Bulletin Edition June 2021

“The Lamb Slain From The Foundation Of The World”

Revelation 13:8

Don Fortner

     Though he did not come until after the world had existed for four thousand years, Christ is described as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” because he offered himself to God as a sin-atoning sacrifice for his people from the beginning.

     In the prophetic scriptures of the Old Testament Christ was presented as one already sacrificed for us. Other prophetic scriptures speak of things to be done in the future. When the prophets spoke of our Saviour’s incarnation, his exaltation and his second coming, these things were looked upon and spoken of as events to be accomplished in the future. But when the prophets spoke of the sacrificial death of Christ and the atonement of sin by his blood, it was looked upon and spoken of as a thing already accomplished (Psa. 22; 40:6-13; 69:4-10; 20-21; 85:10; Isa. 43:25; 44:22; 53:1-12). Redemption by Christ was not an after thought of God, something he did because the Jews would not “let” Jesus be their king. Far from it! In the mind and purpose of God our redemption by Christ was accomplished in eternity.

     All the Old Testament types bear testimony to Christ as the Lamb that had been slain. Beginning with the sacrifice of Abel, God’s saints of old offered the blood of lambs upon the altar by faith. And that faith was based upon the Divine revelation that the only way of acceptance with God is by the blood of “the Lamb slain”. Every type was drawn from the picture given by God’s direct revelation and foreshadowed the coming of the Lamb to be slain.

     When Christ is described as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” it is to show us that, from all eternity God regarded Christ as the Lamb who had been slain for his elect. There has always been only one way of salvation: The blood of the Lamb! In the Old Testament God forgave sin and imputed righteousness to believers exactly as he does in the New, upon the basis of Christ’s sacrifice as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rom. 3:24-26). God’s eye of justice always has been and always shall be upon “the Lamb slain”!

The most prominent object in heaven?

Spurgeon, “The Lamb in Glory” #2095.

In the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it has been slain. Revelation 5:6

Jesus, in his ‘sacrificial’ character, is the most prominent object in heaven. So far from ‘substitution’ being done with, and laid aside as a temporary expedient, it remains the object of universal wonder and adoration. In all his present glory, Jesus disdains not to appear as the Lamb that has been slain. This still is his chosen character. Jesus, as the Lamb, is the centre of the wonderful circle which makes up the fellowship of heaven. As the Lamb slain, he is the object of heavenly worship.

He who became a Lamb that he might take away the sin of the world, is not ashamed of his humiliation, but still manifests it to adoring myriads, and is, for that very reason, the very object of their enthusiastic worship. They worship the Lamb that sits upon the throne and say, “Worthy is the Lamb,” because he was slain and redeemed his people by his blood. His atoning sacrifice is the great reason for their deepest reverence and their highest adoration.

The doctrine of Atonement is the first and foremost teaching of Scripture, the greatest well of the believer’s comfort, the highest hill of God’s glory.

In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, that was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing!” Rev. 5:12

For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Rev. 7:17

One everlasting memorial of anguish and suffering

(John MacDuff, 1818–1895)

Rev. 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

Rev. 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

What an anthem is this! No harp is unstrung, no voice

silent. One strain thrills on every tongue–“Worthy is

the Lamb who was slain!” What an attestation to . . .

  God’s immaculate holiness,

  His burning purity,

  His unimpeachable rectitude,

  His boundless mercy!

In Heaven, there shall still be one everlasting memorial

of anguish and suffering–in a place where pain never

enters and suffering is unknown!

Accordingly, when the Redeemer puts the coronation anthem

into the lips of His worshipers, He reveals Himself, not in the

glories of Godhead–but as a slain Lamb, wearing the marks of

humiliation. He tells them to make Calvary still their meditation,

and His Cross and Passion the great centre of eternity. The print

of the nails in His hands, and the spear-mark in His side, are not

the mementos of shame but of victory–remembrancers of a love

whose depths the ages cannot fathom! The vision of the text thus

becomes the mightiest of preachers, replete to the multitudes

above, with the story of grace. There is a tongue in every wound

of the glorified Sufferer–silently but expressively proclaiming the

great love that He had for us!

