The Scroll or Mortgage Roll in Revelation Chapter 5
Revelation Chapter 5: The Scroll Of Eternal Life
The throne room scene is pointed to the 2 most important aspects for the understanding of the vision
* The mortgage scroll of eternal life mortgaged by Adam's sin sealed with 7 seals under the terms of the mortgage.
* The Lamb of God -- Jesus Christ, the only one found righteous to open the mortgage scroll and release Adam's debt.
The Lamb of God receives the mortgage scroll from his Father on His throne and commences breaking the seals. It is the breaking of these 7 seals which mark the 7 major stages in the unfolding of end time events shown forth in the rest of this book, particularly chapters 6-11.
The opening of this scroll is like a prophetic clock. Instead of having a picture of a clock in prophecy, the Spirit of God chose to put the picture of a scroll with 7 seals being progressively opened like a court room scene where the judge patiently opens each seal separately, and there is a time element involved in opening 7 seals. So by that simple picture, the Holy Spirit put chronology into the book.
That scroll picture is the basis of the chronology in the book. Without it, there would be no chronology to figure out how to interpret the book.
Revelation 5:1 "And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with 7 seals."
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside. This book was actually a scroll, a papyrus scroll. And this scroll is written both within and on the backside. This shows that it was some kind of a legal document, either a mortgage or an inheritance. And in this case, it would be a mortgaged inheritance because both ideas are going to come into play.
This is, as I will go on to show, is the mortgage title deed to the inheritance of the kingdom of God. And it's a mortgage that pertains to eternal life in the position of reigning with Him, as He had designed from the beginning. God intended for there to be a kingdom and for there to be inheritances in that kingdom; but they were mortgaged; they were lost because of sin.
...Sealed with seven seals. Now it's sealed with 7 seals. According to Seiss, within would be the substance of what the inheritance was and the conditions for receiving that inheritance; for taking it. And on the outside would be the names of the witnesses to the fact that this had been mortgaged; that it had been sold.
And it's sealed with 7 seals showing that it's completely sealed; it's completely sealed up. Totally out of reach. There's no hope. An awesome, sad, complete transaction had taken place some time in the past that had caused this thing to be completely sealed up. And those for whom it was intended; could not get it. Man had completely sold and forever lost this inheritance of reigning with God because of man's fall into sin. Gen.2:17;3:24; Romans 3:23 nobody was able to buy it back.
Now the seven seals also show that it's a document of grace and official importance. It's a very official document. It's not just one seal, but 7 seals. 7 = completely sealed and totally lost.
Now, as I said, this scroll pertained to a mortgaged inheritance. It's not merely a sealed up revelation of some knowledge that's been hid, as some commentators would teach.
It's not a revelation of merely end-time events or spiritual truths, as some have said. The reason I say that is because in verse 4, when John sees there is no one worthy to open this scroll, he says, "And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon." And if this was just a revelation of some information that John didn't possess then his weeping would just be merely out of a selfish curiosity, see. It looses all the impact of what God's trying to present here. It would make John seem like a peevish child to be weeping.
But when you realize that this scroll has to do with redemption and a kingdom, then you begin to understand what the impact was in his heart. And showing that it has to do with redemption, we read in verses 7-10 (Read). You see, that's why he was worthy to take this scroll, for he was slain, and has redeemed us to God by his blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And so this taking of the scroll, in their mind, is tied in directly with redemption and ruling and reigning with God in a kingdom over the earth.
Now some more light on this custom of the mortgage scroll or a scroll pertaining to a title deed is given in Jeremiah 32:6-15.
We see that Jeremiah bought a certain piece of ground and there was a sealed up scroll involved. Verses 6-11 (Read) Jeremiah was in prison here in Jerusalem, but the word of the Lord came to him. And Jeremiah said (Read). So there were 2 scrolls, one was sealed and one was opened.
Verses 12-15 (Read) and so the Babylonians were just about to come in and take over the land; but as evidence of the faith that Jeremiah had that God's Word was true and that God would bring His people back again to live in that land again, he bought this field just before the captivity. But there were 2 scrolls; one was open and one was closed. The open one shows the substance of what was in the closed one. It's identical to it. But the closed one is kept and possessed by the one who buys the property.
Now it is said here to Jeremiah that the right of redemption is thine to buy it, verse 7. This man came to him and said, "the right of redemption is yours to buy it." Now this refers to an Old Testament custom that was established by a commandment of God, and it's the custom of the kinsman-redeemer. There is a kinsman-redeemer. And this custom is mentioned in Lev.25:23-34.
Now to explain that custom, I'll just say that each tribe had an inheritance in the land as God brought them into the promised land. Each tribe had its own allotment of area within the land of Israel and within each tribe, each family had it's allotment. And in the process of time people buy and sell and live and there's years of plenty and there's years of poverty, some families would grow poor; and they'd get into such a dire situation that they'd be forced to sell their property in order to live.
