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 Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 41) (Verses 11 – 14)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 41) (Verses 11 – 14)   Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:50 pm

Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 41) (Verses 11 – 14)

Revelation 5:11 reads, “Then I [John] looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures.” You recall that the believers are with the living creatures near the throne. Encircling us all are these plethora of angels. “Ten thousand” is a translation of the Greek word “murias,” which basically means myriad or an innumerable number. The ESV reads, “...the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands.” I am sure that together they create a loud, booming sound. The previous verse says that all of the believers were singing the same song in unison and that too must have been loud as well. Just how many angels are there? The bible doesn’t give a number, but it does give an approximation: too many to count. There is at least one angel assigned to each believer. Jesus says in Matthew 18:10, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” Also Hebrews 1:14 confirms this as it reads, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” There is currently about 7.3 billion people in the world. Of course, they are not all Christians. Wikipedia says that there are about 2.4 billion Christians. There is at least 1 angel per Christian, not including other types of angels such as cherubim and seraphs. I’m sure that even if everyone were to get saved (which isn’t going to happen) that God would still have an angel available for each person. 2 Peter 3:9 says that God doesn’t want any to perish. God has created an angel in advance for each human soul. There are billions upon billions of angels. Let’s observe this throughout Scripture.

Hebrew 12:22 says, “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly…” This here is not a census of angels. It is just a way of saying that there are many angels. But in the Old Testament, we do get more of a census. For example, in Daniel 7:10, it reads, “A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him [God]. Thousands upon thousands attended Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. While this may also be a euphemism for “many,” if we compute the math that Daniel provided just for the fun of it, a thousand thousand equals one million (1,000 x 1,000 = 1,000,000). We have a million, but we are not done. Multiplying the 10,000 times 10,000 equates to 100,000,000 (a hundred million). Now multiplying the two together: 1,000,000 x 100,000,000 = 100,000,000,000,000. I have no idea what number that is. Is it a hundred trillion? This was just a fun exercise. I am not advocating that this verse is meant to be taken literally, but who knows? Maybe it is. My point is that there are enough angels to supply each person in the world with one even if everyone in the world suddenly got saved. And if the number is literal, these would just be the number of good angels. Remember, the bible says that one third of the angels fell and became demons. Good angels make up two-thirds. There are enough demons in the world to harass each of us as well. One third of that number is still more than all of the world’s population of people. Interestingly, Psalm 68:17 says something similar. It reads, “The chariots of God [angels] are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands...” Job 25:3 says, “Can His forces be numbered?” This is a rhetorical question whose answer is “nope.”

We are certainly at an interesting scene. Revelation 5:11 says that the living creatures and the believers are around the throne, and the myriads of angels are encircling us all. Verse 12 reads, “In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.’” Just as an aside, and not important: this verse seems to indicate that angels do sing. I quoted the New International Version. The Greek word translated “sing” here however, is actually the word for “said”. So that spoils that. It says that their voices resonated, giving glory to Jesus Christ. Jesus is to the believer what Boaz was to Ruth: Jesus is our kinsman-redeemer. A kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who has the position and authority to act on behalf of a relative in danger or need. Jesus is the kinsman-redeemer who is worthy to take the scroll because He fulfilled all of the required attributes for our reconciliation, including being a man Himself, and being God, and being slain as the sacrificial Lamb in our stead. In doing so, He received power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and praise. A peculiar attribute on the list is wisdom. The others on the list make sense conceptually. Jesus arose from the grave and ascended to Heaven to receive power, to receive wealth, to receive strength, to receive honor, and to receive praise. But to receive wisdom? Is it saying that Jesus upon His resurrection received wisdom not fully realized prior to His resurrection while on Earth? I don’t think so. I believe this verse is simply saying that the resurrected Jesus reclaimed what He had for an eternity past prior to becoming a baby in a manger. It is true that He temporarily gave up His omniscience when He came to Earth the first time. While on Earth, Jesus said that the day and hour that He returns again He did not know, but that the Father in Heaven knows. To not know one thing is to not be omniscient. But when Jesus ascended to Heaven, He reclaimed His omniscience that He had prior to being a baby in a manger. Jesus, now in Heaven, now knows the day and the hour of His return because He is omniscient. He reclaimed His omniscience when He ascended to Heaven. Perhaps equally peculiar actually, is the word wealth. He ascended to Heaven to receive wealth? Wealth was always His: He just temporarily gave it up. Jesus is and was God before and after the cross. He is the Creator who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. By volition He subjected Himself to poverty yet everything is His. He was born in an animal’s trough, though He is King of the universe. Jesus is worthy to receive all great attributes known to man including our praise, honor, and glory. Note there are 7 things on this list. That is God’s number for completeness.

