A Vision of Worship

KEY VERSE: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” —Revelation 4:11

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Revelation 5:1-10

IN THE vision given to John and recorded in the fifth chapter of Revelation, John “saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back side, sealed with seven seals.” It appeared as a roll, consisting of several parchments, according to the custom of the times, and though it was stated to be written within, yet nothing could be read until the seals were loosed. It was found to contain seven parchments or small volumes, each of which were separately sealed. And as it was subsequently determined, the loosing of each seal revealed a portion of the Lord’s design for things to come. The messages related to the progressive development of the Lord’s plan of redemption from the first advent of Jesus until the establishment of the kingdom.

In the vision, John was made aware that “no one was able in the Heaven, nor on the earth, nor under the earth, to open the scroll, nor to see it.” (Rev. 5:3, Diaglott) This distressed John greatly. But one of the elders in the vision said unto him, “Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (Rev. 5:5) This, of course, was Jesus who prevailed. It is interesting to note that this was a quotation from a prophecy concerning Jesus in the first book of the Bible, Genesis 49:8-10.

In this prophecy, Jacob in giving his farewell blessings to his sons, said of Judah, “Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies: thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

Down through the Jewish Age, the tribe of Judah was honored more than any of the other tribes. This was true in the encampments of Israel, and in presenting the oblations at the sanctuary. They had the first lot in Canaan, etc. And finally in fulfillment of the prophecy, it was out of the tribe of Judah that Jesus was born.—Mic. 5:2; Matt. 2:6

The word translated ‘sceptre’ properly signifies a rod or staff. It simply denotes the exercise of dominion or authority. This authority was to rest in Judah until Shiloh came. The word shiloh means ‘he who is sent,’ or ‘the seed,’ or ‘the peaceable or prosperous one.’ But all authorities agree that it was the Messiah who was intended. It was Jesus who was sent into the world as the promised seed, to be the prince of peace.

Jesus was further identified as the Root of David from the prophecy in Isaiah 11:1, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” Jesse was David’s father and it was to David that God made his wonderful promise recorded in II Samuel 7:11-16. It was Jesus who prevailed against the great adversary and his forces of darkness to prove himself worthy to be the one who would be entrusted to open the seals.

After this, the elders and the four living ones sang a prophetic song saying, “Thou art worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; because thou wast killed, and didst redeem to God, with thy blood, [men] out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation; and thou didst make them to our God a royalty and a priesthood, and they shall reign on the earth.”—Rev. 5:9,10, Diaglott, RSV, Rotherham, NEB

In this text is the clear prophetic message that the Messiah or the Christ was to be not one but many members. We think of the Apostle Paul’s statement, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” (I Cor. 12:12) But this glorious privilege and office cannot be attained without being tried and tested as was Jesus. The Apostle Paul states that if these are to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, “we must suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”—Rom. 8:17

Jesus said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous, therefore, and repent. … To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”—Rev. 3:19-21

After this prophetic song, the heavenly hosts joined together in joyful praise of Jesus and the wonderful work that was to be accomplished through him.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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