Revelation 5

Revelation 5 Devotions
by Pastor Mark Hudson

How do you understand the structure of book of Revelation?  I will propose a way that I will approach understanding this book.  But, just like truths in Christianity, this approach in controverted.  You and I can differ over baptism, the Lord’s Supper, end times, and still be in fellowship without dismissing the other’s views.  In fact, all truth is controverted and the church has and continues to argue and debate.  That is not a bad thing.   We can dispute, defend our position, and expose weaknesses in other’s views but in charity and love.

Here is the way I will follow in my comments.  The book is 7 parallel sections: the sections are as follow: 1-3, 4-7; 8-11; 12-14: 15-16; 17-19; 20-21

This way of looking at the book differs from how some people read this book.  Many people think we should read Revelation chronologically.  After all, that is how we read many books.  But this approach sees each section covering the same duration of time.  So at the end of our section 7:15-17, the scene is in heaven at the end of time.  You will see this same ending in 11:15-19.  Each of these seven sections run parallel to each other; almost repeating the time frame 7 times.

The big idea in 4-7 is that God’s rule is absolute and universal with a focus on the church in tribulation.  Once again, I remind you that the latter days, the end times are often spoken of in the first century.  So, everyone, after the resurrection of Christ could Biblically say they are living in the last days.   In chapter 4, Gods throne is described.  God’s throne is in the center with 7 circles of beings or objects surrounding God the Father.   This glorious sight takes up all of chapter 4, the first chapter in this second cycle.

In chapter 5, the focus is on the Lamb as the only one worthy to take the scroll and open it –  He only opens the scroll in chapter 7:1.  This scroll “represents God’s eternal plans, His decree which is all-comprehensive.  It symbolizes God’s purpose with respect to the entire universe throughout history, concerning all creatures in all ages and to all eternity.”  (Hendriksen p. 89).  The scroll is sealed so unless it is unsealed, God’s purposes and plan will be unrealized.   To unseal the scroll means to not only reveal but the carry out God’s plan. (Ibid.)

When the elder speaks about Christ He is called “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David,” but when Johns sees Christ, Johns sees a “Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God.”   We know Christ is both.

While this may not be easy for us to understand, if we are interpreting this correctly, what this book is teaching is in concert with what the entire Bible proclaims. God is sovereign.  Our God is in the heavens, he does all that he pleases.  Ps 115:3.  Our Paul in Romans 9:15, For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

The Bible was not written for U.S. citizens in the midst of Covid-19.  It was written to that first century audience but the truth this chapter proclaims is a great aid to the first century readers and every Christian in every part of the world since then.  What a comfort to know that God is on the throne when we experience loss of our dreams or endure difficult times of uncertainty.  This truth is not for the first century believers only.  God’s sovereignty is not only for U.S. citizens in 2020.  Rather this truth is for all believers everywhere and at all times.

For those who are younger, you may not appreciate this as much as when you get older.  But it should matter to you that who your parents are, where you live, what you look like, how tall or short you are, who your friends are all part of God’s plan for you.

Yet the best part of God’s plan is how he chose to redeem you.  The 4 living creatures and the elders sing, “for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

My hope is that you worship Christ with humility, awe, and respect.  If you are redeemed, you will be in heaven and think you have never experiences humility before.  You will see how majestic, how glorious, and how awe inspiring Christ is.  You will realize you never had a clue while you were on earth, how great Christ truly is.  O, what a sight that will be.