The Armies In Heaven
14 And the armies in heaven followed him [Jesus Christ] upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. Revelation 19:14 (KJV, the deleted words “which were” were added by the translators)
Traditionally, most of born-again Christianity has been wrongly taught that after they are Raptured to heaven, they will return to earth with Christ in His 2nd coming as “the armies” of heaven. This is when He returns to smite His enemies on earth at the time of the harvest (Matt. 13:30). Yet, the “reapers” there (Rev 14:15) are the Lord’s ‘angels,’ not the saved of the church or of Israel. The angels will gather the “tares” (unbelievers) to “be burned” and gather the “wheat” (believers) into His “barn.” This will close the 7-year Tribulation period and Christ will set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. Revelation 14:15 (KJV)
The Apostle Paul tells us, we as the raptured members of the “church, which is His body,” the grace-believers of today’s “dispensation of the grace of God,” are to dwell “eternal in the heavens” (2Cor 5:1b), not on earth. “Eternal in the heavens” means we will be in the heavens forever. There we will “judge [govern] the angels” in heaven (cf. 1Cor 6:3). The church called “the body of Christ” is nowhere called to ‘smite the nations on earth’ but rather to “co-reign with Christ in heaven.” (2Tim. 2:12). We will not return to the earth, as heaven is our eternal destiny.
Now we do have the Bible verse below that specifically tells us who exactly will “smite the nations” and that He will do it… by a “sharp sword” that proceeds out of “His mouth.”
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them [1,000 years] with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Revelation 19:15 (KJV)
It’s obvious that this speaks of Jesus Christ, who is also called “the word of God.” (John 1:1, Rev. 19:13) So actually, I expect that The Lord Jesus Christ will defeat His enemies from the air… before He even touches foot on the Mount of Olives, as was spoken by the angels when He ascended to heaven.
I believe the “sword” spoken of in Rev. 19:15 and 19:21 is symbolic of “the words” of “His mouth.” Revelation 19:13 also makes clear that His name is “The Word of God.”
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword … Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)
15 And out of his [The Lord’s] mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Revelation 19:15 (KJV)
21 And the remnant were Slain With The Sword of HIM That sat upon the horse, which SWORD PROCEEDED OUT OF HIS MOUTH: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh [carcasses]. Revelation 19:21 (KJV)
Christ was there in the beginning (John 1:1-3) when the creation was originally “SPOKEN” into existence, and now we see that He will defeat His enemies in the same way.
The “armies” of Heaven are called “Holy Ones” in Zech. 14:5, as seen in the Greek text. They will be with Him.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the
saints [Heb. qadosh, Holy Ones] with thee. Zechariah 14:5 (KJV)
These “armies” of Heaven with Him, these “holy ones” are the God’s faithful warrior angelic host of heaven. The resurrected believers of Israel, as Christ’s bride, will arrive later in the New Jerusalem.
Yet, it has been and still is traditionally and erroneously taught that the raptured Church or Israel’s resurrected ones will make up the “armies of Heaven” in Rev. 19:14. This is not true. Actually, the textual language and the Church’s dispensational role to dwell “eternal in the heavens” do not support that idea. The popularity of this notion is likely due to the fact that we like to think of ourselves as taking up arms and fighting evil at the side of the Lord, but this is not to be.
The Greek word translated “armies” refers to soldiers and guardsmen, and the fact that these “armies” are “in heaven” implies that Heaven Is Their place of Residence and Origin. The ones who most accurately fit the description belong to the great number of ‘warrior angels,’ such as those who were standing by to defend the Lord on the night of His arrest. Jesus said;
53 Thinkest thou that I [Jesus] cannot now pray to my Father, and he [the Father] shall presently give me more than TWELVE LEGIONS OF ANGELS? Matthew 26:53 (KJV)
The “Holy Ones” of “the armies in heaven” who will accompany Christ at His return in vengeance and wrath are described in Rev 19:14 as being dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Note how that the Angels of John 20:12 and Acts 1:10 are also described as also being dressed in white (Gk. leukos).
In Rev. 19:8 the garment of ‘the Lamb’s wife’ is “fine linen clean and white.” The word “white” here comes from the Greek word “lampros” which means a “radiant white,” for His Bride/wife has the ‘light of Christ’ radiating from within her. By contrast, in Rev. 19:14 the whiteness of the clothing worn by “the armies of Heaven” is a different Greek word, “leukos,” which simply means “white” or light in color. (The Lamb’s wife is the believing Nation of Israel. See http://www.artlicursi.com/articles/bride-christ )
Again, no king would take his bride into battle with him? Rather, the “the bride, the Lamb’s wife” (the believing resurrected remnant of the Nation Israel, cf. Rev 20:6). She is seen in Heaven in Rev. 19:8 … THEN coming down out of Heaven in Rev. 21:9-10. This will be sometime after the 2nd coming events are over and “the New earth” has arrived, in Revelation chapter 21.
9 And there came unto me [John] one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and [prophetically] shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Revelation 21:9-10 (KJV)