Your word is a lamp
for my feet and a light
for my path.
Psalms 119:105


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King of Kings and Lord of Lords

The very center of God’s plan, which he invites us to cherish with him, is the greatest story ever lived—the life of Christ—the story of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords…

This story of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords carries our thoughts back, beyond the very beginning of earth’s experiences, before the time when the heavens were still being charted and the stars were forming, and even beyond that—back to the very beginning of beginnings, when God was all alone. This was the time when God began to plan his work of creation.

First, he would create an intelligent being, someone to arrange and supervise the outworking of his purposes. And so we read of this beginning of beginnings in John 1:1, 3: “In the beginning was the Word (Greek, Logos)…All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made”—for he was, as John further declares in Revelation 3:14, “the beginning of the creation of God.” He it was—this Logos, the Son of God—who was destined to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the divine plan of the ages. He it was who carried out every plan of his Maker through ages of creative work in the realms of heaven; and he it was who rejoiced with all the angelic hosts when the due time came in God’s plan to create Adam on the earthly plane.

The chart above is an outline of man’s journey through the past, the present, and the future. The first small complete pyramid could illustrate Adam as a perfect human being. But Adam sinned. And it was this same Logos who saw Adam commit the act of disobedience in the Garden of Eden—and saw Adam plunge the whole human family into the depths of sin and death. We illustrate this by the incomplete pyramid placed on the lower line.

Four thousand years of earth’s continuing history found man still trapped hopelessly in the way of sin and death—longing for a path of return to the favor of God. Finally, the time had come for this great Logos to carry out a further feature of God’s plan. He left his heavenly home to die on the cross in Adam’s place, as a “ransom for all” that man might live. John tells us: “the Word (Logos) was made flesh.” (John 1:14) This great change from a spirit being to a human being came at a time when the nation of Israel was under the Roman yoke. “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.” (Luke 2:1) In response to this decree, the people went into the larger cities to be assessed—among them a familiar couple, Joseph and Mary, en route to Bethlehem. Weary and worn, they arrived, only to find the city crowded to overflowing. Every place was taken. The only shelter they could find was in a stable. There “she brought forth her firstborn son, …and laid him in a manger.” In this lowly setting Messiah was born.

God’s memorable announcement of this event was made to but a handful of shepherds. “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord…Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Remember, it was the angels who sang and rejoiced. There was no other choir, there was no other singing. The world was in slumber. God did not waken them. He reserved this special announcement and heavenly singing for only a few lowly shepherds to hear. Why such secrecy? The people in general did not know. Yet the angels had said that the “good tidings of great joy…shall be to ALL people.” Sometime, someday, ALL would know that this was the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

Some time later, we find our Lord at the age of thirty beginning his ministry. And, being King and Lord, his ministry was concerned with a kingdom. He gathered twelve apostles and sent them forth with the same message he himself was preaching: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 10:7) A heavenly kingdom? This was indeed a mystery! Had not the Law taught them to center their hopes in a Kingdom on earth? And yet, here was their promised Messiah proclaiming that his domain included heaven as well as earth. The disciples were unable to think in terms of such greatness! Nonetheless, their hopes continued to rise. Still, a shadow of doubt lingered—for there were no visible signs of his kingdom in sight. Far from it! Jesus even remarked, “The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath no where to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20

Finally, five days before his crucifixion, things changed spectacularly. Jesus assumed regal authority. Riding into Jerusalem, he said: “Behold, thy King cometh unto thee.” To the joy of the disciples, as Jesus entered Jerusalem the multitudes responded with great enthusiasm—strewing palm branches before him, they shouted: “Hosanna to the son of David!” Surely this was the hour of exaltation! He began to exercise kingly power! He went to the temple and claimed it for his own! He acted as a King, he spoke as a King, he commanded as a King!

Meanwhile, opposition forces were plotting to crush our Lord. Brought before Pilate, Jesus seemed indifferent to the danger. He deliberately turned into the path of death. The people who before had heard him gladly, now clamored for his life. His disciples could not understand this turn of events, and soon they saw him led away to judgment. Their Lord was taken from them as a lamb to the slaughter.

Mistreated, mocked, crucified, nailed to the cross between two thieves, our Lord was a deserted and forsaken King! Finally, the fateful words: “It is finished” and his head bowed in death. There, by the grace of God, he gave his own precious life as a ransom for all. God’s law of justice is an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth—a perfect life for a perfect life. (Matthew 5:38; Deuteronomy 19:21) Adam had sinned. Jesus died to take his place that man might live.

