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THE LAMB ON THE THRONE IN REVELATION

Translations of Revelation 5:6

NAU Revelation 5:6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth

NIV Revelation 5:6 Then I saw a Lamb, 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 earth.

NJB Revelation 5:6 Then I saw, in the middle of the throne with its four living creatures and the circle of the elders, a Lamb standing that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits that God has sent out over the whole world.

NKJ Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

The Greek word translated as “between” in the NASB is μέσος: a) BDAG – middle, in the middle, among; b) EDNT – in the middle, amid, in the midst, between; c) Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar – middle, in the midst (58; *μεσο) – Meso is a combining form that when added to another word carries the meaning of “middle,” such as “mesomorphic” (the state between liquid and crystalline), “mesoplast” (the nucleus of a cell), and “Mesozoic” (the age between the Paleozoic and Cenozoic ages).

Other texts in Revelation with the “throne” and the “Lamb”: a) Revelation 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; b) Revelation 7:17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd; c) Revelation 22:1 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb; d) Revelation 22:3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him

The “child” (Christ) is taken up to the throne – Revelation 12:5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne

The Lamb is the “King of Kings”: a) Revelation 17:14 These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful; b)       Revelation 19:16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS

The Spirit In Revelation

Compared with references to God and Christ, references to the Spirit in Revelation are comparatively few, but the Spirit’s role is crucial. The Spirit plays an essential role in the divine activity of establishing God’s kingdom in the world. References to the Spirit fall into two major categories: those which refer to “the seven Spirits” (1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6) and those which refer to “the Spirit” (1:10; 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10).

The Spirit functions as the prophetic voice of God and the Lamb. John refers to his witness “prophecy,” which is understood to be a message sent from God through an inspired messenger (1:3). John received visions through the Spirit (1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10). God’s Spirit speaks through the text of Revelation (2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). The Spirit conveys words from God and the glorified Christ directly, using the first person singular (1:8; 2:1–3:22; 21:5–8)

The Spirit prophetically calls the churches to play our appropriate role in the unfolding drama: to abandon idolatry and be faithful to God, especially during times of suffering. Together the Spirit and the Bride call people to experience the life that only God gives (22:17). In other words, the Spirit is not only prophetic but also missional, sent out into the world (5:6).

The prophetic-missional Spirit calls the church to bear witness in the world (19:10). In a sense, the whole Christian community is appointed to make prophetic witness (11:3–10). However, John indicates that he and others have a distinctive vocation as prophets, who were inspired in ways that other people are not (22:6, 9).

The Spirit brings the saints into the presence of God for worship (1:10; 4:2).

The Spirit reassures the church that faithful witness will result in ultimate rest and reward, not defeat (14:13).

Mark Johnson

Michael J. Gorman, Reading Revelation Responsibly (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011), 122.

Richard Bauckham, Theology of Revelation (New York, Cambridge University Press, 1993), 109-110.

Craig R. Koester, Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014), 224.

Following The Lamb

Revelation is the strangest book in the whole Bible, and for many people, it is a closed book. They avoid it, thinking it too mysterious for them to understand. On the other hand, a few people seem to live in the book of Revelation, concentrating all their reading of Scripture on this one book alone. Both of these extremes are shortsighted.

Revelation addresses the common challenges facing Christians under Roman rule, rather than speaking only to those enduring a time of terror. Some of the readers were struggling, but others were affluent and complacent. Revelation’s visions work to shape the fundamental convictions of the readers and call us to renewed faithfulness to God and the Lamb (working) out the implications in the contexts where we live.

The goal of these sermons in Revelation is to present the message of Revelation in a manner that is accessible, engaging, and meaningful. Revelation is not about the antichrist, but about the living Christ. It is not about a rapture out of this world but about faithful discipleship in this world. We will be addressing the central truths and realities of Revelation that we can know for sure. We will also be asking, “what type of congregation (and individual disciple) is Revelation attempting to form?”

08-05-18       One Weird Book                          Revelation 1:1-3

08-12-18       The Center of the Universe          Revelation 4:3-6

08-19-18       The Conquering Lamb                 Revelation 5:4-6

08-26-18       The Seven Spirits Before The Throne     Revelation 1:3-6

The Meaning Of “Making A Covenant” in Genesis 9:12

  1. Genesis 9:12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;
  2. Most of the standard English translations use the same language of “making a covenant” for this verse – CSB, ESV, NIV, NJB, NKJV, NRS
  3. An exception is the NLT Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come
  4. the word for “make” in most translated is translated as “give”
  5. the word order is changed to state that it is the covenant sign that is being given
  6. The use of hēqîm bĕrît (“establishing” a covenant) instead of kārat bĕrît (“cutting” or “making” a covenant) indicates that God is upholding His covenant (between God and creation) instead of initiating a new covenant
  7. the construction “to cut a covenant” (kārat bĕrît) refers to covenant initiation while the expression “to establish a covenant” (hēqîm bĕrît) refers to a covenant partner fulfilling an obligation or upholding a promise in a covenant initiated previously so that the other partner experiences in historical reality the fulfilling of this promise (one makes good on one’s commitment, obligation, or promise)
  8. “covenant” (bĕrît) occurs eight times in Gen. 6 and 9

