Many Crowns

Date: 09/09/2006 
What is the significance of crowns in Scripture?
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Welcome comments. Our message this morning is dealing with the subject of crowns, more precisely, many crowns. I was surprised as I began to study the theme in the Bible how many crowns, there are in the Bible. All different kinds, some good, some bad, mostly good. Some are symbolic, some are real, some are figurative, some are tangible. And maybe it would be a good idea before we get into this study on the subject of crowns, to begin with a definition. A crown, it's a noun, is an ornamental circlet or head covering, often made of precious metal, set with jewels and worn as a symbol of sovereignty. It's often the power, position, or empire of a monarch, or of a state governed by a monarchy. A distinction or a reward for achievement, especially a title signifying championship in a sport. Something resembling a diadem in shape.

That the best we can tell, the idea of the ancient sovereigns or kings wearing crowns sprang from the belief that God emanated light. The Bible tells us, God is light. Matter of fact, if you and I could see God the Father, well we couldn't, we wouldn't survive it. He exudes so much light. In the face of God, it says even the eyes of God proclaim light. You've probably seen many of these ancient paintings that the saints and the holy ones all have these halos around their heads. Even a moment ago you saw the Statue of Liberty up there with seven radius of light that were coming out from Lady Liberty there, sort of like a halo of light. A crown was something to resemble a halo, a divinity, a sovereignty, authority. And so these man-made crowns that they put on all became a figure of that. Matter of fact, the way you say crown in Greek is stephanos. And so if you know anybody with the name Stephen that means crown. Stephanie, it means crown in the Bible. Stephanos, that would be the Greek word.

Now, I don’t know if any of you have been to England, but there are some places in the world. Pastor Mike, you ever been to England? You can go to the Tower of London. Now I never did this because when I went to England I was either working or my Mom lived there and I was sort of bored. But they take you on these tours and you can go to the Tower of London. And I guess, I don’t know if they’re still on display, but they’ve got the Crown Jewels that you can see. And people come and they look at this array of splendid, priceless jewels that the various monarchs through England’s history had fought over and worn. From kingdom to kingdom the crowns differ greatly. The crowns that the pharaohs wore were very different from the crowns that the English or European monarchs wore. Sometimes they were little wreaths like the one Napoleon wore when he crowned himself. Other times they were very big, bulky, heavy, laden with jewels. But these crowns represented authority, victory, dominion and often were very glorious.

If someone were to ask you, “Would you like to be crowned?” Well, that depends. If it’s your father asking you that question you might hesitate. Because it could mean something different. I remember when; any of you ever play checkers? You don’t see many people playing that anymore, in the age of video games. A lot of kids are looking at me now like, “Checkers, what’s that?” But some of us remember when checkers were video games, that was the game. I played checkers by the hour and of course the idea was to get to the other side so what? You could be crowned. Do you want to be crowned? What comes with that? You know the Bible talks a lot about the redeemed being crowned. In preparation for this sermon this week that song popped into my head that the kids often sing in the lower divisions, “I will wear a crown in my Father's house.” How many of you know that? The kids sing that, I will wear a crown, and the kids get excited about that. “Won't you come with me to my Father's house. I will wear a crown in my Father's house.” But is that why we are really wanting to go? So we can wear a crown.

And there are a number of different kinds of crowns that the Bible talks about. They're not all crowns of gold, per se. For instance, did you know, in the Bible, it tells us that those of you that have a hoary head—the word hoary head means a frosty head, or white hair-- that's a crown. That's what it says. Proverbs 16:31, “The silver haired head is a crown of glory if it be found in the way of righteousness.” The very fact that God has preserved you over the course. Now some of us get our silver crown sooner than others. Don't think you're going to get any credit if you go dye your hair gray just so you can say, “I'm now crowned.” You have to get it in the way of righteousness. Some of you who didn't dye your hair you to get your crown back, right?

And then it tells us that man is crowned. The Bible tells us in Psalm 8:5-6, “You have made him, man, a little lower than the angels and you have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of your hands and put all things under his feet.” Man was basically given a crown over this world. It was crowned to be the leader of this world, to have dominion over the world. A great extent of that dominion was lost through sin. It was surrendered to the Devil, who became the prince of this world. Man sort of handed over the crown to the enemy. And you know what often happens is when one kingdom conquers another kingdom, the defeated kingdom, the monarch, hands his crown over to the winner. There's an example of that here in our study today.

Now, if you've ever seen a beauty pageant, and they are something to behold, not just because it's usually an assembly of all the beautiful women. My stepmother was Miss Kentucky, so she told me a little bit about this. I've got another friend that some of you know, Becky Trueblood with the Heritage Singers, she was Miss Idaho and was one of the contestants of course for Miss America. It's funny because they are all so sweet in front of the camera. And as they're announcing the runners up, they all clap, and they hug the one who's been chosen, and they're wishing that they could throw daggers, but they're just smiling. It's a very cutthroat kind of industry. Well anyway, the great moment is when they get the last two finalists. Under after hugging each other, “Oh, I hope it's you.” “No, I hope it's you.” You know they're lying through their teeth, but they're looking gracious, because that's what beauty queens are supposed to do. And then they announce the winner. [comments about photo on screen] The big moment is when she gets the crown, right? And it means now you've got the title, you have won, the beauty queen.

