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Lamb on the Throne (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
November 21, 2020 3:00 am

Lamb on the Throne (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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November 21, 2020 3:00 am

Revelation 5 paints a picture of Christ unlike any other. Studying this passage elevates our perception of the one who deserves our unbridled affection and praise. We’re talking about Jesus, the Lamb on the Throne, on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.



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The book of Revelation, the apostle John described Jesus as the Lamb on the throne. He paints a triumphant picture of Christ today on Truth for Life weekend.

Alister beg explains how the description and imagery. John used encouraged early believers who were facing significant trials and persecution because of their Christian faith. Revelation chapter 5 and Ferris one then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll, but no one in heaven or on Arthur under the ark could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

Then one of the elders said to me, do not weep. See, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals that I saw a alarm looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the air. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne and when he had taken it the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which of the prayers of the saints, and they sang a new song you are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.

You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the air. Then I looked in Herod the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands in 10,00010,000. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders in a loud voice the same worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.

Then I Herod every creature in heaven and on earth and under the air and on the sea and all that is in them, singing to him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever.

The four living creatures said amen and the elders fell down and worshiped in turning to the final book of the Bible we turn to a book that is for some people avoided at all costs, and for other people. A focus of almost their entire preoccupation and by the time the study ends, you will probably have me pegged somewhere in between those two things and if you do then you will be right. Let me just say to you, though, that it is my firm conviction.

After reading the book of Revelation, and studying my Bible over many years that we ought not to regards the book of Revelation as if it were a book of riddles as if it were some kind of theological Rubik's cube that certain people who have fair tile imaginations are able to unpack for us and make all the colors turned to the right shade on every sign in the way to ensure that we do not go wrong is to do what we've tried to do on each occasion and to remind ourselves that the Bible was written. First of all, not to us by the Bible was written in this instance to first century believers who were being buffeted by and persecuted by the authorities of their day. What possible benefit. Would it be to those people in those circumstances to have a book written to them. That was only of significance in 2009. Not a lot.

Therefore it is imperative that we understand that John is writing to an historic context to a group of people who live in real places at a real-time and he does so in order to assure them. Goldsworthy is one of my favorite Australian theologian says John's first concern is not to minister to armchair prophets in some far-off age but to the back doors of his own day who struggle to reconcile the fact of their suffering with the fact of Christ's victory over sin and Satan, and death and he introduces himself in chapter 1 as both their brother and companion in sufferings and he tells them.

This is where I was.

I was on the little island of Patmos off the coast of modern-day Turkey. And why was John on this particular island. Details are still there in verse nine that I was on this island because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. It would seem that he had been banished there on account of his commitment to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and so he doesn't write to them as an armchair theologian. He doesn't write to them speculative material that may be of only passing interest to them. But he writes in order that in the circumstances of their day they might understand who Jesus is as triumphant Lord and King. Think about the gospel had been preached and they had believed. That's why they were the recipients of this letter, the gospel that had been preached to them was the historic data concerning the person and work of Jesus, the apostles had not gone around primarily to give their testimonies although they were quite free in sharing their own encounters with Jesus, but they had gone to make sure that their congregations and their listeners understood that Jesus Christ as Messiah had to suffer.

They were preaching Jesus, who was crucified, dead. Raised had appeared and had ascended in these first century believers had been on the receiving end of this and had come to entrust themselves to. So what did they believe they believed that as the ascended Lord and King.

This Jesus was fully in control of all circumstances. They were absolutely convinced that even as he had gone so he would return, and as they got up to a new day. They looked as it were, into the future, wondering when he would appear. His will was being established throughout the whole earth.

That was their conviction. But when he actually looked at their circumstances there circumstances were so vastly different from their convictions. The things that they told one another the things in the affirm for one another.

The things that they told their friends and their neighbors. None of it appeared to be happening and scoffers abounded. Remember in second Peter scoffers will come, Peter says, and the appeared in the end they show up in the say the same thing all the time. Where is the promise of his coming. Everything continues the way it is. That is been going for ages. I believe in looking around and we don't see any evidence of a tall, and the thing that made it so galling was that in one sense, they were absolutely right because there was no obvious evidence of the fact that he was about to return, and the church i.e. the believers who are the recipients of this letter.

