What’s In a Name

May 5th, 2024

Heavenly Father, we ask now that You would give us good minds that we might understand, ears to listen, to pay attention, and most of all, hearts that we would gladly receive Your Word, believe, and obey. In Jesus we pray. Amen.

Our text this morning is from the book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible, coming to the close of this book, Lord willing, in the next two months. This morning we come to the end of chapter 19. So follow along. I’ll be reading Revelation 19, beginning at verse 11 and through the end of the chapter.

Revelation 19, beginning at verse 11.

“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. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but Himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses. 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.”

“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against Him who was sitting on the horse and against His army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of Him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.”

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. That famous question, of course, Juliet asks in Shakespeare’s play because Romeo and Juliet, these star-crossed lovers, are not supposed to be together because he is a Montague and she is a Capulet, so that famous question and the famous soliloquy is to suggest that it’s only an arbitrary name that is keeping us apart. Great line, great play.

But of course, names do matter a lot. That’s why we want people to know our name. It’s one of the ways we can honor one another. To name, as I did in this prayer, these officers who have fallen this week. It’s why we prefer our name, or if we have a nickname, perhaps we didn’t like our given name, but we have a good nickname. We don’t like bad nicknames.

I think I’ve told you before, and I probably am unwise to remind you again, that the only nickname unfortunately that has ever stuck is not a nickname I gave myself, but when I went to seminary in New England and there “DeYoung” was a strange name and people thought it was Deon and so my friends thought they would call me Celine. It has become so, it’s only that group of friends and there is church discipline for you if it becomes, but those group of “friends” I don’t even think of it, I just get e-mails, “Celine,” I’m on text threads “Celine.” We see each other, I’m just Celine. It’s a terrible nickname.

We moved to the South we realized that all y’all like extra names. In the North if you have your middle name used, you’re applying for something or you’re in big trouble. But lots of people have their names in the middle, a Jane, a Rose, a Mae, and then there are of course those confusing people who have, go by all their names and they’re all first names. Can you imagine? Nathan Clark George. It’s so confusing. Which one is he?

I prefer the nickname using my middle name, so you have permission to call me heavenly Kevin Lee, that is a good nickname.

Names are important, especially in the Bible. Names are not irrelevant appendages to who we are and in the Bible names are there to tell us something about the character of the person, often they’re a kind of purpose statement for the person’s life.

Then there’s God. The psalmist says God has exalted above all things His name and His Word. Jesus teaches us the very first petition to offer, “hallowed be Thy name.” So we can hardly exaggerate the importance of God’s name.

So surely it is significant in this passage that we are given explicitly several names for Christ. Several times we are told, “and this is His name,” or written on His robe, “this is His name.”

This passage is about victory, conquest, judgment, and there are a few more of these passages to come before we get to the new heavens and the new earth in chapter 21. But even more than that, not other than that, but more than that this is a passage about Jesus Christ. We have in the second half of chapter 19 four names I want you to notice. Now we could number them as three, you could number them as many as six, I am going to count for you four names of the Lord Jesus Christ that we ought to know. These names don’t tell us everything there is to know about Jesus, it’s not all the names. We just sang that wonderful hymn which has many more than three verses, I think dozens of verses, join all the glorious names. So there are many glorious names and attributes ascribed to all three persons of the Trinity.

But given the importance of this scene at the end of Revelation and at the end of the world, it is critical that we pay special attention to these four names. I mean, imagine the exalted Christ standing before you and one day we will see Him face-to-face and we will stand before Him. Imagine that exalted Christ reaching out His hand and saying, “Hello, it’s good to see you. My name is…” Wouldn’t you be hanging on His every word? Tell us.

Of course, He may say “Jesus, the Christ,” but what else? Tell us. We want to know the name by which You call Yourself and the name by which You want us to know You.

Four names.

Number one. Verse 11. The first name is Faithful and True.

You could say two different names, but I think they’re meant to be put together. They’re hitting at the same idea. Pistos Alethinos, Faithful and True. That is to say, Christ, here especially at His return, is shown to be faithful to His people, faithful to His promises, true to His own character, true to His Word, especially we find His Word to judge the wicked and to vindicate the righteous. In particular, faithful and true to vindicate His people and to judge His enemies.

