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The Lion Who Is the Lamb

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2020 7:00 am

The Lion Who Is the Lamb

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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November 23, 2020 7:00 am

What if you could get a glimpse into the future and know what the culmination of human history would look like? Would that insight help you better understand the purpose of your life today? If so, open to Revelation 5 and listen closely as Dr. James Boice walks us through a riveting passage from Johns prophetic vision concerning the end times and the mysterious Lion Who Is The Lamb.

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Looking to the human ministry of confessing featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Bortz for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study hours preparing you to think and act biblically is a story about a small boy was very absorbed in drawing and coloring in a very elaborate picture of his mother asked him what he was doing a set of drawing a picture of God's adorable all that's very nice, but you know, nobody knows what God looks like boys that they will now nobody does know what God looks like, and not even John, who has given us this magnificent book of Revelation is. For example, that he doesn't describe God as a matter fact he doesn't even calling God he refers to them as someone who was sitting on the throne phrase, the one who sat there says him who sits on the throne. We don't see God. We don't know what God is like. John doesn't know the other hand, there is one way in which we see God in the what God is like a man, as we see him in Jesus. Jesus told Philip your recall from Philip said, Lord, show us the father was for Jesus was about to go to the cross and eventually returned to heaven. Jesus response to Philip was Visio was seen me has seen the father John said in the prologue of the gospel we read words of that earlier.

No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only was it the father side that is Jesus.

He has made known. Revelation 5 we see Jesus with God on the throne in the fourth chapter God is introducing the creator of all things and hymns and I chapter hymns of praise to God as he is in himself a holy one, and also as the creator we get to this chapter we have praise of Jesus Christ for who he is in himself, and is the Redeemer we get to the very end of the chapter were going to find him appraiser. Both the father and son combined in verse 13. To him who sits on the throne and the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever got the flow of these two chapters now they are very important for understanding Revelation and deeper understanding even more than that. They show the relationship of the father the son.

For one thing that's important. But what they do over and above lavish show Jesus in his role as unfolding and carrying on implementing the eternal plan of God in history. Chapter 5 begins with a vision of a scroll that one is worthy to open the scroll. I went and reveal its contents or puts the flow of history which it contains. In the motion. But Jesus is the reason for that is that he is one the battle by his death on the cross and by his resurrection, and so he comes to do what only he can do. We don't need Jesus to tell us that life is filled with troubles we have to do is be alive to find that out, but we do need them to guarantee that the suffering of God's people is not without meaning it has a purpose of actually fits into that eternal plan. That's what we have as we get into these chapters, and even more so I was we go on in chapter 6 and following. We have a scroll by now we should know that everyone of these powerful and well-known images of Revelation is been given multiple interpretations by the commentators.

I find this kind of a series I can deal with all of them but I do like to suggest a few. I suppose are five major interpretations of what the scroll might be. First is that it's Christ's last will and testament reason for that is that in the ancient world, especially under Roman law a will was generally sealed with seven seals.

Have scroll seven seals.

Scholars know that sort of ancient trivia immediately picked up on it and say well this is Christ's last will and testimony, and indeed there are other passages in the Bible suggests there is an inheritance that we received from Christ hampers Peter 14 speaks of an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade in heaven for you, like all of that together.

The problem with it is that when Jesus begins to break the seals and disclose the content of the scroll and has nothing whatever to do with the arrival of the kingdom. Rather, it has to do with the outpouring of God's judgments on the earth. Not a very good explanation. The second one is this. It's the book of the redeemed reason people think that is because this book contains the names of those who were saved called the Lamb's book of life elsewhere occurs again and again Revelation you find it in chapter 3 verse five chapters 13, 17, 20, 21, and so forth. But it has the same weaknesses. The first interpretation, Christ breaks the seals is no mention of any names of the redeemed in heaven, redeemed appear along the way there. Part of the whole picture that other worshiping God in the day there even in this very chapter but that's not connected with the opening of the scroll view is less than the scroll is actually the Old Testament people were thinking theologically here in terms of biblical history would perhaps pick up on this view, the idea would be as only Christ was able to interpret the Old Testament because it's all wrapped up an image that key to understanding the Old Testament.

