Tag: The scroll
Scripture reading for December 24th: Revelation 4-5
John saw a door open in heaven and heard the voice of Jesus calling him to enter! He immediately saw the brilliant throne of heaven and One seated on it. This throne was encircled by an emerald rainbow and radiated flashes of lightning and rumblings of thunder. This throne was surrounded by 24 thrones with elders seated. There were four other living creatures that resembled animals with eyes all over them. These creatures worshiped the One on the throne constantly saying “Holy,holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)
The 24 elders responded to the worship of these strange creatures with worship of their own. They fell down before the throne and cast their golden crowns before the Lord and said: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11) Everything that has life draws it’s life from God. Many in our culture deny God as creator and feel that their existence is not connected to anything but time and chance.
John next saw a scroll in the right hand of the One on the throne. A mighty angel spoke out: “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” (Revelation 5:2) No one was found and John began to weep profusely. One of the elders spoke up and told John to calm down because the Lion of the tribe of Judah would open the scroll!
When John looked, this Lion was none other than a Lamb who had the marks of being slain. The Lamb took the scroll from the One seated on the throne and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb and began to worship with a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priest to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10) The Lion who is also a Lamb is the focus of all heaven and earth! Jesus Christ is His Name!
Scripture reading for December 14th: Revelation 5:1-14
John, continuing his tour of the throne room of heaven, noticed a scroll in the hand of the One on the throne. A mighty angel cried out: “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” (Revelation 5:2) John wept that no one was found in heaven or earth who could open the scroll.
“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.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and elders.” (Revelation 5:5-6a) Long ago, God had foretold that the tribe of Judah would bring forth a ruler over the nations. (Genesis 49:10) At another time, God had foretold that the line of David would bring a King who would rule eternally! (2nd Samuel 7:9-16)
But it was not apparent to John that this was the Lion of Judah, for he saw a Lamb, looking like it had been slain! This Lamb was worthy to open this scroll and read its contents. The elders around the throne sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slain, and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:9-10) The Lamb’s sacrifice of His blood purchased men for God! All men are lost and sold into slavery to sin. The price of full redemption was the blood of the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world! (John 1:29)
John looked again and heard the voices of many angels worshiping around the throne. Then he heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea singing: “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13) Heaven and earth were in unison and focused on the throne of heaven. Their worship was giving glory to the One on the throne and to this Lamb–for ever and ever!
Scripture reading for December 25th: Revelation 6-7
The drama in heaven continues with John watching the Lamb as He opens the scroll one seal at a time. With each seal, there is a revelation or picture that John sees and writes down for us to experience what he saw. With our imagination, we can see a picture as John saw it. These visions represent judgments that are coming on the earth in the days to come. The Lamb opens the seals and one of the living creatures speaks to John.
The vision with the first seal was a white horse and rider. The rider held a bow and rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. The second seal brought a vision of a red horse and rider. This rider held a sword and would take peace from the earth by causing men to slay each other. The third seal brought a black horse and rider. That rider held a pair of scales and spoke of famine. The fourth seal brought a pale horse and it’s rider was named “Death” and Hades was close behind. This rider was given power to kill a fourth of the earth with the sword, famine and plague and by wild beasts of the earth.
It was plain that the seals revealed judgments coming on the earth in the future. The fifth seal changed the scene from earth to heaven and the altar. Under the altar were the souls of a multitude who had been slain for their testimony and the Word of God. They asked the Lord how long before judgment would come to the earth for their blood. They were told to be patient until those of their brother who would be killed would be complete. (Revelation 6:9-11)
The sixth seal brought a great earthquake. The sun turned black and the moon turned blood red. The stars in the sky fell to earth and the sky receded like a scroll being rolled up. With this destructive turmoil, the people left on the earth hid in caves and among the rocks of mountains. They asked the rocks to fall on them to hide them from the face of the One on the Throne and the wrath of the Lamb. They knew where the judgment was coming from and who was in control, but did not want to face them! They were in fear and distress, but not in faith!
Revelation 7 is an interlude in the heavenly drama. Between the opening of the sixth and seventh seal, John describes the marking of 144,000 from the tribes of Israel. These are sealed with the seal of God on their foreheads. John then sees a multitude in white robes from every nation, tongue and tribe. They are worshiping the Lamb. John asks who these are and is told that they are those who have come out of the great tribulation and have washed their robes in the Lamb’s blood. (Revelation 7:13-14)
These awesome events are scenes of things yet to come. We must have the seal of God to avoid the seals of judgment opened by the Lamb. Are you washed in His blood?