"And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
"And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, . . . . Rev. 5:5,6.
". . . Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29.
It is stated by scholars that John wrote Revelation before his gospel and epistles. It isn't likely anyone had a question as to who the slain Lamb was, but with John's gospel record of John the Baptist speaking as Jesus came toward him, all discussion certainly would have been settled; and perhaps the most beautiful of all religious concepts takes on deeper meaning - the Lion is also a Lamb.
Think about that. We long for the time when the lion and lamb shall lie down together. Truthfully, until the fullness of the lion and lamb are reproduced in a final generation; until a balance is developed in us of all that is strong and noble, and meek and lowly Jesus cannot come; for the world has yet to have that witness manifested.
Everyone reading this is probably yet unbalanced. I make no sweeping assertions. It is entirely possible Enoch's walk amongst us. I just don't know any. Perhaps you do. In the balance God desires to recreate we are likely to be more lion or more lamb at present. No one who knows the author of this article would have to guess where he stands. May the Lord have mercy and continue to sanctify me in such a way that the beautiful nature of the lamb can be more fruitful in my life. Certainly my wife and children would be most receptive to that!
"Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
"The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." Genesis 49:9.
Let us take a look at some of the characteristics of our Lion in scripture. Whether as the young lion ready to pounce, or the old lion lying in his regal nobility; who shall rouse him? He holds the scepter. The kingship, the royalty, the nature of rule is unmistakable.
We are supposed to be children of a King. Brethren of a King. Espoused to a King. It is stated in different ways throughout the Bible. As such, we are to exemplify the highest traits of nobility and the welfare a king would bestow upon his children, his family, his bride. As a people, have we not been given the finest counsels and opportunities in regard to doctrine, health, clothing, education and service, etc. in the King's world? Unless we are living up to the privileges and responsibilities of all the counsel of God, we cannot possibly be fit representatives to complete His work on earth.
Far too many amongst God's professed people are imbalanced when it comes to these things. How many this writer has met who maintain a sharp and keen awareness of last day events and doctrinal matters, but their dietary practices are obviously lacking. Or the reverse is seen; people deeply into health reform that seem to have little grasp of the issues that confront us as a people living at the end of all time. In areas of modesty, the education of our children and the influences that Satan seeks to derail our noble calling - how less than noble and regal is the life of God's professed church!
As the world sinks into rank, deplorable foolishness and sordid immorality how closely the church follows but a mile or two behind; so that where the world once was decades ago, the professed people of God are today!! How true shall it be that those ready for translation will be viewed as odd, singular, straight-laced extremists. Ah! But this is not permission to be "gazing stocks" either. Balance under the roof of our King. Balance. Jesus carried Himself in the perfect balance of noble traits and terrible exactness. Ask anyone in the temple when He cleansed it! Ask the Jewish leaders when he dismantled their whole program in Matthew chapter 23!
"And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine:
"For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." Matthew 7:28,29.
Lions have authority. A lion roars and everything around pays attention. I heard a lion roar at a zoo once. I not only felt it in my stomach, but, amazingly enough, it seemed to reverberate right through the ground into my feet. It was an awesome experience, indeed. And mind you, the lion was lying down! He wasn't angry. He wasn't shouting. He just had something to say and you definitely paid attention.
So it was with Jesus. People were enthralled with His teaching because they could see and perceive He truly meant what He said. There was no equivocation in His voice. He knew what He believed, why He believed it, and how He needed to get His points across to the people. Oh, to have that perfect balance of authority in my own preaching and witnessing! That the world around us should know that we KNOW what we believe and why we believe it is God's quest for our lives. The world will know, when God has a balanced, authoritative people.
"And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about."
"And they all were amazed , and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out." Luke 4:14, 36
Lions are powerful. Among all carnivores the big cats are the most powerful, and the lion a most fearless creature. It will tangle with anything but a full grown elephant. And even there, recent night-time photography has shown lions bringing down young elephants 5 times their size, right in the midst of surprised herds, if food supplies grow too short. The lion is a powerful creature.