And if they had to do that, it was a great grief to them because that was their inheritance that was intended to stay in their family, and be passed on throughout all generations so that their family would always have its allotment and it's place in the land.
But they would be forced to sell their land to a neighbor or to a creditor in order to live, however, if there was a close relative, a near kinsman, who could afford to buy back the land, he has a right to do that. And thus, he would say, I'm going to buy this land back to keep it within the family and that will keep and reserve the inheritance of this family. And this would often happen too, when a husband would die and the wife and the children would go into poverty. Then they were forced to sell their land. Then a near kinsman could come in and buy back or redeem that land to keep the inheritance for the family and not only that, but he also had the obligation to take that woman for his wife and to raise up children unto that man, who had died, to keep his name going; to keep his name alive in the land of Israel.
Now this redemption could be of a parcel of land. It could be of a house or it could even be of a person who was forced to sell himself into slavery. And that's an interesting thing.
Lev.25:47-50 (Read) verses 47,48 talks about the redemption of a person, buying him back. I think there's a type there. Verse 49 the type doesn't go across perfectly because in the spiritual realm nobody's been able to redeem themselves.
And so it's Jesus who is this near kinsman that comes to redeem us when we had knowingly or unknowingly sold ourselves to sin. And so this selling we're talking about has the idea with it of going into bondage. You see, you're selling yourself, then you're in bondage. It was a sale that lead to a loss, it was the sale that was undesirable. Either to a loss of your freedom or the loss of your inheritance. And so the Hebrew word for this redemption and all the related words for the "kinsman-redeemer", the "redemption", "to redeem" means according to Young's Concordance, "to free by avenging or repaying" or it means "freedom." It's a restoration to freedom out of slavery or it's a restoration to the freedom to posses and own your own allotted inheritance that was originally designed to be owned by you. It's a freedom to do that . When this redeemer comes, he brings a freedom; it sets that inheritance loose from the creditor. (Isa.61:1; Heb.2:17)
Now the book of Ruth centers around this custom of the kinsman-redeemer; the whole plot, the whole crux of the story centers around the custom of buying back that which was lost. And in the book of Ruth a man named Boaz bought a woman's inheritance. The woman was Naomi, and Naomi was a near kinswoman of his, and he performed the duty of the kinsman-redeemer, and he kept the inheritance in the family. Naomi's husband had died, and Boaz came and bought this inheritance back and he kept it within the family. And in the process of that he also performed the duty of the kinsman-redeemer by taking to himself Naomi's daughter-in-law, Ruth, because her husband had also died. He took Ruth to himself and marrying was part of taking the inheritance. So he took the inheritance back, and he married the bride. And she lived with him in that inheritance. And so the anti-type is that Jesus, our kinsman-redeemer restores our inheritance and in the process, he takes to himself a bride as part of that inheritance.
Now the question arises in the spiritual realm then, looking at this custom: who mortgaged that inheritance of dwelling in the intimate presence of God and ruling over all creation with Him? Who mortgaged that?
Well, it says of Adam: God walked with him in the cool of the day, and they communed together in the Garden of Eden. And God commanded Adam to go forth and be fruitful and multiply and subdue all things. So Adam was that one who started out in that intimate place with God, and who started out to rule all things. But he lost it. Now Adam is called the "son of God" in Luke 3:38. And so this family inheritance that God had intended for His son and for the rest of His sons' had been lost. It was lost for the son, Adam, and for the rest of the sons; all those who are in that first Adam. They had lost that inheritance. (Rom.6:16; 2 Peter 2:19)
And so the inheritance passed out of the human race and reverted back to the original owner, God. And that's why we see this scroll in the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. As it were, He's waiting until the kinsman-redeemer comes that He might bestow the inheritance again in a lawful way.
And I saw in the right hand. And so this inheritance waits until such a time as a kinsman-redeemer with the right qualification would come upon the scene. Therefore, John sees this inheritance in the right hand of Him who sat upon the throne. That is, it's in His right hand. It's under His authority. It's waiting to be redeemed.
Now this scroll in God's right hand, Satan has persuaded man to sell it away. And man sold himself unto a creditor through sin. And then when man sold himself, Satan came in and he himself attempted to usurp that kingdom. He intended and tried to take that inheritance and rule over it for himself. But it doesn't belong to Satan. It never has, even when it was mortgaged. Even then, it didn't become Satan's inheritance. And so Satan did not take this scroll.
When man forfeited it, it went back to God, the original owner. And so this is the forfeited inheritance of all mankind. Specifically, to those who will open up their hearts and become the sons of God.