Recall that he pointed that out himself to the Emmaus disciples of stories in Luke 24 and were on their way home after the resurrection they were downcast.

They didn't believe in resurrections of the other would explain to them from the Scriptures. The text says beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

That's the whole of the Old Testament, and it all has to do with himself and his suffering again.

There's nothing Revelation anywhere to suggest that the scroll is the Old Testament fourth explanation is better.

It's a list of all the judgments in chapter 6 through 16.

I say that because when seal is broken, the judgments begin to be unfold.

It seems to make sense. Furthermore, there is probably a reference here to something that you find in Ezekiel a lot of references to these Old Testament prophetic books in any Ezekiel to verses nine and 10 is a reference to a scroll like this. It's written on both sides was unusual.

Usually they didn't write on both sides of a scroll only one and also it says in Ezekiel that the scroll back there contains words of Leman morning is the kind of thing that happens here. Moreover, given to Ezekiel to eat after each settee is able to prophesy about these events, you can say that that probably is the kind of connections was probably is what the scroll is about. Although I would suggest it's only half of the picture is talking about the judgments the wall and the sorrow is connected with that but actually there's more involved when the seals are broken. It's not merely the judgments but it's rather the great unfolding pattern of God in history which includes within it. Also, the redemption of the saints that leads to the fifth explanation, which I think is the best God's total plan of judgment, redemption, time to go into that because that's what were going to be studying. We get to chapter 6 we go on from there. Certainly to chapter 16 and maybe as far as 22. What were really talking about is God's eternal plan of judgment and redemption is way another scholar puts the George Eldon Ladd easiest identification of John scroll is that it contains the prophecy of the end of Vance including both the salvation of God's people and the judgment of the wicked is God's redemptive plan for the end and culmination of human history. The overflow of evil and the gathering of a redeemed people to enjoy the blessings of God's words scroll represents God's plan for the universe. The whole perspective of God and what we call human history is sealed means that this not only unknown, we can understand what history is about.

It also means that it is not implemented its unexecuted open the scroll means that by breaking the seals plan of God is revealed and set in motion, which of course is why Jesus has to do it. Now the end of answer going to come in Jesus reveal them, Sarah John Singer scroll. Then I saw an angel asking a very loud voice. It was worthy to break the seals and open the scroll and when no one was found worthy to do it. John says she burst into tears. She wept because no one was worth a why would that need to tears, particularly mother to obvious reasons. First of all a part from the person redeeming work of Christ in history. History is an enigma.

I mean by that is we have no idea what history means. That's why people who have rejected the Christian revelation of Christ is the key to it all really have a clue what history is all about the classic statement of Henry Ford. He was on trial in the libel suit in Chicago, somebody referred history replied history is bunk mean anything Henry for all he did was live for the moment. Here's one theologian of sorts as Rudolph Bultmann is a New Testament scholar is and believe that the New Testament gives is any sure revelation about Jesus or anything else at shore for that matter. And so here's what he ends up writing about history. We cannot claim to know the end and goal history for the question of meaning and history has become meaningless. Imagine a New Testament scholar saying that but that's what happens when you throw out Jesus Christ as the key mention Ladd a moment ago to close that negative judgment of Bultmann's and explains since Christ and Christ alone has the key to the meaning of human history.

It's not surprising that modern thinkers are pessimistic apart from the victorious return of Christ. History is going nowhere. We live in a very pessimistic age people.

You would think would be hopeful have no hope at all.

Winston Churchill when he was dying is very last words were the answer is no hope, no hope. Many people are echoing exactly that today is a second reason why John went. Not only that we couldn't understand the meaning of history I would be bad enough, but John was in trouble merely by his ignorance. He was also troubled because until the scroll is opened, God's purposes in history are remaining not only unknown but unaccomplished is way another commentator puts it, William Hendrickson is written one of the best books of all on revelation you understand the meaning of these tears you constantly bear in mind this beautiful vision. The opening of the scroll by breaking the seals indicates the execution of God's plan. When the scroll is opened and the seals are broken and the universe is governed in the interests of the church, then God's glorious redemptive purposes being realized. His plan is being carried out on the contents of the scroll come to pass in the history of the universe.

