting swords.”  This is a dramatic way of referring to the power of His Word.  “Christ conquers by the power of His Word” (Johnson).  Five times in the Book Revelation, John emphasizes that Jesus’ sword comes out of His mouth.

i. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron: Jesus comes to rule and to reign in triumph, to rule the nations with a rod of iron as predicted in Psalm 2.  He comes as King of Kings to displace every king reigning on this earth.

i. “It does not mean the leavening of existing governments with Christian principles, the spiritual conversion of countries and empires, leaving them in existence, and simply Christianizing them so as to exhibit something of Christ’s spirit in their administrations; but the total displacement of all this world’s sovereigns and governments, the taking of all dominion and authority out of their hands and putting it in the hands of Christ, as the true and only King of the world.” (Seiss)

This from another site:

Verse 11 shows he is the one who makes war in righteousness. Further, his robe is dipped in blood or sprinkled in blood. This imagery comes from Isaiah 63:1-6 showing God trampling the enemies.

Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation, and my wrath upheld me. I trampled down the peoples in my anger; I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.” (Isaiah 63:1–6 ESV)

Following him are the armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen that were white and pure. Here comes the armies of the Lord and Christ is the leader on the white horse with his clothing sprayed in blood. Verse 15 reveals messianic imagery. The sharp sword coming out of his mouth was seen in Revelation 1:16. He is going to strike down the nations and rule with a rod of iron. This is a reference to the messianic prophecy in Psalm 2:9 and Isaiah 11:4. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God. We saw this predicted in Revelation 14:17-20. This image of Christ acting in the anger of the Lord against the disobedient nations and peoples. The name written on his robe and thigh is “King of kings” and “Lord of lords.” It is interesting that these names are located on his thigh. The thigh was the location of the sword and it was also the place where oaths were made (cf. Genesis 24:2,9; 47:29).

Verses 17-18 are a graphic, grotesque description of the destruction of the beast. Christ will be victorious. His armies are with him and he will conquer. This graphic is used by the prophet Ezekiel in a prophecy against the nations of the earth called Gog and Magog (which we will read about in Revelation 20).

4 You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your hordes and the peoples who are with you. I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.

17 “As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD: Speak to the birds of every sort and to all beasts of the field, ‘Assemble and come, gather from all around to the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you, a great sacrificial feast on the mountains of Israel, and you shall eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth—of rams, of lambs, and of he-goats, of bulls, all of them fat beasts of Bashan. 19 And you shall eat fat till you are filled, and drink blood till you are drunk, at the sacrificial feast that I am preparing for you. 20 And you shall be filled at my table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all kinds of warriors,’ declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 39:4, 17–20 ESV)

Before the battle has begun and before anyone joins in the fight the result is certain. At the same time as the evil forces are gathering for battle, the carrion birds are gathering in the air for the inevitable slaughter. The circling of vultures overhead indicates the coming doom. Thus, John looks and sees the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against Christ and his army. This is a reminder from Revelation 16:14 where the kings of the earth were gathering at Armageddon. We noted that gathering at Armageddon symbolized a decisive, catastrophic loss. The loss is decisive and catastrophic. The beast was captured along with the false prophet and are thrown in the lake of fire. The rest are slain by the sword that comes out of the mouth of Christ and all the birds ate their flesh. Notice that there is no battle. Christ’s victory is immediate. When the sword comes out from Christ’s mouth, the battle belongs to the Lord and the enemies are crushed. Being thrown alive into the lake of fire seems to indicate the experiencing of the eternal punishment and torment. Revelation 20:10 tells us that the lake of fire is the place of eternal torment. The book of Revelation wants us to clearly understand that Christ is one who has destroyed the beast. Christ is the one who is victorious. Christ is the one who is the Lord of heaven’s armies.

…Christ has won. Christ rules with all power and might over the nations and peoples of the earth. Do not leave Christ and worship something else. Worship God. Be on the winning team. Those who rebel against Christ are eternally punished in torment.