Revelation - Lesson 8

God and the Lamb

A vision of God the creator and the redeemer Lamb.

Lesson 8
Watching Now
God and the Lamb

Class Resources
  • There is a wide range of interpretation of the book of Revelation because of the nature of visions. When John writes Revelation, he uses a pool of images that are familiar to him and his readers and we need to take into account what the images meant to people at the time.
  • Apocalyptic literature is based on the idea that the natural order is set within a larger content of a spiritual reality and that the dynamics of the spiritual realm play themselves out in the physical realm.  Apocalypse is a message from God regarding what God is about and what he is going to do.

  • The occasion for writing Revelation was the vision John had and the situation of the seven churches. John is trying to describe a scene in which various scenes are being played out simultaneously. John emphasizes the importance of living out your theology, as opposed to only being doctrinally correct.

  • John had a vision of the Son of Man. He had a message for the church at Ephesus.

  • Messages for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.

  • Messages to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Philadelphia.

  • A message to the church at Laodicea and a vision of Jesus as a Lamb who shares the throne with God.

  • A vision of God the creator and the redeemer Lamb.

  • A vision of the seven seals.

  • A vision of the seven trumpets.

  • This lesson dives into the idea of encountering God in the world, warns about the destructiveness of sin, and presents a powerful angelic figure symbolizing God and Jesus as triumphant over fallen Babylon, with a mysterious aspect of the vision.
  • A vision of the seven trumpets. Chronology of the origin and development of the teaching of the rapture and dispensationalism.

  • A vision of how the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for us to be in relationship to God.

  • The description of the nature of Satan's war against God's children and in contrast to a description of God's redeemed.

  • A vision of the seven bowls.

  • A vision of fallen Babylon.

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the concept of Fallen Babylon and the transformative power of the cross. It emphasizes that accepting the cross liberates you from the world's illusions, allowing you to accept your own falsity as healed and yielding to the Holy Spirit's action. The lesson challenges the idea of choosing between the world and Christ, proposing that you can choose both simultaneously, seeking unity, wholeness, and love at the deepest level of your being.
  • Dr. Mulholland answering questions from the students.

  • A vision of the victory of the Lamb and discussion of the wrath of God.

  • A vision of the New Jerusalem.

  • Dr. Mulholland's lesson delves into God's love as the core of self-discovery. False self obstructs the truth. True self blooms in faith, openness, trust, and yielding to God, shifting focus from ego to divine presence. Embrace this shift, become citizens of a new Jerusalem in a fallen world.
  • A vision of the people of the New Jerusalem.

  • John wrote the book of Revelation as a call to radical discipleship as faithful citizens of God’s new Jerusalem in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. There is no video for this lecture.

Revelation is a vision of Jesus the Messiah. John focuses on the profound depths of what God has done, is doing, and will ultimately consummate in and through Jesus. A second central theme in Revelation is the role of the cross in what God has done and will accomplish. The contrast and interaction of the "New Jerusalem" and "fallen Babylon" is also a significant theme in Revelation. Videos for lectures 7, 8 and 9 are not avialable yet. Lecture 23 was recorded in audio only. 

We think that the title of the devotional book that Dr. Mulholland reads from at the beginning of some of the lectures might be Merton's Palace of Nowhere by James Finley. Unfortunately, Dr. Mulholland is deceased so we can't confirm this. 



Dr. Robert Mulholland


God and the Lamb

Lesson Transcript


Right. You are here and you have to do it as well as what I was doing. But there wasn't that much I was misunderstanding how to work against strangers for money, you know? Yeah, that's it. Thank you. I knew that would really actually work. But that was the moment that he was dead. I can't believe I had a minute school. Yeah, yeah, yeah. How do you. How would you make it here now? I know I am. Hi. How are you? Good to meet you. What are you doing? Oh. Oh. Oh, okay. As it comes down, I'm not sure. Thank you. I don't know if you're taking up more than 30 years, but they gave us. And that's really the best. Yeah. You know, I figured out that my elder lawyer, Reverend, is pretty good. I guess that we all kind of thing. I'm not even like her. Yah. Yah in the churches is probably going to go very well, man. So I like. That's why you made me go over to inspiration for me. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah. I wondered if I was here as a pastor, but I have to do my last night because it was literally burst out into uncontrollable maniacal in hysterics. Last time, I was kind of legitimately freaking out. She's like, Okay, let's recap and see what's going on with Williams before she opened it all back on the island. I mean, everything, because this was the final step. Yeah, it's done. Yeah, they're still in 1974. You have no idea why I love the show. I know. Yeah, but you have to give it a lot of commentary. Well, no, no, no. So beginning, You know, like the first time you see the island in times, like. And stuff like that.


Yeah. I mean, somebody would have to have a lot of time with a lot of motivation to make this. I would want, you know, that it's already on some website somewhere. Already got, like, so ridiculous. I'm sorry you had to say. Hey, what's the second time they've done it? Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. Kids are searching for that. I'm not. Brilliant. Good. Yeah. I didn't know. Oh, I'm sorry. Oh, so I'll be like, Wow. We were all like, Oh, it was rather so. I mean, I give up everything, but yeah, I went on a media festival and I was like, I'm sorry. I was like, Oh, yeah, I want to know what have you. Good morning. Your high energy level this morning or something. We choose freely to reject God's way of becoming who God calls us to become. And in this rejection, we lose our way. We lose both God and ourselves. We choose a life outside God's love and thus choose death. We choose a freedom outside God's will and thus lose all freedom in the narrow confines of a self that can never exist. Our true self is a self in communion. It is a self that subsists in God's eternal love. The false hope is the self that stands outside this created subsisting communion with God. It forms our very identity. In our zeal to become the landlords of our own being, we cling to each achievement as a kind of verification of our self proclaimed reality. We become the center and God somehow recedes to an invisible fringe. My false and private self is the one who wants to exist outside the reach of God's will and God's love, outside of reality and outside of life. And such a South cannot help but be an illusion.


We're not very good at recognizing illusions. Least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves, the ones we are born with, and which feed the roots of sin. For most people in the world, there is no greater subjective reality than these false perception of theirs which cannot exist. A life devoted to the cult of this shadow is what is called a life in the spiritual life of the Christian. Is a life in Christ through whom we are enabled to remove the shackles of sin and the mask of illusion. In Christ, we find the hope of a face to face relationship with God in which is hidden the self He created us to become. The discovery of the true self in God takes place in the daily unfolding of Christian life. It is obscurely revealed to us in faith, through selfless service to others, and in the inner desert of wordless prayer. Pray with me. Gracious and loving God. Help us to hear what you're saying to us in these words. Unmask the illusion we call ourself. Reveal to us. Those things in which we have rooted our identity that are heard from you. Awaken us to your steadfast love and faithfulness that is drawing us to yourself. That we might find our true self. In your name. We pray. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. Mm hmm. Okay, Let's see how I'm doing here now. Right? Yeah. Had Eller. Right. Tony Franklin. Okay now. And Brian and Amy Hicks and Laura Hill. Okay. I think I got you all. We'll see if I remember over the weekend. Okay. We were right at the end of chapter four, where we. Here. The drawn here is the 24 elders singing the song. Verse 11 You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things by your will.


They existed and were created. Now, if you look at that verse for a second, John seems to have gotten things backwards, doesn't he? By your will they existed and were created in Greek, it says, by your will. They were and were created. Should be the other way around. I mean, how can something be before it's created? He should have said by your will. All things were created. And they were. What's going on here? Did you just make a mistake? I don't think you did. I think John again is seeing something of vital significance to our understanding of who we are and who. All creation is one. All creation is. We saw it on the news. You remember that the 24 year old does represent us, the priest in John's vision. And here John sees an even deeper dimension. That we were we existed in the heart of God's love before we were created. Hmm. Paul seems to pick up that same understanding in the beginning of the Ephesians when he says that when he begins in verse three, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing and heavenly places. Paul is saying that our lives are immersed in blessing. Then he goes on in verse four and he says, Just as God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in love. Now, the operative word there is chose is the Greek word like off preposition act, which means forth from or out of, and Lego, which means to speak. So like Lego literally means to speak for. You can see why choose is is an option for translating it. If I were to say to Tom, Tom, would you come up here and help me a minute? I don't do it, really.


If if I say I'm choosing, I'm choosing. I've got 70 options here. I'm choosing. I'm speaking him fourth out of the rest of the group. So so choose is an okay translation, but it's sort of missing something of the dynamic. The poem is dealing with that because when Paul talks about something that is spoken forth before the creation of the world. Where is his Hebrew brain? He's back in Genesis chapter zero in chapter one. What does God speak for Creation? Paul here is talking about something God spoke for before the foundation of the world. And Paul says that you and me. Then we were spoken forth out of the heart of God long before the foundation of the world. We were. In the heart of God before we were created. There was no emergency in heaven when you were conceived. May have been an emergency in your mother's life. No emergency in heaven. I think this is what the psalmist is trying to wrestle with Me said You saw my unformed substance. You knew all of my days before there were any of them. You formed me in my mother's womb. You know all of those dynamics. I think the psalmist is is trying to grasp the same thing that Paul is trying to convey to us there in Ephesians four. And I think what John is seeing in his vision here, by your will, all things were our existed and were created. So that so that you and I. We're not accidents. You are a beloved child of God, spoken forth out of the heart of God's love before the foundation of the world. That's a mystery we can't get our minds around. And of course, that's part of the mystery of John's vision.