As the slain Lamb, Jesus proclaims that the same heart which

throbbed in anguish on the Cross–still beats on the Throne;

that He is still the Almighty Friend. Precious assurance! Jesus

unchanged and unchangeable! This same Jesus, who mingled

His tears with the widow at the gate of Nain; who wept over

the memory of a cherished friendship, and was melted in a

flood of tenderest compassion over an apostate land; this

same Jesus, who breathed balm-words of comfort on the very

eve of His own agony, and in the midst of it welcomed a dying

felon to Paradise–is now, with a heart of unaltered love and

sympathy–wielding the sceptre of universal empire!

No sight, short of this


“Who his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.”

     1 Peter 2:24

We beg of the Lord, sometimes, to give us . . .

  a broken heart,

  a contrite spirit,

  a tender conscience,

  and a humble mind.

But it is only a view by faith of what the gracious

Redeemer endured upon the cross, when He bore

our sins in his own body with all their weight and

pressure, and with all the anger of God due to them,

that can really melt a hard, and break a stony heart.

No sight, short of this, can make sin felt to be hateful;

bring tears of godly sorrow out of the eyes, sobs of true

repentance out of the breast, and the deepest, humblest

confessions before God as to what dreadful sinners and

base backsliders we have been before the eyes of His

infinite Purity, Majesty, and Holiness.

Oh, what hope is there for our guilty souls; what

refuge from the wrath of God so justly our due;

what shelter from the curse of a fiery law, except

it be in the cross of Jesus?

O for a view of Him revealed to the eyes of our

enlightened understanding, as bearing our sins

in His own body on the tree!

The most eloquent mouths that ever spoke!

(Charles Spurgeon)

In the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it has been slain. Revelation 5:6

Why should our exalted Saviour appear in Heaven with His wounds? The wounds of Jesus are . . .

  His glories,

  His jewels,

  His sacred ornaments!

To the eye of the believer, Jesus is more than beautiful because He is “white and ruddy” Song of Solomon 5:10. He is white with innocence, and ruddy with His own blood.

We see Him as the ‘Lily’ of matchless purity—and as the ‘Rose’ encrimsoned with His own blood.

Christ never was so matchless as when He hung on the cross! There we behold all His beauties in perfection.

The wounds of Jesus are far more beautiful than all the splendour and pomp of kings.

Jesus appears as the slain Lamb who sought our souls and redeemed them by His complete atonement.

His wounds are the trophies of His love and of His victory.

He has redeemed for Himself a great multitude which no one can number—His scars are the memorials of the fight.

If there were not an audible word, those wounds are the mouths which speak of His love!

The most eloquent mouths that ever spoke, are the wounds of Christ!

Listen! Listen!

Every blood-drop says, “Pardon!”

Every wound says, “Life, eternal life!”

“In a loud voice they sang: Worthy is the Lamb who was slain—to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!” Revelation 5:12

Sanctifying grace, as well as pardoning mercy!

(“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

“You shall call His name Jesus — for He shall save His people from their sins!” Matthew 1:21

Jesus! Precious name, how sweet it is! How well it befits Him who bears it — and how glorious is the salvation which He accomplishes!

Misery is the natural consequence of sin. Everything that God enjoins is good — and everything that He forbids is evil. Jesus saves His people from their sins — and so saves them from misery. He died to atone for transgressions. He ever lives to save His people from the power and practice of sin — yes, and eventually from the very presence of sin.

My soul, let your whole trust be in Jesus, not only for deliverance from guilt and its consequences — but from sin in its manifold workings. You are powerless against your inward corruptions — but Jesus is “mighty to save.” He can subdue your iniquities. Trust Him then, for sanctifying grace, as well as pardoning mercy!

