WORTHY IS THE LAMB

BY:  E. M. ‘ED’ DUPAS

MAY 7, 2005

Surely every one reading this can think of a movie that was based upon a book, where the movie, though entertaining and exciting, did not match the book version of the story.  The movie’s screenplay changed the story to include parts that were thought to be more acceptable or to have a greater impact on the audience.  We have come to accept that kind of ‘tinkering’ in movies, but it is sad to say that to some degree, the same thing has happened with the greatest story ever toldthe bible.  The “screenplay” too often contains what we wish the bible had said, or what it “surely meant to say.”

It is time to leave behind the screenplays scripted by well-meaning theologians, and to move on, settling for nothing less than what was actually said by the Author and Finisher of our faith, and to learn what He truly meant.

“And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’” (Rev. 5:11-13) (NASB) 

“And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.  If anyone has an ear, let him hear.” (Rev. 13:8-9) (NASB) 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:3-6) (NASB)

While driving in the country the other day it occurred to me to begin praising the Lamb of God, as in Rev. 5:12. I began to do so, saying “Worthy is the lamb that was slainworthy to receive honor, glory, power and thanks…”  This phrase has always inspired me to praise more and higher.  I repeated it several times, when all at once I was led to see something I had not seen before.  I suddenly realized that it was not only Jesus who was being worshipped and glorified in the above verses from the Book of Revelation, but the full Body of Christ, complete in him.  This came by inspiration, and I knew it was true, but I decided that before this outrageous insight could be shared it would be wise to see whether the bible actually supports it.

Notice that the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians,

“For if we are beside ourselves (Ed: “if we seem to be out of our minds”), it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you.  For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.” (2 Cor. 5:13-16) (NASB) 

In these verses the Apostle Paul makes it clear that when Christ was slain, we too. were slain along with Him.  I began to see that Jesus Christ, the Head of the body of Christ, has traditionally been praised, but WAIT!!  He is the head (only), and WE are the body, as we live in Him.  The Head died on the cross on Calvary’s mountain, but He was the forerunner for the rest of the body.  He was the atonement for the sin of the whole world.  He also purchased the right and set the example for God’s elect to follow Him to the cross, and to die for the world and the gospel.    His sacrifice on our behalf gained for us “…every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. (Eph. 1:3) Can you see the similarity between that phrase from Ephesians, and the one spoken to John on the Isle of Patmos  “…worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing? (Rev. 5:12) (NASB)  It is very reasonable to say that ‘power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory’ may be the equivalent of ‘every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Now recall Jesus’ invitation to his elected disciples: 

“If any man come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me...” (Matt. 16:24) This proves that it was the Father’s intention that Jesus would not be the only one to sacrifice his life. This verse also ought to lay some groundwork for understanding that those who follow Jesus must expect to give up their lives for the same cause as He did.  This implies dying (to one’s self) and then living for Christ, as the Apostle Paul taught in the sixth chapter of his letter to the Romans, Verses 2-5.

In his letter to the Ephesians, we read where Paul wrote that the Father has chosen us IN CHRIST before the “foundation” of the world.  Paul also revealed to the Colossians that great mysteryhidden through all the ages that is, CHRIST IN US, THE HOPE OF GLORY.  (Colossians 1:27)  This makes it clear that Christ (literally the anointing) has been IN MANKIND since the “foundation” of the world.  He (the Christ spirit) has always been in us, but now we are invited to be IN HIM by adopting the mind of Christ, as Jesus did, which will lead us to our deaths (i.e., the death of self-will).  This is what the body (bride) of Christ looks likethose who have denied themselves, and who embrace and celebrate their likeness to Jesus Christ by following and emulating him, in other words, having HIS mind.

It seems that what John saw that day in Patmos was not just a vision of praise and glory being raised up to Jesus the Christ, but a vision of praise and glory given to THE ENTIRE BODY OF CHRIST, who, along with their head, had been slain (gave up their lives for the gospel).   Surely this is why the voice, which was “…as the sound of MANY waters…” [Rev. 1:15] told John “If any one has an ear, let him hear.” (Rev 13:9 NASB)  Each time Jesus says “If any one has an ear, let him hear, the reader is being invited to look deeper, below the surfaceto listen with spiritual ears for the hidden message, which can only be revealed from above.  So let’s look a little deeper