You know, there's a crowning of a beauty queen in the Bible. Did you know that? The book of Esther is really a struggle over crowns. I don't know if you've ever considered it that way, but it begins with the king calling for his beautiful wife Vashti to come so that they could look on her beauty with her crown. Now I know you and I are thinking, “What a chauvinistic thing for a bunch of drunken men to do." I don't blame her one bit for saying I'm not coming to your party. You're all playing poker, want us to come.” When you think about it, why do people watch beauty pageants? People love of beauty. They want to admire it. And so it wasn't really all that unusual that the king should say that. And she didn't want to come. Let me just read it to you. Esther 1:11-12, “To bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown in order to show her beauty to the people, for she was beautiful to behold. But Vashti refused to come at the king's command.” Now that's something.

If the king's wife and queen refuses to come at the king's command, first of all, it was mortifying for the king. And it was unheard of in the kingdom. The queen was basically saying, “I don't need to listen to your orders.” I mean, what's he going to do? Execute his wife? Well, Henry VIII that was a no-brainer for him, but it was a little different in Persia. So the king finally is counseled, “You need to find a new queen, who will listen to the king.” Finally, all of these beautiful virgins, they had a beauty contest, they had a beauty pageant. And when the king, he was the only judge, he laid eyes on Esther and he said, “Bingo!”

Wouldn't you like to see a photograph of what Esther really must have looked like? We don't know, but it says that she was more beautiful than any of the women in Persia. And the king, he was king over 127 provinces. It was from a great spectrum. Esther was the most beautiful. And it says in Chapter 2, “The king loved Esther more than all the other women. She obtained grace,” she got the envelope, “and favor in his sight more than all of the other virgins. So he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.” So now, was she seeking it? She was crowned, but she was not seeking the crown. Don't miss that. Because then we transition to another part of the story of Esther where Esther's uncle Mordecai, he would not bow before the king's friend, Haman. And hey men became so enraged and incensed he said, “I'm going to exterminate not only Mordecai, but all of his people. But first him.” So he built a gallows 50 feet high and he went to the king to get permission to have Mordecai hung on the gallows. And he and the king were close buddies.

He thought, “This is no problem.” But God had other plans. And that night, the king couldn't sleep. And he said, “You know, whenever the scribe reads the chronicles it usually puts me to sleep. So I’ll just bring the scribe in and have him read the chronicles to me and that ought to put me to sleep.” So the scribe comes in and he’s reading through the chronicles of what’s been happening in the kingdom. And there had been an assassination attempt against the king, Ahasuerus. And the person who had exposed it had not been thanked or rewarded in any way. That should remind us that sometimes the reward of the king comes a little later than you expect. So hang in there. So the king says to the scribe, “Did we ever do anything for this man, Mordecai?” And the scribe said, “There's no record of any way of thanking, no reward. He saved your life.” The king said, “Well it's not good for a king to be so ungrateful.”

So while the king is thinking, “What shall I do for this man who I want to honor and thank,” Haman comes in. And he says, "I just want you to sign this death certificate for a man named Mordecai.” But before Haman has a chance to say that the king says, “Haman buddy, what shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor? I need some ideas.” And so Haman thinks within himself, “Well, who would the king like to honor more than me? What shall I ask for? Put him on the king's horse, get the most noble person in the kingdom to lead the horse, and get the royal robes and put them on him, and put the crown on his head, the king's crown.” Haman’s like the devil; he wanted God's position, didn't he? “And then have them go through the cities of the streets and this herald will pronounce, ‘Thus shall it be done to the and whom the king delights to honor."

Have this big triumphal parade. The king says, “Well, I'm not very imaginative. That's better than anything I could think up.” And he says, “Tell you what. That’s what we’re going to do.” Esther 6:8, “Let the royal apparel be brought which the king uses to wear and the horse that the king rides upon and the crown set upon his head.” And the king said, “Do everything you said.” And Haman is beaming. And the king says, “To Mordecai.” And right about then he took the certificate for Mordecai’s death and crumbled it up and stuck it in his pocket and he went out of there totally mortified. And I wonder if that’s any connection with the word Mordecai.

He didn’t get the crown. He wanted the crown. It went to the one who wasn’t searching for it. The one who was actually seeking the welfare of the king got the king’s crown. And if you seek the welfare of your king you will be crowned. He was interested in the life of the king. And then when you end the book of Esther, not only is this a temporary parade for Mordecai. After there’s vindication of God’s people, Esther 8:15-16, “So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad and the Jews,” God’s people, “had light and gladness and joy and honor.” When the righteous wear a crown the people rejoice, right? Just a little snippet of this exchange of crowns in the Bible.

