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Chitu Okoli

Posted on May 23, 2009 in Rivers of Living Water

Dispensational transfer in Revelation 4 and 5

All of this is before the appearance of the Lamb in chapter 5. In chapter 5 verse five, the Lamb is introduced as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David. It is very notable that in verse nine, "they sing a new song." This new song indicates that the nature of their song in chapter 5 is of a different nature, a newer nature, compared to the song in chapter 4. In fact, this indicates a shift from the Old Testament praise of chapter 4 to the New Testament praise of chapter 5. This is seen in the characteristics of this new song: In verse nine, they praise the Lamb for His redemption. Redemption is a New Testament item, not an Old Testament item. Moreover, in verse 10, they praise the Lamb for making God’s people a kingdom and priests. This refers to all believers being not only kings, but a corporate kingdom; and also to the priesthood of all believers. These are also New Testament items. And finally, in verse 13, there is praise "to Him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb." This equates the Lamb to God. This is definitely a New Testament item.

I was struck how these praises in the two chapters show the need for us to make a dispensational transfer from things of the Old Testament character to things of the New Testament character. Even our songs which we write and sing should move from the Old Testament level to the New Testament level. Surely we should never cease to praise God for His power and glory and majesty in His creation, but these two chapters show the need to move on to praise God for His accomplishments in His New Testament economy. Specifically, this praise of God in the New Testament nature is a praise of the processed God who has come as the Lamb and who is no longer far from men but has come to be one with men, who has joined Himself to man, redeeming them and making them kings and priests to be one with Him in His divine enterprise in His economy.

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