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 Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 38) (Verses 1 – 6)

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Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 38) (Verses 1 – 6) Empty
PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 38) (Verses 1 – 6)   Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 38) (Verses 1 – 6) EmptyWed Aug 26, 2015 10:00 pm

Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 38) (Verses 1 – 6)

Chapter 5 is about the scroll and the Lamb. Verse 1 reads, “Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.” Roman law required wills to be sealed 7 times. Documents were folded and sealed with a wax seal. In Roman wills, one scroll is opened all the way up and part of it is written on, folded, and sealed. Then another part is written on, folded, and sealed, and so on. The 7th seal is on the outside edge of the outside roll. When one opens it up, the 7th seal would be the first one read, and the rest would be read in opposite order of its seals. God has 7 seals of judgment and wrath that will be revealed during the 7 year Tribulation period. The 7th seal, which is the greatest in degree of punishment and wrath itself contains 7 trumpets and 7 bowls or vials of judgment. The overlap of the seals is comparable to the Church Age, or the Day of Grace we looked at in Revelation chapters 2-3. In the Church Age, the first 4 churches of the 7 were in successive order: one right after the other. The last 3 had their beginnings and endings overlap with the one before it and the one after it. Same will be true with the 7 seals. The first 4 judgments will immediately occur in successive order. The last 3 will be in order as well, but their beginning points will blur with the ones next to them. We mentioned that the 7th Church in the Day of Grace, the Laodicean Church (which is us) is the most rebellious of them all. The 7th seal during the Day of Wrath will similarly be the greatest degree of punishment and most terrible from God to all unbelievers left on the Earth.

This scroll will have writing on both sides. Similarly, the stone tablet of the 10 Commandments that God Himself inscribed on had writing on both sides of it. The fact that writing is on both sides indicates that it is full and no more can be added. God’s wrath is pent up. Most scrolls in ancient times did not have writing on both sides because the inside fibers of papyrus run horizontally, making it easy to write on the inside, whereas the outside fibers run vertically, making it difficult to write on the back of it. In verse 2 we are faced with a problem. It reads, “And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’” We were just told that this is a mighty angel who asked this question. If a mighty angel does not have the ability to open it, certainly no mere mortal is able to do it. The angel asked “Who is worthy to do it?” Also, if a good angel from Heaven is not worthy to open the scroll, certainly no mere mortal is able to open it either. But nonetheless, the search was on. Verse 3 reads, “But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.” This search even extended to the depths of Hades. Hades is what the bible refers to when it says, “under the Earth.” Interestingly, God’s judgement is so righteous that one has to be perfect to gaze upon it.

Verse 4 reads, “I [John] wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.” Apparently John was very eager to know what was written in this scroll and did not think it would ever be revealed. Perhaps John was weeping for himself as well because he understood that he was unworthy to open the scroll. But verse 5 reads, “Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.’” We learned from earlier studies that the 24 elders represent the Old Testament Saints and the Church. Someone from that group tells John that Jesus Christ is worthy to open the scroll and its 7 seals. Jesus here is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Root of David. Calling Jesus the Lion refers to Jesus’ second coming, not first coming. In Jesus’ first coming He came as a humbled servant; not so of His second coming. Interestingly, Jacob prophesied of Jesus using these terms when he blessed his sons at his deathbed. From verse 8 of Genesis 49, it reads, “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he [Jesus] comes to whom it [Judah] belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.” His eyes darker than wine refers to the judgement and wrath He will pronounce. His teeth whiter than milk, I believe, refers to the holy words that come from His mouth. Washing His garments in wine and His robes in the blood of grapes not only refers to the blood that He shed on the cross for our sins, but also to the blood of the wicked that will later be spilt during the Tribulation period when these 7 seals are opened. Even though Jacob predicted Jesus, not all of Jacob’s prediction has come to pass yet. Tethering His donkey to a vine happened. But we are still waiting for the obedience of the nations to be His and for Him to reveal His wrath upon the wicked. So far we have seen the humble, meek Jesus. We have yet to see the Lion, wrathful, ruling One.

Our passage in Revelation also referred to Jesus as the Root of David. Although David was Jesus’ distant ancestor, Jesus is the Root from which David came. The “Root of David” therefore is a paradoxical phrase. Humanly speaking David should be called the “root of Jesus” since he is Jesus’ ancestor. Jesus addressed this paradox in Matthew 22:41-45. It reads, “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, ‘What do you think about the Christ [that is, Messiah]? Whose son is he?’ ‘The son of David,’ they replied. He said to them, ‘How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’’ If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?’” This is the same paradox that followed Jesus’ birth. The baby in the manger created his mother. The baby in the manger created the manger he was lying in. The baby in the manger created the materials for the clothes that they used to wrap the baby in. Therefore Jesus is appropriately called the Root of David.

Isaiah referred to Jesus as the Root of Jesse in Isaiah 11. Jesse, of course, was David’s father. We will later look at this chapter when we get further into the Tribulation and also the Millennium. Jeremiah referred to Jesus as the Branch of David in Jeremiah 23:5-6 and also in 33:15. I want to quote the former here: “‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.” Jesus is both the root and branch of David, that is, both David’s beginning and successor. The passage I just quoted says that Jesus will be called, “The LORD Our Righteousness,” which is why He is both worthy and able to open the scroll and the 7 seals. Notice also in our original verse in Revelation, it said that Jesus has triumphed: past tense. Jesus gained the victory at Calvary when He resurrected from the dead.

Verse 6: “Then I saw a Lamb [Jesus, of course], looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.” Jesus here is standing, not seated, at the center of the throne. This means He is ready to judge; it also means that He has the authority to judge. Jesus is usually pictured in the New Testament as seated on the throne. (As a side note, you recall one of the few times Jesus is standing at the throne was to welcome Stephen into Heaven, who was being stoned in the book of Acts.) The fact that Jesus is in the center of the throne also signifies His Deity. Notice that Jesus still has His markings from the cross that He bore on our behalf. When you and I receive our new bodies, we will receive righteous, holy, perfected bodies with no faults. If someone lost a limb in this life and they are a Christian, they will have all four limbs when they receive their resurrected body. Jesus, on the other hand, will forever bear the markings of the cross as an eternal reminder of the payment on the cross that He did for us. Jesus here is surrounded by the 4 cherubim, the Old Testament Saints, and the Church. The rest of the verse gives a description of the Lamb. It says, “He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” Seven, being the number of perfection; horns, referring to power; and, eyes, referring to omniscience; this portion of the verse therefore is saying that the Lamb is the perfect judge who sees all and will judge with absolute power. The seven spirits represent the Holy Spirit and His prophetic power.
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Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 38) (Verses 1 – 6)
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