Jesus had power. At times it just exploded in a wealth of influence on those He was around. At other times it was an undertone; a sense of that even if He was only walking people expected something to happen.
Oh, that God would bring power amongst His people; a fearlessness that gives us the true spirit of Protestantism to stand up against sin and all that is opposed to the kingdom of God; and to proclaim the truth regardless of who or what resists and retaliates! The entire planet is soon to be arranged in a final rebellion towards God and His people. Are we ready for this? Do we have the power from on high that moved the world in former times? We do not, and we best plead for it before we are surrounded by forces bent on our failure and destruction, as already exists against Christians in many parts of the world. We need power. We also need balance, that such power is not abused, misused, or taken for granted. God cannot entrust power to an unbalanced people.
"If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity."
"If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;
"For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again Thou shewest Thyself marvelous upon me." Job 10:14-16.
Indeed. What a picture of God's people in the coming time of trouble when it will seem as though Satan has won, and all is surely lost. Yet out of the terror of the moment arises the fierce and mighty Jesus to arrest the attention of the world and rescue His agonizing servants from a planet gone mad.
The lion is a fierce creature. It is not an animal any other creature of the plains takes lightly. Though Job saw a fierceness in his situation, yet he still marvelled at God. His character is beyond reproach. He knows what He is doing, despite our absolute ignorance of a situation.
The situation among us has reached a major crisis, especially among those proclaiming the fullness of truth. All seems confusion. It is going to get worse. Oh yes, God will take the reigns. Praise His name for that. The terror will lie in who He takes the reigns from and their wicked response. God will no longer be trifled with. When he comes down on the Romanism prevailing amongst a people professing to rejoice in light, His fierceness and their response will show an entanglement of commotion only God will have a handle on.
"And when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the changer's money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not My Father's house an house of merchandise. And His disciples remembered that it is written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten Me up." John 2:15-17.
Where are the lions, beloved? Where are the lions? God's church needs lions!
"I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My own judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me." John 5:30
"Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father hath taught me, I speak these things." John 8:28.
How dependent is the Lamb. How dependent was Jesus upon His Father. How dependent we should be in all things heard, believed, taught and lived. Without that dependence, failure is at the door. Without that dependence, self rises up, self tries to rule, self corrupts the soul.
Make no mistake; sheep are not robots. They must eat where the good shepherd leads them, drink at the waters he provides, rest where he stops, and follow his voice wherever it leads. They have their part to do, and without it, they will die. Our dependence upon God's power does not lessen the use of it in our lives. A gift is a gift. But a gift on a back shelf or in a closet is no benefit to anyone. Though salvation by grace through faith is a gift from God, let no one deceive themselves that so prized a gift is to collect dust. It is anything but an ornament or knick-knack. Depending on His Father certainly did not lessen Jesus' use of that connection. He is our example in all things.
Sheep are not necessarily busy. They lead fairly mundane lives. Like all illustrations using earthly things, it has its limitations. On the other hand it is very possible to become so busy all hearing of the Shepherd’s voice gets lost in the shuffles of life. Dependency on God is replaced by dependency on an employer, a paycheck, insurance companies, government, husbands, wives, preachers and leaders. The chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Everyone agrees, yet so much improper dependency exists in the church it keeps us in this world. We aren't leaving it until complete dependency and cooperation with God becomes daily habit.
"Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me?" John 8:46
"Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me." John 14:30.
The innocent Lamb of God. Not guilty of any wrong. Nothing in Him of corruption. Nothing in Him of sinful practice and perpetuation. Tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.
Beloved, we must have innocence before the throne of God. We must partake of the divine nature that we may escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. It is the hour of judgment! These are the final moments of earth's history! Every thought, every word, every action must be pure and holy, true and righteous, spotless and clean if we are to be ready for translation. Jesus comes for a clean church, not a dirty one. He cannot come for a dirty church. He will not come for a dirty church.
