The kingdom of heaven will soon descend to earth, it is time to introduce the King of the kingdom. His many names appear in this passage. Names, nowadays, are only used to identify a person. Often, the names are given by the parents because they sound good or have a good meaning. But the names that are in the Bible are used to describe a distinctive feature, a uniqueness or an innate character.
Back then, people only had one name. The way they decide on a name was looking at the person’s temperament, a distinctive feature in the personality. For example, “ Nabal ” means “fool”, indicating that he was foolish and stubborn. “ Edom” means “red”, because his skin looked red. Names were used to describe the distinct feature of the person.
The names here describe the fact that He is victorious. Why was He totally victorious at the end? Why is He King of kings and Lord of lords? The names here describe His characteristics and His work.
HE IS A FAITHFUL, TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS KING
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
Sitting on a white horse, indicates that He is our commander-in-chief, our King; He leads us to battle. His is called “Faithful” and “True”. Faithful, because we can always rely on Him; True, because He is not phony at all. He doesn’t deceive us and He never changes. This Sovereign King, will judge and go to battle according to His righteous principles.
His judgments are true, unbiased, not corrupted. Nowadays, lawyers and prosecutors do not fight for justice or demand justice for those who are oppressed. Their objective is to win the lawsuit regardless of who is right or who is wrong. So they use any means possible as long as they can win the case even if the opposite party is right.
He wages war with fairness, He has no need to deceive. People say: “All is fair in war”; therefore, they use crafty means. Even during the presidential elections of democratic countries, which is considered another kind of war, they use deceiving means to discredit the opposition digging up dirt on their political rivals. But the King’s actions are just and honorable, upright and righteous, making ineffective the evil schemes of his opponent.
We are eager to have such a King. If someone feels disappointed in Him, it is because they do not know His nature. The Jews misunderstood the Messiah to be a military leader, thinking that He would use military force to defeat the enemy countries. Actually, He does not speak of military power, the army that He leads is mounted on a white horse, clothe in fine linen, bright and clean; they are not wearing armors, and have no weapons in hand. Their only weapon is the Word of God.
“Saw heaven opened,” a vision from heaven. In this chaotic world, it is impossible to see this kind of bright neat army without spiritual insight. Therefore, this verse is not a description of Christ leading an army into this world to fight a war. This is only a vision from heaven, a scene from the spiritual realm. People only have access to things of this world, they can only see who has the strongest military force in this world, which country’s economy, science and technology is more advanced. They think those powers will dominate the world. Actually, there is another sight in heaven to behold which is a Lord who is faithful, true and righteous. This is His first prerequisite to obtain the victory with faithfulness, truthfulness and righteousness.
HAS PROFOUND ABUNDANT RESOURCES
12 祂的眼如火焰。祂頭上戴著許多冠冕，又有寫著的名字，除了祂自己沒有人知道( 認識) 。
12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
This King has many names, His names are written on His crown, He has many diadems. He is not the King of just one domain, nor just the King of Christians, He is also King of the entire human race. Therefore, chapter 11 tells of the two witnesses standing before the “Lord of the earth”. He is the Lord of every human being, He is the King of kings. His status will remain the same regardless of people believing in Him or not. He rules over all aspects of life, including on people’s matters big or small and matters of state, big or small.
Why does He have so many names? Because of His nature and characteristics are profound and abundant. Only He knows Himself, no one else knows Him well. “His eyes are like blazing fire”, He can see clearly every person’s heart, He knows everything about everyone, but there is no way that people could know everything about Him. The secret things belong to the Lord. Our responsibility is not to know everything, but to trust Him unconditionally. Because His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
Sometimes we may encounter situations that we cannot understand. When David’s son was very sick, he fasted and prayed, but his son died anyway. He did not ask why, he just accepted the fact quietly. Actually, that son was born out of adultery . If his son would not have died, he would have been long-term impact on David’s future. Every time people would see the child they would say that he was illegitimate, this would have been a negative effect on the father and the son. Many times, we can only see the problem before our eyes, we cannot see that behind it there is the love of God. We cannot see that God’s heart is bigger than our hearts, His love is greater than ours, His plans are greater than our plans. He is more powerful that we can imagine.
