Scoffers on the Second Coming PIII

Read, 2 Peter 3: 1-9

Have you ever thought that God seems slow? What needs to take place so we can understand that we can have patience and trust in Him and His timing? 

Because it has been nearly two thousand years since Christ’s ascension and proclamation to return, many people have given up and even stated, perhaps Jesus is not coming back. But is this valid? No. If we take God’s Word as true, then we know He is coming back. If we really read the Scriptures and see that God lives outside of space and time and is not governed by our physical or temporal laws of physics or humanity, then we can easily see two thousand years is nothing for God. Besides, this is an aspect of grace to give humanity time to consider the implication of God’s sovereignty and our convection to receive Him as Lord.

For God, time is totally relative and in the scope of eternity. This does not necessarily refer to a literal timeline. Rather, that God’s view and perspective of things is not our view and the converse thereof. This long wait is an aspect of His sovereignty (Psalm 90:4).

We have no knowledge of God’s timing! Thus we are not to forget or refuse to heed to God’s Lordship when we feel impatient.

Patient means that our God is a long-suffering God. When God delays His judgment, this means He is demonstrating His love, grace, and forbearance for the consummation of His purpose. We are to take comfort in that He is a God of grace and mercy and is patient with us when we do not deserve it. He seeks our repentance and trust. Therefore, we have no need to be impatient or confused or allow the mocking or misleading of others to distract us from His purpose and plan (John 6:39).

It seems that God is slow to us, but He is in absolute control and we can have patience and trust in Him and His timing. We are impatient with our thinking and expectations, whereas God is patient, allowing His grace and plan to work out. There is no need to make up dates or predict His Second Coming. We are called to be obedient and wait actively in His Word and truth.

Peter is restating his purpose of being an encourager and, at the same time, is shepherding them. A shepherd protects his sheep. If the sheep run astray, he will do what it takes to keep them safe and put, even if he has to break their legs so they will not be eaten.

A pastor needs to root out false teachers and discipline those who cause others to stumble. If not, others will fall prey to things that are misleading, counterfeit, and dangerous.

We can’t just look the other way, hoping all will work out. We have to be proactive and engage the enemy, even the ones in our own flock. Of course, we do this in love-but not just with feelings of love because we will not feel like loving them and, unless one has a disparaging personality, dispensing discipline will not be a joy.

However, we are called to act and to do so within the Fruit of the Spirit and love, carrying a staff to remove the wolves that desire to carry off our flock.

Scoffers on the Second Coming PII

Read, 2 Peter 3: 1-9

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3-4

 

What are some of the fears and unbeliefs that you have you heard people say about the Second Coming? How does scoffing put the item being scoffed at down, while lifting up the scoffer?

Peter lays it out, just read the Passage, all of 2nd Peter. He then cements his reprimand by showing his people the ultimate hope we have in Christ, that our life is all about Him-what He has done, and what He is yet to do. And, the big yet to do is His Second Coming.

Yet, in the mist of our great hope there will be great detractors who seek to derail us off His tracks by seeding our fears and unbelief. If a false teacher can’t get you to see a variant view of a skewed truth, others will turn and ridicule real truth. Thus, they will get you to laugh at the truth to demean it so you will not take it seriously. Scoffing puts the item being scoffed at down while it lifts up the scoffer. Pride is at the base of this, which is always the way Satan works.

They will say, “Do you really believe that?” “How can you take that seriously?” We are to see where their arguments come from, mainly faulty thinking and conniving agendas and conceit, causing us to forget God’s promises and even His past provisions.

Take a closer read at these verses. What is our hope and comfort? God is sovereign and in control! God’s mighty hand was in the environment and in humanity before the beginning of time, and continues today and on to eternity. He will judge the quick (alive) and the dead (Acts 10:42; 1 Peter 4:5; The Apostolic Creed).