And yes, this inheritance involved salvation. John sees, as it were, salvation sealed up and not available to any man. Now John has seen a glorious glimpse of that tumultuous Jubilee in heaven with the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders crying holy unto Him that sat upon the throne casting their crowns before His feet. And the joy and the rejoicing of the redeemed are around the throne. And their casting down their victor's wreathes, so they've won the victory. And yet, now, suddenly, he's caught short by the stunning and awesome realization that this glory that is seen can never take place unless the mortgage price is paid.
And so there's an awesome moment of a great hush as John sees this scroll in God's right hand, and there's a moment, in the vision, in the context that he's in, that there's a moment of uncertainty about the thing. For the moment, in the vision now, the knowledge of Jesus' already accomplished work is left out of the picture. John isn't seeing the whole picture now-- that Jesus had already died and risen again to pay that redemption price.
John is in a vision and he's lost in this scene and the impact of this scene and the certainty of the outcome, for a moment, is suspended in his mind. And now he hears in this moment of guilt, an official proclamation beginning to ring through the heavenly court, and this is what he hears:
Revelation 5:2 "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?"
Strong angel. Now he saw a strong angel. "Strong" literally means "strong". It's a strong angel. It may indicate an angel of a notable or a high rank; a particular angel that had this position; that had this assignment to proclaim: Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? That is; Who has the spiritual wealth to buy back the inheritance that was mortgaged? Who has enough wealth to do that?
Not only that, but who has the right to do it being a near kinsman rich enough to make the transaction and relate it in the family. Who has a right to do it?
Now no man, none of us, are worthy or have been worthy to open that book. In fact, we've only added to the debt. We haven't been able to come up with the spiritual riches to buy that inheritance back. We've only, each one of us in our lives, have only deepened the debt.
Rom.3:23,24 (Read) v.23 so all have come short. v.24 so we've all fallen short, but there's a redemption of the inheritance in Christ Jesus. (1 Tim.2:5; 1 Cor.15:21) a man had to do this. That is, the last Adam, Christ.
Now Revelation 5:3,4 says in response to this cry: "And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon."
No man. Now he says no man in heaven in v.3 and also in v.4. And "I wept much, because no man was found worthy."
Now it's a little more indefinite in the original language. It just says, "no one." The word "man" is not there. It just says "no one" was found worthy. No one in heaven, not even Enoch or Elijah who had been translated. No angel in heaven was found worthy to fulfill the requirements. And no one on earth; no man no matter how godly, who had ever lived on earth or who was alive at that present time. And no earthly empire, no education, etc... though all have tried to bring in a paradise, a kingdom, you might say, on earth; none of them was found worthy.
And nobody under the earth; no one in Sheol; no one in Hades, in the place of departed spirits was found worthy to open that book. Nobody had fulfilled what God had intended for man to be when He originally created Adam. Nobody lived up to that position. Eze.22:30; Isa.53:6 Read.
And so there's a deep sadness in John's heart to the extent that he understands the picture now in this vision, in this revelation. But the answer soon comes.
Revelation 5:5 "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the 7 seals thereof."
Weep not. John had been allowed to taste the gravity of the situation in this heavenly vision.
The Lion of the tribe of Judah. And now the one individual missing so far in the vision is shown forth-- the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Now for a reference for the lion of the tribe of Judah: Gen.49:9,10 (Read).
The Root of David. Now this root of David refers to Jesus as God; Jesus as Deity because the root of David is the source of David. And like Jesus said, "the Messiah is both David's Lord and David's son." (Matt.22:41-46; Psa.110:1) also read Rev.22:16.
And he asked the Pharisees, "how can that be?" And they could not answer him. But the reason that he was both David's Lord and David's son was because he was God manifest in the flesh. Now also this root of David can refer to Christ as the perfect man. And the reason is because David's kingdom was prepared in light of the fact that Christ, the greater David, the greater man, the man Christ Jesus, would come to reign over it. And all thing are created in him, you see, including the kingdom of David with him in mind; with him in view that he would come and reign over that kingdom.
Hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the 7 seals thereof. And so this lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has prevailed it says. Now this means he has conquered. And so there was a conquering involved in him being worthy to open this book. He has conquered (literally) to open the scroll and the 7 seals of it. Gen.3:15; Col.2:15.
Now Jesus is the one who restores the tree of Life to man. You remember in Gen.3:24, the way was barred to the tree of Life and there were cherubim there, set there to keep the way. Now in that context seeing that there were no men other than Adam and Eve; those cherubim there could refer to the angels. However, we see later that they represent God's representatives-- those who are representatives of God and who guard His truths just as the cherubim.
And so the way has been bared because of sin; but Jesus is the one who restores that way to the tree of Life for mankind and that's part of our inheritance. Jesus is the kinsman-redeemer of Adam's race. He paid the redemption price and Jesus has the right because of his sinless life, and his perfect walk of love before his heavenly Father fulfilling the heart requirements of God. That's why he has the right, because of his perfect life. Because he fulfilled the desire of God for what He created man to be.
