Second Coming of Christ


The armies coming with Christ


John Hoole – August 4, 2013




In a previous lesson, I asked you a question.  I would like to ask it again, and spend more time answering it than we did then.








Revelation 19:14  (NKJV) says:


14     And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.


                            So, we know there are armies (plural) following Christ.




1.      The saints of the church age.


Everyone who has accepted Christ as their savior since the beginning of the Church, on the Day of Pentecost until the Rapture of the Church, are among these armies.


A Christian woman was once telling a pastor about the assurance of her salvation.  She said, “I have taken a one-way ticket to glory and do not intend to come back.”  To this the man of God replies:  “You are sure going to miss a lot.  I have taken a round-trip ticket.  I am not only going to meet Christ in glory, but I am coming back with Him in power and great glory to the earth.”


Every Christian of the Church age has a round-trip ticket.  When Jesus returns from heaven to destroy the Antichrist, judge the nations, and set up His kingdom, we are going to be with Him.


Earlier in the 19th chapter, we learn who some of these who are that are clothed in fine linen, clean and white.


Revelation 19:7-8 NIV


7       Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready.

8       Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.  Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.


                            So, one group making up the armies is the Church, the Bride of Christ.


Jude 14  (NKJV) adds:


14     Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,


I don’t think there is any question that those making up the Church are among these armies.


2.      The angels of God


2 Thessalonians 1:7  (NIV) speaks of…..


         7 …….when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.


                            Angels are also among the armies coming with Christ.


Matthew 25:31  (NIV) adds:


31     "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.”


So we see that, along with the Church, God’s holy angels will also accompany Christ when He returns to the earth.








When we get into our study of the 1,000-year reign of Christ, we will see that the Bible tells us who will be reigning with Christ.  We know these two groups will be here on earth during that time.  So, how did they get here?  They must have returned to earth as part of these armies, but if that is true, their return is different than that of the Church.




The difference is this:


         Their bodies have not yet been resurrected.


3.  Let’s look at the Martyred Tribulation saints.


         The chronology of the events of Revelation 19 & 20, which surround the 2nd coming is this:


                   •  The wedding of the Bride (the Church) and the Bridegroom (Christ).  (Rev. 19:7-9)


                   •  Christ and the armies descend from heaven  (Rev. 19:11-16).


                   •  An angel summons the birds to observe the battle (Rev. 19:17-18).


                   •  The armies on earth make war against Christ (verse 19)


                   •  The Antichrist and False Prophet are captured and sent to the Lake of Fire (Verse 20)


                   •  Their armies are destroyed and the birds gorge themselves (Verse 21)


                   •  Satan is capture and bound with chains and sent to the Bottomless Pit (Rev. 20:1-3)


•  John then sees the souls of the saints who died during the tribulation and then sees their bodies  being resurrected. (Rev. 20:4)


Let’s read the four verses that relate the last two events in our chronology.


Revelation 20:1-4 NIV


1       And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.

2       He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

3       He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

4       I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.


This resurrection occurs after all the events preceding it, which means that if the Tribulation saints were included in the armies, they would not, at the time of the descent, yet have their resurrected bodies.


4.  Old Testament Saints.


The same is essentially true of Old Testament saints.  But, in their case, we need to review what we learned in an early lesson.




When Christ died on the cross, He went to Paradise.  Christ told the thief on the cross, “this day you will be with me in Paradise.”  When Old Testament saints died, they went to a place called Paradise.


In Luke 16, this place is called Abraham’s Bosom.  This is one of the two compartments of Sheol  (Hades in the New Testament).  The other place, or compartment, is called a “place of torment.”  Those who were not righteous went there when they died.


When Christ ascended to His Father, Scriptures like Ephesians 4 and Hebrews 2:14-15 tells us He took with Him all those who were in Paradise.  That means that today the Paradise compartment of Sheol is empty.  All Old Testament saints were taken to heaven.  But they are still awaiting the resurrection of their bodies.


Another reason that makes me think they are in heaven today is found in Revelation 19:9.