God’s word refers to God’s ability and authority to command, create, and be Lord. By God’s word, the universe was created out of nothing. We were created and saved. In context, this also shows us that at the time of creation through today, all of history, that God is a God of involvement and action. He is not passive as the deists teach; there is no reason or need to doubt God! (Gen. 1:1-30; Psalm 33:6-9; Heb. 11:3).

We can rebuff scoffer with the Fruit of the Spirit and a gentle answer, then we can take comfort when they attack that God intervenes in history and in our lives. He will judge, as He demonstrated with the Flood (Gen 6-8).

We rest in “God’s divine Word” as in His utterance that creates and commands, that God is “all powerful.” He will repeat the judgments and we have the importance of God as the One who is in control and who will judge the wicked.

He made the universe; He made you for a plan and a purpose. You are no mistake; therefore, you are wanted and have a destiny. Thus, we are called to realize that and not let false teachers, scoffers, and/or connivers distract us from seeing Christ and applying His Lordship to our lives.

 

What does Revelation 19:11-21 mean to us now?

 

This passage also seems to make reference to Roman oppression that it is finely over, and it sets up the world for the return of Christ! This is true for those who first read this letter, but this passage is not just about the then current situation of the seven churches or Rome’s eventual demise. Revelation and its themes and applications resound to us and beyond because it was not only written to the seven churches, but it is also for us throughout Church history.  Thus, we can take great comfort and assurance that our King will return in His timing. This is our triumph and anticipation, but as it is a climax of Christianity, effectual faith, love, and fruit are our first and foremost calls for the meantime!  

No matter what we face and what we go through, we have a reason and a purpose. Tragedies and jubilations can mold and shape us, but that shape is only good when it is in His image and plan. No matter how powerful or ominous our foes seem or are, they will be judged and they will fall!  

Questions to Ponder: 

  1. The climax of this Book and Christianity is His Return. But, is this the most important aspect of our faith? Why, or why not? How do you have confidence in God that Satan and evil are killed; game over—God wins?

 2.    How have you seen the Gospel message spread? What are the hindrances to His Word seen throughout Church history? How can knowing that now there are no real, effectual impediments raise your confidence for evangelism and missions?

 3.    How would you feel if God’s tangible presence was made known to you? How does our pretentiousness get in the way of His reality? What about how you make decisions or lead a church?

 4.    How can you be better prepared in your faith and practice for the return of the King? Jesus is depicted in this passage as the Sovereign Mighty Warrior; what does this do to your view and worship of Him?  

5.    What does it mean to your church that Christ is the Sovereign Lord? What can be done to better reverence Him in worship and your daily life? What would that mean to your maturity and relationships?  

© 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

 

The Four Main Views of Revelation 19:11-21

 

The Four Prevailing Views (This passage concludes the four prevailing views that resound from chapters four through nineteen. Chapter twenty is about the three main views of the Millennium: Post-millennium/Postmillennial, Pre-millennium/Premillennial, and Am-millennium/Amillennial (see background article) that intersect into the four views. Then, Chapters twenty-one and twenty-two deal with the literal versus non-literal interpretation of Scripture. 

The Preterist view: This camp is split as full Preterists see that Christ already returned in form and/or spirit in 70 A. D. (this view is rare); the Partial-Preterist sees that all up to this point of Revelation has been fulfilled; then, as of this writing, the future events that have not been fulfilled are seen. The Preterist sees the allusion to Christ’s second coming in this passage as the start of the Church Age and the spiritual warfare with Satan and his minions. The White horse is seen as the living and conquering Jesus setting up the Church and empowering the Believers, depicted as being clothed in linen. The fall of the beast and false prophet is seen as the destruction of Rome, as the Beast, and its states as the false prophet, thus not the physical coming of our Lord. This is mainly due to the phrase, Word of God, meaning spiritual conflict, not physical. Thus, the conquering power and spread of the Gospel and the defeat of evil and the resulting growth of faith are principal aspects of the passage in this view. The Partial-Preterist sees the conquering power of the Gospel, but also sees a literal return of the King.  

