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Read Introduction to Revelation

 

“And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne“
 
In both chapters 4 and 5, the scene is in heaven. Chapter 4 is the worship of the Creator. Chapter 5 is the worship of the Lamb who was slain. Chapter 6 the scene turns to happenings on earth.
 
5:1
And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
John now sees God sitting on the throne with a scroll with seven seals. A scroll is rolled parchment. God secured this document so that no one can change its contents. As one unrolls the parchment, he comes to successive seals. The seals must be loosed one by one. With the breaking of these seals judgments pour out upon the world.
5:2
Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”
Twenty times the words “loud voice” occurs in Revelation. This “strong angel” wants to get the attention of those who listen.
The key to the entire vision of the seals is who is “worthy” to open them. The issue is the worth of the person. Once someone begins to open the scroll, then the tribulation will begin. Character should be the standard for any leader.
5:3
And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.
No person in heaven or earth was qualified to open the scroll and read it.
5:4
So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.
John felt a sense of hopelessness that no one was able to open the scroll and read it for no one would know the purpose of creation and why all this suffering would come upon the earth. Somehow, John knew that this scroll contained the coming judgments upon the world (10:7).
This scroll answers the questions of war, and crime and why human beings cannot solve these problems. There are things in our lives that we cannot explain. How can God be perfectly righteous and absolutely omnipotent and allow the atrocities that take place in the world?
5:5
But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
One of the elders says that Jesus is qualified to open the seals because He is of the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Genesis 49:9), of “the Root of David” (Isaiah 11:1,10) and He “prevailed to open the scroll.” These two titles are the credentials of the Messiah to rule on earth. Jesus falls heir to the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7). A lion is the symbol of majesty, power and dominance.
The solution to the problems of this world is found in a person who is both a Lion and a Lamb.
5:6
And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain,
Instead of seeing a Lion, John sees a Lamb who had been slain. The Lamb still had the marks of crucifixion. The word “Lamb” occurs 29 times in Revelation referring to Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins (John 1:29). Lions tend to conquer and lambs tend to surrender.
The Lamb refers to Jesus’ first coming and the Lion refers to His Second Coming. As a Lion, He will bring the purpose of creation and history to fulfillment.
having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
This Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes. “Horns” symbolize strength and represent authority and power (Daniel 7:24; Revelation 13:1). The “eyes” represent intelligence and may represent seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit (1:4; 4:5).
5:7
Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne
Jesus comes and takes the scroll out of the hand of the Father. He will now execute judgment on the world. He has the authority to do so.
Principle:
God will restore His will on earth.
Application:
Are things happening to you that you cannot explain by even knowing your God and your Bible? The message of Revelation is that God will resolve the mess of creation.
Men without God dream of world peace by men, utopia on earth. People think man will bring the golden age to this planet. It will never happen. In Revelation, man comes to the end of himself so that he can see the only hope is in God. Many men have tried to bring utopia to earth. Nebuchadnezzar built the great city of Babylon but his empire fell apart. Julius Caesar led the legions of Rome across Europe to bring the peace of Rome [the Pax Romana]. Hitler tried to institute a thousand-year Reich but it ended in disaster. We weep just like John if we depend on men. No leader in the world has a clue as to how to solve the great problems of earth.
God’s solution to the problems of earth revolves around a Lion who submits to death. C. S. Lewis wrote his Narnia Chronicles around this idea. Redemption of creation takes place by Jesus’ death for man. Creation revolves around Him. The Lamb of God extends his grace to all who accept it. We need to beware because this Lamb is also a Lion who will judge this earth. The Lion speaks of His Second Coming.
“I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).
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