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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “The four and twenty elders…cast their crowns before the throne,”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:10 KJV

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,…

 

 

 

Here, we see the Christians (the 24 elders) taking the rewards they received for faithfulness (their crowns) and casting them back at the feet of the throne of God.

Why would they do such a thing?

Some of the most precious possessions the Christian will enjoy in eternity are the rewards for faithfulness that are given to them. Casting them at the feet of God is not an act of rejection of the rewards;  on the contrary, it is a display of their recognition that God deserves the rewards that they have received.

Stop and think about it… every act of faithfulness in our service for Christ is only performed because He has intervened in our lives and enabled us to serve Him faithfully.  Here are some examples of gifts from the Lord that enable us to faithfully serve Him: our physical life; the strength to walk and move about; our ability to speak; our knowledge and understanding of Scripture; the indwelling Spirit that leads us; the opportunity to serve Him; and, most importantly, the salvation we possess.  All of these, and many others, are needed for us to be faithful in His service and all of these are gifts of grace that He gives to us.

This is why the elders are casting their crowns at His feet…. It is an act of recognition, appreciation, a desire to glorify Him, and an act of justice.  They realize they could not serve Him apart from His grace, they are thankful for His enabling graces, they desire for Him to be glorified for His intervention in their lives, and they owe it to Him.

It is as if they are saying, “This reward I have been given is the result of your enabling me… I could not have done it without you… therefore, you deserve this reward not I.”

 

Folks, when we look back on our day, week, year, or lifetime, and we remember the times that we have been faithful to our Lord, we should remind ourselves that these things were accomplished through His gracious intervention… and likewise, as we are faced with new opportunities of service, may we look to Him and rely upon Him solely for the enablement to be faithful in what lies ahead for us.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  John 15:5 KJV

Lord, please empower me to be faithful to you this day… without you I can do nothing to please or honor you; but I know, by faith, I can do all things with you at my side.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD

Revelation 5:1-7 “The Scroll and the Lamb”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 The Presentation of The Scroll and the Lamb…

 

 

 

Revelation 5:1-7 KJV

(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 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 Juda, 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 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.
(7)  And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Chapter 5 continues the vision began in chapter 4.  In chapter four, we saw the worship of the spirits of the saints that surround the throne of God in heaven.

In chapter 5, we will have our attention switched to the scroll which is given to the Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.

A very brief outline of this section of Scripture:
1.  Vision Of Heaven 4:1-5:14
2.  Worship Before The Throne  (4:1-11)
3.  The Throne Of God (vs 1-5)
4.  The Four Beast’s  & Elders Worship Of God (vs 6-11)
5.  The Scroll And The Lamb (5:1-7)
6.  Worship Of The Lamb (5:8-14)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

 

Revelation 5: –

(1)  And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book 

John’s vision of the throne of God continues as he sees God holding a “book” in his right hand.  The right hand of God is a picture of His strength, control and authority that He possesses over this book.

The Greek word for “book” in this section of Scripture is speaking of a scroll.  In those days, scrolls were the most common type of writing material.  Basically a scroll was a piece of parchment that was written upon and then rolled up and sealed with dabs of wax on the outside to keep it secure as it was being delivered to the recipient.  To be able to read the scroll all seven dabs of wax would have to be broken before the scroll could be read.

Many times, the writer of the scroll would leave an imprint from his signet ring upon each dab of wax to authenticate the author of the scroll

What is this “book” (scroll)?  We will see as our study progresses, the scroll itself gives a listing of all the blessings of God given to His people to be enjoyed throughout eternity.  In a sense, it is like a modern day will or testament that describes the inheritance to be received by those who are chosen to be the recipients.  We will also see that the seals on the scroll are symbolic of the world events that must take place before we will receive our eternal inheritance from God.

So the symbolic picture is this.  As of now the scroll cannot be read this is symbolic of the truth that we are unable, at this point in history, to receive the blessings of God that will be bestowed upon us throughout eternity.

What is keeping us from receiving these blessings?  We are waiting for the events of this world to transpire that will lead to Christ’s coming and our glorified body.  As each seal is broken, we will see the events that will lead up to and include His second coming.  It will only be when the last seal is broken (the last event on this world takes place), that we will be able to open the scroll and read its contents (we will receive our eternal blessings following His second coming).

Much more on all of this as we continue in our study.

 

 

written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

In this case, the piece of parchment has writing on both sides, rolled up, and then had seven pats (blobs) of wax placed upon the outside of the scroll.  All seven of these seals would have to be broken before the scroll could be unrolled and read.

Scrolls written on both sides was a special type of writing called a opisthograph.  This type of scroll typically had all the seals placed on its outside, and therefore, could not begin to be read until all the seals on it were broken. This is a very important point to understand as our study continues.  NONE of the scroll could be read until all the seals are broken.

 

(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?

Now John sees a mighty angel asking a very important question… Who is deserving, fitting and proper to open this scroll by breaking the seals that are upon it?

The question is not who is “strong enough”, remember the angel is described as having great strength.  Surely he could do it.  But that is not the question. The question is who is the proper One to open this scroll?  Who is the One that deserves to open this scroll?  Who is the One that is the proper fit to open this scroll?  That is a different question indeed.

Symbolically, this question is “Who is the proper, deserving and fitting One to bestow the eternal blessings of God upon His people?”

 

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

We have seen the mightiest of angels cannot open this scroll.  Now we see no human being can open the scroll.  It does not matter whether they are alive on earth (lost or saved mankind), they are in heaven (save mankind who have died), or they are under the earth (lost mankind who have died).  No human is worthy to bestow the eternal blessings of God to the saints of God.

 

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

John now weeps to the extreme.  Why? Based on his knowledge, at this point in the vision, no one will be able to grant God’s eternal blessings to His people.  In other words, it seems hopeless.  None of God’s people will receive the eternal blessings they have been promised.  Some of these include, removed from the presence of sin and its results, receipt of glorified bodies, eternal rewards for our service, ruling over the New Heavens and New Earth, and most importantly, dwelling eternally in the presence of God Himself (etc etc).

How bleak eternity looks if we do not receive these promised blessings!  No wonder John is weeping to the excess.

 

(5)  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: 

Now, one of the saints of God speaks to John comforting him and telling him there is no need to weep.

 

behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, 

The elder tells John to “Place your attention upon the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David”.   Here he is clearly pointing to the Messiah:

  1. the Lion of the Tribe of Judah – Gen 49:9-10 – This is a prophecy of Christ as the Lion (King) that would come forth from the line of Judah (the kingly line).
  2. the Root of David – Isa 11:1, 10 – This is a prophecy of Christ being the eternal God from whom the kingly line of Judah descending through Jesse and David would come.

In these titles of the Messiah, we find Him pictured as the Eternal God who rules as the King of King and Lord of Lords.

 

hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

It is this King of Kings and Lord of Lords that has secured the ultimate victory over sin, Satan and death which makes Him worthy to give these eternal blessings to the people of God (1 Cor 15:55-57).  It is through His work that these blessings were secured, it is through His work that these blessings flow, it is through His work that these blessings are bestowed.

It is only fitting that He would be the only One that could open this scroll and present these blessings to the people of God.

Likewise, due to His faithfulness to God, He was rewarded with the control of all the events that take place in this world, as He is seated at God’s right hand (Acts 2:30-33).  This is why He is the only One who can break the seals (bring the events to pass that lead up to our eternity with Him).

Please notice the angle did not understand that Christ had accomplished all these blessings for His people, but the saints of God do understand these things (1 Peter 1:11-12). That is why the elder is speaking to John and revealing the identity of the One who was “worthy”.

 

(6)  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders,

Beside the throne, in the middle of the beasts and the elders now appears the Worthy One.  Just as Jesus is pictured at the right hand of God (position of honor and exaltation), we see Him pictured here appearing beside the throne (Acts 2:30-33).

 

stood a Lamb as it had been slain,

Jesus is now symbolized by a Lamb that was slain. This pictures for us His innocence and willingness to give His life for His people in the securing their eternal blessings.

Please notice how the descriptions of Christ change from a Lion (of the tribe of Judah) to a Lamb (that has been slain).  It seems to be in direct contradiction.  A Lamb is meek, mild and vulnerable… a Lion is strong, vicious, and overcoming.  Likewise, the Lion pictured Christ as a King over all, the Lamb pictured Him as a sacrifice under the control of others.  How can these be reconciled?

It was Christ, His humility and willingness to be a sacrifice on behalf of His people, that He is exalted at God’s right hand and given victorious rule over all.  Because He willingly submitted as a sacrificial Lamb, He then, once exalted by His Father, becomes the victorious Lion.  (Phils 2:1-11)

 

having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

As John sees Jesus symbolized by the Lamb, He sees Him with seven horns and seven eyes.  Keep in mind, seven is the number of fullness or completion…

  1. Jesus, the Lamb, possesses seven horns, which pictures Christ possessing the complete power and ability of God. His strength never failed giving Him the victory over all.  His strength is absolute.
  2. Jesus, the Lamb, possesses the seven eyes, which pictures Christ possessing the perfect knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Being God, Christ knows all things.  When He lived on the earth, He applied the Word of God perfectly to His life, allowing Him to be sinless and without fault.

These seven horns and eyes are said to represent the 7 ministries of the Holy Spirit. It was through the seven –fold ministry of the Spirit that perfect ability, power, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom was given to Jesus during His first coming.    His successful ministry during His first coming to the earth is the basis of His “worthiness” to open the scroll.

 

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

This same Lamb now approaches God and is handed this scroll, placing it under His control.  God is the One that gave Christ the authority to rule over all, as He was seated at God’s right hand.  This exaltation was based upon the faithful ministry of Christ during His first coming that perfectly fulfilled God’s will, gained the absolute victory over sin, Satan, and death, and secured the eternal rewards for the people of God.

It is this same Lamb that is in control of the eternal rewards we will receive and all the events in this world that will lead up to our eternity with Him.  That is why He is given possession of the sealed scroll.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this section of Scripture, we see Jesus pictured as the humble servant of the Lord, who was willing to be sacrificed for God’s people.  The sacrifice that He made gave Him the victory over the powers of darkness, the kingdoms of this world, sin and death.  Based upon His faithfulness and success as Victor, this same humble Jesus exalted to a position of ruling authority holder over all.

The combination of His successful sacrifice, victory over evil, and His exaltation as Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords, gives Him the exclusive rights to the sovereign control over all the events of this world, and the right to bestow His eternal blessings upon those for whom He died.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

In this text, we come face to face with the incredible grace of God shown to us in the eternal blessings that await His people.  Folks, how many times do we get so involved in the things of this world that we forget the wonderful blessings that await us?

As we see the Victorious Lamb taking the seven sealed scroll from the hand of God we are reminded of His control of all the events of this world, His sacrificial death and the victory it has wrought, His faithfulness in keeping His promises to us, and blessings that He has secured for us.

May we all approach our lives on this earth as did the faithful saints of the Old Testament…

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”   (Hebrews 11:13-16 KJV)

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Do We Rise Above Our Trials?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 4:7 KJV

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Ty

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the fourth beast was like a flying eagle…”

Revelation 4:7 KJV

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

In this section of John’s vision, we are introduced to four “beasts” (living creatures) which pictures for us a different aspect of our spiritual life in Christ.  We have already seen that the first beast symbolizes the Christian’s authority as overcomer in this world and the world to come.  We also saw that the second beast was a picture of the Christian as a servant of Christ, and the third living creature is pictured as a man, reminding us of the humanity and sinfulness of the Christian and his great continuing need for Christ’s intervention in His life.

The final living creature that is revealed to John in this vision is that of an eagle.  The eagle pictures for us the Christian’s ability to rise above the difficulties and heartaches of this world knowing that there awaits for them “some better thing” i.e. eternity with Christ.  (Hebrews 11:36-40)

 

Isaiah 40:31 KJV

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 

The Bible says much about a Christian that feels weak and ready to faint in the midst of the trials of life.  Here is a very short listing of some principles that we should apply to our lives when we feel as if we are ready to faint under the heavy loads that life may put upon us…

  1. Psa 27:13 – always keep our minds on the blessings of the Lord and His promises for future blessings to come upon us
  2. Luke 18:1 – always take our needs, feelings and weaknesses to the Lord in prayer, looking to Him to meet our current set of needs.
  3. 2 Cor 4:1 – always remember the ministry to which we are called and count it a blessing to be used of Him. This gives us a purpose to continue on for His glory.
  4. 2 Cor 4:14-18 – always remember the blessings of eternity that await us.
  5. Gal 6:9 – remember the Lord is using our current labors so that we may reap the fruits of His glory, our good, and for a testimony of Godliness to those around us.
  6. Hebs 12:1-3 – always remember the example of faithfulness in suffering set by the Old Testament saints and, especially, our Lord Jesus Christ

