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The importance of what is taking place in this scene is evident by the position of the scroll which is in the hand of the Almighty Sovereign and Holy God of the universe. God, whose plans must be carried out, must now bring judgment to bear upon sinful man. This clearly demonstrates the importance and comprehensive character of its contents. But what does this mean and teach us?

While we are not told exactly what the book contains, several things suggest the following picture:. Writing on both sides simply emphasizes the fullness of the judgments and their ability to accomplish the purposes of God. One of the key features of Revelation concerns the two kingdoms: the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God. Chapters are parenthetical and halt the progress of the judgments in order to develop certain themes that are tied into the key players of the Tribulation drama Satan, Israel, the beast, the ,, the angel with the everlasting gospel, the beast worshippers, and the reaping of the earth by the Lord, the One who is the true white horse rider.


When we compare with and , it seems evident that it is the seventh bowl which finishes the judgments and accomplishes the defeat of Satan and his end-time kingdom. This final bowl comes out of the seventh trumpet which comes out of the seventh seal. Its the telescopic effect discussed in the introduction. All of this suggests that the seven-sealed book contains the story of man losing his lordship over the earth to Satan, the usurper, and its recovery through the God-man Savior, the Lion who is also the Lamb.

He alone is able to accomplish what no one else in the universe can, and He does so through the judgments of the sealed book. So all of this expresses the perfection with which the hidden counsels of God are securely hidden until they are disclosed by God Himself as here. The Roman Custom: The Roman custom of making a will included a ceremony involving a testator and seven witnesses. For each of the seven witnesses there was a seal. In addition, a very reliable friend was selected who would, for a coin, purchase the property for the family.

In this way the property would become the property of the reliable friend, however, upon the death of the testator, the very reliable friend would return the property to the rightful heirs. For such a document, a long scroll of parchment was used. The writer of the document would begin writing and after a period, he would stop, roll up the parchment enough to cover his words, and then seal the scroll with wax.

He would then resume writing, stop, seal another portion, and so on until the entire scroll was sealed with seven seals. In this way, the scroll would read a section at a time after each seal was broken.

In the analogy, the Lord Jesus is the reliable Friend who has purchased our redemption and is here seen opening the seals which provide us with our inheritance. In this case, He is reclaiming that which was lost by Adam. Further, this procedure was used to keep unauthorized persons from opening the seven-sealed scroll. The Jewish Custom: Criswell points out that if a Jewish family were to lose its property or possessions by some kind of misfortune or distress, their property could not be permanently taken from them the Old Testament law of jubilee and the kinsman redeemer protected them against this.

Then the conditions necessary to purchase back the land and their possessions were written on the outside of the scroll.

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  • When a qualified redeemer could be found, who could meet the requirements of reclamation a kinsman like Boaz as in the story of Ruth , the one who had taken the property was required to return it to the original owner. In this we see the Divine Purpose Delayed Heb. Note the elements of worthiness and redemption in Rev. The vision opens with three notes of emphasis: a strong angel—only twice more is reference made to a strong angel in the book, viz. The angel proclaims—not merely says. The word signifies to announce as a herald. With a loud voice denotes urgency and great concern….

    Who is the strong angel making the challenge? The answer is, doubtless, Gabriel, the one who ordered the closing and sealing of the book to Daniel. This scene dramatically calls our attention to the problem. There was no one qualified in any place in the universe to open it, or even look into it. The Greek word here is dunamai which means the ability to do something whether by ability, strength or power, or by authority or permission.

    Search was made in every conceivable place in the universe, but there was no one qualified and capable. Mankind has sought answers to its problems by searching in all the wrong places. The daily headlines and the news on TV are a constant reminder of this. The world, from the very early history of mankind as seen in the tower of Babel, has searched among the systems of the world and looked to the wisdom of man for its solutions instead of to the Lamb who is also the Lion, the Sovereign Savior.

    John is commanded to stop his weeping because his eyes and ours are turned to that One who turns tears of sorrow into tears of joy, and weeping into laughter.

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    Note the following chart which contrasts the two pictures here given of Christ. Jesus as the Lion. Here we have an allusion to Genesis where it is predicted that the future Ruler of Israel and of the earth would come out of the tribe of Judah, the royal tribe. This is, of course, a reference to the Lord Jesus who was of the line of David, a legal descendent by adoption through Joseph Matt.

