Jesus is Called King of Kings and Lord of Lords

John wrote, “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16). The name of Jesus is “King of kings and Lord of lords.” It is not a title, but a name of Jesus. It echoes Daniel 4:37, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven.” The title “King of heaven” is applied to God. Yet this divine title is now applied to Jesus, indicating that Jesus is God. Thus, John saw Jesus as the exalted God at the end of history.

The name “King of kings and Lord of lords” refers to Jesus as the absolute Ruler over all rulers. (J. H. Moulton, W. F. Howard, and M. Turner in Beale) Jesus is the ultimate Sovereign over all sovereigns. He is the definite Overlord over all overlords.

More, the name signifies Jesus’ victory of all the kings of the earth. It also signifies Jesus’ absolute authority over all nations in His millennial kingdom. (MacArthur)

Conclusion

That is the Jesus that John saw in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is not the Jesus of Cebu. The Jesus of Cebu cannot talk, stand, and walk. But the Jesus of the Revelation stands in the churches. He sees the hearts of people and judges them.

The Jesus of Cebu cannot avenge His people. But the Jesus of the Revelation is a vengeful warrior.

The Jesus of Cebu cannot make any promises for the people of God. But the Jesus of the Revelation is the Word of God. He shall fulfill all of God’s promises when He comes.

The Jesus of Cebu is a little harmless child. But the Jesus of the Revelation is a deadly ruler. He shall strike the nations with the words of His mouth. He shall rule the nations with the rod of iron. He shall tread the winepress with the fury of God’s wrath.

The Jesus of Cebu is a little king. But the Jesus of the Revelation is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is victorious in battle over all the kings of the earth. He will rule with all power and authority over the nations of the world.

Do you believe in the Jesus of Cebu or the Jesus of the Bible? Have you put your faith in the Jesus of the Bible?

I urge you today to bow down before King Jesus, repent your sin, and trust and obey Him. If you do that, you will be able to stand the judgment of King Jesus.

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Jesus is the Deadly King

John wrote, “From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (Rev. 19:15). John draws three pictures of the deadly rule of King Jesus. Jesus uses a sharp sword to strike down the nations. Jesus uses a rod of iron to rule them. Jesus treads the wine press of the fury of God’s wrath to kill them.

John alludes to Isaiah 49:2, “He made my mouth like a sharp sword.” The LORD makes the mouth of His servant, Israel, a sharp sword. John applies it to Jesus as the One whose mouth is a sharp sword. The sword of Jesus’ mouth symbolizes the deadly power of His words. Jesus speaks deadly words that strike the nations.

John adopts the phrase “to strike down the nations” from Isaiah 11:4, “He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.” In the Septuagint (LXX), “the rod of his mouth” is translated “the word of his mouth.” John saw Jesus as striking the nations with the words of his mouth. By Jesus’ words, the blind can see. By Jesus’ words, the lame can walk. Now by Jesus’ words, the nations are beaten, crushed, and destroyed . If by Jesus’ words, He can make the blind see and the lame walk, then by Jesus’ words, He can strike the nations dead.

This will happen in the great Battle of Armageddon. Not one nation will escape the wrath of Jesus Christ in that battle. Not one person in every nation will escape His anger. They will all die by the wrath of Jesus Christ!

Paul and Peter call this final Day of Judgment the Day of the Lord.

John sees Jesus as ruling the nations with a rod of iron. It alludes to Psalm 2:9, “You shall break them with a rod of iron.” The rod of iron symbolizes strict and swift judgment. In the millennial kingdom, Jesus will require all nations to obey His laws. Jesus will judge all sin swiftly without delay and without compromise. He will strike any rebellion speedily without waiting.

More, Jesus will rule the nations with His people. “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces” (Rev. 2:26-27).

Also, John sees Jesus as treading the wine press of God’s wrath. It alludes to Isaiah 63:3, “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel.” Isaiah speaks of God’s last terrible act of judgment. John applies this last terrible act of judgment to Jesus.

The “winepress” is the “fury” of “the wrath of God.” The winepress of God’s wrath is due to the build-up of sin.

Last Friday night, we read these verses in 2 Timothy 3:1-5,

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

People have twisted the meaning of marriage from a different sex marriage to a same-sex marriage. Many marriages are now broken by adultery and immorality. Wars and the killing of innocent people are all around the world. People are lawless and godless.

The sinfulness of sin shall reach its peak at the coming of Christ. Christ shall then crush sin and the nations that promote it. As grapes are crushed under the wine press, so the nations that rebel against Christ shall be crushed under the rule of Christ.