By the way, there’s a lot of examples in prophecy of how there’s a three and a half year period connected with the persecution of God’s people. Did you know that the book of Esther begins with a three and a half year period before there’s a change of crowns? In the third year of the reign of Ahasuerus he has a feast lasting 180 days. What does that add up to? 1,260 days. Interesting. Esther’s a prophetic book in disguise.

Then you’ve got the coronation of Joash. Now we don’t live in the day where there’s a lot of coronations anymore. We don’t have as many monarchs. We’re in the days, the age of democracies. How many of you remember living when Queen Elizabeth II was coroneted? That’s over 50 years ago now isn’t it? It’s been a long time ago. And maybe someday Prince Charles will be King Charles. We don’t know. But not too many monarchs. Some of you remember King Haleysalacia [?] of Ethiopia. A little fellow, but he was a big king. Don’t have too many coronations that we see. The closest thing that we’ve seen in our day and age is the pope, and I’ll get to that later.

But there’s a story in the Bible where Joash, who is a type of Christ. Queen Athalia, when her son died she didn’t want to be just a grandmother. She wanted the power. So instead of one of the king’s sons being coroneted she tried to have them all exterminated. Don’t forget Athalia is the daughter of Jezebel, who doesn’t want a king worshipping Jehovah on the throne. She wants Baal worship in the kingdom. So she exterminates all of the sons of David—almost.

By the way, the Devil inspired that. The same Devil who wanted all the baby boys in Israel killed in the river. And all the babies in Bethlehem killed. The Devil knew a savior was coming and tried to prevent it from happening. But one baby, a year old, named Joash was rescued by his aunt, taken to the temple, nourished and protected in the temple. And after she ruled over the land six years, when Joash was seven years of age, they said, “He’s old enough now. We can’t wait any longer. We’ve got to get him on the throne.” “As the Sabbath was beginning,” the whole thing can be found in II Kings 11. I don’t have time to read it all now, “but as the Sabbath was beginning they brought him out of the temple. They blew the trumpets.” II Kings 11:11-12, “Then the escort stood, every man with his weapons in hand.” Jesus when He is coroneted when He comes to this world will be surrounded by angels, won’t He? “From the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple. By the altar and in the house.” Where’s our King now? Isn’t He in the temple? When He comes out is He going to receive His kingdom? “And he brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony,” the law. Jesus is the Word. “And made him king and anointed him.” They anointed him with the holy oil so he’s chosen by God, a symbol of the Spirit. They clap their hands. They said, “Long live the king.” And while he was coroneted Athalia was executed. That’s what’s going to happen when Jesus comes.

At the beginning of the millennial Sabbath He’s going to come out of the temple, the trumpets will blow; He will receive His kingdom that He deserves. Now Christ has already received the spiritual kingdom. And I’ll talk about that later, but that’s when all the wicked are destroyed. And Athalia, she’s kind of like that woman in Revelation 17, the scarlet harlot. She’s let out, she is destroyed, the people rejoice that he was crowned. Little seven-year-old boy wearing a crown must have been something to see.

A number of different crowns in the Bible that it talks about. You’ve got the crown of righteousness. And I’m not going to even read you all the verses, but you can look with me at II Timothy 4:8. This was in our memory verse. Paul says, “I have fought the good fight. I have kept the faith. I have finished the race. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me that day.” Why did Paul say “the Lord, the righteous Judge?” Paul says this in jail when he has been judged by Nero and found guilty and he is waiting on death row for execution. Paul said, “I’ve finished, I’m on death row. I’m waiting to be executed.” He was beheaded. But was he worried? He said, “Nero’s an unrighteous judge, but there is a righteous Judge who’s going to crown me.” Nero thinks he’s king.

He took his own life; cut his own throat when the people were about to execute him. But Paul, who was executed by Nero. What a change of sovereignty there will be that day, when Paul is on the walls of the new Jerusalem wearing his crown, looking down at Nero who is now crownless. So can you see what Paul is alluding to in this statement? “I will get a crown of righteousness. Nero, he was famous for his debauchery, he hedonism, his sensuality. Paul said, “That’s not the kind of glory I want. I want the crown of righteousness that the Lord the righteous Judge is going to give me, but not to me only,” here’s the good news, “but unto all of them,” that would be you, “who love His appearing.” That means we long for it. We love the coming of the Lord. Do you long for His appearing? Then you can wear that crown of righteousness. You’re looking for a different kingdom.

