To understand the scene in heaven, the heavenly tribunal, one should begin with the scene on earth which took place during the days of Moses on Mount Sinai. After the people of Israel were delivered from Egyptian slavery, they in time camped in front of the mountain as was foretold by Yahveh. (Ex. 3:12)
“So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because Yahveh descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. Yahveh came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and Yahveh called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.” (Ex. 19:16-20)
“The glory of Yahveh rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of Yahveh was like a consuming fire on the mountain top. Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.” (Ex. 24:16-18)
“When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.” (Ex. 31:18)
These words from the Book of Exodus partially summarize the events that took place on the holy mount. Yahveh deliberately chose to display His power and might when He gave His covenant, the Ten Commandments. He desired His people to be impressed and deeply affected in their senses, to connect the power of the awesome scene as it came from its Lawgiver, with the preeminence of the Law.
If His people would live in obedience to His precepts, the same power they witnessed would be exerted to grant them peace, prosperity and blessings. If His people disobeyed His covenant and turned away from their Lawgiver, His power would be exerted to destroy them as is attested in Dt. 28:63. So awesome and terrible was the scene on the mount that Moses exclaimed:
“I am full of fear and trembling” (Heb. 12:21).
The people feared so greatly that they exclaimed:
“if we hear the voice of Yahveh our God any longer, then we will die.” (Dt. 5:25)
Truly, the impression Yahveh desired was made, and the people said to Moses:
“Go near and hear all that Yahveh our God says; then speak to us all that Yahveh our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.” (Dt. 5:27)
To reverence the Holy One, His Word and ordinances is to fear Him with respect, esteem and affection.
The Marriage Rite
Yahveh told Moses:
“Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am Yahveh, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am Yahveh your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” (Ex. 6:6, 7)
At Mount Sinai, Yahveh had “taken Israel for His people.” A spiritual marriage was performed and Israel became wife to her Husband, Yahveh. Isaiah wrote:
“For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is Yahveh of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.” (Isa.54:5, 6)
The Ten Commandments served as the marriage contract, and the people collectively agreed to “hear and do” all that was written in the covenant. It is not without significance that at the very outset His covenant command to His bride was “You shall have no other gods before (lit. besides) Me”… “for I, Yahveh your God, am a jealous God…” (Ex. 20: 3, 5) However, soon after, the wife committed spiritual adultery, her Husband’s jealousy was aroused and He became hurt and angry. “Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them…” (Ex. 32:10a) Israel’s blessings and curses for obedience and disobedience to the principle of love for Yahveh and His covenant were written out respectively in Deuteronomy Ch. 27 – 31 and Leviticus 26.
Love and Law
The people were to carefully observe all the words of the Law which was not “too difficult” for them, nor was it “out of their reach.” (Dt. 30:11) His covenant was to be held as a sacred trust not only for their benefit, but for the entire world based on the people’s love for the Lawgiver, Yahveh. (Dt. 6:5; 11:1, 13, 22; 30:6, 16, 20) This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said:
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Rom. 13:10)
One’s love for God and for mankind, in that order, will not deliberately sin against God and neighbor, but instead desire to please and do good deeds. To clarify, remaining or abiding in the state of love for God, one would not intentionally transgress His Commands, thus, the whole Law (Commandments) are herein comprehended or fulfilled. Fulfillment, though, does not mean abrogation. Living in obedience to His commandments based on the principle of love is what James described as “fulfilling the Royal Law.” (Js. 2:8)
Many assume Paul and James taught the Law was no longer necessary and, therefore, obsolete simply because all the Law requires is “love.” This is an oversimplification of one’s responsibility to keep the “just requirements of the Law.” (Rom. 8:4) On the contrary, Paul and James are asserting that love for God and man is the summation, the gist, of what the Law is teaching:
“The whole of the Law and the Prophets is summed up in these two Commandments” (Matt. 22:40, Weymouth NT)
Furthermore, obedience to His commandments based on the principle of love, is to live in true freedom under the “perfect Law, the Law of liberty.” (Js. 1:26):
“Hear, O Israel! Yahveh is our God, Yahveh is one! You shall love Yahveh your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Dt. 6:4, 5)
“…you shall love your neighbor as yourself…” (Lev. 19:18b)
All disobedience to any of Yahveh’s commands begins with the violation of the principle of love for Yahveh and love for neighbor.
The Two Time Phrases and Phases
Just before the second generation of Israel was about to enter the Land promised to them, Yahveh, in His foreknowledge informed Moses that His people would, in time, forsake Him and break His covenant that He made with them (Dt. 31:16). Moses, without timidity, said:
“For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you…” (Dt. 31:29a)
This apostasy occurred shortly after the death of Joshua and that generation:
“Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yahveh, died at the age of one hundred and ten… All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know Yahveh, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. (Jud. 2:8, 10)
Just before Joshua’s death, in his farewell address:
“ Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders and their heads and their judges and their officers, and said to them, “I am old, advanced in years… Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which Yahveh your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed. It shall come about that just as all the good words which Yahveh your God spoke to you have come upon you, so Yahveh will bring upon you all the threats, until He has destroyed you from off this good land which Yahveh your God has given you. When you transgress the covenant of Yahveh your God, which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of Yahveh will burn against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which He has given you.” (Jos. 23:2; 14-24)
These threats and promised destruction came against Israel and Judah on several occasions during the times of the Judges and Kings which finally resulted in Assyrian and then later Babylonian captivity.
