Jesus-Christ: The King of kings

A king is one who rules over a nation, a country, an empire, a kingdom where all governing laws fall under his authority. All kings, for that matter all chief governors, are all placed in power by Christ Jesus the supreme ruling king. No governing body has self-authority but it is always received from the heavenly throne. Is it not written in the book of Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar bowed before the sovereignty of the Lord upon hearing the interpretation of his second dream: “… I saw while lying in my bed, I looked, and there before me was a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven. He called in a loud voice: ‘… Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him. The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men’” (Daniel 4:13-17).

An earthly kingdom, which demands a ruling entity (king, queen, monarch, or emperor) over its living beings, usually comes into existence for the sole purpose of territorial, economical, political, and religious control. A kingdom is defined through established laws as being democratic, dictatorial, monarchial etc. Successors are not voted into power but inherit their kingship as a lifelong commitment unless overthrown.

Before any earthly kingdom came into existence, heaven was the only everlasting ruling throne that governed earth and its inhabitants. When man was created he was given unreserved “… dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26). Heaven did not transfer its governing power to man but rather shared it with him. As a result of his fall, man lost his God given governing power and his unconditional love for his neighbor which suscitated a divided earth: the just and the wicked. The latter found its origin through Cain. “The LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it’ Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him (Genesis 4: 6-8). Instead of repenting of his wicked deed he chose to flee “… away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden” (Genesis 4: 16).

Universal supremacy was sought from the very beginning of earth’s history as rebellion grew exceedingly in the heart of man. The Tower of Babel, being the very first historic event that testifies of man’s need to govern, was realized under the control of a leader (Genesis 11). A chapter earlier we are told the very first powerful ruler that quickly extended his territory was Nimrod. He possibly could have been the head engineer of the Tower of Babel. He ruled over “Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city” (Genesis 10:10-12).

It is in this manner the rebellious society was birthed. A society God repeatedly warned Israel to flee from because of their idolatrous lifestyle which bloomed out of their harden hearts. When man rejects the laws of His creator he will seek to, independently of God, govern himself according to his selfish tendencies as they are revealed in his forceful and domineering laws. In the early 20th century, Hitler unsuccessfully attempted to rule the universe. Currently, a One-World movement is seeking to replicate the once barbaric empire of Babylon. Was it not announced in the book of Revelation that unifying powers would eventually seek to command the earth in its totality? “And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty” (Revelation 16:13-14).

In modern times, man has been, loosely and deliberately, abusing the term king for self gratification. Some have applied it to their businesses “Burger King”; others have used it to rank themselves as music idols “King of Pop”, “King of Rock”, ‘King of Soul’ etc. As a fictitious legendary icon, “King Kong” landed its inventor, Merian C. Cooper, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Television series have branded it to the title of their prime time shows: Sky King, Kings, King of the Hill, the King of Queens, and King of the Nerds. Let’s not forget the sports’ teams Los Angeles Kings and The Sacramento Kings which, by their names, state their desire to dominate any opposing team. It is impossible to oversee the most widely published and bought English version of the Bible which bears the name ‘King James’.

It may be disputed that no ruler ship is granted the prince of this world; however, to that assumption, we shall apply both Christ's explication to the Pharisees concerning His authority over demons and the proposal of the devil as he took the incarnate Creator to a very high mountain and told him “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours” (Luke 4:6-7). “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” (Matthew 12:25-26).

The devil and his angels were the first ones to reject the kingship of Christ. Once on earth Satan successfully extended his kingdom by offering man the opportunity to reject the compassionate Creator when he tempted him in the Garden; from that day on he quickly influenced the majority of earth’s population to seek satisfaction, pleasure, self-will by revolting against the Lord’s unabridged Law and even provides them with an amoral book under the title “Do What Thou Wilt”. Every man living under the sun is unequivocally under the ruler ship of either God or Satan. One may say: ‘I never pledged to one or the other’; such indecisive disposition, by default, associates the irresolute individual with the devil’s kingdom.

Why was the first Jewish king appointed? Was it a sign of rebellion? Was it an extension of Satan’s kingdom? Did he govern according to the laws of God? Did God have it in His agenda for man to be ruled by his fellow brother? Not too long after their deliverance from Egypt, the chosen people of God desired to be ruled by earthly kings under the same condition as the idolatrous nations. Israel’s first human king was established following his rejection of the heavenly King:

“… all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, ‘Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.’ But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them’” (1 Samuel 8:4-7).

This rejection quickly spread as wild fire throughout Israel's generations up until today’s generation of churchgoers. Such political integration dissipates the dividing frontier which ought to separate the church from the state. Many church members are still under the impression that they can belong simultaneously to the world’s and God’s kingdom.

•    King Herod inquires of Christ, the newborn King

“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet, ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a Ruler, Who will shepherd My people Israel’” (Matthew 2:2,4-6).

