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Sermon #2182 — Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: The Lamb on the Throne
Text: Revelation 7:17
Subject: Christ The Lamb Upon His Throne
Date: Tuesday Evening — October 28, 2014
Readings: Larry Brown and Rex Bartley
Open your Bibles with me to Revelation 7. This great chapter describes the sure salvation of all God’s elect and the honor, happiness, and blessedness of those who faithfully serve, patiently suffer for, and steadfastly follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1) And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
(2) And I saw another Angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, (3) Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
(4) And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
(5) Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.
(6) Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.
(7) Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.
(8) Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.
(9) After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
(11) And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, (12) Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
(13) And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? (14) And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
(15) Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. (16) They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. (17) For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
After describing the character and blessedness God’s saints, the Angel of God gave John this vision, a vision that inspires and motivates God’s saints, comforts us, and cheers our hearts, and gives us hope. He caused John to see “the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne” (v. 17). That is my subject tonight. — The Lamb on the Throne.
Some say that this blessedness refers to the saints in the world to come. Others tell us it refers to the saints upon the earth now. Both are right. This passage refers to the blessedness of God’s saints in the world to come and to the blessedness of God’s saints in this present world. The blessedness of God’s saints in glory is begun in grace. The saints in heaven have perfect blessedness and enjoy it perfectly. But we have the very same blessedness though we enjoy it imperfectly.
· We have come out of great tribulation!
· We have washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb!
· We are in a state of honor, happiness, and blessedness in Christ of which the world knows nothing (Matthew 5:11; Ephesians 1:3).
Here are eight things that describe our blessedness, the blessedness of all God’s elect, in Christ (vv. 14-17). Do you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, are you washed in his precious blood, and robed in his perfect righteousness? If so, you are blessed…
1. In your state — washed, justified, and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
2. In your place — continually “before the throne” of God!
3. In your service — serving “him day and night in his temple.”
We do not worship God one day in seven, but everyday continually. We worship God in the Spirit (Philippians 3:3), pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16) and live at the altar Christ Jesus (Hebrews 13:10), praising God continually (Hebrews 13:15).
4. In your company – “He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.”
This speaks of the friendship, fellowship, familiarity, and union that is ours with the God of Glory in Christ (1 John 1:3; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18).
(2 Corinthians 6:17-18) “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
(1 John 1:3) “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
5. In your freedom — (v. 16).
(Revelation 7:16) “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.”
Believers ought to be free from care, freed from all fear of want (John 6:35). Christ meets all our needs.
· Spiritual Needs!
· Carnal Needs!
· Eternal Needs!
(John 6:35) “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
(Psalms 121) “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (2) My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. (3) He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. (4) Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. (6) The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. (7) The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. (8) The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
The sun of affliction cannot smite us. The heat of persecution cannot harm us. — “There shall no evil happen to the just!” Let nothing, therefore, make you uneasy.
(Isaiah 35:8-10) “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. (9) No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: (10) And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
(Isaiah 51:11) “Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.”
(Isaiah 11:6-9) (6) The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (7) And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (8) And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. (9) 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.
6. In your provision — “For the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them.”
The word “feed” here has the idea of a pastoral, or shepherd work. It means to feed, to rule, and to protect. This is what Christ does for us (Isaiah 40:11).
(Isaiah 40:11) “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”
7. In your direction — It is written of the Good Shepherd, he “shall lead his sheep unto fountains of water.”
In the midst of troubles, trials, and temptations in this world Christ Jesus promises to order our steps and lead us to fountains of water, living water — His Word — His Spirit — His Grace!
· To Cleans Us!
· To Comfort Us!
· To Revive Us!
8. In your joys — “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Isaiah 65:18-19).
(Isaiah 25:8) “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.”
(Isaiah 65:18-19) “But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. (19) And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”
Though it is not yet perfect, this joy begins here. Even now “the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13).
That is the blessedness of God’s elect. Take it home with you and enlarge upon what I have said in your own mediations. But now I want us to focus our attention upon the first line of verse 17. This, in my opinion, is the most blessed and glorious part of the whole chapter. — “The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne.” Were it not for “the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne,” there would be no blessedness for us!
Who is the Lamb? The Lamb is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is God’s Lamb; and this Lamb is God! Throughout the Scriptures he is referred to under the figure of a lamb because of his immaculate whiteness and innocence, and because of his incomparable meekness and patience.
· He is the Lamb of God.
· He is the Lamb slain.
· He is the worthy Lamb.
