By: Scott Adkins, Sling ‘n Stone Ministry
Carter County Times
We continue our multi-part series, “Who Is Jesus Christ,” with Revelation 1:5 identifying The Lord as “the prince of the kings of the earth.” What does that identity mean, and why is that so significant?
“(T)he prince of the kings of the earth,” declares The Lord’s supremacy over all human authorities and governments, both today and in the ages to come. Regarding His supremacy over human authorities and governments today, the Bible declares in Daniel 2:21: “(H)e removeth kings, and setteth up kings(,) and in Psalms 75:7: “(H)e putteth down one, and setteth up another.”
And remember what the Lord did to Nebuchandnezzar in Daniel chapter 4. Even while the king exalted himself, the Lord spoke from heaven and took Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom from him. The king ended up eating grass in the field for seven years. (Daniel 4:30-33). Before that, Pharoh tried to chase the Jews across the parted Red Sea, and that did not end well for Pharoh or his army – all drowned beneath the waves as the Lord collapsed the sea back on top of them. (Exodus 13:18, 20; 14:1-3; and 15:4). And in our present day, earthly governments and rulers might think they’re in charge; but they are not.
Regarding The Lord Jesus Christ’s supremacy over all human authorities and governments in the ages to come, Revelation 11:15 proclaims, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 19:11-21 continues, describing The Lord’s return to establish His kingdom on earth. To that end, Revelation 19:11-21 describes how The Lord will return and lay waste to the Antichrist and his armies.
But why is the Lord’s identity as the “prince of the kings of the earth,” (Rev. 1:5), relevant to us today when suffering persecution, and if called upon, martyrdom for His Name’s sake? The Lord’s supremacy over “kings of the earth” matters today because while ungodly rulers and judges might think they’re the ones calling the shots, they’re not. The Lord Jesus Christ is the One calling the shots. The Bible declares: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” (Proverbs 21:1). And the Lord promised that, in our hour of persecution, when we stand before earthly rulers or judges: “(T)ake no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.” (Matt. 10:19).
Remember what Polycarp said to the Smyrna’s Roman governor when that ungodly ruler threatened to burn Polycarp alive if Polycarp did not deny The Lord and declare Ceasar divine. Polycarp dared Smyrna’s governor to “light the match,” and then Polycarp stepped atop the burn pile and gave his life for the Gospel. Even in persecution, we can find courage that the Lord Jesus forever reigns supreme; He never forsakes us, calling us to “be thou faithful unto death.”