Intro to Revelation Pt. 5

Intro to the Book of Revelation
 
Part 5
 

8.26.20

Pt 1 — Prologue, vision of Jesus, 7 churches (Rev 1-3)

Pt 2 — “Before the Wrath” Docudrama 

Pt 3 — Rapture (1 Thes 4), Heaven’s Throne (Rev 4)

Pt 4 — Simultaneous events in heaven and on earth 

Heaven: A. Bema seated judgement B. Marriage supper of the lamb

Earth: A. Rise of the antichrist B. Tribulation  

Transition from chapter 4 to 5

In chapter 4, John saws powerful and symbolic images that revealed God on His throne and the constant worship that takes place in His presence. It is this vision that continues into chapter 5.

Pt 5 —The Lamb and the Scroll (Rev 5,6)

Revelation 5 

Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,

10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

The chapter opens with John weeping.  Although John is in heaven, he is not happy but sad.  Something is not quite right.  Why, there is a major dilemma in heaven involving a scroll.  

This scroll raises lots of question?  What is it and why is it significant? Why is it sealed 7 times? Why is it written on the front and on the back? Who can be found to open it? W

Neither the identity of the scroll or its significance is explained to us.  

—a number of interpretations have surfaced

—a strong consideration is Roman will or last testament 

If you or I lived in Roman empire in the 1st century, and read the book of Revelation, we would identify this scroll with a Last Will and Testament.  This is what a Roman will looked liked and how they were sealed.  

Roman Scroll and Seal Image 

A. When the document was finished, the terms spelled out, it was rolled up. —Each witness attested to its accuracy, in this case 7, 

—the official by wrapping a string around it, tying it, putting a drop of wax on his knot and then pressing his seal into the wax made it official 

B. We are also told that even rolled up, you could see the book was written on both sides, indicating that the entire document was full of text; it’s a will with a lot of stuff in it. 

C. In the Roman Empire, wills (as in a Last Will and Testament) were officially registered and filed at the government office. This was too expensive and official for most folks.

This is a big time document and it is handle by the Father who is sitting on this throne.  Put this all together and…

—The will is the Will and Testament of the Father.

The Dilemma

Angel speaks, who is worthy to ones the scroll.  John weeps because one one qualified.  John is surround by angels, cherubim/seraphim, 4 living creatures, 24 elders and none are worth to open.  

—There’s a long pause, the situation seems hopeless.  

—John can do nothing but weep. 

Then the Lamb steps forward. He is the Heir and the Executor of the will. —He opens all seven—that was the part we were to supposed to notice.

Revelation 5 is about the opening of a will.

The seven-sealed scroll liked represents the kingdom that was promised in the Old Testament to the messiah  (Psalm 2:8; Daniel 7:14). 

Daniel 7:13-15

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

By receiving the scroll, Jesus is receiving His inheritance—to be King over His Kingdom. 

In the beginning, Adam and Eve were given dominion over the earth.  But they yielded to temptation, succumbed to sin and lost that dominion to Satan.

Satan now rules over the earth.  You may recall Satan wanted to trade Jesus the kingdoms of this world for worship.  

Luke 4:5-7

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Paul referred to Satan as the prince of the air.  

Ephesians 2:1-2

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Ephesians 6:12

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

In Revelation 5 we are told the the time has come for the earth to be returned to its rightful heirs.  Christ has paid the price and now is preparing to take possession.  If the earth cries out for its redemption 

Romans 8

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.  22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 

The Solution 

“Only one Person in heaven and earth was found worthy to take that scroll, to open its seals, and to begin the step-by-step process of snatching control of the world from evil and forever vanquishing sin and death: Jesus Christ.

—Chuck Swindoll

When it was time to make the inheritance official, the heir and the executor had to be there and a majority of the witnesses. 

The Father’s plan was made before creation and the Son will inherit everything.

Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations conspire[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?

2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,

3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.

5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.

8 Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.

9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.

12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

John is comforted, his weeping passes 

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Lion and the Lamb Artwork 

—How is Jesus the Lamb of God and the Lion of  Judah 

—Lion and Lamb, big jump 

“The Lion of the tribe of Judah” and “the Root of David” are both Jewish titles. So is the lamb 

Jesus Christ, as the Lion, 

Here the imagery of the lion reflects the powerful, majestic, and kingly nature of the lion, often regarded as the king of beasts. 

Applied to Judah, this is significant because it heralds the lineage of Judah as that of kings. For out of Judah’s line, King David and his descendants would rule over Israel until the time of the Babylonian captivity); and generations later, Jesus Christ would come as a descendent of David and Judah to forge a new covenant and usher in a new kingdom of heavenly glory 

Furthermore, when Jacob says that “the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,” he was also proclaiming the eventual eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ, who will forever as king, the scepter being a symbol of his kingly authority and lordship. 

