Jesus The Lamb Of God

Key Text: Revelation 5:1 – 6:1 

His cousin John making the prophetic announcement is seen by his apostle John as fulfilled. A lamb slaughtered is what the apostle sees for all of us, needing to remember how and why we win in Jesus Christ. Isa. 53:7 & Acts 8:32 are stark reminders that the plan God had in mind, was fully executed for us, not Himself,  1st Pet. 1:20. There is no glory in a slaughtered lamb. Perhaps the reason Jesus is seen as a lamb, and not his crucified body, is that it represents his accomplished High Priesthood. This ugly sight is always reminding us of how well he qualifies as our empathizing intercessor for our sinfulness in a sacrifice, which has always been a substitution for us.

 John was banished to Patmos as an isolated prisoner. When no one is found worthy to take and open the scroll, he obviously feels hopeless despair and cries loudly, expressing his anxiety for the future. Even God the Father seems to be searching for help here, to open it and even John dare not attempt to take it, and neither can even the strongest angel of Heaven. All of God’s plans and the churches future needs opened, so suffering saints can be given hope and security of victory. Then appears the Lamb! The Lamb taking the scroll from the Father, was a sure indication that our future is in His hands. The Father on the Throne and the Son in the Lamb are equals in worthiness, but different in the accomplishment of our salvation.

 Horns are an obvious symbol of power, with 7 of them, reflecting perfect power. The Lamb with 7 eyes, is an obvious symbol of God’s omniscience in His Son. Of course the seven spirits before the Throne in Rv. 1:4, are now in the Lamb, being sent forth. There is no other name on earth by which humanity can be saved, and it is Christ’s Spirit that does the saving, Acts 4:12. God does not have 7 Spirits; it is simply a number that represents a truth, being perfection, or perfect salvation & knowledge. All numbers in the Revelation need to be treated as symbolic, and not literal.



“He has prevailed to open the scroll”, v5. Conquering Sin, Eph. 1:7.   Conquering Death, all Rules and Powers, 1Cor. 15:24-26.  Conquering an evil World, Jn. 16:33.  Conquering Satan, Jn. 12:31.  Conquering Hell, Rev. 1:8.

 Believers WILL stand in the presence of The Lamb of God, 7:9

Believers WILL sing the song of the Lamb, 15:3

Believers WILL worship in the Lamb as the Temple, 21:22

4 Living Creatures, 24 Elders, Angels & the whole universe will worship the Lamb, 8-14.

 This Lamb is seen as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and Root of David, which means his looks may be weak & ugly, but his origin, character, ability and position are POWERFUL as a Lion.  PROPHESIED from Gen. 49:9-10.  PURE as a Lamb worthy enough for God Himself to offer for the sacrifice of our sins.

 The phrase, “root of David”, is from Isa. 11:1, and is possibly the only reference to Jesus being a Nazarene, as taught in Mt.2:23. The word has it’s origin in the word root or branch, depending on which version you read.

Jesus & John

Key Text: Revelation 1:5-20 

Jesus is

Christ, v1.  The anointed of God. This is a unique position for a divine role. Christians are IN The Christ, therefore we are in a unique position for a divine role. Eph. 2:5-6.

Faithful Witness, v5. Counted by God as consistently giving a true account.

First Begotten From The Dead, v5. His resurrection was unique & self-exonerating. Eternal Life overcoming Death, Repeating the same truth from verse 5, yet in a different way.  Key-holder of Hell & Death, v18. The only authority qualified to give us access to life from within Satan’s trap of death.

Ruler of the Kings of the Earth, v5. Jesus said, ALL authority had been given to him, Mt. 28:18. His Kingdom is alive and well, regardless of what the enemy does.  Alpha & Omega, v8. As equal to The Father in character, he is our beginning and end, origin & destination. Lord Almighty, v8. As equal to The Father in character, he is our power, Isa. 9:6 & 10:20-21. The Father is termed “mighty God” too.

Son of Man, v13. Daniel’s prophetic description of the Messiah. This is God’s way of saying He will help us from within our own humanity. Dan. 7:13 & Dan. 8:17.

A great voice similar to a trumpet (clarity) & waterfall (volume), v10 & 15.

Send it to…Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, v11. The order these towns are written in, is identical to their geographical location by road. Archaeology  verified by William Ramsey, documents the real way in which Jesus knew His saints location & lifestyle.

Seven Golden Candlesticks, v12. The lampstands are 7 congregations which support the light of the world, being Jesus Christ! Ex. 25:37. Seven may represent the global church, v20.

Seven Stars in his right hand, v16. The stars are 7 angels for each congregation, v20. They may represent evangelistic leaders in each congregation. As Jesus has an angel, his children do too, Mt. 18:10.