HE IS THE WORD OF GOD
13 祂的名稱為神之道。15 有利劍從祂口中出來。
13 … His name is the Word of God. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword…
Christ is the Word; that is John’s very distinct theology. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . ” All came from John’s hand. This way of speaking is actually very strange. In colleges they use sayings of Confucius, we could understand that. The Bible is God’s word, we can also understand that. But to say that Christ is God’s word, it is really hard to understand. Christ is a person, a figure, words are usually not considered a person or a character, words are ideas or thoughts that come out of a person. But the Bible clearly tells us that Christ is God’s word and He is a person. That is very amazing.
He conquered nations, not with weapons of war but with the words that came out of His mouth. The word of God is like a sharp double-edge sword. The Word of God is so powerful that people can not even imagine. People’s words have no authority. When the superiors tell the subordinates to do something, you might think that the subordinates will have to obey, but people might show outward devotion yet inward opposition. So our words are really not that powerful.
But God’s word is a powerful command, and it is an established law of the universe. He could order something to be and it will be established. The laws of nature were set by His word. He commanded the water to have a freezing point and it was so. He also established that all things would expand when hot and contract when cold, like when the water is cold the volume will decrease. But when the temperature of the water reaches 4 degrees it will start to expand, when it reaches freezing point it will expand and become lighter in weight so it will float instead of sinking down otherwise it would kill the living things in the water, that is how things were established. So the law of physics can change and the one who makes it change is God’s Word.
That is why Paul says: “God cannot lie.” He means that God is not capable of lying. Even when we ask Him to tell a lie, it will never happen. If He said: “There will be rain every day,” then it will rain every day because whatever God says that is an established law. The obstinate people, the evil empire will perish at the end; not because the Lord used military weapons, He just used natural disasters, fierce storms, earthquakes, tsunamis. Even if those nations had 10 thousand nuclear bombs, they will be defeated and will perish.
Therefore, His promises will definitely come true. Unless those promises are not for you. Don’t move south just because you read that it says: “go south”. Or when you read God’s promise to Abraham that he will have a child when he is 100 years old and think that God wants you to have a baby. That’s just wishful thinking. You have to understand if the promise is for your or for someone else. Jesus gave a promise to all saying: “God, make disciples of every nation, and I will be with you.” If you follow is His words, everything that was promised will happen.
HE SACRIFICED HIMSELF FOR ALL HUMANITY
13 13 He was wearing a robe that had been soaked in blood
這位王的衣服卻是滿了鮮血的衣服。中譯｢濺了血｣，聽起來像有血斑點，是沾了敵人的血。但這裡描寫祂剛出來，還沒有打仗，怎麽會濺了血呢？其實希臘文是用 Baptw 這個字，就像浸信會的｢浸｣字，應該翻作｢浴血｣，不是灑了血在上面。｢浴血｣是指祂自己的血浸透了祂的衣服，這血不是敵人的血，是祂自己的血。
This King’s robe was dipped in blood. Here is a description of Him before going to battle; how could His robe be dipped in blood? The Greek word used is “ Baptw ”, similar to the word used for “Baptist” church, which should be translated into “soaked with blood”, not sprinkled with blood. “Soaked with blood” refers to His own blood soaking through His clothes, this is not the blood of the enemy, it is His own blood.
The way He won the victory was by shedding His own blood. They way He fights a war is using death to defeat death. He did not just shed a few drops of blood, He shed His blood entirely. He sacrificed His own life for the lives of the sinners. Everyone who believes in Him has eternal life.
Many people would say that it is unfair. A criminal who believes in Jesus will have eternal life but a good person who does not believe in Jesus will perish in hell. Have you ever noticed that those who claim to be good people are those who do not believe? The unbelievers always say: “I do not need to believe in Jesus, I follow my own conscience, I am a good person.” Those who believe in Jesus acknowledge that they are sinners and that their end would be to perish. The two statements are so different, are all believers bad people? And are all unbelievers good people?
