Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Armies of heaven

Hi Pastor Ron, would you mind clarifying something for me? Coming from a Baptist background I have always been taught that the armies following the Lord in Revelation 19:14 will be the body of Christ. In the post Not All Things Created Equal you reference it as being armies of angels, which makes more sense.

I've also been taught that we will rule and reign on the earth with Jesus during the Millennium. Will the body of Christ ever return to the earth after the rapture, or will we remain in the heavenlies? Thank you for clearing this up for me.

Revelation 19:14

And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Yes, the armies referenced are angels, not the body of Christ.  We have done a number of studies about this.  We see the white horses in 2 Kings…

2 Kings 6:17

And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

When you compare scripture with scripture, you see this is an army of angels.

Psalm 68:17

The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.

The Lord came with his angels and the angels are riding with him on white horses. 

But your confusion stems from your past experience where you were taught that it would be the body of Christ.  The number one thing is that we have to study the bible dispensationally.

2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We have to divide truth from truth.  First and foremost, the book of Revelation has nothing to do with the church, the body of Christ.  The context of the book of Revelation is for the nation of Israel in the future.  John was literally taken by the Spirit of God into the Day of the Lord (the 70th week of Daniel).  He was there future from us, but as far as God is concerned, it happened (will happen)—just the way it says in the book.  God transported him to the future Day of the Lord (or, the Lord's Day).

By the time Revelation takes place, the body of Christ (the church for this present dispensation of grace) will already be in heavenly places.  So to be taught that the armies of heaven in Revelation 19 are the body of Christ is just erroneous because they fail to rightly divide the word of truth.  As you said, it makes more sense when you rightly divide the word of truth that it is armies of angels.

You also said that you had been taught that the body of Christ will rule and reign on earth.  Again, that is a failure to rightly divide the Word.  The people who 'taught' you in the past taught you wrong.  That is because they not only fail to rightly divide the word of truth, they do not acknowledge the apostolic authority of the Apostle Paul in this present dispensation of grace.  Romans through Philemon (Paul's epistles) contain the doctrine for us today.

The term 'ruling and reigning on the earth' is from a passage in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 5:10

And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Who is the 'we'?  It is the royal priesthood, the holy nation of Israel.

Exodus 19:5-6

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

God promised Israel that if they would keep His commands they would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  That is why they were water baptized and anointed with oil - or water baptized in the Spirit of God.

In Exodus 29, the priests were to be washed with water and anointed with oil which was a type of the water baptism of John for the nation of Israel and the Spirit of God being poured out.  We saw that with the Lord at His baptism, as He began His ministry; and, we saw it in Acts 2.

That has nothing to do with what God is doing today in the present dispensation of the grace of God.  But what is going on is a failure to rightly divide God's Word.  You had been taught that the body of Christ would rule and reign on earth, but you now know that is wrong.  That is the nation of Israel's job with God in the future in the prophetic program.


As to your question, "Will the body of Christ ever return to the earth after the Rapture or will we remain in the Heavenly Places?" Let’s go to the Apostle Paul for the answer.

Colossians 1:16

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

The focus of those things in the heaven and earth is not just the physical creation, but it is also on power and authority.  Thrones are seats of authority.  This issue of Heaven and earth, visible and invisible, reveals that there are two spheres to God's kingdom (the King's domain).  So by what Paul, our Apostle, has written by the Holy Spirit, we gain an understanding of Genesis 1:1…

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

From Genesis 1:2 on, God focuses on the earth.

Genesis 1:2

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

It is not until we come to the message and ministry of the Apostle Paul, that we understand what God is doing in the heavenly places.  The church, the body of Christ, was created for the heavenly places.  Therefore, our position and vocation is in the heavenly places.

