Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail
By the time we reach Revelation chapter five John is writing in greater detail all of the glory unfolding in the throne room of God. The door to heaven was opened and the revelator was called through it by the trumpeting voice of the Lord. The theories and wildly different views on the book and it’s meaning for the modern Christian seem to become more prominent in this chapter as well. Let’s briefly work our way through some of the challenging sections.
First, in the opening lines we read of a scroll with writing on the front and back. This seems to indicate that there was much to be revealed as scrolls were typically written on one side only.
Some have taken the seven seals to mean seven different scrolls, but the text only indicates one scrolls with seven wax seals holding it together.
Over the years scholars have debated the contents of the scroll, but Jesus could break the seals (5.3-4). While there are several opinions about what was contained on the scroll, it’s best seen as the final will for the affairs of the universe. As vague and frustrating as that may sound, there’s simply no textual evidence to assume otherwise. In ancient Rome it was common to have government wills and classified documents protected by seven seals. To open such an important scroll required a high ranking individual.
A Mighty Angel
Calling out in a loud voice the angel asks, “who can open the scroll?” John begins to weep. If this mighty angel is searching for someone worthy, surely there’s not another who could possibly open it.
The Lamb With Seven Eyes & Seven Horns
The lamb which is representing Christ here is depicted as having features not normally seen on these animals. Seven eyes, which symbolize God’s all seeing eye. Then there are the seven horns, representing God’s ultimate power. The number seven was God’s number and it represents perfection and completion. The seven spirits, then, indicating the fullness and completeness of God.
Who can open the seals? Only Jesus with His perfect power and foresight is able to open this one. Revelation is the great revealing of Christ, and Christ is the only One able to reveal it’s secrets.
The book in it’s entirety has a message from God for us, but we must be sure to understand His revelation— not man’s.