So Jesus comes and pleases the heart and the mind and fulfills the plan of God. And he enables those who will repent to come to God, and he reconciles sinful man with a Holy God, and, as it were, enables the mind of God to be toward us once again. And, of course, you realize that is spoken after the manner of men because God's plan; God's mind has never changed.
And Jesus is the one who reconciles sinful and rebellious man to God. Jesus has the right to break the seals of the contract, to claim the inheritance, to dispose the false pretender to the kingdom which is Satan in his false Christ, who is the man of sin. And Satan is contesting this right. Satan is not evicted immediately, even though the inheritance is purchased again. Satan still tries to hold onto his position by squatting on that inheritance that doesn't belong to him.
But finally, he's thrown out, he's cast into the bottomless pit, later on he's cast into the Lake of Fire, and Jesus and his brothers in the family (us); take that inheritance, and we will rule and reign in it forever.
Now Jesus is the perfect son of Abraham and therefore he's the heir of the world because that's what Abraham was.
Rom. 4:13 (Read) and so there was a promise to Abraham to be the heir of the world and in Christ this is fulfilled. Jesus is the perfect son of David and therefore he's the heir of the kingdom and that kingdom is talked about in 2 Samual 7.
Jesus is also the perfect son of Adam, man, and therefore he's the heir of redeemed mankind. All the kingdom of redeemed mankind is to be his kingdom. Jesus is the perfect son of God and therefore he's the heir of all things, totally, all things. He that overcometh, God says, shall inherit all things. And that can only be said of Christ because Christ had already inherited all things and now for those in Christ, this inheritance is made available. (Heb.1:1,2; Rom.8:17). He has redeemed us from Satan's pawn shop, as it were, Rom.6:16-18; Luke 4:5-7; 2 Cor.4:4; John 16:11; John 14:30.
I'd say it's pretty good to join yourself to this particular kinsman-redeemer. The inheritance is going to be wonderful.
Revelation 5:6 "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."
Now this "Lamb" is in the midst of the throne and so he's in a place of authority of ruling. And he's in the midst of all the rest of these symbolic things that John has seen: the living creatures, the 24 elders, the angels round about the throne. He's in the midst of all of these things. (Matt.28:18)
Jesus is in that place within the veil, as it were, in the temple within the throne absolutely central to God, and the plan of God. And Jesus here, the man, of course, we see as a Lamb that had been slain. And as God, we see Him sitting on the throne.
Now, of course, we know God was not slain. God manifest in the flesh was not even slain. But the man in whom He dwelt was slain and so Christ, the glorified man Jesus Christ, is represented as a Lamb that had been slain.
Now "as it had been slain" here could be translated, "freshly slain" or "recently slain." The Lamb is symbolic, of course, of Christ giving his life for the life of the world. And Jesus said, "greater love hath no man than this that he should lay down his life for his friends." 1 Peter 1:19 (Read); John 1:29 (Read). It was the man who gave his life.
Now he's freshly slain. He's recently slain. Now in history he wasn't really recently slain. But the truth is that the effect of his sacrifice is just as powerful and it's as though it had just happened because it's just as fresh, just as able to save as it had been when it was originally made.
Having seven horns. Now this Lamb is a kind of a different kind of Lamb. It has 7 horns. And horns represent power. 7 represents a fullness and therefore the truth is shown that through Jesus Christ, the man, although God indwelt him and he was both God and man, yet as a man, even, full power is granted to him. And as to what Jesus said in Matt.28:18, after his resurrection (Read).
And seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. Now this Lamb also has 7 eyes and so there is a full and complete sight or vision. It's a fullness of the vision and the spiritual understanding-- Omniscience, all knowing, all understanding is in him.
And concerning these 7 eyes, it says they are the 7 Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth, so Jesus is also shown to be the possessor of the fullness of the Spirit of God. Paul wrote and he said, "In him dwelleth all the fullness of the God essence bodily"-- the quality of being God, (Col.2:9). In him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and so Jesus is the one who has the full Spirit of God of which we only have a taste, although we're going to have more.
Now showing that Jesus is the one who has the 7 Spirits of God, Read Rev.3:1;4:5.
Revelation 5:7 "And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne."
So Jesus is the one who fulfills the mortgage inheritance and comes to take it and possess it and buy it back. Adam had left no righteous male heir. There was no righteous heir for all had sinned and had come short of the glory of God. And therefore there was a need for a kinsman-redeemer and now he comes and he takes the scroll. He's the worthy true heir after Adam's sin and death. The genuine surviving heir which has the right to purchase back the kingdom. Jesus is the full Adam, the son of God, and Jesus is the one who walks again with God in that position that Adam had lost. Duet.25:5,6; John17:5 (Read). Now this shows God's approval of what Christ did.
