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Follow The Lamb

by Julius Hovan

Transcribed from Words of Life Radio Program

Welcome, radio listeners to this Words of Life broadcast. We are so glad you have tuned in. Maybe this is the first time you have heard this broadcast and we hope you will just keep your dial set right there and tune in and share in some good music and hear an encouraging message from the Word of God.

There is an interesting verse of Scripture in the 14th chapter of the Revelation letter in the Bible, the last book of the Bible written by John while he was in prison on an island called Patmos. He says this in chapter 14 and verse four: “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes”.

I want to center our attention upon these people and upon that expression, “following the Lamb.” These who we are talking about follow the Lamb wherever he goes. This describes the kind of life that an individual lives in crisis days in being a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am afraid that many who call themselves Christians follow someone else, maybe the person that established their particular religion. Or a person says, “I belong to…” And they fill in the blank with whatever. John the baptizer gave us the answer about this Lamb. He looked and saw Jesus and he said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” And that is who we are talking about.

These people in this verse who are following the Lamb are people who have submitted themselves by an act of will and the power of faith to receive the love, grace and mercy of God found in the Lord Jesus. Think with me as we go through this broadcast and this lesson today of the followers of the Lamb. What about them? How can we identify them?

Number one, they are sheltered in the atonement of this Lamb. All true Christian experience begins right here. Fellowship in following the Lamb was introduced at Calvary. The Lamb, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, his death became the doorway to life. Now you need to know that many will applaud Christ as some great teacher. He certainly was that, starting out very early even at the age of 12. They may speak of the value of the words of Jesus. Oh, he had some nice sayings, they would tell us. The New Testament preserves those words and they are right and they are important. But they are not the source of our redemption in and of themselves.

Jesus said to those followers of the Pharisees in that day: “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life.” The Scriptures are only a revelation of what God wants us to know. The trust must be in the person and work of Jesus. But not only do people think Jesus is a great teacher, they say, “He is a great example and we are going to exhibit his life to follow in his steps.” It is important to imitate Jesus, to be sure. We can’t do it unless we become Christians and have been cleansed of sin, have been born again. But if you are a Christian listening to me, you have had the same experience I have, frustration. I can’t live exactly like Jesus lived. I cannot be perfect. That is the reason he came to die in the first place, because he knew we could not save ourselves.

You see, Jesus is not set before us as a great example. The result is he really tells me what I cannot do. In and of myself I cannot defeat sin. Some not only speak of Jesus as the great teacher and a great example, but a martyr. Well, he was that. He gave his life for a great cause. He was willing to die for the will of his Father. But listen to me, his death as much more than just proof of some deep conviction.

The New Testament explains for us about Christ’s death. It teaches us that his death is a substitute death. The word vicarious is used. His death was an atoning death. John the baptizer said, “Behold the Lamb of God,” as we quoted to you earlier. Therein is what this is all about. Here is one who can take away sin. Here was the Lamb that Abraham was sure over in the Old Testament that God would provide. God will provide himself the Lamb, a Lamb with out blemish.

The Jewish law required the perfect sacrifice in that little lamb. And so God required the perfect sacrifice of his sinless Son. He, indeed, was led as a Lamb to the slaughter. And so it is that if we desire to follow the Lamb we must be under this determination. Am I sheltering in his atonement? Am I resting in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ? Not am I a church member or do I do some good things once in a while? Even if I have been baptized maybe I just got wet, but I have been saved by the blood of Christ and I am living faithfully, sheltered. That is a word that pictures the Old Testament passover. You will remember each family down in Egypt took a lamb and killed it and sprinkled the blood from that animal on the doorpost of their house. They were sheltered in houses marked and protected by the blood.

When the death angel came, God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” That was the Passover in the Old Testament. The New Testament picture is the fulfillment of the Old Testament scene. What happened down in Egypt is simply a type of what Christ Jesus, God’s perfect Lamb, came to do. He was slain. His blood was shed. It was sprinkled, as it were, upon our heats when we opened them to him by faith. We are under that protection. We are sheltered in the blood that continues to cleanse us from all sin.

To try to follow this Lamb without having this position, without having been born again we understand we would have faith without having the power of God. Here is the realization of what Christ has done for us. We are sheltered in his atonement. But likewise, we are submitting to his authority. God’s Lamb is not only a sacrificial Lamb, but he is a sovereign Lamb. The word “sovereign” carries with it authority and kingship. And if any one truth is clear in the book of Revelation as well as much else in the New Testament Scripture, Jesus is the world authority.

If you will go to that great book of Revelation, chapter four, you will see pictured therein God upon his throne and creatures worshipping and adoring him. But a problem arises in chapter five. Somebody comes along with a scroll. It has words on it, but the scroll is sealed. And they looked and they could find nobody, not a heavenly being, not an angel, no one qualified to open this seal. John understands this must be very important and somebody needs to open this. But nobody was found and we read that John wept because of this.

The destiny of mankind is in that scroll. So listen to verse five of Revelation chapter five: “And one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep anymore. Behold the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. He has overcome to open the book and the seven seals.” This one now called a Lion is the one who was the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. Here is the one who handles and holds in his very hands the destiny of the world and of mankind. And when John rises up to look on that mighty lion, look at verse six. What does he see?