Recall that it was mentioned earlier that some (the elect) have been invited to follow Jesus to the cross. (Matt. 16:24)  This might seem like a bold statement, until we consider just whom the elect are.  The Greek word used here is eklektos, which means “chosen.”  It is easy to see that the chosen are those mentioned by the Apostle Paul to the Romans:

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified… Who will bring a charge against GOD’S ELECT? God is the one who justifies…” (Rom. 8:29-30, 33) (NASB, emphasis added)

Notice also that the chosen ones were (had already been, in Paul’s day) predestined, called, justified, and glorified.  It is widely understood and agreed that this was accomplished in the heavenly realms before the “foundation of the world.”  Of course, here on earth, in the realm of time, all these things are possible only in Christ. 

Look again at Revelation 13:8-9

“And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.  If anyone has an ear, let him hear.” (Rev. 13:8-9) (NASB) 

This verse tells us that everyone living on the earth shall worship himEVERYONE, THAT IS, WHOSE NAMES ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE OF THE LAMB What about the rest of the soulsthose whose names ARE written in the book?  Who are these souls?  They are the elect, and they have been seated with him, and have been glorified with him, and, in John’s revelation, are receiving praise, honor, glory and power along with him.  To put it another way, those whose names are not written in the book are worshipping those whose names are.  They are the corporate (body of) Christ – which consists of Jesus as the head, and those who have put on Christand who have their life in himas the rest of the body.

WHO ARE THE ELECT?  ARE GOD’S ELECT GOD’S ELITE?

I’m afraid that what has been written above may give the enemy an opportunity to place anger or bitterness in some believers’ minds, concerning God’s elect, as though I am suggesting that only God’s elect might be saved.  If you have come this far and understand what you have read, I hope you will continue on. 

One thing is crystal clear from scriptureGod called and brings forth a group of believers called the elect, or chosen ones (Rom. 8:29-30, 33).  It is also clear that they were called to a high standard (the image of Christ), and are specially gifted.

In Matthew 24:24 Jesus warns his disciples that false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.  This suggests that the elect, whoever they are, are not easily misled.  The verse may even be understood to imply that it may not be possible for them to be deceived at all. 

It is important to consider these thoughts against the whole counsel of God, that is, the entire bible.  In addition, it is recommended that you do your best to obtain the meaning and sense of the original writings, which is not always easy.  This is not to disparage the current translations of the Bible, for most of them are quite good.  However, the Holy Spirit is the best interpreter of his own words.

There should be no argument that 1) if some people are ELECTed, then there are some who are not; and 2) if they have been elected, then they are probably somehow different from those who are not, having been chosen or prepared by God to be able to ‘conform to the image of Christ.’  We can assume that the Lord has his reasons and purposes for everything, so he must have a purpose for his elect.  My belief is that God will somehow use them in the deliverance of the rest of His people, in the manner of “Gideon’s 300” in the Book of Judges. 

Notice that God’s intention is clearly spelled out in Amos 9:9-15 and Acts 16:14-18that God will restore the tabernacle of David (i.e., bring His “remnant”His elect, who are called by His name into the one-on-one relationship David had with Him) and use them to reach out to the nations, in order that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord.

There are some who teach that God’s elect are the only ones who will see salvation, and that the rest of mankind is (pre)destined for damnation.  These teachers understand neither the counsel of scripture, nor the heart of a loving Father who desires that all men come to the saving knowledge of Christ.  As a result they have driven a wedge between themselves and other believers.  Please do not allow the enemy to bring to you thoughts of some exclusive ‘club’ called the elect.  Recognize that this ‘club’ is called to a) be conformed to the image of Christ; b) give up their lives (selves) for the Gospel and their fellow man; and as a result of their overcoming c) they are glorified with him on His throne.  The rest of creation gets to praise and honor the full Body of Christ, with Jesus as the head and the King of kings.

I urge you not to feel bothered by the possibility that you might not be one of the elect.  After all, I would like to have received gold medals in the Olympics, but I am not sure I would have sacrificed every other agenda and half my life training and preparing for it. 

SEEK UNDERSTANDING PRAYERFULLY, WAITING ON THE LORD, WHO SOMETIMES MUST BRING OUR MINDS AND HEARTS ALONG CONSIDERABLY SO THAT WE CAN SEE FURTHER INTO HEAVENLY THINGS. 

 

 

WORTHY IS THE LAMB [E. M. ‘Ed’ Dupas] 5-7-05          1

 

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