Now what's the result of Jesus taking this scroll? What's the result of this one being found worthy to take the scroll, to loose the seals thereof? There's a scene of fantastic rejoicing and worship in heaven here.
Revelation 5:8 "And when he had taken the book, the four beast 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 the saints."
Now they all fall down acknowledging that they were unworthy and that he was worthy. The cherubim, the living creatures, and the 24 elders were all unworthy. And they fall down having harps. Harps are to play music to glorify God.
Harps, often seen in the book of Revelation, are in connection with the redeemed singing before God. And also they have vials. They have these vessels that are full of odours; odours being incense, and we see a similar thing in Rev.8:4. The smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints.
Now incense and prayers are often tied closely together. I should say, a number of times in scripture. For example, in Psa.141:2 and in Lev.16:12,13.
Now these vials or these bowls full of incense or full of odours are seen in type in the vessels that the O.T. priests used to bring offerings in. And some references for that: Num.7:13,19,25; Jer.52:18,19; 1 Kings 25:15; 1 Chron.28:17. Now these are golden vials, gold = Deity-- God. So these are Godly prayers of the saints. And here is what they sing:
Revelation 5:9,10 "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; And hast made us unto our God kings and priest: and we shall reign on the earth."
A discussion of the Greek pronouns found in verses 9 and 10 and the way in which literal translations read
Now according to the Rotherham translation these verses would read: "And thou wast slain and didst redeem unto God by thy blood (men) out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation and didst make them unto our God a kingdom and priests and they reign (present tense) on the earth."
"Men" is in parenthesis because it's understood. There actually is not a word there in the Greek. We would supply "men" because they are the ones redeemed. This reigning is so definite. It's spoken of as already taking place. Although it's not fully taking place, because there's some more disposing of false squatters that has to be done still in this book of Revelation; but it's spoken of as an accomplished fact. Because of what Jesus did we know the plan of God is going to be fully consummated and therefore they reign on the earth. I mean it's sewn up. It shall happen because this is the plan of God.
Now it's important to realize that the mortgage is not only a mortgage of salvation, although that's involved, but it also involves a kingdom and in a kingdom there are also always positions, inheritances, and there are princes and there are counselors and there is a queen and there are other queens and there are concubines if it's an O.T. type kingdom. There are different positions at any rate in a kingdom. And it's vital to the heart of God, to satisfy His heart, to have a kingdom. God will have a realm of loyal and loving subjects to rule over. He will have that because all things are created for His pleasure. And those who will not submit and find their satisfaction and their joy in becoming a part of this kingdom and submitting to Him and loving Him will be crushed in the end and that's what we find here in the book of Revelation. The kingdom is assumed, the positions are taken and the opposition is crushed.
Now the scroll which begins to be opened in chapter 6 shows not only the conditions of fulfilling the inheritance being brought in, but also shows the enemy being dispersed. Whenever there's a king, and a king has a will, a king has an inheritance; that inheritance often involves not only the rewards within that kingdom but also the punishment of his enemies.
Now there's another variation. The Concordant Literal Translation splits verses 9 and 10 between "us" and "they." And here's what it says: "Worthy art thou to be taking the scroll and to open its seals for thou wast slain and dost buy us for God by thy blood out of every tribe and language and people and nation. (v.10) "Thou dost also make them a kingdom and priesthood for our God, and they shall be reigning on the earth."
In this case, if that were true, if this were the correct translation, the truth would be shown that these elders and living creatures would be calling themselves both "us" and "they". So you see why that is. Because the context is all one: "Thou hast redeemed us of all tribes and tongues and kindreds and nations and they shall reign on the earth." It's in the same context. And this would show that they, in the symbolic vision are representing somebody else. They're representing a larger company of people.
Now in verse 9, the word "us" is omitted in the Greek texts as follows: Lockman, Tishendorf, Mills, Alford; also the UBS text, Westcott and Hort, Nestles, and Manuscripts: Aleph, A, and D. Now Manuscripts B and some versions of less weight like the Coptic Latin Vulgate include us in verse 9 so there is a little variation.
Some Manuscripts have nothing in verse 9. They just say, "Thou hast redeemed out of every tongue and tribe and nation." Some Manuscripts put in us. The most weight is to just have a blank there and have men or people understood. It's probably better to say that verse 9 is speaking of (men) = mankind redeemed through the blood of Christ-- all overcomers in Christ, not just the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders, but all overcomers, Rev.2:26,27. Verse 10 "them" referring back to v.9-- mankind who is redeemed and made a kingdom and priests or a kingdom of priests-- mediators of God. And "they" shall reign on the earth when Christ comes back to establish His kingdom on earth.
But then in verse 10 all the early Greek Manuscripts that we have show them not us as the King James says, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth." All the Manuscripts there for us have them and so the King James is a little bit inaccurate there.
