Christ - A King

“And the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings,” Revelation 17:14.

See 1Timothy 6:15, Revelation 19:16.

By the Lamb is meant JESUS CHRIST, which is evident and indisputable; the dignity to which he is advanced is the highest among the sons of man, Potentate, Son or Man of Power, King of kings, etc. There is no higher name or title to set forth dignity amongst men, than kings or mighty potentates. It is one of the titles of the Most High, the God of this blessed Lamb, and indeed it originally belongs to him, but he is pleased to bequeath it unto men, for which reason they are called gods on earth: “I have said, Ye are gods; but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes,” Psalms 82:6-7. ”God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods,” Psalms 82:1. This King, invisible, immortal, the only wise God, hath chosen his Son to represent him to his subjects, hath placed his name in him, not only Wonderful, Counsellor, and the man that is his fellow, but as King, the chief of titles in this lower world. By this the royal and most renowned Branch, that ever sprang from the loins of Jesse and David, is set forth. Upon which we note, that Jesus, the Lamb of God, is compared to, and represented by the most magnificent title of King, the highest and chiefest of kings. And indeed there is nothing doth more fully set forth the glory, power, and splendor of Christ, than this; as will appear, if we consider these following particulars.

METAPHOR PARALLEL
A King is usually very highly descended, comes to his dignity by inheritance, is the son of a noble. The Lord Jesus Christ, our great King, comes to this dignity by birth; he is the Son to a mighty Emperor, and so right Heir to Kingship: “When he bringeth in the first begotten into the world,” Hebrews 1:6. “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature,” Colossians 1:15. “He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they,” (i.e. the angels) Hebrews 1:4.
A King hath, or ought to have great qualifications, having the advantage of such education; to his natural wisdom is added skill in politic affairs, even the knowledge of the laws of his kingdom. The Lord Jesus Christ hath glorious qualifications. He is not only endued with natural wisdom, and that far beyond Solomon, (a greater than Solomon is here;) Matthew 12:42; but hath had the advantage also of such education that none ever had as God. “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” Colossians 2:3. ”Thou knowest all things,” John 21:17.
Kings are sometimes chosen or appointed, as Solomon was by David his father, 1 Kings 1:30, or as Alexander by Philip his father; or else by the people, as was David, and many others, 2 Samuel 5. Jesus Christ was chosen to be King by God the Father, as it is said, “I have exalted one chosen out of the people,” Psalms 89:19. And though the fathers or elders amongst the Jews refused him, yet the children gave their vote for him, crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” Matthew 21:15.
Kings are anointed as well as chosen. Samuel anointed Saul. It was a divine ceremony, much in use at the consecrating of Kings in the kingdom of Israel. Of Christ it was said “anointed ... with the oil of gladness above thy fellows,” Psalms 45:7. He was by the Holy Spirit consecrated King for ever. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me,” Isaiah 61:1.
Kings are proclaimed at their installment. “And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king,” 1 Samuel 10:24. Jesus Christ was likewise proclaimed; first, by the angels, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord,” Luke 2:11. Afterwards by the wise men, at Jerusalem; and at Herod’s court, by a star, and by the shepherds at Bethlehem.
A King, after he is anointed and proclaimed, enters upon his government. This did Jesus Christ in three eminent cases: 1. In speaking comfortably to all his loyal subjects, as you may see in Matthew 5, at large. 2. In giving laws, and expounding difficulties, as you may see in Matthew 6, at large. 3. In bestowing his bounty upon the poor, releasing prisoners that were bound, and in appointing an hospital for the sick.
Kings have a palace by right belonging to them, whether they are in immediate possession or not. Jesus Christ hath a right to the highest palaces in this world, as he was heir to the universal emperor, by whom he was at last advanced to the great palace of the highest heavens, called the holy palace.
Kings have great attendants belonging to their courts, though they be not visible in all parts of their dominions. Jesus Christ, our great King, had the attendance of angels, who showed their allegiance, and paid their homage and service at sundry times, as there appeared occasion for them. 1. They proclaimed him. 2. They attended his Person, to assist him in his straits. 3. They assisted his other servants. 4. They declared his resurrection from the dead. 5. They assured his coming in glory after his ascension. 6. They are appointed to bear him company, and to attend him at his coming from heaven the second time. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,” Matthew 25:31.
Kings are invested with power; they have sometimes some of them less at the first entrance upon their kingdom, than afterwards; as David’s was, who had but two tribes at his entrance. Jesus Christ is invested with power, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” Matthew 28:18, though at the first entrance upon his kingdom, in the days of his flesh, his power did not appear so resplendent and glorious, as it will hereafter.
Kings have many subjects, who subscribe to their power. Jesus Christ hath many subjects assigned him by God, which subscribe to his power: some voluntarily, as the angels; others by force, as the devils; and by virtue of his commanding power, as the winds and sea, which obeyed him.
Kings have laws and rules to govern by. Jesus Christ received commandment from the Father, from which he would never swerve; and also published and established laws, to be observed as rules of government to the end of the world, Matthew 28:18-20.
Kings, though they rule well, are not loved and honoured by all, are often troubled with rebels, and sons of Belial. Jesus Christ rules and governs so well, that his worst enemies could not, cannot charge him with evil; yet they did not, do not love and honour him; but the sons of wickedness rose up, and still do rise up in rebellion against him: “I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham,” John 8:40,49.
Great Kings have large dominions, as Nebuchadnezzar, the golden head, who was over an hundred and twenty seven provinces. Jesus Christ hath great and large dominions, all power in heaven, earth, and hell. He is the Head of all principalities and powers in heaven, he is the Head of every man on earth, and hath the command of all the infernal spirits in hell, Ephesians 1:21, Colossians 1:18-19, Revelation 1:18.
Kings have a prerogative in their own dominions, to make peace and war when they please. Jesus Christ hath this great and high prerogative, to make peace, or to proclaim peace to all the sons of men upon submission; and to send a sword, where his just prerogative is resisted, “And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there,” Luke 10:5-6. “I came not to send peace, but a sword,” Matthew 10:34.
Kings have a crown to wear, a sceptre to wield, and a throne to sit upon. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour,” Hebrews 2:9. “A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom,” Hebrews 1:8. “Even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne,” Revelation 3:21.