Nowhere else in the bible are these particular 7 attributes found together in a single verse. Again, for reference, the list of Revelation 5:12 includes: power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and praise. Revelation 7:12 says, “[The angels said] ‘Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” That was almost the same, except it substituted “thanks” for “wealth.” This verse explicitly attributes these attributes to “God.” Nearly the same list of attributes was applied to Jesus in 5:12. Of course, Jesus is God, so that shouldn’t surprise any of us. And I believe that the Holy Spirit sometimes throws in hidden messages for us to search out and discover in His Word. It is possible that the Holy Spirit is covertly saying here that He wants us to have a heart that substitutes thanks for wealth. Ahhh...did you catch that? “Wealth” in chapter 5 is substituted for “thanks” in chapter 7. I think that the Holy Spirit, by a hidden message here is communicating to us to not set our hearts on mammon that rusts and wears out, but rather be thankful for what we have. We should substitute thanks for wealth in our hearts. He owns the wealth and distributes it according to His perfect will—we should be thankful for what He decided to give us. There are a lot of people who are wealthy who have forgotten to give God thanks. And don’t forget to tithe back the 10 percent from what He does give us. God asks for the tithe because He wants to know if we trust Him to be our Provider. God tells us in Malachi to bring the whole tithe otherwise, we are robbing Him. The 10 percent is really His; He just places it in our hands to see if we are tempted to choose it over Him. If we keep the 10 percent, we have made that an idol. An idol is anything placed ahead of God or in the place of God. It also says in Malachi that if we trust Him with the 10 percent (which is really His) that will He not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it? Statistically, only 10 to 25 percent of Christians tithe, and of that, those who do tithe, 80 percent of tithers give only 2 percent of their income where God demands 10 percent. A tithe is actually not a tithe until it reaches the full 10 percent. Anything short God deems it as robbing Him. And the word “tithe” in the Hebrew means 10 percent. Anything more than a tithe is called an offering. An offering is not an offering until the tithe has first been fully met. Whatever one may think he or she is paying toward an offering if they have not yet met the tithe, God is collecting that to go toward the tithe until the tithe has be fulfilled. If you do not tithe, you are not showing or telling God that you are thankful. He sees it as robbing Him. A thankful thief is an oxymoron.

There must be some underlining and fascinating connection between Revelation 5:12 and Revelation 7:12 to David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:10-13. His short prayer is almost to the attributes in both lists in Revelation. However, David’s prayer includes both the words “wealth” and “thanks.” What is strangely missing from David’s prayer is the word “wisdom.” I don’t want to make too much of this except make a few observations. The context of David’s prayer is what is interesting. Right after David’s prayer, Solomon is acknowledged as king of Israel. So David’s prayer omits the word “wisdom” which is adjacent to Solomon in the same chapter. Solomon, of course is stated in the bible to be the wisest man to ever live. Wisdom does not mean smarts or intelligence. The world might argue that Einstein was smarter than Solomon. Whether or not that’s true, Einstein was not wiser than Solomon. By Solomon’s own definition, the fear of the LORD is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding. Solomon at one time was the wisest man to ever live, which means that he, more than anyone else feared the LORD and shunned evil. With fearing the LORD and shunning evil, God revealed intelligent things and secrets to him. An understanding of God opened up a broader understanding of the world. Solomon didn’t stay the wisest man. Just as Samson was once the strongest man in the world until he temporarily broke fellowship with God (being a Nazarite and having his hair trimmed), Solomon by the biblical definition of wisdom (not by human’s definition) did not stay wise because he turned to the pagan gods of the nations and worshipped them. The wisest man to ever live became very unwise in his latter days. He stopped fearing the LORD, and he stopped shunning evil. He instead embraced evil. I was thinking about doing a write-up and entitling it “Was Solomon Wiser than Einstein?,” but I gave the abridged summary here. David himself in First Chronicles was giving thanks to the LORD in his prayer for being able to collect the materials necessary to build God’s temple via the proceeds of the benevolence of the people.