A significant point found in Moses’ farewell address should be noted:
“For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of Yahveh, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.” (Dt. 31:29)
There are two time phrases expressed in this verse.
The time Israel would “act corruptly and turn from the way” fulfilled as mentioned above; and
“the latter days” in which evil would befall Israel “for provoking Him to anger with the work of (their) hands.”
The term “latter days” always refer to latter days in connection with the nation Israel. The writer to the Hebrews and Apostle Peter explained the “last days” as that segment of time of the days of Yahshua’s ministry. (Heb. 1:1, 2; I Pet. 1:20) Therefore, Moses prophesied that this evil would befall Israel during the generation in which Yahshua ministered. This was the generation that “provoked Yahveh to anger” by nailing Yahshua to the cross “by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” (Acts 2:22, 23)
The gravity of the last words Moses spoke before he died was to be earnestly heeded:
“Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this Law. For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life.” (Dt. 32:46-47a)
Moses warned the people knowing that if they failed to live according to Yahveh’s commands, they would subject themselves to the severity of God, His strict justice (Rom. 11:22).
If You Break My Covenant
“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” (Noah Webster)
The prophet Habakkuk prayed, “O Yahveh… in wrath remember mercy.” (Hab. 3:2) Yahveh is merciful and gracious even during times of judgment. His warnings and judgment serves disciplinary and redemptive purposes. But when any people refuse to reform their ways, judgments will be sent in progression, and then will increase in intensity. Note this principle in the following excerpt from Leviticus.
(First Recourse and Summons):
14 ‘But if you do not obey Me and do not carry out all these commandments,
15 if, instead, you reject My statutes, and if your soul abhors My ordinances so as not to carry out all My commandments, and so break My covenant, (“marriage” contract)
16 I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror, consumption and fever that will waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you will sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies will eat it up.
17 I will set My face against you so that you will be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you.
(Second Recourse and Summons):
18 If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
19 I will also break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze.
20 Your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce and the trees of the land will not yield their fruit.
(Third Recourse and Summons):
21 ‘If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins.
22 I will let loose among you the beasts of the field, which will bereave you of your children and destroy your cattle and reduce your number so that your roads lie deserted.
(Fourth Recourse and Summons):
23 ‘And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with hostility against Me,
24 then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins.
25 I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant; and when you gather together into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands.
26 When I break your staff of bread, ten women will bake your bread in one oven, and they will bring back your bread in rationed amounts, so that you will eat and not be satisfied.
(Fifth Recourse and Summons):
27 ‘Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me,
28 then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins.
29 Further, you will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you will eat.
30 I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you.
31 I will lay waste your cities as well and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your soothing aromas.
32 I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled over it.
(The Consequence of their Failure to Reform):
33 You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste.
34 ‘Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
35 All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it.
36 As for those of you who may be left, I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall.
37 They will therefore stumble over each other as if running from the sword, although no one is pursuing; and you will have no strength to stand up before your enemies.
38 But you will perish among the nations, and your enemies’ land will consume you.
39 So those of you who may be left will rot away because of their iniquity in the lands of your enemies; and also because of the iniquities of their forefathers they will rot away with them.
Yahveh foretold the exact details of the chain of national calamities and ruin that would happen to His people before Israel would finally fall and be conquered by her enemies. Yahveh would execute vengeance for contempt of His corrections, His covenant, and, ultimately, for contempt of Yahveh Himself.
Revelation Chapter 4
“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.” (Rev. 4:1-3)
After writing messages to the Seven Churches of Asia, a Voice invited John to look upon a scene in heaven that depicted a judicial courtroom session. The Voice that invited him in was the Voice of the “Son of Man,” Yahshua. (Rev. 1:10-13; 4:1) John’s own words, “Immediately, I was in the Spirit” (Rev. 4:2) was the only way in which it was possible to gain access into the throne room. John’s attention was captured when he saw a throne “standing in heaven,” that is, the throne was specially appointed or “set.”
The Throne was set for a Judge. Isaiah wrote:
“For Yahveh is our Judge, Yahveh is our Lawgiver, Yahveh is our King.” (Isa. 33:22)
Just as Moses and the people of Israel witnessed their Judge, Lawgiver and King give His righteous and Holy laws to His people for their good (Dt. 4:40), so now John was to witness the unfolding of Yahveh’s vengeance on the Land of Judea for the violation of that same Holy Covenant.