They were small, there was an addition here and there, but there was nothing of significance happening, and while they were small and beleaguered and persecuted the empires of man were growing in strength and insignificance and as the Roman Empire grew in strength and significance.

So the sense of aggravation and persecution that was thrust upon the people of God increased in its intensity. And when they gathered for their little services. It seems so paltry in contrast to the idol worship that fill their city's not hard to imagine that at the breakfast table. Men and women of average faith would have had occasion to look at one another and wonder to say to each other. It's this faith of ours, just a private matter. After all, is this faith of ours just sufficient for worshiping in the church hidden away from all the pubs and all the politics and all the mighty influence of the nations of the world is our Christian faith up to the demands and challenges that confront us in this Roman Empire with this emperor worship and while they affirmed in their testimony, the Lordship of Jesus and suffered in their life's for that same testimony.

Doubtless, the evil one would come and insinuate that he had actually bought into a great delusion that they were just after all, a funny little group of people that it hitched her wagon to a strange story about a strange man had a strange moment in time and if they just held her breath. It would all be finished before too long. I think you get by. Do whatever it was they were doing before.

I always laugh when people tell me all I love the right of the church in the first century.

That was a big terrific nightmare. You know, what would you like you're going back to that. What story could be persecuted serially from the Lions so you could gather with a small group of people and stand in your tiptoes and look out over the future and wonder about these very things now with all of them by way of background, this is the context in which the great drama.

This great theological comic book this great video this great video game that is here and in the book of Revelation is given to these people is very important that we understand this because in the majority of cases, most of us have been brought up with a view of Revelation. That is entirely distinct from the is all about. Something is all about eyes. To begin with, and it's all about. Then when I survived until we know that it is not about us but it's about Jesus and is about the people to whom it was written, we will immediately go completely wrong. Leon Morris was an excellent fellow Anglican, you will remember says to also ministry into a church perplexed by such problems. Revelation was written. It was sent to a little persecuted, frustrated church, one which did not know what to make of the situation in which it found itself and John is taken up and on the Lord's day. He speaks and prophesies and finally writes limited for the last time to make the point we dare not regard the book of Revelation is an intellectual puzzle set to a relaxed church with time on his hands and an inclination for solving mysteries, as if somehow or another the book of Revelation is force of people who like theological crossword puzzles where you see if this is the case, what possible relevance is there in such a book.

If these people are small beleaguered church if they are persecuted from without. If there is idol worship. If there is emperor worship and everything else. What possible relevance could it have for us then in reading it on we supposed to read about it and just think about time in memorial.

Oh, we both are we living in the same we living in the same world could you honestly ask what possible relevance a book written to a small increasingly insignificant churches in a world that is increasingly oppressive to that church, but is increasingly interested in the worship of everyone and everything except Jesus Christ as Lord of all know I suggest to you that the message of the book of Revelation.

The main thing and the plane thing of the book of Revelation is exactly what is needed by the church in our day because here we are and what are we facing economic gloom, human deprivation, a world at war on multiple fronts. Issues of morality and security, and personal identity unravel the minds of men and women and threaten to undo the and in the midst of all of that, there are companies of God's people because he is purpose to put us there and in all of that threatening environment and increasingly in our generation increasingly secular environment.

We then turn to our Bibles. And I don't know how you feel but it is not uncommon for me to feel as if I were almost called in a vast machinery that the decisions that are made in London order made in Kabul order made in Washington order made in Delhi, India somehow or another really hold sway and that there's nothing whatsoever that I can possibly do about it. I'm simply caught up in the immensity of it all and the people who apparently know a lot aren't smart enough to know how much they do not know know it is in that environment that you and I live and it is in that environment. To some extent that those who were the recipients of this letter live, and so perhaps we like. Then we find ourselves saying in circumstances such as this, if only somehow or another somebody could go behind the scenes. If only somebody could go back there into the book of destiny.

If only somebody could catch a glimpse into the future and find out. Really what's going on and then they don't have to tell is everything. But if only they could tell us something that I would be really terrific and that is exactly what we have. John is exactly in that place. I turned around verse 10 on the Lord's day of chapter 1 I was in the spirit and I heard behind me a voice like a trumpet which said write on a scroll what you see and send it out to the seven churches, and what we discover we read these early chapters is that John is picked up and transported not to a never never land.

