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“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war . . . From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:11–16).

WHOSE AUTHORITY IS THE HIGHEST? In the affairs of this world, that question never has any permanent answer. One person may be the most powerful figure in the world at a particular moment, but that individual is always subject to being surpassed by a more powerful person in the future. Only in Jesus Christ do we encounter a King who is above all kings — both now and forever.

Read the description of Jesus Christ in Revelation 19:11–16 and let its vivid imagery sink in. If the claim of absolute sovereignty embedded in these words is false, the New Testament should be rejected decisively. But what if this claim is true? Here is a figure whose power and authority are not only supreme but unconquerable, a leader who can be followed without the slightest fear that He will ever be defeated. Here is One in whom our faith can rest.

It is crucial, however, for us to understand the sort of King Jesus is. He did not liberate His fellow Jews from the Roman government in the first century, and He does not promise to break the shackles of any particular tyranny today. To be sure, all of the kingdoms of men — every last one of them — will be destroyed eventually, but the gospel of Christ is primarily about deliverance from our own sins. “You will know the truth,” He said, “and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). It is from the bondage of untruth that Jesus wants to liberate us, and if we don’t let Him set us free from the untruth in our own hearts, it won’t matter whether our political situation in this world is one of freedom or slavery.

Against the destructive lies with which the devil has done his work, Jesus came into the world to overcome falsehood and repair its damage. For the time being, it often looks as if the enemy is still winning, and frankly, the appearance of that can be discouraging. But the war has already been won. The outcome of history is now a foregone conclusion. And to keep resisting this King (as the kingdoms of men always do) is to fight a losing battle.

“God will have the last word, and it will be good” (Robert Harold Schuller).

Gary Henry — +

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