We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘King of Kings’.
The apostle Paul describes God as King of Kings: ‘In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time– God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen’ (1 Timothy 6:13-16).
The term ‘King’ we easily understand. It refers to someone who rules over a nation of people. The King of England means the man who reigns over the English people. The word ‘Lord’ shares a similar meaning: someone with authority over others.
So what does it mean that God is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It means he rules over all kings and lords. In fact, as the verse says, God is the ‘only ruler’. There is no higher king or lord.
What does such ruling over all kings and lords look like? The Apostle John received a revelation from God of what would happen when the King of Kings came to earth. We read: ‘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.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.” Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh’ (Revelation 19:11-20:1).
What does the reign of the King of Kings look like? At a minimum it means the defeat of all kings and nations who oppose him. Are you foolish enough to oppose the King of Kings? Joel Radford