The scroll is not opened, it means that there will be no protection for God's children in the hours of bitter trial note judgments upon the persecuting world no limit triumph for believers who happen to earth and no future inheritance. I suppose we can put it this way, the decisive victory of Christ is the assurance plan of God centered in the cross will be carried out. Nothing is going to defeat the Almighty Christ is the center of the plan. He's the contents of the plan. None of the judgments that are recorded in the pages to calm her going to unfold until Jesus himself lamb was slaughtered for his people breaks the seals and sets about emotion well Angel asked was worthy to break the seals and open the scroll of creature in heaven or earth came forward.

But when John wept.

The angel said to him, Elder said to him, don't weep look, the lion of the tribe of Judah rooted David his triumphs. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.

The previous chapter in chapter 4 God alone is called worthy worthy to receive the praise of creation.

In this chapter we find Jesus son of God is worthy as well. I was given two new names here by the elder. First of all, he is called, the lion of the tribe of Judah. Interestingly enough, we know that phrase is very common. This is the only place in the Bible that exact phrase occurs does however go back to the Old Testament to Genesis.

In chapter 49 Jacob is dying his blessing his sons and he refers to Judah.

One of his sons of the Lions Club tribe. Jesus was that tribe is due to the produce David in the light of the Kings. Jesus was descended from it by Joseph, his adoptive father, and as I also believe Mary his mother on the other side of the two lines come together in Jesus and he's the Messiah by means of that the sample that is involved in the phrase the second new name is given for them. Here is the root of David that isn't found exactly anywhere else either. But it is based on Isaiah 11 is referencing chapter 1, 21.

It was a shoot of Jesse in chapter 10 reference to the same one who is the root of Jesse. Jesse was David's father so come from that line. Jesus comes from outline and when in this fascinating combination of words root and shoot Isaiah the prophet puts them together saying something really fascinating lease shoot is what comes from the plant. The route is what produces the plant so we saying that this Messiah, Jesus now identified here is the root of David is one who is at the same time both a descendent of David from Jesse and also the one who is the creator or who stands behind Jesse himself is very interesting is that it's only a divine Messiah who could be that by the way, that of course is exactly what Jesus said on one occasion, they were challenging. It means that you're challenging the Iva question for you. Tell me answer this question, son of David, whose loose on the Messiah.

He said whose son is a and they replied, son of David. He said that's right but I'll explain this. He quotes the Old Testament.

The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet. There's a question David calls him Lord and his money was greater than David, how can he be his son summoned back to the father is his Lord. Father doesn't look to the son is Lord, how can the Messiah be both David's Lord and son.

I didn't have an answer to that the answer of course is the one I was coming Messiah, the Savior was the same time God and that's what John is saying here in Revelation as well. Paul says in Romans one, three and four. Jesus, who as to his human nature was a descendent of David, but who also through the spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the son of God by the resurrection from the dead, that is Jesus Christ. That's who were dealing with peers. If someone were dealing with in the Bible from the very beginning to the end the Angels or something else about them. He tells John that this great figure has triumphed there in verse five agreement means he is one of victory Jesus obviously is done by his incarnation. His death and resurrection is enemies are our enemies and enemies of the world. Satan is supposed to flash the devilish triumph over all of them says in second Timothy. He is abolished death and brought life and immortality to life the gospel. This is our Lord. This is the one we praise now.

What follows here is one of the great dramatic scenes in the Bible. John is been told the lion of the tribe of Judah is able to open the scrolls and break it seals when he turns around look in the direction that has been indicated to them by the elder what he sees is not a lien versus what he expected to see but a lamb in the first six lamp looking as if it had been slain lien is the fiercest and strongest of the animals is that picture image in our minds. By contrast, lamb is the weakest and most helpless of the animals, the strange combination but of course that's exactly what Jesus Christ was both. In fact, it is by becoming a lamb slaughtered one at that. That he has conquered and has proved himself to be strong. Christ is called a lamb 28 times in the book of Revelation is John's favorite name for them in the same word occurs in John's Gospel. In fact the gospel probably contains the most important reference of all because in the first chapter verse 29 John the Baptist who has been introduce points out Jesus Christ with these words, he says behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin world.