We can't get our minds in time. Couldn't get his mind around all that. He's trying to give us images and symbols that try to sing along in that direction. Now, one other aspect of chapter four. We saw earlier on Thursday that it's a vision of God, the creator seated him on the throne. And then you have the four living creatures in the midst of and in a circle around the throne, and you have a 24 elders in a circle around the throne. And John describes God as with the idea of Jasper and Carnelian. And I mentioned Tuesday that if you go to the description of New Jerusalem in terms of 21, John's first words that he uses to describe New Jerusalem are Jasper and Carnelian. Also, the New Jerusalem is where God's throne is, the throne of God, and the lamb is in it. John says a little bit later. Also the New Jerusalem is has the number for its four square drawn sets. Also, it has 24 elements. There are the point. There are the 12 gates and there are the 12 pieces of wall. So here you have in chapter 21 the vision of New Jerusalem with God seated upon the throne, with 24 units around and four units. And what we've got here, I think, is another one of those places where John is modulating his imagery. You see the same reality in both places, but using different imagery to try to convey that reality to us. So when we come to chapter 21, we'll look at this again and and see the dynamics of what's going on there. Okay. Any any questions on chapter four? Okay, Let's turn then to chapter five. Now, Chapter five is John's vision of God the Redeemer or the LAMB, God the Creator.


Chapter four, God the Redeemer. And then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne scroll, written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And of course, the question is what is scroll? First of all, the location is significant. It is in God's right hand. The right hand in the in the Jewish pool of images that John is using. The right hand represents the the will, the purpose, the action of the person whose hand it is. In the song. The song is praise for God to raise up his mighty right arm and do something, or the song is praises God because God's mighty right arm has gotten him the victory and His God's right arm has accomplished God's purposes. Or it talks about David's mighty right hand winning the battle. So. So the right hand is is representative, you might say, of the the incarnation of the person whose hand it is. It is the manifestation of that person in action in some sort of way. So here, this scroll in God's right hand must have something to do with who God is and what God's purposes are. Also, it is written on the inside and on the outside or inside, in the back. That's unusual. Scrolls normally were not written on the back side because as you rolled and unrolled the scroll to read it. What's going to happen to any writing that's on the back of it? It's going to get rubbed off. So you didn't normally write on the backside of a scroll? Only on the front side. But this was written on the front and on the back. And I think what John is trying to convey here is that whatever this is.


It is something that is complete, that nothing can be added to it. It's written on both sides. I mean, most scrolls, if you want to add something, you can always turn it over and write on the back if you want it to. But here you can't do that. It is full. There's nothing. There's no way to add anything to it. Also, it's sealed with seven seals. So having to remember is the number of totality completion. So here is a scroll that is completely seal, which indicates, I think, that nothing can be taken away from it. So now the question, what is this? Hmm. I think what we're seeing here is God's purpose. God's will. God's will for creation. Remember, we were just seeing God the Creator. And now John is sort of morphing into God the Redeemer through the image of the scroll in God's right hand. And we'll see how this plays out. If this is indeed the fullness of God's will. God's purpose. Let's see how it plays out. Then John sees a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals. And no one in heaven or on Earth or under the Earth was able to open the scroll or go look into it. So basically nothing at all Creation could disclose the fullness of the scroll, nothing in heaven, nothing on earth, nothing under the earth. So they search all creation and nothing can be found. And then John begins to weep bitterly, because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Yeah. Then one of the elders, this is one of the 24 elders said to me, Do not weep. See the lion of the tribe of Judah.