· He is the Lamb in the midst of the throne.
In the Word of God the Lord Jesus Christ is presented as the Lamb of God in seven ways.
1. The Lamb of God Slain from the Foundation of the World (Revelation 13:8).
2. The Lamb of God Set Forth in Old Testament Pictures.
· Abel’s Sacrifice.
· Abraham at Moriah.
· The Passover.
· The Paschal Lamb
· The Scapegoat.
3. The Lamb of God Promised in Old Testament Prophecy (Isaiah 53).
4. The Lamb of God Revealed in Due Time (John 1:29, 36).
5. The Lamb of God Sacrificed for Sin’s Propitiation (Acts 8:32).
(Acts 8:32) “The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:”
6. The Lamb of God Exalted and Praised in Heaven (Revelation 5:9-10; 7:17).
7. The Lamb of God in Judgment, Punishing Sinners in the Fury of His Holy Wrath (Revelation 6:17).
(Revelation 19:12-16) “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. (13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (14) And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (16) And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
There he sits, in the midst of the throne of God, the Lamb of God, our Savior!
· Though he is exalted, he is still the Lamb of God — He took our human nature with him to heaven. Though he is upon the throne, he is still the tender Lamb, touched by that which touches us!
· He sits upon the throne as the Lamb slain (Revelation 5:6). — His sacrifice is never forgotten in heaven. — It always speaks! — It is always meritorious! — It is always effectual!
· This Lamb has “seven horns” (Revelation 5:6). — All power — omnipotence to push down his enemies and ours, and to accomplish the will of God.
· This Lamb has “seven eyes,” the seven Spirits of God (Revelation 5:6). — He possesses perfect wisdom and he is anointed with the Spirit of God without measure. His eyes are called, “the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the world.”
(Revelation 5:6) “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”
The number “seven” does not refer to a multiple of persons but to the diversity of gifts and operations of God the Holy Spirit, who flows to us through and from the Lamb slain (Galatians 3:13-14).
What about the throne mentioned here? — What is this throne? We know that it is the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1-3; 4:2-3).
(Revelation 22:1-4) (1) And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) 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: (4) And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
(Revelation 4:2-3) (2) And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. (3) And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
Behold the Lamb of God! Behold him on his throne! But what kind of throne is this?
1. It is a fixed throne of total sovereignty. — “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting” (Psalms 93:2).
2. It is a throne surrounded by a rainbow – The Covenant of Grace. (Revelation 4:3).
3. It is a throne that can be approached only across the “sea of glass” that lies before it (Revelation 4:6) – The Laver of Brass – The Blood of Christ!
4. This throne is called “the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16).
5. It is called the throne of God’s glory (Jeremiah 14:21). — The Ark of the Covenant, upon which the glory of God was revealed, represented the throne of God and Christ upon it. — Ralph Erskine once said, “As the grace of God is the glory of God, so all the glory of God shines in the face of Jesus Christ”
6. This throne is called the throne of God’s holiness (Psalm 47:8). — Holiness becomes his house; and holiness is his throne. There is nothing there but holiness (Isaiah 6:3).
· The Holy Lord God.
· The Holy Lamb of God.
· The Holy Spirit of God.
· The Holy Angels of God.
· The Holy Saints of God.
7. This throne, upon which the Lamb sits is the throne of divine justice – “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne” (Psalm 89:14).
“His glorious and holy throne of grace stands firm upon the base and foundation of justice satisfied for the sinner, and judgment executed against sin in the blood of the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne. It is therefore no hindrance or impediment to our access to the throne of grace that it is also the throne of justice; but rather an encouragement, because there grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:21).” Ralph Erskine.
What is this throne upon which the Lamb of God sit?
· It is “The Throne of Grace” (Hebrews 4:16).
· It is the “Great White Throne” Revelation 20:11-15)
I rejoice to know that my God, my Savior, the Lamb of God sits in the midst of the throne! Not a throne, but “the throne.” There is only one throne in the universe. And the Lamb of God is in the midst of that throne!
· The throne is the place of majesty, glory, honor, and dignity (Hebrews 2:9).
· The throne is the place of power, authority, and dominion (Matthew 28:18; John 17:2) – “The government shall be upon his shoulder!”
· The throne is the place of exaltation and pre-eminence (Isaiah 6:1-7; Philippians 2:9).
· The throne is the place of bounty and abundance (Colossians 1:19; John 1:16) – Abundant Grace!
· The Throne is the place of pleasure and prosperity. — “The Pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” — “At thy right hand are pleasures for evermore!”
