King Of Kings And Lord Of Lords
Key Verse 19:9
“Then the angel said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’”
We are nearing the end of the book of Revelation now, and everything that has been given to us as prophesy is also coming to an end as well. Judgment has been pronounced on “Babylon the Great”— the symbol of everything evil and sinful in the sight of God. Babylon, the mother of all men and nations who have ever stood against God and who have corrupted the world and its people is now deemed guilty in the courts of heaven, by the One and Only True Judge of all things in heaven and on earth. In chapter 18, God condemns her for what she had done throughout the ages to work its ruin in the hearts and souls of all people. She had enticed them to revel in the pleasures of sin. And at her temptings the world had plunged into immorality and materialism, turning away from God to satisfy every desire that wells up in their hearts. In the history of the world, while Babylon was growing strong in the hearts of men and nations, it seemed as if God were losing and the devil winning. But in reality God could not lose because he had promised ages ago that his Son would not only save sinners who turn to God, but that his Son would also save the world from evil once for all. And Revelation has been the story of how that would happen.
While chapter 18 marks the judgment on the once seemingly undefeatable “Babylons” of the world, chapter 19 marks the celebration of those in heaven and on earth who had been waiting for “Babylon” to be condemned and punished to rise no more. When we read this chapter, we have a feeling that there are two separate kinds of celebration, one a wedding and the other a funeral. The wedding would be that glorious wedding of Jesus, the Lamb of God with his bride the church. The funeral would be that of the Devil and his cohorts when his kingdom— Babylon the Great— is prophesied and destined to fall, whereby he would be thrown in the Lake of Fire to never ever rise again. Whoever we are and whatever we do— as Christians living in this world, and awaiting the second coming of the Lord— we must hold the wedding feast in our hearts with anticipation and with awe. It is an event all history has been waiting for to happen, and it will happen; and we who confess Jesus as Lord would celebrate it with tears of gratitude. For it would be the day when history would have finally come to an end with Jesus as the victor, and all his enemies trampled under his feet.
This chapter is a wedding and a funeral, or at least the events leading towards that great double celebration. Most funerals are sad events in human history, but not this symbol of a funeral. We say symbol because when the Bible talks about death, it is not necessarily a termination of life per se. In the Bible, the Lord talks of a physical death, which is not the end of life. While the body ends its life and existence, the soul must go on to either heaven or hell. So the kind of death which ends in hell is not an end of life but a beginning of an eternal life in hell, away from the life of our precious God and Father. The end of Satan also will not be his termination, but it will be the end of millennia of evil doing, wickedness, destruction, and hostility towards God and all that God represents in goodness and blessings. Satan’s funeral would then be a cheerful event in a long history of sorrow caused by his turning our ancestor Adam from a child of God to a rebel steeped in sin. For this reason this chapter begins with a cheer and with jubilation.
Read verses 1-5. “After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” Here we witness vast crowds in the heavenly realms bursting out in a chorus of praise to the Living God. They shout praise to God for several things. They praise God because “salvation and glory and power” belong to him. God alone holds salvation in his hands, and he has made it available for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God can save repentant sinners because he is almighty beyond measure. They also shout praise because “true and just” are his judgments. In the history of men, there has really never been true justice. Men are born in sin, and regardless of how honest and sincere they may be, the corruption of sin still runs in their veins, such that they could never be truly just. But our Father God is true in his justice, and in his justice he has condemned sin and redeemed sinners. The story of God’s eternal justice runs deep and long, and at times we cannot fully fathom it. However, we too must praise God that he is true and just in his judgment. And we praise him that he has judged us in Christ, and in Christ he has saved us through that same justice.
The multitudes in the heavenly realm also praise God for condemning the great prostitute who has corrupted the earth and its people by her adulteries. Her adulteries have been terrible. She has caused me to deny God his place in their hearts. The heart of each man or woman belongs to its Creator God. Men should give their hearts to God in reverence. They should say “Lord take my heart and make it your throne. Rule in me because I am not able to rule my life and have made a mess of it. Lord deliver me from constantly giving my heart to the wicked and filthy things of this world.” Men ought to say this to their Creator. But instead so many have fallen to the temptation of the prostitute and given their hearts to idols, to money, to the filth of immorality, and to the filth of material things that lure them away from God. No wonder God has condemned this prostitute, for she has stolen hearts away from God and turned them against him. Not only that, but in the process of corrupting the hearts of men, she has harmed the children of God, the innocent ones who were not taken by her adulteries, but have stood against her in faith and in hope and in earnest love for their Savior. These she has hated the most, and she had harmed them to silence them and their cries and prayers to God on behalf of mankind. For this she deserves condemnation and more than condemnation.
