Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:31

His Name Is Lord

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In these weeks before Christmas Sunday we are looking at the four main names and titles given to the Saviour of sinners proclaimed to us in the Bible.   We have thought so far of two of His names. The Saviour’s God-given personal name is Jesus, which means Saviour. The God-given official name or title of the Saviour is Christ, meaning the anointed One, the Messiah. What a Saviour the Christian gospel message proclaims just thinking of these two names so far. Today we think yet of another name or title of the Saviour and that is the fact that He is called Lord too.  How often you will find the three names together, “Jesus Christ the Lord”, or our “Lord Jesus Christ.”  What endless good news for us just in these three names of the Saviour, and next week, God willing, we will consider yet a fourth name!  

Thinking now of the glorious title, Lord, let me point you to a text in the last book of the New Testament, Revelation 19:16.  There we are told about the exalted returning Christ, “And he hath on his vesture [robe] and on his thigh a name written, KING of KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” It is clearly and doubly displayed in other words, this title of the triumphant Saviour. And when you look at this verse in its context, it is very plain how the whole chapter is truly of such relevance in connection with Jesus’ title, Lord.  One commentary, in fact, states concerning this chapter, John leaves us in no doubt as to who is supreme Lord. Isn’t this something most wholesome to consider? We will go through our text passage now then with this focus in mind, the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

We are learning today that Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners, is not simply “our candidate Jesus Christ” among many other possible lords and masters out there. Neither is He not just “our favourite Jesus Christ” among other saviours to be found in this world. He is not our maybe potential hopeful helper who has a good chance of being our champion leader possibly eventually down the road, perhaps the winner one day. No, no! But He is, as Scripture teaches us over and over, what God’s people may know and confess in spirit and truth, “our Lord Jesus Christ.” In other words, we can’t even mention these three names together without thereby acknowledging Jesus’ supremacy and sovereignty and absolute royal power over all as Saviour of sinners.  The Saviour is the Lord Jesus, Christ Jesus the Lord! In other words, Jesus is the Saviour with almighty supreme power and glory and honor whether people will confess it or not, something His added name and title, Lord, so confirms for us.

What an encouragement this may give all Christians and what a warning for all unbelievers to seek the Lord while He may be found and to call upon while He is near.  From our text, Revelation 19:16, under the theme, Jesus is Lord, notice with me:

1. the evidence for His Lordship

 2. the earnestness of His Lordship

 3. the excellence of His Lordship

First of all, what is the evidence of Jesus as Lord, indeed, as the Lord over all, Lord God above all? Here we need to think of Revelation 19 in its context.  The book of Revelation is all about the unveiling of Jesus Christ the Lord, and all He is, and all He does for His Church in all ages, even unto the end of the world and into endless eternity.  In the opening verses of the book of Revelation, Jesus is described in chapter 1:5 and following as “Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince [ruler] of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  In vs.8 of this chapter we read this same Jesus Christ the Lord stating, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Doesn’t that tell us this book of Revelation is all about the ruling, reigning, exalted, supreme Christ Jesus, and Who He is and promises to be for His people, and what He all will do for all those who trust and follow Him?

Yes, dear friends, this is what that last book of the Bible is altogether proclaiming and making most clear, namely, that unto Jesus Christ, the victorious exalted Lamb of God, belongs the kingdom, and the power, and the glory now and forever! Even when it doesn’t seem like that at present, [also not in John’s day - think of him banished on the isle of Patmos, persecuted for the faith] still the Saviour, Jesus of Nazareth, reigns and rules at God’s right hand, from the throne room in the highest heaven!  As long foretold, even hundreds of years before Jesus’ coming to this earth in Isaiah 9:6ff “….the government shall be upon his shoulder: … [and] of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

Coming to Revelation 19 itself now, we are brought to the foretelling of the end of the age, the last days of this world. In chapter 18 we are told of the final falling and defeat of Babylon, meaning the end of this evil world and the apostate church which end is coming for sure. Chapter 19 foretells something of the triumphant celebration of God’s kingdom through Jesus Christ over against all the kingdoms of this world and the certain defeat and destruction of the leading demonic powers on earth. Jesus is Lord in this sense that He is the Saviour God triumphant over all! So we also read in vs.6 the encouraging gospel statement most loudly and majestically proclaimed about Jesus Christ the Lord, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”  In other words, you see, Jesus is Lord over all!  The smoke of the enemy kingdoms as represented with the fall of Babylon, “her smoke rose up forever and ever” we are told in vs.3.  “Alleluia! Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power unto the Lord our God” is the blessed testimony of Revelation 19, starting already with vs.1!

