Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 19

The armies of heaven

Revelation 19:14

A ruler shows his power by means of the army that he commands. In the same manner, Christ leads heavenís armies into this last great battle. These are not armies of men, but of spirits; they are the angels, Godís special servants. They will fight this battle upon the earth, but their principal enemy is also a spirit and not a man. That enemy is the devil, Satan (20:2); and the purpose of this battle is to defeat all his evil forces.

However, we may ask why Christ needs an army to support him. He is God, so he has all power. So he could fight and win this battle alone, without any help from anyone.

The answer is that Christ has already fought his greatest battle on the cross. By his death, he fought and defeated the devil (Hebrews 2:14).

Christ fought that battle on the cross alone, without anyone else to support him. Even then, he could have asked for a vast army of angels to rescue him (Matthew 26:53). However, he chose not to do that. Only he could save people from their sins (evil deeds), and he could only do it by his death (Hebrews 9:24-28). The result of his action is that the devilís final defeat is now certain (12:12).

So, this battle seems more like a procession to express joy at the defeat of the enemy. No soldier would normally wear clean, white clothes for a battle! Heavenís armies know that they have already won this battle; or rather, that Christ won it for them at the cross. They ride out joyfully to show that they are on his side. It will be their honour to lead away his enemies as prisoners.

Next part: The power of Christ (Revelation 19:15)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.