John described Yahveh as a “jasper stone” which was more likely a diamond “clear as crystal.” (Rev. 21:11) It spoke of the Judge’s transparency and purity in His judgment. “Sardius” or carnelian was another stone used to describe the Judge. Sardius is a deep red-colored stone depicting judgment and blood. John also saw an “emerald” colored rainbow around the throne. The rainbow is the sign of Yahveh’s faithfulness to His covenant (Gen. 9:13-17) and its color green, is symbolic of grace and hope. Though Yahveh is a God of grace, peace and faithfulness, He is also a God of judgment, for His holiness and righteousness demands justice.
The 24 Elders
“Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.” (Rev. 4:4)
Yahshua once told His disciples:
“Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne (or “throne of His glory”), you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matt. 19:28)
The 24 thrones were most likely representative of the 12 sons (tribes) of Israel and the 12 Apostles of Yahshua. Both groups were called “elders” in Scripture. These men were given official and spiritual authority (Acts 15:12; Num. 11:14, 16, 25; Ps. 122:3-5; Dan. 7:9, 10). The elder’s “white garments” is symbolic of their imputed righteousness and holiness which qualified them to be in the Holy throne room and near the throne. Their “golden crowns” identifies their spiritual position to serve as subordinate “kings and priests” (Rev. 5:10), and also typifies an award of virtue as Paul mentions “the crown of righteousness which the righteous Judge” awards. (II Tim. 4:7, 8) These elders had served as witness, jury, and subordinate judges who rendered a verdict.
The Awesome Scene
“Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.” (Rev. 5, 6)
When Yahveh gave the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, His people were purposely made to be affected and their minds and hearts impressed with the upheaval of the earthquake, thick cloud, loud shofar sounds, lightning flashes, loud peals of thunder, fire and the powerful voice of Yahveh, that the people said:
“Behold, Yahveh our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives.” (Dt. 5:24)
His covenant (law) was given to His people as a matter of life or death:
“So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am Yahveh.” (Lev. 18:5)
John described almost the same identical scene in heaven as Moses described at Mount Sinai.
Note the following comparisons:
Ex. 24:1 with Rev. 4:1: Both Moses and Apostle John were commanded to ascend; “Come up here…”
Ex. 24:1 with Rev. 4:4: “Elders” were present.
Rev. 4:5a with Ex. 19:16: Lightning flashes, thunder, fire, etc.
Rev. 4:5b with Ex. 19:18; Dan. 7:9, 10: Fire engulfs the presence of Yahveh.
Rev. 4:6a with Ex. 24:10: Pavement of sapphire and sea of glass.
Rev. 4:6b-8 with Ezek. 1:10, 11; Isa. 6:2, 3, 8-11; Dt. 33:2; Gal. 3:19: Living creatures (holy ones), heavenly or possibly angelic creatures were present.
The similarities of events at Mount Sinai and the vision of Apostle John in Revelation undoubtedly indicate that a day of reckoning and judgment was about to be executed upon this people for breach of the Holy Covenant. As was stated earlier, the power they witnessed at the giving of the Law, for their own good, would be the same power exerted to destroy.
The Four Living Creatures
“The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is Yahveh God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever.” (Rev. 4:7, 8)
John saw four living beings around the throne which were similar to beings that the prophet Ezekiel saw in a vision while in exile in Babylon. They were no doubt heavenly beings though they were not referred to as angels, but “creatures” or “beings.” Their features are described as one “was like a lion,” one “like a calf,” one “having the face as of a man,” and the last “like an eagle flying.” Interestingly, these beings shared a particular characteristic that was descriptive of Yahshua as depicted in the Four Gospels;
The kingly lion – Yahshua as the Son of God in Matthew
The calf or ox – Yahshua as the Servant in Mark
The man-faced creature – Yahshua as Son of Man in Luke
The eagle – Yahshua as the Messiah in John
Heavenly beings were very closely associated in the ministry of Yahshua from His birth to His death, and even during His ascension. These creatures project by their appearance the life and ministry of Yahshua.
When Moses was commanded to make every article of the earthly sanctuary (Tabernacle), he was instructed and warned to make everything according to “the pattern which was shown him” on account of they were to be copies and shadows of “heavenly things” – the reality (Heb. 8:5).
Instructions were given to make the veil to serve as the partition between the Holy Place in which the High Priest ministered daily and the Holiest Place where the High Priest ministered once a year on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:2). Moses was to make the veil with blue, purple and scarlet material, and to incorporate cherubim woven into the fabric. This was done by skillful workmen headed by the craftsman Betzalel, whose name means “in the shadow of El (God)” (Ex. 36:8). Following Yahveh’s “blueprints” Betzalel made every earthly article as copies and shadows of the true Tabernacle in heaven (Ex. 25:8, 9, 40; Heb. 8:5).
