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Revelation 19:11

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

A white horse - This is an exhibition of the triumph of Christ after the destruction of his enemies. The white horse is the emblem of this, and Faithful and True are characters of Christ. See Revelation 3:14.

In righteousness he doth judge and make war - The wars which he wages are from no principle of ambition, lust of power, or extension of conquest and dominion; they are righteous in their principle and in their object. And this is perhaps what no earthly potentate could ever say.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And I saw heaven opened - He saw a new vision, as if an opening were made through the sky, and he was permitted to look into heaven. See the notes on Revelation 4:1.

And behold, a white horse - On the white horse as a symbol, see the notes on Revelation 6:2. He is here the symbol of the final victory that is to be obtained over the beast and the false prophet Revelation 19:20, and of the final triumph of the church.

And he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True - He is not designated here by his usual and real name, but by his attributes. There can be no doubt that the Messiah is intended, as he goes forth to the subjugation of the world to himself. The attributes here referred to - faithful and true - are especially appropriate, for they are not only strongly marked attributes of his character, but they would be particularly manifested in the events that are described. He would thus show that he was faithful - or worthy of the confidence of his church in delivering it from all its enemies; and true to all the promises that he has made to it.

And in righteousness he doth judge - All his acts of judgment in determining the destiny of people are righteous. See the notes on Isaiah 11:3-5.

And make war - That is, the war which he wages is not a war of ambition; it is not for the mere purpose of conquest; it is to save the righteous, and to punish the wicked.

Uriah Smith
Daniel and the Revelation, 684

Verse 11

Christ’s Second Coming. — With verse 11 a new scene is introduced. We are here carried back to the second coining of Christ, this time under the symbol of a warrior riding forth to battle. Why is he represented thus? — Because he is going forth to war, — to meet “the kings of the earth and their armies,” and this would be the only proper character in which to represent him on such a mission. His vesture is dipped in blood. (See a description of the same scene in Isaiah 63:1-4.) The armies of heaven, the angels of God, follow him. Verse 15 shows how he rules the nations with a rod of iron, when they are given him for an inheritance, as recorded in the second psalm, which popular theology interprets to mean the conversion of the world. But would not such expressions as “treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God,” be a very singular description of a work of grace upon the hearts of the heathen for their conversion? The great and final display of the “winepress of God’s wrath,” and also of “the lake of fire,” occurs at the end of the thousand years, as described in chapter 20; and to that it would seem that the full and formal description of Revelation 14:18-20 must apply. But the destruction of the living wicked at the second coming of Christ, at the beginning of the thousand years, furnishes a scene on a smaller scale, similar, in both these respects, to what takes place at the close of that period. Hence in the verses before us we have this mention of both the winepress of wrath and the lake of fire.DAR 684.2

Christ has at this time closed his mediatorial work, and laid off his priestly robes for kingly attire; for he has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. This is in harmony with the character in which he here appears; for it was the custom of warriors anciently to have some kind of title inscribed upon their vesture. Verse 17. What is to be understood by the angel standing in the sun? In chapter 16:17, we read of the seventh vial being poured out into the air, from which it was inferred that as the air envelops the whole earth, that plague would be universal. May not the same principle of interpretation apply here, and show that the angel standing in the sun, and issuing his call from thence to the fowls of heaven to come to the supper of the great God, denotes that this proclamation will go wherever the sun’s rays fall upon this earth? And the fowls will be obedient to the call, and fill themselves with the flesh of horses, kings, captains, and mighty men. Thus, while the saints are partaking of the marriage supper of the Lamb, the wicked in their own persons furnish a great supper for the fowls of heaven.DAR 685.1

The beast and false prophet are taken. The false prophet is the one that works miracles before the beast. This proves him to be identical with the two-horned beast of chapter 13, to whom the same work, for the very same purpose, is there attributed. The fact that these are cast alive into the lake of fire, shows that these powers will not pass away and be succeeded by others, but be living powers at the second advent of Christ.DAR 685.2

The papacy has long been in the field, and has come to the closing scenes in its career. And its overthrow is emphatically predicted in other prophecies than the one now before us, notably in Daniel 7:11, in which the prophet says that he beheld till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. And this followed close upon the utterance of great words which the horn spake, which words were doubtless heard in the decree of papal infallibility in the great ecumenical council of 1870. This power must therefore be very near the close of its existence. But it does not perish till Christ appears, for it then goes alive into the lake of fire.DAR 686.1

