And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True…
What would intimidate any loyal Englishman, if he were quite satisfied and sure, and that too from personal interview, that the monarch of the realm was decidedly and unalterably his friend? Would he fear poverty? Would he fear enemies? Would he fear dangers? Would he fear reverses of fortune? Oh! no, he would say, "The monarch is my friend, and he has all power to accomplish all I wish, and he is quite as willing as he is able." Now, I think this ought to rebuke our slavish fears — just to bear in mind, that our warmest friend is no less a being than "the King of kings and Lord of lords."
I. It is the supreme Sovereign of the universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords, of whom it is expressly written, "He doeth as seemeth Him good in the armies of heaven," existing in His own eternal self-existence, dependent upon no being, but making all dependent upon Himself, He holds all worlds at His command. He is the Maker of all worlds, and the Maker of all kings and lords too; therefore, He surely has a right to be King and Lord over them. Moreover, He is the moral Governor of the universe, and, consequently, all things in it are under His control; He even giveth power to get wealth, and, if He withholds that power, and lets us sink into poverty, He still acts as King of kings and Lord of lords; and it is your business and mine to say, "Do as thou wilt with mine and me too."
II. Now a word or two, in the second place, relative to the exhibition of His name. It is said to he written "upon His vesture and upon His thigh." You will read, by looking a little higher up in the chapter, that His vesture was peculiarly marked, yea, and stained — the name was perfectly legible. It is said that He was clothed in "a vesture dipped in blood." Does not this exactly agree with Isaiah's predictive inquiry, when he says, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozra?" and gives as the answer, "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save"; and when the question is resumed, "Why is Thine apparel red, and Thy garments like one that has trod the winepress?" the answer is, "I have trod the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with Me." Here then, I discover His official character. His vesture is dipped in blood, and He is clothed with this vesture down to His foot — the priestly robe, for He only is priest of our profession as Christians. Moreover, the name is written not only upon His vesture, but upon His thigh. Why was this? Was not one writing enough? Just for this express purpose, that His power might be held forth at every step. Wherever He steps, whether in providence or grace, absolute power goes forth with Him. Now what can a man do, as regards walking, running, or working, if the strength has gone out of his thighs? It is not so with our King. His strength is in His thigh — His name is written on His thigh — so that wherever He advances He is sure to be known as the King of kings, and Lord of lords. The power of Christ, as the eternal God, is conspicuous in all His movements, both in providence and in grace; by Him the worlds were made, and by Him they are sustained; yea, we are expressly told by the Holy Ghost (John 1:8). And this power is constantly put forth on behalf of His elect, blood-bought Church, inasmuch as He counts her interests His own. Cheer up, then, ye timid saints, your cause is not more yours than it is Christ's; nay, nor so much, for if He could allow the injury or the ruin of His Church, the name which is written upon His vesture and upon His thigh would be tarnished, nay, forfeited, and He would no longer be owned King of kings and Lord of lords. But, "it shall endure for ever," etc., (Psalm 72:17). Yea, more, His name, emblazoned in glory, shall be the chorus of all the redeemed throng as long, as eternity shall roll on. Mark, I pray you, how, in the exercise of His prerogative, He subjects all beings to His will. He "brings every thought into subjection to the obedience of Christ." Now, I ask, where is the king to be found that can do that? There are two ways in which He brings all beings into subjection, whether friends or foes. The first is by the omnipotence of His grace He brings every elect vessel of mercy to the knowledge of His will, to bow to His sceptre and live for ever; and of those rebels that would not that He should reign over them, He says, "Bring them hither and slay them before Mine eyes."
III. Go on to mark that the highest expectations of the Lord's family are encouraged. His name written on His vesture and on His thigh is legible to all His saints. They see Him the King and the Priest upon His throne. They witness the victories He has already realised — they mark the sacred and cheering fact, that He has "spoiled principalities and powers," and has fulfilled what is said, "O death, I will be thy plague; O grave, I will be thy destruction." The ancient promise has been accomplished by Him, and the serpent's head is bruised. The grand victory was won upon Mount Calvary, by the glorious Captain of salvation, whom my text calls "King of kings, and Lord of lords." And now what remains but that He shall still go on on His white horse of pure gospel truth, from conquering to conquer. Here take, for a moment, a twofold view of His overcomings. He is going forth from conquering that sinner's heart to conquer another sinner's heart — from conquering that corruption of the old Adam nature of the child of God, to conquer the next that rises and struggles within him. He will go on conquering and to conquer, until He has conquered every elect vessel of mercy, and transformed them to His own image. Nor is this all, His conquests and His people's are one; for it is written concerning those that surround His throne, and walk with Him in white, that "they overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of His testimony." Well now, will you not buckle on your armour? Will you not furbish your sword? Will you not cry out for more help from on high to wield it? Will you not look in a menacing form at all your enemies?
Parallel VersesKJV: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.