Remember that Jesus said of John the Baptist that he was the greatest all the Old Testament figures it was last and greatest of the prophets select testimony really sums up and culminates all of the prophecies leading up to John, which point to the coming of the Messiah and it is John Doe identifies Jesus as the Lamb, you find that throughout the Old Testament earliest references back in the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. God is come to pronounce a judgment in the context of the judgment. He promises a savior to commerce going to crush the head of the serpent and I do something amazing God takes animals he kills the animals and he close our first parents adamantly with the skins of the animals wonderful picture of redemption the animals dying picture of substitutionary atonement. God said adamantly the day in which either the tree you're going to die, but that night the animals died instead not only is a picture of substitutionary atonement skins of the animals are used to close our first parents and cover their nakedness. It's a picture of what we call imputed righteousness.

I think Adam and Eve understood it, because when Adam called his wife, the mother was saying you're going to be the mother of the Messiah.

I'm going to give you a name that indicates I believe God's promise, and when she called her first on pain meaning.

As he was saying. I believe God's promise to always give us a Redeemer made a mistake would be for thousands of years before the Redeemer would come little baby was actually the first murderer history of the race, but I have the right idea.

You see, they were believing God is there way back in the beginning of Genesis get to the time of the Passover, the animal is killed Lamb. The blood is spread upon the doorpost of the house and God as he comes through the pronounce judgment on the firstborn of all the hosts of Egypt passes over the houses of those where the blood is spread it shows the blood of an innocent substitute is recovering for said God later Sinai Institute's law having to do with the day of atonement on which the high priest once a year. The blood of an animal and had been killed and sprinkled it on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant within the most holy place of the tabernacle coming between the holy presence of God and the law which we are broken is pointing to atonement or propitiation the turning away of God's wrath that those upon whom he has set his favor, might be saved on the letters there throughout the Old Testament, with all of its elaboration here we come to the book of Revelation we find exactly the same thing we find lien on the tribe of Judah who is actually a lamb.

Now is my being coming lamb by suffering the Jesus achieves the victory.

That's a very practical message Jesus is triumphed and were going to triumphed to going to do it by the world's methodologies going to triumph in this world by being more powerful than worldly terms of our worldly neighbors are going to do it by taking over the government and passing laws that force non-Christians to behave like Christians even though they hate every single thing that were requiring it doesn't happen that way were going to be triumphant but it's going to be like Jesus.

He didn't triumph by calling upon the armies of heaven, we could and he said he could have become and give a spectacular victory by removing them from the crossover coming as it were the worst of men could do by a deliverance. Rather, he triumph by going through it by suffering as the Messiah thing that he insisted was taught throughout the Old Testament is what he taught.

The Emmaus disciples when he said, beginning with Moses and the prophets eat explained to them in all the Scriptures what had happened and later how it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and die. According to the Scriptures, in order that the victory might be achieved is exactly the calling to which you and I are called as Christians.

Here it is in first Peter Peter Barnett standing there in the garden with the sword in his hand.

He thought the way to triumph was by attacking Christ's enemies and he did.

He tried to cut off the head of one of them, but the only got the ear Jesus fold and put away, assorted heel ear.

Peter got the point. Afterwards, he wrote this is talking about the suffering of Christ, and he said to this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps is what one commentator puts it in their struggle against the world.

