Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: The Hero of the Book of Revelation

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

The grand Hero of the Book of Revelation is not the beast, or the dragon, or the serpent, although all three figure prominently. No, its real Hero is "the Lamb" mentioned more than twenty-five times. He is described in "the law of first mention" as "a Lamb as though it had been slain," to whom at last "every creature ... in heaven and on the earth" will sing, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain ..." (5:6, 13, 12).

With dramatic skill John identifies "the Lamb" only as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David" (vs. 5). Not until chapter 11 does the author let an identification slip through--He is "our Lord [who] was crucified" (vs. 8). And not until verse 15 (midpoint in the Book of Revelation) does John relax the intensity of his drama and permit "the seventh angel" finally to disclose whom the "Lamb" is--"Christ." No playwright has ever captured dramatic intensity as John has.

The reader glimpses heaven and earth all breathless in anxiety as "no one in heaven, or on the earth ... was able to open the scroll" containing the destiny of the universe. John himself "wept much," crying uncontrollably (have you, ever? 5:1-5). Finally a voice says, don't cry; we've found someone who can "open ... the scroll," "the Lion of the tribe of Judah." John strains his eyes to see this magnificent King walk on stage, and then, lo, he sees only a bloody, mangled "Lamb."

Thus in Revelation the Holy Spirit calls the attention of Christ's world church to the Savior's sacrifice on His cross. It's time to wake up and look. The light that will eventually "lighten the earth with glory" will be a revelation of the "width and length and depth and height" of the agape-love displayed by the Lamb at His cross, motivating every honest heart to total gratitude and dedication to Him, forever annihilating lukewarmness.

We can be sure of one thing: at this time "the serpent [will] spew water out of his mouth ... a flood" of falsehood intended to disparage what the Lamb accomplished by His sacrifice, so the enemy can lock in forever our half-hearted lukewarmness (cf. 12:15). Behind the scenes, here is "the great controversy between Christ and Satan."

Can lukewarmness ever be healed? Satan says, No. What do you say?

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 3, 2000.
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