The Revelation Given to John by Jesus Through the Angel
Yahweh told Daniel[i]to lock up the words he had been given and seal the scroll until the end of time. Now we see, in this chapter of Revelation, there is a scroll in Yahweh’s right hand as John looked at the throne. Yahweh’s right hand denotes his mind, will, and degree. The seven seals stand for both the completeness of the revelation and the security of the seal. Yahweh told Daniel to seal the scroll and the seven seals tell us he did a good job of obeying, as always[ii].
Remember, the purpose of Revelation is to encourage the Church, to support her faith, and keep her from giving in to temptation and despair. We get an overview of what Yahweh is doing, and will do. But since we couldn’t possibly handle knowing everything, we aren’t given all knowledge. That would only burden us needlessly[iii].
No one can break the seals and open the scroll – no one in heaven, or on earth, or in hell. Yahweh’s language is even higher than his creation[vi]. John weeps uncontrollably. Yahweh’s mind is so high above ours that no one can understand it[vii].
But, Praise Yahweh, the Lion of the tribe of Judah[viii], the Root of David’s tree has conquered! Because of his complete obedience to Yahweh, he is able to know Yahweh’s secrets, to reveal them, and to control them[ix]. He is the trustee of Yahweh’s divine will and the truth is in his keeping.
The Inter-Testimental books portray the Mashiach as the Lion of Judah. Isaiah’s prophesy portrays him as the Root of David[x].
The secret of the Lion’s power is his sacrifice as he is portrayed here as the Lamb, Yahweh’s Passover Lamb suffering in all of his conquering might[xi].
He is surrounded by the four living creatures who represent the four excellencies of the created order: his attributes of courage, patience, understanding, and ability to soar above the earth; as demonstrated in the best of his created beings. They see all things everywhere and have the ability to fly anywhere.
Also surrounding him are the twenty-four elders, representing the redeemed of all the ages.
The Lamb bears the mark of having been slain. He is the one who loves us and gave himself for us.
He has seven horns to show that he has perfect power and is mighty to save[xii], seven eyes to represent his omniscient wisdom, the Spirit of Yahweh, going over all the earth[xiii]. He knows the future and is able to control it.
The Son in his human capacity can take, and reveal the mysteries of the eternal godhead, in which he, as Yahweh, has a part.
So he took the scroll and the representatives of the redeemed, with harps in their hands, fell at his feet and began to sing the new song of worship and victory. They had the prayers of the saints in their hands, thus making an even clearer picture of the redeemed who pray, joyfully, without ceasing[xiv].
The action of the Son taking the book elicited as song of adoration as multitudes of angels begin a song of worship that is soon joined by the praise of all creation.
The four creatures and the twenty-four elders symbolize the Church – her characteristics (the four creatures) are conformed to the characteristics of Yahweh; and as represented by the elders, she has the authority and mission given her by Mashiach as recorded in Matthew 28:18.
The harps represent the instruments we use in our praise and worship, and the vials represent the vials of the altar described in Revelation 8:3. The odor of the incense – our prayers – rises up continually to Yahweh’s throne. Smell is the strongest of our five senses and most connected to the part of our brain that holds and retains memories. Scent memory lasts longer than any other sense memory, which is why Yahweh uses the sweet smelling savor of incense to represent our prayers.
The song of victory was directed to an act accomplished in space and time. The fruits of redemption are meant for the whole world. It is only by a deliberate act of rejection that some are excluded.
More Jews and Muslims – both in the Middle East and the U.S. – are coming to Mashiach today than ever before. The barriers that separate, man from man are broken down by the redeeming work of Mashiach.
The Redeemed are a kingdom of priests. We acquire our priestly status by preforming our priestly duties[xv] – by presenting our bodies as living sacrifices to Yahweh. We reign on the earth. We are a spiritual kingdom and our province is a spiritual authority[xvi]. We subdue personal passions and ambitions[xvii].
