Revelation 19:11-21 / Washed in the Blood

Posted on June 27, 2016


This is the Forty-eighth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church. This message looks at the return of Christ, and the power of His blood. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not necessarily a full transcript.

Rev 19:11-21



Heaven opens, and Jesus appears. The one who had ascended to heaven (acts 1:9-11) will return to redeem the earth from satan, and establish His kingdom. Jesus returns this time not as a Lamb but as a victorious conquerer, a King, on a white horse. Jesus came first as a Lamb to be a sacrifice for sin, but he will return as a conqueror and king to execute judgment and restore His kingdom. The battle lines have been drawn between God and evil, and the world is waiting for the King to ride onto the field.

The white horse is a symbol of victory. In the Roman triumphal processions, the victorious general rode his white war horse up the Via Sacra to the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. Jesus’ first coming was in humiliation on a colt.

  • Zech. 9:9

This time He is the victor, who will defeat satan, and lead us to triumph.

  • 2 Corinthians 2:14

This event is distinct from the rapture. At the rapture, Christ doesn’t actually return to earth, meets the saints in the air—in this event he comes with them to earth. At the rapture, there is no judgment—in this event it is all judgment.

  • Acts 17:31

This will be that day, just as was warned at the beginning of this prophecy.

  • Revelation 2:16

Eyes like a “flame of fire”. These are the same eyes that penetrate and peer deep into your soul. Nothing escapes His penetrating vision! As a result, all of His judgments will be accurate, true and just. In righteousness He judges. . .

“many crowns” He is, of course, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His authority is absolute, hence the many crowns. There is no place His authority does not extend.
“a name that no one knew except Himself.” John could see the name, but he couldn’t comprehend it. He is called by many names in Scripture: Jesus, Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, I Am, Mighty, Counselor, Lord, King, Prince of Peace. . . This verse implies that while those many names describe Him, no earthly name can do him justice. He is greater than any description or expression the human mind can devise. This name will be too wonderful, too glorious, and too perfect for us to comprehend. There are some mysteries of God that even the glorified saints will be unable to grasp.

The blood on His robe is not the blood of His enemies. He has just emerged from heaven with the blood-dipped robe, the battle has not yet begun.

Blood, mentioned in connection with Christ during the tribulation, always refers to His own blood.

  • Revelation 1:5
  • Revelation 5:9
  • Revelation 7:14
  • Revelation 12:11

This blood is a reminder of the sacrifice which Christ made. It is His life-giving blood which was spilled at Calvary.
As Christ rides into battle, flying His flag in the form a a blood dipped robe, it will stand as a stark reminder to His foes.

  • They could’ve been content with only the blood of Christ being shed.
  • They could’ve been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.
  • They could’ve known the wonder working power of the blood of the Lamb.

Instead, they will seek their own power, which will soon be taken away. Instead of being washed by the blood of the Lamb, they will be drowned in a pool of their own blood.

What a tragedy! They could’ve received life from the spilling of Jesus’ blood, rather than death by the spilling of their own.
The saints who follow Jesus will be in white robes. They are white and clean, because they’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb.

He is called the Word of God.

  • John 1:1
  • John 1:14

Jesus is God’s personal revelation to us!
As Christ prepares to enter battle, His sword comes from His mouth. Jesus will win the battle with the power of His word. This is the same word by which the universe was created, I would think it sufficiently powerful to destroy His enemies.

The ultimate weapon is the Word of God, and its a weapon that we have all been armed with. However, when it comes to the execution of judgment, that is not the task of believers. 

Notice that we ride in behind Christ. It is Christ who treads the winepress of the wrath of God. That, in and of itself, is reason enough to stay behind Christ. To be out in front of Him in such a situation would be beyond foolish. 

If you were an infantryman about to invade an enemy stronghold, and the Air Force was going to bomb the area first, would you run in ahead of the Air Force? That would be stupid to the extreme. 

Well. . . you certainly won’t want to run out in front of Christ when He’s about to execute judgment. In fact, you never want to get out in front of Christ. His command has always been to follow Him, and there should be no doubt that behind Christ is the safest place you could be.

Once He subdues, He will rule! and He will rule them with a rod of iron. Swift, righteous judgment will mark Christ’s rule in the kingdom, and believers will share that authority.

  • Revelation 2:26
  • 1 Corinthians 6:2

With the victory, comes the throne. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Simply put, He is above all others. He is above all other kings, all other rulers, and all other authority. He always has been, but from here on out, it will be visibly so, and it will be enforced with a rod of iron!

These last few verses depict the most horrifying holocaust of all time, the battle of Armageddon. . . the Day of the Lord! All who oppose God will be destroyed in an instant.

There will be a marriage feast in heaven for the saints, and there will be another feast on earth.
The invitation goes out, and the birds are the invited guests. The menu is simple. . . the flesh of all those who oppose God. This is one feast you don’t want to be a part of!

As fast as the army is gathered together, the battle is over. . . The Word of God prevails! The beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire, and the rest were killed – to be judged later at the great white throne. Their blood will run deep, and death is the only possible outcome. 

They will receive a blood bath, when they could have been washed in the blood of the lamb.

Posted in: Eschatology, Sermons