White hair, fiery eyes, bronze feet, v14-15. White is for pure wisdom, Dan. 9:7. Fire is for purity from trials and bronze represents a godly purpose in battle.

The Golden Sash around His chest, v13. This is clearly indicative of his High Priestly position. He now intercedes for all of God’s children as having the power and right to be our only mediator, 1st Tim. 2:5.

Two-edged sword from his mouth, v16. The word of God, Eph. 6:17.

His Angel,  Messenger, v1. This is probably Michael the archangel, Rev. 12:7, Jude 9. 

John is..

Servant, v1. The Greek word is Doulos, A SLAVE.

Record-bearer, v2, 11. What John wrote is living, active, powerful and promising, no one can afford to change it, Rev. 22:18-19.

Jesus & Stephen

Key Text:  Acts 7:54-60

When Christians are being persecuted or even simply mistreated because of our expression of faith in Jesus, we have the empathetic attention of Jesus. Whether we express our faith through current events or ancient scriptures, the truth is the truth, and it sometimes brings great pain when worldly people reject it. They are contributing to the afflictions of Christ, which we share in. Realize Colossians 1:24 can become a reality in our life.  Remember Stephen is preaching before the old High Priest, here we may suggest that this is another late attempt by God to help His enemies accept the truth, or be left to the destructive devices of the Roman Empire in just about 30 years.

Jesus is seen more clearly by ourselves when we grow with the Holy Spirit, bearing His fruit. We are also commanded to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, 2Pt. 3:18, Gal. 5:22-23. When we are growing spiritually, we see the Spirit of Christ. There are stories galore, that while martyrs are under pain of death, they often see visions of Christ, and there is no reason to suspect it’s a lie. Notice Stephen only sees Jesus, he doesn’t hear him or receive a new revelation. One day, we will all gaze upon his glory, Rev. 1:7.  Meanwhile, we should ensure that we are truly Christians by His presence in our heart, read, 2nd Cor. 13:4-6.  When Stephen announced the opening of Heaven, he offended the Jews, who believed no one could share God’s place in heaven. The phrase is a variation on Psalm 110:1.  The last time we saw the Heaven’s opened, was at the baptism of Jesus and no doubt they were opened when Jesus ascended, Mt. 3:16.  When Stephen calls Jesus the “Son of Man”, he is telling his enemies that their Messiah is victoriously glorified, see Psalm 80:17.  We too, have every right to proclaim Jesus as the only hope of winning in this life, to our neighbors and enemies.

 Since Jesus is standing when Stephen sees him, it may imply Christ is ready to receive Stephen into paradise, Lk. 16:22.  Christ promised to confess our name in heaven before the Father, whenever we confess His name before men on earth, Mt. 10:32. Therefore it is an honor that Jesus would stand in glory to receive us on the last day, 2nd Thess. 1:10.  When Stephen actually saw Jesus, he experienced a transcendent state that was probably similar to Ezekiel’s gaze upon Jerusalem from Babylon, Ezk. 8:1-8. But of course Stephen’s view was far more glorious. Why was his eyes not blinded, as Saul’s on the road to Damascus? Because Stephen was a saint and Saul was an enemy!

When we understand how offended and incredible the statements of Stephen are, to his enemies, we can appreciate how they would stop their own ears and rush to condemn him without any kind of trial, their angry rejection of the truth, spilled over into unjustified violence. Later after they calmed down when Stephen was dead, they could self-justify their execution as avenging God of Stephen’s blasphemy. Jesus prophesied this kind of behavior in John 16:2.

 Where did Stephen find the strength to pray like Jesus on the cross? By keeping his eyes fixed on Jesus. The Hebrew writer reminds us of this same duty that we have, Heb. 12:2.  The irony of this stoning, is that this crime is exactly what Stephen just preached to them about, which is condemning themselves, 7:52. One such Jew guilty of this condemnation was Saul, here Jesus sees Saul’s heart and knows it is being ‘goaded’, with the truth of Stephen’s message. The words of Jesus about being hard to kick against the goad, is only in a few manuscripts, (Arabic, Syriac, and 11th century Greek), but it reflects the omniscience of Jesus, he knew Saul’s heart, Stephen’s heart and ours.

The Ascension

Key Text:  Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:9-12

Bethany is on the eastern foothill of Mt. Olivet. This is the same place he started from during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, (Mk. 11:1). Now he is beginning his triumphal entry into Heaven, which we may term as the New Jerusalem?  It is the Mt, which Zechariah prophesied the beginning of a great change in Judah, where living waters start to flow, Zec.  14:1-9.  Jesus lifted his hands when he blessed his disciples. Why? Posture is important. The Jews often lifted their hands in prayer, (not praise), so they could offer God clean hands prepared for holy work. Jesus knew they would become His hands on earth, when He left.  Jesus also prayed looking up to Heaven, (Mk. 6:41).

