The Man on the White Horse
by Pastor Lee Roberson, D.D. (1909-2007)
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." — REVELATION 19:11
"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall form heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the bribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." — MATTHEW 24:27-31
In other messages we have pointed out that the coming of Christ is in two stages. He first comes for the saints, and then He comes with the saints.
We have discussed the rapture, the judgment seat of Christ, the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist, and other subjects. We now come to consider the second stage of His coming. This occurs after the judgment seat of Christ, and after the marriage supper of the Lamb.
In Revelation 19:7-9, we have the marriage supper of the Lamb:
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the LAMB. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God."
In verse 7 we notice these words, "And his wife hath made herself ready." The Lamb's wife here is the bride, the church. We must notice that she was arrayed in "fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
A different class of people are mentioned in verse 9. Most commentators make a distinction between the bride of Christ and those that are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. Dr. Ironside says, "These are all friends of the bridegroom, who rejoice in His joy and share in His gladness. I understand them to be the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints, who, though they have no part of the church, are sharers in the heavenly glory; and these are pictured as the guests at the wedding who participate in the general gladness of the occasion, and whose presence, too, adds to the happiness of the bride and groom."
Now, following this happy scene in Heaven, we come to the study of the Man on the white horse. This is the coming of Christ with His saints. We will notice that He comes from Heaven and that He rides upon a white horse, which symbolizes victory, peace, and purity.
There are three things I want you to see about this white horse rider.
I. His Description
In Revelation 1, we have a stirring description of Christ as He walked in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Now, here we have another wonderful picture of our Saviour as He comes to judge and make war.
"His eyes were as a flame of fire." No one can escape the eyes of Christ. He sees all and His eyes are quick to detect sin.
"On his head were many crowns." This proclaims His authority over all the kingdoms of the earth. The misrule of the earth is to end when Christ begins to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
May we notice also His four names. First, "Faithful and True." As He sat upon the horse, this was His name. This name reminds us of His earthly life -- He was faithful to the will of God and true in every act.
Second, He had an unknown name. "And he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself." The name was written, but no one knew it but He Himself. There is nothing more to say about this.
Third, "and his name is called the Word of God." We read in John 1:1, 2, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." Christ was with the Father in the creation of the world. The Word was as yet unspoken, but when Christ came into the world, God spoke in Him.
Fourth, His name was King of kings and Lord of lords. This is His official title, and it belongs to Him as Son of Man, the rightful heir of all things. When Jesus came to earth the first time, they would not receive Him, and they crowned Him with a crown of thorns. They gave Him a cross instead of a throne. But God will soon speak form Heaven and Jesus will come, and the Saviour will be the King of kings and the Lord of lords upon this earth.
Considering still further His description, we find a word about His vesture. In verse 13 we read, "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood." Surely this is a picture of the blood which was shed for our redemption. As he comes to the battle of Armageddon His garments will be reddened with the blood of His enemies, but here His red garments speak of His sacrifice in behalf of sinners. This Bible is a bloody book. Our religion is a bloody religion. "And without the shedding of blood is no remission."
II. His Armies
"And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." -- Revelation 19:14.
This army which follows the Saviour as He leaves Heaven is made up of the bride of Christ and all the saints before the church was established, and the tribulation saints who had been slain after the church was taken out. All of these now come forth with our Saviour, riding upon white horses and dressed in white and clean linen.
The armies do not have any weapons. The armies follow Him who is upon the white horse. The armies are dressed in white, symbolizing righteousness. If you are a child of God, you will be in the army of the Lord when He comes at the revelation.
III. His Purpose
In Revelation 19:11 we read, "And in righteousness he doth judge and make war."
In verse 15 we read, "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."
Our Christ is coming in power and great glory to make war against the beast, the false prophet, and the kingdoms of the earth. He does not come now as the lowly Nazarene, but He comes to tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Christ is coming to smite the nations with the sword. The sword goes out of His mouth, which indicates that it is the Word of God. Therefore, by the very Word of God. Therefore, by the very Word of Christ Himself, the nations will be put down, and victory will come. The eternal Word will be an offensive weapon. Christ is coming to rule with a rod of iron. This is an altogether different picture from that of Christ who was born in a manger and rejected by His own people.
In closing we must notice that in order for Christ to rule the nations with a rod of iron, He must tread the winepress and wrath of Almighty God. The winepress is the wrath of God, and the wine flowing from it the blood of His enemies. In the coming of Christ, His enemies will be crushed under the feet of Him who treads the winepress. The full picture of this will be given in the next message, when we preach on the battle of Armageddon.
In summarizing this vision of Christ's departing from Heaven with His saints, may we remember:
First, Christ will be victorious. The unholy trinity composed of the Devil, the Antichrist, and the false prophet, will do all they can to destroy Christ, but He spoke the truth when He said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Thank God, we are serving a Christ who will be victorious!
Second, we will share in His victories. But we do not fight. It seems that we are nothing more than spectators as the LORD smites the nations with the sharp sword.
Third, we need to live now as we are going to appear with Him. We will follow Him upon white horses and we will be dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Our lives need to be clean and pure now. We must live in a dirty, sinful world, but our hearts and lives can be clean by the cleansing blood.
SOURCE: Chapter 8 from the excellent book, Some Golden Daybreak, by Dr. Lee Roberson, D.D. (copyright 1957)
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