“THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST WHICH
GOD GAVE HIM TO SHOW HIS SERVANTS . . .”
We all want to believe that we are His servant, because we have been born again. Some will actually walk and talk as if having first class access to the throne room, but in reality are only seeing in a mirror dimly. John the Apostle walked with Jesus very closely for three years. Jesus invited John, James, and Peter to go with Him in situations where the others were left out. John knew Jesus and could recognize Him in a crowd. Jesus loved and trusted John and even entrusted His own mother into John’s care. They knew each other very well. The Father also trusted John and put in his care the proclamation of the revelation of Jesus Christ as Revelation 1:1-11 indicates. If John knew Jesus so very well, why does he say in verses 12 and 13, “I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw . . . One like the Son of Man!” (emphasis mine) It sounds as if John did not completely recognize Him. Then John, in terror, proclaims in verse 17, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” Why would John respond this way to a man he had walked with for three years, was entrusted with His mother, and knew how much he was loved by Him?
I have heard it said from many a saint that when they see Jesus in Eternity they will run up to Him and give Him a big hug or dance with Him hand in hand. Do they know something that John didn’t know? Do they know Jesus better than John did? If John fell down as though dead . . . !?
Mary also knew Jesus and was outside the tomb after His death. Was Jesus’ response to Mary indicating to her that she should not remember Him as He was because He had not yet ascended to His Father (John 20:16-17)? He had told her not to cling to Him. If John didn’t quite recognize Him, neither would Mary.
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize Jesus after His resurrection. Jesus walked with them and ended up staying with them and wasn’t recognized by them until He broke bread and gave them some. Then their eyes were opened and they realized their hearts had been burning all the while He spoke to them. They immediately returned to Jerusalem and told the others what had happened. As they spoke to them, Jesus simply appeared in their midst. It says they were terrified! They did not recognize Jesus! In fact, He had to eat a piece of fish in order to show them He wasn’t a ghost.
In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus endeavors to reveal Himself in His eternal state to the seven churches. He addresses each church with the eternal aspect of His very description:
“These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire.” (Revelation 2:18)
“These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars.” (Revelation 3:1)
“These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.” (Revelation 3:14)
He wanted each of His servants to realize that He was not just a man. He was the Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the end; the One who is and who was and who is to come; the Almighty (Revelation 1:8). If we truly have a revelation and understanding of who Jesus is, our response will be like the response of the twenty-four elders:
. . . the twenty-four elders fall down before Him . . . (Revelation 4:10)
. . . the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb . . . (Revelation 5:8)
. . . the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever. (Revelation 5:14)
. . . All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces . . . (Revelations 7:10-11)
Whenever they encountered the “Lamb” they didn’t cheer, clap, shout or jump up and down. They fell! Within the book of Revelation, God endeavors to reveal Jesus the way that He saw Him; A Lamb!
A SCROLL, A SEALED BOOK IN HIS HAND
A voice like a trumpet spoke with John saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” John was caught up to heaven and saw revelations of the One who sat on the throne. His description, as John attempted to describe, is far beyond our imagination of what the Father actually looks like. We could be forever caught up in the wonder of that scene alone! John points out something that we might have missed as we gazed at this One on the throne. He says, “I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.” (Revelation 5:1) The Father holding this scroll indicates that the content of it is of utmost importance. I must point out a Scripture that coincides with the scroll being written on both sides. “And Moses turned and went down the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in His hand. The tablets were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets” (Exodus 32:15-16 emphasis mine). From the very beginning God has desired to make known His mysteries. You will notice that these tablets were not called “Law” but “Testimony,” even though the law was given at that time. They were the work of God expressing His very heart upon them. He is giving Moses instruction on the tabernacle set up for the purpose of dwelling with them. His desire is to dwell with us! You will notice in Genesis 24:12 and 31:18 something worth noting. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written.” “And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.” (emphasis mine) These tablets, written on both sides, were given by God to Moses. These tablets were given at the same time that God gave instructions to Moses on the tabernacle to make it just like the one in heaven. Coincidence? I’m sure John was aware of these passages in Genesis. John not only sees the scroll in the right hand of Him who sits on the throne, but he also sees that the scroll has not just three or four seals, but seven seals on it. The intent of pointing this out is not to analyze the number seven and if it has some significant meaning. This observation by John is to point out that the scroll was “sealed shut” and could not be opened.