It’s important to realize, and I think most of you have done this already instinctively, that this is a scene of final judgment. So come Christians would argue that this is a scene of triumphant Gospel progress and that this is Christ conquering with the Gospel over His enemies and this is a scene writ large across the world even now.

Well, we will come in chapter 20 to a sense in which it is certainly true that the Gospel is running across the world with triumph and yet there is no doubt this is a scene of final judgment. You see there in verse 11, “in righteousness He judges,” then Greek word krinei, almost always used for judgment, and here in Revelation upon His enemies and then make war, polemei. This is not a war to convert the sinner, different kind of war, but this is this final battle.

We’ve already seen this several times, just turn back a few pages to chapter 16, looking at verse 14. Same scene described in different imagery. 16, verse 14: For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for a battle on the great day of God the Almighty. Blessed is the one who stays awake. Then verse 16, they assembled at the place, in Hebrew it’s called Armageddon.

So we already saw the image. It’s an image of the opponents of Christ gathering their armies to do final battle and it’s given an image, we don’t know exactly what this looks like, it’s likely not so much a physical battle but God conquers spiritually as we’ll see by His Word, but it’s a scene of final judgment.

Then look over at chapter 17, verse 13 – these are of one mind and they hand over the power and authority to the beast. They will make war on the Lamb and the Lamb will conquer him.

Here again he is Lord of lords and King of kings and those with Him are called chosen and faithful. So Christ is Faithful and True, and the army that is with Him are called chosen and faithful. So there in chapter 17 again is another scene of this final judgment and then in chapter 19 this is the same thing seen in another way. So this is not the worldwide progress of the Gospel in this chapter, but this is the end, and that’s significant because it means at the end, you notice, that from His mouth, verse 15, He strikes down the nations. So though we will see in chapter 20, and I’ll make the argument that the binding of Satan allows for the Gospel to have success around the world, there is at the same time continuing and in some ways increasing opposition to Christ so that when we come to the very end, there will be nations that are in uproar. It is not, as some would say, that we move seamlessly into a reign and Christ has now christianized effectively the globe. There is a great conflict here at the end.

He rides out as a warrior to rescue and vindicate His people. Isaiah 11:4 – righteousness is the belt of His waist, faithfulness the belt of His loins.

Psalm 45:4 – in Your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness, let Your right hand teach awesome deeds.

This is in fulfillment of many passages like that. The Lord Jesus Christ comes out on this last day, Faithful and True. He’s called Faithful because He will not forget us, He will never leave us nor forsake us.

You can probably think of some people in your life you would describe them as absolutely faithful to the core. You know if they give you their word, it is their bond. They show up, they work hard, when they say they’ll be there they’ll do it. You don’t think twice if they say I’ll pray for you, they will pray for you. If they say I’m coming to help you, they will be there. They are absolutely faithful.

If we know people like that in our earthly lives, how much more is Jesus Christ the exalted King, Faithful and True? Because He is True, we know that He is intolerant of all that is false. You cannot be True with a capital T and wink at all that is false. He will judge the dragon and the false prophet and the beast. He will judge all those who bear the mark. He will be seen not only as the true God, which He is, the only legitimate Savior, which He is, but all others will be exposed as counterfeits, will be that spiritual tuning fork on that last day and it will ring out with a piercing, clear, true sound. It will expose the cacophony of voices that were in fact not true, not faithful.

Because Christ is True and Faithful, beloved, it means that we can and must believe the hard things in the Bible. Maybe for some of you it’s the doctrine of creation, or the flood, or the plagues, or the miracles, or the walking on water, or the resurrection, or increasingly today it’s the ethics of the Bible or what the Bible says about gender or sexuality, or the very fact that Jesus is coming again. We’ll sign tonight about His ascension and do you believe in the same way He went up He will descend from heaven. These are supernatural occurrences and we must believe them because God is Faithful and True.