Then there’s the crown of life, the Bible speaks of. Several verses, I’ll read a couple. James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those that love Him.” Isn’t that what Paul just said? A crown given based on love. Now James Warren says you’re going to have to endure temptation. Before King David got his crown did he go through some trials? How many of you know the story of David? After Samuel anointed him and said, “You’ll be the next king,” did they parade him into the kingdom, set him on a velvet throne and give him a crown? He said, “You’re going to be a king, but you’re going to have to endure before you get your crown.” And David spent years running for his life and fighting for his life and hiding out. And after he endured all of that, finally he was brought into the kingdom and he was crowned.

Same way, you and I need to endure before we receive our crown. So don’t get discouraged. It’s a crown of life. Revelation 2:10, “Do not fear any of those things that you’re about to suffer. Indeed, the devil’s about to throw some of you in prison and you may be tested and you’ll have tribulation 10 days.” This is the message to the church of Smyrna, and for 10 years they had a very severe persecution. But it also applies to you and me. We may be tried. Don’t be afraid of those things you may suffer. “Be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life.” You may have to die for your faith some day, at the hands of an unjust government. Was there a crown that threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the furnace? But did the Lord give them a crown of life? Was there a crown that threw Daniel in the lion’s den? Someday there’s going to be a crown, there’ll be a government in this world that will persecute us and we’ll be tried for our faith. Be faithful, even if it’s unto death, and you’re going to get a crown of life.

The Bible speaks about an incorruptible crown. And Paul and Timothy use a couple of illustrations to bear this out. I Corinthians 9:24-25, “Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receives the prize. So run that you might obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is tempered in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible crown.” Also in II Timothy 2:5, “And also if anyone competes in athletics he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. And so there are rules for these races that you run. Now Paul is writing this, and he's in Ephesus. The Olympic games are already well underway. In other words, they had been around for years. It was grueling training. They had self-denial and discipline and racing and training to prepare to win this crown for the victor of the race.

Do you know what that crown was? Well, during the Greek games it could be a laurel, a little diadem, of leaves. Sometimes they were bay laurel leaves, had a little fragrance to them. At one point during the games, the winners of the raise wore a crown of salary. Salad head. All the discipline, all that striving, some of them running a marathon, 26 miles, for a crown of celery. And only one person gets the crown. You might run for all it's worth, do your very best, and all you get was nothing. Someone else gets the celery. By the time of the Romans they had dispensed with the celery that they had crowns of fur. Douglas fir, or something. I guess that's what I'll get. Sometimes before the games were even over it began to wilt.

What Paul is saying here is, by comparison, if you do your best to run the race, many can win that race, not just one. And it's a crown that will last forever. Look what they do in the world for a crown where it’s just temporary accolades, and a leafy crown. And he said how much more reasonable it would be to invest the energy into running the Christian race. What did Paul say in Hebrews? “Let us lay aside every weight, and every sin, and the weight that does so easily ensnare us and run with patience that race,” that endurance, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” So that's a crown that will last. We don't want that perishable crown, that corruptible crown.

The Bible speaks of a crown of glory. I Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that does not fade away.” It doesn't wither like some of these other crowns that we talked about. Some of you remember when Moses came down the mountain from talking with God. They had to ask him to veil his face because he was emanating light. This crown of glory, this glory he's talking about, this light that surrounds God. Hebrews 2:9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering and death, crowned with glory and honor that by the grace of God, He should taste death for every man.” Christ, when He comes, is He going to be crowned with glory? This is talking about that crown, that halo of light that just emanates a brilliance.

What is glory? When Jesus was on the earth He said, “Father, I've glorified your name.” And a voice came from heaven that said, “I know you have and I'm going to glorify your name.” And it's like they're fighting to exchange, to give the glory to the other. The Spirit is wanting to glorify the Son and the Son is wanting to glorify the Father and the Father’s wanting to glorify the Son. Haman wanted the crown for himself. Mordecai and Esther were interested in their people, and they were interested in the King, but they got glorified. He who tries to glorify himself will be humbled. But God wants to glorify us. But the trick is you must not want the glory. Now I don't know if that makes sense. Let me say it better. “He that will seek to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life will save it.” It's great to be glorified. It's nice to be honored. It's nice to be exalted. It's the kind of thing that's really nice when you don't seek it, when it's given. If you blow your own trumpet their something wrong with that. If you're clamoring for a crown, that's what the devil did. That's how sin entered the world. But the Lord wants us to have glory. It’s the difference between your crowning yourself like Napoleon did. Do you know what Absalom did? Wanted to crown himself, didn’t he? [end side one]

Napoleon died in exile. Absalom died swinging between trees, hanging by his hair probably. So there's a balance in the Bible, wanting to exalt the Lord. The Lord says, “That's the way it should be and I will glorify you.” And it should bring us some peace. Paul did say, “I'm going to get a crown that the Lord's going to give me. I'm not giving it to myself.” Do you see the difference? You'll find this all through the Bible. Anyone who is wanting to crown themselves so they can rule over others, that's not the Spirit of Christ.