The Futurist view: This camp sees this passage as a quintessential opening describing the victorious Second Coming of Christ. This view is partially supported by the writings of the Early Church Fathers as well as Augustine and the Reformers. This is the first that this “end times” theory has had significant agreement with Scripture and backed up by nearly two thousand years of Church theological history. White horse is the return of Christ setting up His millennial Kingdom, depicted by His names Word, Faithful and True, and King of kings. The saints are seen as the Believers and/or angels in battle against evil nations either spiritually or actually. There are varying views in this camp, over spiritual warfare, the battle of Armageddon, the movement of the Gospel, or the conflicts in the Church over the years. And, the lake of fire is the endgame for Satan and his followers.  

The Idealist view: They see this passage as the Names of Christ converging, Word, Faithful and True, and King of kings as fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, and no one knows as only God can understand Himself. Armies of heaven is seen as angels while others see them as Believers, both interlocked in spiritual warfare and the angels engaging Satan in our behalf. Winepress is seen as God’s wrath and His ferocity in dealing with sin and evil. This war is seen as literal with humanity and/or angels engaging the evil worldly persecuting powers and armies in an epic holy war. The battle ends as the Church and Christ are victors and the evil and those seduced into the world’s sin being judged and then thrown into hell.  

The Historicist view: They see this passage as mostly symbolic referring to the victories of Christ accomplished through His Church to spread His Word. This is also about God’s judgment against evil and worldly ways. Others in this camp see an actual battle of Armageddon as literal or symbolic against apostasy and/or the Catholic Church versus the Protestant Church.  Others see this as symbolic for spiritual warfare and how we are victorious when we are faithful in Christ. Sharp sword and Word are seen as true doctrine winning out against false teachings. Armies of heaven and saints are seen as Believers remaining faithful by following Christ and/or witnesses of His glory. Birds gorged is seen as God’s enemies destroyed by their own ways collapsing upon themselves and/or God’s direct intervention. Reformer Luther and others see this as the destruction or downfall of the apostate Catholic Church and/or the weakening of papal power. Some have seen this already accomplished by Vatican I and II.

 

Exegetical look into Revelation 19:17-21

 

  • ·         KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS means the one who rules over all the earth. It refers to the Parthian titles of their kings, an extremely pretentious and prideful statement that now is only reserved for the One True God (Deut. 10:17; Dan. 2:47; Zech. 14:9; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14).
  • ·         Great supper of God means a reversed banquet. Instead of sacrificing animals and feasting on them, the opposite comes about. It refers to a contrast to the wedding feast of the Lamb in the previous passage; now, there is another feast, a sacrificial feast where God’s enemies are sacrificed to prevent the universe from going into chaos. This would have been of great comfort to those undergoing persecutions, knowing their oppressors would get what they deserve (Isa. 34:6-7; 49:26; Jer. 46:10; Zech. 14;  Zeph. 1:7-9; Ezek. 29:5; 39:4-22; Rev. 19:7-9; 20:8).
  • ·         Eat the flesh of kings…refers to judgment and a proverbial curse as God reverses the created food chain and dietary laws (Gen. 1:30; 9:2-3; Deut. 28:26; Psalm 79:2; Jer. 7:33; 15:3; 16:4; 19:7; 34:20; Ezek. 29:5; 32:4).
  • ·         The beast. See Rev. 13:1-10 Study.
  • ·         Armies gathered. The world’s armies, who seek to mock and fight God, get their deserved judgment (Rev. 16:14).
  • ·         Lake of burning sulfur/lake of fire. Means the judgment and defeat of Satan and his entourage of followers such as evil leaders too! For the ancients, “fire” was greatly feared; it meant pain, punishment, judgment, and torment. Here, it is referred to as an all consuming eternity of judgment. This is Hell, the place of everlasting torment. It is the very worse thing that can ever happen to anyone, and our ultimate fear and dread. It is also a place the wicked send them selves because they do not want to be with God. It is a place of extreme suffering and anguish yet a place of grace, because a loving God does not force anyone to be with Him that would not want to be (2 King 16:3; 23:10; Is. 30:33; 66:15; Jer 7:31; Joel 2:3; Dan. 7:11; Matt. 5:22; Rev. 14:9-10; 20:10-15; 21:8, also1 Enoch 54:1).
  • ·         Birds gorged themselves. An image of Deut 28:26-49 and Matthew 24:28; 25:31-45, this refers to the sure judgment and defeat of the world’s wicked that awaits them. It is also an assault on the perceived dignity of evil and pride, and that if you fight against God, you will be devoured (1 Sam. 17:44-46; 1 Kings 4:11; 16:4; 21:19; 21:23-24; 2 Kings 9:10)!