The Lamb on the Throne
Now, let’s look at the Lamb on the throne. How did this Lamb come to be upon the throne? Without question, he sits upon the throne by right because he is God. It is his throne! But we are looking at him as the Lamb slain, the Mediator, the God-man, the sinners’ Substitute and Surety. How did he come to sit upon the throne in this character, as the Lamb?
1. He bargained for it in the covenant of grace. — “I have made my covenant with my chosen” (Psalm 89:3). — “Lo, I come to do thy will I delight to do thy will” – (Psalm 40). — “Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm 2:8).
2. He worked for it and earned it by his obedience to God as our Representative (John 17:4-5). — He fulfilled all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). — He brought in everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9:24). — He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (Hebrew 9:26).
3. He fought for and won the throne by his mighty conquests (Isaiah 63:1-3; Psalm 68:18-20; 110:1).
(Isaiah 63:1-3) “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. (2) Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? (3) I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”
(Psalms 68:18-20) “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. (19) Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. (20) He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.”
(Psalms 110:1) “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
4. He died for it (Philippians 2:5-9).— When our Lord had the cross on his back, he had the throne in his eye (Hebrews 12:2). Thus, for the suffering of death he was crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9).
(Philippians 2:5-9) “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”
What is suggested to us, what is implied by the fact that the Lamb is in the midst of the throne?
1. The Dignity of His Person – This Lamb is God! None but God sit upon the throne!
2. The Height and Glory of His Exaltation (Philippians 2:9-11; Psalm 89:27; Acts 2:36; Revelation 19:13-16 ).
(Psalms 89:27) “Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.”
(Acts 2:36) “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
(Revelation 19:13-16) “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (14) And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (16) And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
3. The Perfection of His Mediation (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 10:10-14).
(Romans 8:34) “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
(Hebrews 10:10-14) “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
4. The Beauty and Equity of His Dominion (Isaiah 32:1; 11:4-5).
(Isaiah 11:4-5) “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (5) And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”
(Isaiah 32:1) “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.”
5. The Accessibility Sinners now have to the Holy, Glorious Lord God by the Blood of Christ! (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19). — “Whosoever will, let him come!” The Lamb in the midst of the throne says, “Welcome sinner! Welcome home to God!” — “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out!” — “He is able to save to the uttermost all them that come unto God by him.” And save he will! Come to God by faith in Christ, and he will save you!
6. The Lamb in the midst of the throne certainly implies that the Lamb is the center of all the glory that surrounds and encompasses the throne of God! — “Christ is all in all” for he is the center of all things. He is the center of…
· The Divine Fulness (Colossians 2:9).
· The Divine Truth (Ephesians 4:21).
· The Divine Promises (2 Corinthians 1:20).
· The Divine Blessings (Ephesians 1:3).
· Divine Grace (John 1:16).
· Divine Comfort (Psalm 45:7).
· All saving offices are his – Prophet – Priest – King!
· All sweet, everlasting relations are ours in him. Christ is our – Savior – Surety – Husband – Head – Light – Life – Friend – Brother – Kinsman – Rock – Refuge – Portion – and Salvation!
· He is the Center Piece – The Mercy-Seat, where God meets with man in mercy and grace. — Christ is the center of all things. — The Center of Divine Revelation. — The Center of Propitiation and Atonement. — The Center of Worship and Service. — The Center of our Affections. — The Center of our Provisions. — The Center of All Things (Ephesians 1:10).
Next, we are told that this great Lamb, the Lord Jesus, feeds us! How does the Lamb feed those who are continually before his throne? — He feeds us. No one else can. It is the work of the Lamb in the midst of the throne to feed by the efficacy of his grace. He feeds us by…
· The Ministry of His Word.
· The Ordinances of Divine Worship.
· The Power of His Holy Spirit.
· Upon His own Person and His Own Works. — With Manifestations of His Glory. — With Revelations of His Love. — With communications of His Grace. — With The Consolations of His Spirit. — With The Assurance of His Goodness, Faithfulness, and Immutability
The legalist feeds upon his own works. Rabshakeh threatened to make the people upon the walls of Jerusalem to eat their own dung (2 Kings. 18:26). Legal preachers accomplish what he threatened. He who teaches men to feed upon their own good works feeds them dung! — Christ feeds his sheep upon himself! The finest and best things are always free; and Christ is free (Isaiah 55:1).
All praise to “the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne!” — “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” — “Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”
(Isaiah 55:1) “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”