12 Worship in Awe (3)

Rahim and Taha were having a heated discussion in the Grade 12 Philosophy class while suddenly Shahbaaz appeared at the door, walking unsteadily with his eyes wild opened. “Oh, no! Here it comes again!” Rahim was thinking to himself. Shahbaaz knocked on the classroom door and asked for his cousin Taha. Taha was excused from the class and after a short while he came back and made a request, “Mr Jones, my cousin Shahbaaz has an emergency and needs to go home right now, my uncle would like me to drive him home. I need help from Rahim to escort him home, could we sign out now?” Mr Jones gave consent and they all left hurriedly.

“Come on, Rahim; hold him down on the back seat! Don’t let him move, we are almost home!” Taha yelled anxiously while steering the wheel and peeking at the rear-view mirror at the same time. 6 foot tall Rahim was athletic; however, he still had a hard time trying to keep Shahbaaz at his place. Shahbaaz was shaking vigorously and his eyes turned from green to almost all black, like his pupils! “Uncle Kunal was at the door, Rahim, take it easy …..”

“Shahbaaz was possessed! Do you believe that?” rumors spread around the school like an epidemic, everyone was talking about it. “You know what, Shahbaaz’s aunt cast a spell on his family from Fiji Islands, and Shahbaaz was possessed by demon!” “Really? No wonder he actd so weird lately, just like the character in the movie ‘Omen’, it’s so scary!”

Rahim was talking to Fahrin, Shahbaaz’s sister, “How is Shahbaaz doing now? He was not at school for a long time.” “We have tried everything, seeing psychologist, hypnotic therapist, even praying to our gods, but they don’t help a bit! The situation just keeps getting worse!” Fahrin was upset and worried.

A few months later…. Rahim was researching and surfing on the internet, suddenly someone signed in with a catch phrase, “Jesus Christ is the most sovereign one who is worthy of glory, honor and power…..” Rahim was curious and started to talk to him, it could not be right, it was Shahbaaz! What had happened? Shahbaaz was always Hindu, how come he became a Christian and was so devoted? This must be a joke!

Shahbaaz sent Rahim the following message, “Rahim, thank you so much in the past for walking out of your way and helping me even though you had no clue what was happening. I am so proud to have a buddy like you, trusting and supporting your friends no matter what! Honestly, the past year has been the most terrifying time of my life; however, it was also a divine moment for me. Because of my possession, I came to know Jesus Christ, wow, the most powerful and mighty one over everything, the physical and the spiritual realm! My neighbour was a very devoted Christian, and the whole family helped us a lot. They even asked their pastor to come over to my house and he prayed with us and explained the gospel to us. We found ourselves so sinful and were willing to accept the Saviour as the only way out. The pastor cast out the demon in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! You just could not believe how amazing it was, I felt like a brand-new person with great hope, like a sprouting bulb in the spring… You should also experience the mightiness of Jesus Christ yourself, come and join me at my church, this is the best thank you gift that I can give you……”

(Note: this is a true story, not to scare you, but to let you humble before the authority of the Lamb)

Your Initial Response

Have you experienced the mightiness of Christ? Do you have a new life in Him? You are cordially invited to pray and devote yourself into His hand.

Revelation 5:1–6

1Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 

2And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 

3But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 

4I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 

5Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” 

6Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Revelation 5:1–6 NIV) 

1) “Eye” (“i=Eye”)

iEXP Bible Study Method

1 Draw a question mark at the place where you have difficulty of understanding.

2 Circle all the words that are related with seven.

3 Underline all the nouns that described Christ.

4 Highlight all the quotations.

5 Refer to other translations and come up with some new insights.

2) “Expound” (E)

iEXP Bible Study Method

Who is holding the future? Revelation 5 not only tells the World that Jesus Christ (The Lamb) is the Saviour; He is also the one who rules over human history and the Lord who fulfills all of God’s plans.