But either way, the truth would be the same thing because the 24 elders and the 4
living creatures represent this company of redeemed men who they speak of. Either way that would be the truth that's revealed. And the reason is because they are singing the song of redemption. They are falling down before the throne. The elders and the 4 living creatures are the ones who are casting their crowns before the throne, and we don't see anyone else there in heaven to be this redeemed company that they are singing and rejoicing about. All we see is them.
Now they rejoice
They rejoice because the Lamb has purchased their redemption. They've been saved. Another reason they're rejoicing is because they have been made kings and they shall reign on the earth. Kings and priests unto our God it says. And so this redemption results in a kingdom of priests. A kingdom of mediators who represent God to man. A kingdom of redeemed men in heaven who reign over the earth. And God has ordained that men would be in that position. And also they probably are rejoicing because they have the revelation of what is about to happen. They were Raptured before the 1st seal was open in Revelation 6:1, and they (the 4 living creatures) somehow participate in the seals being opened. Remember this is the throne room scene and its before the seals are opened. They overcame before the Tribulation, the other saints overcome through the Tribulation by giving their lives. That's why the 4 living creatures sing a new song. All overcomers will reign with Christ, but some overcome at different times and in different ways. But nevertheless, they are rejoicing over the kingdom of Christ about to be established.
A narration on what it means to bring God's kingdom upon the earth-- what it means to rule and reign with Christ on the earth
Some scriptures on this to show that God has chosen this position of reigning for the ones who love Him.
Rev.2:26,27 (Read) so Jesus said, "I received this position from my father and now he that overcometh in me shall share this position with me."
Rev.3:21 (Read); Luke 19:11-27 (Read) parable nobleman. Now that's Jesus going away into a far country-- heaven, but he's going to return to receive the kingdom. "Trading" is a spiritual trading by the servants of God.
* So this is a parable of Jesus receiving this kingdom and there are those that have been faithful servants who have walked with him and served him, and it says that he puts them in positions of authority in this kingdom. Whatever the various things in this parable mean, they do show that the faithful servants of Jesus Christ will be placed in those positions of authority.
Read verse 17, and this occurs when Jesus comes again to receive the kingdom as it says in verse 15 (Read).
Now it's important for you to realize that this does not, of course, mean us coming and dwelling on the earth and reigning on the earth and living in $300,000 houses, driving fancy cars, and things like that in the Millennium. The Bible says that our citizenship is in heaven and it says that when we're caught up to meet him in the air that mortality puts on immortality. In other words, we are clothed upon with life, with eternal life and God gives us a body as it has pleased Him, and it's a body suited to that heavenly realm.
It's not an earthly body. And it's very hard to conceive of coming back to live in an earthly realm once mortality has been swallowed up by life, and we shall be changed and see Him as He is and know even as we are known. This reigning is from a spiritual position in the heavenlies, as I understand it.
And yet there will be in some way a direct authority of the saints over the earth in the Millennium. The Bible teaches that clearly. Daniel 7:13,14 (Read) and verse 27 shows His saints ruling with Him in this kingdom (Read).
Another scripture on saints ruling with Him in this kingdom. Rev.20:4,6 (Read) so they'll be mediators of God to man and shall reign with Him during the Millennium. So this is what the Lamb made possible by paying the redemption price. By buying back the inheritance.
Now the book of Revelation shows Jesus revealed as king of all and it shows the events accompanying the bringing of His kingdom. It is a kingdom spanning both heaven and earth.
Rev.11:15 the book of Revelation has much to say about the kingdom of God being established over the earth; and the 7th angel sounded.... verses 15-18 (Read) or as some translate it "hast begun to reign" (v.17) that is your kingdom has been established over the earth. So it shows the kingdom of God being established upon the earth as God puts down those that have opposed Him, namely the devil and his system.
Now were taking about this kingdom being established on earth, and for the saints who were caught up previously this kingdom is established at the Second Coming, literally. But, spiritually speaking, for the saints who were caught up previously this kingdom is experientially already in progress. Because Rev.12:10, which applies to the Raptured saints, the manchild being caught up.
Verse 10 of chapter 12 (Read) and so Satan was before the throne of God accusing the saints day and night as we see in the book of Job. But when the Raptured saints were caught up; Satan was cast out. The case was closed. The prosecuting attorney was thrown out of court (Praise God!). His case was proclaimed invalid and now in verse 12, we see that he's cast out into the earth. And so the kingdom is fully experientially established in heaven with the casting out of an enemy. But now the kingdom must also be established on earth and we find that at the Second Coming, the Antichrist and the false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire, and Satan is cast into the bottomless pit so that the kingdom is established on earth. In order for the kingdom to be established, the enemies of the kingdom would have to be dealt with, and that's what we see happening here in the book of Revelation.
