The Lamb, The Scroll & the Seals: Judgment Begins

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage is found in the sixth and seventh chapter of this prophetic book. “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts, saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Revelation 6:1-2).

 

            “And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was read: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword” (Revelation 6:3-4).

 

            “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see, And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of what for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine” (Revelation 6:5-6).

 

            “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:7-8).

 

            “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (Revelation 6:9-11).

 

            “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand” (Revelation 6:12-17).

 

            “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Rueben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Isaachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand” (Revelation 7:1-8).

 

            “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:9-17).

 

            When you come to the sixth and seventh chapters of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will find the continuation of events which took place in heaven. Perhaps one of the greatest truths that is found within this prophetic book is when you consider the tremendous influence of the events which transpired on the earth being directly influenced and impacted by that which took place in heaven. You cannot read the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the transition which takes place within the vision the apostle John beheld and witnessed. In the first and opening chapter we find the introduction of the apostle John to this vision and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be in the first and opening chapter of this prophetic book we find the apostle John being exiled on the isle of Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be there on the isle of Patmos the apostle John would be in the spirit on the Lord’s day and while in the Spirit on the Lord’s day the apostle would hear a voice speaking behind him—a voice that would call and invite him to write down those things which he saw and heard. Not only this but the apostle John would also be instructed to write on a scroll those things which were, those things which are and those things which were to come.

 

            If you continue reading in the first and opening chapter of this prophetic book in the New Testament you will find that much like Moses turned aside to behold the sight of the bush burning with flames of fire although not being consumed so also would the apostle John turn to behold the voice of the one that was speaking unto him. It would be as the apostle John would indeed turn around and behold the One who spoke to him—the one whose voice was as the sound of a trumpet. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible this truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth that is found within this prophetic book—that which runs as the very heart and center of everything which takes place therein. In fact I would dare say that at the very heart and center of this book are two central themes which we must needs recognize and acknowledge—first and foremost the testimony, the vision and the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and secondly the events which transpired in heaven which would directly impact that which took place in the earth. It would be in the first chapter of this prophetic book we find two distinct elements of the vision and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ—that which the apostle John heard and that which the apostle John saw. The apostle John would initially hear a voice speaking to him which would cause him to turn around and behold the voice of the one who had spoken unto him. It would be as the apostle John turned around that he would behold the appearance of the One who had spoken to him—one whose appearance was unlike anything he had ever seen. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the first and opening chapter of this prophetic book concerning the revelation of Jesus Christ manifested in that which the apostle John heard, that which the apostle John saw and that which was spoken unto the apostle John:

 

            “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, What thou seest write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea” (Revelation 1:9-11).

 

            It is within these words we encounter the first element and manifestation of this revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ within the life of the apostle John for while in the Spirit on the Lord’s day he would hear behind him a great voice as it were as the sound of a trumpet. That voice which would speak to him would emphatically declare and proclaim that He was the Alpha and Omega and the first and the last. Not only this but the voice of the One which spoke unto him would instruct him to write what he saw in a book and send it unto the seven churches which were in Asia. This instruction would be the very heart and foundation of this prophetic book for everything that was contained therein would indeed be sent and delivered unto these seven churches and ultimately read among them in their midst. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely awesome and powerful truth surrounding this vision and revelation of the apostle John—one that centered upon the Lord Jesus Christ and the One He had walked with and followed for three and a half years in the person as He walked and dwelt among us as the Word made flesh and dwelt among us.

 

            If you continue reading the words which are found in the opening chapter of this prophetic book you will find the apostle John hearing the voice of the One who had spoken to him—one who had spoken words and made claims and declarations entirely and altogether different from anything he had heard while walking with and following the Lord Jesus during those three and a half years He dwelt among us as the Word made flesh. On this particular Lord’s day the apostle John would hear the voice of One speaking to him and proclaiming Himself to be the Alpha and the Omega and the first and the last. What’s more is that the voice of the One who had spoken to him would not only make two incredible declarations concerning Himself but would also give him very specific instruction. The instruction the apostle John was given was to write on a scroll or in a book that which he saw and send it unto the seven churches. It would be both the declaration and profession this One who spoke unto him had made as well as the instruction and command given unto the apostle John that would cause him to turn around that he might behold the voice and appearance of the One who had spoken unto him. Scripture is entirely unclear as to what the apostle John expected when he turned around to try and behold the appearance of the One who had spoken to him. We have absolutely no clue or inclination as to what went through the heart and mind of the apostle John when he turned around to try and behold the One who had just spoken unto him. The only thing we know from the scripture is that the apostle John turned around to try and behold the voice of the one who had indeed spoken unto him.

