Rev 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
Once the marriage of the Lamb has come, because His wife has made herself ready, the first thing John sees is a rider on a white horse. Some draw a similarity here with the rider in Rev 6:2 So I looked, and here came a white horse! The one who rode it had a bow, and he was given a crown, and as a conqueror he rode out to conquer. On that occasion, the white horse appears upon the opening of the first seal, and no other explicit mention is given of the horse or its rider for the rest of Revelation. It is hard to reconcile these two riders as being the same because of the numerous differences between them. The first rider has no name, whereas the rider in Rev 19 is ascribed several names, Faithful and True v11, the Word of God v13, and King of Kings and Lord of Lords v16 which unmistakably identifies Him as our Lord Jesus Christ. The first rider had a bow, whereas Jesus has a sharp sword which comes out of His mouth. The unnamed rider was given a crown whereas Jesus is crowned with many crowns Rev 19:12, the unnamed rider is actually one of four horsemen who are connected with the opening of the first four seals, whereas Jesus is the One who opens the seals. What does connect them, is they are both conquerors, although their fates are very different. The first horseman we’ll come back to another time, so now let’s put Jesus in full view. The vision John saw in Revelation 19 was a clear picture of Christ returning as a warrior. On Jesus first coming He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey which is a symbol of peace, but on His second coming He will return on a white horse a symbol of war. Our opening verse 11 of chapter 19 says in righteousness Jesus will judge and make war, we might ask who will Jesus make war with? Well in Rev 16:14 we see the kings of the world being gathered together in Armageddon “for the battle of the great day of God Almighty” and in Rev 17:14 there are ten kings described who go to make war with the Lamb. There are also many other prophecies which forewarn the surrounding of Jerusalem by the nations of the world. In addition to these armies and kings, this same term “make war” is found previously in Revelation 13:4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” The answer to that question will be answered by Jesus the warrior King! Jesus will make war with the beast and with the false prophet. Rev 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
This is an important point to secure in our understanding lest we be fooled into thinking some other alternative. It is Jesus Christ who defeats the beast and the false prophet not vicariously through the church, but by His actual physical return. The demise of these two enemies of God, happens after Jesus returns and not before. The passage is quite clear on this point, which then makes it very difficult to hold to a victorious church, post millennial viewpoint, without allegorising this text. What I’m saying is that the plain sense meaning of the passage states that the Beast and False Prophet are only captured and thrown alive in the lake of fire after Jesus returns. Which means for the notion of a victorious church era and Kingdom Now doctrine – something has to be done with this passage, because it is hard to reconcile a euphoric millennial age until the Beast and False Prophet have been eliminated. This one truth forms the very foundation of our hope, that Jesus Christ is coming back, and when He comes, He will come as a warrior, as King of Kings and Lord and Lords to make war against our enemies and His. He will be crowned with many crowns, and will reign forever and ever in righteousness and justice. Let us therefore set our hopes on His glorious return more than on our successes, more than on whatever advantage we think we have now, for His glory shall be ours also. What is it that we have now, that will compare to what we shall have then? What state we might achieve now, to that which shall be then. No, let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, not only for the Saviour that He is, but also as the Warrior Bridegroom King who is coming to reign