The veil of the Tabernacle and later the Temple served as a partition to conceal the Ark of the Covenant. Shortly after David was installed as king:
“David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriathjearim, which belongs to Judah, to bring up from their the Ark of God, Yahveh who is enthroned above the cherubim, where His Name is called.” (I Chron. 13:6)
The Ark was where the Presence of Yahveh would meet and speak to the High Priest from between the two cherubim (Ex. 25:22). The veil sectioned off the ark to keep out all people, including all priests. It typified the inaccessibility of man to approach the Holy God of Israel, except, as mentioned, the High Priest.
The cherubim incorporated into the veil depict the close association of heavenly beings with the Son of God. Cherubim serve as a “royal guard” before the presence of Yahveh on the throne, just as the 12 lions on the six steps of Solomon’s extraordinary throne represented the 12 tribes as guardians of the throne (I Kings 10:18-20).
The writer of the Book of Hebrews wrote:
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Yahshua, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.” (Heb. 10:19-20)
At the crucifixion, Matthew said Yahshua cried out in a loud voice upon the cross, and as soon as He yielded up His spirit and died, “… the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matt. 27:51). This phenomenon occurred to signify to humanity that all may pass the “royal guard” and “veil” and enter the presence of Yahveh by faith, and would not be denied entry if the blood of the Lamb was applied to one’s heart.
It was for this reason Yahshua told Thomas; “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) It was only through the veil of His flesh.
Angels were present at Sinai when the Covenant of the Torah was given, thus angels would be sent to execute Yahveh’s Judgments on Jerusalem for their violation of the Covenant, as Stephen had attested when he scathingly spoke to the Sanhedrin:
“You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.” (Acts 7:51-53)
The 24 Elders Worship
“The twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Rev. 4:10-11)
When John saw the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Yahveh, the 24 elders fall down before Yahveh, and worship and cast their crowns before the throne. Removing of the elder’s crowns and casting them before Yahveh expressed their subordination and acknowledgement that all the rewards they earned for their faithfulness, obedience and labor was due unto Yahveh alone, and to Him be the glory and adoration as expressed by the elders with these words:
“Worthy are You, O Yahveh and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Rev. 4:11)
Though the heavenly scene progresses with Yahveh’s intent of executing His divine judgments upon Jerusalem, “the Great City,” (Rev. 11:8; 17:18) the heavenly jury of elders acknowledge the One on the throne would receive glory, honor and power to pour out His judgments upon His creation who had “corrupted themselves” as their forefathers had. As the elders worshipped the One on the throne, no scepter was seen in His hand, but only a scroll containing the verdict and judgments for Israel’s crimes and guilt.
Yahveh was about to hand over the scroll containing the judgments to the Lamb.
Revelation Chapter 5
The Right Hand
“I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.” (Rev. 5:1)
The following verses, from the Book of Psalms, clearly indicate in poetic form that the Right Hand and holy Arm of Yahveh represents His mighty power to execute His will and prevail victoriously.
You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted. (Psa. 89:13)
O sing to Yahveh a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. (Psa. 98:1)
The right hand of Yahveh is exalted; The right hand of Yahveh does valiantly. (Psa. 118:16)
When Israel crossed the Red Sea, and Pharaoh and his entire army were destroyed as “they went down into the depths like a stone,” Israel exclaimed:
“Your right hand, O Yahveh, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O Yahveh, shatters the enemy” (Ex. 15:6).
This was the same holy right Hand of “majestic power” in which lay a scroll sealed with seven seals that was beheld by the eyes of Apostle John (Rev. 5:1).
The Criminal and the Crime
Yahveh’s Sanhedrin, His tribunal, was in process. A guilty verdict was reached and the Judge’s sentence was in the Hand of the One on the throne. Jerusalem was on trial for her many crimes. Jerusalem was allegorically the “woman” who, in the past, committed sins and whose crimes were recorded by “eyewitnesses.” Ezekiel recorded these in Chapter 16. Jeremiah recorded them in Chapter 3, and in mourning for her, wrote his Lamentations. The Apostle John is now witnessing the sentencing of this same woman who was guilty of the same sins – adultery and harlotry against her Husband, the Holy One of Israel.
A Kingdom of Priests
At Mount Sinai, three months after Yahveh delivered the people of Israel from Egyptian bondage, Yahveh spoke to Moses saying:
“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.” (Ex. 19:4-6)
Yahveh called Israel to be a distinct people for a special purpose:
“For you are a holy people to Yahveh your God; Yahveh your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” (Dt. 7:6)
Israel was to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation governed by Yahveh’s two “tablets of the covenant,” along with “the testimonies and statutes and ordinances which Moses spoke to the sons of Israel.” (Dt. Ch. 5) Though Israel was to be a kingdom of priests, that is, all were to represent priests based on the foundation of love and obedience to Yahveh and His Torah (law), yet throughout Israel’s history, certain generations violated His covenant and suffered the consequences.
