The One Called Faithful and True

Revelation 19:11-21

As soon as sin entered world, immediately obvious something was wrong. First response: to hide… from one another under covering of leaves, then from God… under cover of more leaves. Quickly followed by cover of blame: hiding behind wrongdoing of another – the woman, the serpent. And attempted / implied blame of God. Adam and Eve not only knew something was wrong, they knew what was wrong. Satan was right – disobedience gave them instant knowledge of evil.

No surprise, wrongness continued, still persists today… by God’s design and decree. Presence of sin not surprise to God, was element of his original plan. How would propagate from one generation to next… part of plan also. Hence Adam and Eve, made in image of God (Gen. 1:27), would give rise to son in his own likeness (Gen. 5:1). Raises problem – ones fallen in sin giving rise to others in own likeness can never produce one to solve their sin problem. Thus the need for God’s gracious promise of son, not simply made in image of God but one who is “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15).

Here in text, the One called Faithful and True is final fulfillment of promise made to first parents in Gen. 3:15 – Promised One come to bring last chapter of this age to close. In order to do that, all broken in Garden must be… not mended… but made new. Process has already begun – those who have died in Christ: freed from sins, souls made perfect in righteousness, awaiting newly made bodies. Those who have died in their sins: removed from this earth, never trouble again, awaiting final consignment to lake of fire.

Is a perspective on final act in our text – One called Faithful and True returns to make war on enemies, judge all mankind in righteousness. Not Supreme Court but Supreme Judge of universe will come, declare final judgment – declaring his people holy and spotless, all his enemies as wicked and condemned.

Like to think: God is love, does what is good for us, gives warm fuzzies; poor Jesus, he has to be bad guy, do God’s dirty work in cleaning up evil. Not at all. Jesus appears here as Divine Warrior, God executing justice on all his creation. He judges, makes war, has a name, a sharp sword, and the victory.

A. he judges

in righteousness – knew it was coming: Acts 17:30-31The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

day has come, Man has come, is only One who has necessary righteousness of his own, is worthy to judge rightly

unlike human judges, this one has absolutely pure motives: to bring about just conclusion that glorifies God in way that glorifies

will bring about perfect justice for all without injustice for any – every evildoer receive just penalty, every victim of injustice will receive just reward

remember last week: “It’s not enough to say that at the end of the world, he will judge the living and the dead. What would be the purpose of all of that if the heartaches, sorrows and agony have already been inflicted in this world?” Mr Duterte said.

here is more of the answer: better we understand God and his righteousness, fewer questions we will have about temporal injustice – the Judge of the whole earth will do what is right (Gen. 18:25)

eyes like a flame – knowledge

this Judge not dependent on the testimony of others to base decision – reliability / objectivity of witnesses not at issue

more important, not limited by finite knowledge and understanding like human witnesses – has perfect comprehensive knowledge of all things

Judge’s knowledge goes immeasurably far beyond even most perfect human knowledge – can see what we cannot, hearts

and… sees all things at once, as they are interrelated and influence one another – absolutely nothing escapes his sight

crowns – true authority

dragon wore crowns, Beast had crowns on his horns along with blasphemous name – this one has many crowns along with name no one knew

this Judge is the King, riding out from his heavenly palace to exercise rightful authority over his creation, already having won victory… at the Cross

told disciples: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” – wasnt’ kidding, wasn’t exaggerating, and… his judgment is final

B. he has a name

unlike Beast full of blasphemous names – names / descriptions / privileges belonging to God falsely assumed by the Beast

Phil. 2:9-11Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

every name that Christ wears is rightly his without question – worthy to wear because of who he is, what has achieved