Kings have the privilege of a grand council, to advise with in matters of importance. Jesus Christ hath the Father and Holy Spirit, without whose council he acteth nothing, either in the affairs of heaven, earth, or hell. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one,” 1 John 5:7. Of this council offenders are in danger, and to this council grand criminals are delivered up for punishment.
Kings have the privilege and high prerogative of sending ambassadors, to treat with states and kingdoms about affairs of public good. Jesus Christ hath the peculiar prerogative to send ambassadors. He sent the twelve apostles to the world, who said, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,” 2 Corinthians 5:20. And he sent his angel to the churches, to treat with them about their present and eternal welfare: “I Jesus have sent mine angel,” Revelation 22:16.
Kings have courts of judicature, both high and inferior, for the punishment of offenders, according to their rank and degree. Jesus Christ hath a high court of judicature in heaven, where he judgeth emperors and Kings, that are out of the power and reach of a human hand; from whence he sends angels, who are higher than they, to punish them for pride and oppression; as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar, who was by the holy ones cast from his throne, Daniel 4:23-28, and Herod, who was smitten by an angel for his pride, Acts 12:23, and a lower court, where his Church, for him, and in his name, judgeth delinquents of a low rank.
Kings have many and great prerogatives, rights, privileges, and excellencies pertaining to them; as to receive petitions, and pardon offenders; to confer honour, and give commissions; to have tribute paid, and keep and exchequer; to shut out and scatter wicked persons, and thereby become a terror to them that do evil, and a praise to them that do well, Romans 13. Jesus Christ hath many greater prerogatives, rights, privileges, and excellencies pertaining to him. 1. He receives petitions: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” Acts 7:59. 2. He pardons offenders: “the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins,” Matthew 9:6. 3. He confers honour: “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, putting me into the ministry,” 1 Timothy 1:12. 4. He gives commissions: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,” Matthew 28:19. 5. He receives tribute: the honourable women ministered unto him not without reason, for he was Lord of all. 6. He keeps an exchequer, called the “ unsearchable riches of Christ,” Ephesians 3:8. 7. He shuts evil persons out of the Church, as he served Judas, and will shith them out of the New Jerusalem at the last day. He scatters wickedness by his laws and doctrine of holiness. He takes care of his subjects, and smites those that persecute his Church. He is a praise to all them that do well, and much more will be, when he advanceth his saints to be rulers over many cities, and sets them upon thrones; and he pronounces the sentence, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,” Matthew 25:21.
KING DISPARITY
The Kings of the earth do not create their subjects. Jesus Christ, the King of kings, created his subjects, both angels and men: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him,” Colossians 1:16.
The Kings of the earth are naturally weak, and many ways defective in point of qualification. Jesus Christ is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” Colossians 2:3.
The Kings of the earth are ordinarily made and instituted by men. Christ is a King made and set up immediately by God himself, who hath made him higher than the kings of the earth, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion,” Psalms 2:6. “I have exalted one chosen out of the people,” Psalms 89:19.
The Kings of the earth have their political power, strength, and maintenance from their people. Christ’s riches and strength are of and from himself. He that has the power of the God-head dwelling bodily in him, needs not strength or maintenance from others.
Kings have their power limited and confined to a certain part of the earth. Jesus Christ is Lord of all, hath all power in heaven and earth committed to him. He hath an unlimited power. Angels and principalities are subject to him; he is set up over all the works of God’s hands.
The Kings of the earth may be over-reached in their politics, as Solomon was by women. Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God, and could not be circumvented by great Beelzebub, who is the most subtle politician; all his mysterious stratagems were to him, but as the cords of tow to Samson, in the mightiness of his divine strength. This great captivity Jesus led captive; “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it,” Colossians 2:15.
The Kings of the earth may alter from better to worse, and turn tyrants, as too many have formerly done. But Jesus Christ being naturally and essentially good, abides immutable so, is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” Hebrews 13:8.
The Kings of the earth may be tossed from their thrones, and have their kingdoms taken from them by an invincible force, which they cannot withstand; as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar, and many others, Daniel 4:31-32. But Jesus Christ is for ever set down at the right hand of God, upon the throne of his excellency, and there will continue till the end of time, till all his enemies shall be made his footstool. He will overthrow the dragon with all his infernal force, so that “neither was their place found any more in heaven,” Revelation 12:8, and in a short time will swallow up death in victory: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” 1 Corinthians 15:26.
The Kings of the earth are mortal, and must die: Psalms 82:6-7. But Jesus Christ being raised from the dead by the glory of his Father, dies no more, “death hath no more dominion over him,” Romans 6:9. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death,” Revelation 1:18. “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom,”  Hebrews 1:8.
The Kings of the earth, even the greatest and highest amongst them, are but the sons of earth, earthly very low and meanly descended, in comparison of Christ. Jesus Christ is highly descended, the immediate offspring of God, greater in point of pedigree that all the sons of nobles, called in scripture the “man of thy right hand”, Psalms 80:17. “Thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” Philippians 2:6. “The second man is the Lord from heaven,” 1 Corinthians 15:47. Therefore truly called the Lord of glory: “For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory,” 1 Corinthians 2:8.
The best and greatest honours and favours the Kings of the earth can confer on men, are temporal and fading. But Jesus Christ, the King of heaven, can confer honours, and enrich with such favors, as are everlasting: “Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness,” Proverbs 8:18. He hath promised “a crown of glory that fadeth not away,” 1 Peter 5:4.
The kings of the earth, in their execution of wrath, and taking revenge, can but hurt and kill the bodies of their enemies; the soul is out of their reach. But the Lord Jesus can destroy both the bodies and souls of men, whether Kings, or mighty ones of the earth, that are his enemies; and make them say “to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,” Revelation 6:16, who can cast the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, with all their adherents, into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.

