Shepherd King

The book of Revelation assures the beleaguered congregations of Asia that Jesus reigns and has events firmly under his control despite appearances and hostility. His sovereignty is based on his death and resurrection, and the latter marked the commencement of his reign from the messianic throne.

Ever since his resurrection, the kingdom has been progressing on earth. As the “ruler of the kings of the earth,” Jesus possesses full authority over history, life, and death. But the manner of his rule does not fit with human expectations - (Revelation 1:17-18).

The second Psalm is applied to Jesus several times, especially its promise that the “kings of the earth” would be “shepherded” by the anointed “Son” of Yahweh:

  • (Psalm 2:2-9) – “The kings of the earth take their station, and grave men have met by appointment together, against Yahweh and against his Anointed One… Yet I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain… You are My son. I, this day, have begotten you. Ask of me and let me give nations as your inheritance and as your possession the ends of the earth. You shall shepherd them with a scepter of iron, as a potter’s vessel shall you dash them in pieces.

He is the “faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the KINGS OF THE EARTH.” He gave “faithful testimony” in his sacrificial death and became the “firstborn of the dead” through his resurrection – (Revelation 1:4-6, 14:1-5).


Due to his sacrificial death, his followers now constitute a “kingdom of priests.” Overcoming believers participate in his reign as they carry out “priestly” functions for the kingdom.

And because they “overcame,” the “saints” are seated with him on his “throne,” but they participate in the same manner that he did - by their faithful witness even “unto death” - (Revelation 3:21, 5:6-10, 12:11).

In the vision of the “sealed scroll,” John weeps because no one worthy is found to open it. But he is commanded to cease weeping since the “Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, overcame to open the scroll and its seals.”

However, when he looks, instead of a “lion” he sees a slain “Lamb.” - Jesus is the “lion of Judahbut unexpectedly, he fulfills that role as the “Lamb.”

John saw the “Lamb” standing “in the middle of the Throne,” a picture of his enthronement. His first act was to take and open the “sealed scroll.”

The “Lamb” has “seven eyes, the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” This portrays his authority extending to “the UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH.”

And not only does the “Lamb” reign supreme, but those purchased “by his blood” reign with him as his priestly kings. And HE opens each “seal” to release its contents because HE is in firm control of events - (Revelation 6:1-8).

The second Psalm is applied also in the vision of the “woman clothed with the sun.” Jesus is the “son, the male” born from the woman, the one who, according to the Psalmist, is destined to “rule the nations”:

  • (Revelation 12:2-5) – “And she brought forth a son, a male child, who was about TO SHEPHERD ALL THE NATIONS WITH A SCEPTER OF IRON; and her child was caught away unto God and to his throne.

This “Son” is the anointed figure who is “to shepherd the nations.” And here, the book of Revelation follows the text of the Greek Septuagint version of the Psalm by translating the Hebrew verb for “rule” with the Greek term for “shepherd.” Something other than the forced subjugation of the “nations” is in view.


In chapter 12, the “Son” is “caught up to God and his throne” before the “Dragon” can devour him. The same reality is portrayed in chapter 5 where the “Lamb” appears before the “throne” after his death.

The “Dragon” fails to stop his enthronement, therefore, a great voice declares that “now is come the salvation, the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ, for the accuser of our brethren is cast down.”

Thus, the “Dragon” is defeated by the death of the Messiah, and there is now no limit to the latter’s authority. His enemies cannot act without his consent. For example, the “Beast from the sea” cannot launch its “war” against the “saints” until it is authorized to do so - (Revelation 13:5-7).

In the vision of the “rider on a white horse” the messianic figure rides forth brandishing “the sharp sword proceeding from his mouth with which HE SHOULD SMITE THE NATIONS. He will SHEPHERD THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON.”

Once again, the same words from the second Psalm are applied to Jesus, and once more, the term “rule” is changed to “shepherd.”

In the book’s final vision, John sees “New Jerusalem” descending to earth, and the “kings of the earth” and the “nations” are residents of the “city.” This begs the question:  How do the “kings” and “nations” gain entrance to the “holy city” since so often in the book they are hostile to the “Lamb?

The inclusion of the “nations” and “kings” in the “holy city” is the result of the “Lamb shepherding the nations.” His reign means something more than the destruction of his human enemies. Many are redeemed in the end and found in “New Jerusalem.”

Jesus “shepherds” the nations from his messianic throne. His only “weapon” is the “sword” that proceeds out of his mouth, the “word of God.” With it, he defeats his enemies but also saves many from the nations.

And his “sword” represents the proclamation of the gospel by the “saints,” the “kingdom of priests,” who reign with him on the earth. This is how he now is “shepherding the nations.”


Second Trumpet

Third Temple?