 

Exegetical look into Revelation 19:11-16

 

  • ·         Heaven standing open/opened…world can see means standing open; here, this vision is not limited to John, but the whole world can see it. God’s tangible presence is known (Rev. 4:1).
  • ·         White horse means “the king returns;” it refers to royalty and power. Most conservative theologians see this as the quintessential Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Roman princes rode white horses in pretentious ceremonies showing their self-perceived power and prestige as did the Parthian kings. Here, Christ is shown as the Real King—no pretentiousness. The reality is that He is The Sovereign Lord. Whether it was Jesus Himself on the horse or a representative of Him does not matter; this is about His Title that points to His Supremacy. The image is Christ’s second coming as THE KING returns. Whether it is actual or metaphorical, the real point is are we prepared in our faith and practice (Psalm 149:6-9; Zech. 9:9-10; 10:3; Col. 3:17; Rev. 6:2)?
  • ·         Rider is called Faithful and True means the ultimate and absolute Truth and/or Christ crucified as a sin offering to be our Deliverer. This is in contrast to Christ as a Lamb; he is now a Warrior.
  • ·         Makes war. Holy War! Here, Jesus is in all of His Majesty and Glory and He wages war on evil and those who oppresses His faithful. God is a God of truth and justice; His enemies will be judged fairly, sentenced to fit their crime, and destroyed too. God is our defender; He wages war on behalf of His people. He is our Warrior who defends our faithfulness and honor. This is what the first century Jews expected the Messiah to do for them in the present, not later as Christ said in Matthew 24 (Ex. 15:2-3; Deut. 20; Psalm 18:8; 46:3; Is. 13:13; 24:18-20; 59:16-18; Jer. 4:23-26; Joel 2:10, 30-31; Hag. 2:6-7, 21; 3:16; Ezek. 32:6-8; 38:18-23, 39; Hab. 3:8-15; Zech. 12:1-9; 14:3-5; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev.13:4; 20:15)!
  • ·         Eyes are like blazing fire means God’s penetrating insight and strength. This is also about Christ as the persecutor of sin, His Sovereignty as Warrior, and His role as victor in the final battle to come. It also refers to the great victories in battles in the Old Testament, and points to the Transfiguration (Ex. 15:3; Duet. 32: 41-42; Judges 5:31; Is. 59:17-18; Zech. 14:3; Dan. 10:6; Matt. 13:43; 17:2; Rev. 1:14; 4:6; 19:11-21).  
  •         Many crowns normally means a great victory and a victor’s reward; here, it is a different word from most other passages (Rev. 2:10; 3:11; 4:4; 12:3; 14:14) in that it refers to “diadems,” Christ’s royal crowns one of the victor and one of royalty. Thus, Christ is the ultimate, Royal Victor in contrast to Satan’s pretentiousness (Rev. 12:3; 13:1).  
  • ·         He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. The true name of God is veiled from us, perhaps not so much as a secret but as His name is unknowable and not understandable to humanity. No one has authority of power over Him. Knowing a name of a god refers to ownership and control that no one has over our One True God. Just as knowing a person’s name means we have knowledge of and influence on them. In ancient cultures, it also meant gaining power over a person. It also refers to His protection over us (Mark 5:9; Rev. 2:17).

