Not only is Christ's coming shock and awe, it is destruction as we have never imagined it. The angel calls the birds to devour the flesh of all people, small and great. Jesus Christ comes back to wage a righteous war, one that has been brewing for 6,000 years due to mankind's hostility and rebellion to God. By the time this prophecy is fulfilled, God has had enough of sin. Christ comes back and treads the winepress of His wrath, where the blood spilled comes up to the horse's bridles. It is hard to imagine blood three or four feet deep and flowing like a river.
Talk about shock! Some people faint dead away when they see just a drop of blood, but imagine a river of blood flowing through the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Revelation 14:20; Joel 3:9-13)! Not a pretty picture.
As is happening in Iraq today, the enemy regime and all of its supporters must be removed before a new and better government can be installed. In like manner, God has to wipe the slate clean and start over.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Shock and Awe - and Speed
David, one of ancient Israel's greatest kings, was well aware that the physical kingdom of Israel was only a type of the Kingdom God would establish long after he was dead. He clearly understood that there were two God beings and that one of them - the One who became the Son - will become the King over the earth and all of its inhabitants. Notice how Psalm 2:6-8, which David authored, begins to reveal this: "'Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.' 'I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, "You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession."'"
Many more verses support this thought:
» "The LORD is King forever and ever; the nations have perished out of His land." (Psalm 10:16)
» "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD'S, and He rules over the nations." (Psalm 22:27-28)
» "The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood. And the LORD sits as King forever." (Psalm 29:10)
» "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom." (Psalm 45:6)
» "Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations." (Psalm 145:13)
Isaiah 9:6-7, the wonderful prophecy regarding Christ, reads:
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
As early as Genesis 17:6, God began promising that royal offspring would come from Abraham: "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you." This does not specifically designate the King of kings, but when combined with other promises, we can rightfully include this verse among those that prophesy of Him. In Genesis 49:10, God prophesies through Jacob that the scepter (kingship) shall not depart from Judah's line. Jesus' ancestry (Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38) goes directly back to David then back to Judah and thus to Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham, to whom the promises were given (Galatians 3:26-29).
At the time of Jesus' first coming, the Jews were looking for a Messiah to rescue them from their downtrodden state. Though they were well aware of the Old Testament prophecies, they had made an incorrect interpretation: They were looking for a powerful, conquering king. When He came, He was indeed powerful, but He was powerful spiritually. The Jews misinterpretation blinded them to the reality of where His power lay and how their downtrodden condition would be relieved.
The majority of the Jewish leadership overlooked such prophecies as Zechariah 9:9: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey." They completely overlooked the detailed prophecy of Psalm 22, which foretells of His crucifixion at the hands of cruel persecutors. They bypassed Isaiah 52-53, which reveals that He would die a horrible, disfiguring death while shedding His blood for the sins of His people. He indeed was the much-awaited Messiah/King, but for the establishment of His Kingdom, the wait would be much longer.
When He was crucified, the inscription over His head read that He was "King of the Jews." Yet, when asked just a few hours earlier by Pilate if He was a King (John 18:33), Jesus had replied, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here" (verse 36).
It will be established. We are much closer to that time than they were then. At His coming, Revelation 19:16 proclaims, "And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
John W. Ritenbaugh
Is the Christian Required To Do Works? (Part Five)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Revelation 19:16:
1 Thessalonians 4:17