Now, can a person be changed by a crown? If you're walking through the woods, any single ladies here? You're walking through the woods and you happen to see a frog, you'd probably never even think but just taking up that frog and kissing it, would you? But if that frog had a crown on, you'd probably look both ways and say, “What have I got to lose,” right? A crown can make a big difference. A crown transforms somebody. When somebody puts a crown on, all of a sudden, there's authority that's there. Isn’t that right? It makes me think of the story of the prince and the pauper by Mark Twain. When they traded places, and this prince who is now living in a household where he's being abused, and they just think that he's the bottom of the ladder. And finally when the people in the household found out that this boy that they had been forcing to do all these menial things, they saw the crown sit on his head and that he was actually the crown prince, changed their whole attitude, didn't it? About the one that they had been abusing. Those who abuse Christ, are they going to someday see Him crowned? Didn't Jesus say when they were trying Him, “Hereafter you will see the son of Man coming on the right hand of power.” Is He going to be crowned when He comes? It's going to make a big difference.

One of the first times in the Bible you find reference to a crown is the priestly crown. Exodus 29:6. When the high priest was getting his garments it was specified by the Lord. Moses didn't have some fashion designer that concocted this. This was God's idea. “You’ll put the turban on the head of a high priest and put the holy crown on the turban.” This is a painting by Harry Anderson where Aaron was being anointed by Moses. He got going the anointing oil; the turban was placed on his head, and then on top of the turban there's more. Exodus 39:30, “Then they made a plate,” a golden plate, “of the holy crown of pure gold and wrote an inscription on it like the engraving of a signet ring, Holiness to the Lord.” Now that high priest is a type of whom? He is our Melchisadek. Jesus was both a king and a priest. And up until the time of Saul, who was the king of Israel?

Up until the time of Saul, when people asked for a regular monarch, the high priest, wasn't the high priest, wasn't Samuel? He was the prophet, he was the priest and he was the judge. He was in effect, a king of sorts. But he was a king that said, “I am not the king.” He was a king that said, “God is your king.” Later they got a king that said, “I’m your king.” And that's when the people really began to go downhill. As long as the priest was their king, the purpose of the priest was to say, “God is your king.” Then everything changed. And that's why he wore, right on his forehead, right on his crown it said, “Holiness to the Lord.” Of course, Christ is our holy King.

The Bible tells us we are a nation of kings and priests. Isn't that right? Do you feel you are turban? Do you know that you're supposed to have a placard that says “Holiness to the Lord”? If we have been called as a nation of kings and priests, and that high priest war that turban that said, “Holiness to the Lord,” it ought to remind us that yes, we are to make atonement, we are to bring people to Christ as priests. But we're to have that Holiness. There's to be a humility in our priesthood. We have come to serve.

You know, one of the things that caused the Reformation and the Protestant movement was born because they did not think that a religious man should be exalted. One of the only times we've seen a coronation in the last century now is when Pope John and Pope Paul were coroneted. Now you don't really think of a Pope being coroneted, but that's what they used to do. They don't do it so much now, because it got so much ridicule. But the pope's crown, you don't typically think of the pope's crown because they don't wear it now. It's politically incorrect. But up until the last century, the pope's wore crowns. Matter of fact, it was a triple tiered crown. The reason was he was supposed to represent King of Heaven, king of earth and king of purgatory. That's what the three tiers were to represent. As matter of fact they didn't all wear the same crown. People have talked about the writing on the pope's crown that says vicarus phili dei [spelling?]. Evidently, that wasn't in all the crowns. I've got a picture here that shows many of the different crowns.

The crown that Pope John was just wearing isn't any of these three and they're all popes’ crowns. You can go look in the Vatican; they’ve got different crowns on display. Some of them are gifts from different monarchs that they ruled over. And then I've got a picture of the coronation of Pope Paul. And you look at this and here is a man who is supposed to represent Jesus. His entry, look at the entry of Pope Paul with his crown, on his throne, being carried on a litter and you can understand why they're so lots of ridicule afterwards saying, “Is this a Christian leader? And Jesus is supposed to be a servant of servants.” How did Jesus come into Jerusalem? On a donkey. We're going to get to that a little later.

Now let's talk about the crowning of Christ. There are different levels of the crowning of Christ. The message is Many Crowns, because there are many aspects that were looking at, many facets of crowns. Matthew 26:6, “And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him having an alabaster flask of very,” who was that woman? Another gospel tells us it's Mary Magdalene. “A very costly ointment,” fragrant oil. “She poured it on His head as He sat at the table.” Christ was anointed. You know what happened with Jesus just a few days before that. He rode into Jerusalem like a king; they proclaimed him king, on a donkey. Matter of fact, a baby donkey, a colt. Everything about the anointing of Jesus was the antithesis of what earthly kings typically do. For instance, kings when they are coordinated, they have ceremonies, right?