Righteousness by faith, character perfection IS the fullness of the balance of God in life. Let no one on earth denounce the work of God for this last generation. Oh fools and slow of heart to believe! Professors of true religion who deny the power of Jesus to cleanse His earthly temples from all defilement and impurity? Apostates! Ringleaders! False teachers with damnable heresies, denying the Lord that bought them. Would they be saved IN their sins or FROM their sins? Shall threads of compromise, worldliness and humanism be woven into a translation garment? Never. And those who perpetuate the lie that the commandments of God cannot be kept by one in Christ, walking after the Spirit; those who maintain that the righteousness of the law cannot be reproduced in those who maintain a living connection to the Vine shall reap what they sow. And those who occupy positions of trust in any institution who allows so foul a doctrine to be held amongst its teachers, and who feel their institution is beyond falling . . . how great the fall when it comes!
Will the innocent in Christ Jesus please stand up? No takers? Indeed. But the God of heaven knows. The Holy Spirit continues to work and Jesus shall come for them when His character is reproduced in their lives; for the forces of hell, especially among the religious, will show the anger of the dragon upon these lambs.
"Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:" 2Cor. 10:1.
Lambs are meek and gentle, are they not? Herein is where the author needs much more of Jesus. Here is where many display imbalance. I might add, it is often in the home where the familiarity of family life leads to various displays of lacking in these traits of character amongst professed believers. We live in a world filled with aggression, anger, and hatred. Only through tenderness, gentleness and meekness can much of that wall be broken down, especially in homes where youth fall prey to the influences of this sinful world.
How many times I have seen parents demanding of their children and I have thought, "How we learn so hard. If only they saw our broken hearts more than our frustration. If only they heard gentle entreaty, rather than military command. How different things might be."
How many have been lost in the cracks of church-life because of the lack of gentleness in the way they were approached? How many have given up because of the "in your face" or self-righteous attitudes demonstrated? Such ambassadors Jesus does not need. May God forgive me if I have driven any to such ends with unchristlike exhibitions. The balance is a fine one. The balance is so needed. Balance is everything. "And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude 22,23.
"Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:29
Lambs are certainly meek and lowly. They are so unthreatening. That is why children are so drawn to them. If you have ever attended an agricultural fair and walked through the sheep barn, how the children can't get enough petting in! We have delightful pictures of our girls as babies, completely charmed and jubilant in the presence of the lambs. That must be why children loved Jesus. He was so unthreatening; at least to those with nothing to cover up and hide.
Being meek isn't being a doormat for anyone. On the other hand, the Lamb was dumb before His shearers, He suffered patiently, there was no guile in His mouth, no reviling heard from His lips, no threatening.
Balance. We all see ourselves in this mix somewhere. Some are far more the lion. Some, far more the lamb. Some will speak up in an instant, and also be a bull in a china shop; while others quietly go about their business, yet often say nothing when a crisis hits.
Just so you understand the importance of all this; just so you understand just how important Satan sees all this, behold;
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:15
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1 Peter 5:8.
Well, well. It appears Diabolos knows what God is striving for and seeks to get into the mix; which is to be expected. There is a counterfeit lion, and a counterfeit lamb. We do well to know the difference, by experience, now, before it is too late. And too late it is soon to be.
Balance. While everything is about to enter a final time of perfect imbalance, a people shall arise and shine; fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.
Beloved, do not delay, do not allow anything to keep you from the most glorious moment in the history of the universe. Seek the Lion. Seek the Lamb. Seek that balance that can be all things to all men.
Now, to give you an unbelievable mix of balance; God's balance perfectly displayed and to be wondered at, look at these verses;
"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains;
"And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
"For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Revelation 6:15-17.
The wrath of a lamb? Could there be a more convoluted picture? What could possibly be more wondrous? Yet, it shall be so. A balance of Lion and Lamb so perfect, the human race will be seized with a terror unimaginable. A sense of rejection, of fear, of utter loss and hopelessness that calls forth a request of death; for to see the Face of Him they have slighted and rejected is a fate worse than death.
But for God's faithful it is the Face of rescue, of triumph and victory! It is the Face of acceptance, love and joy unspeakable. It is that Face that calls forth the shout, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us!"
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.