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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder



Rev 5:1-6 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. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 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. 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 seven seals thereof. 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 (Also See Rev. 5:7-14)

John's vision of heaven continues. In this chapter John saw God seated on His throne of majesty and holding a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. Today, we think of a book that has printed pages and bound into a hard or soft cover. However, at the time John received this vision and recorded it for all mankind, there were no press-printed books. Rather, it was more than likely a manuscript, possibly written on both sides, having seven sections, or pages, rolled in the form of a scroll, and having seven seals binding each page closed until it was ready to be revealed (See Rev. 6). Later we learn that the book contains revealing visions, or prophecies, of the future - things which shall be hereafter (Rev. 1:19). At the time of this revelation, the book was unopened, was sealed, and could not be looked into by human eyes.

The book, or sealed scroll, John thought was to be opened and its contents revealed, however there seemed to be no one present capable of doing so. Then, in his vision, he saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? This heavenly being assumed the role of an angelic herald of God, sent to search out someone having the authority to remove the seals, and reveal the mysteries of its written proclamations. The results of this search were fruitless. No one could be found to open the book. Why? Because no human being has the all-knowing power to reveal the future, or destiny, of mankind, the nations they live in, nor the church which bears the name of Christ, the Son of God. This should serve as absolute proof that mankind cannot foretell future events and predict when, where, why, by whom, and how they will occur.

Filled with anxiety to look into this book that was sealed, and finding no man worthy of opening its seals, John wept much. The vision continued to unfold with one of the elders telling John that the book would be opened, and that there is someone capable of opening it, and revealing its contents. Consoling John, this elder told him, Weep not. He then disclosed to John the One that was worthy to open the seals of this book, saying that, He was the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. Without question, the genealogy found in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 prove this to be Jesus, the worthy Son of God (Also See Isa. 11:1). Jesus hath prevailed, that is He was crucified, overcame death, ascended back into heaven, was given all power over the kingdom of heaven and earth, and now had the worthy authority to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. This symbolic description of Jesus demonstrates His worthiness to open, and proclaim, the contents of the book. The symbolic Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes. With "seven" being the perfect number denoting completeness, the horns tell us that Jesus Christ is omnipotent (unlimited power), while the eyes describe His omniscience (infinite knowledge). Indeed, Jesus Christ is the only being in heaven or on earth, that has been given the power to open these books and reveal the future of His church.

It seems that Jesus is described here as a continual sacrifice. He is seen by John, as He waits at the throne of God for all men and women that, willingly and obediently, come to Him, believing Him to be the Son of God, repenting of their past sinful lives, being baptized for the remission of their sins, and being added to the church of Christ, and becoming children of God. The Lion ...of Judah became God's sacrificial Lamb. The Lamb obediently succumbed to an atoning death on the cross of Calvary, but on the third day after entombment, He arose once again as the Lion, having prevailed, and conquered, forever, the death imposed by Satan on God's creation. And by His sacrifice, a complete reconciliation to our righteous God was made available to all sinful men and women of the world, granting them the hope of eternal life with Him in heaven.

John continues this vision in verses 6 through 11, which follow the lesson text. With His authority being firmly established, Jesus came and took the book out of the right hand of God. Immediately the four beasts and the twenty four elders came before the sacrificial Lamb of God and bowed down before Him in reverential awe. This was not as the worship service required by God on the first day of the week, within the body of Christ, but a worship of adoration as the divine Son of God. Their worshipful acknowledgement to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, was accented with sweet sounds of harps, and with censors emanating aromatic essences, signifying their prayers in a manner acceptable to God (Vss. 7-8).

Accompanied by their harps, they sung a new song. Songs of praise and adoration have always been sung in heaven, but this song was special - it had never been sung before. It was now being sung in celebration of an event that had never before taken place - Jesus Christ, the promised Savior, was now about to unseal the book and reveal things which must shortly come to pass (Rev. 1:1), that is, future events, both good and evil, that would take place, having a profound effect on the future of the church of Christ. These words of praise, which they sung in their new song, are found in verses 9 and 10: 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 priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Jesus Christ was God's gift to the world, that through His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary, the world, both Jew and Gentile, had available to them, the hope of redemption from sins, reconcilement to God, and the promise of an eternal home in heaven for all that obeyed His commandments.

In this awesome vision of heaven John saw, and heard the voice of many angels (thousands of thousands, a countless number) round about the throne, as they joined the beasts and the elders in a song of worshipful praise to the Lamb of God, saying, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing (Vs. 12). Here we have the totality of all blessings available to mankind from our Heavenly Father. They are seven in number, representing His complete store of blessings, and they are all found in the His worthy Son, Christ Jesus.

There are animated creatures that reside in all parts of God's universe as we know it to be - creatures in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and in the seas. John heard all of these creatures saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne (God), and unto the Lamb (Christ Jesus) for ever and ever. This universal praise to God and His Son began with the representatives of His righteous children (Vss. 8-10), was continued by a host of His angels (Vss. 11-12), and is here, in verse 13, re-echoed by a resounding chorus of all creatures of God's creation. To this, the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.