What Did John See — Lion or Lamb?
At this point, a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice (emphasis on loud for the soft spoken), “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” Or as Amplified writes, “Who is worthy . . . to break its seals?” (I will talk more about the breaking of the seals in the next chapter.) John observes that no one stepped forward or was indicated to open the scroll, or to look at it. John could have considered himself as a possibility. He had walked with Jesus and had become a close friend and comrade, yet was coming to the conclusion very quickly that he and no one else was worthy. All of heaven and earth and those under the earth couldn’t even look at it! John was overcome with weeping; much weeping! He knew the importance of breaking these seals in order to reveal what the Father had written on it. If what is written on the scroll is the same as what was written on the tablets, then it also refers to the Testimony and the Law of God. The Testimony is God testifying about Himself; who He is and what He is like, and His Law which refers to quality of life in His kingdom. John had heard Jesus testify concerning all the wonderful things about the Father and His kingdom. He had seen the Father in Jesus as He walked among the people. Some of the things that could of went through John’s mind at this time could be taken from his gospel. He had written about many things that he had seen Jesus do: the miraculous healings, multitudes fed because of compassion, the wonder of walking on the sea, extreme wickedness forgiven as with the woman caught in adultery, and those who had never seen the light of day instantly receiving sight. He had even seen the tremendous sorrow of close friends who had lost their brother to death and then had seen death defeated because of resurrection. John knew of God’s tremendous goodness, mercy, and love; and yet it looked as though all hope was lost in ever seeing the fullness of it. But right at that moment one of the twenty-four elders speaks to John, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and (to break) its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5 – AMP) At this point, you expect to see someone come riding in as described in Revelation 19:11; “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True.” But that is not what John saw. He says, “I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6 – emphasis mine). He was seeing a young sheep slain, yet standing! Wow! He not only saw this Lamb, but he saw that it had seven horns and seven eyes! What a strange sight that must have been. Yet, John, not being moved by this sight goes on to explain the seven eyes and what the Lamb proceeded to do. The Lamb walked right up to the One who sat on the throne and took the scroll out of His right hand. I must emphasize something at this point. Revelation 1:1 says, “The revelation of Jesus Christ . . . to show His servants!” Many would say right here, “Dah, The Lamb is Jesus Christ!” Yes He is, but John knew this as well. From the time of John the Baptist proclaiming Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), John knew that Jesus was this Lamb. Most fathers would display their son for all to see in greatness and in the finest clothing and apparel. God chose to display His Son as a Lamb, slaughtered by others. And thus, throughout the book of Revelation, the word Lamb is mentioned twenty-five times. God chose to reveal His Son in this way. Just a note: for those of us who have this concept of marrying Jesus as His bride and sitting at table with Him at the wedding supper; it must be known that Revelation 19:7 and 9 says, “The marriage of the Lamb has come” and “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” Yes Jesus is the Lamb, but God describes this event as the Lamb being joined in marriage to His bride. The Lamb slain and standing with seven horns and seven eyes. This is the Lamb that we are to marry. The angel in Revelation 21:9 speaks to John and says, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” Why didn’t he say, “Come, I will show you the bride, Jesus Christ’s wife?” We, who are Gentiles, fail to understand the importance of the slaughtered lamb for sin. It dates all the way back to Abraham. God provided a lamb in Isaac’s place. Isaac was redeemed by a lamb. All of Israel was redeemed from the death angel in Egypt by a lamb (Exodus 12). “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year . . . kill it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:5-7 and 13). Every first born son that was born was redeemed by a lamb. (Exodus 13:13) When God promised to dwell among the children of Israel and be their God, a sacrifice of two lambs per day was to be offered at the tabernacle of meeting. One was offered in the morning and the other was offered at twilight. (Exodus 29:38-46) God’s very presence dwelt within the tabernacle of meeting. This was protocol for entering into God’s presence from the beginning.