“I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as though it had been slain.” This is the Lamb that is going to be the very authority of God. Jesus is stated as that authority. When he left the earth he said, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” And Paul taught that he was to be highly exalted. No wonder the eighth verse and ninth verse of that Revelation five says: “And when he had taken the book the four living creatures and the 20 elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp and golden bowls full of incense, the prayers of the saints. And they sing a song saying, a new song, ‘Worthy are you to take the book, to open the seals thereof, for you were slain and did purchase unto God with your blood men of every tribe and tongue and people and nation and made them to be unto our God a kingdom of priests and they shall reign upon the earth.”

Do we not see the beautiful picture of this Lamb of God. We would have no problem if we are sheltered in his atonement, if we understand what great things he has done for us then we easily are going to submit to his authority.

Those that follow the Lamb must do that and they do it willfully and joyfully, whatever the result might be. To receive him is to receive both him as a sacrifice and a sovereign Lord. It is unbiblical to preach Christ only as an atoning Lamb and not as an authoritative Lamb as well. That is the reason so many Christians and church members fail in living their lives and being in church and being faithful to do what they need to do.

Paul made it very clear in Romans. We must confess with our mouth Jesus as Lord. We are glad he is going to be Savior, but we must have him as Lord as well. A sinner needs pardon but he also needs to bring himself under the authority of God. For man’s guilt Christ is the atoning Lamb, but for our rebellious, evil, fleshly nature, Jesus Christ becomes the authoritative Lamb.

Remember the words in Acts 2:36. “God hath made that same Jesus whom you crucified Lord and Christ”.

All of this is contained in the word “follow.” Remember those in Revelation, the verse in chapter 14. These are they who follow the Lamb. All of that is contained in submitting to his authority.


Am I soldier of the cross,

A follower of the Lamb,

And shall I fear to own his cause,

Or blush to speak his name?


From that great hymn we must answer, if we are under the blood of Christ, we are a soldier of the cross. Oh, to be a follower of the Lamb. As one who has followed the lamb, we will have no regrets neither in this life and certainly not in the life to come.

Are you sheltered in the atonement of Christ’s blood today? Are you submitting regularly in your daily life to his authority? If you are, I have great news for you. You are going to be able to share in the victory that Christ is going to have. A full picture of God’s dynamic disciples include that they are sharing in the Lamb which God provides. The Lamb of God is a conquering Lamb. We don’t much think about a Lamb as something that can conquer anything. They are just mild, pretty little creatures. But, oh, this Lamb that we have is also pictured as a lion. And we who follow in his train can share a like victory.

Listen to verse 11 of Revelation chapter 12: “They overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the blood of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

How interesting, indeed, that we are going to be privileged to share in that great victory when Jesus comes to be King of kings and Lord of lords.

The story is told that a man named Arnold von Winklereed, the legendary hero of the battle in Switzerland who brought the supreme victory to the Swiss in their battle at Simcock against the Austrians away back in 1386. The Swiss began to retreat from the army and we are told that this man rushed in very boldly into the very ranks of the enemy. Remember, they just fought hand to hand combat in those days. And he seized every spear that he could see. And as he fell to his death he created a path through which his fellow soldiers charged and gained the victory. He became a hero in his day.

And so it is, my friends, that Jesus Christ has charged into the camp of the enemy, of Satan, of that old serpent the devil. He has laid hold of the weapons of this evil one. He gave his life to be able to set us free, to be free of sin and to be given eternal life. We were without strength. We were without hope. We had no victory to hope for, to look for, but he died, Jesus died. And he arose again that those who are sheltered in his atonement, those who are willing to submit to his authority will be able to share in his victory.

No wonder the apostle Paul says in Romans 8:37, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

As I close this lesson, would you center your thoughts upon that verse and relate them to those who are followers of the Lamb? First of all, there is the sphere of this great victory. All of our most difficult circumstances, wherever we are, whatever comes into our lives, we can have victory because we are sheltered in that precious atonement. We are followers of the Lamb. Here is hope, here and now for your daily life, not just when we get to heaven, but we can be victorious now!

And notice the scale of this victory, more than conquerors. Various translators have said super conquerors are those that keep on gloriously conquering.

The old Irishman put it this way. He said it means to fight 12 and knock out 13. That is a pretty good trick, isn’t it? Conquering. How big is your God, your faith in this God?

The sphere of the victory is anything that happens in your life. The scale of this victory is that you are more than a conqueror. And the secret is how? Paul tells us, through him that loved us.

Paul said in another verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Too few Christians have a knowledge of such victory as this. But I would ask you this morning as we thank you for staying tuned in to hear the fullness of this broadcast. Are you a follower of the Lamb? Are you sheltered in the atonement that he provides? And if you are a Christian, are you submitting to his authority and sharing in that great victory?

Repentance takes us from death to life through the confession that we make. When we confess Jesus as Savior and Lord that will bring us a step closer. Then in the picture of our death in that watery burial we call baptism we share in it. We are identifying ourselves with Jesus Christ. Are you sharing in it? Are you sheltered? Are you submitting?

Oh, my friends, allow me to close this broadcast this morning with a brief word of prayer.

God, we are grateful for this precious Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Thank you for the listeners to this radio broadcast. Some are hurting this morning. Some are in difficult, stressful situations. Would you send them a word of cheer? Would you bring them comfort? Would you raise them up? Would you let those who have never become Christians learn how to become a child of God, a follower of the Lamb, to share in that great atonement, to share in the victory that is ultimately going to be those who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. We ask this in his name. Amen.

And may God bless you is our prayer.

Julius Hovan preaches for the Bohon Church of Church of Christ, near  harrodsburg, KY

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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13