Rev.19:6 shows another aspect of this kingdom being established (Read). And now by faith we can say and claim that this kingdom of God is here and that it's among us, and that we are in it by faith.
Colossians 1:13 (Read) and so that is where we stand right now by faith in the kingdom of his dear son.
So Jesus by paying the price as our kinsman-redeemer makes it possible as God had planned all along knowing that He would send Jesus Christ. He makes it possible for this kingdom to be brought in.
Now concerning this scroll which I said represents this inheritance, in another sense this document is a will. You could call it a will for an inheritance. It's the Father's will, in Christ, to have their place in Him in glory (John 14:1,2)
Jesus said in my Father's house are many dwelling places and I am going to prepare a place for you and if it were not so I would have told you. So there are places being prepared and as it were, there is a will, for our positions in this inheritance.
Now in this sense of the scroll showing the aspect of a will, there was a death which comes to bring about this inheritance. Hebrews 9:15-18 (Read)
Verse 15 for where a testament or a covenant is-- testator v.17-- means one making a covenant or one making a testament. Verse 17 for a testament is of force or effect. Verse 18 goes on to speak of the blood of bulls and goats in the Old Testament. But in the New Testament we find that there is an eternal inheritance but where there is a testament, you see, we talk about the last will and testament. It's a covenant. A will is a particular kind of covenant that is in effect after the person who makes that covenant dies.
So here it says for where a testament is there must also of necessity be that death of the testator for a testament is of force after men are dead. Otherwise, it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. And so Jesus died for us that this covenant might have strength. That it might come into effect. But because he lived a sinless life and because he did always those things that pleased his Father, it was impossible for death to hold him the Bible says and therefore, he rose again accomplishing our justification by rising again. He ascended into heaven and now he waits to become the principle heir. I could say he already is the principle heir. He's waiting for that kingdom to fully come. He becomes the principle heir of the same will that he died to bring into effect. A marvelous plan of God.
Jesus is seen to be all in all everywhere we look in this book of Revelation. Colossians 1:16 for in him were... all things created through him. Verse 17: and he is before all things, that is a position of preeminence and... so in this spiritual kingdom of God, Jesus is all in all.
Now we see that Jesus died to bring in a kingdom. We've seen that in a number of scriptures and that he rises again to become the king.
Now when an Old Testament king left his will whether it be a written will or a spoken will to his heir, his will involved the establishment of the kingdom securely in the hand of his heir.
And so it involved not only reward for those who had been the kings' friends but retribution upon his enemies that was to be carried out by his heir. We see a picture of this in David and Solomon; David representing in the type, in the symbol, Christ in his earthly ministry. The Bible calls David a man of war and Christ in his earthly ministry was a man of war, as it were. He conquered Satan by the death of his cross and he overcame death. Now Solomon represents the resurrected Christ. Solomon means man of peace and we see a picture of Christ establishing his kingdom of peace as the resurrected Christ.
Now let's look for a minute at the will which David left for his son Solomon and see what truths we can draw out of that
1 Kings 2:1-9 (Read) and so it is with the resurrected Christ. Our hearts, the heart of God's people have been being prepared to reign with him in that kingdom and that's what the church is for to prepare him a people to share his love and his glory. But then the bringing in of that kingdom also involves the crushing of the bitter enemies of the king who have curse him.
Our king has enemies who must be subjected that His throne, that is, His kingdom may be fully set. Rev.4:1,2 we see a throne being set in heaven. The Greek for-- "a throne was set"-- could be translated: a throne was setting or lying or reclining and it's in the continuing action-- a throne was being set in heaven.
Psa.110:1,2 (Read) and that's what is in the process of happening. What is going to happen up ahead of us. Verse 2 says rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
1 Corinthians 15:24-28 (Read) shows this again. So we find the enemies of this kingdom being subdued and in the end God is all in all, ruling through His glorified tabernacle, the man Jesus Christ. You see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
In the book of Revelation, we see the enemies being put down in this revelation of Jesus Christ our king. We find that the plagues that are during the tribulation period are a retribution on a world system, which has murdered God's people and sold itself to Satan through his Antichrist. We find that in the second half of this 7 year period that God pours out plagues and we see these plagues in chapters 8,9,11:15-19; chapters 15,16 of Revelation.
We also find the great harlot church, which is called mystery Babylon, is seen to be desposed and her authority is stripped away from her and that happens in Revelation 17;18;19:2,3. The reaction of God's people of that is Hallelujah, thank you Lord, because of all that she had done to destroy the souls of men. The truth is finally established and they're rejoicing in heaven.
Also the armies of the world, which come against Israel, are defeated at Armageddon by the conquering Lamb. And we see this in 19:11-18,21. We see that the Antichrist and his false prophet are cast alive into the Lake of Fire. They become the first inhabitants of the Lake of Fire in 19:19,20.
