As many are aware prewrath eschatology teaches that the second coming (parousia) of Jesus begins—not in Rev 19— but rather between the opening of the sixth and seventh seals in Rev 7 with the rapture and resurrection occurring with the innumerable multitude of believers appearing in heaven out of the period of the great tribulation.
This is followed immediately with the day of the Lord’s wrath starting with the opening of the scroll when the seventh and last seal is broken. The trumpets and bowls then realize God’s judgment upon the wicked. The battle of Armageddon is one of the very last judgments in the complex-whole of God’s eschatological wrath being depicted in Rev 19—the grand finale, if you will. Revelation 19 is not about deliverance, it is wholly about judgement.
Practically every other end-time position (pretrib, posttrib, amill, historical premill, and so on) assumes that the second coming begins in Rev 19. They virtually never argue for this—they simply assume it. Besides all the evidence that points to the second coming beginning in Rev 7 with the deliverance of God’s people and the ensuing eschatological judgments in the trumpets and bowls, here are a few more reasons:
“In the first place, the passage [Rev 19] does not have features commonly associated with the Parousia in the Synoptic Gospels and in Paul. There is no mention of Christ coming on the clouds (Matt 24:30; 26:64; Mark 13:26; 14:62; Luke 21:27), accompanying angels (Matt 13:41, 49; 16:27; 24:31; 25:31; Mark 8:38; 13:27; 2 Thess 1:7) or the gathering in of the elect (Matt 24:31, 40–41; Mark 13:27; cf. Matt 13:41, 49; 1 Thess 4:17; 1 Cor 15:52). The description of Christ on a white horse is not found in any of the Parousia passages. Patently, the interest in this passage is not in the faithful but in the destruction of evil-doers. In any case, the faithful are not on earth waiting to be delivered, but in heaven [with resurrected bodies]. To interpret the ‘coming’ of 19:11–21 as the Second Coming, with the removal of the faithful from the earth, runs counter to the strong interest in the earth in Revelation.” R. Jack McKelvey “The Millennium and the Second Coming” In Studies in the Book of Revelation, edited by Steve Moyise (New York: T&T Clark, 2001) 86.
In addition, last year Joel Richardson interviewed me on his videocast on this very topic:
For a related topic see this: