Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Revelation 5:1-7

Chapter 5

Now we see the whole point of John’s being brought up to heaven. The end of all things is about to begin. The mortgage on planet earth is going to be redeemed.

Verse 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.

God holds forth a book or scroll which has writing on it and is sealed with seven seals. Now it is necessary to go back and access that information about the laws of Israel, specifically the law of redemption of property. As previously discussed, Adam and Eve forfeited ownership of planet earth when they sinned. Satan now holds the mortgage on it. This book or scroll that God is holding is that mortgage. There is a misconception as to what this book is. The contents of the scroll are not God’s wrath; it is the deed or mortgage of the planet that has to be redeemed. That is not the same thing as God‘s wrath. It will be seen that there is another scroll which contains the wrath of God. As with all mortgages there are certain conditions that have to be met. Remembering how mortgages were handled, it is now understandable what these seven seals are. They are the terms that were agreed upon for the mortgage to be redeemed. Again it is important to notice the number seven. Seven conditions have to be met before the ownership of planet earth officially passes back into Christ’s hands. At first in the temple the terms were written on two scrolls, then it was found to be easier to write the terms inside, roll it up and seal it, and write the terms on the outside, possibly on the seals themselves. This scroll is like the latter scrolls. These terms or seals are the ones agreed upon by Satan and God for the planet to be bought back. It is necessary to understand this, so that the events in Revelation make sense. Without this understanding, there can be confusion as to how things are proceeding. The ownership of the earth does not revert to Christ until after the last seal is broken. And even then the last term or seal has to finish being fulfilled before Christ can take complete ownership of the earth and do with it as He pleases. Until that seal is completed, (even though the seal has been broken and Satan has lost ownership) Satan (and antichrist) still reigns jointly with Christ. That is why antichrist's reign lasts the entire 42 months, while the tribulation is cut short of that time length. In biblical times it was common for kings’ reigns to overlap somewhat. So it is the same here. It is this last concept that many do not understand, and which can cause a great deal of confusion in understanding the events that are about to occur.

Verse 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.”

There is a legal precedent taking place here. A mortgage is about to be redeemed. As redeeming property in temple times had to be done with public notice, in case there was any objection or obstructions, a public announcement was made to notify everyone that an applicant was coming forward to redeem the property. (Property that could not be redeemed by the one who originally had ownership, could be redeemed by a kinsman who could pay the price and fulfill the obligatory terms.)  Certain qualifications had to be met before the terms of the redemption could even begin to be carried out. The question was put forth asking if the applicant was worthy (it was necessary that the one doing the redeeming be a kinsman and could pay the redemption price) to redeem the property. Here in heaven a strong angel, or important angel, not just any angel, puts forth the general question asking if anyone is worthy to redeem this property. Why is the question being asked now? As will be seen, it is only after a certain point in history that it was possible for the mortgage to finally be redeemed.

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

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Rom. 3:10. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23. All of mankind is guilty of sin. There is no man in heaven, on earth, or under the earth (in hell) who is able to open the book, or even has the right to look upon it. The requirement is absolute righteousness, and there is no human being that can meet that condition.

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

John has a crisis of faith. He begins to weep uncontrollably thinking all is lost and that Satan has won. He who walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, saw him crucified and resurrected, knew Christ was the Son of God and sat at the right hand of the Father, saw Him in His glorified state, and was now in the presence of God and seeing the majesty of heaven had doubt. This should be of comfort to those Christians who have moments of doubt or crises of faith. How much more than later Christians should John have realized that Christ was worthy considering his history with Christ and what he was experiencing now, and yet “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:29

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

The elder knew what John doubted, that there was someone worthy to open the scroll. He who met the criteria of being of the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:9-10) and the root of David (Jer. 23:5). The kinsman of Adam (which is why Christ had to become a man - to be a kinsman) who had prevailed over death and met the blood requirement to satisfy the price of the contract, and who could fulfill the conditions thereby redeeming the contract. This event could not have taken place before Christ’s death and resurrection, but once that happened, there was nothing preventing the next phase of redemption from going forward. There is no way to guarantee at what point in history this took place as there does not seem to be any specific indicator at this point. Based on the correlation with the gospels, it will be seen that this must take place before the 70th week, so this might have occurred very soon after the ascension. It may also have occurred after Israel became a nation when the clock again began ticking on Israel’s timeline. As spiritualized interpretation is not the primary method used and approved in this study, only the facts given in the verses can be used to ascertain the timing of this, and there are simply not enough facts given at this point. The only thing that is certain is that it is after the resurrection and precedes the 70th week of Daniel.

Verse 6 “And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, 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.”

Christ now appears in the form that is necessary to confirm his qualifications as the kinsman redeemer. He is not the Lion of Judah pictured here,  but the Lamb that was slain and is now alive. It is as the sacrificial lamb that He fulfilled the redemption price, so that is the way in which He presents Himself. The marks of his crucifixion are still upon His glorified body. He is not seated at the right hand of God, but standing in the midst of the throne. He is not resting, but about to take action. There is a further description which seems odd. He also has seven horns and seven eyes. The seven eyes have been encountered before in Zechariah. They are the seven eyes of the Holy Spirit (Zech. 3:8-9, 4:10). The seven horns are a new imagery. In Daniel we saw a beast with ten horns. They stood for ten powerful men or political entities who would arise. Possibly these seven horns stand for the seven churches that represent the power of Christ on earth. Any suggestions as to other ideas on this are welcome.

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

The time that all of heaven has been waiting for has finally arrived. Christ is about to start taking back his creation. That He is the redeemer kinsman is verified by God in that He allows Christ to take the scroll from His hand.

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