A Glimpse at the Throne Room
Standing as Slain
Imagine, meeting the Triune God of the Universe in His Throne Room in Heaven. The Alpha and Omega, the One who is self-existent eternally, the One who has all power to create from nothing by a spoken word and able to destroy it in the same way. God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Son, the triunity of the Godhead, greeting us with grace and peace as we enter into His presence. As sinners, enemies of the holiness of God, and yet He extends the invitation of grace and peace to all who will accept it. Can you grasp the enormity of that?
Or, how can we understand the power that is available to the church, through the presence of the Son of Man, Jesus Christ Himself, in our midst? The One who died for our sins and rose from death making this invitation of grace possible for sinners! He is the Living One, the One who wants to work, shape, and mold our lives into His image. He is in our midst this morning! The question is, will our hearts be submissive to His working?
Then, to think that by faith, accepting this invitation of grace and peace, one day we will co-reign with Jesus Christ, wearing robes of righteousness and golden crowns of victory because the righteousness of Jesus was imputed to us when we gave our hearts and our lives to him. That blows my mind! Can we truly envision the worship this Triune God of Heaven? Is it possible to imagine all of the glory, honor, and praise that will take place as we celebrate our life in Jesus Christ? This is what we have seen so far in Revelation chapters 1 and 4.
In the first part of Revelation chapter 5, we found last week that God the Father holds a scroll in His right hand of power. The scroll that acts as a will or a title deed. The scroll that has seven seals that must be opened before the contents of the scroll can be fulfilled. What is contained in the scroll? It is the inheritance of every person on earth, both the believer and the unbeliever. Both those who have accepted the invitation of grace and peace and those who have rejected it. For those who have accepted the invitation, their inheritance is the eternal marriage of believers to the Lamb of God, the co-reigning with Christ during the millennium, a home in the New Jerusalem that will descend upon a new creation. How Awesome is that? For those who reject the invitation, they face the Great White Throne of judgment and eternal condemnation to eternal death in the Lake of Fire. To that is terrifying.
When the Apostle John sees the seven sealed-scroll, he knows immediately the importance of its contents. You see, John walked with Jesus, learned from Jesus, watched as Jesus was killed on the cross, and saw Jesus in His risen form afterwards. John has been proclaiming all that he has learned from Jesus and when John sees the scroll in the hand of God, he knows what this means. The time has come for the beginning of the end.
But there is a problem, isn’t there? When the call goes ringing throughout the universe looking for the One who is worthy to open the scroll, the One who has the right to execute its contents, John desperately looks for the One he knew could open the scroll, Jesus. But when at first the One who is worthy is not found, John begins weeping. Why? If there is no One worthy to open the scroll, if Jesus is nowhere to be found, the world will be hopelessly bound to an eternity separated from God.
Without someone who is worthy to open the scroll, there will be no eternal inheritance for the believer, there will be no final defeat for sin and evil, there is no hope. Without someone who is worthy, the scroll will remain sealed and judgment for sin and wickedness will take place. Without someone who is worthy, the scroll’s content of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, the eternal city, and the new heaven and earth will not take place.
John knew that if no one was worthy, the hopelessness of our world and its present condition will go on indefinitely. To think that suffering, pain, and death never comes to an end, is devasting to say the least. John’s faith in Jesus as Redeemer and Restorer will have been futile if there is no one who is worthy.
Last week, we found that one of the Elders in the Throne Room calls John’s attention to the presence of something coming out from between the throne and the Elders and Living and Ones. He tells John that it is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David. John would instantly recognize these prophetic names given to Jesus from Old Testament prophecies. Jesus is a descendant from the tribe of Judah, the Lion tribe. Jesus is a descendant of King David, the root or source of his lineage. Suddenly, you can imagine the change in John’s emotions. The One who is worthy to open the scroll is here!
Look at how John describes what he sees as he clears the tears from his eyes and looks up to see what this Elder is talking about.
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.
The Lamb (v. 6)
John immediately identifies what he sees coming out from between the Throne and the four Living Ones and the twenty-four Elders as “a Lamb.” Just about everyone who has any understanding of the New Testament knows that this refers to Jesus Christ. But I want you to take note of something about the essence of Jesus Christ. What is it that makes Jesus the One who is worthy to open the scroll?
~ Underlying Essence – Hypostatic Union
The Lamb that John sees does not come from just the midst of the 24 Elders, the representatives of all who have put their faith in God. The Lamb does not come from just the four Living Ones who represent all created life. The Lamb does not come just out of the Throne, the place of God’s presence. No … the Lamb comes from the midst of all three. The Lamb is God, but the Lamb is also Man. Jesus took on flesh and now stands as the Son of Man and Son of God. In fact, Jesus’ favorite reference to Himself was “Son of Man.” The well-known kenosis passage in Philippians describes this well.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
This is something scholars that use big words like to call the Hypostatic Union; which simply means Jesus Christ is both God and man. He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human. Thus, it is appropriate that the Lamb comes from between the Throne, the four Living Ones, and the 24 Elders. He intercedes before the Father for us as both God and Man.