The root of David has conquered so that he can open the scroll. And it's 78. And if you if you know Greek, look at verse five, the way the way this is is structured, that the conquering is the opening. It is hard to translate it in English, they say conquered so that he can open. That's as close as you can come. I think in the Greek when you unpack, it really says that the root of David has conquered to open the scroll. The concrete is the opening. Now we've already seen conquering use in the letters to the seven churches to the one who is conquering. John says, I will give for Jesus as I will give. And then there's a promise of some sort. And we've already discussed conquering. Conquering is living your life as a faithful citizen of God's New Jerusalem, in the midst of a fallen Babylon world, and particularly in the midst of the of the persecution, the tribulation where John uses that you experience in the hands of that fallen Babylon world. Remember, John and his readers were some of them were experiencing that that tribulation at the hands of Rome. So here now you've got the lion of the tribe of Judah. The root of David has conquered Caesar. Now conquering is getting shifted to another level. And conquering to open the scroll and in seven seals. Now, of course, the the image of the lion of the tribe of Judah, as well as the image of the root of David in a Jewish pool of images are messianic images. These are images that have come to be associated with the Messiah, particularly the Davidic Messiah, who would restore the kingdom and restore the rule of David in that kingdom.


So, John, you know, here the elder tells this not now. That sort of raises a question, does he? Because we saw in the previous chapter these 24 elders, every time the four living creatures give praise and honor and glory to the one seated on the throne, the 24 elders bow worship and cast the crown. Now, when do they do that? Remember the four living creatures never feast day or night, which means the 24 elders never feast day or night. What's this guy doing talking to John? I mean, you get some sort of special dispensation to stop off bombing, which should be encased in grounds. We can talk with John. And I think this this reveals to us what we were talking about on Tuesday, that this bowing, worshiping, casting the crown is the inner posture of being of discipleship. It is that inner being that acknowledges God is God and allows God to be God in our life on God's terms. So at the same time, this elder is talking to John. He's still bowing, worshiping and casting the crown. Just as we should be in our lives, whatever we're doing. I think this is what Paul points to. He says, Whenever you do in word or do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, you mean thanks to God, the Father through him? What do you need to do? Something in the name of the Lord Jesus? Well, biblically name has to do with nature. When people have transforming encounters with God, their name has changed, but they're no longer the same. Person who do everything in the name of Jesus is to do it in a Christlike kind of way. But you can't do it in a Chrysler kind of way unless you're bowing worship in the crown.


Unless you're letting God be God in your life on God's terms. Is that what Christ like this is? So So here this elder is has not ceased bowing, worshiping and casting the crown. Even while he's talking to John, we see another elder in chapter seven who comes over and talks with John as well. So. So now, John. It is looking for the lion of the tribe of Judah. The root of David. So he looks. And what does he see? It was then I saw between the throne and the living creatures. And among the elders, a lamb. I mean, talk about. Imagine this whiplash. You know, John stole the lion of the tribe of Judah. Of course, the lion. You know, the king of the beast. So he's looking for this line. And what does he see? A lamb. I mean, polar opposites. He sees a land. And not only a lamb. But a lamb. Standing as slain. I mean, a land is a pretty weak image. A slain lion is about as weak an image as you can get. That's about as far away from the imagery as you can possibly get. What's going on here? Hmm. Was John seeing? Now, remember in the previous verse when the elder tell John the lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered. And he sees this plane land. What John is seeing here is is what's not really the beginning is a second aspect of the cross that John is seeing at this point. Remember in chapter one. In his vision of Jesus that begins the whole visionary experience. Jesus says, Behold, I was dead. And I'm alive forevermore. And I have the keys of death in Hades. Where we said there that where John sees the first thing Jesus says in the vision to John is that in his death and resurrection, the rug has been pulled out from under fallen Babylon.


Death in Hades is the foundation. So this cross has has pulled the rug out from under fallen Babylon. Death and resurrection. And that's the conquering easy that that is the conquering with a capital C. Of which our conquering small sea is the result. That as we live our lives as faithful citizens of New Jerusalem and fit in the face of the opposition and pressure and persecution. What have you, the fallen Babylon world? You see, we are, in a sense, entering into the conquering of the land. So here is this. This land slave. Now, of course, also in the Jewish poll of images. You do have a slain lamb that stands at the center of the Jewish understanding of the relationship with God. What? LAMB is that? The Passover. LAMB The practical lamb. And this, of course, is the is a symbol of how God brought them out of bondage. And form them as his covenant people. And so another part of the image you see to Jon's Jewish readers and to those, you know, nurtured in in the Jewish expectation. Is that? What the lamb represents is. A New Covenant relationship. Now, remember, we've seen back in chapter one. We're John. Has his epistolary introduction graced you in peace from the one who is and is to comes and from Jesus the Messiah the first from the dead who has. Loved us and cleansed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom. When we unpack that, what that says to John's Jewish readers is God has consummated the covenant and He has fulfilled the promises to the prophets. Remember, the purpose of the old covenant was to make Israel a kingdom of priests. And here we are now. He has made us a kingdom and priests.