The reality is then according to the Bible, and for confessing believers this is such a praise item, Jesus Christ is Lord! Being Lord is attached to Him being Jesus Christ, and the phrase “our Lord Jesus Christ” is so precious for God’s people if we only think of the meaning of this all.  Is Jesus being named also ‘Lord”  a matter of praise for you?  Do we think enough how praiseworthy a matter this is, that Jesus of Nazareth of the seed of David reigns now and forever as King of kings and Lord of lords?  Imagine if it were not so! What hope would there be then?  But since Christ Jesus is on the throne above all, what need to fear now ever? For shall the Lord Jesus Christ not rule in a most wonderful, right, loving, caring, fulfilling way? Oh, praise God also now in this 21st century still and till the end of the world the God of the Bible reigns, and to Jesus is given all power in heaven and on earth for His gracious, glorious, grand gospel purposes! As Revelation 19:5 exhorts when thinking of this, “Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.”

What clear evidence this chapter gives too that the Lord Jesus has purchased a people and saved them from their sins through His precious blood. How does that come out? It comes out in the two references to the Lord Jesus as the Lamb in vs.7 and again in vs.9. Jesus is the Lamb of God Who through His once for all sacrifice, with the shedding of His blood redeems and saves sinners, as many as trust and follow Him. The Saviour owns a people as His prized possession, even speaking of His own as His “body” and His “bride”. The apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1:18&19 speaks of how God’s people are “not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”   Behold the Lamb on the throne, Jesus Christ the Lord! And what a great innumerable multitude of people He redeems through His blood! In vs.1 of this chapter the number of the redeemed are referred to as “much people” and in vs.6 as “a great multitude”, yes, from every tribe and tongue and nation, saved through the once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners!

The text speaks also of the “fine linen, clean and white” which the redeemed may wear in heaven and we know from chapter 7 how those fine clothes are given to God’s redeemed. In Revelation 7:13b we read this question about the redeemed in heaven. “What [who] are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?” And vs.14-17 goes on to say, “I [John] said unto him, “Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, ‘These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them [literally shepherd them], and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”

You see how precious this is?  Jesus is Lord reigning over all, and He has a people that are His people, purchased through His precious blood.  And they serve Him and worship Him, and acknowledge Him as Lord of lords and King of kings. With Jesus Christ being also Lord, we see He provides for His people and is the Protector of His people.  In chapter 19 reference is made to the great marriage supper of the Lamb telling of the endless blessed rich provision Jesus Christ has obtained for His people. Jesus Christ the Lord is the most wonderful glorious Lord and Master for His people! We see in our text passage the exalted Saviour in action and ‘on the move’ as Lord for the protection and keeping of His people! Revelation 19 brings out Jesus on the white horse with His word and His supreme power not only saving the redeemed, but bringing to judgment and defeat all that will resist and oppose Him. In the second half of the chapter you see the Lord act in swift and irrevocable judgment upon all the wicked and unbelieving.

There is much that can be said about all the details of the chapter, but I just want to bring out the summary point of it all which is this.  How Jesus reigns supreme in provision and defense of His people and in fulfillment of all His promises for His people, and bringing total defeat and everlasting punishment upon all who will not bow the knee to Him, and against Satan and all his forces. In the next chapter, Revelation 20, vs.10 tells of Satan himself being finally and eternally brought down too, never to disturb God’s people and kingdom again.  We read there, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”  This is the word of the Lord, or as Revelation 19:9 also states emphatically, “These are the true sayings of God.”  Oh, through Jesus Christ the Lord, dear friends, you and I may be and can be and will be delivered not only from all our sins and sinfulness, but also from all the power of the devil.  Our God reigns! Jesus is LORD. “…Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” as we read in vs.6 again, remember?  Jesus is the Lord on the white horse of victory, and He is the Saviour with “many crowns” on His head as the text says in vs.12.