The other power associated with it, the two-horned beast, we see fast approaching the very climax of the work it has to do before it also goes alive into the lake of fire. And how thrilling is the thought that we see before us two great prophetic agencies which are, by all the evidences, near the close of their history, which yet are not to cease till the Lord shall appear in all his glory.DAR 686.2

It appears from verse 21 that there is a remnant not numbered with the beast or false prophet. These are slain by the sword of Him that sits upon the horse, which sword proceeds out of his mouth. This sword is doubtless what is spoken of elsewhere as “the spirit of his mouth” and “the breath of his lips,” with which the Lord shall slay the wicked at his appearing and kingdom. Isaiah 11:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8.DAR 686.3

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ, the glorious Head of the church, is described as on a white horse, the emblem of justice and holiness. He has many crowns, for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is arrayed in a vesture dipped in his own blood, by which he purchased his power as Mediator; and in the blood of his enemies, over whom he always prevails. His name is "The Word of God;" a name none fully knows but himself; only this we know, that this Word was God manifest in the flesh; but his perfections cannot be fully understood by any creature. Angels and saints follow, and are like Christ in their armour of purity and righteousness. The threatenings of the written word he is going to execute on his enemies. The ensigns of his authority are his name; asserting his authority and power, warning the most powerful princes to submit, or they must fall before him. The powers of earth and hell make their utmost effort. These verses declare important events, foretold by the prophets. These persons were not excused because they did what their leaders bade them. How vain will be the plea of many sinners at the great day! We followed our guides; we did as we saw others do! God has given a rule to walk by, in his word; neither the example of the most, nor of the chief, must influence us contrary thereto: if we do as the most do, we must go where the most go, even into the burning lake.
Ellen G. White
God's Amazing Grace, 358.4

With uplifted heads, with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shining upon them, with rejoicing that their redemption draweth nigh, they go forth to meet the Bridegroom.... AG 358.4

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 641

Before His presence “all faces are turned into paleness;” upon the rejecters of God's mercy falls the terror of eternal despair. “The heart melteth, and the knees smite together, ... and the faces of them all gather blackness.” Jeremiah 30:6; Nahum 2:10. The righteous cry with trembling: “Who shall be able to stand?” The angels’ song is hushed, and there is a period of awful silence. Then the voice of Jesus is heard, saying: “My grace is sufficient for you.” The faces of the righteous are lighted up, and joy fills every heart. And the angels strike a note higher and sing again as they draw still nearer to the earth. GC 641.1

The King of kings descends upon the cloud, wrapped in flaming fire. The heavens are rolled together as a scroll, the earth trembles before Him, and every mountain and island is moved out of its place. “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.” Psalm 50:3, 4. GC 641.2

“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:15-17. GC 642.1

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 341.3

O be sure you receive your illumination from the Source of all light. He is the great central Light of the universe of heaven and the great Light of the world. He will enlighten every man that cometh into the world. Reach no cheap, low standard. Cultivate the gentleness of Christ. Secure the highest attainments, and draw your inspiration from Jesus Christ. He is your Friend. You may always depend upon Him and find Him faithful and true. When you need His sympathy in your greatest perplexity, wounded and bruised, He will not pass you by on the other side. To Him you may come in the simplicity of children. To Him you may come with joy and rejoicing. With everything that is flattering to your hopes, every success which attends your labors in the Lord, look up to Jesus and lay every honor at His feet. Everything depends upon your walking in all humility of mind. Write the name of Christ upon your banner and never dishonor your colors. TMK 341.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 982-3

13 (2 Timothy 4:7, 8). God Honors the Faithful Aged—There are living upon our earth men who have passed the age of fourscore and ten. The natural results of old age are seen in their feebleness. But they believe God, and God loves them. The seal of God is upon them, and they will be among the number of whom the Lord has said, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” With Paul they can say, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished by course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also which love his appearing.” There are many whose grey hairs God honors because they have fought a good fight and kept the faith (Letter 207, 1899). 7BC 982.1

2, 3 (Exodus 15:1-19; Deuteronomy 31:30 to 32:44; Isaiah 26:2). The Final Song of Victory—What a song that will be when the ransomed of the Lord meet at the gate of the Holy City, which is thrown back on its glittering hinges and the nations that have kept His word—His commandments—enter into the city, the crown of the overcomer is placed upon their heads, and the golden harps are placed in their hands! All heaven is filled with rich music, and with songs of praise to the Lamb. Saved, everlastingly saved, in the kingdom of glory! To have a life that measures with the life of God—that is the reward (Manuscript 92, 1908). 7BC 982.2

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