So. So here we have in Jesus the fulfillment of of the old covenant. And at the cross stands at the heart of that. Now, this is just the second instance we have. But this is the first one that links it into into God's purposes and the covenant in some way. We'll see. The this is suggestive at this point. If we only had this, we would not be able to say with any definitive certainty that this is talking about the establishment of a New covenant community. When we get over to Chapter 11, we're going to see how this plays out. So it's another one of those things you see where in John's rhetorical style, he introduces an element sort of suggestively at this point. Remember, reread this as as Jews steeped in their Jewish imagery. You see, this imagery is speaking of a Davidic Messiah who was going to restore the kingdom. You say fulfill the promise of the prophets. So this this is this is the imagery that they're reading this in. But it's not quite as neat and clean and clear as you would like it to be. It's another one of those introductions. You see that later on. You're going to get the whole picture. And this is a way that rhetoricians, you know, kept their audience with them because you introduce something here and then somewhere down the road you get the answer to it. And so it keeps the audience alert. They're looking, Where's the answer going to be here? And when it comes to, you know, and it's what we'll see when we get to Chapter 11. Now he is now this lamb standing as Lois Lane as seven horns and seven eyes. Now, horns in the Jewish pool of images are a symbol of power, of might, of strength.


When you break someone's horn, that image is huge. It means you have overcome them. You have defeated them. So seven horns would be totality of power. And again, what a whiplash of images. A slain lambs about as weak as you can get. But this slain lamb has seven horns. Has complete, total, absolute power. And what John is seeing here is that the cross is the power of God. It is difficult to grasp that even for us. You see a God whose strength is made perfect in crucifixion, a God who wins by losing, who lives by dying. Those are oxymorons. They don't work. Paul says the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of humanity. I think this is part of what John is saying here. And then the Seven Eyes. Which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Here now. Remember in chapter one, you had the Trinity. You had a great jump from the one who is who was in is to God from the Sevenfold Spirit before you and from Jesus the Messiah. Then we've already seen Here's the sevenfold spirit you see between God and we've already seen for that before the throne, our seven lamps, which are the seven fold Spirit of God. And now we have the lamb, which has seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God. And again, totality seven is never complete the fullness of God's spirit. And the Seven Eyes are the fullness of God's. All seeing this and notice into the earth. Into all the earth. Now, Earth, I mentioned this before. I think I have Earth and John's vision is not the third rock from the sun. The earth is falling in Babylon. And so what John is seeing here is that through the slaying slaying of the lamb, the spirit of God has been sent out into into fallen Babylon.


And as we'll see, the purpose is to redeem those who drive upon the earth, to redeem the citizens of Babylon, or, in the other phrase, to redeem those of every tribe, nation, common people. So the lamp goes and takes the scroll from the right hand of the one who is seated on a throne. And when you take in the scroll before living creatures, the 24 elders fell before the lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And here again you see you get another linkage. We said the 24 elders represent us because we're the priests in 24th and never the priesthood. Now they are holding golden bowls full of incense. Which are the prayers of the saints. So you get the link and you see with the believers and the 24 elders again. Yeah, I know. Like, sometimes John just casts an illusion out there and expects you to catch it. And other times he sits there and explicitly tells you y what something means. What's the. I mean, I understand. I mean, I appreciate that he does that, but I just don't understand why he would do that sometimes and not others. And and if he's explicitly going to say that, then why describe what it is? Yeah, I think we'll see a little bit later when we get over to the seventh seal. You know, the these are our fleshes this out. You know what what relationship to the prayers of the saints have to do with this that's really the question is it making the prayers the saints the elders that's not that's not really a hard leap at all because one of the functions of the priest in the temple usually was to offer daily prayers.


And so that works. But in chapter eight, in the seventh SEAL, we're going to see a whole new understanding of this prayer. And again, again, linked with the incense you see here, it's linked with the bowls there, it's linked with the incense. And you wonder what's going on there. We're going to see seven bowls later on. You see. So he's he's introducing things here that just get picked up and amplified further down the road. And probably the reason he says it here is simply to to remind his hearers of the temple priestly imagery that he's carrying through is just another way to keep emphasizing that imagery. Okay. So the now the four living or by the way, notice in verse six for I move this down he see John sees between the thrones and the four living creatures. And among the elders now in chapter four, remember the four living creatures in the myth of the Throne and in the circle around it. So if John sees someone between the throne and the four living creatures. The only place that can be if you if you take seriously that the four living creatures are in the midst of the throne. You see. And the lamb is between the throne and the four living creatures. It's suggesting the lamb is gone. Because remember, the four living creatures to see are in the midst of the throne. God is on that throne. So here again, it's a suggestive image. Later on, we're going to see that God and the LAMB are seated together on the throne again and again and again. Here is where John just sort of suggestively introduces that. I mean, you have to think about is his imagery to pick it up. But later on, you see it becomes very explicit where the lamb is is sitting on the throne with God.