The Living Covenant
A Torah teacher tested Yahshua by asking:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Torah (Law)?” (Mt. 22:36)
Yahshua’s answer was to love Yahveh with all of one’s heart, soul and mind, and the second, to love one’s neighbor as oneself. These two, Yahshua said, were the great and foremost commandments. These commandments are not mentioned in the Ten Commandments, but as Yahshua explained, they were the summation of the covenant, the two tablets; love for God and love for man. The two categories were: commandments directed toward God (one to four), and commandments in relation to fellow man (five to ten).
Yahshua as the Living Covenant, the Word made flesh, was the only man who truly, fully and perfectly loved and obeyed the will of His heavenly Father, and who truly, fully and perfectly loved all of humanity and committed no sin (II Cor. 5:21). “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (I Jn. 1:8)
Yahveh prophesied in various places about a Servant, a Chosen One to come:
“I am Yahveh, I have called You in righteousness,
I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.” (Isa. 42:6, 7)
Yahshua the Messiah was that Servant of Yahveh, the Chosen One, whom the Father sent. Yahveh appointed the Son to be, in Himself, not only the mediator (Priest) of the covenant, but the Covenant. He was the embodiment of the covenant; the sum and substance of it, “the Word made flesh.” Yahveh made Yahshua to be the Living Covenant of whom John said:
“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life.” (I John 1:1)
However, at Golgotha the Living Covenant was “touched” by the hands of the ungodly. The unbelieving people, as they stood mocking the Servant, the Chosen One, the Living Covenant to the people of Israel, sneered and said:
“He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Messiah of God, His Chosen One.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” (Luke 23:35-37)
The Son of God, the Living Covenant, was literally broken, as when Moses, who took the tablets and shattered them at the “foot of the mountain,” typifying that His people broke the covenant. Scripture says both tablets were written on both sides and:
“The tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets.” (Ex. 32:16).
Yahshua, the Living Covenant, was and is the Word of Yahveh on all sides of His Being, the work of the Heavenly Father. Yahshua said:
“I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law (Torah) is within my heart.”
I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation (Israel);
Behold, I will not restrain my lips,
O Yahveh, You know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.” (Psa. 40:8-10).
Behold what the Living Torah had done for the people of Israel, and all gentiles who were given His light! However, at this juncture in history, both Jew and gentile were not only repudiating the Living Covenant for the people, but were destroying It!
Herod tried to “destroy” the Living Covenant when Yahshua was a child. (Mt. 2:13) The Pharisees, along with the Herodians, tried to “destroy” Him. (Mark 3:6) The Chief Priests and the Scribes sought to “destroy Him.” (Mark 11:8) And finally, on Passover, the Living Covenant, as the Passover Lamb, was destroyed. Though the Lamb was slain by the hands of godless men, yet in the infinite wisdom of the Father and in His mysterious divine will, “it pleased Yahveh to make the Lamb an offering for sin” (Isa. 53-10b).
“For truly in this city (Jerusalem) there were gathered together against Your holy servant Yahshua, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined beforehand to occur.” (Acts 4:27, 28)
The God Who Keeps Covenant
Nehemiah said of Yahveh that He was “the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness…” (Neh. 9:32a) When His people obey His covenant, He is faithful to keep the covenant and bless His people. When His people “break” the “two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant,” (Dt. 9:11) He is faithful to keep the covenant and curse His people with the curses of which He had forewarned them. He had set before them “life and prosperity, and death and adversity,” (Dt. 30:15) and the choice was theirs.
On the other hand, though judgments are the consequence of rejecting Yahveh and His covenant, Yahveh repeatedly comforted His people with words of promise and provision to those who would incline their hearts back to Him. Throughout the ages there was always a faithful believing remnant that would do His will. (Cf. Lev. 26:40-45; Dt. Ch. 30)
The prophet Malachi prophesied:
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says Yahveh of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch… Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible Day of Yahveh.” (Mal. 4:1, 5)
Malachi declared that “Elijah” would appear just before the great and terrible Day of Yahveh that would burn like a furnace. Yahshua explained to His disciples that the prophet Elijah was none other than John the Baptist (Matt. 17:10-13).
“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says Yahveh of hosts. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.” (Mal. 3:1, 2)
After the ministry of John and the Lord Yahshua, Malachi stated the Lord would suddenly come to His temple. The unique nature of the coming appears to be a coming in judgment for Malachi asks, “who can endure the Day of His Coming?” Isaiah also prophesied a similar coming of destruction against Babylon by the Medes (Isa. Ch. 13). The proscribed judgment would come on account of the degradation of society. Paul described how men in this generation would become corrupted. He told Timothy to “avoid such men as these” (II. Tim. Ch. 3)
Jerusalem, as in the past, was now in Yahshua’s time, an “unbelieving, perverted and adulterous generation” which prompted Yahshua to ask: “How long shall I put up with you.” (Mt. 16:14; 17:17) Jerusalem, in the days of “Elijah,” became as “Sodom” and “Babylon,” (Rev. 11:8; I. Pet. 5:13) and was, therefore, to be judged as “Sodom” and “Babylon.”
