The Gospel in Revelation: The Last King

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.” (Rev 19:11, ESV).

The words, “Last King” may conjure up in your mind a declining dynasty which has passed its days of glory and relevance and is giving way to a more modern form of government. The Rider on the white horse is not part of a waning dynasty, but rather the King who will establish a glorious kingdom and reign righteously on earth for 1000 years as King of kings and Lord of Lords (Rev 19:16).

Who is this King? Verse 13 leaves no doubt. “The name by which He is called is The Word of God.”  This is the Word which “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14, KJV). He was then the rejected King who hung on a cross with a crown of thorns taking away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Now, in place of thorns, are many diadems (Rev 19:12). John portrays Him now, not as a rejected suffering King, but a conquering Warrior-King. Many today only see Christ as the meek and gentle teacher who was a friend of sinners. To think that Christ gives a pass on sin is a serious mistake. Today is a day of grace when God’s judgment against this world is being withheld and forgiveness of sins is offered. But God “has fixed a day on which he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed” (Acts 17:31, ESV). The Rider on the white horse is that Man.

Who is the enemy? Describing the same event, Paul says the Lord Jesus will be “revealed from heaven … in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (2Thes 1:7-8, ESV). Don’t think of the enemy as ISIS fighters, drug cartels, or white supremacists. It is any who have failed to respond to the gospel by trusting Christ.

The Last King will decisively conquer. Today, He rules in the hearts of those who acknowledge His Lordship. His kingdom is now spiritual. In that day, people will surrender to His rule or face certain destruction. It will be the end of abusive and corrupt government, the end of open rebellion and hostility against Christ and all that He represents. It may seem like the battle is going in the opposite direction as our culture grows in its hostility toward Christ. In that day, He will triumph once and for all and usher in true world peace, a rejuvenated world, and righteous rule.

The distinction between those who have bowed to Him as Lord and Savior and those who have refused Him will be unmistakable. There will be no neutrality, nor is there today. You are either in His kingdom and He on the throne of your heart (Col 1:12), or you are an enemy in mind (Col 1:21). Thankfully, unlike that day when the Warrior-King takes vengeance on His enemies, today He is the Savior-King who offers you terms of peace and reconciliation. “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2Cor 5:20-21, ESV).