Revelation 7:14b

Sermon preached on October 28, 2012 by Laurence W. Veinott. © Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Other sermons can be found at

Unless otherwise noted, quotations are from The Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

A couple of years after we got married Marg and I were flying back to eastern Canada from a trip to New York City. I think it was a stewardess who was passing a drink to someone accidently spilled some on Marg. Marg had a new outfit on that she had bought in the city and she started to wipe the spill on her clothing with a white napkin. But the white napkin had a little bit of red color on it. It was from the Air Canada logo so the red color went into the clothing. When the stewardess saw this she did something that surprised me. She went to the drink cart and got a can of Coca-Cola. She poured some Coke on the red stain to clean it up. She told Marg that the Coke would help minimize the stain. It wasn't the only thing she used, she used some water as well. But she used Coke. I found that very unusual because according to my way of thinking, if you wanted to make a stain on a piece of clothing, one of the ways to do it would be to spill Coke on it. That seemed such an odd thing to do, to clean a stain with Coke. I actually thought my memory might be playing tricks on me, but I asked Marg about it this week and she confirmed that it was Coke. I also did a Google search and the site Lifehacker says that for getting greasy stains out of clothing, you can put some Coke in with your wash. What the stewardess did worked too. It did minimize the stain.

Coke has other uses in cleaning. Do you ever get food stuck on a non-stick pan? How are you supposed to clean that without damaging the pan? Pour some Coca-Cola into your dirty pan and heat it until it reaches a boil. After it cools, scrub the pan with a plastic tool and the food will come right off. Coke's strong acids will clean the pan but won't damage the non stick surface.

Another weird thing I heard was about banana peels. The next time you eat a banana, don't throw the peel away. You can use the sticky inside part to shine your shoes. Rub it on your shoe in a circular motion and then finish it off with a soft cloth.

I've also heard that a banana peel will also rub out the scratches on a CD. If you have a scratched CD, don't throw it out, take a banana peel to it and make it like new.

I've never cleaned the inside of my dishwasher. I always thought it got clean enough from washing the dishes. But I read that if you're concerned about the lime deposits or rust stains on the inside of your dishwasher, you can put a pack of Lemonade Kool Aid in it and it will clean the inside of your dishwasher. It has to be the Lemonade flavor, the other flavors won't work. I don't know if you're supposed to put it in when your washing the dishes or if you have to put it in separately, but they say it will clean the inside of your dishwasher.

I read this past week that bread can be used to clean dust and grime off wallpaper. You cut off the crust and rub the white bread against the wallpaper. They say that this trick goes back to the 1800's. I'd never heard of it before. I think you'd need a lot of bread.

They say as well that if you have some unsightly water stains on a wood surface, you should cover it in mayo and let it sit overnight. By morning the stains will be almost gone. This method supposedly works because the greasy oil-and-egg concoction pulls moisture out of the wood.

I don't think I believe that one. There's another one about ketchup that says that it will remove stains on copper. I'm not sure I'd try that. All of those cleaning methods are weird. Some of them don't seem to make sense. And I don't want you to hold me accountable if you try one or two of them and they don't work. But some people say that they work.

We have something like that in our text—only it's about something that works, about the only thing that works in dealing with our sin. When the elder told John who the ones in the white robes were, he said, (verse 14)

"These are they
who have come out of the great tribulation;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

It's about washing robes in blood and having them come out white. This is a very striking image. Vern Poythress, says, (The Returning King, p. 1190

"In a startling juxtaposition, his blood washes them white."

The New Testament often connects the blood of Christ to our redemption. The 'blood of Christ' refers to the saving aspects of Jesus' death. (Grudem, Systematic Theology). Wayne Grudem says that it primarily has to do with,

"the removal of our judicial guilt before God…"

Our sins have made us guilty and defiled before God. As we read in Isaiah 64:6,

"All of us have become
like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away."

Our sins have made us unclean. Even our best acts are defiled.

The blood of the Lamb is the only thing that can remove the defilement and make us clean. It makes our robes white. It gives us a place in heaven. There are two things about the blood of the Lamb that I want to look at this morning.

The first thing is that in the book of Revelation

the title 'Lamb' is a very exalted designation.

Whenever Revelation speaks of the Lamb it has in view a most glorious Being.

