Revelation 19:12

Saturday, 10 July 2021

His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. Revelation 19:12

The rider from heaven coming on a white horse, the Lord Jesus, is now described in more detail by John as he says, “His eyes were like a flame of fire.”

This takes the reader back to verse 1:14, which said, “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire.” The eyes were then mentioned again in the letter to the church at Thyatira. In short, the idea of fire in the Bible is that of judgment, purification, refinement, and so on.

The eyes of Christ will burn through those who stand before Him, exposing all sin. They will get to the very heart of the rebellion of the people of the world just as He looked into the corrupt hearts of those in Thyatira. He will pierce deeply into the souls of all people because nothing in creation can be concealed before His piercing gaze.

As for believers, they will come before the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ. That which is of no value shall be burned away. The eyes of the Lord will pierce through the days of our lives and the actions of our conduct, and they will purify us for our eternal state.

For those who are not found in Christ, they will be judged with those same burning eyes. In their judgment, they will find eternal destruction. The difference between being in Christ or not being in Christ is one that will continue for all eternity after the judgment has been rendered.

Next, it says, “and on His head were many crowns.” This is the third and last use of the word diadéma in Scripture. It was seen in Revelation 12:3 and in Revelation 13:1. Rather than a stephanos, or crown of victory, it is a royal crown. It is a kingly adornment for the head. The idea of many crowns comes with a title that will be stated in verse 19:16. He is the King of kings. All rule and authority ultimately belong to Him because every kingdom – in heaven and on earth – is under His authority.

This idea of wearing more than one crown goes back to Zechariah 6 where it says –

“Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying:

“Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
From His place He shall branch out,
And He shall build the temple of the Lord;
13 Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord.
He shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on His throne;
So He shall be a priest on His throne,
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.’” Zechariah 6:11-13

The “elaborate crown” set on the head of Joshua is actually plural “crowns.” It is noting that he was symbolically filling two roles, that of both the king and the priest. These were offices that were not to be mixed under the law. The words thus prefigure the coming work of the Messiah where the offices would be united. In His return, there will not only be two crowns. Rather, there will be many crowns on His head. He is the King of kings, and the roles He fills are vast in number. On Him rests all rule, authority, and honor.

The verse finishes with, “He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.” In the Bible, a name is more than just a type of “who” identification. It can also carry the significance of “why,” “what,” “where,” “how,” and even “when.” It is an identification that provides a comprehensive understanding of the very nature of the being it represents.

Because Jesus has a name written on Himself that is known only to Him, it is identifying Him with I AM THAT I AM of Exodus 3:14. He is the self-existent One. He is the One prior to creation and the One who is upholding all creation by the power of His word. He is the eternal Word of God. No one knows the name except Himself because no one can know the name. It is beyond comprehension, it is beyond understanding, and it is marvelous in and of itself because it identifies that which is infinitely marvelous.

This is seen in an account found in Judges 13. The Angel of the Lord informed the parents of Samson that they would have a child. After the announcement, and prior to the Angel’s departure, the account then says –

“Then Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, ‘Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You.’
16 And the Angel of the Lord said to Manoah, ‘Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the Lord.’ (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the Lord.)
17 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, ‘What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?’
18 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, ‘Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?’” Judges 13:15-18

The word translated as “wonderful” is the adjective peli. It signifies something secret, wonderful, and incomprehensible. Its only other use is found Psalm 139:6 –

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.”

Just as David could not attain to the knowledge of the most high, mortal man cannot attain to the comprehension of the name of the Lord. These words of John clearly show that Jesus, the One being described in this vision, is the unsearchable God.

Life application: Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of every hope, every desire, and every need of the human soul because He is the Creator of man. Only in Him is found true peace and contentment. Those who have rejected Him as the avenue of reconciliation to God have not only brought condemnation upon themselves, but they have separated themselves from any hope of any contentment at all.

This is what we are to learn from the description of Him in this verse. The eyes like a flame of fire, the many crowns on His head, and the name written on Him that only He knows all shout out to us that Jesus Christ is God. Of His name, we will eternally move towards it, striving to know it without ever grasping its fullness. For those who reject Him, they will be eternally separated from that name and thus they will be eternally separated from the Source of the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” it represents. He is great. He is glorious. He is JESUS!

Lord Jesus, until Your return, You have blessed us with Your word. Its pages contain all that we need to know and understand in order to live our lives properly and grow in our knowledge of You. Fill us with Your Spirit, and open our eyes to its truths now in anticipation of the heavenly state when we will continue to learn about You for all eternity. Amen.