But if you like to be ever ever land of God's eternal values and judgment, and in chapter 4 and verse two he did. Here we find him before a throng that is higher than all the thrones, that this world is known at once, I was in the spirit and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on and then in chapter 5. As we have seen, and in verse four. Now we find him confronted by the circumstance which brings him absolutely to tears because he discovers that there is no one in heaven or on their Arthur under the earth who can open the scroll or look inside it and there he is depicted as weeping and weeping because no one was found was worthy to open the scroll and Luke inside. But wait a minute. Just when it seems as if all is lost. He gets a tap on the shoulders and one of the elders said to me, don't we look see the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed. 49.

10 of Genesis, the scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs, and the obedience of the nations is his.

See what John needed was not new information and neither do you. If you constantly think that what you need to keep you stable in your Christian life or to advance in your Christian life is new information.

I want to tell you that the vast majority of occasions when you feel that way you're not your you're looking in the wrong direction. What John needed is what we need to be reminded of what we know because we usually go wrong by forgetting the basics. That's why our mothers always said to his did you remember to did you remember to when you were over your auntie's house and you came back. She said did you remember to say thank you you need a fresh revelation of something your leader start up above her garden. He just need to remember and a tap on the shoulder comes, don't we look, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David.

He has triumphed and he is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. While this is just terrific. Isn't it God as provided in Jesus, the solution to the tears that John is crying and God has provided. In Jesus the tears which we cry, and it's nice when God comes and gives us a tap on the shoulder and turns us to our Bibles and says are you forgetting something that the lion of the tribe of Judah has actually triumphed that he is King. So John looks is told to look, don't we see and then look at verse six. Is it then I saw a Lamb looking as if it had been slain, standing to the center of the throne and encircled by the four living creatures see the lion. He looks and sees a Lamb and we like him. See, the lion of Judah only as he comes to us as a slain lamb and that's why, in the second half of verse nine when their singing their new song. It is only in Christ crucified that they were going to discover the answer to their alienation and to their dislocation because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God because you see the secrets of their world. In the first century and the secrets of the world in our century belong to God and none of us can pry into the none of us knows what a day brings. None of us knows what will happen tonight during the night. Who knows what this next few months holds for us in Western culture, especially if we feel it to be a dark and an unknown future. But we don't need. Jesus is aware, to come in order that we might be identifying the flag that our world is full of troubles we can do that ourselves. We can look around and understand that even as the recipients of this letter.

They didn't need anybody to appear out of the darkness and say you know you're in a very dreadful situation with all this persecution and everything that's going on.

They understood that they didn't need Jesus to come and give them the information they needed Jesus to come and give them the explanation so that their troubles would not bring them down. Perplex them and overwhelm remembering that Jesus is triumphant when were tempted to despair encouraging reminder from today's message titled Lamb on the throne listing to Truth for Life weekend with Alister bag. Alister mentioned we often go wrong by forgetting the basics. That's why it's important to review and celebrate the story of Jesus birth and to anticipate his return.

Every Advent season. There are times however when the Christmas story can become so familiar.

We failed to grasp its magnitude.

The miraculous can easily become mundane.

That's one reason why books like the new devotional repeat the sounding joy can be so refreshing the author of this book Christopher Ash takes us into the Christmas story in a novel way he helps us view it through the eyes of those who were present as Jesus was born, repeat the sounding joy is the perfect resource for the Advent season. It's rich with scripture. It includes songs and prayers. There's plenty of space for recording personal reflections find out how you can request your copy of the book today by tapping on the image you find on the mobile app or by visiting Truth for Life.org again that's Truth for Life.org. If you are a frequent listener to Truth for Life. You know, we take great care in selecting resources like repeat the sounding joy. These resources complement our mission to teach the Bible in a way that is clear and relevant for daily life and that's the same reason why we teach from the Scriptures. Every day of the year so the God's word will be heard by as many people as possible all around the world. It's our hope and our prayer that all who hear this program will come to trust Jesus for their salvation. Maybe you'd like to learn more about the gospel message that's the case, we want to invite you to visit Truth for Life.org/the story will find a short video presentation about Lapine can join us again next week and for the conclusion of our series to know Christ. Alister will share with us a helpful tip on how we can understand the plot in the book of Revelation. The Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is for Living


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