Jerusalem typified the woman “caught in adultery” who was “set in the center” of Yahveh’s Judgment Hall to be tried and judged by His Torah (Law). (John 8:3-5) Yahshua’s convicting question:
“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
No one did, for many were guilty of living lives of sin. The Scribes and the Pharisees were ready to stone the guilty woman, but Yahshua knew they already had innocent blood on their hands (Matt. 23:29-36; Rev. 18:24), and for this, Yahveh would fulfill and keep His covenant and “smite the Land with utter destruction.” (Mal. 4:6b)
“Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says Yahveh of hosts.” (Mal. 3:5)
That Evil Generation
When any people’s culture spirals downward into deep moral decay and society no longer lives by the godly standards and principles of Yahveh’s truth, that people will “receive in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” (Rom. 1:27) And we know that the judgment of Yahveh rightly falls upon those who practice sin. (Rom. 2:2) However, Yahveh is longsuffering, kind and tolerant only because by manifesting these virtues, man may be led to repentance. (Rom. 2:4) Nevertheless, when the heart of man exhibits continued stubbornness and unrepentance, he stores up wrath for himself in the Day of Wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. (Rom. 2:5)
Yahshua spoke to a crowd and described that generation like a man who was demon-possessed, then delivered, but later became worse, for seven more demons inhabited his “house” (body). Yahshua prophesied what would be the future condition of that generation after He ascended to His Father. Addressing that crowd He said:
“That is the way it will be also with this generation.” (Mt. 12:43-45)
Sadly, for that reason, that evil generation, the house of Israel, was to be judged for breach of the Covenant of Yahveh, and for rejecting the “Living Covenant.”
Who is Worthy?
“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Rev. 5:2-5)
As John gazed at the One who sat as Judge on the throne holding the scroll, a strong angel proclaimed loudly enough for all heaven and earth and under the earth to hear:
“Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” (Rev. 5:2, 3)
As John waited for someone to answer he began to weep greatly for no one was found worthy to answer the call. The angel’s proclamation of “who is worthy” disqualified all in heaven and earth because the “worthiness” was measured against the scale of Yahveh’s standard of worth, and all fall short.
The Lion and the Root
John was soon comforted by one of the elders who encouraged him to stop weeping because all knew who the worthy One was. He who sat on the throne was worthy (the Father), (Rev. 4:11) and the One referred to as the “Lion from the tribe of Judah” and the “Root of David” was worthy because he had “overcome.” (Rev. 5:5)
The prophets used the lion as a figurative expression for strength, kingliness and ferocity as when Yahveh would judge nations. (Cf. Jer. 25:30; Joel 3:16) The “root of David” refers to Isaiah’s prophesy of a Righteous Branch who would “judge in righteousness and fairness” and would “strike the land (eretz) with the rod of His mouth and with the breath of His lips slay the wicked.” (Isa. 11:1-5)
These familiar titles John understood very well, knowing they were accorded to His Master and Savior, Yahshua the Messiah. For this purpose this description of Yahshua was spoken by the elder who comforted John as he wept.
The Lamb Standing
“And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.” (Rev. 5:6-7)
As John surveyed this holy chamber, an unusually looking lamb caught his eye standing near the throne and of the elders. It appeared as if it had been slain. It had seven horns and seven eyes. In apocalyptic language, Yahshua is described as the Lamb of God, having complete and full power and authority represented by the horns, whose eyes scrutinizes the inner thoughts of all men throughout the earth or Land. He would be the One to execute the just judgments against His rebellious people and pour out His Wrath, known as the “Wrath of the Lamb.” (Rev. 6:6)
Again, the elder’s explanation that qualified the Lamb to open the scroll and break the seals was Yahshua’s “overcoming.” To clarify, the writer to the Hebrews explained that since Yahshua became flesh, died and resurrected, He overcame death and overcame Satan who had the power of death. (Heb. 2:14, 15) Therefore, He only was and is qualified to be Savior and the Redeemer of man. For this reason, John saw the Lamb as having been slain, but yet standing alive.
John, the only Gospel writer who typified Yahshua as the “Lamb” of Yahveh, witnessed in his visions the Lamb approaching the throne and taking the scroll out of the “right hand of Him who sat on the throne.” Without doubt, this action is of great significance. To be sure, the one and only Being worthy to confidently approach the One on the throne, the Father, and boldly take the scroll would be the Son, for only He would be worthy to execute the just judgments upon the Land.
The Elders Worship
“When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Rev. 5:8)
Again, when the strong angel made the proclamation throughout heaven and earth, John waited in quiet anticipation to see someone respond. There was, for a short while, no one found worthy to open the scroll and break its seals. When the Lamb approached to take the scroll, it set off a chain reaction of heavenly worship and adoration throughout heaven. The elders fell down before the Lamb in worship each carrying a harp, a worship symbol to glorify the Lamb for His worthiness. (Psa. 57:7-11) Along with their harps, the elders held golden bowls full of incense, which represents the prayers of the saints (believers). (Rev. 5:8)
The kind of prayers they possessed is shown in Rev. 6:10:
“and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Master, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the Land?”
