King of kings, and Lord of lords,
|:King of kings, and Lord of lords,:|
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
Kings of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
This is an excerpt from Handel’s “Messiah”, arguably one of the most well-known works in the world, at least the western world. Handel was familiar with the Scripture and put to music what it says in verses like the ones below.
1. 1 Timothy 6:15, where this title is connected with His appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords (emphasis added). Cf. His own time with His statement in Luke 17:22 about the days of the Son of Man. We believe the appearing of our Lord will end the attempt by the antiChrist to subvert this world and will usher in a time of peace and righteousness this world has never known.
2. Revelation 17:12, 14, where the title is connected with the appearance of ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast…. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings….
In the words of Daniel 2, the stone will smite the image on its ten toes and destroy them and it.
3. Revelation 19:11-16, where the title is connected with heaven opened, followed by a description of Him and His activities, Now 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…. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
So, you see, this title is associated with His return to this earth to rule them (“the nations”) with a rod of iron (emphasis added). As it too often happens now, “the nations” strike Him, through His people,”with a rod of iron.” When He returns, this will not happen!
The word translated “rule” is very interesting. It isn’t the usual word associated with the reigning, the “rule”, of a king. The word John used means “to shepherd,” and is a form of the word translated “shepherd” in John 10, the “Good Shepherd” chapter. What John actually wrote is, He will shepherd the nations with a rod of iron (emphasis added). How this fits in with the Reformed idea that Jesus will return to this earth, there will be the final judgment, and then the eternal state begins, and all this on the very same day He returns, is unclear. Perhaps that’s because the idea is unScriptural. Why would “a rod of iron” be necessary is all that’s left for Christ to “rule” is saved people – in eternity? And what does Scripture mean which says that Christ will rule in the midst of His enemies, Psalm 110:2? What kind of a king would he be who “rules” in the midst of his enemies, and they don’t know it or ignore or reject him? How is that to rule? Especially if those enemies have been made his footstool? And how does a “rod of iron” fit into the idea that Christ’s kingdom is only His spiritual rule in the hearts of His people? Revelation 20:11 isn’t the only verse which talks about Christ’s reign on this earth. Both Revelation 19 and 20 talk about it, to say nothing of the many Old Testament verses which foretell a worldwide time of peace and righteousness, something which can’t honestly be said to be fulfilled in “the church,” though many try, or to be simply pushed ahead into “the eternal state.” There is a great deal more to Christ’s kingdom than many are willing to admit.
Where is there, right now, on this earth, a single kingdom or government which bows to the Lord Jesus as “King of kings and Lord of lords” and seeks to govern by His Word?