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The testimony of Jesus in Rev. 19:10 is defined more specifically in the next verses. Rev. 19:11 says,
11 And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
Although this is written in Greek, the thought patterns are Hebrew. The verse begins with “and” (Greek, kai), and this is a common Hebrew way of beginning a sentence to link one thought to another. Thus, “and” links the testimony of Jesus to the heaven being opened for the return of Christ. It is as if a door opens in heaven so that the Rider on the white horse may pass from the invisible dimension to the visible.
The One sitting on this white horse is Jesus Christ Himself. The white horse is symbolic. It was never meant to be taken literally, as if Jesus is coming to earth on a flying horse. Certainly, if He wants to do so, who am I to forbid it? But like so much symbolism in the book of Revelation, this horse is a direct reference to a constellation called Pegasus, “the chief horse.” Its brightest star is Markab, (or Merhak in Hebrew), which means “returning from afar.”
All of the constellations, as they were originally named by God, are prophecies of Christ and reveal the divine plan of redemption for the world. Men later twisted the meanings and used the stars for unlawful purposes, and that corrupted form is now called Astrology. But God is the One who named the stars and constellations in the beginning. Psalm 147:4 says,
4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.
In the Bible, the horse was a symbol of salvation. This is because horses were so important to an army in time of war. They often “saved the day” for the foot soldiers. But God gave instructions to Israel—and specifically to the kings—that they were not to place their trust in horses. In God’s instruction to kings, we read in Deut. 17:16,
16 Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’
Egypt was well known for its horses. Isaiah 31:1-3 makes mention of this as well, saying,
1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord. . . 3 Now the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses are flesh and not spirit.
In other words, God is their salvation—not horses from Egypt. If we rely upon carnal weapons of warfare, we will find ourselves “returning to Egypt.” That is, arms races will actually bring us back into bondage, not freedom. We are seeing this even now, for the more we wage war around the world, the more we lose our freedoms.
Jesus is our Salvation. He is the true “Horse.” Jesus’ Hebrew name, Yeshua, means “salvation.” His Greek name, Iesus, or Iesous, is simply a transliteration of the Hebrew Yah-Sus. Yah is short for Yahweh. Sus is the Hebrew word for Horse.
In other words, Yah-Sus literally means “Yah’s Horse,” which symbolically means “Yahweh’s Salvation.” (About 200 years ago the English language created the letter “J” to replace many of the “I” sounds. This is how we came to change the spelling of Iesus to Jesus.)
When Jesus said in John 4:22, “salvation is from the Jews,” a better rendering of this is: “Yeshua is from the Judeans,” that is, Jesus comes from the tribe of Judah. Jesus was identifying himself to the Samaritan woman as the source of Salvation that was to come out of Judah.
In the message to the church of Laodicea, we read in Rev. 3:14,
14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God says this…”
Rev. 19:11 bears witness to this, calling the Rider of the white horse “faithful and true.” No doubt we are to understand this as a reference to Christ as a witness of the true words of God, from Rev. 19:9. The Greek word translated “true” is alethinos, which means genuine, real, the opposite of a counterfeit, a simulation, or a pretense. The root word is alethes, “loving the truth,” and which literally means not hidden, or not concealed. It is the truth unveiled and seen clearly for what it is.
When the voice from the throne said in Rev. 19:9, “These are the true words of God,” he was setting us up for the coming of the Rider who “is called Faithful and True.” A few verses later, in Rev. 19:13, we read further that “His name is called The Word of God.” Hence, the emphasis in this passage is not only the return of Christ, but more specifically, Christ as the true Word of God, bearing the nature of the Father as His Prime Witness on earth.
Heb. 1:3 tells us of Jesus: “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.” Hence, when Philip asked Jesus to “show us the Father,” we read Jesus’ answer in John 14:9, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” He is the Word of God unveiled to mankind.
The Greek words alethinos and alethes are the words that the rabbis chose to translate the Hebrew word amen, which means “firm, faithful, truly.” It is the Hebrew word for faith and truth, and these two concepts are inseparable. In other words, to have genuine faith, one must believe the truth that God has presented to us through Jesus Christ’s witness. We must also be faithful to that truth, bearing witness to it in our own testimony. In this way we too can become true and faithful witnesses of the nature of our heavenly Father.
Rev. 19:11 also says, “and in righteousness He judges and wages war.” What type of war? How does He judge? These questions are not answered here, so we must go to other parts of Scripture for answers.
We often use the word “judge” as if it is synonymous with “condemnation,” simply because men generally condemn when they judge others. But these words are not the same. It is possible to judge without condemning. To judge is to discern truth. John 5:22 says,
22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.
This is truly an amazing statement that most people have not understood. The Father does not judge anyone! All judgment is delegated to the Son. Why? Upon what law is this based? John 5:26 and 27 says,
26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.
