In this series of articles we are examining the Biblical attributes of God. We are trying to set aside the popular cultural image of God and to develop a true and complete understanding of God as described in the Bible. We want to know Him, understand Him and make Him known.
Popular christianity paints a picture of a character that is at our beckon call, to address any concerns we have related to our circumstances, comfort and desires. We “receive” Christ, and then most put him in the trunk of the car, some put him in the passenger seat, but few put him in the driver’s seat. The issue is, we must understand that God is KING and LORD, and true saving faith is making Him KING and LORD of our lives. This means that we hand the car over to Him and let Him drive. We go where he drives. We follow Him, we do not take Him along with us. This concept is lost in most of the modern church. God is a tool we use to have a comfortable life and to reach our career, family, and personal goals. We can all have our Best Life Now, as one preacher teaches. The problem is that this is not the God of the Bible.
To understand God as KING and LORD, we need to study the picture of Him at His second coming. Please carefully and prayerfully read and study Revelation 19:11-21:
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”
19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
These verses present a picture of the Son of God that is rarely preached in churches any more. Yes, at His first coming He was a humble teacher, riding on a donkey, and yes He did come to save us from our sins, but the image at His second coming is a very different picture. Now would be a great time to make sure that you fully know Him, understand Him, and place your life under His LORDship and KINGship.
Notice that at His return, He is not on a donkey but on a horse, and it is a horse of war. Verse 11 tells us that the purpose of His second coming is that He comes to Judge and Make War. He returns as a Warrior and a Conquering King. The sky will split open, He will bolt through the tear on a mighty white horse, and the time of judgment, wrath, and slaughter will begin. You might be thinking now, “that is NOT the God I believe in”, but unfortunately it is the God of the Bible. He has been compassionate and merciful to hold back His wrath in the hopes that men will come to repentance and be saved, but there is a limit to that patience, and the day will come and is soon coming that He will no longer hold back His righteous judgments. Now is the time to come to terms with this returning King, but the terms are His terms. He expects total surrender of our lives to Him. We are to believe in the name of His son, Jesus Christ, and we are to obey and follow Him. Our life is no longer our life, it is His life. We are forgiven by repenting of our sins, believing on the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God, and if our belief is real, our lives will be changed. We will begin to love the things He loves, and hate the things He hates, and through His Holy Spirit our lives will begin to be conformed to His will and His image. But we must decide now to Believe in Him and to Follow Him.
Notice that in verse 13 we learn that He returns in a robe dipped in blood. I have heard countless times preachers teach that the blood is the blood of His sacrifice and is a reminder of His love, forgiveness and sacrifice on the cross. However, if we study our Bibles, we are actually told where the blood on His garments comes from. It is not His blood, it is the blood of His enemies, who He is slaughtering. The mystery of the blood stained garments is explained in Isaiah 63:1-6:
Who is this who comes from Edom,
With dyed garments from Bozrah,
This One who is glorious in His apparel,
Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—
“I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
2 Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone,
And from the peoples no one was with Me.
For I have trodden them in My anger,
And trampled them in My fury;
Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments,
And I have stained all My robes.
4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart,
And the year of My redeemed has come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help,
And I wondered
That there was no one to uphold;
Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me;
And My own fury, it sustained Me.
6 I have trodden down the peoples in My anger,
Made them drunk in My fury,
And brought down their strength to the earth.”
Verse 1 clearly identifies the subject of the text is Christ, who is the only one who speaks in righteousness and is mighty to save. So we know that the character referred to in these verses in Christ. Since the events in the verses did not happen at His first coming, we know that it must refer to His second coming. In verse three we see that He has trodden the winepress of His anger, that He has trampled His enemies, and the red on His garments is the blood of His enemies, whom He is destroying. This is not the popular image of Christ, it is not the Christ of facebook theology or popular Christian music and t-shirts, but it IS the Christ that is returning to Judge and Make war.
Now back to Revelation 9, we see in verse 15 that He is successful in militarily conquering the earth, and establishing Himself as King. When He returns, He does not wave a magic wand and make Himself King . . . He conquers the earth by waging war on His enemies on the earth. Then note in verse 15 after conquering the earth, He rules and reigns as King. Even after conquering the earth, it appears that there are still those who resist His Kingship, so He must at least initially “rule with an iron rod”.
We see that He establishes Himself as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, and at that point He executes a great slaughter on the earth of His enemies.
Friends, we need to make sure we are on the right side of this thing. Christ is returning, and many who believe they are right with Him are not. On that day, many will say Lord, Lord, and he will tell them “away from me, you practicers of lawlessness, I never knew you”.
We are taught throughout scripture that getting right with God is a matter of believing the Gospel. Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He came to the earth to live the perfect life we could not live, and then offered His life as a sacrifice to purchase our forgiveness. The punishment that we deserved was put on Him, and by His wounds we were healed. Believe that after being crucified, He arose on the third day, demonstrating His power over satan, death, and the grave. Eternal life is a free gift, and is all about who He is and what He did. The gift we are offered is not deserved and is not earned.
If we believe, He will be faithful to complete the good work He has started in us. Over time, we will more and more reflect His attributes. Our fleshly self will begin to melt away, and more and more of His light will shine through us. Obedience is not the cause of our salvation, it will be the fruit of our salvation.