When the praise of the multitudes went up in a roar in he heavens, even the elders and creatures who sit round about the throne of God could not remain silent. The jubilation was great. The grace of God whose justice was being dealt towards the prostitute was too much such that the elders also raised their own shouts to heaven giving glory and honor and worship to God. They fell down and worshiped him. They could not stand in the light of this wonderful God all whose promises were coming true before their very eyes. So they shouted praise too. Look at verse 5 again. Another shout came from the throne, commanding all God’s servants everywhere to praise God. The command went out to all his servants from the greatest of them to the least of them. How marvelous is the grace of our God. He does not consider one servant above another servant. In his eyes, all are his children and all are worthy to praise God together as each stands in his presence clad in the same garment. We are his children. We are his servants. And we thank God this day that in his eyes both great and small stand as equal before him and equally privileged to give praise to God. Some time we think that praise and worship are something we give to God. But as much as it is true that we give praise and worship to him, it is also true that even this giving of praise and worship is a privilege and an honor. Praise and worship is not something we give to God as a merit. We praise and worship him because we love him. Because we know who we are and who he is. Because we owe him every praise and worship that is within us to give. But most of all we praise and worship because we have been given a privilege to do so. Pity the heart that thinks it is doing God a favor by worshiping him, or fulfilling a duty in worshiping him. When we stand before him every Lord’s day we must remember the great privilege that has been given us both great and small to do so. It is a privilege that should not be exchanged with anything else the world offers.
Read verses 6-10. “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The whole of heaven rejoiced at the judgment given to that prostitute called “Babylon the Great”. Great and wondrous praise and worship were given to the Living God for his justice in condemning that which has devastated the world for generations and has given nothing but grief to God and to his children. But aside from the celebration in regards to the destruction of Babylon, all heaven held its breath for the celebration yet to come. There would be a celebration that neither heaven nor earth has ever witnessed the like of. And this celebration is celebration that makes all other celebrations both in heaven and on earth look puny in comparison. This celebration is for the Son, for the Lamb whom the Father loves more than he loves his own life. In Biblical history we read many wondrous things. But there is nothing as wondrous as the love that the Father has for his Son, the Lamb of God, Jesus. We may say that whatever God did, is doing and will do in heaven and on earth will surely be for his Son, for the sake of his Son, for the Father loves the Son beyond our imaginings.
No human had ever loved their son or daughter as the Father God loves his Son Jesus. In Romans 1:5 we read something amazing. We read these words: “Through him and for his name’s sake we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.” In this one verse, we learn volumes of theology and truth. We learn about grace and apostleship. We learn our calling and our mission. We learn the purpose of our existence. We learn about the power of faith. We learn about the necessity of obedience. We learn much. But we also learn a truth that surpasses all others in power, for in it we learn a truth that touches the very heart of God himself. It is “through him” — that is, through Jesus, that grace has been given us, as well as the apostleship that comes side by side with it. But it is “for his name’s sake” — a truth that is mostly ignored— that we should take a close look at. All that the Father does, whatever it is that the Father has done, and will do; whatever the Father has given or shed upon us and on this world, especially the gifts that he has given, are all for “his name’s sake”. It is for Jesus’ name’s sake. It is for Jesus’ sake. God saved us because he loves us. But in reality the greater truth is that whatever God has done for us it was for his son’s sake. We owe Jesus everything. Everything. Everything! To God, Jesus is the apple of his eye. It is Jesus he loves. It is for Jesus that he does whatever he does in our lives. We owe Jesus everything.
The wedding of the Lamb, therefore, we can be sure is for his name’s sake, for the sake of the Son he loves. The event to the Father is therefore the most important event. And all history turns its eyes on the event where the father would please his son and lavish on him all that God has promised to give him. And God has promised his Son that he would give him the church to be his bride. As much as God would do this for us, in reality he is doing it because he loves the Son. And we ought to love the Son as the Father loves the Son. We love him for many reasons. But we love him because he has given his life for us. We love him because he has joined himself with us such that nothing will ever happen to us, to harm us, as we become his bride. As the Father loves the Son, he also loves the bride of the Son, the church— and what is the church if it is not his people, living breathing people, one by one, who are loved and blessed by the Father. Today we too must look at that event which Jesus had told us about, the wedding feast, and we to ought to be ready, dressed in fine white linen. And the fine white linen is the righteousness that comes from faith in Jesus. Jesus alone can dress us to be fit for the wedding feast every Christian will be invited to. But we ought to be ready. The world is a distracting place, even for the most devout of Christians. But we must not be distracted by anything. We must focus our hearts on keeping the dress on, day after day, we need to be dressed in righteousness. We need to be washed in his blood. Day after day, we ought to come to him with repentance and for cleansing. It is for his sake that God does this, and God would have us be ready every day, so that the day it finally happens may not pass us by, while we are distracted or taken by something the devil has set for us as a trap. We must be ready— we must!