Here is the answer. The Son was given the authority to judge, “because He is the Son of Man.” The word “man” is simply the definition of the Old Testament name, Adam. Jesus is the “last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45). Jesus had to be born of Adamic lineage in order to receive the original dominion mandate given in Genesis 1:26. The highest position, called the Birthright, was passed down from father to son through the generations coming to David and finally to Jesus Christ Himself. The title, “Son of Man” is given in part because of His lineage through Mary back to Adam, but also because Joseph had adopted Him.
In other words, when God gave Adam the dominion mandate in Gen. 1:26, God was giving man authority to judge. And the Judge of the highest court in the Universe is Jesus Christ Himself. Final judgment has been given to Him, because He is the Son of Adam, the Heir of the dominion mandate.
Even so, He is not the only one called to judge the world. He is the highest Judge sitting on the Supreme Court of Heaven, but there are also lesser judges who judge with the mind of Christ. Paul says in 1 Cor. 6:2, “or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?” In the next verse, he asks, “Do you not know that we shall judge angels?”
Some people, of course, rub their hands with glee, because they think this means that they will soon have opportunity to condemn those who have wronged them. But Jesus taught us by example how to judge. John 5:30,
30 I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
The judges of all lower courts must abide by the mind and will of the higher court, or else they will be overruled and be ashamed. Jesus, who was the Amen of God, judged all things by the mind of His Father. Likewise, we too are to judge by the mind of Christ. This requires more than a mere knowledge of the law. It requires revelation to know how to apply it specifically. This is impossible for the carnal mind to do. The carnal mind can hear evidence, but only the mind of the Spirit can discern truth from lies and half-truths. Only the mind of the Spirit knows all things.
Divine judgment, like all things coming from God, is based upon Love. That simple principle is hard for the carnal mind of man to grasp. How can judgment proceed from Love? It has to do with the ultimate purpose of all judgment. God’s purpose is to correct and restore, not to condemn and to cast out permanently.
This has always been the divine purpose, for as Paul says in Rom. 13:10, “love is the fulfillment of the law.” Love and law are not at cross-purposes. In reality, they are one and the same, because they have the same Source. God is love, and the law is the revelation of His divine nature. When we are fully transformed into the image of God, we too will possess His love-nature and do all things in conformity to His law.
This is the Mind by which both the Amnos and the arnion company will judge righteously.
Likewise, it is by this principle of Love that war is waged. Paul says in 2 Cor. 10:3-6,
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations [logismos, “thoughts, or fleshly reasoning that seems logical to the carnal mind”] and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish [ekdikeo, “that which proceeds from justice”] all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
Paul tells us that we are to wage war, but he makes it clear that we are not to wage the type of warfare as men and nations do. Our warfare is not against people, but against those spiritual forces that keep people in bondage. Our warfare is not even against “the wicked,” but against the spiritual forces that make them wicked—so that they can be set free in Christ.
In other words, our warfare is not destructive. It is constructive. Our armor is not carnal either. According to Eph. 6:11-17, we conduct warfare dressed in spiritual armor. This is the only type of armor that can defend against the real “enemy” in verse 12,
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.
This is what God is teaching us even today. We are learning the art of spiritual warfare, so that we banish from our minds the idea that we are supposed to use carnal weapons against flesh-and-blood people.
And so when Rev. 19:11 speaks of waging war in a righteous manner, it is not referring to Christ coming to “slaughter enemies,” as has been so often taught. In fact, if we may skip down to verse 15, we can see the type of weapon that is to be used against His enemies.
15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations…
Once again, people have carnalized this sword in order to make it destructive. If it were a carnal sword, John would have seen it in His hand, rather than in His mouth. But in Rev. 1:16 we read,
16 And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
In an Old Testament setting, a two-edged sword was a destructive weapon that could divide someone’s head from his body. But the New Testament weapon is described differently in Heb. 4:12,
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
The sword is the spoken word of God. That is why it comes from the mouth, not from the hand. And this is confirmed in Eph. 6:17, where Paul says,
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
This sharp sword is able to divide soul and spirit and can “judge [discern] the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It is much sharper and more effective than a physical sword. To the one who has such a sword, “all things are open and laid bare.” In other words, all the facts are uncovered and known fully in every case that comes before the heavenly Judge. This sword gives us the spirit of discernment.
When Israel came to Mount Sinai for their first Pentecost, they refused to hear the word of God (Exodus 20:18-21). They did not realize that they were refusing to receive the Sword of the Spirit. They were thus left only with a carnal sword.
Thus, when they later worshiped the golden calf, the penalty was executed by physical swords, which was all that the Levites had at their disposal. On that day, 3000 died and were subtracted from the Church in the wilderness (Exodus 32:28).