 

            Moving forward within the first chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ you will find the apostle John turning around and beholding One whose appearance was something unlike anything he had ever beheld or witnessed before. We know the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ was altered when he together with the apostles Peter and James were atop the mountain as Jesus was transfigured before them in their midst. We know that there atop the mountain Jesus’ appearance changed and He appeared to some degree and measure to be clothed in and with the glory he had with the Father from before the world began. It would be there upon the mountain of transfiguration the apostle John together with the apostles Peter and James would witness and behold the Lord Jesus having his appearance altogether changed and altered as he would appear talking together with Moses and Elijah. There atop the mountain the apostle John, the apostle Peter and the apostle James would indeed witness and behold Jesus the Christ in a manner in which they had absolutely never seen before. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for that which the apostle John would see and behold while on the isle of Patmos would be something entirely and altogether different from that which he would witness and behold together with the other apostles atop the mountain of transfiguration. In fact I would dare say that before we read the vision and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ which the apostle John would see upon the isle of Patmos we must needs examine the transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ atop the mountain which he saw together with the apostles Peter and James:

 

            “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only” (Matthew 17:1-8).

 

            “And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves” (Mark 9:1-8).

 

            “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistening. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. While he thus spake, there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my Beloved Son; hear him. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen” (Luke 9:28-36).

 

            It is necessary for us to recognize and pay attention to each of these passages which describe the same event which took place in the public life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be here atop the mountain of transfiguration where the appearance of the Lord Jesus would be altered and his raiment would be white and glistening. We might very well say that what the apostles Peter, James and John saw on this particular occasion was the Lord Jesus being in the fashion and appearance of the glory which. He had with the Father from before the world began. There atop the mountain Jesus’ appearance would be altered and transformed and he would shine and radiate with a brilliance as the sun which shines in its strength. Not only this but His raiment would be entirely and altogether white and glistening and appeared to be purer than any garment in this world could ever be using fuller’s soap. This transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ atop the mountain is the context and framework for the vision which the apostle John would see while atop the mountain of transfiguration together with the apostles Peter and James. It would be there atop the mountain of transfiguration the appearance of the Lord Jesus would be changed while on the isle of Patmos Jesus would appear unto the apostle in a degree and measure of the fulness of the glory He had with the Father from the time He ascended unto the right hand of the Father.

 

            Having said and written all of this I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the first chapter of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ for the words we find here bring us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth surrounding the vision which the apostle John witnessed and beheld while in the Spirit on the Lord’s day on the isle of Patmos. It would be there on the isle of Patmos the apostle John would hear a voice of One speaking to him and proclaiming and professing that He was Alpha and Omega and the first and the last. Not only this but the voice of the One speaking unto him would instruct him to write in a book and send it unto the seven churches which were in Asia that which he had seen. Immediately after this the apostle John would turn to look upon and behold the One who had spoken to him and would see something he perhaps did not expect. We don’t know if the apostle John knew and recognized the voice speaking to him from behind as the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I would love to know what went through the heart and mind of the apostle John while on the isle of Patmos. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the twelfth verse:

 

            “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like woold, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Revelation 1:12-16).

 

            This vision which the apostle John saw concerning the Lord Jesus Christ is something we must needs recognize and understand when reading this prophetic book for the revelation of the Lord Jesus would indeed be at the very heart and center of this prophetic book. In verses ten and eleven we find the voice of this One speaking unto the apostle John and proclaiming Himself to be Alpha and omega and the first and the last. When the apostle John turned around to see and behold the One who had spoken unto him he would see something that would indeed rival that which he had witnessed and beheld atop the mountain when the appearance of the Lord Jesus was transfigured before them. On that particular day the apostle John together with the apostles Peter and James would see the appearance of the Lord Jesus being completely and entirely altered as He would not only be clothed with and radiate a brilliance likened unto the sun shining but also His garments being altered and being white and glistening such as no fuller could cleanse and make pure garments in the natural. Now here we have the apostle John on the isle of Patmos and seeing and witnessing the Lord Jesus as He was before the creation of the world.

 

            With this in mind I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which took place in the fourth and chapters of this prophetic book. That which we find within these chapters present us with a powerful transition that would take place within the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. In the second and third chapters we find seven letters—each which were written unto one of the seven churches which were in Asia. When, however, you come to the fourth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the scene changing and transitioning from what would take place on earth to that which would take place in heaven. In the opening verse of the fourth chapter we find the apostle John witnessing and beholding a door being opened in heaven and the first voice which he heard likened as it were of a trumpet talking with him inviting him to come up hither and he would be shown those things which must be hereafter. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words found in the fourth and fifth chapters it’s that at the very center and foundation of them is the worship of the Father and the worship of the Son. Not only must we recognize and understand the worship of the Father and the worship of the Son but we must needs understand the eternal and only begotten Son being worthy in the sight and presence of the living God, in the presence of the four and twenty elders, in the presence of the four living creatures and in the presence of the thousand upon thousands and ten thousands times ten thousands which were present in the midst of heaven before and around about the throne.

 

            The words and language we find in the fourth and fifth chapters sets the stage for everything we read in the coming chapters which would take place and unfold within and upon the earth. When and as you read the words found in this prophetic book beginning with the sixth chapter you can and will encounter and come face to face with the events which took place on the earth being directly impacted and dictated by the events which would take place in heaven. It would be that which would take place in heaven that would directly dictate and impact the events which would take place upon the earth—much like that which we find in the Old Testament poetic book of Job. It would be very easy to read the book of Job and everything which happened to him through the natural and physical lens and fail to see it through the eyes of the eternal Father and that which took place in heaven. Oh if you want to truly understand that which took place within the life of Job in the natural realm within and upon the earth it is absolutely necessary to recognize what took place in heaven—and not only what took place in heaven but that which would take place on two separate occasions. In all reality the events which took place within the life of Job would be directly impacted by that which would take place in heaven as there would be a series of exchanges between the living God and the adversary and accuser of the brethren who appeared among the sons of God after coming from to and fro upon the earth. It would be there before the throne of God in heaven the living God and the adversary would contend over the person of Job and the Father would authorize the adversary to do what he wished and desired within the life of Job with the exception of putting him to death. At first the adversary was able to do what he wished and desired, however, he could not and was not permitted to lay his hands on the physical body and person of Job. When the adversary appeared before the living God a second time he was given permission to touch his physical flesh but was not permitted to put him to death.

 

            Having said this I find it necessary to call and draw your attention to that which we find in the first and second chapters of the Old Testament poetic book of Job for it helps us to understand the events which unfold in the earth being directly impacted, permitted and even prohibited by the eternal and living God. If we want to truly understand the events which take place within and upon the earth we must needs recognize and understand that there is absolutely nothing which takes place that takes the Father by surprise and which has not been and which is not permitted by the living God. The entire prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ is centered upon that which was taking place in heaven—that which would take place surrounding the seven seals, the seven bowls and the seven trumpets—and how it would directly impact and affect the earth together with its inhabitants. Consider if you will the following passages which are found in the Old Testament poetic book of Job:

 

            “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:6-12).

 

            The words which we find here present us with the events which took place in heaven as the LORD and Satan would have an exchange at a time when the sons of God would present themselves before and unto the throne of the living God. It would be there in heaven—perhaps even in the company and presence of the sons of God—where the LORD and Satan would have an exchange concerning this man named Job who was perfect and upright, one that feared God and eschewed evil. Even when the LORD Himself spoke of Job unto Satan He referred to him as a perfect and upright man, one that feared God and eschewed evil. Oh this is something we must needs understand for at the very end of this exchange we find Satan being authorized to touch whatever Job had for it was delivered into his hands and into his power. The one thing, however, Satan could not do was stretch forth his hand upon the person of Job. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the first chapter beginning with the thirteenth verse:

 

 

            “And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: and there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: and the Sabeans fell upon them,a nd took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tall thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep,a nd the servants, and consumned them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: and, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Then Job arise, and rent his mangle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:13-21).

 

            Please pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it dramatically and perfectly reveals how events which took place upon the earth were not only impacted by that which unfolded in heaven but were also permitted by the eternal and only begotten Father which sat upon the throne. If you want to truly understand the events which took place within the life of Job you must needs recognjze and understand that everything that took place within his life would indeed be directly impacted and influenced by events which transpired in heaven itself. Before anything could and would happen within and upon the earth there would first need be something which would take place in the midst of heaven as the sons of God would come and appear before the living God in heaven. It would be among the sons of God who appeared before heaven Satan the accusers and adversary would also appear. Twice Satan would appear before the throne of the living God in heaven and twice he would depart with authorization and permission from the living God Himself to stretch forth his hand within the life of Job—first attacking his possessions and secondly attacking his own physical person. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the second chapter to discern and discover how that which Job experienced within and upon his physical body would be directly impacted and affected by an exchange which would take place in heaven between the living and eternal God and Satan the accuser and adversary:

 

            “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his food unto his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and died. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? IN all this did Job not sin with his lips” (Job 2:1-10).