The Lamb Slaughtered Standing
I must point out other very important Scriptures in regard to the Lamb. Revelation 14:1 says, “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.” (emphasis mine) This which is written on their forehead is in direct contrast to what was previously described in chapter 13:16-17 which says, “He (the beast) causes all . . . to receive a mark on their right hand or forehead.” (emphasis mine) There will come more of a divide between light and darkness; between the holy and the unholy. In these last days it will become more evident who belongs to God and who doesn’t. The evidence will be most obvious on their faces; even the faces of disobedient, lawless believers! When a teenager disobeys his parents, becomes rebellious against them, and then lies to them that he has been obedient; the obvious is on the face of the teenager that he is not speaking the truth. Attached to the rebellion and lies is a face that is undeniably full of shame. So it is with the disobedient and lawless. It goes on to say in chapter 14:9-10 that if anyone worships the beast, he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Chapter 15:1-3 describes those who are standing on the sea of glass mingled with fire as those who have victory over the beast. They are singing a song. The song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. We know the song of Moses because it’s recorded in Deuteronomy 32, but who can sing to me the song of the Lamb? This song can only be sung by those who completely belong to Him! Again in Revelation 17:14 which states concerning the ten horns on the beast, “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them.” The Lamb will overcome the ten horns or kings that are joined with the beast (Revelation 17:12). (The beast and the horns are expounded on in my first book, The Counterfeit Woman.) We can see in these Scriptures the importance of being rightly connected with the Lamb. There is no ability to overcome or have victory in the last of days unless we are completely and rightly connected with the Lamb of God who takes away our sin. Jesus proclaims to those in Matthew 7:21-23, who prophesy and do wonders in His name, that He never knew them because they practice lawlessness. They did not discern God’s provision for sin and they were not rightly connected with the Lamb! It must be noticed that the word Lamb is used throughout the book of Revelation. His name, Jesus Christ, could have been used in all of these references, but God is drawing attention to relationship with the Lamb and He’s doing it very intentionally. We must take notice!
Revelation 21 and 22 speaks of the holy city, New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Revelation 21:22-23 says, “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” Remember the Lamb described here is the Lamb described in Revelation 5:6. We must be rightly related to God’s provision! Revelation 21:27 and 22:15 (AMP) warn us of how important this is! “Nothing that defiles or profanes or is unwashed shall ever enter it, nor anyone who commits abominations (unclean, detestable, morally repugnant things) or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” “Outside (the city) are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” Beloved, what is described in these verses is forever! We could quote the greatest commandment this way: “You shall love the Lamb with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Deuteronomy 6:5 – emphasis mine).
In Revelation 7:9, John sees a great multitude which no one could number. They are standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They are clothed in white and have palm branches in their hands. Verse 14 goes on to describe these as those who come out of the great tribulation. They are before the throne and serving God because they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb! They will not hunger or thirst anymore. The sun will not strike them, nor any heat, for the Lamb (described in Revelation 5:6) will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. They live in God forever because they have “washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:13) No stains or spots on their garments. They took great care to make sure their robes were clean when they anticipated standing before the throne of the King! We, in this day and age are very careless in keeping our robes clean! We must take the sacrifice of the lamb/Lamb seriously. “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works . . . exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. For if we sin willfully (lawlessly) after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin.” (Hebrews 10:24-29) We will trample the Son of God underfoot and count the blood of the covenant . . . a common thing and insult the Spirit of grace. When Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-11), He presented Himself before the Father as the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. I love what TD Jakes said in one of his sermons, “There is forever wet blood on the golden altar which is in heaven!” It forever speaks and cries out forgiveness and mercy towards us! What we do with it is our own choice. I will end this chapter with Isaiah 53:6-7: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him (the Lamb) the iniquity (lawlessness) of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to take the scroll, and to break open the seals!