Dwell much on all He did and suffered for you. In His agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross at Calvary — see something of the exceeding sinfulness of your sins, from which He died to save you.

“He will subdue our iniquities — and cast all our sins into the depths of the sea!” Micah 7:19

 Jesus’ blood, for sinners spilt,

 Shows my sin in all its guilt.

 Ah, my soul, He bore your load,

 You have slain the Lamb of God!

 Farewell, world — your gold is dross!

 Now I see the bleeding cross!

 Jesus died to set me free,

 From the law, and sin, and thee!

“Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh.”

Genesis 22:14

 “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh,” because he knew Jehovah-jireh for himself and knew by experience his provision. The ram caught in the thicket had been provided as a substitute for Isaac. Not only had the Lord seen, but according to the promise made to Abraham’s faith, the Lord had provided. Even before he knew how this trial would end, Abraham confidently believed God, trusting him to provide what was needed (Romans 4:20). Isaac said, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham answered with confident faith, “My son, God will provide Himself!”

In due time, God did just that. As these words were spoken prophetically by Abraham concerning Isaac and his substitute, they were also a direct prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Substitute God has provided for sinners. Abraham was, by the Spirit of prophecy, saying to us, as God provided a substitute for Isaac, so he will provide a Substitute for all his covenant people in whom the Lord will be seen. That Substitute is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. He was also telling us that, as God provided for him in his time of extremity, so he will provide for all who trust him.

The God of Abraham lives today! He is the same today as he was in Abraham’s day. In the hour of Abraham’s great need, when there seemed to be no possible way of escape, the Lord appeared for him and was seen in the mount. So it shall be with all the children of Abraham. We shall be tried and tested, but in the hour of our utmost need our God will see us. Seeing our need, he will provide for us. And he will be seen in the provision he makes. The name of our God is Jehovah-jireh. He is worthy of absolute trust and confidence. The Lord Jehovah, is our Preserver and our Provider.

Let this truth be firmly fixed in your heart. — God’s provision for Abraham and Isaac typified the far greater provision of his grace, by which all believing sinners are delivered from sin and death. And God’s provision for us in Christ, by his death at Mt. Calvary, has given us the sure guarantee that all our necessities, both carnal and spiritual, shall be provided by him for both time and eternity. The richest person in the world is the one who is content. If a person is content, he can never be made richer or poorer. And those who have Christ ought to be perfectly content, because Christ is contentment! He who is Jehovah-jireh has promised, “I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:14). What blessed, heavenly logic Paul was inspired of God to use in Romans 8:32, when he asked, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” That is more than a promise; it is a conglomeration of promises. It is a mass of precious jewels, of rubies, and emeralds, and diamonds, with a nugget of gold for their setting. What can the Lord God deny us after giving us his own dear Son? If we need all things in heaven and earth, he will grant them to us. If there could be a limit anywhere, surely he would have kept back his own Son!

 Don Fortner

What? Will He forgive us all sins?


“He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,

 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

     1 John 1:9

What? Will He forgive us all sins?

Every sin that we have committed?

Do we not sin with every breath that we draw?

Is not every lustful desire sin?

And is not every proud thought sin?

And is not every wicked imagination sin?

And is not every unkind suspicion sin?

Every act of unbelief sin?

And every working of a depraved nature sin?

We committed sin when we sucked our mother’s

breast! We committed sin as soon as we were

able to stammer out a word. And as we grew in

body, we grew in sinfulness.

Will He forgive . . .

  sins of thought,

  sins of look,

  sins of action,

  sins of omission,

  sins of commission,

  sins in infancy,

  sins in childhood,

  sins in youth,

  sins in old age?

Will He forgive . . .

  all the base lusts,

  all the filthy workings,

  all the vile actions,

  all the pride,

  all the hypocrisy,

  all the covetousness,

  all the envy, hatred, and malice,

  all the aboundings of inward iniquity?

“The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

     1 John 1:7

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