The Kings and Priests of Revelation 5
- Who are They?
Kings and priests are spoken of in Revelation:
"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." (Rev 5:10)
The same term is used earlier in Revelation:
"And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Rev 1:6)
This page is a detailed examination of who these individuals are and what their role is. Read the page on
Revelation chapter 5 to see where they fit in.
There is a principle that impartial witnesses are needed in a controversy:
"If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: [sounds like the story of Haman and Mordecai in the book of Esther] so shalt thou put the evil away from among you." (Deut 19:15-19)
So there is a need to have a third party to help resolve a conflict and this third party is described, in Deuteronomy, using the terms priests and judges. Often in the Old Testament the priests were the judges in many affairs.
At the start of what is often termed "the Great Controversy" there were only two parties. There was war in heaven (Revelation 12:7) and sides were taken. This all started with something in Lucifer's heart:
"Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." (Eze 28:15)
Iniquity or sin was found for the very first time in Lucifer's heart. Before that, it did not exist. We are told that it will end with the end of Satan:
"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. " (Eze 28:17-19)
The word "lay" in verse 17 means to give, put or deliver, not lay out prostrate on the ground. To "behold" is more often translated as "see" and can have the meaning of "to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider." We here have the term "kings" beings used to describe the ones that will look upon Satan and see the results of his actions. And so we have both "kings" and "priests" being used in the sense of those who are involved in judgment. Other verses tell us who will be doing the judging:
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." (Rev 20:4)
Who are "they;" the ones who sat on thrones? We are told by Paul that the saints will be involved in judgment:
"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (1 Cor 6:2-3)
Again, there is the principle that the jury, to be impartial, can't be part of the original conflict. They cannot have already taken sides. The saints, while not part of the original conflict, have certainly been affected by the ongoing controversy. We have felt the effects of the one who has been allowed to demonstrate his character on this earth:
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (2 Cor 4:4)
As first-hand witnesses, we will thus be in a position to judge. So we will, as Paul said, judge angels and be referred to as kings and priests.