    The Davidic line would be cut down so that no man would sit on the throne of David cf. It is what grammarians call a culminative aorist which views an event or series of events from the standpoint of an accomplished act. It is used of verbs which signify an effort, or process, and the aorist denotes the attainment of the effort as an accomplished fact.

    The Lord Jesus faced many battles like that of His temptation, of His ministry, and of course of the cross. In all of these He came forth victorious. This should remind us of His victorious shout just before He bowed His head and voluntarily died for the sin of the world. Further, the term used here is the Greek arnion.

    The Book of Enoch, Chapters

    The regular word for lamb is arnon. The sacrificial lambs were not just lambs taken out of the flock, but those which had often been brought into the home, cared for and loved. The point is simply that His kingly crown, rule, and power lies in His Person and redemptive work as the Lamb of God who died in our place. The biggest battle was won on the cross.

    The figure of the Lamb perfectly expresses the submission and controlled gentleness meekness of Christ as silent before His shearers and as He was led to the cross to bear our sin. This is clearly a prominent emphasis in this chapter and declared to be one of the reasons for His worthiness to open the book and its seals cf. The perfect tense stresses this firm position. Again the Greek text employs the perfect tense which stresses completed action with results going on in the present.

    The position of standing points to Him as the resurrected and victorious Savior. The marks are nevertheless there, the marks of death on His resurrected body, undoubtedly everlasting symbols of His sacrifice for us cf. John He will be victorious over all His enemies and rule in perfect righteousness and justice as prophesied in Isaiah Again, seven emphasizes the totality and perfection of His knowledge and insight.

    In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge Col. None of His actions and decisions in His righteous judgments against the sin of mankind will be made on partial knowledge. The only one qualified is now seen moving to take the book out of the hand of the One on the throne. With the taking up of the scroll, action is now ready to begin. Once more we must notice what Christ is doing.

    Instead, He moves forward to take the seven-sealed book containing the judgments of the Tribulation. This portrays His determination to establish the visible kingdom on earth when the time is right in the future. He is seen standing and walking between the throne and the 24 elders, the glorified, resurrected church there in heaven with Him.

    The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses

    Walvoord writes:. In the act of receiving the book from God the Father, it is made evident that judgment and power over the earth are committed to Christ the Son of God. Daniel is a parallel passage. There Daniel reveals the ultimate triumph of Christ when the kingdoms of the world are given to Christ. Daniel declares,. In that future day complete authority over the world will be realized by Christ, an authority which He will exercise both in the judgments which precede His second coming and in His reign for one thousand years which will follow His second advent.

    This recipient of the scroll is worshipped, first by the four living beings and then by the twenty-four elders Following this, these two groups are joined by an innumerable host of angels, and finally by all creation in recognition of the worthiness of the Lamb and in praise of His accomplishments We must not pass on to this scene without understanding the nature or the reason for what is taking place here. It is then that Christ will begin to reign as the God-man, but also as the King of kings in fulfillment of all Old and New Testament expectations. But when do the events of this chapter occur?

    In this regard Christ is seen not sitting as our advocate and intercessor, but standing and moving to take the book or scroll full of judgments. Instead, Satan, the usurper, is still walking about, the nations are still in an uproar Ps. But this is all temporary, until his enemies are made his footstool Heb. Now back to our scene in Revelation five. The church is no longer on earth. Or, "for the light of the Lord of spirits will have appeared on the face of the holy, the righteous, and the chosen" Knibb, p. Enoch received books of indignation and wrath, and books of hurry and agitation.

    There my eyes beheld their habitations with the angels, and their resting places with the holy ones. They were entreating, supplicating, and praying for the sons of men; while righteousness like water flowed before them, and mercy like dew was scattered over the earth. And thus shall it be with them for ever and for ever. All the holy and the elect sung before him, in appearance like a blaze of fire; their mouths being full of blessings, and their lips glorifying the name of the Lord of spirits.

    And righteousness incessantly dwelt before him. There was my antecedent inheritance; for thus had I prevailed before the Lord of spirits.