Welcome to the Mountjoy Ministries Blog

This blog was authored by Bryan W. Sheldon, author and Bible teacher. His books are listed below. The studies in the blog are offered in the desire that they may be helpful in directing readers to the truths contained in the Bible.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Titles of the Lord Jesus

We continue in our study of the Names of the Lord Jesus.

In the book of Revelation the main subject concerns the ending of the conflict between good and evil, between God and Satan, these exalted names, ‘Alpha and Omega’, ‘Beginning and End’, ‘First and  Last’, as applied to the Lord Jesus, remind us that our future is secure in His hands because He will bring history, as we know it, to a perfect    conclusion that will reveal the many faceted wisdom of God.

If the names, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, direct us to the higher counsels of the Godhead as they relate to eternity, so there are names that direct us to the work of Christ upon earth.

First, in Rev.5.5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

He is the Lion of Judah.

This title goes back to Jacob’s final blessing of his sons before his death. In that blessing he called Judah “a lion’s whelp” (Gen. 49:9). If Judah himself is a lion’s whelp, it is fitting to call the greatest member of the tribe of Judah ‘The Lion of Judah’.

In the books written between the Testaments this became a messianic  title. The strength of the lion and his undoubted place as king of beasts made him a fitting emblem of the all-powerful Messiah who not only is ‘The Lion of the tribe of Judah’ but also ‘King of Kings’.
In the Rev.5:5 verse Jesus, the Lion of Judah, is further identified as being connected with the family of David, that is, He is “the root of David”.

The Root of David.  This title goes back to Isaiah’s double prophecy that there will not only be a shoot from the stump of Jesse but also a root of Jesse which shall be the banner to which the    Gentiles will rally (Isaiah 11:1, 10).

The unimpressive green “shoot” that will sprout from the stump of Jesse is a person from the Davidic royal line. This living twig/branch/shoot will bear fruit. Thus it was a symbol of hope declaring that one day a Messiah of the Davidic line would be revealed. Jesus Christ was that Son of David, the promised Messiah.

Bur Jesus was not only “a shoot from the stump of Jesse” (Is 11:1) but also the “root of Jesse” (Is 11:10; Rom 15:12; see Rev 5:5; 22:16, “root of David”). This means that while Jesus was the son of David, He was also David’s “Lord.” This is the point Jesus made in his debate with the religious leaders of his day in Matthew 22:42–45 when He asked them: ‘What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?’ They replied, ‘He is the son of David.’ Jesus responded, How then does  David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool?
The Lamb of Revelation: 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. (Rev.5:6)

Jesus as the Lamb is one of the dominant themes of Revelation. In its pages it is the title used of Jesus some twenty-nine times.
The word John uses for Lamb is not used of Jesus Christ anywhere else in the New Testament. It is true that John the Baptist pointed to him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 36); and Peter speaks of the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1:19), but in these cases the word is ‘amnos’, whereas the word that the Revelation uses is ‘arnion’.  The Baptist’s word emphasises the Lamb as a sacrificial offering, whereas John’s word ‘arnion’ emphasises the victory the Lamb accomplished.

The Lamb of Revelation overcame death (5:5–6) and is omnipotent  and omniscient. He takes over the government of the world by    opening the book of destiny in the heavenly council (4:2ff.; 5:7ff.),  receiving divine adoration (5:8ff. etc.), establishing the rule of peace (7:9) on the heavenly mountain (14:1), overcoming demonic powers (17:14), exercising judgment (6:16f.; 14:10) and making distinction on the basis of the book of life (13:8; 21:27). As Victor He is the Lord of lords and King of kings (17:14; 19:16).

By using ‘arnion’ and using it so often, John wishes us to see that this is a new concept which he is bringing to men. But even so, the Lamb still bears the marks of having been slain. There we have the picture of the sacrifice of Christ, still visible in the heavenly places, for eternally He will be the one who loved us and gave Himself for us.
The Lamb of Revelation has Seven Horns. This  Lamb, with the marks of sacrifice still on it, is the Lamb with the seven horns. In the Old Testament the horn stands for two things.

First it stands for POWER. In the blessing of Moses the horns of    Joseph are like the horns of a wild ox and with them he will push the people together to the ends of the earth” (Deut. 33:17). Zedekiah, the prophet, made iron horns as a sign of promised triumph over the  Syrians (1 Kings 22:11).

