April 16, 2017
Question: "What does it mean that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords?"
Answer: The phrase “king of kings” is used in Scripture six times, three of which refer to the Lord Jesus (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14, 19:16). The other three (Ezra 7:12; Ezekiel 26:7; Daniel 2:37) refer to either Artaxerxes or Nebuchadnezzar, kings who used the phrase to express their absolute sovereignty over their respective realms (Persia and Babylon). The phrase “lord of lords” is used in Scripture five times, and only referring to God (Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:3; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14, 19:16). Used together, the two phrases refer only to the Lord Jesus Christ.
In 1 Timothy 6, Paul is wrapping up his letter to Timothy, telling him to fight the good fight and keep his profession of faith. He tells Timothy that he’s to do this “until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,” whom he subsequently refers to as “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion.” The title is used to indicate someone who has the power to exercise absolute dominion over all His realm. In the case of the Lord Jesus, the realm is all of creation. Paul labors to emphasize the solitary nature of Christ’s rule, calling Him the “only” Sovereign, who is “alone” and “unapproachable.” The rule of Jesus is unique and above that of all other rulers.
The other two uses of the phrase, those in Revelation, refer to the final conquest and return of Jesus. The implication is that in the end all other rules will be conquered or abolished, and He alone will reign supreme as King and Lord of all creation and creatures. There is no power, no king, and no lord who can oppose Him and win. There are myriad references to this absolute rule of Jesus, and His preeminence over other rulers, all throughout Scripture, some subtle, some overt. To mention just a few, Isaiah 40:23-24 says that the Lord brings “princes to nothing” and makes earth’s rulers “emptiness.” The mere breath of the Lord will “carry them off like stubble.” Daniel’s vision of the son of man in Daniel 7:13-14 is of one whom he calls “the Ancient of Days” whose everlasting dominion is over all people, nations and languages. In the New Testament, we get a better view of whom these passages refer to when the writer of Hebrews speaks of the Lord Jesus: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). The next verse speaks of Jesus being “much superior” to the angels. Clearly, His rule over creation is absolute.
Paul makes the point that this rule is derived from Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. In Philippians 2:5-11, he discusses the extent to which Jesus went to atone for sinners and concludes that this is the reason that “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (vv. 9-11).
Finally, in the book of Revelation we see the Kingship of Jesus made manifest. In chapter 5, the Lamb (Jesus) is the only one in all creation found worthy to open the scroll containing the judgments of God (vv. 2-5). In chapter 11, we hear voices in heaven proclaiming that the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of Christ, and that He will reign forever and ever (v. 15). In chapter 12, we read that the authority of Christ is what causes Satan to be thrown down to earth (vv. 9-10). In chapter 17:12-14, the Lamb conquers all those arrayed against Him, and John stresses that He conquers because He is King of kings and Lord of lords. Finally, in chapter 19, we read of His triumphant coming to strike the nations and tread the winepress of the wrath of God, having the authority to do so because He is King of kings and Lord of lords (vv. 11-16).
Fundamentally, the idea of Jesus being King of kings and Lord of lords means that there is no higher authority. His reign over all things is absolute and inviolable. God raised Him from the dead and placed Him over all things, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:21-23).
Songs of Victory in Heaven
Revelation 19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
1 After this I heard what sounded like a mighty shout of a great crowd in heaven, exclaiming, Hallelujah (praise the Lord)! Salvation and glory (splendor and majesty) and power (dominion and authority) [belong] to our God!
2 Because His judgments (His condemnation and punishment, His sentences of doom) are true and sound and just and upright. He has judged (convicted, pronounced sentence, and doomed) the great and notorious harlot (idolatress) who corrupted and demoralized and poisoned the earth with her lewdness and adultery (idolatry). And He has avenged (visited on her the penalty for) the blood of His servants at her hand.
3 And again they shouted, Hallelujah (praise the Lord)! The smoke of her [burning] shall continue to ascend forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities).
4 Then the twenty-four elders [of the heavenly Sanhedrin] and the four living creatures fell prostrate and worshiped [paying divine honors to] God, Who sits on the throne, saying, Amen! Hallelujah (praise the Lord)!
5 Then from the throne there came a voice, saying, Praise our God, all you servants of His, you who reverence Him, both small and great!
6 After that I heard what sounded like the shout of a vast throng, like the boom of many pounding waves, and like the roar of terrific and mighty peals of thunder, exclaiming, Hallelujah (praise the Lord)! For now the Lord our God the Omnipotent (the All-Ruler) reigns!
7 Let us rejoice and shout for joy [exulting and triumphant]! Let us celebrate and ascribe to Him glory and honor, for the marriage of the Lamb [at last] has come, and His bride has prepared herself.
8 She has been permitted to dress in fine (radiant) linen, dazzling and white—for the fine linen is (signifies, represents) the righteousness (the upright, just, and godly living, deeds, and conduct, and right standing with God) of the saints (God’s holy people).
9 Then [the angel] said to me, Write this down: Blessed (happy, to be envied) are those who are summoned (invited, called) to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me [further], These are the true words (the genuine and exact declarations) of God.
10 Then I fell prostrate at his feet to worship (to pay divine honors) to him, but he [restrained me] and said, Refrain! [You must not do that!] I am [only] another servant with you and your brethren who have [accepted and hold] the testimony borne by Jesus. Worship God! For the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy [the vital breath, the inspiration of all inspired preaching and interpretation of the divine will and purpose, including both mine and yours].
The Heavenly Warrior Defeats the Beast
11 After that I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse [appeared]! The One Who was riding it is called Faithful (Trustworthy, Loyal, Incorruptible, Steady) and True, and He passes judgment and wages war in righteousness (holiness, justice, and uprightness).
12 His eyes [blaze] like a flame of fire, and on His head are many kingly crowns (diadems); and He has a title (name) inscribed which He alone knows or can understand.
13 He is dressed in a robe dyed by dipping in blood, and the title by which He is called is The Word of God.
14 And the troops of heaven, clothed in fine linen, dazzling and clean, followed Him on white horses.
15 From His mouth goes forth a sharp sword with which He can smite (afflict, strike) the nations; and He will shepherd and control them with a staff (scepter, rod) of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath and indignation of God the All-Ruler (the Almighty, the Omnipotent).
16 And on His garment (robe) and on His thigh He has a name (title) inscribed:
king of kings and lord of lords.
17 Then I saw a single angel stationed in the sun’s light, and with a mighty voice he shouted to all the birds that fly across the sky, Come, gather yourselves together for the great supper of God,
18 That you may feast on the flesh of rulers, the flesh of generals and captains, the flesh of powerful and mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all humanity, both free and slave, both small and great!
19 Then I saw the beast and the rulers and leaders of the earth with their troops mustered to go into battle and make war against Him Who is mounted on the horse and against His troops.
20 And the beast was seized and overpowered, and with him the false prophet who in his presence had worked wonders and performed miracles by which he led astray those who had accepted or permitted to be placed upon them the stamp (mark) of the beast and those who paid homage and gave divine honors to his statue. Both of them were hurled alive into the fiery lake that burns and blazes with brimstone.
21 And the rest were killed with the sword that issues from the mouth of Him Who is mounted on the horse, and all the birds fed ravenously and glutted themselves with their flesh.
Posted by Princess Mononoke at 1:33 PM