•    At the ascension, Psalm 24 describes the reception given Jesus through the heavenly gates as the King of Glory

Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory (Psalm 24:7-10).

•    The Lamb’s victory over all kings

The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose and they give their power and authority to the beast. These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful” (Revelation 17:9-14).

•    Revelation 19:16 presents Christ Jesus as ‘KING of kings’

“…from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ ”

•    No one besides Christ shall rule over Jerusalem

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King” (Matthew 5:33-35).

•    The Son of David receives homage as a King

“Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away. This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’” (Matthew 21:2-9).

•    The King would be overlooked by some and cared for by others

“… the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' “Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:34-46).

•   The Jewish KING is worshiped as a baby

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him’” (Matthew 2:1-2).

•    During his cross-examination session, Pilate questioned the Savior about His identity as KING of the Jews

“At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. If you are the Christ, they said, tell us. Jesus answered, If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God. They all asked, Are you then the Son of God? He replied, You are right in saying I am. Then they said, Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips. Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king. So Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied” (Luke 22:66 - 23:3).

•     Even at the cross, the kingship of the Lord does not go unnoticed

“They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE Jews” (Matthew 27:33-37).

•     Paul exalts Him as the one “… who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords …” (I Timothy 6:15).

No other biblical writer, besides Matthew, was given divine insight about the kingship of Christ Jesus and His kingdom. The apostle’s writings thoroughly unpack the significance and content of the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew makes use of that term 31 times in his gospel (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 5:3,10,19,20; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 11:11,12; 13:11,24,31,33,44, 45,47,52; 16:19; 18:1,3,4,23; 19:12,14,23; 20:1; 22:2; 23:13; 25:1). Just as heaven appointed John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Messiah, it is also out of his mouth the phrase Kingdom of Heaven is first heard in Matthew’s gospel.

In order to emphasize the importance of the Savior’s royalty, the writer of the first gospel purposefully begins to enlist the lineage of Christ with the seed of David as oppose to that of Abraham: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1).

Christ's royalty, prophesied through the Davidic throne, seems to parallel the blessing promised Abraham: “The LORD said to Abram … ‘Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted’” (Genesis 13:14-16). David is promised everlasting longevity of his throne through the kingship of the Messiah: “The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:11-12, 16).

The incessant battles amongst earth’s kingdoms are alike the result of satanic influence. The devil heads every form of division. God’s kingdom, which was once a unified territory comprised of the entire universal spectrum, has lost one of his globe—earth—at the cost of man’s disobedience and was conquered with the death of the Worthy Lamb; however this restitution will actualize at the second coming of the Messiah when all nations, all tongues, all peoples will bow before the eternal One acclaiming Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. It is in preparation for this final prophetic fulfillment heaven has not only emptied itself to guard the elect from the attacks of the enemy but also to assure the unfolding history of earth according to God's will.

Man’s kingdom must make use of the most advanced tools of destruction in order to either guard its territory or invade enemy’s territories. On the contrary, the King of kings will effortlessly restore His kingdom to its original state with the same intrinsic ability He employed to bring the world into existence. Scripture provides us with a descriptive scene concerning this eschatological event that will put an end to all kingdoms which were once inexistent. “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever” (Daniel 2:44).

“I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come. Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet, and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates. I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. Thus he said: The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:16-27).

With that purpose in mind Christ’s primary focus, besides His inevitable death at the cross, was to unveil the unabridged Law that governed, governs, and will for ever govern His Kingdom. Not only did He invite those desiring to inherit the Kingdom to repent but Jesus also made it known that their righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20) who were the supposed proclaimers of the Eternal Kingdom. Because their hardened hearts kept their spirits in a rebellious state, Christ had no choice but to warn them they have lost their inheritance of the heavenly kingdom: “Did you never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone; This came about from the Lord, And it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust. And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them” (Matthew 21:42-45).

As KING of Kings, Christ made it clear that not even the smallest character will be changed or removed from His Law for the accommodation of anyone. “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:18). He who is willing to comply wholeheartedly to the governing laws of heaven will not hesitate to ask of the Father to send His kingdom as this request was intentionally incorporated in the model prayer given the disciples. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).

A king’s authority is demonstrated when his orders are promptly executed either immediately or at an appointed time. As we all know, not all of these commands always find their completions as intended within the governing structures of a human kingdom. However, the infallibility of Christ authenticates His kingship over the visible and invisible worlds, over diseases, over physical defects, over the atmosphere, over death, over every existing element. As Christ healed the sick, commanded the demons out of the possessed bodies, revived the dead, forgave sins, and silenced the storms He was arresting every one’s attention with His supreme dominion as Lord of lords and ‘KING of kings’.

"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" Matthew 4:17