Finally, there is an interesting number play with these attributes in Revelation. Revelation 4:11 has 3 of the attributes (glory, honor, and power). Although some are repeated in Revelation 5:13, there are 4 of them there (praise, honor, glory, and power). Together, that makes 7 (although some are repeated between those two verses). There are 7 attributes in Revelation 5:12, and 7 attributes in Revelation 7:12. Altogether, we have 3 sevens: God’s Holy Trinity of Perfection. All of those passages are mentioning the same attributes, although we just looked at how they varied somewhat.

If we are to explore the Trinity idea some more, we saw that the same 7 attributes attributed to Jesus is also explicitly attributed to “God” and also to “our Lord and God.” Isaiah 42:8 makes an interesting statement. It reads, “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Again in Isaiah 48:11, it says, “For my own sake, for my own sake I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.” The obvious question that comes out of those verses is: “If God declared that He will not yield His glory to another, then what is He doing giving His glory to Jesus Christ?” The only way to reconcile that conundrum is to understand that God did not give His glory to another. Jesus even declared, “I and my Father are one.” Jesus says in John 5:23, “...that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father...” That is a profound declaration of the Deity of the Son by the Son.

Something strange happens in the next verse. Revelation 5:13 reads, “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” God is consistent throughout the entire bible in giving a warning before executing His judgement. Even in His final wrath, which has been pent-up until this last day (that is, time period), God lets the animals, insects, bugs, and everything that has breath give Him verbal praise, including those Hades. This serves as a warning of the coming great judgment to those who witness this great event. The phrase “under the Earth” always refers to Hades in the bible. It is not referring to where the worms and moles dwell. Worms and moles dwell in the Earth, not under. This verse references both “under” and “in” the Earth. “Earth” here means land mass, as opposed to the sea: technically, “earth” is not referring to the planet Earth. And “heaven” here is most likely referring only to the “sky” where the birds and flying insects are. When referring to other planets, stars, and galaxies, the word “heaven” in the bible is often in the plural form. It is possible, but not likely (by the context of the sea and the earth) that “heaven” here is referring to the Heaven of God’s dwelling. If so, those singing this statement would include believers in Heaven, and angels, of course, would be uttering this statement. We will later see that the bible clearly states that the location of Hades today is at the core of the Earth. One may protest, “How can God make animals, bugs, and insects sing?” Did He not open the mouth of a donkey in Numbers chapter 5? Did not a serpent talk in Genesis chapter 3? The bible says that God can turn stones into the children of Abraham. One day, this day, even the fish of the sea will surface to the top and chime in. Just before God unleashes His wrath upon man, His entire creation cries out in giving Him praise. Wait...correction...not the “entire creation” is giving Him glory here. The only ones not giving Him praise here are the people alive on the Earth, for they are in full rebellion against God. If I were taking a stroll in the park on this particular day, and I looked and saw the ducks, birds, squirrels and grasshoppers burst out in song, saying, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” It would seem that I would have enough sense to look up and say, “Glory be to God! I repent in the name of the Lamb!” But these people will see this, for this is a literal scene and Scripture does not lie, and they will show that they are so cold hearted and rebellious that they will still shake their fists at God even after witnessing God’s Nature cry out giving glory to their Maker. This is the one time in history that a pigeon will be smarter than a man.

Another aside: no one in Hades will not know why they are there. Those in Hades will sing this song too. Everyone in Hades will know Jesus, the One they rejected while alive in the flesh. Also, there will always be worship services in Hades. Not only will those in Hades join in to the song of praise of Revelation 5:13, but Philippians 2:10 says, “...at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Note that the nature song, that is, the song that God’s creatures will sing to Him even includes a statement of the Deity of Jesus. They said, “To Him who sits on the throne AND to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” The animals and insects know who Jesus is. Verse 14 says, “The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshipped.” This last verse does give some credence to those who interpret “heaven” as God’s dwelling and not the sky (it definitely refers to “sky” in other places and we will prove that later). The 4 cherubim and the Church respond to the song by ending it with an Amen. Or it is possible that they didn’t take part in the song, but witnessed what just happened on Earth and responded with an Amen. Amen either way.

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Revelation Chapter 5 (Part 41) (Verses 11 – 14)
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