Apparently, there seems to be good people and bad people in this world. This is only a degree of comparison. In fact, all are sinners, some might look better than others. When you visit a hospital where all the patients have leprosy, you will find that some look very disfigured, their fingers are broken, their face twisted, and their skin are full of scars. Others look good, like a very healthy person. But the reality is that no matter how they look, they are all leprosy patients. Good people or bad people, they are all sinners.
Jesus’ salvation is impartial, no matter how you look, good or bad, you can be saved through faith. Regardless of how great a sinner you are, you can have the free gift of salvation. There is no discrimination in salvation. If someone has leprosy but refuses to receive medical treatment for leprosy just because he looks good, that is not a matter of fairness but of foolish ignorance.
This Lord sacrificed His own life to defeat sin and death. As a result of His sacrifice, everyone can be saved, what is so unfair about this?
THROUGH CHANGING PEOPLE’S LIVES
14 The armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
His army troops were not wearing armors and did not carry weapons. They were clothed in fine linen, white and clean. This represents that their lives and their actions were holy. However, Christ was “was wearing” a robe soaked in blood, the verbs used in these two sentences are not the same. Christ is “wearing” a robe soaked in blood, the army troops are “clothed” in fine linen, white and pure. Which means that they were draped in grace, God had given them a white and pure life. It is the same verb used in Ephesians 6, “put on” the full armor of God.
The victory of the Kingdom of Heaven is not only the victory of Christ, our Commander in Chief, but also the victory of His army, those who follow Him. The life that His army lives is a victorious life, which is indeed a victorious Kingdom of Heaven. The powerful countries of this world also have their elite armed forces with sophisticated weapons and superb tactics. However, this army of the Kingdom of Heaven is victorious because of the bright pure life that God gives them.
We often consider a person to be good or bad according to his temperament or character. What kind of temperament they inherited from their parents, and how much their environment influenced them. But when we look at a Christian to see if they are good or bad , it is not according to his own temperament, but according to how much they know their King, how much they have received from the Lord, how much they had let the Lord work in their lives. Their actions are according to how strong their faith is in the Lord.
Some people say : ” I have no beliefs”. That statement is wrong because everyone has beliefs. Those beliefs determine their behavior. For example, someone might say; “I have no beliefs, I believe in the theory of evolution,” then, evolution is their belief. Because evolution has not been scientifically verified, it cannot be explained with credible facts, it is just a theory, a supposition. If it was science, they it would not be called theory. Therefore, it is only a belief . This kind of conviction can influence they way a person behaves.
The theory of evolution believes in survival of the fittest. Therefore they think that there is nothing wrong with killing someone in order to become rich or forcing someone to do prostitution in order to make money. To prove that the other person does not have my competitiveness , if I cheat or kick him down, it is because they are incompetent and dumb. That is why, today, China cannot solve the problem of the people’s morals. Promoting Confucius or Lei Feng is not going to do any good because the core of their beliefs is the theory of evolution.
People do not believe in hell, yet hell still exists. They do not believe in the spirit and the soul , yet the spirit and the soul will never fade away. But if they do not believe in the afterlife, they will not have an afterlife , because they have not accepted the eternal life that the Lord has prepared for them. God can change a person’s life miraculously, that is why He is the victorious King.
CONCLUSION: HE IS THE KING OF KINGS, THE LORD OF LORDS
16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
The name written on His robe and on His thigh is very prominent and can be seen easily. It is not just a small sign hanging somewhere. When Chinese people went to war, they would carry a flag which was very inconvenient. Whether they were chasing the enemy or being chased the enemy, it was very inconvenient. On the other hand, writing the name of the high-ranking officer on the clothing and on the thigh would avoid any confusion. This means that everyone will recognize Him. No matter how many religions there are in this world, they would all be able to know that He is the only Lord.
Sakyamuni did not ask people to worship him, but people want to worship him; money was invented by people, they just like to worship their own inventions. God created many beautiful things for people to enjoy, but people let those things rule their lives. There is no one in this world that calls himself God, The King of Kings and The Lord of Lords.
King of Kings and Lord of Lords indicates that He is the utmost of all kings. The Songs of Solomon is called “Song of Songs”, which means that it is the best of all songs. King of Kings is the best of the kings, Lord of Lords is the best of the lords.