Friday, April 28, 2017
 

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon Chrst is King of Kings ]


CHRIST IS KING OF KINGS 

Revelation 19:11-16 says, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and with righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns. And he had a name written that no one knew except himself. Ane he was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should strike the nations. And he himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he has on his robe and on his thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."The subject set before us is,  "The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords" and is mentioned in verse 16. The book of Revelation is a difficult book to understand because it is written in symbol language. For this reason widely diverse interpretations have been given to its meaning. However, there is no disagreement on the basic meaning of the passage. Any commentary you select will tell you that the white-horse rider is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. In view of the universal agreement of Bible commentators on this passage, let's examine the rider on the white horse and the armies with him.

First, four names are given the white horse rider, and these names clearly identify him as the Lord Jesus Christ. One name applied to him is Faithful and True. He has been faithful and true to God and all of his followers. He has been a true friend to Christians, and so will he ever be. He said, "I am the truth....and the truth will make you free." The past proves the justness of this name. His      prophecies have been fulfilled and his promises made good. Those     not yet fulfilled will most certainly come to pass. One promise is that He will avenge all mistreatment of Christians. When he renders a verdict no one can dispute it. When he has spoken on any subject, it necessarily follows that the last word has been spoken on that subject, and there is nothing more to be said. Because of this fact  the world can be certain that the Christian        religion  represents truth. The second  title applied to him is the unknown name. John said he had a name written that ro one knew except himself. There are aspects of his nature and person known to us in order that we may love and reverence him. But there are other aspects which to us are unknown. There are fathomless depths in his own infite nature which only God understands. Luke 10:22 says, "No one knows who the Son is but the Father.The third  name given to him is more majestic than any yet mentioned. His name is "The Word of God". This points back to his name as given in John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The meaning is that Christ is the revealed expression of the mind of the invisible God. The doctrine declared by this name is, therefore, of infinite importance. All of our conceptions of Christ, all our hope, all our salvation depend on it. If he be not the very word of the one true and living God, then we have no Saviour and no hope.

The last of these names assigned to Jesus is "King of Kings and Lord of Lords."This is one of the most impressive names given Christ in all the Bible, it symbolizes the position and power over all kings and rulers of all ranks in the world, all of whom must eventualV submit to Him who is the invincible Word of God. Vast is the power that kings and rulers exercise, but bad is the use most of them have made of it. But not our king. How blessed to humanity at large is this name and the fact that it declares. The day will come when all who have served as kings and monarchs will understand the meaning of these words, "King of kings and Lord of Lords.

"Secondly this vision represents Christ engaged in warfare, leading his army in great battle and conflict. In this paragraph we have a wonderfully vivid picture of a mighty conflict, in which the Most High God, in the person of his Son, goes forth to war and victory. Jesus is on a horse, his army on horses following him. His eyes are as a flame of fire, and this denotes his omniscience; He knows and sees everything. This means no enemy, no sin, and no sinner shall escape. He was clothed in a robe dipped in blood. We are not certain whether the blood symbolizes his own blood shed for all mankind or the blood of his enemies. I incline to the view that it represents the blood of his enemies. He has already fought many battles and won many victories. On his head were many crowns which may allude to the ancient custom of a conqueror wearing the crowns of the kings he defeated. The passage may  describe the last battle on this earth that Jesus shall fight and win. Out of his mouth went a sharp sword, and with it he struck the nations and ruled them with a rod of iron.

 

The spiritual nature of this warfare is expressed in verse 11, "Behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war." Some think this warfare describex that which is taking place between the hosts of Christ and Satan throughout the period of the world's existence. Strange as it may seem to speak of God being engaged in a war, it is clear that what we call good, with its followers, is in the world and what we call evil, with its followers, is in the world also. Both are at work, and they are necessarily opposed to each other. God and Christ are necessarily on the side of good; hence, the war. While this strife lasts, it is the Lord's controversy, and we learn in verse 19 there is to be a final battle between good and evil. Christ will settle the matter forever in what is called, "the battle of that great day of God Almighty"(Revelation 16:14). This final battle is referred to as the battle of Armageddon in Revelation 16:16. The exact nature of that final battle is unknown to us.

