Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
I believe that the external and internal evidence of both Matthew 24 and of the Revelation require that their dates be before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. (http://biblicalexaminer.org/PDF/RevT%26D.pdf)
Accordingly, Revelation 6:2 describes the King riding forth against his enemies who put him to death, as identified in Matthew 23, as well as against his enemies since his ascension to the Right hand of the Father, from where he exercises his total power and authority. He told Caiaphas the high priest that he, Caiaphas, with his own eyes would see Him return in the clouds of heaven, as he would ride forth in righteous judgment. (Mat 26:64) Josephus tells us that the army of God was seen in the clouds as judgment came upon Jerusalem.
Psalms 45 tells us how he that sat on the white horse conquered and conquers his enemies.
V. 5. "Whereby the people fall under thee." He would not be much of a conquering King if His enemies didn't fall before Him. He is and they do and one day they will all be His "footstool." The Holy Spirit convicting men of sin; He conquers those who have been ordained to life, and they fall under him. (Acts 13:40) Those who reject Him will fall under Him also in judgment.
V. 6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
V. 6 -- The Psalmist moves right on with no interruption. As we said, much of modern theology will try to make all of this Psalm a reference to Solomon except this verse and maybe the next one, as they seek to support the idea that King Jesus is not yet upon His throne over all of creation.
Spurgeon says of this (pg. 318) "To whom can this be spoken but our Lord? The Psalmist cannot restrain his adoration. His enlightened eye sees in the royal husband of the church, God, God to be adored, God reigning everlastingly. Blessed sight! Blind are the eyes that cannot see God in Christ Jesus! We never appreciated the tender condescension of our King in becoming one flesh with his church, and placing her at his right hand, until we have fully rejoiced in his essential glory and deity. What a mercy for us that our Saviour is God, for who but a God could execute the work of salvation? What a glad thing it is that he reigns on a throne which will never pass away, for we need both sovereign grace and eternal love to secure our happiness. Could Jesus cease to reign we should cease to be blessed, and were he not God, and therefore eternal, this must be the case. No throne can endure forever, but that on which God himself sitteth. "The scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter." He is the lawful monarch of all things that be. His rule is founded in right, its law is right, its result is right. Our King is no usurper and no oppressor. Even when he shall break his enemies with a rod of iron, he will do no man wrong; his vengeance and his grace are both in conformity with justice. Hence we trust him without suspicion; he cannot err; no affliction is too severe, for he sends it; no judgment too harsh, for he ordains it. O blessed hands of Jesus! The reigning power is safe with you. All the just rejoice in the government of the King who reigns in righteousness."
In 45:6, we have Christ ascending to His throne, not only over His people as was David's throne, but also over all creation. He ascended to this throne when He returned to His Father. Actually, His reign did not start at that time, but it was from eternity past.
John 17:2, the Father gave Jesus power over all flesh. Even the power which is exercised contrary to righteousness must come from Jesus. (See our book on Rom. 13:1-5.) John 17:6 points out that Christ's glory was established before the world was established. So we see that Christ always has reigned. He took a 33½ year "leave" from that reign to come as a man to pay the price of redemption. That job complete, He returned and sat back down on His throne of all power and authority where He is at this time.
From His throne, He spoke, and the worlds were made. From His throne, He moved in history to bring about all of the circumstances surrounding His birth, death and resurrection. He ascended back to His throne, and from there, He is again directing all of history (past, present, future) and preparing for His second coming in all power and glory, after all things have been subdued unto him.
1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Psalms 45 will lose its full significance without the New Testament that reveals the meaning to all the many Old Testament passages. See, for example, Hebrews chapters 1 &2. Moreover, the New Testament will be a closed book and easily distorted without the Old Testament. The two must be studied as one book in order to get the true doctrine of salvation as well as of the end times.
(Among the several things that hide the truth of scripture from the inquisitive are 1) failure to know the Old Testament, 2) having never understood what it means to trust Christ, though they have made professions with their mouth, 3) studying out of vain curiosity, and 4) not doing what they know from Scripture what is required of them.)
The impressive thing here in v. 6, is that His throne is forever and ever. From eternity past--to eternity future, with no hint of a "time out" while the prince of darkness rules. (See 1 Cor 15) There is no way around an uninterrupted rule of this King, neither from Psalms 45 nor from Hebrews 1 & 2, Acts 2 and many other passages. Peter asserts in no uncertain terms that Christ has already ascended to the place of all power and authority. (1 Pet 3:21, 22)
Example: The passage such as Psalms 45 and Hebrews 1 and 2, speak of King Jesus leaving His home in glory, coming to this earth and dying for the redemption of man. The next step was His ascension to His throne where He awaits until all His enemies are subdued. There is no place in Gods predetermined plan where His enemy prevails over Him.
However, there are passages, when used apart from their context, which seem to indicate Satans superiority. But those places cannot be found when one adheres to the context of Scripture.
Example: 2 Thessalonians 2 appears to show the triumph of evil over God. But we cannot overlook the destruction of Jerusalem, 70 A.D. That day was the end of all the things the recipients of these letters knew about the world. the day of Christ is at hand. The context requires the day to be the day of His return to judge national Israel as he promised the high priest in Matthew 26:64
As we study Church history from Christ on, we find that it
was only the emperors of Rome who
claimed to be divine, gods on earth. They demanded worship as such, and persecuted any and all who refused to give them this worship. The emperor Constantine in 313 AD is the one who put a stop to the persecution.
