Chapter 5: Who Will Be There?
Next in importance to the King will be the King’s co-rulers. The Revelator called Jesus Christ the “King of kings, and Lord of lords,” indicating that the King and Lord will not be alone; He will have associate “kings” and “lords.” It is the position of authority Jesus promised those who should be overcomers at the time He comes to set up His Kingdom: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21).
God invested six thousand years in the selecting and developing of this notable class of highest-qualified individuals; and when Christ comes and rewards them for work well done, they will be ready for their next and higher station of service. Another passage in Revelation describes Christ’s kingship and tells of the qualifications of those who will reign with Him: “He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Rev. 17:14). No ordinary persons, these co-rulers with Christ; no fawning flatterers or figureheads surrounding the Great King. Each one is a hand-picked king or lord. And each one is thrice accredited: “called, and chosen, and faithful.”
The Revelator also informs us of the number of these co-kings and co-lords. He writes: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev. 14:1). There are a good number of them—one hundred forty-four thousand. And again their superior qualifications are noted: All of them have “his Father’s name written in their foreheads,” and of all of them it may be said, “…in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (v. 5). Their obedience has been complete: “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb” (v. 4).
Further descriptions of these super-quality achievers are scattered all through the Scriptures. Daniel calls them “the people of the saints of the most High,” to whom will be given “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven” (Dan. 7:27). Jesus says they shall “sit on thrones” (Luke 22:30). Paul tells how they shall be “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). They are the “saints” who “shall judge the world” (1 Cor. 6:2).
Isaiah tells of these select persons, that they “shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call [them] the Ministers of our God: [they] shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall [they] boast [themselves]” (Isa. 61:6).
In the letters from Jesus to the Seven Churches of Asia, recorded in the book of Revelation, are many references to these select ones, the “overcomers.” The promises to them are exceeding abundant. To them will be given the privilege of partaking “of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7). Each will receive “a new name,” a high mark of acceptance and accomplishment. They will be given “power over the nations” along with the glory and honor of sitting with Christ on His throne (Rev. 2:17, 26; 3:21).
Here is not only authority; here is joy and felicity and supreme usefulness. Christ does not allow His throne to put a distance between Him and His loyal followers. He shares His throne with those who conquer—who conquer their naturally wayward inclinations.
When Christ comes, He will select these super-achievers from among those who agreed to serve God faithfully during the six thousand years prior to His coming. When they take the honored positions to which they will be assigned, they shall have passed the great white throne, been proven worthy, and have been rewarded with highest honors, even “glory and honour and immortality, eternal life” (Rom. 2:7). In their possession shall be that certificate of supreme achievement: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). Their bodies shall have been changed and made like the incorruptible body of their glorified King (Phil. 3:20-21). He shall be the King all-glorious, and their lives shall be as enduring as the Kingdom over which they shall reign. Theirs shall be the glory that shall never tarnish, beauty that shall never fade, and life that shall never end. When the glorious thousand years are in the past, their lives shall have just begun—the endless ages of eternity shall be theirs!
What honor, what glory, what supreme felicity!