 

            The words which we find here in the Old Testament poetic book of Job are such which must needs be recognized and understood for within them we are brought face to face with the events which took place within the life of Job being directly impacted by that which took place in heaven. It is this very concept and reality we have a great need of recognizing and understanding for when we come to the fourth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we find a powerful shift and transition in the revelation which the apostle John would witness and behold. Before the apostle John would witness and behold those things which were to come within and upon the earth he would be given a vision and revelation of that which would take place in heaven. It is in the fourth chapter of this prophetic book we find a door being opened in heaven and the apostle John being invited to come up hither that he might see those things which must needs take place hereafter. In the fourth chapter of this New Testament book we are brought face to face with the apostle John witnessing and beholding the throne of God which was present in the midst of heaven’s court. What’s more is not only did the apostle John witness and behold the throne but he would also witness and behold One who sat upon the throne. In all reality we must needs understand that which is found in this chapter as the throne of God in heaven, the One who was seated upon the throne, and those who were round about the throne. The throne in heaven was truly the central image which was at the heart of that which the apostle John had see, however this vision would go much deeper as it wouldn’t merely be the throne set in heaven but also One seated upon the throne. Consider the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning with the first verse:

 

            “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald, and round about the throne were four and twenty seats; and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were sven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the mist of the throne, and round bout the throne were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts gave glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:1-11).

 

            As you read the words which are found in the fourth chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we discover the apostle John being invited to come up hither that he might be shown those things which must needs take place. At the very heart and center of that which must needs take place in the coming days was the throne of God which was present in heaven. What’s more is that not only was the throne of God at the very heart and center of those things which the apostle John would see but so also would be the One who was seated upon the throne. The ancient Hebrew prophets Isaiah, Daniel and Ezekiel each saw visions of the throne of God in heaven and each time they saw a vision of the throne they would witness and behold One who was seated upon the throne. In each of the visions they saw they would not only see the throne of God which was in heaven but they would also see a vision of the One who was seated on the throne. One central theme in each of these visions and revelations would indeed be the incredible and awesome truth surrounding the throne of God being set in heaven—and not only the throne of God being set in heaven but also One who was seated upon the throne. Please don’t miss this for there would not be a single time when the throne in heaven would be vacated or would be absent someone seated upon it. What’s more is that unlike earthly thrones when those who sit upon earthly thrones can be succeeded by others the throne in heaven will never see another seated upon it. In fact this was the danger surrounding Lucifer while he was in heaven for he desired to be both like and as God—and not only be like God but also to sit on the sides of the north and to exalt his throne above the throne of the living God.

 

            When we come to the fourth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ—not only do we find this throne still set in heaven but we also find the same One who was set upon the throne during the days and generations of Isaiah, Daniel and Ezekiel still being seated upon the throne. Oh how absolutely incredible it is when considering the reality of the eternal God being the one who was, the one who is and the one who is to come being the same one who was seated upon the throne during the days of the ancient Hebrew prophets and the same one who was seated upon the very same throne in the vision and revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ given unto the apostle John. As we read the words which are found in the fourth chapter of this prophetic book we must needs recognize and understand that at the very heart of the events which took place in heaven and at the very heart of the events which would take place within and upon the earth would indeed be the throne of the living God set in heaven and the One who was set upon that throne. The events which took place in heaven would directly determine and impact the events which took place in the earth and at the very heart and center of those events in heaven would be the throne which was set in the midst of it and the One who was seated upon the throne. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely incredible and tremendous truth surrounding the throne of God being at the very heart and center of that which would take place in the midst of the earth.

