Sun, Apr 16, 2000

The Lamb is Worthy: Revelation 5:5-14

Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.

THE LAMB IS WORTHY!

REVELATION 5:5-14

The famous Thomas Nast, in a public exhibition of his skill, once performed a strange feat with his brushes. Taking a canvas about six feet long by two feet wide, he placed it nearly horizontal upon an easel before his audience, and began to sketch rapidly a landscape. In quick succession appeared green meadows with cattle, fields of grain, the farmhouse and surrounding buildings, with orchard near; while, over all, the bright sky, with fleecy cloud, seemed to pour heaven’s benediction upon the scene below. At length no finishing touch was necessary. Still the artist held his brush, as he stepped aside to receive the hearty plaudits [applause] of the admiring audience.

When the applause had subsided, Mr. Nast stepped back to the canvas, as he had not quite completed the picture. Taking darker colors, he applied them most recklessly to the canvas. Out went the bright sky. "Did you ever see a picture like this?" he asked, as he blotted out the meadows, fields, orchards, and buildings. Up, down and across passed the artist’s hand, until the landscape was totally obliterated, and nothing but a daub [blob], such as a child might make, remained. Then, with a more satisfied look, he stepped aside, laying down his brush as if to say, "It is finished."

But no applause came from the perplexed audience, and Nast then ordered the stage attendants to place a gilded frame around the ruined work of art, and to turn it to a vertical position. The mystery was revealed, for before the audience stood a panel picture of a beautiful waterfall, the water plunging over a precipice [bluff] of dark rock, skirted with trees and verdure [vegetation]. It is needless to say that the audience burst into rounds of applause.

- Ludlow

Human grief, sorrow, despair, often springs forth from insufficient information or knowledge about the situation, as was the case in this story of the artist and the picture he was painting. He knew what he was doing, what he was trying to accomplish, but the people in the audience had no clue and were bewildered by what was taking place. We tend to look at life in the same way. If things are positive, going well, we are rejoicing and applauding. But, if things go bad, if they don’t go well like we think they should, we tend to see it in a negative way. And many times we think that God has no clue at what He is doing, even though we might not say it.

As we saw last time, that is what John was going through. As he continues on with his heavenly vision, he see’s God the Father sitting on the throne and in His right hand of power and authority was the title deed to the earth. And as John stood there watching an angel cried out proclaiming"Who is worthy to open the scroll and to lose its seals?"

And as the fate of this world stood in the balances, no one stepped forward. No one was worthy to take the title deed from the Fathers right hand and this world was going to remain in the hands of Satan, given to him when Adam sinned and forfeited it. And as John realized the consequences of this situation, it was too much for him and he broke down and began to weep convulsively. He shook from his head all the way down to his toes over this situation that seemed so hopeless. The problem here was John did not see the whole picture. He had insufficient information and came to a horrible conclusion. And that is where we will pick-up our story this morning in Revelation chapter 5, beginning in verse 5. ( Read Revelation 5:5-14).

Now you may be wondering how John could have missed Jesus? Why John hadn’t seen Jesus? What happened? You know, you can attend church every week, even twice a week. You can sing love songs, pray and study the Word of God, and still miss Jesus as well. Be careful! Don’t lose sight of Jesus, don’t misplace Him or neglect Him. Keep Him before your eyes at all times, put Him in the center of your life!

Let’s now focus on this portion of Scripture and what is taking place around the throne of God.

REVELATION 5

VERSE 5

We can put this in our vernacular to help us understand what is being said. One of the elders, representing the church, told John to "Chill out!’ "Don’t get all worked-up!" "Relax!" Why? Because the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the King of the jungle, the King of all creation is coming! He is from the root of David and has the legal right to sit on the throne of David!

And while no one else was worthy, no one else was able, Jesus has "prevailed" or conquered what had disqualified everyone else: SIN and DEATH! He can take the scroll out of the Fathers hand for the victory has been won at Calvary and now it is time to take back that which was lost! And Jesus does this in the midst of the elders! And notice what John see’s as he turns to look at this figure who is worthy to take this scroll out of the Fathers hand.

VERSE 6

As John turns to look he does not see a Lion in majesty and power, but "a Lamb as though it had been slain.It is very possible that Jesus still bears the marks of the crucifixion upon His body. And we will be reminded as we look at Him of His great love for us, for his body testifies of that love!