The Lamb has seven horns; the number seven stands for perfection; therefore the seven horns stand for perfect power, omnipotence.

Secondly the horn stands for HONOUR. It is the confidence of the Psalmist that in the favour of God our horn shall be exalted (Ps.89:17). The connection with honour is evident in  Ps. 112:9 His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted with honour.Then again: And He has exalted the horn of His people” (Ps. 148:14).

So the power of the Lamb is perfect, beyond withstanding.

And the honour of the Lamb is above all other honours.

He will have a Name above every name. All that is in heaven and all in earth will sing His praises.

The Lamb of Revelation has Seven Eyes: The Lamb has seven eyes, and the eyes are the Spirits which are despatched into all the earth. The picture comes from Zechariah. There the prophet sees the seven lamps which are “the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth” (Zech. 4:10).

It stands for the omniscience of God. It says that there is no place on earth which is not under the eye of God. But omniscient also means He is all wise. There is nothing that is beyond His comprehension. There is nothing He has over-looked.
Because He is omniscient He will be working to a higher design and purpose. Because He is omnipotent and has all power ‘in heaven and in earth’, He will accomplish what    He has purposed to do. These high attributes belong to the Lamb in the midst of the throne.

So you can see why John when writing the book of Revelation uses a different noun for ‘Lamb’ to the one that was used by John the Baptist.
The Lamb of eternity, while bearing the marks of Calvary, is no longer at the mercy of the enemies of God for the Lamb is also the Lion.

The Lamb is also King

The T’nach refers to  God as King whose throne is eternal:

The Lord (YHWH) reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved. Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting. (Psalm 93:1–2) This theme is picked up by Paul: that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen.(1 Tim. 6:14–16)


Note: this last reference includes the indicator of the ‘seven horns’ truth – ‘to whom be honour and everlasting power’. John, like Paul, takes up the theme that God is the King of Kings, but applies it to Jesus, the Lamb who has seven horns.

 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings ”. (Rev. 17:14) And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. ” (Rev. 19:16)

Presidents, dictators, and kings rule over their nations. Jesus as king is greater than all of these. To him all power and authority belong, and all knees shall bow. This is the message of the book of Daniel. Daniel witnessed to Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus that YHWH reigned and He lifts up whom He wills, and He puts down whom He wills. This is the power now vested in the Son of God.

Let’s put some of these all-powerful names together:

The One who is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords is the Lamb, the  Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last; the One who was, and is, and is to come, the Almighty.

Jesus is ‘The Word of God’

Then there is another Name: ‘The Word of God’. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” (Rev. 19:13) Here we have the purely Jewish idea of the Word of God. To a Jew a word was not merely a sound; it did things. We can see that, for instance, in the old story in which Jacob filched Esau’s blessing from Isaac (Genesis 27). The blessing, once given, could not be taken back. If that is so of human words, how much truer it is of the divine word.

It is by His word that God created the earth and the heavens and  everything in them. “And God said” is the recurring phrase in the narrative of creation (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 14, 26).
When John called the warrior Christ 'The Word of God'. he meant that here in action is all the power of God's word; everything that God has said is embodied in Christ.

What we are saying is—a multiplicity of names is needed to identify all the glorious aspects of the person and work of the Lord Jesusl For example, there are names in the book of Revelation that identify the deity of Christ, such as Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last; but there are also names that especially    relate to His earthly ministry e.g. the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, etc. And when we reach the last chapter of the book of Revelation many of the names that we have considered reappear. 

He is the Lamb that has a throne in the city of God. Moreover He will tie up all loose ends under His ‘First and Last’ names: And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one     according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”  (Rev. 22:12–13)

In addition, when He refers to two of His earthly titles He adds one more delightful name: “I, Jesus ... am the Root and the Offspring of  David, the Bright and Morning Star(Rev. 22:16). The Bright and Morning Star title suggests a new beginning; a good beginning; a blessed beginning. But alas, there is not another book after Revelation to fill in the details of what follows.

But we can end this study as the book of Revelation ends—with a prayer and a benediction.

The Prayer: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20)

The Benediction: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.(Rev. 22:21)