One of our most difficult problems with prayer is distractions, and posture can help prevent our mind from wandering. Fervent prayer can not be prayed flippantly, especially when we are praying for someone other than our self.  The apostle Paul was on his knees in prayer, Eph. 3:14.   Jerome mentions a rumor that the author of “James”, the Lord’s brother, actually was nicknamed, “old camel knees”, because so often he was on his knees in prayer, they became callous. Josephus actually says James was regarded even by unbelieving Jews, as “James The Just”. Prayer can make us strong to do what is right. Nelson’s Dictionary says camels must be trained to kneel. We may have something in common with them. When Jesus prayed blessings, he was asking the Father to help strengthen them for His absence. This was not a prayer of thanksgiving, but rather a claim for help. Jesus knew their greatest need in His absence would be to practice what he sent them to preach. It is the living practice of our message as a Christian that puts our priesthood real. Read 1st Peter 2:9.  

Interesting note that “Clouds” relate to Jesus three times, once during the transfiguration, Mt. 17:5, also here in the ascension, Ac. 1:9 and he is promised to come in clouds upon judgment day, 1st Ths. 4:17. Clouds are essentially water, and that is what demons avoid, which is where we meet the blood of Jesus by faith in baptism, (Mt. 12:43 & Lk. 11:24). Water has always been in Gods’ plan.  The apostles first reaction during the ascension of Jesus and His blessing was to worship Him. Never under any circumstance should we hesitate to worship or pray to Jesus. Why? Because right then and there He became our High Priest.  Without Jesus interceding, we are hopelessly unable to do anything acceptable for God, Mk. 16:19.  See Hebrews 8:1-4, without Jesus as our High Priest, we are like a body beheaded.  His High Priesthood is the reason He is the Head of the church, his body, Colossians 1:18.  The second reaction of the disciples during his ascension is “staring”.  Christians can not afford to be “watching the sky”, we are to be doing the will of the Lord, loving and looking and staying prepared for the coming of Christ, as if it will be tomorrow, 2nd Peter 3:10, 1st Ths 5:2. We should be in love with His appearing, 2nd Tim. 4:8, with as much love as the first disciples had, when they missed Him.

The Lasting Promise

Key Texts:  John 21:1-24 & Acts 1: 3-12

When the disciples reached land they immediately saw Jesus with a charcoal fire, fish being cooked and bread. How can 1 fish and loaf, feed over 7 men breakfast, when they are tired and hungry?   Is there another miracle here being performed, besides the 153 big fish in an untorn net Jesus provided? The lesson we get is that Jesus has everything we need, in order to do what he wants us to do, even when it feels like he isn’t with us. Instead of fishing for fish, they should have been fishing for men. The compassion of Jesus in calling them from a distance, “children”, is how God views our disappointments. We may fish all night and feel our work is a waste, but Jesus knew that would be the case and used their frustration and loss to help them appreciate his merciful power.
After breakfast, Jesus calls Peter,  “Son of John”, which is the same as “Bar-Jonah” and may have brought to Simon Peter’s remembrance that day when he first confessed Jesus to be the Christ, the son of God.  Matthew 16:16, 17, “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”. When Peter’s confession of love was being made, you may safely assume that Peter’s denial was being forgiven. Was this the Lord’s way of making sure we understand that remorseful tears are only the beginning of repentance? We must realize that it is our love for Jesus, not our sorrow for sin, that ensures our forgiveness and compels our confession, see 2nd Tim. 4:8 & James 1:12.
This obviously got Peter motivated to help lead the disciples back towards Jerusalem, which Jesus was near in his ascension from Mt. Olivet. The promise of the coming Holy Spirit was made sure by Jesus immediately before his ascension. The usage of two different words for “love” in John 21, helped teach Peter, that his love for Jesus must grow to the extent that he put his own fears aside, and feed the sheep despite however many ravenous wolves of distraction scare him.  Going back south towards Jerusalem must have been scary, there his enemies in the Sanhedrin would confront the sheep. But not without the presence of the Holy Spirit.  During this time, Jesus spoke to them about the Kingdom of God, Ac. 1:3. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was promised during the 40 days Jesus showed himself, so perhaps this message of love, leadership and power in the Spirit and Kingdom served to mature Peter’s leadership in the right direction.  The restoration of the Kingdom to Israel was happening but there are two things about it’s nature we must remember.
Firstly, it is spiritual not physical, Lk 17:21, we can’t even put a specific calendar date to it. We indeed can see the church born on Pentecost, but we can not date it’s entry and establishment in the world from Bethlehem to Calvary. Indeed the power of the Kingdom is increasing and progressive in the language of Paul in Col. 1:13  & 2nd Tim. 4:18.
Secondly, Christians are indeed the true circumcision, that is, spiritual Israel, see Php. 3:3, Romans 11:25-28 & Galatians 3:28. Therefore we have citizenship in the heavenly Jerusalem, Php. 3:20, and the Kingdom of God is being restored for eternity from heaven to earth and vice-versa.