Let me give you an example from the Scriptures of what I mean. Remember that after the resurrection that His disciples had a hard time recognizing Him. In John chapter 21, Jesus is on shore and He see’s his men out on a fishing expedition, and once again they caught nothing. So Jesus tells them, "Boys, throw out your nets on the right side of the boat." You see, they were obviously fishing on the wrong side of the boat! And when they did their nets were filled to overflowing with fish. And immediately they recognized it was their Lord, even though they were a distance from shore, His words and the results reminded them of a previous experience they had with Him.

Finally, as they are all on shore and they sat down to have a meal that the Lord had prepared for them, we read these words in John 21;12, "Jesus said to them, ‘Come and eat breakfast.’ Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, ‘Who are You?-- knowing that it was the Lord."Why didn’t they recognize Him? They spent some three years with Jesus and yet they could not recognize who He was. Why? Because I believe his body still bears the marks of the crucifixion. That He was so badly beaten, His beard plucked out, that His face did not even resemble the face of a man. And thus, they did not recognize Him because of this.

Now the seven horns speak of His perfect strength, His omnipotence. The seven eyes speak of His perfect wisdom, that He see’s all things, that He is omniscient. And the seven spirits speak of His perfect presence or that His presence fills the universe, it speaks of His omnipresence. And as we have seen in our study in Revelation, the number 7 speaks of completeness or the manifold workings. Thus, as we see all 3 of these attributes, only God can attest to them and not man. We are not all-powerful, or all-knowing, or our presence doesn’t fill the universe, we can’t be all places at the same time!

VERSE 7

Remember last time we spoke of the kinsman redeemer or the Goel, who was the person who had the right to purchase back that which was lost. And to be a kinsman redeemer you had to meet 3 condition or else you could not redeem back that which was lost. We are going to look at these 3 conditions that needed to be met and how they were fulfilled in Jesus Christ!

THE KINSMAN REDEEMER

1. HE MUST BE A NEAR RELATIVE OF THE ONE WHO HAS LOST THEINHERITANCE

Jesus meets this requirement because He is of the root of David. He was born of flesh and blood and thus is able to redeem us and this earth back. Luke 3:38 links Jesus to Adam and thus is a relative of man because He was born of flesh. It is as John 1:14 says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." So Jesus Christ is a near relative to man!

2. HE MUST BE WILLING TO REDEEM

How important that is. Jesus must be willing to redeem us back. In John 10:17-18 Jesus said"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father." Jesus was willing to pay the price of redemption and go to the cross of Calvary to pay the penalty for our sins. It is just as Paul said in Colossians 2:14 regarding our sins, "having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

When Jesus cried out "Paid in full" from the cross of Calvary, He was saying that all of our sins have been paid in full by His shed blood. You see, back then, when you committed a crime they would write it down and when you paid the penalty for that crime they would then write across the paper "TETELESTAI" or "Paid in full." It told everyone that you had paid in full the penalty for your sins, and Jesus is saying that He has paid the penalty for our sins with His death. It is as Paul said in Hebrews 12:2, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." So Jesus was willing to redeem us!

3. HE MUST BE ABLE TO PAY THE PRICE OF REDEMPTION

This is very important. You see, you may be a near relative, and you may be willing to be the kinsman, but if you could not pay the price of redemption, then your efforts would be in vain. And for our sins to be paid for, their needed to be a perfect sacrifice offered on our behalf, and there was. Peter tells us in I Peter 1:18-21, "knowing that you were not redeemed withcorruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish andwithout spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but wasmanifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him fromthe dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."

Christ was able to meet that requirement, He was and is the only one who could. And thus, Peter goes on to say in I Peter 3:18, "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.Jesus not only could pay the price of redemption, He did pay the price!

VERSES 8-10

My how things change when you put things in a proper perspective. How is that done? By putting Jesus Christ in the center of the picture, and as you do you will see your problems, your sorrows, your grief, your despair, and-so-on, melt away in the light of God’s love and presence.

The bitter weeping that John once had now turns to a song of joy as the Lamb of God takes the scroll out of the Fathers hand and is now setting the stage for the opening of the seals and the redemption of the earth back to God.