Revelation 19:9 NIV


9       Then the angel said to me, "Write: `Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God."


Who are those invited as guests to the wedding?  Certainly it is someone other than the Bride (Church) and the Groom (Christ).  Most likely the guests are the Old Testament and Tribulation saints who are in heaven.  When they attend the wedding, they will still be in their soulish existence, and without physical bodies as yet.


Daniel is the prophet who tells us when the bodies of Old Testament saint will be resurrected.  In an earlier lesson, we noted the sequence of events of Daniel 11, which depict the Tribulation period as it relates to Daniel’s people,  the Jews.  In the next chapter, he records this prophecy.


Daniel 12:1-2 NIV


1       At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people - everyone whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered.

2       Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.


Before continuing, notice again the first 3 words.  “At that time….”




To answer this question, you have to go back into the previous chapter – Chapter 11.  Verse 40 say, at the time of the end…”  So when Daniel says “at that time”, in Chapter 12, verse 1, he is referring  back to all the activity that is portrayed in the last 6 verses of Chapter 11.


As the fight ensues, other nations will join in this Battle.  This is quickly leading to the height of the Battle of Armageddon.  In the very next verse – Daniel 12:1 – Daniel refers back to that time and those events and calls it a time of great distress for Israel worse than anything in their history.


When Daniel wrote of “a time of trouble, such as never was before,” I can’t help connecting that with Jesus’ words in Matthew 24.


Matthew 24:21 NKJV


21     For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.


You may remember me saying that Matthew 24 is primarily Jewish in nature.  The gospel of Matthew is the most Jewish book in the New Testament.  Like Daniel, these words in verse 21 are speaking to Daniel’s people, the Jews.


Continuing in Daniel 12:1, we find Daniel using those 3 words – at that time” – again.  The first time finds him describing a time of unparalleled tribulation for the Jews.  The second time he speaks of the deliverance of his people, the Jews.


Daniel 12:1 NIV


1       …..But at that time your people - everyone whose name is found written in the book - will be delivered.


On the heels of these words about the Tribulation, God gives Daniel insight on the subject of the resurrection of Daniel’s people.


Daniel 12:2 NIV


2       Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.


Just a few verses later, God assures Daniel that he personally will be part of that group who arise from the grave to receive his inheritance.


Daniel 12:13 NKJV


13     But you [Daniel], go your way till the end; for you shall rest [die], and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days."  


Again, to review, the end of days have just been described as the end of the Tribulation as depicted in Chapter 11.  And immediately following in the sequence of events, Daniel is told that he and his people will be rescued or delivered.


It is my opinion that it is quite possible that the resurrection of the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints will be one and the same resurrection.  The Tribulation saints are really part of the Old Testament age.  And Israel is the focus during the Tribulation.  There is a parenthesis of time between them, a gap called the Church Age.  And we know that both the Old Testament and martyred Tribulation saints are resurrected following the end of the Tribulation.


Before finishing this topic of Old Testament and Tribulation saints, I need to mention 3 groups of people.  From the Bible, we know that two groups of saints from the Tribulation, and one group from the Old Testament saints, already have their resurrected physical bodies when the Second Coming occurs.  And I am not talking at all about Enoch and Elijah.




The first group of saints are those who are mentioned in Matthew 27.


Matthew 27:52-53 NKJV


52     And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

53     And coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.


What we have here is a group of Old Testament saints whose bodies were resurrected and they walked on earth and were seen by many people.  I believe Christ took these to heaven with Him when He ascended to His Father.


The second group are the Two Witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11.


Revelation 11:11-12 NIV


11     But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.

12     Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.


So we know these two are in heaven today with their resurrected bodies.


The third group are the 144,000 Jewish evangelists that are first mentioned in Revelation 7This group of people were sealed by God, which meant the forces of evil could not harm them.  Their ministry lasted the first 3½ years of the Tribulation.  We are not told when they left earth and went to heaven but in Revelation 14:1, we find them standing with the Lamb in heaven.  In this verse we are told they are learning a new son that only they could learn.


So, we have three groups of people who have already been raptured and are in heaven prior to the Second Coming of Christ.  Two of these groups had their bodies resurrected prior to their rapture.  The 144,000 didn’t need a resurrection because the never died.