Faithful and True (11)

has been faithful and true witness (Rev. 1:5), now faithful and true Judge – can be trusted in all things without reservation

seems every day trust is eroded – checking 20’s at gas station; need to fact-check statements of candidates for highest office

all that will come to end when Lord Jesus appears again – no more deception, no more falsehood, no more injustice

that no one knew except Himself (12)

back in letter to Pergamum, Rev. 2:17 – Lord Jesus promised “To him who overcomes …I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

like typical bride taking name of her husband, so Bride the church takes name of her Bridegroom Jesus

name is mystery to those not his, evidence of his supreme authority – no one has authority or power over this King

the Word of God (13)

makes perfect sense because this King also the Creator – Word, in beginning, by whom all things made, sustaining all things by powerful word

God himself, made flesh, tabernacled among us, given all authority, received up into glory, exalted to right hand of God

from there, place of perfect holy sovereign authority, returning to carry out God’s wrath on evildoers, God’s reward on his

King of kings and Lord of lords (16)

robe and thigh – not simply title he “put on” – does not only describe his position, also declares his person… who he is

is not only what he has done, the titles and position has been granted by his Father, it’s who he is: eternal Son of God, second person of Trinity, equal in power and glory with Father and Holy Spirit

rightly holds the title because in his person he is infinitely superior in every respect to all other kings and lords

C. he makes war

horse, not a donkey

Son of David, riding a donkey bringing salvation to his people; King of kings, riding a horse, brings final judgment to evildoers

yes, came first time humbly, even had donkey for baby carriage! but that was before his victory at Cross, then exaltation

rides in victory, not humiliation

was baby born in stable, was humble rabbi walking dusty roads of Palestine, was horribly disfigured sacrifice for sin

is now exalted king ruling his creation from place of honor and authority… one before whom disciple he loved “fell down at his feet as though dead”, thoroughly overwhelmed with his glory

will on that day John saw, one we see revealed in text, ride out from heaven to earth in majesty – his friends rejoice, his enemies prepare for battle

wearing what declares his infinite perfection and authority – names and garments belonging to God revealed to man

D. he has a sharp sword

only one identified as having a weapon

One on white horse followed by “armies in heaven” – perhaps heaven’s armies have weapons also, do not use them to wage war

“sharp two-edged sword” pictured already in Revelation 3x – introduction, letter to Pergamum; might have seen in images relating to Second Coming… warrior on horse with huge sword sticking out of mouth

not first time encounter in Bible – Heb. 4:12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

the one who could speak all things into existence out of nothing by his powerful word, then upholds all things by that same word, needs no sword to accomplish his purpose

“He Himself” 2x – emphatic

is victorious Lamb who rules with absolute authority, needing no backup, no reinforcements – are there as witnesses, not participants

is God himself in person of Son, the Lord Jesus who carries out God’s fierce and righteous wrath on rebellious sinners

reinforced v.21 – his sword that saw action

just so no misunderstanding, beast and false prophet captured and thrown into lake of fire; the rest killed by Christ, not army

is necessary: only God can carry out perfect justice – is a privilege and responsibility God reserves for himself alone

E. he has the victory

beast, false prophet, and the rest

victory is full and final – no one missing from ranks of righteous: every last saint and holy angel present at Lamb’s victory

no unrighteous escapes judgment on reprobate, whether man or angel – all overcome by God’s Warrior… w/o exception

last week spoke (briefly) about wedding banquet for Bridegroom and his Bride – here a contrasting banquet for the birds

not a scene we relish, is one we should be thankful for – work of birds a necessary cleaning up to prepare for new heavens/earth

Not Christ in his humiliation, rather in his exaltation that we see here – glorious Savior and Redeemer completing his work of deliverance. Nothing left to chance, nothing delegated to other individuals or powers, from beginning to end our deliverance from sin and sinners depends entirely on Lord Jesus. Jesus has all necessary resources to achieve God’s perfect purpose, and he uses them to that end… for glory of God and good of his people.

Jesus’ majesty presently concealed from our view… temporarily. One day he will come without further announcement, bring this age to an end. As we anticipate that, only one right response: worship His Majesty!

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