In describing that future event, Jesus borrowed the language of Daniel 7:13–14, where the prophet Daniel declared:
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.
Coming in the clouds as if they were a divine chariot (cf. Ps. 104:3; Isa. 19:1), the Son of Man will appear with great power and glory, returning to establish His kingdom and to destroy the ungodly. On that day, heaven will open to reveal the conquering King. Rather than riding the humble foal of a donkey, as He did at His earthly entrance to Jerusalem (Mark 11:7–10), He will be seated as the eternal Sovereign atop a royal white steed.
The apostle John described the majesty and power of Jesus’ return with these words:
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Rev. 19:11–21)
With perfect righteousness and absolute authority, the Lord Jesus will enact judgment on His enemies (2 Thess. 1:7–10; cf. Isa. 11:4; 63:1–4; Rev. 1:16), including the Antichrist whom He will cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20). Satan will be bound for a period of a thousand years (20:1–3), and Christ’s millennial reign will begin (20:4–6). Seated at last upon His earthly throne, the Lord Jesus will unilaterally and perfectly rule the nations as their sole Sovereign and King (cf. Ps. 2:8–9; Rev. 12:5).
The MacArthur New Testament Commentary