The first time we saw it was in Revelation 5 when John had a vision of God's throne and he saw, (Revelation 5:6)

"a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain,
standing in the center of the throne,
encircled by the four living creatures
and the elders.
He had seven horns and seven eyes,
which are the seven spirits of God
sent out into all the earth."

He's at the throne. I really like the translation of the NIV here, where it says that the Lamb was standing,

"in the center of the throne,"

because it gives us a true sense of the exalted nature of the Lamb. This fits in with the teaching of the rest of Revelation. Some people think that it should be translated differently, that it is telling us that Jesus is just in the area of the throne. It's true you can translate it that way. But Revelation 22:1 and 3 refers to God's throne as,

"The throne of God and of the Lamb…"

That shows us that the throne belongs equally to God and the Lamb. The Lamb, where is He? He's at the throne in heaven. It's God's throne. It's His throne. The Lamb is God Himself.

Not only that, but in chapter 5 we saw that
Jesus took the scroll from the right hand of the Father. It is a picture of absolute majesty and power. He is the One who will bring God's plan to pass. He is described as having seven horns and seven Spirits—which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. The Lamb possesses the Spirit in the sense that He sends the Spirit out to all the earth.

In chapter 5 we also saw that
the Lamb was worshipped by the four living creatures and the 24 elders. He is proclaimed as worthy because He purchased men for God. He was then praised with terms that are only ascribed to God. The Lamb, is none other than Jesus, God Himself.

In chapter 6 we saw that He was the One that opened the seals and
the scroll of destiny. He is the One that judges the earth-dwellers. When God comes people will cry out for deliverance from the wrath of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.

In chapter 7 we saw that the great multitude cried out, (verse 10)

"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

He is the source of salvation. He is the One that accomplished our salvation. Chapter 7 also tells us that the Lamb at the center of the throne will be the Shepherd of the great multitude and lead them to springs of living water.

In chapter 12 we see it is because of the blood of the Lamb that
the saints overcome. He is the One that enables people to have victory. Chapter 13 tells us that the Book of Life belongs to the Lamb, who was slain from the creation of the world. In chapter 14 the Lamb stands on Mount Zion with the 144,000, who have his name written on their foreheads. In chapter 14 it is the Lamb who oversees hell's fires. In chapter 15 the Song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. He is praised as the Lord God Almighty, the,

"King of the ages."

In chapter 17 we read about the 10 kings who will receive authority from the beast. Verse 14 says,

"They will make war against the Lamb,
but the Lamb will overcome them
because he is Lord of lords and King of kings…"

In chapter 19 we read about the wedding of the Lamb, and His bride and how blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb. In Revelation 21 we read that there is no temple in the New Jerusalem, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. In Revelation 22 we read that the river of the water of life, will flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

The thrust of all this is that the Lamb is a most glorious and exalted figure in Revelation. He is the central figure of the book.

He is God, the One who saves, who rules, who judges, who subdues His enemies, who brings the eternal age and the New Jerusalem into being. The Lamb is worthy to be praised—there is no one like Him. The title, the "Lamb" is such an exalted title that we have to reach high to even begin to grasp it's significance.

By whose blood are our sins washed away? It's the blood of the Lamb.

The second thing that our text tells us is that

we are made clean by the 'blood' of the Lamb.

In light of what we've just heard, this is incredible. It just like Revelation 5:6 where we first saw the Lamb. It says,

"Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain,
standing in the center of the throne,"

To have marks of death on the Lamb, to have marks of death on the throne—that's something that should fill us with awe. It's like a great contradiction.

It's the same here. Those in heaven have their robes washed in the 'blood of the Lamb'. The Lamb looking as if it had been slain and the blood of the Lamb both point to the sacrificial death of Jesus.

It is absolutely incredible that this Lamb should suffer and die.

Yet that's what the curse of sin demanded. The wages of sin is death. You were redeemed with blood. It's not just blood—it's the blood of the Lamb. Here's how the apostle Peter put it in 1 Peter 1:18–19,

"For you know that it was
not with perishable things such as silver or gold
that you were redeemed
from the empty way of life
handed down to you from your forefathers,
but with the precious blood of Christ,
a lamb without blemish or defect."

Your redemption required blood, nothing less than the blood of the Lamb. Hebrews 2:14–15 tells us about the work of Jesus.