These prayers were the prayers of martyrs. They were received, regarded and held in remembrance by the Lamb just as the “tears” of the righteous are also held in remembrance. (Psa. 56:8) During the Lamb’s ministry, He said:
“so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be required against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be required against this generation.’” (Luke 11:50, 51)
The record of the blood of Abel is found in Genesis (the beginning). The blood of Zechariah is recorded in II Chronicles (the end of the Hebrew Scriptures). Yahshua was intimating that the blood of all the righteous prophets, from beginning to end, would be charged against the wicked generation who were living at the time of the Scribes and Pharisees.
The golden bowls or vials represent the hearts of the martyrs that had been tested by fiery trials and persecution, and were purified as to their faith. (I Pet. 1:7-9) Their hearts (bowls) contained the prayers of righteous vengeance for their shed blood.
The New Song
“And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (Rev. 5:9)
John then saw the 24 elders sing a new song, a song unheard before. They acknowledged the worthiness of the Lamb to take the scroll for shedding His blood, the mighty work of redemption to purchase the souls of people. He was the Passover Lamb who took away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7)
The once oppressed, afflicted Lamb who was silent before slaughter, now “had made purification of sins,… then sat down at the Right Hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb. 1:3b) Because of this finished work of salvation, the new song could be sung.
They Reign on Earth
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” (Rev. 5:10)
The Elders also exclaimed that the Lamb made His redeemed people “a kingdom and priests to their God; and they will reign upon the earth.” (Rev. 5:10) Other translations translate this phrase “and they reign on earth,” indicating they reigned on earth at that time. The elders’ exclamation is identical with the statement Yahveh made to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai. (Ex. 19:6)
The Apostle Paul said:
“those receiving the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through One, Yahshua Messiah.” (Rom. 5:17b)
Paul, here, is asserting that when one receives salvation one begins the process of reigning by means of ruling over one’s own life on earth by the power of the One who redeems from death, for sin no longer is master. (Rom. 6:14a)
Whether there is a spiritual reign of believers on earth or a literal physical reign of believers over others is not quite clear, in this highly parabolic and symbolic Book of Revelation. Though it is symbolic, it is nevertheless, truth.
A Footstool for Your Feet
The Apostle Peter, on the Feast of Shavu’ot (Pentecost) interpreted the promise made by Yahveh to King David regarding one of his descendants to rule forever on His throne. He explained Yahshua’s resurrection, ascension into heaven and His exaltation to the Right Hand of God the Father to rule and reign as fulfillment of this promise.
Yahveh spoke to the Son “Sit at My Right Hand.” Moreover, He added “Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” (Acts 2:29-36) At this point, Peter’s audience was, “pierced to the heart” and asked what shall we do? (Acts 2:37) Many within his audience were terrified of being under the feet of the One who was about to “tread the great wine press of the Wrath of God.” (Rev. 14:19)
The Scripture says concerning Peter:
“And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved (or escape) from this perverse generation!” (Acts 2:40)
Yahshua prophesied that He, using Peter as the instrument, would “build upon” or “add” to the already existing church, and astoundingly 3,000 souls were added to His Body. (Mt. 16:18) “These souls now began their “reign in life, through One – Yahshua Messiah.” (A picture of this “life” of His own people can be read in Acts 2:43-47.)
When Peter exclaimed to his audience, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation,” he foresaw judgment coming upon the existing generation, and exhorted them to flee to the One who would be their refuge and life, lest they remain “enemies, a footstool for His feet.”
The Angels Worship
“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Rev. 5:11, 12)
Returning to the Scene in Heaven, John witnessed, in the Spirit, the praises emanating from the lips of the redeemed men, the elders. He then heard loud praises breaking forth from the angelic realm. Both groups, elders and angels, began their praises and worship acknowledging the Lamb as “worthy to take the scroll.” The group of elders gave the redemption of men as their reason for considering the Lamb worthy to receive adoration.
The angels make no mention of the redemption of man. Instead they declare with assurance that the Lamb who was slain was worthy to receive a sevenfold blessing, and that these things should be ascribed to the Lamb as reward from His Father for accomplishing the plan of salvation. He is worthy to receive “the power, riches, wisdom, might, honor, glory and blessing.” Yahshua, already possessed power, wisdom and might in His nature, received honor, glory and blessing now that His work was accomplished.
The writer to Hebrews wrote of the exaltation of the Son:
“but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.” (Heb. 10:12-13)
Just as Jonah “made a shelter for himself and sat under its shade until he could see what would happen in the city” (of Nineveh) (Jon. 4:5), so likewise the Son after His ascension waited to see what would become of His beloved city, Jerusalem.