 

            I am absolutely convinced that while it was indeed true the apostle John would indeed be shown those things which must needs take place hereafter he would first need to witness and behold the throne of the living God whjch was set in heaven. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of when reading the words which are found in the sixth and seventh chapters of this prophetic book for everything we read within those chapters would have at the very heart and center of them the throne which was set in heaven and the One who was set in heaven. What’s more is that in the fourth chapter of this New Testament prophetic book we not only encounter the throne which was set in heaven and we not only encounter the One who was set upon the throne but we also encounter those who were before and round about the throne. This is something we have a great need to recognize and pay attention to for any discussion we have about the throne of God which was present in heaven must needs also include the worship which takes place before and round about the throne. It is in the fourth chapter of this prophetic book we encounter the throne of God being set in heaven and the worship of the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures round about the throne. It is in the fourth chapter of this prophetic book we come face to face with the truly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the throne of God which was set in heaven and how anything and everything which took place in heaven would have at the very heart and center of it the One who was seated upon the throne. In fact this is what we must needs recognize and understand about worship for worship is about honoring and giving glory to the One who was set upon the throne as we worship before His throne.

 

            When you come to the fifth chapter of this prophetic book of the Revelation you will still find the apostle John witnessing and beholding those things which were present in the midst of heaven but you will find an added element—and not only an added element but new characters. In the fourth chapter we would see the One was seated upon the throne, we would see the four and twenty elders and we would see the four living creatures. In the fifth chapter of this prophetic book we would see the same One who was seated upon the throne, we would see the same four and twenty elders and we would even see the same four living creatures, however, we would now see and behold the Lamb. What’s more is that not only would we see and behold the Lamb as it had been slain but we also see the scroll which was in the hand of the One who sat upon the throne. In the fifth chapter we find an angel in heaven proclaiming with a loud voice asking who was worthy to open the book and to loose the seals thereof. The apostle John would continue to observe as there was no man in heaven, nor in earth, nor under the earth who was able to open the book neither to look thereon. The apostle John would weep sorely when he saw that there was no man who was worthy to open the book and the look upon the contents which were present thereon. One of the elders, however, came unto the apostle John and would instruct him not to weep for behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David had prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals thereon. The apostle John would continue looking and would behold in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as it had been slain having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. It would be this Lamb which were as it had been slain who would take the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

 

            It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here in this passage of Scripture where we not only see the One who was seated upon the throne but we also see a scroll which was present in the hand of the One who was seated upon the throne. This scroll together with its seals and the contents therein are incredibly important for they serve as the foundation and context of that which we read in the sixth and seventh chapters. What we find in the sixth and seventh chapters centers upon this scroll which was first in the hand of the Father and the One who sat upon the throne and which was taken by the Lord Jesus Christ from and out of the hand of the One who was seated upon the throne. In the fifth chapter of this prophetic book we find the Lamb which had been slain taking the seal out of the hand of the One who was seated upon the throne. When the Lamb which had been slain—the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root of David—took the scroll out of the hand of the one who sat upon the throne the four beasts and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors which are the prayers of the saints. These four and twenty elders and four living creatures would sing a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the 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.

 

            If you continue moving on within the fifth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the apostle John continuing to behold and hearing the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders—the number of them being ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands. The apostle John would hear them 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. 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. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:11-14). It is in the fifth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ where we find the scroll which was in the hand of the One who sat upon the throne and the Lamb which had been slain being at the very center of everything which would take place in the midst of heaven. It would be there in the midst of heaven where we would find the Lamb which had been slain taking the scroll which was in the hand of the One who sat upon the throne and this very action igniting a symphony and chorus of worship before and around about the throne. This worship which would take place before the throne would initially begin with the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures but would then transition to the voice of many angels round about the throne being heard—the number of them being ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands worshipping before the throne of the living God.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the fifth chapter of this prophetic book and how at the very heart and center of this is the scroll which was in the hand of the One who sat upon the throne and was taken from his hand and was now in the hands of the Lamb which had been slain. THE LAMB AND THE SCROLL! The words which we find in the fifth chapter of this prophetic book must needs be understood as having at the very heart and center of it the Lamb which was slain before the foundation of the world and the Lamb taking the scroll from the hand of the Father which was in heaven. The fifth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ would conclude with worship before and around about the throne for the One who was seated upon the throne and the Lamb which was slain before the foundation of the world who was found worthy to take the scroll from the hand of the One seated upon the throne, and worthy to break the seals, and to open the contents which were present therein. This is something we must needs recognize when coming to the end of the fifth chapter and the beginning of the sixth chapter as in the sixth and seventh chapters we find the process of the seals being broken by the Lamb which was slain from before the foundation of the world. At the end of the fifth chapter of this prophetic book we find the scroll being in the hand of the Lamb which was slain, however, it isn’t until we come to the sixth and seventh chapters we being to encounter and come face to face with the seals themselves being broken.

