Lamb of God, Lord of Hosts
John’s vision of the Lamb of God, Lord of Hosts, was too fantastical for the religious leaders of the time to accept. From their perspective it was blasphemous, and contradicted the scriptures. Their view of the Messiah, and God, was limited by their traditional understanding. They could not conceive of two divine beings who were both God — the Word and the Father. Nor could they accept that the Word, the one through whom the Father created all things, became Jesus the Messiah.
So let’s examine the evidence. How are we to understand, as John did, the Lamb of God, the Lord of Hosts? Perhaps, it is best to begin with the basic premise revealed in the book of Hebrews. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” This means that his character, nature and basic roles have not changed over time. They are all consistent and unwavering. John calls Jesus Christ the ‘Lamb of God,’ the one who died and rose again, and was worthy to open the seals and reveal the Father’s purpose.
Wrath of the Lamb
John was given a glimpse into the future, in a vision from God, and he wrote what he saw in the book of Revelation. In vision, John saw the Lamb of God standing on Mt. Zion and prepared to execute God’s judgment. This time of reckoning was called the Wrath of the Lamb and embodied the dramatic events that would occur before and during his return. There would be heavenly signs and both heaven and earth would be shaken.
We learn from the apostles Matthew, Mark, and Luke that the Lamb, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus the Messiah, would come in the clouds and stand on the Mt. of Olives. John’s vision revealed that the Word of God would come to destroy those who destroy the earth. He would judge righteously and make war, wielding his sword to destroy his enemies. Ultimately he would rule as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords from Jerusalem with his saints. He would restore his people to their land and protect them from their enemies. This was the destiny of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, as prophesied by John, Matthew, Luke, and Paul.
Day of the Lord
John’s vision, in combination with the reports from the other apostles, paints a comprehensive picture of this great divine being who will come to restore the Kingdom of God on earth. There is only one problem. The old covenant prophets in the Hebrew scriptures also wrote of these amazing future events. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Malachi, Joel, Amos, Nahum, Moses, and Zechariah all wrote of a similar time of world turmoil and the coming of a divine being to save his people. They wrote that the one whose coming would be preceded by awesome heavenly signs, and great earthquakes.
In amazing detail they envisioned the coming of a divine warrior, a man of war, returning to earth to take vengeance. In his ‘Day of Wrath’ he would wield his sword to destroy his enemies and protect his people. This great being would come in the clouds and stand on the Mt. of Olives with his saints. And he would begin to reign from Jerusalem over all the earth. And who was this great divine being, this man of war according to the prophets? It was the Lord of hosts, the Lord of heaven’s armies, the God of Jacob, the Holy One of Israel.
Lamb of God, Lord of Hosts
So to those who believe the bible is God’s word, and the divine narrative is a truthful revelation of the true nature of things, the question is, “Can we use logic to connect the Lamb of God to the Lord of Hosts?” This was the question that the Jews in Jesus day stumbled over. But to those who “see” it is the knowledge that the prophets could not see in their day, as it had not yet been revealed. It is John’s vision of God that reveals this mystery of the Lamb of God, Lord of Hosts. John’s vision solves the puzzle by putting all the pieces together for those who have eyes to see.
Learn more about God and his vision for the future.
Nature of God Series