1 Why was the scroll sealed with seven seals (Rev. 5:1)?

2 Why was the scroll with writing on both sides (Rev. 5:1)?

3 Why no one was found worthy to open the scroll or look inside (Rev. 5:4)?

4 Why was the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root of David able to open the scroll (Rev. 5:5)?

5 What is the symbolic meaning of seven horns and seven eyes (Rev. 5:6)?

Rev. 5:1

In those days, legal documents were sealed to ensure they had not been altered. People had to break the wax in order to loose the strings beneath them. With the attestations of seven witnesses, then these legal documents were imprinted with seven seals. Oftentimes, scrolls were written on only one side of a papyrus sheet, and reserved the outside for the title or address. The scroll that the Book of Revelation mentioned here was particularly full and written on both sides, and it was comparatively rare. As for the content of the scroll mentioned here, various Bible expositors offered the following assumptions: 1. “The Historicist” regards the Book of Revelation as the progress of human history, and the content of the scroll was about “the purposes and designs of God relative to His government of the world and of the Church.” 2. “The Preterist” believes the account of the Book of Revelation was past history. The scroll with the seven seals was about the judgment against Jerusalem for its part in shedding all the righteous blood of the martyrs (Matthew 23:35). 3. “The Spiritual” believes the content of the Book of Revelation is not history itself, but the analogy and symbol to proclaim the divine principles of ruling the universe. Therefore, they deduce that the scroll is the redemptive plan of God, namely, God’s Last Will and Testament. 4. “The Futurist” firmly believes the Book of Revelation is futuristic in nature, and most of the prophecies have never yet been fulfilled. The sealed scroll is not only about the testament of God concerning the promise of the inheritance of His future kingdom, but it is also about the future judgment of the world. Moreover, it depicts the progressive unfolding of the history of the world. Conclusively speaking, the scroll can be titled the “Book of Redemption.” Everything will reach its final consummation through the Redeemer Jesus Christ.

Rev. 5:2

“A mighty angel” depicts a powerful messenger. Very likely, this is an important angel in heaven; therefore, a scholar deduces that the angel was the messenger Gabriel (Dan. 8:16; 9:21). This mighty angel loudly proclaimed, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” Owing to the fact that this mighty angel was unable to open the scroll; it obviously was a very important book. Furthermore, whoever can break the wax seals must be someone very unusual in heaven.

Rev. 5:3-4

The mighty angel clearly pointed out that no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. For this reason, John began to weep. This was audible weeping, and it implied a kind of grief-stricken crying.

Rev. 5:5-6

When one of the elders heard John weeping, he comforted John by pointing out someone was able to open and read the scroll. The elder used two titles to call Him respectively; namely, the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root of David. Physically speaking, Jesus Christ was the descendant of the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1:3; Gen. 49:8-10), and He was also the descendant of David (Matthew 1:6; Isa. 11:1, 10). In terms of His ministry, Jesus Christ was the Lamb that God prepared for all humankind (Jn. 1:29). By means of the Saviour’s redemption, all those believe in Him are saved. The Lamb of God was the victor, for He was the conqueror over death (Rev. 5:9). Furthermore, the Lamb possessed seven horns and seven eyes, that is, the seven spirits of God. Horn is a symbol of strength in the Biblical terms (1 Kgs. 22:11); thus, Jesus Christ was full of the strength of the Holy Spirit. “Seven eyes” is a depiction of God’s Spirit (cf. Zechariah 3:9; 4:10; Rev. 1:4; 4:5), meaning, He possesses all knowledge and wisdom, and He is the one who searches hearts and minds (Rev. 2:23). God’s Spirit is sent out into all the earth, implying that He is omnipresent. Conclusively speaking, the Lamb who had been slain was not only the resurrected Saviour, but He was also omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.

Conclusion

The Apostle John saw the Lamb in heaven in the vision. He was the one who chose to be born as a man. He was also the Redeemer who loved humankind to the very end. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent; therefore, He is worthy to be praised by all those who have received salvation.

3) “Exercise” (X)

iEXP Bible Study Method

1 The Lord Himself is the Ruler of history and future, thus we should never take His place by employing current affairs and phenomenon to interpret the endtimes (Rev. 5:1).

2 Jesus Christ is omnipotent (Rev. 5:6); thus let’s learn to receive His strength by means of praying.

3 Jesus Christ is omniscient (Rev. 5:6) and He understands our feelings; thus let’s draw near to Him by means of praying, and receive His comfort thereof.

4 Jesus Christ is omnipresent (Rev. 5:6), thus let’s watch out for our behavior and conduct.

5 Firmly believe Jesus Christ as Saviour; pray and worship Him with a thanksgiving and loving heart.

6 Memorise Revelation 5:6. 

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Revelation 5:6)

7 Resolve to have a deeper experience with Jesus Christ in our daily life (Rev. 5:6).

8 John wept because he desired to seek God’s will; let’s learn from his example that we need to care for divine matters and grieve over mishaps in God’s kingdom (Rev. 5:4).

9 Learn to offer thanksgiving and adoration to Jesus Christ in the Lord’s Supper.

4) “Proclaim” (P)

By applying the biblical truths to their lives, believers would experience God. When the Bible students experience God and His truths, they should follow the example of the early Christians of testifying to non-believers and believers boldly. By means of speech, we witness to non-believing friends and to edify believers alike. The fourth step of the iEXP Bible study is “Proclaim”.

iEXP Bible Study Method

After finished studying the text, try to apply the truths to your daily living, family life and church life, and pray that you will experience the truthfulness and power of God’s Word. Grab the opportunity to share your experience with non-believers and believers, in family altar, small groups and social gatherings, as a way of witnessing the power of the gospel to non-believers and edification of believers.

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