And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True…
I. First, let every believing heart rejoice while it sees the many CROWNS OF DOMINION upon His head. First and foremost there sparkles about His brow the everlasting diadem of the King of Heaven. His empire is higher than the highest heaven, and deeper than the lowest hell. This earth also is a province of His wide domains. Though small the empire compared with others, yet from this world hath He perhaps derived more glory than from any other part of His dominions. He reigns on earth. On His head is the crown of creation. "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." His voice said, "Let there be light," and there was light. It was His strength that piled the mountains, and His wisdom balances the clouds. Together with this crown of creation there is yet another, the crown of providence, for He sustaineth all things by the word of His power. Let Him once withdraw His hands, and the pillars of earth must tremble; the stars must fall like fig leaves from the tree, and all things must be quenched in the blackness of annihilation. On His head is the crown of providence. And next to this there glitters also the thrice-glorious crown of grace. He is the King of grace; He gives, or He withholds. The river of God's mercy flows from underneath His throne; He sits as Sovereign in the dispensation of mercy. He reigneth in His Church amidst willing spirits; and He reigns for His Church over all the nations of the world, that he may gather unto Himself a people that no man can number who shall bow before the sceptre of His love. Methinks I hear one say, "If this be so, if Christ hath these many crowns of dominion, how vain it is for me to rebel against Him." Believer, look to Christ's thrice-crowned head and be comforted. Is providence against thee? Correct thy speech; thou hast erred; God hath not become thine enemy. Providence is not against thee, for Jesus is its King; He weighs its trials and counts its storms. Thy enemies may strive, but they shall not prevail against thee; He shall smite them upon the cheek-bone. Art thou passing through the fire? The fire is Christ's dominion. Art thou going through the floods? They shall not drown thee, for even the floods obey the voice of the Omnipotent Messiah. Wherever thou art called thou canst not go where Jesu's love reigns not. Commit thyself into His hands.
II. Christ hath many CROWNS OF VICTORY. The first diadems which I have mentioned are His by right. He is God's only begotten and well-beloved Son, and hence He inherits unlimited dominions. But viewed as the Son of Man, conquest has made Him great, and His own right hand and His holy arm have won for Him the triumph. In the first place, Christ has a crown which I pray that every one of you may wear. He has a crown of victory over the world. For thus saith He Himself, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." I would that we could imitate Christ in our battle with the world. But alas, the world oftentimes gets the upper hand of us. Sometimes we yield to its smiles, and often do we tremble before its frowns. Have hope and courage, believer; be like your Master, be the world's foe and overcome it, yield not, suffer it never to entrap your watchful feet. Stand upright amid all its pressure, and be not moved by all its enchantments. Christ did this, and therefore around His head is that right royal crown of victory, trophy of triumph over the entire forces of the world. Furthermore, the next crown He wears is the crown by which He has overcome sin. He has cast down every shape and form of evil, and now for ever stands He more than a conqueror through His glorious sufferings. Oh, how bright that crown which He deserves who hath for ever put away our sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And then again, Christ wears about His head the crown of death. He died, and in that dreadful hour He overcame death, rifled the sepulchre, hewed death in pieces, and destroyed the arch-destroyer. Glorious is that victory! Angels repeat the triumphant strain, His redeemed take up the song; and you, ye blood-bought sons of Adam, praise Him too, for He hath overcome all the evil of hell itself. And yet, once again, another crown hath Christ, and that is the crown of victory over man. Would to God that He wore a crown for each of you. Say, has His love been too much for you? Have you been compelled to give up your sins, wooed by His love Divine? Have your eyes been made to run with tears at the thought of His affection for you and of your own ingratitude? If this be the case with you, then you may yourself recognise one of the many crowns that are on His head.
III. The CROWNS OF THANKSGIVING. Surely concerning these we may well say, "On His head are many crowns." In the first place, all the mighty doers in Christ's Church ascribe their crown to Him. Not a martyr wears his crown; they all take their blood-red crowns, and then they place them on His brow — the fire crown, the rack crown, there I see them all glitter. For it was His love that helped them to endure; it was by His blood that they overcame. And then think of another list of crowns. They who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever. What crowns shall theirs be when they come before God, when the souls they have saved shall enter paradise with them. What shouts of acclamation, what honours, what rewards shall then be given to the winners of souls! What will they do with their crowns? Why, they will take them from their heads and lay them there where sits the Lamb in the midst of the throne. But see, another host approaches. I see a company of cherubic spirits flying upwards to Christ, and who are these? The reply is, "We lived on earth for sixty, or seventy, or eighty years, until we tottered into our graves from very weakness; when we died there was no marrow in our bones, our hair had grown grey, and we were crisp and dry with age." "How came ye here?" They reply, "After many years of strife with the world, of trials and of troubles, we entered heaven at last. And ye have crowns, I see." "Yes," they say, "but we intend not to wear them." "Whither are ye going, then?" "We are going to yonder throne, for our crowns have been surely given us by grace, for nothing but grace could have helped us to weather the storm so many, many years." I see the grave and reverend sires pass one by one before the throne, and there they lay their crowns at His blessed feet, and then, shouting with the infant throng, they cry, "Salvation unto Him," etc. And then I see following behind them another class. And who are ye? Their answer is, "We are the chief of sinners saved by grace." And here they come — Saul of Tarsus, and Manasseh, and Rahab, and many of the same class. And how came ye here? They reply, "We have had much forgiven, we were grievous sinners, but the love of Christ reclaimed us, the blood of Christ washed us; and whiter than snow are we, though once we were black as hell." And whither are ye going? They reply, "We are going to cast our crowns at His feet, and 'Crown Him Lord of all.'"
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
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.