2018-04-25 / Religion

Blessing, glory, honor forever

Sunday School Lesson
Rev. James Temples

Revelation 5

In our western society, little is known regarding the pomp and majesty of royalty. There is expected to be a certain degree of respect that is to be shown to those who belong to royalty.

The early believers had no difficulty with the concept of royalty and the protocol that accompanied these individuals. As the Apostle John recorded “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1a), this picture was quite clear to the first readers. As the brother of James recorded scenes in the throne room of our Heavenly Father — the creator of the universe — the worship pointed all creatures to God — Jehovah. The sacredness of the scene was immediately understood.

In our present-day society, little is considered to be sacred. The word “sacred” is seldom used in our day. This word means “consecrated to or belonging to a god or deity; holy.”(Webster). In a thought-system that places the individual at its center, there is no place for anything other than self to be worshipped.

After the song of praise that John heard (Revelation 4:10, 11), the scene within the throne room shifts. “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat upon the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” Revelation 5:1. The books of that day were written on scrolls. made of animal skins. The usual manner of writing was restricted to using only the inside of this material. However, this scroll had writing on the outside as well. This fact seems to indicate the importance of the message, and the urgent delivery of the content. Yet, this scroll was sealed with seven seals, not the usual one that would indicate its regular importance.

In order for the contents of the message to be read, the seals needed to be broken. John wrote, “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy (to have adequate merit) to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” Revelation 5:2.

It would seem that a divine search had begun. “And no man (one) in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able (possess authority) to open the book, neither to look thereon.” Revelation 5:3. The response of the apostle was immediate — “And I wept much, because no man (one) was found worthy to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” Revelation 5:4.

The weeping apostle was addressed by one of the heavenly beings. “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.” Revelation 5:5.

The scene continued to unfold before the apostle. “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts (creatures), and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns [indicating authority] and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” Revelation 5:6.

The apostle and the first readers had no difficulty in understanding the symbolism that this scene presented. The Old Testament sacrificial system was built around the offering of lambs as the major sacrifices. Those who had heard the words of John the Baptist quickly understood the word picture painted by his declaration, “Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. This picture carries over into the throne-room of heaven.

This “slain lamb” moved toward the one on the throne, “And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” Revelation 5:7. It seems as if the whole of the glory-world was waiting for this event. John wrote, “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts (creatures), 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.” Revelation 5:8. This declaration seems to indicate that the “prayers of the saints” have been collected and stored until the proper time for them to be presented before the throne of God. Yes, your prayers have been heard!

John heard the heavenly creatures and the elders break forth in song — “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 priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9, 10.

John was allowed to hear another group, as they worshipped. “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts (creatures) and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” Revelation 5:11. This expression of numbers is the way that the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21) showed us the untold number of those who were singing. The song had a single focus — “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.” Revelation 5:12.

This group was joined by more voices — “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.” Revelation 5:13.

This song of the multitude was answered by the heavenly beings. “And the four beasts (creatures) said, Amen.” Revelation 5:14a. The other group responded — “And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:14.

Since open worship is the “norm” in heaven, we should have no difficulty with our worship, today. As the eternal worship was focused on the lamb, we can do no less in our day. Please accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, today. John 3:16.

Rev. James C. Temples’ Sunday School Lesson has appeared in the Early County News each week since 1967. A native of Early County, Rev. Temples taught in public schools 32 years and 10 years at Southeastern College of Assemblies of God, in Lakeland, Fla. He also served as pastor and evangelist during those years. He can be contacted at P. O. Box 1484, Swainsboro, GA 30401; 478- 299- 2068. Email: temples_ james@ yahoo. co m

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