There is usually a banquet with dignitaries and their future cabinet at the banquet. Is that right? Did Jesus have a banquet before He received his crown? At the house of Simon, when Mary poured this oil on His head, He was surrounded by His apostles, wasn't He? When a king is corrugated there is an anointing that takes place. We just touched on that. Mary anointed Jesus. There's usually a parade when kings are coroneted. We just showed a picture of the parade of John Paul. Now the kings are paraded with a motorcade, because of security. But there's usually some parade that takes place, a triumphal entry. Did Jesus have a parade into Jerusalem through the Golden Gate? Usually there’s some fancy conveyance, a golden carriage. They still have the carriage that Queen Elizabeth rode, as royal carriage, when she was coroneted. Big, beautiful, ornate, elaborate carriage. What was Jesus conveyance, what did He ride? A donkey. Look how humble His coronation is.

Then there's a place where the feast takes place, and the coronation takes place. It's usually a church, and it's cleaned very carefully. When Jesus came, after at the triumphal entry, did He clean the sanctuary before He received His crown? Yes, He did. He cleansed the temple. There are special royal garments. Did Christ wear special garments when He was coroneted? He was given a purple robe. Isn’t’ that right? And then ultimately a throne, or a crown of thorns. But I’m not going to go to that just now. I jumped past something else that I want to talk about.

I want to talk about the weight of our crown. Can you feel the weight of your crown? In II Samuel 12:30. When King David conquered the kingdom of the Ammonites and the capitol of Rabbah, he took the king’s crown. When you conquered one king you got his dominion, you got his crown. “They took their king’s crown from off his head,” the king of Rabbah, “its weight was a talent of gold.” Do you know how much that is? A talent of gold, that’s about between 56 and 70 pounds. How many of you would like to wear a crown that weighs 56-70 pounds? When I first read this in the Bible I thought, “That can’t be right. That’s a mismeasurement.” And then I traveled. I started reading the Bible years ago. Then I did a little more world travel. I went to Africa and I saw ladies carrying cement bags, 100 pound cement bags, on their head. I went to India and I saw these ladies carrying these jars on their head that were filled with water that had to weigh 60 pounds. Maybe King David did get this crown. Didn’t wear it all day, but for this occasion they put it on his head.

There is a weight that goes with a crown because the crowns in the Bible represent responsibility. Can you imagine the weight of responsibility that David felt not only for the many kingdoms? David was a king of kings. He conquered many other kingdoms. And you’re responsible for all of that. You are to be a judge. You are to lead the people to God. As a Christian there is a spiritual crown that you should feel the weight of even now. The holiness to God on the crown, a responsibility that God has called you to lead others to Him.

In addition, the Bible talks about the soul winner’s crown. That’s connected with the weight of the crown I’m talking about. I Thessalonians 2, “For what is our hope, our joy, our crown of rejoicing?” Paul says, “Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord, Jesus? You are the crown of our rejoicing,” he said. It goes on to say in Isaiah 62:2-3, “The gentiles will see your righteousness and all the kings your glory.” It’s like when Paul is on the wall and Nero sees his glory. “And you shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord will name. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.” Now there is no verse in the Bible that specifically says that when you bring others to the Lord they become stars in your crown or that the stars in your crown represent that. The teaching is there. You can read in Daniel that those that turn, Daniel 12, “others to righteousness will shine like the stars for ever and ever.” Soul winners.

There’s an interesting quote from the book Early Writings. Can I read that to you? Speaking of heaven. “We all entered the cloud together and we were seven days ascending to the sea of glass when Jesus brought the crowns and with His own right hand He placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. Some of them had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars while others had but a few. All were perfectly satisfied with their crown.” Oh Lord, I just want to be there. If I don’t even get a crown, I just want to be there. I’ll be satisfied. “All were perfectly satisfied. They were all clothed with glorious white mantles, from their shoulders to their feet.” This is Early Writings, page 16. She saw this in a vision. I believe it. And these stars in the crown represent others that we have brought to the Lord.

Now I’m not necessarily wanting a crown that’s got a lot of stars [?] say, “Hey check out the stars. How many do you have?” I just want to be there. But, at the same time, I want to do everything I can to bring as many as I can to the Lord, and be as effective as I can. That will be nice to know that there are people who are there because of your influence. Whether I’ve got a little star on my crown or not. These kids in Cradle Roll Sabbath School, Elementary School, if they got perfect attendance, a little star for perfect attendance and they get excited about that. And we’re all a little like that, I suppose, right? But I really want to look at the people who are there. And each of those stars represents somebody who is there because of our influence. And that’s worth something to think about.