Believers should remember the Christ also suffered at the hands of the world triumph over it. His destiny is to be there, they persevere. That's why the Saints are described as those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes and in chapter 14, or even liken to the Lamb of Isaiah for the same reason there said will wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb and to overcome the devil because of the blood of the Lamb Jesus was defeated physically world would say that, but in that very moment, and by means of it. He was victorious and it's in our suffering that we also over, and Paul Wright. That was his own experience. He talked about all the hardships that he went through in order to advance the gospel, but he put it this way. Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all to believe that if you believe that you can live differently to approach all of life. My mind accounted more important to stand for truth and righteousness in the glory of God than to be successful move ways the world evaluate success and fame in all of those things I hear some encouragement when John turned around and saw the Lamb looking as it had been slain, he noticed two more of the Lamb's characteristics of the records that Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which he says of the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Now once again we have to remind ourselves of this is a dreamlike vision. John is communicating by what I called symbolized Revelation symbols conveying the truth but were not think that Jesus is in heaven actually looking like a lamb with seven horns and seven license ludicrous pictures of me map of all this is telling us certain things about Jesus and says that Jesus has seven horns. What is that mean well at such a foreign image doesn't doesn't mean much.

But in the Bible and its culture where people Animals and people notice quite naturally that horns were associated with the strong animals and those of the biggest horns were often the strongest form is a symbol of power. They often talk about God raising up a horn, which meant a strong King or something of that nature. Now Jesus said to have seven horns, seven simply a picture of completion weaker seven days and seven occurs again and again and again throughout the book of Revelation, saying that he is all-powerful word for that omnipotent what it's saying that this Lamb looking weak, standing as it had been slain a crucified Messiah is the omnipotent King of Kings and Lord of that's what John is saying. Moreover, secondly, Jesus is omniscience is with the eyes refer to background. Zechariah 410 speaks seven lamps seven lamps of the menorah is the eyes of the Lord which range throughout the whole earth. Here John identifies some of the seven spirits of God. That's a puzzling thing we came across earlier in chapter 1, seven spirits, John never in Revelation. Strictly speaking, refers to the Holy Spirit is always the seven spirits in the best way of understanding that seems to be that it's the multifaceted or omnipresent nature of the Holy Spirit. I say that's a bit uncertain, but if that's what it means. It certainly fits here because it's a way of saying the Jesus by his spirit is ranging throughout the entire earth knows all things of this is the case, you have all Trinity venture God the father sitting upon the throne you have the Lord Jesus Christ, the son standing before the throne and have the Holy Spirit of God emanating from both and extending throughout the whole earth is good Trinitarian theology selects climax of this vision.

Before we get to the hymns of praise, which is what were going to look at next week.

Well, if this Lamb approaches the throne and he takes the scroll from the hand of the Almighty.

We know that this is a climax because at this point the four living creatures and the 24 elders from chapter 4 respond by falling down before the Lamb, just as previously they had fallen down before the throne of God the father worshiping him praying and singing the hymns of the climax which after also a climax of something you have in the Old Testament.

You know there's only one passage of the whole Old Testament in which a divine personage approaches the throne of God to receive authority as in Daniel chapter 7 reads this way before me was one like a Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven.

He approached the ancient of days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power all peoples, nations and men of every language worship him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will never pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed course that was Jesus and that is what John sees here in Revelation, the last of the 66 books of the Bible that the Christ you know some people know him as a baby lying in a manger for sentimental.

Many people are focused solely on the Christ of the cross. That is certainly the core of the gospel. Some were thrilled by the resurrection, we ought to be.

What were given here in this last book of the Bible is a vision of the exalted Christ, the Lamb standing, as he had been slain who is at the same time. Nevertheless, the omnipotent and omniscient Lord of glory. That's the one who is Lord and Savior of his people.

He is the one that was guiding history is the one who was opening the scroll that determines all the takes place. The judgment of the wicked, the honor of God's salvation of those who belong to him and need to belong to him. Say hi, how's it going what's going happen in history play what's gonna happen in history, God and the Lamb are going to be glorified, be wise to be there joining in the praise and worship of the saints. Father, we thank you for this passage important. What is taught us about Christ and his glory and the unfolding of history in your plan and our need to stand with Christ in faith and obedience service will give us grace to do that for you and listening to Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by. We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes that Bible study hours with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Aiken, God's living word with pastor, the Rev. Richard Phillips and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a free introductory package for first-time callers or to make a contribution. Please call toll-free 1-800-488-1888. Again, that's 1-800-488-1888.

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