 

            THE LAMB AND THE SCROLL! THE SEALS ARE BROKEN! As you come to the sixth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the seven seals which were present upon this scroll which was present in the right hand of the Father which was upon heaven beginning to be broken. Each seal and its corresponding breaking in the hand of the Lamb which was slain before the foundation of the world would have a corresponding effect on that which would touch the realm of time and space. You cannot read the words which are found in the sixth and seventh chapters of this prophetic book and not encounter and come face to face with the seals which were upon the scroll and how each seal would indeed contain within itself a mystery that would and could not unfold until it was broken. It would be in the breaking of the seals that the events of the last days would indeed begin to unfold within and upon the earth. Beginning with the first seal which was broken we would see a series of four horsemen which were known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse beginning to ride forth bent on conquering, death and destruction within and upon the earth. As the seals would begin to be broken in the hand of the Lamb which was slain before the foundation of the world we begin to see the unfolding of that which had been decreed within the very heart and mind of the eternal and living God from before creation and before time began. It would be the breaking of the first four seals that would serve as invitations for these four riders—each riding upon a horse of a different color—to enter into and ride upon the earth unleashing that which they were foreordained and appointed to do. Consider now if you will each of these four horsemen and that which they were given authority to do in the midst of and upon the earth beginning with the rider on the white horse:

 

            “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts, saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I. looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:1-8).

 

            The words which we find in the opening eight verses of the sixth chapter describe the results and effect of each of the first four seals upon the scroll being broken. When each seal was broken—not only would a rider upon a certain colored horse emerge and ride forth upon the face of the earth but each rider would be given a certain measure of authority upon the earth. The rider on the white horse was given a bow and a crown of gold was given unto him as he went forth conquering and to conquer. The rider on the red hears was given power and a great sword to take peace from the earth and that they should kill one another—“Think not that I have come to bring peace” and “I have come to bring a sword.” The third rider on the horse was given a pair of balances in his hand and was given authority and power over what might be understood as the commerce and merchandise upon the face of the earth. The fourth and final rider on the pale horse was named Death and Hell followed with him. Power was given unto this rider over a fourth part of the earth to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death and with the beasts of the earth. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of that which is found within these passages of Scripture for within them we are brought face to face with the breaking of the seals upon the scroll in heaven in the hand of the Lamb which was slain and how the breaking of the seals would set in motion events which would take place within and upon the earth.

 

            If you continue reading in the sixth chapter you will find that when the fifth seal was broken the apostle John would see under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. These under the altar would cry with a loud voice, saying, How long, O LORD, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Additionally we find and read in this passage of Scripture how white robes were given unto every one of them and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season until their fellow servants also and their brethren should be killed as they were that it might be fulfilled what was spoken. As you continue reading you will find that when the sixth seal was broken there was a great earthquake upon the earth and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair and the moon became as blood. Not only this but the stars of heaven fell unto the earth and the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together. Every mountain and island were moved out of their places and the kings of the earth and the great men and the rich men and the chief captains and the mighty men and every bondman and every free man would hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains. These who would hide themselves—much like Adam and Eve hid themselves among the trees of the garden—would say and speak to the mountains and rocks calling on them to fall on them and hide them from the face of the One which sat upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb for the great day of his wrath had come.

 

            As I bring this writing to a close we must needs recognize that at this particular juncture within the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ we not only see events unfolding in heaven but we begin to see that which is present in heaven directly impacting and affecting that which was taking place upon the earth. With the breaking of the seven seals we begin to see events unfolding upon the earth as the beginning of the judgments of the living God would be executed and exercised within and upon the earth. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading these words it’s the tremendous truth surrounding our need to ready and prepare ourselves for that great and glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. We as the saints of God and disciples of the Lord Jesus must needs do everything we can to work out our salvation with fear and trembling and to make our calling and election sure. We as the saints of God and disciples of Christ must needs purify and cleanse ourselves from the filth and the lusts of this world and everything that is present therein. There is a great need for us to be ye holy even as the living God is holy and to be perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect. We must needs be those who are watching and praying as we hasten and hearken the coming and appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh when the Lord Jesus Christ first came to the earth there was a great chorus of angels which sang praises in the heavens before the shepherds which watched their flocks by night in the field and at His second coming there must be people who are watching and waiting—much like those who stood watching, beholding and gazing into the heavens when the Lord Jesus ascended from the mount of Olivet unto the right hand of the Father.

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