Where is that point in your life? Maybe it’s not those things. It’s maybe on a more existential level to believe that God is really for you, that His promises can really be counted upon. It’s one thing to believe in the abstract – Yes, He’s faithful and true. It’s another to really believe in your own life He will be faithful, He will be true.

I remember years ago I was arguing with another pastor, not in the PCA, a different denomination, a pastor about the virgin birth , and he was insisting that the virgin birth was not meant to be taken as literally true. The important part he said was that we believe with Mary, Luke 1:37 – nothing will be impossible with God. He said that was the important part, not so much the virgin birth but that nothing is impossible with God. One my responses to him was, “Well, amen, nothing is impossible with God. How about like a virgin birth?” Perhaps that is the example we are looking for in that text. It’s one thing to say, “Oh, nothing is impossible with God” until it comes to your life, your loved ones, your marriage.

You notice that the message here is to trust in this rider who will come for His own. It’s not a message that says “go believe in yourself.” It’s not even a message that says “go forth and conquer,” but rather be confident that the rider on the white horse, who is faithful and true, will come again and stride forth in victory and will rescue His own and bring with Him a great army.

That’s the first name, Faithful and True.

Look at verse 12. Here’s the second name. You could not count this as a name, but it’s worth mentioning, so here’s the second name, which is the name we don’t know. His eyes, verse 12, are like flames of fire, that is pure, piercing, He can see all. Nothing is hidden from His sight. You may hide something from your spouse, from your kids, from your parents, from your employer. There is nothing hidden from the sight of God. His eyes are like flames of fire. Upon His head loaded with crowns befitting a king.

We’ve seen the beast go forth with crowns. He’s a counterfeit. But this is the real King, full of majesty and authority. We read that He has a name, end of verse 12, written that no one knows but Himself.

It is important, Christians, to remember there are things that God knows about God that we do not know about God. That famous verse from Deuteronomy 29:29, that the things revealed belong to us and to our children, but there are secret things that belong to God. The language in systematic theology is sometimes described as archetypal and ectypal, that God has archetypal knowledge, that is, He knows Himself as He truly is. He has an exhaustive comprehensive knowledge of God as God.

Now God reveals Himself to us so we are not left in the dark. There are true things we know about God, but our knowledge of God is not exhaustive, is not comprehensive, it is ectypal, it is given to us as pilgrims along the way to understand by God’s condescension what He has revealed to us.

A child does not know everything about the world of adults. Isn’t that true? One of our grandmothers has a nice towel hanging up that says “I get it, Mom.” That’s a nice remark. Maybe some of you will say that eventually, “Thanks, Mom, I’m grown up. I think I understand now some things that I didn’t get.” When you’re a child, there are many things you don’t understand. And in some sense it’s the way it should be.

There was a book years ago called The Disappearance of Childhood and part of what it was arguing is we usher children into the world of adulthood before they’re ready and before they should have it. I’m not talking about coddling our children but you think about the area of evil or sex or even certain anxieties, the parents wondering how they’re going to make ends meet. To be a child is to have an experience that is in the best sense set apart from certain things that the world of adults know. You understand, at least you should, that there are things mom and dad do and know and think and have experience and I trust them because I don’t know everything, I’m not an adult.

Well, if that’s true child to adult, how much more so as we think about creature to the Creator? The personhood of the Son of God is not fully disclosed. We do not know God exhaustively, we do not know God anywhere near the degree to which He knows Himself, so beloved, this is an important name, the name which you and I do not know. It means when we are tempted to doubt God, He has for our own good purposes not revealed everything to us. It would be a mistake of a parent to say to a child, “Let me tell you everything about the world of adults. Let me tell you everything that I know.” The child could not hear it, could not bear it. It would not be good of the parent to try to initiate a child into a world that he or she could not fully understand.

So it is with God. Part of what we need to know about God is that we do not know everything there is to know about God.

Let us not be intellectually lazy and at the first sign of some hard theology throw up the word “mystery” and close the book. So don’t start with “mystery” but there are doctrines that end in “mystery.” Not irrationality, but beyond rationality. That is, beyond our ability as creatures, as finite, to comprehend the infinite. The Lord Jesus Christ has a name only known to Himself. Do not think you have Jesus figured out. Do not think you know all there is to know about God. And take comfort, loved ones, in the many experiences of confusion and pain and perhaps doubt in your own life that there are things about God that only God knows. It is our responsibility then to trust that the name we do not know, we can trust Him because He is first of all, what did we see, faithful and true.