This is the main reason why Jesus is often referred to as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

They refer to prophecies from the Old Testament that predict there would be one from the tribe of Judah and from the family of David who would at last rule over the earth and solve its problems. 

These titles refer, then, to the King of the Jews — the very title which Pilate inscribed on the Cross of Jesus. The King of the Jews! He is the One who triumphs by his death and is able to bring about God’s kingdom on the earth.

Therefore, in the Lion we discover the power of Christ as an eternal king, and in the Lamb we find the grace of Jesus as an eternal savior.

But — when John turns to see the conquering Lion of Judah, what he sees is the slain Redeemer of the world!

The Lamb has enormous significance going back to the days of Abraham and Moses. In the Old Testament, prior to the exodus from Egypt, the children of Israel were instructed to take the blood of an unblemished lamb and smear it on the doorposts and lintel of their houses . That night, as the angel of the lord passed through Egypt to strike down the firstborn of each household, those with the blood of the lamb on their doorposts would be passed over and sparred. From that day on, the Lord commanded the Israelites to celebrate an annual Passover feast to celebrate and remember their deliverance from Egypt and commemorate God’s provision in their lives .

And in Old Testament law, the unblemished lamb was again used as a sacrifice as a covering for human sin. In those days, an innocent lamb would take the place of the one who had sinned, as the penalty for sin was death.

With Jesus Christ, however, the penalty for sin was paid for once and for all. Through his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, Jesus became the perfect sacrifice, the pure and innocent Passover lamb who took our place, atoning for sin and ushering in a new covenant of eternal salvation for all who believe and call upon his name.

When Jesus began his earthly ministry, it was John the Baptist who proclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, connecting Jesus to the sacrificial lamb who wouldn’t just cover sin but would ultimately take it away.

Revelation shows us the back and forth between heaven and earth.  We are encouraged that the chaos on earth is actually controlled by heaven.

1. God is on the throne 

2. The Lamb is worthy 

Look at what else we learn from this passage about Jesus Christ. John tells us in verse 6 that he saw a lamb with “seven horns”. Sounds weird and kinda hard to imagine.  

—But remember, the horn is an OT symbol for power. And when you combine that with the number seven, it becomes clear what this imagery is telling us about Jesus: He has complete power.

—The number seven is also used here in reference to the “seven eyes” of the Lamb. This description is actually explained for us as a reference to the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

—The Lion and Lamb are worthy to open the scrolls and to begin the process of taking inheritance, this is Jesus kingdom.  

Now we enter the part of Revelation that is frightening.  Keep in mind this timeline is for those on the earth not in heaven.  The bride is with the groom.

There are 7 seals on the scroll that are opened.  

—the seals will occur first, early part of the tribulation period

—sometime after the Daniel 9:27 agreement 

Seals 1-4 describe the 4 horsemen of he apocalypse image

1.  Seal One — Rider on the white horse

Revelation 6

 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

This is not who you think it is 

—assume this is Jesus, he comes on a white horse 

—Jesus will at his 2nd coming but this is not it 

Satan is a copy cat 

—unholy trinity (beast, dragon and the false prophet

—fakes death and resurrection

—comes on a white horse 

2. Seal Two — Rider on the red horse 

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

War

—antichrist will take over nations like a flood

3. Seal Three — Rider on the black horse

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[c] of wheat for a day’s wages,[d] and six pounds[e] of barley for a day’s wages,[f] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

Famine 

—hyper inflation 

—food shortages 

4. Seal Four — Rider on the pale horse 

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Repeat of horse 2 and 3 

5. Seal Five — Death of the believers on earth 

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters,[g] were killed just as they had been.

6. Seal Six — Earthquake

12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us[h] from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their[i] wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

7. Seal Seven — contains the 7 trumpets  

These harsh judgments will all take place during the seven years of the tribulation prior to Christ’s second coming and defeat of Antichrist and Satan at Armageddon. This second coming is distinct from the rapture of believers in Jesus that will take place at any moment and is prior to the tribulation period (1 Thessalonians 4:13-181 Corinthians 15:51-58). Those who believe in Jesus now will escape these judgments and enjoy the presence of God rather than endure the fearful judgments that will take place during this difficult period.

Discussion Questions 

1. Why does John weep in verse 4? Why does the lack of a worthy person produce such grief 

2. In verse 5, we are told that the Lion of Judah, the Root of David has “overcome” or “triumphed,” depending on the translation you use. The word is the same one repeated in the promises that conclude the letters to the churches in chapters 2 and 3. Look at these promises again, especially 3:21. How did Jesus overcome or triumph in a way that makes Him worthy to open this scroll?

3. Identify three characteristics of the lamb that John notes, and explain why each is important.

Download Free Digital Book : Stewart, Don. Look Up!: A Timeline of 50 Last Days Events 

https://www.educatingourworld.com/images/PDFs/Bible-Prophecy/look-up–a-timeline-of-50-last-days-events.pdf


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