Read verse 9. “Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb. Indeed there are many blessings in this world. There are blessings of grace and of mercy. There are blessings of faith and of hope. There are blessings of gifts that God shares with us who love him. There is the blessing of being a Bible student— a great blessing that is. There is the blessing of being a Bible teacher, and the blessing of obedience to God’s world mission command. There is the blessing of poverty or riches— each according to the will and purpose of God. But in Revelation we read a few blessings, perhaps the greatest of which is the blessing of being one who is invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Who can turn down such an invitation. And yet people do. They do every time they put something else ahead of the Lord. They do every time they go astray following something worthless but tasty in the world. They do when they despise their calling and go off on their own to do their own thing. But we cannot turn down such a blessing. We must do our best to live such lives as to put God first, and have our hearts filled with the joy of waiting in hope for the day we would join the Lord at his supper, not as guests but as part of the great bride whom the Lord loves. How certain is the blessing of being invited to the Lamb’s feast? Look at verse 9 again. These are the true words of God. There is nothing more sure and secure in our lives as the promises that the Lord give us. And he has given us a promise and blessing that is worth everything in our lives. He has promised us a place at the feast. We are invited. Let us accept it this day and give praise and worship, thanks and blessing to the one who invited us. Amen.
Read verses 11-16. “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King Of Kings And Lord OF Lords.” There is no doubt in heaven or on earth as to the identity of this glorious King who sits on the white horse. He is coming with the fury of God to deal judgment on Satan and his cohorts who have stood against God and himself and have corrupted the hearts of men across the centuries. He has many crowns on his head because one crown does him no justice. He is not an ordinary king or ruler. He is the King of Kings and the Lord or lords, of all kings and lords. He is the son of God, the Savior, the Messiah, the One whom every knee bows to and every mouth confesses. How great and awesome he is! Look at the names given him in this chapter. He is the “Faithful and True” one. Ever faithful to his promises. Ever true to those who have stood by him and confessed him Lord. He will every remain faithful and true to them, as he has ever been faithful and true to all that the Father had entrusted to his care.
His robe is dipped in blood. He is the King of Kings but he did not come to enslave men, by shedding their blood. He came to set us free by shedding his blood. This mark of the King of kings of all ages, the only worthy one, worthy of our love and worship. He is worthy because he did not exercise his power to subject us, but he used his power to free us from the grip of Satan who enslaved us for generations. How precious is Jesus. His robe is dipped in blood. His own blood. That precious blood that dripped on the cross in order to rescue you and me from sin. Who would do this for us, when we have turned our head away from him every time a temptation of pleasure or a temptation of comfort rose up in our lives! But Jesus did. And for this he is worthy of our love and devotion. His name is also the “Word of God”. Jesus did not rule us with human rules and regulations. He ruled us with the living and active word of God. Jesus came to replace the lies in our hearts with the word of God, with the truth. He had come to give us a new life based on the eternal word of God which alone can give us life and direction. His word is above all things in heaven and on earth. We should cherish it always, rely on it always, uphold it always, and share it with others always. He is truly the king of kings and the lord of lords. He is my King and my Lord. Would you confess him your king and Lord today and always? It is not a small question. It is a real question that touches our hearts. There are those who confess him by mouth, but their lives are a far cry from him being the King of their lives. Let us renounce and repent of any hypocrisy we find in our hearts and ask his mercy, for he is faithful and true and will cleanse us from all our sins and count us among the blessed. Amen.
Look at verses 17-21. these are the funeral event of the devil and his people whose end will be in the lake of burning sulfur. It is incredible that the day will come when the devil, after the pronouncement of judgment on Babylon the Harlot, will still amass his armies to fight against the King of kings and Lord or Lords. It does not make sense that the defeated would stand to be defeated and beaten again. But evil is as such— it is incredible and unreasonable. Evil seems to want to remain standing to the end. So God will let it stand one last time, before the King of Kings on his Horse and with his armies hurls it to hell. We are those who witness this in writing. John was given to write about these events, and we do not know when they will be fulfilled, but they will— that is the promise that cannot be changed. It will happen. And till then we must stand as witnesses to the King whose robe is dipped in blood, and whose name is faithful and true. We must witness to all people that the Lamb will triumph. We must witness that the Lamb is still giving out invitations to the wedding feast to everyone who turns from sin and embraces the cross of Jesus and calls for forgiveness and new life. we must witness to all. And meanwhile we must also give praise and worship to him, for he is worthy. Bless God’s people who come to worship not as a duty nor as a burden, but because they know how privileged they are to be given the grace to praise and worship him. May God bless you. Read verse 9 again. “Then the angel said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.’” Amen.