(19.12)       His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 

1. His eyes were as a flame of fire 

a. It seems that this description of the Lord Jesus Christ is intended to accomplish two things: First, to make absolutely sure that the reader understands the one spoken of here to be the one introduced at the beginning of this revelation. Next, to communicate the nature of the one spoken of, His insight and wisdom, His knowledge and perception. 

b. That this one described must be the Lord Jesus Christ, the same person introduced to us at the beginning of this book, can be seen from Revelation 1.14 and 2.18: 

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 

c. But what can we learn about the Lord Jesus Christ from this description of His eyes? In Revelation 1.14 and 2.18, the Lord Jesus Christ’s eyes are described metaphorically. “his eyes were as a flame of fire” in the former verse, and “his eyes like unto a flame of fire” in the latter verse. The same is true here. Again, the Lord Jesus Christ is symbolically described as being omniscient, as being all-knowing. Thus, His judgments will be righteous and just. 

2. and on his head were many crowns 

a. It is interesting, as we read this, to remember that John described the beast, or the antichrist, as having a crown on his head, back in Revelation 6.2: “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” 

b. The Lord Jesus Christ, in contrast, has many crowns. As well, notice that the beast’s crown was given to him. Remember that it was a stefanoV, a perishable wreath given to a victorious athlete or a conquering warrior. Christ’s crowns, on the other hand, are diadems, diadhmata,signifying His kingship in all things, His royalty, His inherent right to rule and exercise lordship. 

3. and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 

And the name? John could apparently see the name that was written, but could not comprehend it. The lesson to draw from this? “There are unfathomable mysteries in the Godhead that even glorified saints will be unable to fathom.”[1] 

(19.13)       And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 

1. Just a quick review. Heaven opens in Revelation 19.11, and we have described to us someone “called Faithful and True.” As well, it is said about this person “in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Then in Revelation 19.12, His eyes are described the same way the Lord Jesus Christ’s eyes were described in the first two chapters of Revelation. Is there any question concerning who is being referred to here? 

2. The identity of this person is further established here in Revelation 19.13 as none other than the Lord Jesus Christ in two additional ways: His appearance and His name. His appearance is of one dressed in bloody clothes. “his name is called The Word of God.” 

3. Does anyone know whose blood is on His vesture? By the way, vesture is simply an outer garment. He has blood on His clothes. But whose blood did John see on Christ’s garments when the doorway to heaven suddenly opened the King of all glory burst forth riding on a white horse? Whose blood is on His garment at the moment He appeared in heaven, poised after some 2,000 years to come to earth a second time in power and great glory? 

4. Listen to what John Mac Arthur writes in his study Bible concerning whose blood is on Christ’s vesture: “This is not from the battle of Armageddon, which will not have begun until v.15. Christ’s blood-spattered garments symbolize the great battles He has already fought against sin, Satan, and death and been stained with the blood of His enemies.”[2] On what basis does he assert that this language is symbolism? There is no reason why this should be thought of as symbolic language. If Christ is on a literal horse in heaven then it should be recognized that there is literal blood on His clothes. 

5. Listen to what John Walvoord wrote in his commentary on Revelation: “His vesture is declared to be ‘dipped in blood,’ as if anticipating the bloodshed to come (cf. Isa. 63:2-3; Rev. 14:20).”[3] So, it is obvious that Walvoord, too, recognizes that the blood on Christ’s garments cannot possibly be the result of battle against His enemies, since there is blood on His garments while He is still in heaven, before His second coming. So, he conjures up the notion that John’s description is anticipating the blood that will result from battles not yet fought against His enemies. 

6. Here is what another contemporary commentator writes about the blood on Christ’s vesture: “His clothing dipped in blood could symbolize his crucifixion, and the shedding of His blood for man’s sins. However, based on the location of this passage immediately preceding Armageddon, this verse more appropriately refers to the blood that will be shed at Armageddon.”[4] Do you see a pattern here? For some reason, contemporary commentators seem blind to the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ, in heaven, preparing to come again, has blood on His clothes. 

7. (To be continued)

[1] See footnote for Revelation 19.12 from John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 2019.

[2] See footnote for Revelation 19.13 from John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 2020.

[3] John Walvoord, The Revelation Of Jesus Christ, (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1966), page 200.

[4] Bob Kollin, Revelation Unlocked, (Springfield, Missouri: 21st Century Press, 2003), page 185.

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