We sing songs about the incredible worth of the Lamb. But how convinced are we of his worth? Do our lives demonstrate that we truly believe our own words? Do we live a life dedicated to His worth? I think that most of the trouble we have living a life committed to Jesus comes from areas of unbelief. We can’t live for him beyond the faith we truly have in his absolute supremacy of all things. When we truly believe in his absolute worth, we will actually live a life dedicated to him.
I’m not talking about mere power and strength, but goodness, kindness and love. The Lamb of God is worthy of all because of his love. After all, that’s why Our Father God sent the Son. God sent his Son because He loved the world, not because he needed the world to worship him. This does not negate the worth of The Lamb’s worship but it enhances it! This is the reason for the Lamb’s worth.
” 8When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song, saying…
|“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain…”|
Heaven declared the Lamb is worthy because he was slain. Jesus’ worth is rooted in his life laid down for the world. Recall what else John said about what happened when Jesus was slain…
1 John 3: 16We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us...
1 John 4 9By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
The Lamb gave himself to be slain because of love. Since he was worthy because he was slain, He is worthy because of his love.
Essentially, Heaven was worshipping Jesus because He was the Lamb who demonstrated God’s love. Finally. Whether they knew it or not, all of mankind had been waiting for God to fully reveal his love. Judaism was supposed to be the vessel of his love towards the world, but they fell far short of God’s glory. Indeed, we all sinned. But The Lamb revealed the love of God by taking away the sins of the world. By love and faithfulness, sins were atoned for. But whereas the Law atoned (covered) sins, The Lamb took away..
The Law was fulfilled by God himself demonstrating the greatest love ever. God reconciled the world to himself in Christ Jesus by not imputing (holding) the world’s sins against them. This is why the Lamb is worthy of all…
HOW MUCH IS ALL?
Let’s continue with the prophetic and poetic imagery of John’s Revelation.
11Then 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,12saying 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.”
13And 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.”
I am convinced this has not happened yet, but it’s in our future. I do agree that most of Revelation (especially chapters 6-14) has been completely fulfilled. But do we think every created being has given worship to the Lamb?
WHAT THE HELL?
Consider how complete the description of worship was. Everything in Heaven (Which is “above” the earth) Everything on the earth. Everything under the earth. Everything on the sea. He basically said everything “Up, down and under” will worship. And then just in case we thought he may have left something out, he added “all things” in them. Did he just tack on the end ~ “all things in all of those places”? I’m pretty sure he did. And I’m also pretty sure that leaves nothing out.
Well, someone may say “What about Hell?”
Yes. What about Hell? First of “Hell” is not actually mentioned much in the New Testament, let alone in Revelation. But the times that the word “Hell” was unfortunately added to the NT, it is often from the Greek word “Hades”. Hades was the mythological underworld of the dead in the Ancient Near East and Jesus did referenced it when speaking of the place of the dead . Hades was called “Sheol” in the Hebrew and thought of as being in the ground/under the earth because that’s where we have always buried our dead. I’m sure that idea of Hades is where we carried over our understanding of “Hell being underneath us”. (See Isaiah 14:9)
This is not the place for a deep study on Hades/Hell but, I will mention that many translations did insert “Hell” in the Book of Revelation. When we briefly reference this hades, we need to keep in mind that these first century readers all understood hades to be in or under the earth.
After the devil, beast and false prophet will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (which seems to be different than “Hell”), we have our only other mention of Hades/Hell and it’s inhabitants.
Revelation 20:11Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened; and another scroll was opened, which is of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the scrolls, according to their deeds. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14Then death and Hades (Often translated “Hell”) were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
This is almost definitely “the second resurrection” and I think we need to be reminded that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. (John 11). Satan has never resurrected anyone. Only Jesus resurrects because Jesus is The Resurrection. These people who came to life must be understood as being resurrected by Jesus. Why does Jesus resurrect the unbelieving dead? What if it’s for the sake of drawing them to himself, now that he has been lifted up? (John 12:32)
I find it interesting that before the Cross, Jesus said The Lord was not Lord of the dead, but of the living (Luke 20:38). However Paul said that Jesus died for the purpose of becoming Lord of both the living and the dead! (Romans 14:8,9) It’s only a matter of time before all the living and dead worship Jesus Christ as Lord. (Romans 14:10-11)
It’s very important to notice that the unbelievers in Hades will actually be thrown into the Lake of Fire (never translated “Hell”.) Who else gives up their dead? The sea and the “Death”. This is interesting because the Young’s Literal Translation accurately translates it this way ~ “and the sea did give up those dead in it, and the death and the hades did give up the dead in them” (20:13)
The Sea. The Death. The Hades. They all gave their dead.