One must recall that a heavenly hymn is being sung by various groups who are “performing” or maneuvering as each take part in their role in giving praise to the Lamb for taking the Scroll. The Song of Solomon, a song of poetry with similar construction, is an aria in which the characters express their emotions in a melodic style. The Song of Solomon typifies the mutual love relationship Yahveh the Father has for His bride, Israel, and to expand, the same love Yahshua the Son has for the same bride consisting of Jew and Gentile. (See Eph. 3:6; Rom 11:17, 18, 25-17) But, at this point in time, the bride had become an “adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband!” (Ezek. 16:32)
The Collective Worship
“And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” (Rev. 5:13)
As John witnesses the scene in the Holy of Holies, the throne room, the heavenly doxology reaches a crescendo as the third group join in with their adoration of the Lamb and of the One who sits on the throne. The Heavenly Father and Yahshua the Lamb are exalted together equally receiving praise and exaltation:
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” (Rev. 5:13)
Yahveh has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.
Bless Yahveh, you His angels,
Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
Obeying the voice of His word!
Bless Yahveh, all you His hosts,
You who serve Him, doing His will.
Bless Yahveh, all you works of His,
In all places of His dominion;
Bless Yahveh, O my soul! (Psa. 103:19-22)
As it is written, every created thing exalted Yahveh the Judge and King, and the worthy Lamb who will be the executioner to open up the scroll, break its seven seals and commission His angels of judgment to pour forth the divine wrath upon His disobedient people.
“to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness” (will experience) “wrath and indignation” (Rom. 2:8).
As Yahveh’s right hand shattered Pharaoh and his army (Ex. 15:6), with sword in hand His arm was about to be stretched out over Jerusalem as in the days of King David. (I Chron. 21:16; see also Dt. 32:41)
The Seven Sealed Scroll
It is helpful to return to Revelation 5:1 to note that the scroll that John saw was “written on both sides and sealed with seven seals.” This suggests the judgments contained within would be full-measured and comprehensive. It was similar to the flying scroll Zechariah saw in a vision that contained curses “written on both sides.” (Zech. 5:1-4) As the tablets of the Holy Commandments were written on “both sides” for good, so His curses would be in full measure, for evil. The seven seals correspond to what Yahveh had forewarned Israel during the days of Moses when the covenant was given. Again, note these warnings from Leviticus:
“If also after these things you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
‘If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins.
‘And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins.
‘Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins.” (Lev. 26:18, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28)
Paul warned believers in the first century regarding their disobedient, unbelieving and rebellious brethren whose bodies fell in the wilderness:
“Now these things happened as examples for us (Paul and his audience), so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved… Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (I Cor. 10:6, 11)
The “end of the ages” had come for this remarkable epoch of woe in which Yahshua forewarned and prophesied to His people:
“Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the Land (Israel) and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21: 23, 24)
When Yahshua rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees for their sins and hypocrisy, He stated:
“You are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.” (Mt. 23:31-32)
Yahveh has a “measuring cup” He keeps for all nations. This cup contains the collective guilt and sins of a nation’s people. When it reaches its fullness, the cup is transformed into a cup of wrath and judgment which is then poured onto the nation. Then the Land will “vomit out” its sinful people and would be conquered by another nation. (Lev. 18:24-30; 26:32-33)
“And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Rev. 5:14)
As the worship reverberated throughout heaven and into the inner being of the Apostle John, the last piece of the movement in this heavenly concert was performed by the four majestic living creatures. “And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.” (Rev. 5:14)
“Amen” is a Hebrew word defined as “truly,” “verily,” “most assuredly,” and “so let it be.” Yahshua identified Himself as “the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Ruler of God’s creation” (Rev. 3:14). The four living creatures were in agreement in giving glory and praise to Father and Son as the Triune God would work together to “demonstrate His wrath and make His power known” upon the “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.” (Rom. 9:22) Recall that John saw seven lamps burning before the throne representing the Holy Spirit’s presence. (Rev. 4:5. See also Rev. 5:6) The Father, the Son and the Spirit would do this work in unison.
“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
Judgment would come and would not be thwarted. Just as Yahveh had spoken in the past regarding Jerusalem and Judah, so He would say again:
“I will remove Judah also from My sight, as I have removed Israel. And I will cast off Jerusalem, this city which I have chosen, and the temple of which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.’” (II Kings 23:27)
The “flying scroll” was going forth containing the curses and was about to enter the houses of men’s hearts that did not have the blood of the Lamb applied.
Words From Our Past
On April 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
And Thomas Jefferson said:
“Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
The people Apostle Paul spoke of as their examples in I. Cor. 10 are also for any generation and nation so that people will not crave evil things.
The new song was sung, heard, and the heavenly drama witnessed by John, was concluded. However, the Lion from the tribe of Judah has roared!
“A lion has roared! Who will not fear?” (Amos 3:8)
“Now consider this, you who forget God, Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.” (Psa. 50:22)
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is about to break the seven sealed scroll, and the next scene is about to begin…
“May Yahveh bless you and keep you, may Yahveh make His face shine on you and show you His favor, may Yahveh lift up His face towards you and give you Shalom.”Google+