In Acts 2, however, the 120 disciples gathered in the upper room to receive the Sword of the Spirit. Then they went out into the street, using the sword from their mouth, and ADDED 3,000 to the Church (Acts 2:41).
They used a spiritual sword that laid bare the hearts of the people, and the people repented according to the word of Peter (Acts 2:38).
This is the type of sword that the rider of the white horse is going to wield. It is the Sword of the Spirit, which Jesus uses, and that same Sword is used by the company of overcomers that form His body. By this sword, they will judge and wage war.
The results will be awesome.
Revelation 19:12 says,
12 And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself.
Eyes are said to be the windows of the soul. The One seated on the white horse has eyes that “are a flame of fire.” Fire represents God Himself and is meant to portray His nature. When God appeared to the people at Mount Sinai to give them the Ten Commandments, He appeared only as fire.
Deuteronomy 5:4, 5 says,
4 The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, 5 while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain…
Israel was called “up the mountain,” but they were too afraid of God and thought that hearing His voice would kill them (Exodus 20:19). The fire of God would not have killed them physically, of course, but the righteous nature of God certainly would have killed their Adamic “flesh,” or what Paul called the “old man” (Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:22 KJV). By protecting the “old man,” Israel was not able to enter into the New Covenant and had to settle for a lesser covenant, which we call the Old Covenant.
Moses also tells us in Deut. 4:12,
12 Then the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice.
So we see that in Revelation 19, Jesus Christ comes as the living Word. Whereas Israel heard only a voice, but saw no form, Jesus Christ was the Word (John 1:1) that came down from heaven, taking the form of the Son of Man so that we might overcome our fear of fire.
The Word made flesh, then, is pictured in Rev. 19:12 coming on a white horse, having eyes of fire. The eyes reveal His nature, though His body cloaks that nature in human form.
Rev. 19:12 tells us that “upon His head are many diadems,” or diadema in Greek. This is not a stephanos, which is “a victor’s wreath,” but a kingly ornament. He wears not just one, but many, because He “is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev. 12:5).
These diadems had been worn previously by the red dragon (Rev. 12:3) and by the beast from the sea (Rev. 13:1). However, once they are overthrown, their diadems are taken from them and given to the rightful Heir of all nations, the “King of Kings, and Lord of Lords” (Rev. 19:16).
Rev. 19:12 says, “and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself.” The phrase “upon Him” is not in the original and is only the opinion of the NASB translator. Other versions do not share that opinion:
“He had a name written that no man knew, but He Himself” (KJV).
“having a Name written which no one knows except himself” (The Emphatic Diaglott).
“having names written of which no one except Himself is aware” (The Concordant Version).
So the first question is this: Where is this name written? Is it written “upon Him,” that is, upon His clothing or perhaps even upon His body as a heavenly tattoo? Or is the name written on the diadems that He wears on His head? If we use the Concordant Version, which uses the plural (“names”), we could read the verse to say, “upon His head are many diadems, having names written (on them) which no one but He knows.”
Perhaps these are the identities of the various nations written on the diadems. Perhaps these are new names for those nations, which reflect their true callings as Kingdom nations.
On the other hand, if this is a single name, and if it is meant to identify the Word riding on the white horse, we have to ask ourselves why it was such a secret. The name of Jesus is well known, as well as the Hebrew form of His name, Yeshua. It may be that the secret name is a reference to YHVH, the name revealed to Moses (Exodus 6:2, 3), whose pronunciation was lost in later years, because the people refused to speak that name for fear of taking His name in vain.
If this is the case, then Jesus Himself would be identified by the name of YHVH, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 12:2, “for YAH YHVH is my strength and song, and He has become my Yeshua.”
In the end, one’s view of the name itself probably depends upon the place where it is written. If it is written on the diadems, it probably identifies the nations in some way; but if it is written on the Word Himself, or on His robe, it would surely identify Himself. It is hard to know for certain the meaning of this verse.
Yet we may find a clue in the next verse. Revelation 19:13 says,
13 And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.
Here we see the Rider identified BY NAME—“The Word of God”—immediately after telling us about the unknown name(s) in the previous verse. The clear implication is that “The Word of God” is not the same as the secret name from verse 12. Otherwise, there would be no point in keeping the name secret. This probably indicates that the secret name is not the name of the Rider, but is the name (or names) on the diadems.
His “robe dipped in blood” is a reference to Joseph’s robe, which was dipped in blood. Gen. 37:31 says,
31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, and slaughtered a male goat, and dipped the tunic in the blood.
