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Chapter 4=    =Chapter 6


:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne, a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals thereof?

:3 And no man in heaven, nor in the earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not, behold, the Lion of the tribe of Ju'da, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beast, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beast and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints.

:9 And they sung a new song, saying: Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, the beast and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

:12 Saying with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying: Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be to him who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.

:14 And the four beast said, A-men'. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth forever and ever.


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Statement of Faith

Revelation of Jesus Christ


Verse 1

"...a book written within and on the backside,..."

In verse one of this chapter, John again sees God the Father sitting upon the throne of heaven, having a book, or scroll, in his right hand. He also saw that it had writing on both the inside and on the backside; and that it was sealed with "seven seals".

In ancient times, documents sent by the king or other high officials were sent as scrolls with a seal of clay or wax securing the document from being opened. In the soft clay or wax, a seal was imprinted containing the insignia of the person sending the document. This was sometimes made by impressing the ring, or signet, of the official into the seal material. When the clay or wax hardened, it was then sent on its mission.

This imprinted seal told all who saw it, that this was official business and no one was to open it except the person for whom it was intended. To open such a scroll intended for someone else would be a capital offense probably resulting in the death penalty.

We can certainly understand that there is no shortage of writing material in heaven; so there must be some significance to the fact that the scroll was written on the inside and on the back.

It is generally understood that the tribulation period has a span of seven years {Dan. 9:27}, and that it is divided into two parts: "...the beginning of sorrows". {Matt. 24:8}, and the "...great tribulation..." {Matt. 24:21}). Also, in Daniel chapter 9, we learn that the identity of the Antichrist will be revealed at the mid-point of the tribulation period (after 3 1/2 years).

In chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation, we see that event begin to unfold, in connection with the woman of that chapter fleeing into the wilderness where she hides for 3 1/2 years. Chapter 13 properly declares the revelation of the Antichrist and the workings of his system. Chapter 14 seems to represent a new perspective on the story line.

Though the original Book of Revelation did not have chapter and verse designations; in the literal sense, chapter 14 appears to represent the approximate middle of the scroll in the Father's hand (6-13, then 14, then 15-22). It should be safe to say that the writing inside and outside of the scroll represents the two halves of the tribulation period, regardless of where the division actually occurs in the physical book.

Verses 2-5

John then sees a "strong angel" asking, "who is worthy to loose its seals?" No one was found worthy in heaven or earth, and this caused John to weep bitterly. One of the elders however, consoled John by telling him that "the Lion of the tribe of Ju'dah, the Root of Da'vid", had prevailed (been found worthy) to loose its seals and open the scroll. In Rev. 22:16, Jesus identified Himself as "...the Root and the Offspring of David..."

Verses 6

In verse 5, Jesus is portrayed as the "Lion of the tribe of Ju'dah". Here, He is here pictured as the Lamb of God {John 1:29}; having seven horns in His head and seven eyes which we are told are the seven Spirits of God. This was covered in chapter 4, where it was stated that these seven horns represent the seven churches of Asia and the seven eyes are the seven angels (messengers) of those churches. {REVIEW AGAIN}


Verses 7

"He came and took the book..."

The Lamb of God now comes forward and takes the book from the hand of God the Father; an action which immediately causes the four beast and the twenty-four elders to prostrate themselves before the Lamb. Herein it appears that we are seeing the transfer of dominion as stated in {Dan. 7:13-14}

"...harps and golden vials..."

It is not perfectly clear if both the living creatures and the twenty-four elders have harps and vials (or bowls) here, but there is a sense, that what John saw was that the four beast had the harps; and the twenty-four elders had the vials. The vials are filled with incenses, which we are told are the prayers of the saints. Playing the harps, while holding the vials containing the prayers of the saints, doesn't seem like a probable conclusion to draw here.

Why is it important to know such things? It's because we want to obtain as clear a picture as possible of what action is being conducted in this vision of heaven. Everything which is portrayed in the Book of Revelation is significant, whether we see the relevance of it or not. Every individual has a role to play in the fulfillment of God's holy word. It's all very structured and orderly before the God of heaven. He is not a God of confusion. That trait is most accurate when applied to Satan.

The song of verses 9 -10 is clearly rendered by the twenty-four elders, who are among those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. So it would appear that the twenty-four elders are singing the song, with the four creatures providing the music of the harps.

Following this, is a chorus in which the elders; the four beast and literally millions of angels join in, singing praises to the Lamb, who is worthy to:

"...receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."

Verse 13

"...every creature which is in heaven..."

This verse seems to be the beginning of the fulfillment of what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:20-22:

"For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorius liberty of the children of God.
For we know the whole creation groaneth and travileth in pain together until now."

Every creature in heaven and earth (wicked and sinful people excepted) will join in the rejoicing as they see the glorious redemption of the creation, which was cursed by the fall of Adam and Eve, draws nigh. Like the stones, which Jesus said would cry out {Luke 19:40} if the people held their silence, so will every creature, in its own way, glorify the God of heaven and the Lamb who will redeem the creation.

Verse 13

"...Amen!..."

This chapter concludes with the four beast adding an A-men' to all which has been expressed here: by the elders, the angels and every creature, whether they be found in heaven or the earth.

 


CHAPTER SUMMARY

The vision continues as John sees in the right hand of Him who sits upon the throne, a scroll written on both the inside and the back. A scroll, which it is evident, that everyone wanted to know its contents. Yet no one was able to take it or look upon it.

John weeps bitterly because of this until he is consoled by one of the twenty-four elders, who tells him that the Lion of the Tribe of Ju'dah (Jesus) has prevailed to both take the scroll and open its seals.

The "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" immediately appears as a slain Lamb, and with the taking of this scroll from the hand of Him who sits upon the throne, all the creatures in heaven and earth glorify God, knowing that the redemption of the creation, fallen since Adam, is about to be effected.

This chapter concludes with the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders, falling down before God in worship to Him.

 

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