Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sabbath, September 12, 2015
“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy 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. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 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 5:6–14, KJV 1900).
I must say that this part of John’s vision is incredibly intriguing to me, to say the least. We have already highlighted the fact that the focus of attention moves from a bewilderment related to nobody being worthy to unseal the perfectly sealed book that was in the hand of the Father seated on the throne, to the utter ecstasy of worship related to the One Person who was found worthy to handle this precious, mysterious book. Jesus is worthy to unseal, look into, and read the mysteries contained therein, partially because He became as one of us and gave His life to redeem all of humanity from sin. We all have the choice of worshipping God unto salvation, or despising His love and mercy, unto eternal death. It’s up to us.
Part of what intrigues me about the vision, which I want to be careful not to allow to distract me from the focus of the worthy Lamb of God, is that the imagery John uses regarding the four beasts is almost identical to that which Ezekiel used in chapters one and 10 of his book concerning cherubim. Yet, as we further examine John’s vision, something interesting happens: As Jesus, the only One worthy to fully approach and handle the mysteries the Father has firmly in His hands while seated on the throne takes the book out of His right hand, exuberant worship breaks out in the scene. But, notice what happens, what is said, and by whom. The four beasts, along with the 24 elders, fall down before Jesus in worship. They all have harps. They all have vials described in earthly sanctuary language, which seems to be related to the Holy Place ministry of the Old Testament priests, which here represents the prayers of the saints. Then they all sang a song concerning His worthiness to open the perfectly sealed book and to redeem “us,” as the verse continues by His blood from every nation on earth. They continue by saying that this redemption afforded them the privilege of becoming priests and kings before God on the earth (after the 1,000 years following the Second Coming according to Revelation 20). Then, John saw that angels joined in to worship with the four beasts, and the 24 elders. I would love to know your thoughts concerning these four beasts.
We know that whatever is to be revealed from the blessed book concerns us directly.
Amid all of the glorious mysteries of this particular revelation, here are a few things about which we can be certain: God loves us so much, that He gave us His Son in order to redeem us from sin. We also know that the fact that Jesus was victorious over sin and the devil while living on earth made Him worthy to approach the throne of His Father and take the mysteriously and perfectly sealed book from His right hand to open it. We know that whatever is to be revealed from the blessed book concerns us directly. More than this, we know that there are those who were redeemed from earth, as well as natives of the heavenly courts who all joined in to worship the Father, and Jesus His Son. They are worthy of all our praise forever and ever. One day, those who have learned to appreciate God’s greatness, and live in a state of worship, will join in with that innumerable throng of worshippers to lend our voices in praise to God. Today would be a good time to start. What do you think?
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please help us to take our positions in worshipping, praising, and proclaiming your goodness in the earth. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.