Jesus is Called the Word of God

18367b87953e5858c3bee681c584b6cb--white-horses-revelation-John wrote, “The name by which he is called is the Word of God” (Rev. 19:13). There are two meanings of Jesus’ name, “Word of God.” First, Jesus is the Word of God—the full revelation of God Himself. In Revelation, the phrase “word of God” is connected with the “testimony of Jesus.” “Who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:2).  “On account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 1:9). “I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God” (Rev. 20:4).

Thus, the name, Word of God, is the revelation of God in the testimony of Jesus. It is the revelation of God in the words and acts of Jesus. (Beale) Jesus is called the Word of God for His words and acts are the full revelation of God Himself. The word of God is the revelation of God Himself. Jesus is the Word of God. He is the revelation of God Himself.

Second, Jesus as the Word of God fulfills all the promises of God. In the OT, the word of God refers to the promises of God. “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant” (1 Kings 8:56). Jesus is the Word of God. He shall fulfill all of God’s promises of final judgment of His enemies.

Jesus is the Vengeful Warrior

John wrote, “He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood” (Rev. 19:13). John alludes to Isaiah 63:1-6.

 

Who is this who comes from Edom,
    in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
    marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
    mighty to save.”

Why is your apparel red,
    and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?

“I have trodden the winepress alone,
    and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
    and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
    and stained all my apparel.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
    and my year of redemption had come.
I looked, but there was no one to help;
    I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me salvation,
    and my wrath upheld me.
I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
    I made them drunk in my wrath,
    and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

Isaiah speaks of the red clothes of the LORD. The LORD speaks of treading the winepress. As he treads the winepress, the red grape juice splatters his clothes.

The red clothes of the LORD speak of God’s judgment of His enemies. In vengeance, God tramples the nations that resist Him. In anger, God treads on the peoples of the earth. The blood of God’s enemies splatters His clothes.

John affirms the same picture of Jesus whose clothes are bloody. John saw the judgment, vengeance, and anger of Christ upon the nations. Hence, Jesus’ bloody robe is a picture of a bloody war. The blood on his robe is likely the blood of his enemies.

You may ask why Jesus’ robes are bloody before the war. But this war is Jesus’ last war, His final battle. (MacArthur) Jesus has fought many wars throughout the history of salvation. In Rev. 19, it is Jesus’ final war against the nations that resist Him. It is Jesus’ final battle against the nations that oppress His people.

In this last battle, Jesus is the vengeful warrior against His enemies.

Jesus is the Sovereign Lord

By the word “sovereign,” we mean that Jesus controls everything. Jesus controls even our very knowledge of his own character.

John wrote, “He has a name written that no one knows but himself. (Rev. 19:12). Jesus has a name that no one knows except himself. This means that Jesus has sole control over the knowledge of himself. In the OT, the name of God signifies the character of God. Thus, Jesus has sole control over the knowledge of his own character.

The issue here is not about Jesus keeping his name a secret. John already knows three of his names—Faithful and True,  Word of God, and King of kings and Lord of lords (vv. 11, 13, 16). Rather, the issue is about Jesus having absolute control over anyone’s knowledge of his own character. (Beale)

Jesus reveals his name to two kinds of people. To those who conquer in Jesus, he reveals his name by saving them. “The one who conquers . . . I will write on him the name of my God . . . and my own new name” (Rev. 3:12). “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Lk. 10:22).

On the other hand, to those who reject Jesus, he reveals his name by judging them. “From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron” (Rev. 19:15). The context of the section in vv. 11-20 speaks of Christ’s judgment of the beast, the false prophet, and the kings and nations of the earth that resist Christ. Again, Jesus reveals his name to unbelievers through judgment.

Yet to the one who conquers, he will know Jesus’ name. “To the one who conquers . . . I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it’” (Rev. 2:17).  Conversely, to the one who does not conquer, he will not know Jesus’ name. He will not experience his grace.

Thus, when Jesus judges unbelievers, they will not know his name. But when Jesus saves you from your sin, you will know Jesus’ name. When you conquer sin and suffering, you will know Him. Jesus will reveal his name to you.

Have you repented your sin and received Jesus as your Savior? Are you living and suffering for Jesus today? Then you will conquer in Jesus. If you conquer in Jesus, you will know his name fully. Since you will know his name, you will experience his grace. But if you will resist Jesus, you will experience only his judgment.

Only those who receive Jesus will experience “the full revelation” of his name and therefore his grace. But those who resist Jesus will experience “the full expression of his justice.” (Beale)

Jesus is the True King of Kings of All Time

John wrote, “On his head are many diadems” (Rev. 19:12). Only two other persons wear diadems on their heads—the dragon and the beast. The diadems signify kingship. The dragon and the beast claim to be kings of the earth. But Jesus is the true King of Kings of all time.