The angels are also joining in the praise. They are full of joy and awe because they have seen the mystery of Yahweh revealed through his Church[xviii]. There is an exceedingly great multitude of angels.
The commonality of the three doxologies recorded here is that they are all ascribed to the Lamb. He is in the midst of the throne and the center of the entire heavenly circle, the object of all their united adoration. We cannot worship Yahweh without worshiping Yeshua Ha Mashiach because they are One on the throne. The cross of Mashiach is the focus of the worship as pictured in the Lamb. It is the cross that speaks peace to our troubled hearts and assures our sad and depressed minds of perfect sympathy. It is the cross of Mashiach that brings new strength and resolve to us when we are tempted.
The first doxology is offered by the representation of perfect redeemed humanity, coming from the north, south, east, and west; the four corners of the globe. The four living creatures are closest to the throne because they beheld Yeshua as he is and dropped off all the imperfections of the flesh, completely conformed to the image of Mashiach.
The second offering is from the representation of the Church, the twenty-four elders. The Church is the instrument by which mankind at large is being won to Mashiach. The attitude of veneration cements their feeling of reverence. Music and song expresses thoughts that cannot be uttered with mere words. Music is a symbol of the life of heaven – there is no self-will in music; it is only possible by the absolute obedience to the laws of harmony. Obedience is its life. The music in heaven is so much more beautiful because it is concentrated on praise to Yahweh.
The prayers the elders carry in their hands reveal their absolute dependence on their object of worship to answer their prayers.
The intercession of the twenty-four elders reveals the fruit of the Spirit developed in them. They sing the song of the worthiness of Mashiach and the Church’s redemption.
The second doxology is that of the angels joined by the elders and creatures. It is a song of joyful, heartfelt acknowledgment that the Lamb is worthy of all power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing.
The third doxology is united by all creation[xix]
The doxologies began with the redeemed Church (saved mankind). They are caught up by the huge number of angels, heard and repeated by all of creation. Embrace the joy with your whole heart. Remember that although now the whole creation is groaning while it waits for its redemption, the time is coming quickly when the morning breaks and joy fills the whole of heaven and earth.
We must practice the language of praise and make it the song of our hearts and lives. If we listen carefully, we can hear the song of praise sung in heaven echoed through the whole earth. The song related the grace inspired process of redemption: the acknowledged need of Mashiach to remedy our lost condition, the sacrificial death of our Redeemer, the redemptive character of his work, and the Divine possession of the redeemed.
Then the song reveals the exalted state of the redeemed: in our relation to Yahweh, in our compact union as a kingdom under divine rule, in our universal priesthood with its privileged and acknowledged approach to Yahweh, and in our ascension in the dominion of our assignment on earth.
Then comes the universal recognition of the blessedness of redemption. And although it is prophetic and there are things that must be accomplished before we get the full effects of the praises, if we listen closely, we can hear the vibrations of its joyful melody on the waves of eternity.
[i] Daniel 12:4
[ii] Barkley, page 166, 167 down to GOD’S BOOK OF DESTINY; and The Archaeological Study Bible, note on Revelation 5:1
[iii] I Corinthians 13:12
[iv] Attributing human feelings or passions to God
[v] A visible manifestation of deity
[vi] Isaiah 55:9
[vii] Romans 11:33-36; I Corinthians 2:16
[ix] Barkley, page 69, paragraph 4
[x] Isaiah 10:1, 10
[xi] John 1:29, 36; I Peter 1:19
[xii] I Corinthians 15:3-7
[xiii] Matthew 28:18; Zachariah 4:10
[xiv] If you know the one you are making your requests of loves you with an everlasting love, you will be able to present your requests with joy in your heart
[xv] Romans 12:1, 2; I Peter 2:5
[xvi] Romans 5:17; I Corinthians 4:8
[xvii] Proverbs 16:32
[xviii] I Peter 1:12; Ephesians 3:10, 11
[xix] Romans 8:19-23