INFERENCES

  • From hence we may plainly see the clear and undoubted right which the Lord Jesus Christ hath to all the works of God’s hands. 1. By his great descent, he is the natural Son of God: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” John 1:1, Philippians 2:6. 2. He is qualified. 3. He is chosen. 4. Anointed. 5. Proclaimed. All which may challenge a right to a regal power.
  • From hence we infer the undoubted duty of all, (both angels and men) to obey him. Emperors, kings, princes, nobles, and all the judges of the earth, owe homage and service to him, therefore commanded to “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little,” Psalms 2:12.
  • From hence we infer the good and happy state of all his friends; he both can and will do great things for them, gives great things unto them, saves them from sin, death, and the devil: he will invest them a kingdom, a crown, a throne, and unspeakable glory: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him,” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
  • Moreover, from hence we may infer, what the sad and miserable state of his enemies will be without repentance, and the necessity of their submission to him, even emperors, Kings, princes, nobles, captains, armies, freeman, bondmen, even all both small and great. He hath power to punish all treasons, rebellions, affronts, misdemeanors, and indignities, whatsoever. All that will not hear and obey him, shall be destroyed. “Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure,” Psalms 2:5. His enemies shall be “clothed with shame,” Psalms 109:29. All they that hate him shall be confounded.” They shall be like the dust, how great soever.” “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,” Revelation 6:16.
  • From hence we are taught to observe, that it is our duty,
    • To adore, reverence, and honour him.
    • To obey and keep his law.
    • To trust in him only for defense and protection.
    • To pray, that he would take to him his great power, and reign, O blessed Son of David, King of the Jews, King of Israel, Lord of the Gentiles, Governor of nations, and King of kings, “ Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” Matthew 6:10.
  • From hence we infer the happy state that the whole universe shall be in, in God’s appointed time, when this good, great, and mighty Potentate shall take to him his great power, and obtain a full possession of all his right. When the heavens shall reign down righteousness, and out of the earth shall spring forth joy, Isaiah 61:11. The mountains shall drop new wines, and the hills shall flow with milk. The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun as the light of seven days. The heavens shall rejoice over us, and drop fatness; the weary shall be at rest, and break forth into singing. A jubilee shall be proclaimed, and persecution no more heard. Judgment shall run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream. Every man shall sit under his own vine, and under his own fig-tree, and none make him afraid. Peace to all the ends of the earth. Swords beaten into plough shares, and spears into pruning hooks; no nation lifting a sword against its neighbor, no levying war any more. No more earthquakes, nor famine, but a fruitful and peaceable earth. The poor man shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed: and the wine thereof, make gardens, and eat the fruit thereof. Come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy, where this King shall sit, and appear in his glory. Israel shall rejoice, and Judah shall be glad. It shall fare well with the whole creation; for the ox and the ass, that ear the ground, shall eat clean provender, winnowed with fan and shovel. The effect of his kingdom shall be peace. For the righteous shall flourish, and have abundance of peace, and the fruit of it righteousness and assurance forever: for not only the people shall be all righteous, but “upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD,” Zechariah 14:20. And the ransomed shall come to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; and all sorrow, heaviness, and sighing, shall fly away: for as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden flourisheth with things that are sown in it; so shall the Lord God make righteousness and praise spring forth before all the nations. Blessed be God.

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Benjamin Keech

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:6

A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.