The third name is given in verse 12, rather verse 13 – He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood and the name by which He is called is the Word of God.

In Scripture the Son of God is revealed as the divine Logos, the Word of God, most famously in John 1 – in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

Also in 1 John 1 – that which was from the beginning which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched, this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

Here the designation, the name the Word, speaks to the means by which Christ does battle. We see this in the verse that follows – the sword in His mouth. The sword in His mouth is the accusatory Word of God.

Isaiah 49:2 – He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid me, He made me a polished arrow. In His quiver He hid me away.

So this is the weapon. This is how Christ will conquer His enemies.

Now how so? Well, we aren’t told exactly but I think something like this. That the Word that goes forth will be twofold. It will be both a divine utterance and revelation of the person of Christ.

Remember when Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock and he said, “Show me Your glory.” You remember how he “saw” the glory of the Lord? The Lord declared to him His name, he saw by hearing.

So Christ will declare in an utterance that reveals the fullness of His glory and His majesty which can only make His enemies quake in terror. That’s the one side. And then the other side is the full revelation of His character and also the full revelation of our character, for our sins to be exposed.

The good news, of course, for us is to have our sins covered in the blood of the Lamb. You see the imagery of blood here. This blood on His robe is not, I think, the blood that He has shed for the sins of the world, but is now the blood of His enemies who bore the mark of the beast, who did not bow the knee to Christ, who did not find their forgiveness and their grace alone in Christ. There will be bloodshed. The blood shed by Christ on the cross for your sins or the blood shed on the last day by His enemies, who refuse to repent of their sins, who refuse to find in Christ the only salvation that is offered.

So as He conquers, His robe is dipped in blood, the blood of those who were His enemies. The imagery comes from Isaiah 63 – “Who is this who comes forth from Edom in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, He who is splendid in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.””

The question comes in Isaiah – “Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?”

The answer: “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me; I trod them in My anger and trampled them in My wrath; their lifeblood spattered on My garments, and stained all My apparel.”

To those who find this imagery distasteful, and it is graphic, we ought to consider, however, if our objection to the vengeance of God is made possible because so many of us live fairly unharassed, peaceful lives with no real desperate need for vindication.

In a book that came out a number of years ago, the theologian, and I don’t recommend him on every subject, but Miroslav Volf, a Croatian, was reflecting on the warfare and the genocide and the pain his Croatian people had suffered and he wrote this: “Soon you will discover that it takes the quiet of a suburban home for the birth of the thesis that human nonviolence corresponds to God’s refusal to judge. In a scorched land, soaked in the blood of the innocent, it will invariably die.”

What he was saying, and he’s speaking more toward liberal academic theologians, so he’s speaking with some courage there to say, “Yes, you may think it sounds like a nice peaceful idea to have a God who doesn’t come with retribution or recompense to judge His enemies, but just consider if that’s perhaps because your enemies are very small and in the quiet and the peacefulness of an unharassed suburban home, it might be very easy to say, well, I don’t think we need a God who judges the wicked.”

If we are in need of deliverance, if we hate evil, if we long for the influence of the dragon and the beast and the prostitute to be cast down, then we will rejoice in the surpassed power of the Word of God. Like at creation, let there be light and the darkness was no match for the Word of God. There was light.

So it will be at the end of the age. Heaven, most of us, sung many times, the prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him, his rage we can endure for lo his doom is sure. One little word shall fell him.

This is not a fair fight between God and the dragon and the beast and the prostitute. One little word shall fell him.

There is a final name. You see it in verse 16 – And on His robe and on His thigh, here’s the fourth name, it is written King of kings and Lord of lords.

It says written on His robe and on His thigh, likely it means on His robe on the place of thigh, that is the place where your sword would be placed, the place of warfare. Repetition, you know, is the Hebrew way of making a superlative. You don’t have bold, you don’t have italics, you don’t have underline, so you say the holy of holies, you say the King of kings. It is to say the kingliest King, the lordliest Lord.