Can there be a greater blessing than being the property, the possession of Jesus Christ, and having Him as your Saviour and Lord to Whom we owe our all in all? Do you confess Christ Jesus as your only Saviour, and the Lord your Lord?  The purpose here is not only that you and I know and confess Jesus Christ as Lord, as has been explained, but that we do so as expressed also in Revelation 19, full of jubilant praise and adoration for Jesus as Lord!

It is worthy of note that Revelation 19, which so shows Jesus’ Lordship over all, is the one chapter in all the New Testament where the word ‘Alleluia’ is found. The word ‘Alleluia’ or ‘Hallelujah’ occurs only in this passage in all the New Testament and it appears 4 times in this chapter [vs.1,3,4,6].  Hallelujah means literally “Praise Yahweh!”  In the Old Testament, especially in the psalms, it is regularly translated as “Praise ye the LORD!” (Psalm 106, 111-113, 117, 135, 146-150)  Revelation 19, giving so much evidence about Jesus as LORD, teaches, as one put it, Salvation is more than personal deliverance. [In this chapter we learn also] it refers to the safeguarding of God’s entire redemptive program! In other words, Christ Jesus’ glory and power as Lord refers to the majesty and might revealed in effecting a deliverance of such [supreme, and endless] scope! So praise the LORD that Jesus is LORD!  I ask you, in Jesus’ Name, are you praising God that Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings? Is this revelation of Jesus as the LORD over all most encouraging in the faith to you who are confessing Christians?  Will not every true believer begin already here on this earth, truly and repeatedly, to praise God for this truth as so brought out here in our text chapter? May this so encourage and admonish all who are confessing believers in the LORD Jesus Christ!  Think here too of Paul’s words in Romans 6:23 where he declares emphatically under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

To see the urgency and importance of this matter I come now to our second main point, moving from the evidence of Jesus’ Lordship to the earnestness of Jesus as Lord.  That this is an earnest matter comes out how in our text chapter?  Well, you see with me, don’t you, from Revelation 19 how all who will not bow the knee to Jesus Christ the Lord, all who live apart from Him, and indifferent to Him, and in disobedience and rebellion before Him will surely be consumed by the wrath of the Lamb! There is no exception here, not for you either. Except you in this life repent of sin and trust and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, you are and remain unconverted and forever condemnable in God’s sight because of all your sins and sinfulness. Not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible teaches, also in this chapter, you will find Jesus the Lord not for you but against you in His holy just judgment.  Those who trample underfoot, as it were, the blood the Lamb come to be Saviour, will, in fact, be trampled underfoot under the righteous judgment of the Lamb. He Who rides on the white horse in final judgment against all the wicked and unbelieving knows everything about us, each and all. Not a sinful thought or word or deed from you or anyone is unknown to Him. All the multitude of our sins and foul transgressions in thought, word, and deed are before Him, and without being washed by Christ’s precious blood of atonement, without Him as your and my Saviour and Lord, we will perish in our sins!  All the unbelieving and wicked will be cast in the lake that burns with fire forever, even together with Satan and the beast and the false prophet as we are told in Revelation 19 and 20.

We live in a time when this teaching is not popular nor appreciated and seldom heard. People delude themselves thinking and believing it just won’t be so. But as Christ’s ambassador, I urge you, don’t fall for the lie of our age that Jesus would never do such a thing as cast people into hell. He will, even all who will not repent and believe on Him. You may think sin is not such a serious matter, and ongoing rebellion against the Lord not something so alarming, but it is, dear friends, it is! You can’t afford to live a single moment longer not trusting and obeying Jesus Christ now as your only Saviour and LORD. Revelation 19 shows Jesus on the march on His white horse and then without a battle even the next thing we read is about not only of the marriage supper of the lamb for God’s people, but then also of the awful judgment for all the wicked, everyone who refused to bow the knee in spirit and truth before Jesus Christ the Lord. This chapter in its details gives a dreadful picture of the final and eternal righteous judgment and punishment of all the wicked and unbelieving. It is not something to scoff at, how God’s word repeatedly foretells not only the eternal joy of the redeemed in heaven, but also of the endless agony of the unsaved in hell.

