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Review- Revelation chapters 4 - 7

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Posted on CCPC's website 2022

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“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who sets the planets in motion.”
- Isaac Newton

     For this review we're going to look at the “big pictures” of these chapters.
     Chapter four begins with John seeing an open door “up in heaven”. Not gates, a golden stairway or anything else we've seen elsewhere in Scripture. Like in a game show he is told to “come on up” and he apparently does, 'in spirit'. Then he is immediately in the “Center Ring” of Heaven, right in the middle of all the action.
     There is no description of the throne other than it obviously being a 'throne'. Also, the description of “he that sat on it” is somewhat vague as well. The Individual on the Throne NEVER identifies Himself, He isn't wearing a name tag, He is just There. “The Father” is always depicted in art as having a white beard and a somewhat stern expression on his face. John didn't see that, however he describes the throne producing thunder and lightning and 'voices' with a sea of glass in front of it.
     At this point all of the elders and creatures are already there. The elders are not explained and their number is apparently symbolic of something, but just who and what, we're left to guess. They have white robes and crowns, but why is left as another mystery. The creatures are “around” the throne. In the description in Ezekiel one they are flying. In neither instance is there ever even a hint that they are the gospel writers. John never says anything else about them, he only relates what they are saying, and they tell John WHO is on the Throne, even though he probably already guessed.

     The One On The Throne is holding a sealed scroll. At this point we have no idea what is in the it, just that it is sealed and He is holding it.
     Now several others appear on the scene. A “strong angel”, who John didn't notice before, makes an announcement and does a contestant search. The Greek says that “No One” and “Nothing” could open the seals. However, it doesn't say that anybody tried because HE was still holding the scroll.
     When the Lamb appears, He appears. He doesn't make an entrance from stage right, He isn't unveiled from behind a big gift box, He is just there, and He takes the scroll, and the others sing...

A Newsong Tangent:
     “new songs” are a theme throughout the Bible. Several of the Psalms mention the Lord teaching somebody one, such as Psalm 40. And Isaiah 42 relates the same idea.
     The concept is that while GOD is forever the same, His People have changed, and their relationship and response to Him has changed as well, and the 'new song' is about that new relationship. Usually highlighting a blessing or praise as in several of the Psalms, or Salvation, which is the focus of the songs in Revelation.
     This isn't the only new song they sing in Revelation, we'll hear another one in chapter 14, and there's more.
     It may also be worth noticing that none of the Elders or Creatures complained about having to sing something they hadn't been singing for years. Also, Psalm 144 says to use a 10 string harp when you sing, which are also seen in heaven, which isn't Non-Instrumental. But that's a subject for another time. End tangent

     The Lamb opens the first four seals and the first four instruments of wrath are unleashed. The figures on the horses, as well as the horses themselves, are NOT angels. They are an embodiment of the various acts of wrath they represent. Also, since there is no time gap mentioned between the opening of the first sequence of seals, they ride out one after the other without significant delay. So the old paintings you see of the pack of horses may be correct. And remember, the last horse and rider have a mythical sidekick with them.

     The next two seals deal with people directly. The fifth shows us an unnumbered group of martyrs under the alter who are pleading for justice, and they are told that justice is coming.
     The sixth seal brings up one of those big numbers from Revelation with a huge group from Israel, and an even bigger group that is uncounted and in the Greek they say something interesting: He soteria (Salvation) to Theo hemon.

“God of us” Tangent
     Another theme from Revelation that runs throughout the entire Bible.
     Here we're going to go way off the beaten track and stop by the scene of a battle: 2 Chronicles 14 where King Asa, the Great-Grandson of Solomon, who had restored Temple worship and destroyed all the idols and 'high places' his father had tolerated, calls out to God when Judah was threatened by a much larger force from the South. “’elohenu Yahweh” meaning “Our God Yahweh”.
     “the God of us” is the same phrase used by the elders in chapter 4 and is in their new song in 5.
     The implication is that other people may have had other gods, Jeroboam, the King in Israel, the Northern Kingdom, and who attacked Asa's father, Abijah, certainly did, and he ended rather badly in 2 Chron 13. The Apocalypse makes it clear that those who maintain that GOD is Their God are the ones who are given the palm branches and white robes.
End Tangent

     Chapter 7 ends with a description of the benefits of heaven.
     And we are still waiting on the seventh seal.

End review.

Sources used throughout entire study:
Bible Hub Interlinear pages:

the Geneva Bible downloadable

the 1611 KJV

The study Index page.

NOTE: The Bible Study Lesson presented above is posted as a reference document to begin a conversation of the topic. And that's it. Please accept it at such.

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