Chapter 56 The Lamb Enthroned In Glory

I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne…stood a Lamb” (Revelation 5:6).

In the book of the prophet Isaiah, we have seen our Lord in His humiliation—in the agony of His sufferings. Here we see Him on the throne of glory. It is the same Lamb. His humiliation is now past—His sufferings forever over. His exaltation is not something of the future. He is exalted now and was so immediately upon His ascension into heaven after His glorious resurrection. This chapter is a scene of unsurpassing magnificence. For an exhibition of majesty and authority there is nothing to equal it in the whole of scriptural or secular writing.

The Enthronement of the Lamb

John, as representative of the church, has been caught up into heaven. “A door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard … said, Come up hither” (Revelation 4:1). Then followed a vision of Him who sat on the throne and who held in His right hand a book .. . “sealed with seven seals”—no doubt the title deeds to the earth (5:1). A strong angel then issues a challenge for someone to come forward and open the book. John seems to look over the whole of human history—forms of human government—mighty monarchs—great warriors—intelligent statesmen—but there was none who could open the sealed book. While weeping much over man’s inability to reclaim the earth for the government of God by opening the seals, John was told there was One who could do this, “The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book.” And when John turned to see the Lion, lo, he saw “a Lamb as it had been slain.” It means that, while as a roaring lion the Lord will finally fall upon His enemies, yet it was as a Lamb of sacrifice that He had overcome them and was now mounted to the throne of heaven. He had flung off the great assault by the whole hierarchy of hell even “while crucified in weakness” and overcome them (Colossians 2:15). This is not something future. The devil is already a defeated foe and was thoroughly vanquished by Christ while crucified on the cross as the Lamb of God. There are prospects in this book which are future. The judgments to be unleashed by the opening of the seals spell out the Tribulation period of seven years, but the enthronement of the Lamb is already present.

The Characteristics of the Lamb

First, as to His Person He has these four titles.

    1. The Lion of Judah. His lineage after the flesh sprang from the royal tribe of Judah. He was the Son of David after the flesh. As David conquered Goliath, so our Lord was to conquer the devil in the battleground of the cross.

    2. The Root of David. He is David’s Lord after the spirit—the Shepherd King—the great Shepherd of the sheep to lead His people by green pastures and still waters.

    3. The Lamb slain. He ascended the throne after His great sacrifice was finished and fully accomplished. He was the Lamb slain to purchase by His own blood our redemption. He is set forth as a Lamb to show the innocence and purity of His nature—His harmless and inoffensive life—His meek and humble deportment—His patience in suffering and death—His usefulness for food and clothing for His people.

    4. The worthy One. He alone is worthy of all praise. Here He is spoken of,

a. As having seven horns. Seven is the symbol of completion; horns the symbol of strength, power, and authority in heaven and in earth.

b. As having seven eyes. Eyes speak of perception of vision. He can penetrate any disguise or mask. He knows what is in every man.

c. As having seven spirits. This speaks of His omniscience and His omnipresence. He is present with all people in all the earth, being as livingly present to the saints in China or New Zealand as to those in these western countries.

The Praise of the Lamb

    1. The four and twenty elders. These represent the total church. With them are the four living creatures, which represent the total creation. These are all redeemed and sing the song of the redeemed. Revelation 5:9—“Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” He has made His redeemed people “kings and priests” unto God, and all such are to reign with Him over the earth in those days when He is to be crowned King over all the earth (5:10).

    2. The angels round about the throne. There are billions of them. These all say with a loud voice—“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing” (5:11, 12). This is a sevenfold ascription of praise or a complete ascription. Notice what miseries are inflicted upon millions of mankind when sinful men grasp these things! Sinful men cannot handle these things without inflicting multiplied sorrows to the sons of men. Only the Lord is worthy to receive them, because He is the only one who can handle them.

    3. 3. The whole creation. “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (5:13). This is complete, universal praise on behalf of all things created.

Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne;
Hark, how the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King,
Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of love;
Behold His hands and side,
Those wounds yet visible above
In beauty glorified:
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye
On mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres
Ineffably sublime!
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For Thou hast died for me;
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Throughout eternity.

—Matthew Bridges And
Godfrey Thring