Some people are going to lose their crowns through neglect. Think about that. The Lord might have a crown for you that you could lose? Did God call Saul to be king? King Saul, yes, He did. And he was given a crown. He was chosen by the Lord to be king. But because he stopped listening to God, became proud, decided to do it his own way, he lost his crown. The Bible tells us that the enemy, the chief enemy of the Kishites (Saul was from Kish) were the Amalakites. By the way, Mordecai was a Kishite. Haman was an Amalakite. Did you know that? Just brings down that feud. Do you remember when Saul went to the Amalakites, exterminated all of them except Agag, the king. And he lost the kingdom, Samuel said, because he didn’t follow through with what God had told him to do. Guess who found Saul’s crown when he was dead on the battlefield? An Amalakite slave took away his crown. Brought it to David and then he made up some big story that he killed King Saul himself. And David had him killed. So it didn’t do him any good. But the crown of Saul was handed to David. He lost his crown.

Revelation 3:11, “Behold, I’m coming quickly. Hold fast what you have that no one may take away your crown.” God has promised you a crown of glory, a crown of life, a crown of righteousness. These things are waiting. And not only does He have a mansion prepared for you, He’s got a crown prepared for you. Don’t let anyone take your crown. Don’t make the dumb mistakes that Saul made. Judas had a crown prepared for him. But he traded that eternal crown, that crown of glory filled with potential stars, for 30 pieces of silver. What a bad deal. Then he traded it back in anyway, didn’t even get to keep it.

I want to return to the crowning of Christ. Jesus was crowned with the very humblest aspects because He wanted to demonstrate the humility. Who gets the glory ultimately for any crown that you and I might have? It belongs to the Lord, doesn’t it? Revelation 4:4, 10-11, “Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders. These twenty-four elders, by the way, if you look in the Old Testament, there are 24 groups that would praise God in the temple of God. These twenty-four elders are probably composed of those who are in that resurrection of Jesus. Remember when many graves were opened? And some of the saints who slept, patriarchs and prophets and kings who were faithful to God. “Clothed in white robes, and they had crowns of gold on their head.” And then you go to verse 10, “And the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and they worship Him who lives forever and ever. And they cast their crowns before the throne.” We don’t deserve these crowns. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, for you created all things, and by you they will exist and they were created.” So in heaven we’re going to all cast our crowns at Jesus’ feet. Because it’s a gift that we don’t deserve. They’re given to us by His grace.

Now back to the crown of Christ. What crown did He receive on earth? After He rode the donkey and after He went to the feast at Simon’s house with a leper, Simon the leper. I mean, here Jesus is saving lepers. Then He’s anointed by a prostitute; sitting among cursing fishermen; riding on a donkey. Ultimately He gets a crown of thorns, doesn’t He? That’s the crown. Why thorns? When did thorns first appear in the Bible? They’re a type of sin. When Adam sinned then thorns and thistles came out. And what kind of robe did Jesus get? They gave Him a purple robe and the Roman soldiers then mocked Him, and they hailed Him as though He was a king. They took a reed, that was His scepter, a staff from the river. And they struck Him in the head with this artificial staff and drove the thorns in. You know, Jesus not only came from the grave with scars in His hands and His feet and His side, but you know He also had scars in His head.

Let me read something else to you. How many of you have read the book Desire of Ages? If you have not read the book Desire of Ages you are robbing yourself of a tremendous spiritual blessing. I’ll say you’ll never be the same. This is how the book closes, speaking about the saints going back to glory. When Jesus is bringing the resurrected saints back to glory. After His sacrifice on earth, after His resurrection, this is what’s happening in heaven. That’s how the book of Desire of Ages ends. “When did Jesus receive His crown in heaven? All heaven was waiting to welcome the Savior,” by the way, this is Desire of Ages, page 833-834. “All heaven was waiting to welcome the Savior to the celestial courts. As He ascended He led the way and the multitude of captives set free at His resurrection followed.

The heavenly hosts with shouts and acclamations of praise and celestial song attended the joyous train.” There’s this triumphal entry, very different from what happened on earth. “As they drew near to the city of God the challenge is given by the escorting angels.” And the angels actually then begin to quote Psalm 24:7. “Lift up you heads, o you gates, and be lifted up you everlasting doors and the King of glory will come in. Joyfully the waiting sentinels respond, ‘Who is the King of glory?’ they say, not because they don’t know who He is, but because they want to hear the answer of exalted praise. ‘The Lord, strong and mighty. The Lord, mighty in battle. Lift up your heads o ye gates, even lift them up ye everlasting doors and the King of glory will come in.’ Again is heard the challenge, ‘Who is the King of glory?’

For the angels never weary of hearing His name exalted. And the escorting angels reply, ‘The Lord of Hosts. He is the King of glory.’ Then the portals of the city of God are opened wide and the angelic throng sweep through the gates amid bursts of rapturous music.” I’d like to hear that music. “There is the throne and around it a rainbow of promise. There are the cherubim and the seraphim, the commanders of the angelic hosts. The sons of God, the representatives of unfallen worlds, are assembled. The heavenly counsel before which Lucifer had accused God and His Son. The representatives of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought to establish his dominion. All are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are eager to celebrate His triumph over sin and to glorify their King. But Jesus waives them back, not yet.