Compare the number of diadems on the dragon and the beast with that of Jesus. “Behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems” (Rev. 12:3). “And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns” (Rev. 13:1). The dragon has seven diadems; and the beast, ten. But Jesus has “many diadems.”

The small number of diadems of the dragon and the beast signify limited power and authority over the earth. But Jesus’ many diadems signify all power and authority over heaven and earth. The few diadems of the dragon and the beast signify kingship of a limited time. (Caird, Mounce) But Jesus’ many diadems signify kingship of all time.

Jesus is the True King of kings of all time and space.

Jesus is the All-Seeing Judge

John wrote, “His eyes are like a flame of fire” (Rev. 19:12). John saw Jesus with eyes like flaming fire.

Revelation 2:18-23 reads,

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

19 “ ‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.

Jesus’ fiery eyes saw through the hearts of the church in Thyatira. He saw through the true spiritual state of the church there. They tolerated the sin of Jezebel and the false prophecies of Jezebel. They tolerated sexual immorality and idolatry.

I believe that some of the members of the Thyatiran church are fake believers who became members. They have infected the true believers with false teaching, sexual immorality, and idolatry.

This is the result of accepting into church membership people who haven’t professed repentance and faith in Christ. It’s bad enough that people get into church by a “fake profession” of faith in Christ. It’s worse that people get into church by mere “confirmation” of children of old church members without verifying their personal conversion.

Jesus the All-Seeing Judge does not tolerate sin in the church.

Jesus is the Warrior King

John wrote, “In righteousness he judges and makes war” (Rev. 19:11). John saw Jesus as the warrior king making war against his enemies and the enemies of his people. At this time, some unbelievers will survive in the Tribulation Period. At the end of the Tribulation Period, they will still resist the kingdom of Christ. Revelation 9:20-21 reads,

20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Revelation 16:8-11 says,

8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9 They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish 11 and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.

Despite the plagues and the scorching sun, these unrepentant sinners will continue to reject Christ and practice idolatry, sorcery, and sexual immorality. They will still curse God for their sufferings. They will side with the Beast, the False Prophet, and the Devil in the Battle of Armageddon. Yet Jesus the Warrior King will judge incurable, hardened, die-hard sinners. (MacArthur)

Nonetheless, Jesus does not wage war against unbelievers only. He wages war against sinful believers also. Jesus said,

4 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. (Rev. 2:14-16)

We do not see this picture of Jesus often. Usually, we see a smiling Jesus, a crying Jesus, or a loving Jesus. But we seldom see a warring Jesus.

Now you see him in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the Righteous Judge

John wrote, “In righteousness he judges and makes war” (Rev. 19:11). Today, some Judges judge unrighteously. They judge with human limitations. They judge according to the laws of sinful men. They judge according to bribery and corruption. They judge without fear of God.

However, Jesus judges righteously. The standard of Jesus’ judgment is his righteous character. Thus, Jesus will execute judgment according to righteousness. (BAGD)

The phrase “in righteousness he judges” alludes to the Psalm 9:8, “He judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness” (cf. Ps. 96:13). Psalm 72:2 says, “May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!” It speaks of God’s judgment of the oppressors of his people. It is to vindicate his people—to prove to all that God is with his people.

Now John saw Jesus as the righteous judge of the nations that have persecuted his people—to vindicate His people. Paul said in Acts 17:31, “He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Jesus is Called Faithful and True

John continued, “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and Trued True” (Rev. 19:11). The name Faithful and True is found in 3 Maccabees 2:11. 3 Maccabees 2:11 speaks of the faithfulness of God by answering the prayer of Israel to judge her persecutors. (Beale)

It is the same theme in Rev. 19:11. John writes of Jesus as the one who delivers judgment to the nations. Thus, the name portrays Jesus as the faithful and true judge of nations.

Yet Jesus the Faithful and True begins his judgment in the local church. Revelation 3:14-19 reads,

14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

Some believers commit the sin of immorality. I heard of a grand daughter of an active church elder. She got pregnant with her boyfriend. Yet she does not want to get married. Worse, they are doing a “live-in” arrangement. They do not fear God in their sin.

Jesus’ judgment begins in our church. If we do not repent, Jesus will judge us. Jesus who is called Faithful and True shall judge every church someday.

Elsewhere John wrote, “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’” (Rev. 21:5). The context of this verse is the coming new heaven and new earth. Jesus is called Faithful and True not merely because he is trustworthy. Jesus is Faithful and True because he will fulfill all the prophecies of the new heaven and new earth and the new Jerusalem. (Beale)