We must always hold together, as Jonathan Edwards puts it, the diverse excellencies of Jesus Christ and not make a cartoon God but hold together all of the ways in which Christ is revealed to us. So He rode in to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on a donkey, which was from the days of Solomon associated with kingship, but riding into a donkey identifies humility, servanthood. And in particular on that Palm Sunday, a readiness to suffer.

Now He strides forth not on a lowly donkey, but on a white horse, as a conquering King, a righteous judge, a captain of armies to defeat evil and to destroy the wicked. With justice He makes war and the armies of heaven are with him. Lord Sabaoth His name.

You remember that line from “A Mighty Fortress”? Sometimes we hear it, or even sing it as “Lord Sabbath,” but it’s not “Lord Sabbath,” it’s Lord Sabaoth. Adonai Sabaoth, Hebrew meaning the Lord of hosts, the Lord of armies.

Here we see the Lord is a warrior and He brings with Him, arrayed in spotless linen, His conquering heroes.

Remember in chapter 16, we read it a few moments ago, where three evil spirits go out to gather the kings for battle, a sum and one final defeat, amass all of the forces of evil, that in a cataclysmic moment they may be overcome? Well, here, God calls forth the birds of the air to feast on the kings of the earth. It is a gruesome picture. It is a picture of birds of prey circling in the sky and they come to feast upon the conquered corpses and carcasses of God’s enemies.

Verse 21 ends in a grim, gruesome note – The rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of Him who was sitting on the horse, and the birds gorged with their flesh.

This particular scene the curtain closes and you would have a macabre setting with birds descending there upon their prey to feast upon those who had been overcome. This is a gory feast, buzzards and vultures eat the flesh of the wicked. It is a gruesome parody of the wedding supper of the Lamb.

Remember I’ve said the last two weeks that Revelation is presenting us with a stark choice. You have two masters, choose wisely. You have two cities, Babylon or the New Jerusalem. There are two women, the prostitute Babylon or the pure spotless bride, the Church. And now we see there are two feasts in chapter 19 – there is a wedding supper of the Lamb, that feast, and now this eschatological banquet, the feasting of the birds upon the flesh of the enemies of God. Yes, it’s a frightening picture.

On top of that, we read that the beast and the false prophet, remember there are two beasts but sometimes they are called the beast and the false prophet, which are the fallen, corrupt human state and the fallen, corrupt human religion. They are burned alive in the lake of fire. We will come back to the lake of fire in chapter 20 but here we see at the end of verse 20 these two were thrown alive, just to make it even worse, alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

Hard-pressed to find a more graphic, gruesome, grim picture in all of the Bible. As the screen fades to black, and the beast and the prophet thrown into the fiery cauldron and the birds descending upon the carcasses, and you say that’s frightening. And you’re right. That’s the point. The judgment of God is something to be afraid of. Maybe if we had eyes to see what is really going on in our world, what is really at stake, if we had eyes to see what sin and wickedness and rebellion against God are really like, maybe even as this is a gruesome scene, if we really knew of the rebellion against God, and we knew of the goodness and the purity and the beauty of Christ and His people, we would not shudder but we would rejoice.

We would be, as you are at the end of any good epic novel or movie, ecstatic to see the good guys win and the evil overthrown, that we were not disappointed in our hope.

Does not this conclusion, which I’m about to read to you from a book that many of you have read, a movie that many of you have seen, and you’ll know it as soon as I get started. Don’t you find when you come to these paragraphs or you watch this on the screen, yes, there is great conquest over evil, but your heart leaps to see the rescue of the good and the complete overthrow of the wicked?

“There suddenly upon a ridge appeared a rider, clad in white, shining in the rising sun. Over the low hills the horns were sounding. Behind him, hastening down the long slopes, were a thousand men on foot; their swords were in their hands. Amid them strode a man tall and strong. His shield was red. As he came to the valley’s brink, he set to his lips a great black horn and blew a ringing blast. ‘Erkenbrand!’ the Riders shouted. ‘Erkenbrand!’ ‘Behold the White Rider!’ cried Aragorn. ‘Gandalf is come again!’”