Now we are not to look for a literal fulfillment of these words in a material contest headed by Christ in person leading an army. No, No. Nothing so earthly and material! Christ fights only with the sword which goes out of his mouth, the word of God. Paul said in 2 Cor.  10:3, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." The forces which have to be subdued are spiritual; hence, the war must be spiritual too. The conflict is with worldliness in every unrighteous form, false religious systems of every kind, false and corrupt forms of Christianity itself, and all forms of sin, whether open or secret. It is against these powerful evils that the mighty conflict is going on.

Next, let's take a look at the mighty army which is following Jesus in this vision. Verse 14 says, "And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses. What an army! The riders are pure in character, symbolized by their clean white garments. They have no weapons; they use only the weapon which comes out of the mouth of their captain, the word of God. It is an army of truth; they can fight with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Who are they? They are Christians, the followers of Christ. There are no horses in heaven, and we don't expect to ride horses in heaven. There will be no battles to win up there. This mighty host of blood-washed, purified, and sanctified people represent the Church of Christ on this earth, fighting the good fight of faith against all opposition to Christ and the gospel. Whether these Christians John saw were martyrs who shed their blood in the persecutions of pagan Rome and the Dark Ages or whether they represent, in general, faithful Christians in all ages, it makes no difference. This army represents the church of Christ in all ages, faithful Christians, loyal members of the Lord's church fighting the Lord's battles on this earth. I woul suggest if you are a faithful member of the Lord's New Testament church you are riding on one of these white horses right now. The New Testament church is the only army which Christ has to fight his battles on earth in any generation. No one else is qualified to fight for Christ. If you do not have on a white robe you are no soldier of Christ. Revelation 19:8 states that these white robes represent the righteousness of Christians.

I have one more matter to discuss about the white horse rider and his army and I shall be done. Tell me, who in this generation represents that white-clad army in the vision? During the first three centuries there was no problem; it was the New Testament church, the church of Christ, the church of God. All Christians were members of one and the same organization. But what about today? Is this army composed of Catholics, Protestants,and hundreds of other divided churches in Christendom. No, but this is what Christendom would have us believe. This army today is composed of true and faithful Christians, members of that  original New Testament church you read about in the New Testament(Romans 16:16. Sadly, there false systems of Christianity in Christendom today not authorized by Christ and His inspired apostles.If you will examine the context of this vision, you will see that just before the white rider and his army appears, they had just won a great battle with a false system of Christianity. Revelation 19:2 says, "For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth.." This bad woman described in Revelation 17:1-5 represents a false system of Christianity that corrupted the whole earth. If you do not know what church in Christendom this woman represents, your salvation is in danger. The Church of Christ became unfaithful to God and Christ as did the Old Testament church  to God(Jeremiah 3:6-13). That woman  in Revelation 17  is a church in Christendom who did what Israel did to God in the days of Jeremiah.                                                                                                                                             it.t  us .

Daniel 2:44 predicts that God will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. Great Bible scholars in the brotherhood agree that this refers to the New Testament church established in 33 A.D. Daniel 7:25 predicted the kingdom would be taken away from God's people, and they would suffer persecution for an indefinite period of time. This is the same as saying that the church would be taken away from God's people. Daniel 7:27 predicts that sometime after this God would give the kingdom back to God's people. Christian history records the fulfillment of these prophecies. Many good studdents of God's word believe that the New Testament church was established in 33 A.D. and it  was taken away from God's people during the Dark Ages. They also believe it was given back to God's people about 1800 A.D. Well informed Christians believe this  took place, and followers of Christ  who do not know that this happened are in great danger. The glorious church of the first century has reappeared on this earth, and since about 1800 A.D. the very same church you read about in the New Testament is again on this earth. And I would suggest that New Testament church represents the white-clad army in this vision we have studied in this lesson.Finally, may I encourage you, if you have never been scripturally baptized for the forgiveness of sins, to do as the apostle Peter advised the multitude on the day of Pentecost when the Christian religion first began. To those who enquired about how to become a Christian, Peter said, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"{Acts 2:38). What a joy awaits you as you fulfill this commandment and know with scriptural certainty that your sins are forgiven because of God's grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul describes the blessed condition of one who has obeyed this command, "Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold they are become new."                                               

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