1. And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back, close sealed with seven seals.
No one is allowed knowledge of the will of God unless God grants it.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a great voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
In the kingdom of God it is not the “strong” who succeed but the upright. Domitian needed to be reminded of this!
3 And no one in the heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look thereon:
The cup which Jesus drank may indeed be partaken of by His followers. If so, they must drink it with patience and ultimate joy knowing that God will not explain.
5 and one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not; behold, the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath overcome to open the book and the seven seals thereof.
The office of Christ, from beginning to end, is to act for God. Even in his death and also in his life on earth and in heaven.
The scroll he is to open is “for his eyes only”. He alone can disclose God the Father and his will for humankind.
6. And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came, and he taketh it out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne.
When one is near Jesus, Jesus is all that one can see. John wishes his community to see Jesus as well and as clearly as he did.
The seven eyes and horns and spirits are symbols of the perfection of Jesus in seeing his people and in overcoming their enemies in the perfection of the Spirit.
The good shepherd will go so far as to even lay down his life for his sheep; and so Jesus did.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
9 And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation,
10 and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth.
So, indeed, it is not the Roman emperor who holds supreme authority; it is the people of God. It is not the apparently powerful but the spiritually powerful who really make a difference.
11 And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 saying with a great voice, Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might and honor, and glory, and blessing.
The circle expands itself. Whenever Jesus wills it to be so.
13 And every created thing which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and all things are in them, heard I saying, Unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, be the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the dominion, for ever and ever.
14 And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshipped.
Every clangorous note sounded among and by humanity, every voice raised against God, and every person who rebels against God will be overcome by Jesus who has already judged humanity on the cross.
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