“‘Mithrandir, Mithrandir!’ said Legolas…The hosts of Isengard,” those are the bad guys, “roared, swaying this way and that, turning from fear to fear. Again the horn sounded from the tower. Down through the breach of the Dike charged the king’s company. Down from the hills leaped Erkenbrand, lord of Westfold. Down leaped Shadowfax, like a deer that runs surefooted in the mountains. The White Rider was upon them, and the terror of his coming filled the enemy with madness. The wild men fell on their faces before him. The Orcs reeled and screamed and cast aside both sword and spear. Like a black smoke driven by a mounting wind they fled. Wailing they passed under the waiting shadow of the trees; and from that shadow none ever came again.”

Doesn’t your heart leap in your chest? Yes, that’s how it ought to be, that the white rider strides forth with his victorious army and all of the wicked, rebellious evildoers are scattered and overcome.

In chapter 1, Christ was presented as the exalted Son of Man. In chapter 5, the triumphant Lamb that had been slain. In chapter 12 He was the male child with the mother, the Church. Then in chapter 19 the groom. And now at the end of chapter 19, the conqueror, warrior King.

All of which tell us, and only begin to tell us, what the Lord Jesus is like in His glory.

The second half of Revelation works like a play. You know in some plays you have, you start with one or two characters and then more come on, more come on, they add, and in reverse order they all leave until you’re left there with the initial character or characters. That’s exactly how the second half of Revelation works, like a play. While all the details in the midst of it can be confusing, once you see the overall picture of the drama, you can’t unsee it.

Starting in chapter 12 we have a series of characters appear on the stage. One by one they’re added and then one by one, sometimes two by two, they leave.

Chapter 12. We encounter a woman and her son. Then the dragon enters. So we start with the woman and a male. Then the dragon enters and then in chapter 13 we meet the first beast and then the second beast, called the false prophet, and then in chapter 16 and 17 we meet the harlot of Babylon. Then starting in chapter 18 those same characters in reverse order exit the stage.

First the prostitute Babylon is cast down in chapter 18. Now here in chapter 19 we see the beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire, and yet to come in chapter 20 we will see the dragon, that is the devil, will be thrown into the same lake of fire, which brings us then finally to chapter 21 and chapter 22. Left with a woman and a man.

In chapter 12 it was initially a woman and her son. When we come to chapter 21 and 22, it will be a woman and a grown man, the groom, the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you see what’s happening? In chapter 12 through to the end of the book, one by one, they come out to marshal their forces against Christ and the Church. Then one by one they are overcome, they are defeated, they are cast down until finally the only two that are left, the imagery has gone from a son to a groom.

This gruesome picture of judgment therefore is part and parcel of God making things right, of bringing heaven down to earth. Without this scene, there is no final scene. Without this judgment over sin and evil and all that is fallen in our world, there can be no end to cancer and miscarriages and poverty and traffic accidents and shooting again police officers and birth defects and migraine headaches and everything else that will pass away with the passing of this fallen world.

There is no new creation without the destruction and renovation of all that has become corrupt in the old, so at the end of the age, and at the end of this book, all that will be left, wonderfully all that will be left, is a lovely couple, a husband and wife, Church and Christ, living happily ever after. That’s where we’re headed and you have to have this scene of judgment to come to the happily ever after.

We know His name, Jesus Christ. We are given here His names, Faithful and True, Word of God, King of kings, Lord of lords, and a name that is known only to Himself. Friends, you do not have to face the conquering wrath of this king because He has conquered for all who will call upon His name and trust in the One who shed His blood on the cross.

So we can dwell with Him forever in the happily ever after if you call on His name now, Jesus, while there is yet time.

Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, we give grace for Your holy Word. Help us to hear, to receive, to appropriate, to find even in the darkness of judgment the hope of eternal life and all that You are doing for the sake of Your bride, the Church. As You have nourished us in Your Word spoken, now nourish us in the Word that we can taste and touch, strengthening us unto life eternal. In Jesus we pray. Amen.