And of course, we've already seen that in the was it the letter to lay a sea of the promise to those who are conquering, to the one who is conquering. I would give him to sit with me on my throne as I have conquered and have sat with the father on his throne. So there's Jesus. You see the lamb sitting with God on the throne, and conquerors will join him there. And when he had taken the scroll. Before living creatures. The 24 elders tell me for the land. We did that. They sang a new song. You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals for you were slaughtered or you were slain and by your blood. You ransomed four God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation. Now we're getting almost instantly an amplification, you see, of of the slaying of the lamb, as well as the fullness of God's spirit sent out into the earth. Because we see that by your blood. You have ransom for God saints from every tribe language, people and nation. And that those four are John's description of the citizens of in Babylon. Now we're going to see later on that they're reading from those who got up on the air. The two phrases John uses for reforming Babylon citizenship. Here we get the first one. Tribe, nation, tribe, language people and nation. Then notice. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God. There it is exact almost exactly the same words as chapter one. You know, Jesus the Messiah who has loved us, cleansed us from our sins, my husband, and has made us a kingdom and priests. Here we see a new dimension of it, that these are those who have been redeemed from every tribe, nation, hungry people, and have been made a kingdom and priests.


And they now here you get an interesting thing here in the Greek text. It says they will rain on earth. There's a textual variant that says they are raining on earth. Present tense. Here is the future. That's illusory. The other is basically Uzi just dropping off the sigma. What? Why do we have that variant? The present tense form is extremely difficult to account for. Especially in. The world in which John was to which John was writing, where Rome is reigning forever and ever. Not the church. You see. And even into the second, third and fourth centuries, where Rome is still the ruling power of the known world for for Christians. In the canons of textual criticism. One of the canons is that the more difficult reading is more likely the original. That is, that scribes, as they were transcribing the texts, had a tendency to try to straighten out difficulties. And you see by changing the present tense, they are ruling or they are reigning. Into a future tense. It solves a problem because to say, especially in John's day, those churches that are they're experiencing tribulation at the hands of Rome. To say that they are reigning. That doesn't make any sense at all. Right, But it will rain. Yeah. Some day, you know, we're going to be on top and they're gonna be on the bottom. I think John wrote They are raining now. We'll get a confirmation of this when we get over to chapter 20. So if you can sort of hold that and backburner all that other stuff that's pushed back on the back burner that we're been picking up as we go through, we'll see that later on, it becomes pretty clear that we are now reining. Seems like in context it would make sense to say we are that they are reigning because they just gave the example of power in the crucifixion of the lamb.


It's like just a reversal of their understanding of power that makes it. Yeah. Yeah, that certainly would be a reversal of their understanding of power. Here's a slain lamb with seven horns. You know, you can just see the people shaking their heads as they hear this. And this image isn't working at all. You know, it isn't coming together. What's the reading on that variant? Metzger's reading you write that. I'm not sure. I would look and see anybody have a UBS group somewhere here have a potential variance, though. Oh, well, we'll let you work on that. There's a guy who created all the variants and said, This is how. Yeah, it's what John is seeing here. Presuming the present pants was the original. You know, and they are raining upon the earth. It's it's somewhat similar to what Paul does in various ways. One of the one of the clearest ways that where Paul says that we are more than conquerors through him who have guts. In the context of that is we're like sheep being led to the slaughter every day. We're being killed for his sake. And he goes, Right, we are more than conquerors. Come on, Paul, What are you talking about? This, you know, somebody, you know, being crucified or being taunted by the lions or what have you. This sure doesn't feel like conquering Paul. What on earth are you talking about? And of course, some of those church, those churches where there have been murders, where they're experiencing tribulation, you know, like Smyrna. When we were running with him. You know, Caesar's in the driver's seat. He's got all the power. You know, it's interesting how Paul uses the dynamics of a Roman power. To illustrate that God has overthrown it all.


