by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 4 Study # 3 Lincolnton, NC April 30, 2006
15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
1901 ASV Translation:
15 which in its own times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
16 who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen.
I. The "Appearing" of "Our Lord Jesus Christ".
A. The "event" is "timed" by the ultimate Sovereign.
1. He is characterized as the "blessed Potentate".
a. This "characteristic" is grammatically tied to the word "Potentate" (the text reads, "the blessed and only Potentate").
b. The question is one of "meaning": what does it mean for the One who will reveal the Lord Jesus Christ to be "the blessed ... Potentate"? What does it mean for anyone to use the word "blessed" to describe another? How does that meaning apply to the One who controls the "timing" of prophesied events?
1) A person is "blessed" when "Life" is his ultimate experience.
2) God is "blessed" by men when they understand that He is Life and is willing to share it with them. Men are blessed by God when He shares His Life with them.
3) The declaration of the appearing of our Lord is a declaration that the final state of God's creation will include Life for those for whom that appearing is the catalyst of that final state.
2. He is characterized as the "only Potentate".
a. The word is tied to the final exercise of "power unto victory".
b. The "methods" may be enigmatic to fallen men, but the final result will be no puzzle.
3. He is characterized as "the King of kings".
a. Daniel 2:20-21 declares that God is sovereign over kings.
b. Daniel 4:17 made this truth a major issue for men.
4. He is characterized as "the Lord of lords".
5. He is characterized as "the only one having immortality".
6. He is characterized as "the one who dwells in unapproachable light". Then he characterizes that "light" as something no man has, or can, see.
a. That "no man" has had this experience simply means that it is unlikely that any "creature" can really apprehend the Infinite One.
b. Men have, and will have, some level of experience of the Light of God, but it will inevitably be veiled to some degree.
B. The ultimate Sovereign is made the object of the ascription of "honor" and "unbounded power".
C. The "Amen" signals both an "end" to the thoughts of the words preceding and a need to ponder those words as extremely weighty.