Now the song that is being sung here is the song of the redeemed, the song of the church, for angels can’t be redeemed by God. And the song speaks of the worthiness of God to take the scroll, the redemption of our souls by the sacrifice of God, and that God has made us kings and priests to reign with Him on this earth in the kingdom age. It is as Revelation 1:5-6 says, "...ToHim who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kingsand priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

This is the song of the church, which has been gathered from people from all over the earth. (Tribe = common ancestor, Tongue = common language, People = common race,

Nation = common government). It is as Jesus said in John 3:16, "For God so loved the worldthat He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish buthave everlasting life."

Also notice that God has redeemed us, past tense, something that has taken place already, on the cross of Calvary. Then in the future we shall reign with Him, future tense. There is coming a day when we will rule and reign with Christ!

And as I said before in our study, Heaven is a place of worship. Worship, the worship of God, is breaking out all over heaven as the Lamb comes forward to take the scroll out of the Fathers hand.

VERSES 11-12

Now everyone joins in worshiping God. Not only is the church singing, but an innumerable company of angels, and the four living creatures. Ten thousand is the largest Greek number. By multiplication of this number it speaks of one hundred million plus millions more! You can’t count them, nor do you really need to. The focus is not the worshipers, but the Lord! And all recognize that He alone is worthy to take the scroll and to loose its seals!

VERSE 13

It is not just man or even this world that awaits for redemption, but all of creation groans and awaits because all of creation is under the curse. Before sin entered this world all of creation were vegetarians, there were no National Geographic shows where the lions track down a gazelle and rip it to pieces. That is all part of the curse that came when Adam sinned!

Paul, in Romans 8:19-23 said, "For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption [or decay] into the glorious liberty of thechildren of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangstogether until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even weourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of ourbody."

One day the land will be restored and will be fruitful again. No droughts, no desserts, but the land will blossom like the Garden of Eden. It is as Isaiah chapter 35 says, "The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as therose...The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes."Isaiah 35:1, 7.

Not only will the land be restored in the kingdom age, but all the animals will also be restored. In Isaiah 65:25 we read "‘The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’ says the LORD." Also, in Isaiah 11:6-9 we are told, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."

When Jesus Christ returns to this earth to set-up His kingdom, I believe the earth will return to its pre-fall state. The animals will once again be vegetarians and they will live in harmony with each other and with man. The land will be fruitful, no more thorns and thistles. What a glorious day that will be!

And after the 1,000 year reign of Christ on this earth, God will create a new heavens and a new earth and we will see the curse completely done away with. It is as Revelation 22:3 says, "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him." No pain, no suffering, no diseases, no curse! We will have an eternity with our Lord! And all of creation recognizes this and they start to sing praises unto God. Is that possible? Why not! He is worthy and His creation will say so! Remember when the religious leaders tried to get Jesus to have the crowds stop worshiping Him as King, Jesus said to them, "...‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.Luke 19:40. So I have no problem with this, Jesus seems to indicate it is a possibility! And as we have seen, worship is ringing forth from every corner of heaven!

VERSE 14

The Cherubim have the right idea, they shout forth a big "Amen!" or "So be it!" In other words, bring it on, let these things come to pass, let them take place! And the twenty-four elders start worshiping the Lord all over again. I mean, what else could they do except worship the one who has redeemed them unto Himself and is now about to show us His plan for the redemption of this earth for His glory!

Now you can either worship God now willingly, or then by force. Paul put it this way in Philippians 2:9-11. He said "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him thename which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." The difference is that if you worship Him now it leads to eternal life. If you wait to worship Him until you stand before Him, you will be left in eternal darkness, Hell. It is your choice!

God has given to us such a awesome picture of heaven and the joy that fills that place. And think of the near future like this, you will either be in heaven worshiping Him or on the earth receiving His judgment! And next time we will see that unfold as the church is in heaven and God begins to pour out His wrath on the earth dwellers, the unbelievers. You have the choice right now how you are going to view these events, in heaven with the Lord, or on this earth if you have not died! The choice is yours. God has done all He can, He wants to be your Goel, your kinsman redeemer, if you would only receive Him and enter into that everlasting life with Him.

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