For instance, the Philippines is one of the best examples of that, where we're Paul talks about and tells us to have that same orientation that Jesus had. You know, he was in the form of God, did not contain quality, got with God something to be exploited. But having empty himself, having become as a slave, having become a human form, he emptied himself and being found in form. As a human. He became obedient, obedient even at the death, even the death of a cross. So here, you know, you and a cross in the Roman world is the symbol of ultimate nothingness, ultimate powerlessness, ultimate dehumanization, ultimate marginal marginalization. I mean, imagine the difficulty the early church had being a community whose primary symbol was across. In the Roman world. But then Paul goes on. Therefore, it was a consequence of the crisis. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him, given him the name that is above every other name that the name of Jesus. Every nation, about every time, because of Jesus Christ is Lord. Now in the Roman world, whose name was above every other name. Caesar, who's named it every kneebone, every tongue confess that he was warned Caesar. Caesar was doing here. You saying that the cross has turned the world upside down? And I think that's exactly what John sees here. I think the original reading was this was the present tense reading. We are reigning. A later scribe looked around and said, Sure, don't look like it to me. We'll just put a sigma in here. Make this future, doesn't it? Were you able to find the what do they show the variant there. Yeah, he said that's due also this year and nine of the nine wasn't the same. And there's a secondary development arising from the issue with nine of her maths.


What if cultures between others was a sin? And then he gives all of the viewer options. Majority of the committee noting that in 2016 Codex Alexandrian House mistakenly reads. Must lose them for the future. Tense Preferred. The same here. I'm not totally understand. I'd have to look at it to refresh my. I'll check that and bring it back to you next Tuesday. Okay. Then in an 11. John says. Then I looked. I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders. We've had just that, the living creatures in the elders involvement at this point. Now he's got this multitude of angels, a number myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands. When you when you figure that a myriad was 10,000, so myriads of myriads is 10,000 times 10,000. And then multiply that by another thousand and then by another thousand. I think it comes out to something like 200 billion. You UK. I'm in the Roman world. You know, it was just sort of an infinite number. This is just a huge, unimaginable number. So here, here is the whole host of heaven. You see these many angels. You're singing with full voice. Can you imagine what that might sound like? You know that hundreds of millions of angels singing in full voice. Worthy is the lamb that was slain, slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. And of course, John got this from Handel's Messiah. Yeah. Where are these the lambs now? When. When, when the. John uses this phrase worthy is the LAMB of God to receive. It's not that we are giving the power and the wealth and the wisdom in the Maidan, the honor and the glory and the blessing.


It is that to give these things is to acknowledge these things are Christ's or God's word, whoever the subject is. Now, remember, let's go back to that scroll. Written on both sides. SEAL the seven SEALs, the lamb, The slaying of the lamb. The cross is the opening of the scroll. What John is seeing here is that the cross is the. Fulfillment or the manifestation of the fullness of God's purpose. I said that the right hand represents the the action of of of a person with the enactment of their will. Their purpose. And so what John is, is cobbling together this varied image is that the cross, at least suggestively again, here he's not stating explicitly, Nick, but suggestively that the cross is the manifestation of the fullness, the depth, the heart of God's will of God to purpose, that He is the outward manifestation. You see right hand of a fullness of God's purpose. Now we're going to see again, we get over in Chapter 11, we're going to see this confirmed in a very straightforward, well, not so straightforward, but very John treated. It was a straightforward way. The cross is the consummation of the old covenant, that the cross is the fulfillment of the promise to the prophets. So. So John is hinting at it here. And the image imagery that he's he's put together. Yeah. So, I mean, why the go to this is translated as singing. Does that also mean sing in Greek? And they go, Yeah, yeah. The Greek is like on the saying saying with great voice translated, saying now. Good question. Later on we're going to we're going to get the herbs in here and we can harp is harping on their heart and I think solo is the word that she later on which is singing yeah so yeah I don't know why they translated that singing at this point.


Oh, because, you know, if you want to be technical, it should be saying saying with a great voice for observation. Then. Then John. John hears every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea and all that is in them. Now, this is all creation now. Singing. And what does it say that your leg on top is still saying to the one seated on the throne and to the lamb? The blessing and honor and glory in might forever and ever. Before leaving preachers said Amen and the elders fell down and worship. So here is John, seeing Heaven's worship of God, The LAMB, the Redeemer. So you got God to create or guide the Redeemer. And this is this this rounds out that first what I call that first heavenly vision. And then we move into the seven SEALs, which are sort of the the the anti pol, you might say, of the seven churches in that bill. Matthew, I sketched out for you, you got the seven churches and you got chapters four and five having the vision and you got the seven SEALs or on this side and the seven trumpets having the vision, seven rolls. Then you've got the harlot, heavenly vision, The bride. So if you've got that map. Okay. Questions on chapter five. Yeah. I'm. Becker number seven. When want takes the scroll. He's on the throne and yet he takes the scroll from the one that's on the throne. Is that indicating the incarnation of taking God's purposes to the earth? I mean, just, I don't know, maybe trying to push the imagery a little too far. But of course, when you've got the slaying of the lamb, you got the slain lamb. Certainly John's readers are going to understand this as the cross.