"Since the children have flesh and blood,
he too shared in their humanity
so that by his death he might destroy him
who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—
and free those who all their lives
were held in slavery by their fear of death."

The Lamb, the One on the throne, the King of the Ages, the Lord of lords and King of kings—He experienced death, the death that sin required—so that you can be cleansed from your sin. His blood, oh the thought of that—His blood cleanses us from our sin.

Now what does all this mean?

First of all, for you Christians, this means that you should have absolute confidence that

the Lamb is able to save you.

Yesterday Marg was telling me about a Christian friend who recently faced death. As it approached he started to have doubts about his salvation. Was he a Christian? It was like Satan was attacking him. He felt absolutely worthless.

He was right. In ourselves, we are worthless.

Marg also knew another elderly Christian lady who felt attacked like that. She was admitted to the hospital and while there she had was thrown into the depths of despair and for a short period of time was convinced that she wasn't a Christian. Satan told her she wasn't.

Christian, when you face death you may have doubts like that. If we look at ourselves, our worth, our attainments—we may indeed despair of ever being saved.

But at such times look at the Lamb. Is the Lamb able to save you? Yes! Does the Lamb love you? Yes! As John said about Jesus right at the beginning of Revelation (1:5)

"To him who loves us and has freed us
from our sins by his blood,"

Is the Lamb powerful enough to save you? Yes! He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the King of the Ages. He is the ruler of all things.

Is the Lamb committed to you? Does He have the authority to save you? Yes. Before Peter denied Jesus, Jesus said to him, Luke 22:31 (ESV)

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,
that he might sift you like wheat,"

Satan demanded to have Peter. The Greek word that is used means to ask for something ("ἐξαιτέω," BDAG, 344)

"with emphasis and with implication of having a right to do so…"

Satan demanded Peter. Peter's sin deserved death. His sin deserved hell's fires. Satan thought he had a right to Peter.

But the Lamb intervened. The Lamb prayed for Peter. The Lamb died for Peter. The Lamb saved Peter. Jesus is the One who has a right to Peter. He purchased Peter.

Vern Poythress says of the those who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, (The Returning King, p. 119)

"The white robes of purity and honor belong to the multitude, not because of anything that they have achieved through their own power, but through the power of Christ's redemption."

The Lamb. It's all about Him. We're not worthy. Our works are not worthy. But He has set His love on us and died in our place. He has won the victory for us.

When you go through trials—keep gazing on the Lamb and know that He loves sinners, that He loves you.

Secondly, for Christians, this also means that

you should not think lightly of your sins.

That little sin that you committed this past week—what does that deserve? It deserves death. It deserves hell's fires.

How could your sin be dealt with? Only through the blood of the Lamb? Think about that. It was only through the blood of the Lamb! The One who is from the throne, who is the King of the Ages, the Great Judge.

Sin is such an evil. Sin is such a horror. Hate sin. Hate temptation.

Thirdly, for Christians,

be amazed at the Lamb's love for you.

The praise of the great multitude said that salvation belongs to God and to the Lamb.

Jesus, the King of Glory, the One who dwells on the throne—He came to earth as a Lamb. He suffered and He died—for sinners. He rose triumphantly over death, the great curse of sin. He did it all for you.

How you should praise Him.
Your life should be devoted to His praise. What are the things that are taking you away from that? Nothing should be able to do that. But what's stopping you from being fully devoted to His praise? Is it your pleasure, your work, your friends, your family? Don't let anything stop you. Salvation belongs to God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! Be amazed at the Lamb's love for you and praise Him continually for it.

Lastly, for those of you who are not Christians,

this shows you what you need in order to be cleansed of your sins.

You need to wash your robes in the blood of the Lamb. Nothing else will do.

You can try to be good—but that will never make you clean. Remember Shakespeare's
Lady Macbeth? After she and her husband killed King Duncan he said that even the ocean couldn't clean his hands of the king's blood. At the time his wife scorned him. But later she's observed washing her hands at length, muttering,

"Out, damn'd spot."

Her hands are stained by blood and she can't get them clean. Macbeth and his wife persist in thinking that physical actions like washing can get rid of sin and root out psychological demons—but they can't.

Nothing you can do can make you clean. You're a sinner and your sins are going to put you in hell unless you go to Jesus. You need the blood of the Lamb. Go to Jesus today.