 ·         Robe dipped in blood/blood-stained. This is an image of a winepress that refers to God’s judgment and revenge of His faithful. Also, Jewish tradition from the “Talmud” and “Wisdom of Solomon 18,” states a warrior messiah will be stained with blood. It is also an image of the blood of Christ that was shed to atone for our sin, and/or an enemy’s blood spilled in war. The word for dipped in is the Greek “bapto” as in “baptized” (Gen. 49:10-11; Is. 63:1-3; Rev. 14:14-20).

  • ·         His name is the Word of God refers to His power, Lordship, and as Judge,  thus spiritual warfare is in view here using Spirit, Word, Truth, and prayer instead of conventional weapons (Is. 11:4; John 1:1; 12:48; Heb. 4:12-13).
  • ·         Armies of heaven/his armies may refer to Angelic beings and/or Believers fighting on God’s behalf in contrast to the imitation locust army in Rev. 9. The imagery here is those of the Parthian raiders, the most horrific image for this time. Although not necessarily a literal war plan of God, His plan will be disastrous to the unlawful, unfaithful, and those who are evil (This is where J.R. Tolkien got his ideas for the “Lord of the Rings” books and well as C.S. Lewis’ works of fiction.) (Deut 33:2; 2 Kings 2:11; 6:17; Psalm 68:17; Is. 11:4; 66:15; Jer. 4:13; Hab. 3:8; Rev. 17:14).
  • ·         Sharp sword…iron scepter .meant the long Roman sword or spear that was used to create fear and to conquer. The scepter was also a symbol of authority with power over life and death. Here, it is in conjunction with the Word of God as sharp, powerful, and penetrating, thus is referred to figuratively as a sword. It is also a symbol of judgment (Psalm 2:9; 57:4; Is. 34:5; 49:2; 66:15-16; Jer. 12:12; 47:6; Hos. 6:5; John 1:1; 1 John 1:1; Rev 1:16; 2:27 also: 4 Ezra 13).
  • ·         On his thigh referred to the horse’s thigh where the name of the warrior and/or kingdom was written or was branded similar to modern military designations (Ex. 28:36-38; Rev. 7:3; 13:16).

 

Revelation 19:11-21: What are the Contexts?

 

This passage starts the sixth cycle of Judgments that lead up to Christ’s Second Coming and the climax of this Book and Christianity. Most biblical scholars who read the Bible (many do not) see this as happening while Christ is returning or just before. This is also about the principles of real spiritual warfare, how Satan deceives and is doomed and how we are easily tricked and still will be held accountable. This is also about how the Gospel message has been spread without any real effectual hindrances throughout Church history.  

The passage is proclaiming the conquering Christ as He wages war against all those who oppose God. His arch enemy, the beast/Satan, seeks to defeat Christ and is so deluded that he thinks he can do so. God’s way defeats all those who are evil and refuse Him. As Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, now His Name and Word are on the white horse of Judgment, conquering His and our enemies! This also shows the contrast to how the beast rode in, as a choice is given: choose Christ and His liberty or choose evil and its defeat and death. The world will be filled with His (Christ) glory and not his (devil) ways! Along with the previous passage, it is another contrast between two banquets. One is for faithfulness and blessings and the other is for iniquity and its judgment. One is the wedding feast of the Lamb, and now the feast for the beast. His end game and rewards banquet consists of being devoured and thrown into Hell (Psalm 2; Matt. 21:1-11; Eph. 5:25-27; 6:10-20; Heb. 13:8; 1 John 5:4-5; Rev. 1:7; 16: 14-21; 17:14; 19:1-10; 20:7-10; 22:13).  

The climax of this Book and Christianity is His Return. But, is this the most important aspect of our faith? Why, or why not? How do you have confidence in God that Satan and evil are killed; game over—God wins?