What developed from Constantine is the Church of Rome which
with its pope, claimed to be
God's representative on earth. The battle then became over who was the representative of God on earth, the Church of Rome or the state. Both claimed to be equal with God, but did not claim to be God as did the emperors. (The modern state claims God-like sovereignty.)
In B.B. Warfield's words:
It was Nero, then, the first persecutor of the Church, -and Vespasian the miracle-worker, -and Titus, who introduced his divine-self and his idolatrous insignia into the Holy of Holies, perhaps with a directly anti-Christian intent, -and Domitian, -and the whole line of human monsters whom the world was worshipping as gods, on which, as a nerve-cord of evil, these hideous ganglia gathered, -these and such as these it was that Paul had in mind when he penned this hideous description of the son of perdition, every item of which was fulfilled in the terrible story of the emperors of Rome.
Thus, it was the Jewish state that was the restraining power. As long as Judaism existed, it protected the developing new, young and weak Gospel Church from the state, Rome. Judaism had fought for the right to exist, and as the new church developed, it was mistaken for Judaism by Rome, otherwise it would have been declared an illegal religion. It was persecuted as an illegal religion as soon as Rome found out that Christianity was not Judaism. Protection was left in place by God until the new Church was strong enough to stand on its own.
Also, during this time, the door of salvation was kept open
to the Jews until the elect Jews were
brought into the Body of Christ. (Thus, all the elect of national Israel was saved between Pentecost and the destruction of Jerusalem, Rom 11. 26, ed.)
If the restrainer of v. 7 must be identified as a person, which Warfield doubts, he identifies him as James of Jerusalem, "God's chosen instrument in keeping the door of Christianity open for the Jews and by so doing continuing and completing their probation.
2 Thessalonians 2:8, Judaism is removed by Rome and now the
Wicked one is allowed to move
against the church in all of his fury. And he does, as the Christians refuse to honour the Roman
emperors as gods on earth. Romes fury lasted 300 years.
Warfield goes on to identify the apostasy or falling away referred to in v. 3 as the great apostasy of the Jews, which gradually filled up over the years. The wrath of God was hanging over them like a storm cloud ready to burst forth in overwhelming fury. The presence of God departs from the temple, now an apostate temple, and turns the city over to the Roman legions in the war with Rome, around A.D. 68-70.
Thus, with this prophetic passage in Thessalonians, Paul was preparing the Church for the destruction of their protector, Judaism. He tells them why destruction will take placethe Jew's apostasy is full. He warns them of the new church's soon coming exposure to the persecuting sword of the Roman Caesars, who considered themselves gods on earth, and demanded worship as such. They killed all who refused to acknowledge their claim. (From The Triumph of Titus, Matthew 24, p. 87 by this author.)
45:6, His throne is from everlasting to everlasting and all of the combined effort of the enemy, as he tries to replace God's law with his own, is met with laughter from heaven as well as defeat, destruction and death, Psalms 2.
We might mention that even His people can be His enemy in this sense of replacing His law with their own. They, too, can reap the results which the raging heathen will reap as they try to do away with God's law. (Pro 13:14)
Scepter... The Old Testament references here is to a rod, staff, club, scepter (see Zech. 10:11). It is a mark of authority.
The New Testament reference of Hebrews 1:8 requires a closer look: Thayer's Lexicon (republished by APAI, Lafayette, IN 47903, first printed in 1878) identifies this word of Heb. 1:8 on pg. 560:
"A rod: with which one is beaten, I Cor. 4:21; A staff: as used on a journey, Matt. 10:10; or to lean upon, Heb. 11:21; or by shepherds, Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15, in which passages as (Greek words) is fig. applied to a king, so (Greek words), with a rod of iron, indicating the severest, most rigorous, rule; hence (Greek word) is equip. to a royal scepter like (Hebrew word--Ps. 2:9; 45:8; Heb. 1:8; Ps. 45:8)." We would strongly recommend looking these up.
Observe: Thayer identifies the scepter of Hebrews 1:8, of course, with the one of Psalms 45:6. But what is even more interesting is that he also identifies the scepter (rod) of Hebrews 1:8, Psalms 45:6 with the rod of Revelation 2:27, 12:5, 19:15, and ties them together with the rod of Psalms 2:9.
Accordingly, these passages show us that King Jesus is right now on His throne and ruling with a rod of iron.
The question might be raised, "How can we say that Christ is right now ruling with a 'rod of iron?'" Consider: What is the rod of iron? Comparing scripture with scripture, we find that the exact same word translated rod in "rod of iron" is also translated scepter in "scepter of righteousness," which is the scepter of His kingdom (Heb. 1:8). Both the Old and New Testaments use scepter and rod interchangeably. (Ps 2, Ps 45, Heb 1 and Rev. 2)
Accordingly, the rod and scepter are the same thing. When He had His scepter of rule, even before the foundation of the world, it was also His rod of iron with which He is today ruling. (Ps. 2, 45, Heb 1)
Therefore, according to Psalms chapters 2, 45 and Hebrews 1, He today is ruling with His rod of iron, which is also His scepter of righteousness.
We will quite here for now, and pick up with the sceptre of thy kingdom, v. 6 next time.