Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Revelation 5:8-14

Verse 8 “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and 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 saints.”

Even the highest angels of God along with the elders bow down and worship the Lamb. This answers the Jehovah’s Witnesses assertion that Jesus is not God. God has clearly said that He will not give His glory to another (Is. 42:8) and yet directly in front of His throne He allows all of heaven to worship the Son. Everyone has a harp (heaven makes musicians of everyone), and golden vials (or shallow bowls) full of the prayers of the saints. There are three answers that God gives to prayers-yes, no, and maybe later. These are the prayers that have been going up for millennia asking God to punish the wicked and take back His throne. They have been saved up for this moment in time when God will finally answer with a yes.

Verse 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.”

A new song that has never been sung before can now be sung. This event is a new one and therefore needs a new song. If there is any scriptural reason for believing that this is occurring soon after the ascension of Christ, this verse would be it. It is singing about Christ’s death on the cross. It would seem odd that this not be sung for the millennia since his resurrection, so there is an argument that this was shortly after that event. The argument against it would be that the song is also about the book, which does not make its appearance until God is ready for all to begin, and we do not know the timing of that. So still, there is no definitive way of being absolutely sure when this occurs.

There is some debate about the use of the word "us" in the passage, as it does not occur in the oldest manuscripts. Its being there is used as a defense for the belief that the rapture has occurred by this time in Revelation. It is easy to see how this interpretation could occur if the interpretation used is not literal, and if the identity of the twenty-four elders is not known (which to date, I have not read or heard of anybody that has the same view as I do as to who these twenty-four elders are. That came strictly from my own studies, as has most of this blog with the exception of the historical and scientific facts.  My articles on Melchizadek can be found here and Since there is no reason to believe the rapture has occurred yet, (the church is not there) and since the twenty-four elders are known to not be humans, there has to be another explanation for the use of this word. It would be easier to dismiss it and say that it was added in, as it is not in older manuscripts, but it is better if one can deal with the problem and reconcile it than try to dismiss it. That is my biggest complaint with many of the preachers/teachers in the church these days. If it does not agree, they toss it out or say that is does not mean what it says. And yes, I have actually had preachers/teachers say that verbatim to me. In this case there is an explanation. Since the angels and elders are not sinful by nature, it would seem incongruous to have them sing about Christ redeeming them. What needs to be remembered is that when Adam fell, he did not just bring the curse upon man. “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” Rom. 8:22. He brought it upon the entire creation of God, and the angels and elders are part of that creation. They want things made right again as much as everybody else. While they are not under the curse in the same way as man, they still suffer from the curse as they are affected by what happens to the universe and mankind. Every kindred refers to every race. There is only one race of man. The human race. So this term would take in other creatures including the angels and elders. There is also another explanation. While the rapture has not occurred and people are not in heaven in their glorified bodies, it must be remembered that the souls of people who have died in the Lord are present in heaven. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor. 5:8. They are alive and cognizant and can interact in heaven, although not in their resurrected glorified bodies. While they are not mentioned by John as being seen, it may be because they do not have glorified bodies (and as we will see, there are many under the altar, where they are not so easily visible). They still may be singing God’s praises though.

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

The elders can certainly claim this for themselves as they have reigned as both kings and priests on the earth in their capacity in the order of Melchizedek. The second explanation of the souls of the dead in Christ singing would also cover this verse, as they would be claiming the promise that the saints will reign on the earth.

Verse 11 “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.”

As the stars in the sky are beyond number, and the stars and the angels are connected, so the angels are beyond numbering. There is a myriad of angels that are praising God. It is beyond human ability to count the number that John sees.

Verse 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.”

This group beyond numbering praises the Lamb with a sevenfold praise. Before when the group spoke praise, it was to the Creator. Now the praise is directed at the Lamb and is about His sacrifice. Because of this He is worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing. To the Creator was given the threefold praise of power, glory, and honor. The additional praises given to the Lamb involve riches, wisdom, strength, and blessing. The three attributes of power, glory, and honor really belong to the Godhead alone, even though we may experience some lesser form of them in heaven by virtue of extension, in that we are part of the body, and we might experience man's idea of what those things are in this life. The last four, though, are ones that we have access to through the Lamb right now in all their fullness. We have riches in Christ, mainly spiritual but possibly material, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” Rom. 11:33a, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” Phil. 4:19. We have access to wisdom, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraided not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5. We can tap into Christ’s strength “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Eph. 6:10. And lastly we are blessed by God. “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Rom. 4:7-8.

Verse 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 unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

Every creature-those in heaven (the angels, the elders, the dead saints), those on earth, under the earth, and in the sea (mankind and the animal world), will give praise to God and the Lamb. (Ps. 148:7,10,11-13). Even the very earth itself praises God (Ps.148:8-9; Luke 19:40). The whole of creation is about to be relieved of many of the effects of the curse and it is rejoicing. Again we see the praises of honor, glory, and power. This time blessing is also added.

Verse 14 “And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.”

As discussed with the Laodicean church, the word "Amen" basically means "So be it." It is an emphasis word that has the implication of saying, "I meant every word I said, and/or I am in total agreement." It is sort of on the idea of when they ask on the game show "Is that your final answer?" and the person replies, "Yes, that's my final answer." He could say "Amen, brother." and it would mean the same thing. Again the assembly bows down and worships the Father and Son.

No comments:

Post a Comment