The second coming of Christ is based on the Joseph pattern, whereas His first coming was based on the pattern of Judah. Christ came the first time of the tribe of Judah (Heb. 7:14), because the scepter had been given to Judah, and later to David, who was of Judah. Hence, it was necessary for Him to come as a descendant of Judah and David to receive the Dominion Mandate (Gen. 1:26) that was promised to Judah in Gen. 49:10.
However, Joseph had been given the birthright (1 Chron. 5:1, 2), because Jacob had divided up the blessing between his sons. The divided kingdom separated the scepter from the birthright after the death of Solomon, and this breach had to be repaired through Christ. So Hosea 1:11 says,
11 And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel [including the tribes of Joseph] will be gathered together, and they will appoint themselves one Leader….
Likewise, Ezekiel 37:19 says,
19 Say to them, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will put them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand’.”
By reuniting Judah with Joseph in the hand of Christ, the full blessing of the scepter and the birthright are united under one Head. This repair of the breach can only take place through the Messiah, and it is the main reason He must come twice.
In His first coming to claim His scepter and throne, the priestly leaders in Jerusalem opposed Him and induced the people to reject His claim. Nonetheless, He did the prophetic work that was required of the Messiah, and then ascended, in part, to file an appeal in the heavenly court and then return after winning His case (Luke 19:12).
In the second coming, Jesus Christ claims His birthright, which is the Fruitfulness Mandate to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). This Mandate is the right to bring forth the sons of God. So Jacob’s blessing upon Joseph says, “Joseph is a fruitful bough” [ben, “son”]. It would take a second coming to claim this birthright, and also to unite it with the scepter of Judah, thus reuniting the two sticks of Judah and Joseph and repairing the great breach in the Kingdom.
When this occurs, Christ then has the lawful right to be fruitful and multiply children in His image. This is the basis of the Sonship message and “the manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19, KJV).
Therefore, when Rev. 19:13 identifies the Word of God as having His robe dipped in blood, we are being told that He is coming as “Joseph” to claim the birthright and unite it with the scepter of Judah which He has won by divine decree in the heavenly court.
The two comings of Christ are also prophesied in Lev. 14:1-7 in the law of the healing of leprosy. Leprosy is a type of mortality (a slow death), and this particular law prophesies to us the path to immortality. It takes two birds to cleanse lepers (Lev. 14:4). The first was to be killed, and the second was to be dipped in the blood of the first bird and released into the open field (Lev. 14:6, 7).
Both birds prophesy of Jesus Christ, the first setting forth His death, and the other showing how He must be released into “the open field” (that is, the world—Matt. 13:38). In other words, Christ must come a second time, having been “dipped in blood” in order to complete the work of bringing the sons of God into immortality. Without this second work of Christ, the sons of God might be able to rule under the Dominion Mandate, but they would remain mortal. We know that God does not intend for His sons to remain mortal.
Rev. 19:13 shows the fulfillment of the second bird being released into the open field. It is Christ coming into the world to do a living work, unlike His first coming, when He came as the prophetic bird that was to be killed in an earthen vessel (body). The purpose of His second coming is to claim the birthright of Joseph, so that the sons of God can be manifested and be made immortal, giving them the ability to rule the earth during the Tabernacles Age and beyond.
Revelation 19:14 says,
14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
These armies picture a heavenly invasion of the earth, running parallel to the armies of Israel that invaded Canaan under the leadership of Joshua. The main difference, of course, is seen in the next verse, “and from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations.” In other words, this is a New Covenant invasion, using New Covenant weapons. These weapons, Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 10:4, “are not of the flesh.” Instead of killing people, these weapons take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
Jesus Christ is called “the word of God” in Rev. 19:13. He is the same Logos (“word”) that John wrote about in his gospel (John 1:1). He is the Joshua (Yeshua) of the New Covenant who is leading this invasion; but more than that, He is also the memrah—the Hebrew word for Logos. Jewish belief taught that the memrah was one who was so righteous that he had become the embodiment of the word itself. He was the word made flesh. For more on this concept, see Dr. Luke: Repairing the Breaches, Book 1, chapter 16.
The angel spoke of more than one “word,” for in Rev. 19:9 he said, “These are the true words of God.” These “true words” are those dressed in fine linen who follow their Leader on white horses. They are dressed in the same spiritual clothing given to the true bride earlier in Rev. 19:7, 8. From this, we are to understand that the armies from heaven are also the bride—that is, those who are in unity and agreement with Christ. Hence, they ride on white horses to identify them with the “Chief Horse” (Pega-sus) which is “Yah’s Horse” (Je-sus).
The same sword of the Spirit that comes from the mouth of Christ also comes out of the mouths of the bride/army. The spiritual weaponry of this heavenly invasion is prominent in this description. Though the metaphor of carnal warfare is used, we are not meant to think of this invasion in carnal terms, nor does this war result in carnage. It is important to understand this, given the apparent carnage pictured in the rest of the chapter.