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Revelation 19:11-21



I saw heaven 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.

(verses 11-16)

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What a powerful vision, full of surprise and nuance.


In the previous portion we were told that “the wedding of the Lamb has come … Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (verse 7, 9). We turn to look, expecting the Lamb dressed ready for this wedding celebration.


But it’s not what we see. Earlier in this extensive vision we had been urged to turn our eyes to the triumphant Lion of Judah – turning, we were surprised to see “a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain”(Revelation 5:6). Now we are surprised again. Instead of seeing wedding garb, we find a conquering Warrior-King, dressed for battle, ready for triumph.


This One is named for us, three times over. He “is called Faithful and True … his name is the Word of God … On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” There is no doubt. We know who this is. He is our risen, exalted Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Praise him. We know him by name.


And yet, we don’t know the fullness. The depth of his person and being is beyond our comprehension. “He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.” We praise him for his inexpressible majesty. This unknown name may also carry a nuance of Christ’s conquering power, for in the ancient world there was the magical understanding that knowing a person’s name would give one power over them. Impossible here, for this “KING OF KINGS”has a name beyond the knowledge of any of his enemies. He holds all the power.


Further, this conquering King comes with “the armies of heaven … riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.”Such an overwhelming host would seem to guarantee the victory. And yet, in the ensuing confrontation with “the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies” (verse 19), the engagement of heaven’s hosts is not mentioned at all, but only the defeat of the beast and the false prophet and the slaying of their armies by the sword “that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse”(verse 21). Christ alone is the Victor. He is the Conqueror.


He rules with an iron scepter. “With justice he judges and makes war.” He brings judgement on all evil and all injustice. In his triumphant power, everything will be set right. Praise his name!


“Faithful and True … Word of God … KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF

LORDS.”

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Praise you, Lord Jesus, for you are the Victor. As KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS, you will establish justice on earth. You will set all to rights. You are faithful and true. Praise your name.

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Reflect:

Justice will come fully in that great day. In the meantime we pray with faith: Your kingdom come, your will be done. Pray that simple prayer, allowing the Lord to direct you, focusing as he would choose.

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Photo by Charles Chen on Unsplash


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