Friday, March 21, 2014

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday March 23, 2014

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(Praise the LAMB WHO brings us into the Kingdom)
Revelation 5

It is the strong conviction of every New Testament writer that all of human history will continue to hold as its meaning, the life, death, and resurrection of our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. JESUS is the axis around which all of human history hinges, and indeed, all that we see now began in HIM, and through HIM. All things find their origin and meaning in JESUS, and without HIS work of redemption, history would remain an enigma at best, and we would have a future without hope, at worst.
The “second coming” of CHRIST, and those years immediately preceding the event, are described more vividly in the book of Revelation than in any other book of the Bible. The Apostle John describes the great “end time” events in much more elaborate detail than does the book of Daniel, where the young Prophet writes of that period from the days of King Cyrus of Persia, to the time of the first advent of CHRIST. He speaks only briefly, of the tribulation, and CHRIST’s rule on Earth.
The book of Revelation was written by the Apostle John, after he received a vision from GOD, while still imprisoned on the Greek island of Patmos, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian, around A.D. 95-96. After very few challenges from the early church leaders, the book of Revelation was widely accepted as being divinely inspired, and by the end of the third century, it was being widely quoted as Scripture. The purpose of the book of Revelation is to reveal those eschatological events, which will take place before, during, and after the “second coming” of CHRIST.
In Revelation 5:1-10, through his vividly detailed writings, the Apostle John allows us to look in on his vision, just as CHRIST is about to prove HIMSELF as being the only one worthy to take the scroll from the hand of GOD and unseal it’s secret contents. John tells us that the scroll had writings on both, the inner and outer sides, and was sealed with seven seals. The scroll must have been rolled in such a way that the seals would have to be broken one seal at a time.
In the Greek, the word used here for “scroll” is “biblion” (bib-lee-on), and it is from that word that we derive our English word “bible”. A scroll, that was sealed, could only be read when all of the seals were opened. The symbolism here, in Revelation 5:1, is that, only when judgment has been fully executed, will the ultimate intent of GOD be revealed.
In Revelation 5:5-6, John’s vision serves to remind us that JESUS conquered all by giving HIS life for us. Here we see the Apostle John raising his tear-filled eyes, expecting to see what the Elder had described as a lion, opening the seals, and instead, seeing a bloodstained LAMB, WHO is still bearing the marks of HIS execution, about to be revealed as the executor of GOD’s final judgment. Soon there will be a new song, never heard before, and all will be forced to acknowledge that JESUS truly is worthy to rule, and, to be praised.
Ultimately, the idea here is that GOD has a book in which the history of time to come is already written. When we are seeking to interpret this idea, it will serve us well to remember that this is a vision, full of symbolisms, shown to John, by GOD. It would not be wise to take this great vision too literally, and to think it means that everything was settled long ago, or, that we are in the inescapable grip of fate. What it is saying is that, GOD has a plan for the world, and that, the purpose of GOD, will, in the end, come to pass, or, be worked out.
Before JESUS came along, we had been living in a world, so far from GOD, that, there was no one worthy enough to receive HIS message. JESUS solved this problem by way of HIS earthly ministry and subsequent vicarious sacrifice. HE revealed to us, the great and challenging truth that GOD cannot deliver a message to men, unless there be a man fit and ready to receive it, and deliver it.
And so, we see in our world, the very essence of a communication problem, as we have alienated ourselves from the Word of GOD. There is a definite need in this world for us to keep ourselves sensitive to GOD, so that we will be able to receive HIS communications. He has a message for the world in each and every generation, but it cannot be delivered until there is someone found, who is able and willing to receive it, and deliver it to others.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

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