1)       4 times the text refers to “confirming” or “establishing” a covenant (hēqîm bĕrît)

a) 6:18 But I will establish My covenant with you

b) 9:9 Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you

c) 9:11 I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh

d) 9:17 This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth

2)       the other four occurrences of “covenant” deal with the sign or remembering the covenant

a) 9:12 This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you

b) 9:13 it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth

c) 9:15 I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh

d) 9:16 remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth

3)       the standard expression for initiating a covenant is lacking (“cut a covenant” – karat bĕrît)

4)       Gen. 9:12 is an upholding or reinstatement of the covenant initiated at creation and not a renewing of the covenant (God is making good His commitment to creation)

  1. The Hebrew word translated as “making” in Gen. 9:12 is נָתַן (nātan)
  2. the word is not “cut” (kārat)
  3. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis – נָתַן (nātan), give, present, offer, allow, permit, surrender, deliver, set, put, place נָתַן (nātan), give, present, offer, allow, permit, surrender, deliver, set, put, place
  4. The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew – בוא come, i.e. enter into CD 22; 310; 619; 92; 1315; 2025; 1QH 523; 1QS 218, נתן give Gn 9:12; 17:2; Nm 25:12; Si 44:22, שׂים place 2 S 23:5; Jr 33:25 (or em. בָּרָאתִי I have created), שׁבע ni. swear Dt 4:31; 7:12; 8:18, צוה pi. command, i.e. ordain Jos 7:11; 23:16; Jg 2:20; Ps 111:9, נגד hi. tell Dt 4:13, זכר remember Gn 9:15; Ex 2:24; 6:5; Lv 26:42, 42, 42, 45; Ezk 16:60; Am 1:9; Ps 105:8‖1 C 16:15; Ps 106:45; 111:5; CD 14; 62 GnzPs 413 4QDibHama 1.59; 4QPrFêtesc 97.17, דרשׁ seek 1QH 59, אהב love Ketef Hinnom inscr. 14 ([א]הב הבר[ית]), שׁמר keep Gn 17:9, 10; Ex 19:5; Dt 7:9, 12; 1 K 8:23‖2 C 6:14 (all three ‖ חֶסֶד loyalty) 1 K 11:11 (+ חֻקָּה statute) Ezk 17:14; Ps 78:10; 103:18; 132:12 (+ עֵדָה testimony) Dn 9:4; Ne 1:5; 9:32 (all three ‖ חֶסֶד) CD 2017; 1QM 148; 187; 1QS 52, 9; 1QSa 13; 4Q521 102 (ברי[ת]), נצר guard Dt 33:9 (+ אִמְרָה word) Ps 25:10 (+ עֵדָה), appar. ידע know 1QH fr 77; 1QS 519, hi. make known Ps 25:14, חזק pi. restore 1QSb 323; 521, חדשׁ pi. make new 1QSb 326; 1QLitPrb 3.26; 4QPrFêtesc 97.18.
  5. Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament – The lexicons usually distinguish three chief meanings of ntn: (1) “to give,” (2) “to place,” “to establish,” “to lay,” and (3) “to make,” “to do”
  6. Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament – נתן with qal (which the form of the verb in Gen. 9:12 – MRJ) —1. to give —2. to present someone with something
  7. Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – נָתַן – verb give, put, set
  8. this Hebrew word has various meaning; it seems that its basic meaning is “to give” (which is given in various Hebrew Grammars)
  9. The syntax of the verse – the verb “נָתַן” (nātan) follows two nouns (“sign” and “covenant”) and relates to both nouns (not just one)
  10. I think the New Living Translation has it correctly; God is “giving” (not “making”) a covenant sign (not just a covenant)

Being An Example

Your life forms the ceiling above which you cannot influence people to grow. Luke records Jesus as saying, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).

This is not to say that they cannot grow beyond you. They most certainly can. But you don’t have any influence over that. If students grow beyond you, they are not growing because of you; they are increasing in spite of you. Seldom does the students’ maturity eclipse that of his teachers.

That is one reason why James warned, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). Judged more strictly because of what the teacher teaches and the lives of the people we create. That is what Paul meant when he said, “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men” (2 Cor. 3:2).

The apostle called others to follow his example and imitate him. “Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me” (1 Cor. 4:6). “Brethren, join in following my example and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us” (Phil. 3:17). There is a correct way (pattern) to live for God that can be seen and followed.

We think it sounds really spiritual to say, “No, no, no, don’t follow my example; follow the example of Jesus. Don’t look to me, look to Christ.” This sounds humble. This sounds spiritual. But this is not how the Bible teaches us to work as teachers. The truth is, students will follow your example whether you like it or not. They will follow your example whether you tell them to or not. They will follow us, so we must follow Christ. This is what Paul said in another place: “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).

Adapted by Mark Johnson