The point now is, it is a matter of earnestness that Jesus Christ is LORD over all. Will you who are still not saved by His grace and not following Him in repentance and faith hear yet the gracious loving call from Jesus the LORD even as it comes now to you from Revelation 19?  Today is the day of salvation. Do you hear Jesus’ gospel call, you who are not yet submitting to Him?  Let the fact of Jesus the Saviour’s Lordship draw you and drive you to Him while it is still the day of grace!  For how horrible to continue with self and Satan as your lord, What hopeless awful eternal punishment will be yours if you should so die and come before the last judgment. He that has an ear, let him hear.

Yes, let us listen to the gospel considering now the third point so clearly brought out in our text passage as well, namely, the excellence of Jesus’ lordship over us! Jesus as Lord is the infinitely best Master and Ruler you and I ever could have! Being saved by Him, as this chapter brings out, we become not only His children, but heirs together with Him of eternal life in heaven and welcome guests for always at the endless, splendid, lavish, joyful, unbelievably ever satisfying marriage supper of the Lamb! Jesus as Lord delivers His people from out the worst bondages and miseries to the best of the greatest privileges and blessings ever possible! Oh, to what dignity and lofty heights Jesus the Lord lifts His people! 

We know the great secret or reason for the excellence of Jesus’ Lordship of His people. It is all on account of the infinitely excelling Person and work of Christ Jesus, the Saviour of sinners. He on sinner’s behalf, for the salvation of His people, as Saviour Lord supreme, left the glory of heaven and became the Man of sorrows, despised and rejected of men. Jesus as ‘the just for the unjust’ experienced and went through suffering utmost indignity and shame, even to death on the cross, that sinners like us, you and me, through His poverty might be rich. And that we through His indignity faithfully suffered and endured might be offered free and full salvation and dignity most glorious for now and forevermore!  Think of what endless shame and punishment in body and soul we deserve for our sins and sinfulness.  And then think of what Jesus accomplished for us as Saviour of sinners, and how He did so in endless love and mercy towards people like us. Does it not cause you to bow the knee in humble and glad submission before Him and holy adoration for Him?

It is the Lord’s pleasure and delight, to give Himself and to rule and serve as God over all for the salvation of sinners. Jesus Christ the LORD saves and transforms sinners, turning us from unsaved to saved, from ‘hell bound’ to ‘heaven bound’, from rebels to saints, from condemned to justified, from defiled to washed whiter than snow, from forever doomed in judgment instead now to eternal guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb!  Oh, the excellence of Jesus’ Lordship can’t be surpassed, no, not in any way ever.  No, never!  Shouldn’t this be your and my exuberant, consistent, sincere gospel testimony as confessing Christians living in this world with so many following far lesser masters and evil self-serving lords of so many kinds? 

The book of Revelation is given by God to teach and assure His suffering and struggling people here below, that Christ Jesus, Whom they trust and in Whom is their refuge, as faithful and good-doing, all-wise, and almighty Saviour God is also Lord over all. This means that while life here on earth still may be and is full of trials and temptations and struggles and sorrows, yes, also very much as His people, and in His service, yet there is a new day coming, full of hope and glory. The LORD Jesus Christ promises an eternal rest so sweet and splendid that words cannot express it!  Will you have Revelation 19 showing Jesus as LORD over all be of great encouragement to you in the faith here and now? Should it not stir up God’s people in diligent faithfulness in God’s ways and zealous gospel witness to His praise? When you know the great Saviour also as your Lord, you want others to come to know Him too.  You want others to escape with you from following wrong and false masters to submit to and serve rather the LORD Jesus Christ Who is only most gracious and glorious and wonderful as Savior God and Lord in all His works and ways.

Jesus Christ is Lord.  This is something the whole Bible teaches us. Clearly Revelation 19 gives such evidence for this, and tells of the earnestness about this, and the excellence of His Lordship, and it proclaims what may be your and my expectation with this gospel truth.  Will you be both blessed and a blessing, keeping ever before you how Jesus Christ is KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS? Don’t let another Christmas season go by forgetting or ignoring this gospel teaching, will you? No, for soon enough it will be clear, as prophesied in Psalm 72 already and proven in Revelation as expressed in a song based on Psalm 72:

 

Christ shall have dominion over land and sea

Earth’s remotest regions, shall His empire be.

  Indeed, thus saith the LORD! Amen.

Hans Overduin, Radio Pastor                 

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