We also see concerning this throne being established and the enemies of God being subjected. We see Satan being imprisoned in the bottomless pit for the duration of the Millennium and that's in chapter 20:1-3. Now later on Satan again attempts to usurp God's earthly kingdom by deceiving the nations at the end of the Millennium. But his plan fails in very short order and he's cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity in chapter 20:7-10, and I don't think there's going to be any mourning on that day. Not even by those who served him. Now the curse caused by sin is abolished in chapter 22:3 (Read). So that's an enemy that's going to be subjected to this throne that is being established, no more curse and everything that the curse involves: sickness and pain and death. And also we find that death, sorrow and crying and pain are abolished in Rev.22:4. Those are also enemies.
The reaction to all this is a glorious one. It's going to be a wonderful time. Only those that love God will be there then, and they will be free to have a glorious service. Free to love God unmolested by forces whether they be human or spiritual, unhindered for all eternity from doing what they want. Which is just love Jesus and find out more and more about His wonderful heart and glory and love for all eternity. And this is all involved in this kingdom being established. A Millennial kingdom on earth and an eternal kingdom wherein dwelleth righteousness in a new heaven and a new earth.
There is the inheritance that Jesus died to purchase for us. And that's why Jesus taught us to pray after this manner: Matthew 6:9-15 (Read) thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. We're suppose to pray that God's will would be done on earth, as it is in heaven. That the full kingdom would be subjected to God, and the book of Revelation shows us that's going to happen.
Revelation 5:11 "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."
Now 10,000 literally-- a myriad. So it is literally myriads of myriads. A myriad can be literally 10,000 or it can be figuratively of a innumerable company.
Revelation 5:12 "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."
In this verse is what these myriads of angels say. Worthy is the Lamb, and so the whole kingdom is Christ's. He accomplished all that is worthy of praise and we therefore enter into his works which he has finished. Now here he fulfills a number of scriptures, references of what is fulfilled by this worthy Lamb: Psa.74:2;106:10;107:2 all speak about redemption. Isa.52:3-9 (Read) he didn't say without cost, he said without money. There was a high cost in the redemption. 1 Peter 1:18-20 tells us that we've not been redeemed with silver and gold but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. As of a lamb without spot and blemish who was offered up for us. Ephesians 1:13,14 shows us that right now we have the down payment of this inheritance that Christ has bought and later on we will come in to the whole inheritance. Purchased possession: that's our inheritance and so we have the down payment of that inheritance, and the transaction has been made and we shall come into the whole inheritance. And meanwhile the spirit bears witness that we are the sons of God and that we are heirs and joint heirs with Christ.
Revelation 5:13 "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."
Now every creature is quoted in this vision as saying blessing and glory and honour be unto him that sitteth on the throne. Now this would show that this vision transcends time. It is above time, it is a vision of the throne of God being established. Since we see that all will not worship Him at this time, which is just before the tribulation or I should say, just before the first seal is opened. Not, all worship Him at this time. Not all will worship Him until after all things are accomplished and the throne is fully set. And so this would be outside of time when John hears this proclamation by every creature in heaven and upon earth and under the earth and in the sea. Now in another very, very qualified sense you could say that every creature at this time is saying these things in a sense. And the sense I means that is, in the sense as in Romans 9:17-23 (read) now I don't think this is the primary sense here but I also think it needs to be taken into account.
The point is that God will get glory. God will be honored in the end and will get glory through every creature that He has ever created even if those creatures choose not to submit to Him and give Him glory, still God has a plan in which He will be glorified in one way or another. God's desire is for all things that He has made to give Him pleasure.
All things are created for His pleasure and His heart's desire is that all would come to Him with a humble heart of love and submit to His plan and be fulfilled in fulfilling Him. But seeing that there is a free will and that man is going to do what he's going to do and seeing that the devil is doing what he is going to do, God still will get glory and will be glorified one way or another, even if it is in the crushing of His opponents, so to speak. And we see this in Romans 9:17-21. Now this is of course, according to the will of that vessel. What that vessel is willing to be made into, that's what God will make it into. Now in this heavenly vision, these things are taking place after the Rapture and before the tribulation period, it is a vision of looking forward to the Millennium.
Romans 9:22 a better translation-- what if God, although willing to show His wrath and to make His power known. Read v.23. And so we find there are those obstinate ones like Satan and his Antichrist whom God must deal with. But God will be glorified in that. And so in all ways Jesus Christ will be glorified in the establishing of His kingdom.
Revelation 5:14 "And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever."
They say, Amen and continue on worshipping, only approximately 7 years until the Millennium. We find that homage and worship is being paid. So their worship service continues on (Praise God!). It's a long, long worship service. They sing and sing! For ever and ever, Amen!