~ Living Sacrifice
John continues to describe the Lamb as “standing, as though it had been slain.” The fact that the Lamb was standing means that the Lamb is alive! He is standing on His feet. But there is evidence in His body that He has been slain. He has suffered death. In other words, there are clear visible scars from deadly wounds upon His body. These wounds caused death, but through the power of God, the Lamb was brought back to life again.
The imagery of the Lamb is vivid. This imagery is found throughout the Bible. It was prophesied in the Old Testament that the Messiah was like a Lamb brought to slaughter in Isaiah 53:7:
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
In Acts chapter 8, Philip goes to the Ethiopian Eunuch who was reading this passage in Isaiah and wondered who the passage was referring to and Philip told him in Acts 8:35 that this speaks of Jesus:
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.
John the Baptist immediately declares Jesus as the Lamb as Jesus begins His ministry on earth in John 1:29:
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Jesus is the Lamb, the sacrificial Lamb. Peter explains to us how the blood of Jesus, similar to the sacrificial lambs of the Old Testament, ransomed us from our sin in 1 Peter 1:18-19:
Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
Jesus is called a Lamb once in the Old Testament, four times in John, Acts, and Peter, but Jesus is talked about as the Lamb 28 times in the book of Revelation. I believe that indicates that everything about our eternal destiny hinges on Jesus being the Lamb sacrificial Lamb of God. Listen to a couple of the references in Revelation.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
This Lamb is who John was looking for in the Throne Room. This is the Lamb John was weeping for who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll. All our eternal destiny hangs on the presence of the Lamb.
This morning I thought it would be fitting to have Communion right here during the message. Because when we take of the Communion elements, we are celebrating the sacrificial Lamb who died and shed His blood for the sins of the World. When we understand that everything we believe concerning our eternal destiny hinges on the blood of Jesus Christ, it certainly is a time of celebration. So, before we continue in our passage, let’s take a moment and celebrate the Lamb, who appears from between the Throne, the Elders, and the Livings Ones, as “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.”
Sing – “Worthy is the Lamb” 303
As we continue in our text in verse 6, we find some very interesting descriptions of the Lamb. He is described as having:
Seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
The number seven in Scripture represents completeness or perfection. The seven horns and seven eyes represent a perfect characteristic of the Lamb. First, we see:
~ Perfect Power
A horn on one’s head represents power and strength. If you go into a field with some cattle and there are some bulls in the field with horns and some without. I guarantee you will see the bull with horns as the one to avoid because he appears to have the power to take anything on.
Jesus the Lamb of God may be pictured as an innocent defenseless sacrificial Lamb, but He also has perfect power. This is evident in so many ways, but the ultimate show down at the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation will make it known to all the world He has perfect power. Like a sword coming from His mouth, Jesus will speak a word and all who come against Him will die (Revelation 19:11-16). This Lamb has perfect power. Also, we see:
~ Perfect Presence
The seven eyes which once again represent the seven spirits of God indicate perfect presence. This is the presence of the Holy Spirit of God represented by the seven torches before the Throne that we talked about in Revelation 4:5 and 1:4. Through the seven aspects of the Holy Spirit, the presence of Jesus is sent out into all the earth. Zechariah 4:10 talks about the presence of God throughout the whole earth as the seven eyes of God. The point is simple, nothing can escape the presence of the Lamb in all the earth.
People may think that they can hide from the Lamb, that somehow, they won’t face the judgment of the Lamb, but His presence is everywhere. He has perfect presence and perfect power. The Lamb rules, the Lamb conquers, the Lamb fulfills all that is said that He will do. Then in verse 7, the Lamb takes the scroll from the right hand of God on His throne because He is:
The One Who is Worthy (v. 7)
And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.
In verse 2 of Revelation 5, an angel with a loud voice cries out, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” At first no one is found, but then the Lamb comes out from the midst of the Throne, the Elders, and the Living Ones and takes the scroll from the hand of God. It is time for judgment to take place as the seals are opened after which the scroll and all that it contains may be implemented as the inheritance of the believers. Praise God, as we look forward to that day. When this passing of the scroll takes place in the Throne Room some day in the future, it will signal the beginning of 7 years of tribulation like the world has never seen, followed by the great Battle of Armageddon where Christ conquers, the Marriage of the Lamb with His bride, the church, a thousand years of Christ’s rule, followed by a new Heaven and a new Earth!
Next week we will be looking at the response of those in the Throne Room as the Lamb takes the scroll and readies Himself to begin removing the seals. The One who is worthy has taken the scroll and all will see His perfect power and His perfect presence. All will see that He is the Lamb Who is standing alive yet appearing as though He had been slain. This is Jesus! This is our Lord and our Savior! He is our conqueror of death and Hell and now holds the keys of life for all who will accept Him.
Do you know Jesus in this way?
Is He your Lord and Savior?
Do you see Him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?