Appearances of Jesus

The women departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to tell the disciples what had happened. How are “fear” and “great joy” compatible? (Mat. 28:28). Jesus appeared at least ten times between his resurrection and ascension, five of which, the first five listed below, were on the day of the resurrection:           

To Mary Magdalene (John and Mark).  

To Other Women (Matthew).

To Peter: Luke 24:34,

To Ten Apostles, Thomas Absent: John 20:20

To Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:12-17).

To Eleven Apostles, Thomas Present: John 20:26

To Seven by the Sea: John 21:1-25           

To Above Five Hundred: 1 Corinthians 15:6.

To James & the Apostles, including Matthias: 1 Corinthians 15:5-7, After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

To All the Disciples with the Great Commission in Different Words:  Acts 1:3-8.  

Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene. Why did Jesus appear first to Mary instead of to one of the dedicated apostles such as Peter, James or John? Jesus had cast, driven seven demons out of Mary of Magdala.  However, she did not know, realize the person she saw was Jesus. Why not?  Why did she not recognize Jesus? Mary was not the only one who failed to recognize Jesus.  Acts 13:26, 27, John 21:4,  Many today would not recognize Jesus because of such things as: 

1. Worldly distractions & prejudices,    

2. Satan.  IICorinthians 4:4, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  

3. The lowliness of Jesus.  Example: John 1:46, And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said unto him, Come and see.

Jesus further said to Mary, “Do not hold on to me, don’t touch me; for I have not yet ascended, returned to the Father.” Mary must have impulsively embraced Jesus, fallen at his feet and held them. The meaning is, “Don’t hold on to me.”  I have a job for you.  Several instances of people who touched the resurrected Christ are given in Scripture: 

1. Matthew 28:9, And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail.  And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 

2. John 20:27, Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 

3. Luke 24:39, Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.“Go instead unto my brethren, brothers and tell them, I am returning, ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary’s job was to tell the apostles that Jesus had been resurrected, that she had seen Jesus and that he was soon to ascend to glory. What is our job?

His & Our Resurrection

Key Text: 1st Corinthians 15:50-58

It seems the point of Paul’s description of our resurrection is to give us an assurance that all we do in this body is not in vain, v58. Life, rewards and power belong to everyone inside Christ Jesus for eternity because of the resurrection.

The superiority of Jesus as the resurrection is stated by Paul in Colossians 1:16-18.  The resurrection of Jesus himself has a unique quality because of his own power to perform the resurrection.  No one raised Jesus from the dead, he raised himself, we see this claim in the fact of the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:8-11), not allowing His body to be bound to hades or death itself, Acts 2:22-33.  It is stated at least twice that God the Father raised Jesus, but as Jesus often claimed to be one with the Father, we can easily accept that the “Godhead”  (Romans 1:20), was at work on His body for that victorious event of life after death.  The Biblical account of the resurrection can in no way be understood to be solely spiritual, but rather, as Scripture points out, it is both physical & spiritual.  Every person that has ever lived & died on this earth will experience this phenomena, John 5:28-29.  Do you believe in Him and His power? The apostle Paul did, Acts 24:15, and he wanted LIFE eternal from the Just One.

All the other resurrections recorded in the Bible have lessons for us.  We need to learn about them in order to help our faith grow in the power of God on our own soul & body.  This kind of faith, led Abraham to be blessed with God imputing His own righteousness upon him and confirming the promise of blessings from God to be fulfilled upon Abraham because he obeyed God’s voice.  Genesis 22:1-18.  Do you believe in Him and His power as Abraham did?  See Galatians 3:26-29. 

A.   Son of the widow of Zarephath, 1Kings 17:22 

B.  Son of the Shunammite, 2nd Kings 4:35 

C.  Dead man restored to life at the touch of Elisha’s bones, 2nd Kings 13:21 

D.  Jairus’ daughter, Matthew 9:25 

E.  Son of the widow of Nain, Luke 7:15 

F.   Lazarus of Bethany, John 11:44 

G. Saints at the time of the crucifixion, Matthew 27:52,  Mark 5:42 

H. Dorcas, Acts 9:40 

I.   Eutychus,  Acts 20:9-12

J. Every Single Faithful Child of God !  Romans 6:1-8, John 11:25. 

The very purpose of God’s Spirit living in us is revealed in 2Corinthians 5:1-8, it explains the promised gift of our resurrection unto life.   Herein is found the famous saying, “walk by faith”, but what is He asking us to walk believing in?  The Resurrection!