The Death and The Hades go hand in hand all throughout Revelation. (Rev.1:18, 6:8 and 20:13) Just as they often did in the Old Testament. If you aren’t aware of this fact, Revelation is actually the most Jewish book in the New Testament, with perhaps the exceptions of Matthew and Hebrews. Revelation contains literally hundreds of direct quotes and numerous references to the Old Covenant. Most modern teachers miss this reality because they are looking for fulfillment of Revelation in the newspaper instead of in the Bible. The point being that “Death and Hades” were often mentioned together in the Old Testament and understood to be places the dead went to “in the underworld” and so they should be known within the context of Revelation.
See Hosea 13:14, Isaiah 38:18, 28:15, Psalm 116:13, Psalm 89:48, Psalm 49:14 to name a few.
The point of all this is to clarify what John’s Hebrew and ancient Greek thinking audience would have understood when they read these passages about “The Death and the Hades”. They would not have assumed that this is the final end of these people who were resurrected from the underworld. Because John had already informed the reader/hearer about the end of all those living “under the earth”. So The Death and Hades were temporary holding places for the dead in or under the earth until the second Resurrection. This is not purgatory, which is a modern invention loosely based on the Old Testament understanding of the underworld or “realm of the dead”.
There is something after Hades/Hell for unbelievers and it involves being resurrected by Jesus. But even after they are resurrected, thrown into the Lake of Fire, this does not appear to be the absolute end. Let’s go back to the climax of the entire book of Revelation, which we are actively involved in fulfilling with the Living Lamb King inside us ~13And 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.”
Everything in Heaven, on the earth **and under the earth!** will worship the Lamb! Everyone who will be resurrected in the Sea, The Death and The Hades will go through the Lake of Fire, but they will come out on the other side worshipping the Lamb of God! This is absolutely confirmed throughout the Old Testament, the letters of Paul, and even the end of Revelation.
Concerning the Lake of Fire, now that we know neither “Hades”, “Gehanna” or “Hell” are actually the Lake of Fire, we can see a profound and yet simple truth. Yes, many people will go into the LOF. However, it never says that anyone in the LOF will burn forever. There is actually a call at the very end of the Book for all who are in outside the gates and in the fire to turn to Jesus and enter the city, whose gates are never shut! (Rev.21:8, 25 & 22:14,15) The problem is that for generations we have been so inundated with the misconception of Hell and eternal conscious torment, that we have almost completely shut off any possibility of anyone coming out being an option. So here are a few references to remind us of the worth of the Lamb King, Jesus Christ who is Lord of all.
ALL FOR JESUS –
Some people may argue that not everyone in the Lake of Fire will come out because some will be literally destroyed. They may argue that the unbelievers will cease to exist. This view can be known as Annihilationism/Conditional Immortality (CI) and I do believe it’s an upgrade above “Eternal conscious torment”, which is a demonic idea. But does CI give Father God and Jesus the most gory? I believe only complete restoration does because of the Absolutely Victorious Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider some profound verses concerning Jesus’ Absolute Victory realized.
Romans 11:32-36 says that God will show mercy to all. All things are from God, by God and for God.
Ephesians 1:9,10 says God’s will is to unite all things in Heaven and earth in Christ. Verses 22,23 say that Christ is filling all things with himself by us. Paul later summarizes that idea in 3:14,15 by saying that Father God has named every family on Heaven and earth through himself (in Christ). He finalizes it in Eph.4:5,6 with these profound words ~5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”
Remember those “under the earth”? Even they will finally come to faith in Jesus Christ! Philippians 2: 10That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: 11And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.”
This is what glorifies God.
The absolute worth of the Lamb is based on his Absolute Victory and must eventually be followed by the absolute voluntary worship from every living creature.
He is worthy of it all! (Wonderful worship song link here)