He cannot now receive the coronet.” What’s a coronet? “The crown of glory, and the royal robe. He enters into the presence of His Father. He points to His wounded head.” Does His head still have the wounds? “His pierced side, the marred feet. He lifts His hands bearing the print of the nails. He points to the tokens of His triumph. He presents to God the wave sheaf of those raised with Him.” It points to those who are in this special resurrection, the twenty-four elders. “As representatives of that great multitude, who will come forth from the grave at His second coming. He approaches the Father, with whom there is joy over one sinner that repents, who rejoices over one with singing. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race. This pledge Christ has fulfilled when upon the cross He cried out, ‘It is finished,’ He addressed the Father.

The compact had been fully carried out. Now He declares, ‘Father, it is finished. I have done my will. O, my God, I have completed the work of redemption. If thy justice is satisfied, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am.’” It’s a quote from John 19:30. “The voice of God, the Father, is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. Satan is vanquished. Christ’s toiling, struggling ones on earth are the accepted in the Beloved. Before the heavenly angels and the representatives of unfallen worlds, they are declared justified. Where He is, there His church shall be. Mercy and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalm 85:10. The Father’s arms encircle His Son. The word is given, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’ With joy unutterable rulers and principalities and powers acknowledge the supremacy of the prince of life. The angelic hosts prostrate themselves before Him. While the glad shouts fill the courts of heaven, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.’ Revelation 5:2. Songs of triumph mingle with the music from the angel harps until heaven seems to overflow with joy and praise. Love has conquered. The lost is found. Heaven rings with voices in lofty strains proclaiming, ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him that sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Oh, isn’t that beautiful? That’s so eloquent.

After the experience Jesus comes back to earth. That’s when He says in Matthew 28:9; remember, He told Mary, “Don’t cling to me. I’ve not yet ascended to my Father.” He goes to heaven. This is what happens in heaven. Then after He is coroneted in heaven He comes back to earth. He lays that all aside. I’d just stay there and drink it all in. He comes back to earth and then when the women get a hold of His feet they worship Him and He says, “All hail. I have now been crowned victorious. It is appropriate for you to worship me.” So that’s what was going on in heaven between Mary Magdalene and the other women when they grabbed Him by the feet.

You know, the Bible then tells us in Revelation that there are many crowns that Jesus wears. Revelation 19:11, “Now I saw heaven open and behold a white horse. And He who sat upon him was called Faithful and True. In righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire and on His head were many crowns.” What are those many crowns? Crowns of dominion. He is the King of kings. Crowns of eternal glory. All the glory is due Him. Crowns of purity. He is the only one who has come to earth that is without sin. Crowns of victory. He is the ultimate overcomer. And then I put down finally the crown of love because that’s His very essence. And it is through love that we all overcome.

How many of you would like to wear a crown someday? I will wear a crown in my Father’s house. I want to wear a crown so I can cast it at His feet. Don’t you? And just give Him thanks and praise. William Penn said, “No pain, no palm. No thorns, no throne. No gall, no glory. No cross, no crown.” If you and I want to wear that crown then we need to share the cross. Spurgeon put it this way; “There are no crown wearers in heaven who are not cross bearers here below.” We may not have a crown of thorns, but Jesus wore that for us. We will have a cross to bear. And He says, “Take up my cross and follow me and you will have treasure in heaven.” He told the apostles, “You will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” And He says to all of us, we will live and reign with Christ. He’s going to move the capitol of the universe to this planet and you and I will sit on thrones and we will be able to declare to the unfallen worlds the goodness of God because we’ve experienced it in a way no one else has. We have gone from lost to saved.

Friends, I’m looking forward to that. I hope that you will feel the weight of your crown. I hope, even now, you can be transformed by that crown. But ultimately I think that in order to experience that heaven, that throne in heaven, to live and reign with Christ we must realize that He is our Lord now, and be willing to give Him that sovereignty over our lives. Have you surrendered your lives to Him? Are you willing to recognize Him as your King and your Lord?

Father in heaven, Lord, we are so thankful for the truth that Jesus is the King of Kings, that He has been coroneted, that His sacrifice, His life were declared successful and accepted and He has the right to justify us. Lord, it is our prayer that thy kingdom will come. First it begins with the internal kingdom, the spiritual kingdom. We pray that Jesus will be enthroned in our hearts, that we’ll be willing to recognize Him as the King, the Sovereign of our lives, and He will be enthroned within us. And then, Lord, we pray that we can be your ambassadors here in this world. That we can be a nation of kings and priests in this world that has rejected the sovereignty of God, and prepare others to accept Him when He comes with His many crowns. Lord, I pray that we can, with Paul, know that we have fought a good fight, we have kept the faith and that there is laid up for us a crown of righteousness, a crown of glory, a crown of life, that you will hand us someday. And we long for the privilege of casting our crowns at your feet. Bless each of us, that we might share in that experience. We ask in Christ’s name, amen.

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