Colossians 1:17-18

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church [the body of Christ]: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

The reason the Lord Jesus Christ created the church the body of Christ in the first place and kept it a mystery until this dispensation, is that He is going to use us to rule and reign in the heavenly places.  Originally God created the angels of God and other heavenly creatures (cherubim like Lucifer, seraphim and all the classes of angels in heavenly places) to rule in the heavens and on earth (where Lucifer was) in the original creation.  But Lucifer wanted more:

Isaiah 14:13

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

But when God created Adam, and ultimately the nation of Israel and the Lord Jesus Christ, He intended that the earth would be the central planet in the heavens and that the rest of the heavenly places would be populated as well.  In the original creation God created the heavenly host (angelic beings) to run the heavens for Him (including planet earth).  But when Satan and his angels rebelled against God,

Job 15:15

 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints [angels]; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.

God never made known how He would reconcile those positions of rank and authority.

Ephesians 6:12

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

So there are positions of rank and authority and it is the church, the body of Christ, that God has created to take over those positions. So that is where we will go. 

Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ...

Ephesians 1:22-23

And hath put all things under his feet [His dominion], and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

The way God is going to fill up those positions in the heavenly places is through the body of Christ.

Ephesians 2:6

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

So there is our position of authority.  Now watch this:

Ephesians 2:7

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

So for all eternity, for ages to come, we are going to be on display as members of the church, the body of Christ, and when Paul says...

Ephesians 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

...that is not just now, but it is forever.  So the body of Christ will remain in the heavenlies.

Philippians 3:20

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

That is our focus.  That is where we are destined to be.

Colossians 3:1-2

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.   Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Again, look at the focus - it is the heavenly places.

2 Corinthians 5:1

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Even our bodies will be made for this position.  The heavens are the focus.  We will go there after the Rapture that takes us up and we meet the Lord in the air.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

So the body of Christ will remain in the heavenly places.  That brings us to another question that I get about whether we will have the ability to come to earth if need be, or whether we will be limited just to the heavenly places.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3 that 'all things are yours.'  We will have the same body the Lord Jesus Christ has.  He was able to operate on earth.  He was able to eat, etc.  But He was also able to ascend into the heavens (Acts 1:9), and He is going to come back to the earth.

John 1:51

And 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 of man.

The angels will be a lower class than the Body of Christ (not now - because we were made a little lower than the angels in our humanity).

Psalm 8:5

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Hebrews 2:7

Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

But in Christ we will have higher authority and positions than any of the angels because of who we are in Christ.  Well, if they have the ability to go back and forth between heaven and earth...so will we.

Genesis 28:12

And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

God sent angels to the earth all the time during the prophetic program as messengers and ministers to the nation of Israel.

Hebrews 1:14

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation [in Israel]?

If God allows the angels to go back and forth, we will have the ability also.  The fact that we will have the ability doesn't mean that we will rule and reign down here.  Israel will rule on the earth and the body of Christ in the heavenlies; but we will have the ability because all things are ours.  We are the sons and daughters of God.  The whole creation belongs to us; so if there is a time in the future when you want to come and talk to Abraham or David, I don't see anywhere that God will say, 'No, you are stuck in the heavens; you cannot go.'  You can come and go as you please.  But your conversation (manner of living) is in heaven.

Look at what Paul tells the Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 3:21-23

Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your'sWhether Paul, or Apollos [You can benefit from Paul and Apollos - both members of the body], or Cephas [That's Peter.  He is a member of the Little Flock and will be on the earth in the future and we will have access to him.], or the world [the present world of that day], or life, or death [things that are out of our control today in our humanity, but they are for our gain], or things present [the present world], or things to come [the future]; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

What is his is ours, and although we will rule and reign in the heavenly places for all eternity, it doesn't mean that we won't have access to the earth when we want it.

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!


  1. If we are in the heavenlies and Christ is here on earth, we wil be separated from Him.

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Bro Ron replied to this comment and you can view it here:


      Please feel free to ask any question, any time. Bro Ron's passion is to study and search out answers for those truly seeking understanding from the scriptures.

      Grace to you,
      Hedied4unme, webmaster