Saturday, August 12, 2023

The Book

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "The Book"
Written by: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

John’s eyes are drawn to the Throne of God. What captures his attention is a book in the right hand of the Father. It is sealed with seven seals. The next several verses seem to happen in rapid succession, as we see God’s eternal plan played out to fulfill a prophecy from Daniel 12.

The New Testament is hidden in the Old,the Old Testament is fully revealed in the New.

To the serpent who tricked Eve and Adam into disobedience, God spoke:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).

The stage is now set for the rest of the Bible! From the very loins of the woman who was duped into sinning against God will come a redeemer to save us all. The Bible’s 66 Books take us through generations of the woman, setting apart her bloodline, and sanctifying them as God’s Chosen People. The bloodline becomes God’s Chosen People to bring The Redeemer, Jesus, the Christ into the world. Satan’s free will is pitted against the Father’s perfect will. Christ the Redeemer becomes Satan’s natural and supernatural enemy for all of time.


Satan does his best to defeat God’s plan for redemption at every turn, but God has already beaten His adversary. While Satan boasts of being like the Most High, God’s plan has him cast into hell and the sides of the pit (Isaiah 14:9-17).

In Revelation 4 and 5, believers in Jesus have already been taken up to heaven. His promises have already thwarted Satan’s plans for humanity. More will come to Christ through the Great Tribulation in the chapters to come. God’s plan will not be set aside. Satan will take many with him into the pit of hell, but many others will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, Savior, and Friend!

“And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” - Acts 16:11.

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:
Revelation 5:1-12 - "The Book" - Part 1


We are continuing our study in the book of Revelation. This morning we are begining chapter five.

One of the most breathtaking passages on the second coming is found in Revelation chapter 5, as we find out the answer to, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?" As we get a glimpse of what is taking place in heaven, in anticipation of the second coming of Christ, we meet the Lion of Judah, conqueror of the world, who is also the Lamb of God. He is about to come to take deed to the universe, to redeem it.  He will also destroy the wicked and establish and bless His people.

In chapter 4 and 5 of Revelation, again seeing Jesus in all His glory, and the fulfillment of scripture, as we anticipate the great tribulation that will follow. Chapter 6 to 19 records the exploding judgment of God in the world. This judgment comes through seven seals that are loosed; it comes through seven trumpets that are blown and seven bowls that are poured out upon the earth, all describing the different facets of this judgment which ultimately culminate in the return of Christ described in chapter 19.

At the same time judgment is being poured out, salvation is taking place to a degree never before known in the history of redemption. The nation Israel is being saved, and 144,000 of them are sealed as ministers and missionaries and witnesses. Angels are preaching the gospel as they’re flying across heaven. Two witnesses are raised from the dead to preach the gospel so that the city of Jerusalem repents. It’s an incredible time described from chapter 6 to 19.

Chapters 4 and 5 are a glimpse into heaven as the divine war machine begins to move. It’s very much like Ezekiel chapter 1, where you see the war machine of God described as wheels in wheels and shining fire and sparkle coming off as God begins to move in judgment and in glory.

This morning's teaching opens with a scripture reading from Daniel 12:1-4.  Pastor Bob reminds us that the New Testament is hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is fully revealed in the New.  In other words, there is nothing in the Old Testament that doesn't point to Christ, and there is nothing in the New Testament that isn't already revealed in the Old.  From the beginning of the book of Genesis, to the end of the book of Revelation, God is revealing to us His perfect will as it unfolds through the history of man.  Not only does He reveal His will to us, but His every Word is fulfilled in every detail until the end.

In Revelation chapter 5, John in his vision sees the things transpiring and writes, "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" (vs.1).  This is a scroll.  It's made of papyrus or parchment.  

In the vision, John saw something written on the inside and on the backside of the scroll, and that it was rolled up sealed with seven seals.  This is typical of various kinds of contracts in the ancient world, including deeds, marriage contracts, and wills, land purchases.  The inside of the scroll contained all the details of the contract, and the outside (or back) contained a summary of the document, and the rightful owner who had purchased it (see Jeremiah 32).  It was then sealed and deposited somewhere for preservation and record and could only be opened by the owner when he arrived to take possession. 

John is seeing the title deed, held in God's hand, not just to a parcel of land, but to the entire earth and its inhabitants.   The ultimate owner of the earth is its Creator (Psalm 24:1); and only He has the right to deed it to another.  In Genesis, God gave Adam dominion over it (Genesis 1:26-28).  We know that Satan usurped that dominion when Adam sinned and died, and because of that sin, "The whole world lieth in wickedness" (1 John 5:19).  God is still the owner and has retained the record of ownership in the palm of His hand.  This is what John sees.

This is the official, legal document of ownership of all of Creation.  It belongs to God and God alone; He has maintained possession of it.  It can be described as God's will and testament, and what do we see Him doing with it? He is passing it to His heir, to His rightful heir, in order to take possession of what is His.  

In verse 2, John writes, "I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?"

The strong angel with a loud voice, symbolically reaching every corner of the endless universe, asking, "Who is worthy?"

Who is worthy?  Not one person of the sinful human race is worthy.  Not any of the created angels of heaven are worthy.  The apostles, the prophets, the 24elders, the saints in heaven... they aren't worthy.  Who has the right to take the universe back? Who is the Redeemer of this lost world revealed throughout the Bible? He must be a kinsman, a sinless man, but He must also be God. 

In verse 5, we are told that "He is the lion of the tribe of Judah." This is a title of the Messiah, (see Genesis 49:8-10).   John continues saying that He is also, "the Root of David." This is another Messianic title from Isaiah chapter 11.  So, the worthy one is not only the Son of David, as in the genealogies, the royal line, He is the "Root of David."  In other words, Christ comes through the bloodline of David, however, David comes from Him.  Jesus bears David's royal lineage, but He as God the Son, He is the Lord over all, the King above all kings.  He bears the right to rule the throne.

The Jews missed the first coming of the Messiah simply because they were looking for a conquering King, a Lion.  Jesus, the Messiah, is the Worthy One.  How do we know? John's description in verse 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."  "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).   

He is the Lamb of God, the lamb that was slain.  The One who shed His blood as the price of redemption, and yet rose alive again conquering death.  "He is the Lamb without blemish and without spot...foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1 Peter 1:19-20).  

The seven horns and the seven eyes on the lamb speak of the perfect power to execute all the will of God, and with perfect wisdom and understanding.  Again, the sevenfold Spirit of God is mentioned, the Lamb has received the Holy Spirit, and that without measure. 

In verse 7, the moment arrives, the moment that all of God's creation yearns for.  "And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne."  Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God is taking that scroll, the title deed to the universe, and will begin to open the seals (beginning in chapter 6).  This is the same scene, from a different perspective, that Daniel saw in his vision (Daniel 7:13-14), in which the Son of man comes before the Ancient of days to receive dominion over the earth.  

When Christ takes the book (or scroll) out of His Father's hand, notice that every angelic being, every saint in heaven begins to worship the One who is worthy. 

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