As we enter our day of service for Christ, we may be touched by hardships and opposition that will wear us down and weaken us.   May we keep these basic principles in mind as we continue onward knowing that the Lord is with us, enabling, protecting, and comforting us as we walk down our personal valley of darkness.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD

Do We Recognize Our Humanity, Frailness, and Sinfulness As We Serve Our Lord?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 4:7 KJV     And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Tu

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “and the third beast had a face as a man,…”

SIH TOTT ICON
Revelation 4:7 KJV

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

 

 

In this section of John’s vision, we are introduced to four “beasts” (living creatures) which pictures for us a different aspect of our spiritual life in Christ.  We have already seen that the first beast symbolizes the Christian’s authority as overcomer in this world and the world to come.  We also saw that the second beast was a picture of the Christian as a servant of Christ.

The third living creature is pictured as a man, reminding us of the humanity and sinfulness of the Christian.  The Christian is a frail, fallen creature who desperately is in need of divine intervention in their lives on a daily basis.   Paul described this aspect of the Christian’s life best when he stated…

I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:21-25 KJV

 

Christ, Himself affirmed this same principle when He clearly proclaimed…

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5 KJV

 

This is why even the plowing of the wicked man is sinful in God’s sight.  The wicked man is not plowing as an act of faith and reliance upon Christ, but he is plowing pridefully relying only upon himself as a sinful fallen creature…

“An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.”  Proverbs 21:4 KJV

 

Folks, as we live our life today… lets remember the need to be CONSTANTLY looking to the Lord guidance, strength, wisdom and opportunity as we seek to serve Him.  He alone can give us the ability to successfully live our lives as witnesses of His glory.  He alone can graciously enable us to bear the fruits of His Spirit so others might see Him in us.  He alone can intercede before God on our behalf presenting our every need to the Father.  He alone gives us every breath we breathe, every step we take, and every word we speak.  He alone is our all in all.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD

Are We Humbly Serving Our Lord?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 4:7 KJV

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

 

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Tp

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “and the second beast like a calf…”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:7 KJV

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

 

 

In this section of John’s vision, we are introduced to four “beasts” (living creatures) which pictures for us a different aspect of our spiritual life in Christ.  We have already seen that the first beast symbolizes the Christian’s authority as overcomer in this world and the world to come.

The second living creature is pictured as a calf, or young ox.  This symbolically represents the Christian as the servant of the Most High God.

The most common title for the writers of the New Testament is “a servant of Christ”.  It is used by Paul (Romans 1:1 etc); James (James 1:1); Peter (2 Peter 1:1); Jude (Jude 1:1); and John (Revelation 1:1);  to describe themselves.   What a wonderful group of men to be associated with when we take upon ourselves this wonderful title!

To be a servant of Christ does not imply a forced servitude, but on the contrary, our service to Christ flows from a willing heart of appreciation for all He has done for us.  The Christian realizes that living a life of sacrifice for Christ is simply our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).  After all, since Christ gave His life on the cross for us, surely we can live a life of service for Him… it just makes sense!

Paul in Eph 6:5-6 gives us some various important principles to follow as faithful servants of Christ….

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Keep in mind, in these verses Paul is explaining that our submission to worldly authorities should be an earthly display of our service to Christ.  Here are a few principles we can glean from this passage…

Our service to Christ should involve:

  1. obedience – the fulfilling of delegated responsibilities
  2. fear – respect and recognition of authority over us
  3. trembling – recognition of possibility of discipline/correction if responsibilities are not fulfilled.
  4. singleness of heart – undivided love and desire to please
  5. not with eyeservice as menpleasers – motive of service should not be to “impress others” and “receive the praise of men”

Folks, what a wonderful privilege we, as Christians, possess…. To be servants of the faithful servants of the Almighty God, possessing undivided hearts of commitment, respect and fearful trembling as we seek to please the Lord above all else!
May we begin our day by remembering our role as servants of Christ and seek to be faithful in every opportunity of service that will open up to us today.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD