And I saw heaven
opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was
called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
First, an overview of the verse, and then an exposition and an
expansion of the text and topics related to the text.
This is the greatest event in the course of human history since the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ! We are now told of His second
coming. This is not the Rapture, where He comes secretly to snatch away
the church age believers. No, this is His glorious second advent, when He
comes back a conquering king.
When this opening of heaven occurred and John saw the white horse
appear, his mind might have contrasted the Rider of this white horse with
the rider of the white horse he saw in Revelation 6.2. Remember, in
Revelation 6.2, it was the antichrist riding. Here it is the real Christ
riding. These two different scenes cannot show the same rider riding,
since so many things about them are different. Their time of appearing is
different, their purpose for appearing is different, the results of their
appearing are different, etc.
This rider is called Faithful and True. This has to be the Lord
Jesus Christ. No one else fits these two titles properly.
It is from Revelation 3.14 that we know the title Faithful applies
to the Lord: “And unto the angel of the
church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful
and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.”
Moreover, it is from John 14.6 that the title True applies to Him:
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Faithful applies because He is faithful in His execution of the
things His Father wants Him to do. What does His Father want Him to do?
Execute judgment upon the wicked. True applies to the standard by which He
God’s righteousness demands that judgment be carried out
according to truth. Men who must stand before the Almighty God will find
that the standard by which they are judged is truth.
saw heaven opened”
Heaven opens up when something profoundly significant has happened,
or is about to happen. Consider some of these passages in the Bible in
which an opening in heaven is referred to:
it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of
the month, as I was among the
captives by the river of Chebar, that
the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.”
not think John’s Jewish Christian reader’s minds would not immediately
hearken back to Ezekiel 1.1 when their eyes fixed on this phrase in the
Revelation. Ezekiel is the most apocalyptic of all prophetic books in the
Old Testament. So, adding to the already heightened tension in this
portion of John’s vision, this phrase, “And
I saw heaven opened”
would produce in them an exquisite anticipation.
3.16-17: 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the
water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of
God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to
pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a
voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am
he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see
heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son
this I looked, and, behold, a door was
opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up
hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”
the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized heaven did open, the Spirit of God was
seen descending by John the Baptist (but no one else), and the Father
spoke. This shows the truth that God is a tri-unity. Then the Lord Jesus
Christ predicted that Nathaniel would see heaven open and the angels
ascending and descending upon the Son of man, which was His name for
Himself. Then, in Revelation 4.1, we read of the Rapture-like experience
of the apostle John, as heaven opens to receive him in a fashion similar
to the way heaven will open to receive church age Christians at the time
of the Rapture. Thus, we see that the opening of heaven is a very
important occurrence in the fulfillment of God’s program for the ages.
That John “saw heaven opened,” or that John will see heaven open (since this is yet future to us)
once again shows that John is not functioning in any prophetic office or
role. Instead, he is merely a seer. He is one who gives testimony to what
he has seen.
But what John saw some 2,000 years ago are events, which, for the
most part, have not yet occurred. What can this mean? This suggests that
only a portion of reality exists within the boundaries of time. This
suggests that there is reality beyond the constraints of what we think of
as the past, the present, and the future.
This can only be true if there is an infinite God, Who exists both
within and outside of this time-space-matter continuum that we call the
universe. When heaven opens there is created by God an opening, a bridge
if you will, that for a moment connects history to eternity. Of course,
this means the universe in which we live is not what scientists would call
a closed system, but is an open system that God is continually involved
with, and continually involved in.
This is why we pray, people. God involves Himself in the affairs of
men. God interacts with the universe that He created. He presides over it.
And as the Second Person of the triune godhead once dwelt among us for
some thirty-three years, before His death, burial, resurrection and
ascension to the Father’s right hand on high in heaven, so He will
someday return to our midst to rule and reign.
What specific events on earth correspond to this future moment when
heaven opens? There are several things that happen: First, as we have
recently seen in the Revelation, Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of
Harlots, has been destroyed in all her manifestations. Second, but not
mentioned in the Revelation, coincident with that, the armies of mankind
will have surrounded the regathered Jewish people in Israel to annihilate
them in a suicidal frenzy just before they are themselves going to be
destroyed by the King of kings and Lord of lords. Third, and also not
specifically mentioned in the Revelation, at that precise moment the
Jewish people will respond to the preaching they have heard over the last
seven years, coupled with the obviously hopeless situation they find
themselves in, and they will cry out to this One they have rejected for
2,000 years, laying hold of Him by faith to save them from their sins and
from their enemies.
g. But what about you? Where do you stand with the Lord Jesus Christ? When He comes (and He will come), will He come for you? Or will He come after you? Will He come to rescue you? Or will He come to judge you? Will you come to Him now, or will you foolishly dawdle and wait for Him to come to you then?