Who Are The Armies Of Heaven?

Q. Re: The Lords Appearance in Power and Glory, I am confused as I have always been taught and believed that it was the church who came back with Christ in Rev 19:14. You stated that the armies of Heaven, called Holy ones would be with Him and the Church, as the bride, would be in the New Jerusalem at this time and would arrive later. The ones who accompany Christ is described in Rev 19:14 as being dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Earlier in verses 7 and 8 the bride is described as wearing fine linen, bright and clean (NIV). Can you clarify this for me?

A. It has traditionally been taught that the Church makes up the “armies of Heaven” in Rev. 19:14, but I don’t think either the original language or the Church’s role in the Kingdom Age supports that idea. I think the popularity of this notion is primarily due to the fact that we like to think of ourselves as taking up arms and fighting evil at the side of the Lord.

The Greek word translated “armies” refers to soldiers and guardsmen, and the fact that these are armies “of” heaven implies that heaven is their origin. The ones who most accurately fit the description belong to the great body of warrior angels, such as those who were standing by to defend the Lord on the night of His arrest (Matt. 26:53).

Angels are also described as being dressed in brilliant white in John 20:12 and Acts 1:10. And in Rev. 19:8 the brightness of the Bride’s garment comes from the Greek word “lampros” which means “shining, or magnificent”, but in Rev. 19:14 the whiteness of the clothing worn by the armies of Heaven is a different Greek word, “leukos”, which means a brilliant white. You would think that if the same clothing was being referenced John would have used the same word.

And as I asked in my earlier answer, what king takes his new bride into battle with him? The Bride is seen in Heaven in Rev. 19:8 and then coming down out of Heaven in Rev. 21:9-10 after the battle is over.

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