But at our Lord’s death the disciples’ hope faded again. Three days of uncomforted mourning followed. On the third day, Mary was weeping at the sepulchre. Together with the other sad and disillusioned disciples, she was left to interpret events as best she could. What could they all conclude? Their Lord was gone. Their hope of a kingdom was buried with him. What a thrill of rejoicing came to her heart when she beheld her risen Lord! Her King was alive! His kingdom was still to be! Breathlessly, she hurried back to Jerusalem, reporting to the other disciples that the Lord was risen.

His days of weakness and humiliation were forever past. The Scriptures tell us plainly, “Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more.” (Romans 6:9) Not only was Jesus raised from the dead, but he arose in majesty and great glory! He was set down at the right hand of God, “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named.” Ephesians 1:21

We have traced how our Lord as the Logos, the Son of God, the beginning of all creation, left his heavenly home to be born at Bethlehem, suffered persecution, died for man’s sin, was raised in glory and power, and yet his kingdom was not put into operation. The question still remains, “When will he establish his promised kingdom and just what will that kingdom be like?”

What will that kingdom be like? This kingdom promises good tidings to ALL people. The angels of the Lord declared it to the shepherds. The prophet Haggai describes these good tidings as “the desire of all nations shall come.” The desire of ALL nations—the desire of ALL people—among other things, includes peace, health and life.

All people desire peace. God has promised that our Lord in the kingdom to come will establish peace. Our generation especially has had its bath in the blood of war. God says: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more…for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” Micah 4:3, 4

All people desire health. God has promised that through our Lord in the kingdom to come sickness shall be no more. Sickness, suffering, and death have plagued mankind since Adam was condemned. But in the world to come, God has promised, “the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.” “And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain…Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Isaiah 33:24; Revelation 21:4, 5

All people desire life. God has promised through our Lord in the kingdom to come life, and an end to death. This goes beyond the fondest dreams of man. God promises: “there shall be no more death.” (Revelation 21:4) And “all that are in the graves…shall come forth.” (John 5:28, 29) “He will swallow up death in victory; …for the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 25:8

We have described what the kingdom will be like. But when will the kingdom be put into operation? Our Lord died over 1900 years ago.

Almost all Christians believe in and expect a heavenly salvation, but many have overlooked that its very purpose is to bring earthly salvation to the remainder of humanity. The good tidings were to be to ALL people. In other words, this is exactly what the Lord taught: that there were to be two parts to his kingdom—the heavenly and the earthly. Before setting up his kingdom on earth to bless ALL people our Lord had to perform another part of God’s plan—to select a Bride to reign with him. This Bride class is composed of Christians called out from all nations and denominations—called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus—to suffer with him now, that they might rule with him later.

Jesus, in the 24th chapter of Matthew, quoting from the prophecy of Daniel, chapter 12, instructed his disciples concerning four outstanding events which would mark the end of this evil order and the establishment of his kingdom.

1. A time of trouble.

2. Many running to and fro

3. Knowledge increased

4. The return of Israel

All Bible students, as well as secular historians, agree that these signs are unmistakably fulfilled in our generation. To those who have faith, these four fulfilled signs give fresh courage. Thus we realize that we are now on the threshold of God’s promised kingdom.

This present evil order, having accomplished its purpose of teaching man the exceeding sinfulness of sin, will be set aside as our Lord begins to exercise his kingly power and might in establishing peace on earth and good will toward men. To the raging nations the Creator will declare: “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10) Then shall our Lord be recognized by all as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

This is the kingdom for which he taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” This kingdom will come. And spread from shore to shore, and from the rivers unto the ends of the earth. “Of the increase of his government (kingdom) and peace there shall be no end.” (Isaiah 9:7) And the part of this story we love best to tell is, you will be there, because this kingdom is for you—and not only for you. “Jesus tasted death for every man.” Everyone who ever lived will have an opportunity for a place and a part in it!

We know now what the angels meant when they sang those “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people.” They had in mind the King and his kingdom. Although men did not sing with the angels that wonderful night of his birth, it does not mean they never shall. No, in the kingdom we see ALL people—ALL nations—and as we listen, we hear them sing as the voice of many people and as the voice of many waters saying, “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice.” Revelation 19:6, 7

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