So, I mean, that is incarnation. But whether that whether the taking of the scroll. Certainly incarnation is part of that because the incarnation is the manifestation of the fullness of God and the fullness of God's purpose in the Cross. But whether John intends for his readers to pack all of that in there. His focus, I think, is on the cross as that which discloses the fullness of God's purpose that that which opens the the scroll you see and discloses it. Okay. I'm just noticing a parallel with Philippians two in heaven on Earth and under the Earth. Is that an idiom that is has a definition specific to their culture? What would that mean to them? Yeah. The question is heaven on earth and under the earth, is that some sort of an idiot? It is the the world of that day. They sort of thought and you might say three levels or three dimensional terms. You know, the deities were were in the heavens. And then we are the living are here on earth and the dead are under the earth, not in not in the sense that they've been buried in a grave, although they did buried people. But so it's representing all creation, living and that sense, all creation from the beginning up to the present moment. Okay. And building on that, why in verse 13 of the ad of the Sea, is there a significance to. It seems like you have a completion of the heaven, earth and and under the earth, and now you've got a fourth one? Yeah, good question. You just got ahead of me a little bit. Okay. Remember, we've seen the sea, you know, the sea down under God's feet. And as we work on through the vision, the sea becomes an image of the rebellious order.


And the beast comes from the sea. In chapter 13, the sea becomes mingled with fire and chapter 15, and we'll see why that's the case. And then it sort of shrinks to a lake of fire later on. And then remember, in the new creation, the sea is no more. So what is John trying to image here by talking about the sea as well, Having earth on the earth under there and in the sea. Now, notice he could be just because John is using sea. As an image of the rebellious order. Does not necessarily mean that every use of C is doing that. And we'll see. There are a couple of places where it's obvious in talking about the CS, the literal CS on the earth. We talked about the ships on the sea, etc.. So one possibility is that John is simply indicating the creatures in the sea, the fish, so that all creation is included. But if that's the case, why does he include the birds? Well, you could include the birds in the heavens. You see every creature in heaven. We're not we're not in Greek is both heaven as we think of heaven and sky. So that that could be what's going on here. Or it could be similar to what Paul does in Philippians. Every need, Shobha, every tongue confess. Now for the citizens of in Babylon, that is going to be a confession of their state of judgment, of not being part of the restored kingdom. So is that what John is doing here? It's not clear. Big this. We just have to keep watching. As I say, we'll have to keep watching the seeds we go through. Yes. So is Earth there? And if it's in the context of this idiom, is Earth representing Fall of Babylon or Third Rock from the Sun? Good questions that might relate to the sea as well.


Does Earth here represent fallen Babylon? Again, you get the same ambiguity. It could be simply all that are alive on the earth. Or it could be that even Fallen Babylon is going to acknowledge this reality. My suspicion is that what we're dealing with here is simply all creation is acknowledging and praising the land. Christian, you have a question? Oh, okay. Yeah. Ryan, what's the best part? Oh, there has. Is that also maybe going back to the Levites in the temple? Yeah. Ryan's questions about the heart, the elders my brothers have have harps and golden bowls. And if we can just hang on to the heart for a bit later on, we're going to they're going to come back. Okay. And when they come back, they get associated with the new song, you know, the song of Moses and the Song of the LAMB. So again, it's the idea of the transition into a new covenant community. I hear you here. You just. Just sort of hangs there with no no description as well as the the bowls and the incense. Okay. Now, of course, golden bowls are associated with the temple, incense associated with the temple. Harps are associated with the temple. They're all temple imagery. But all John does is indicate them here. And we don't know how they're going to play out. But they will. Okay? I assure you they will play out. Okay. Ready to move on to chapter six. Great. If we can get ahead a little bit here. Now the next unit is six one, two, 485 with seven seals. At this point, we get a sort of a literary characteristic of what John does in these next three groups of seven. We didn't see this with the seven churches, but with the seven seals, the seven trumpets and the seven bowls, there is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh.


Here. Chapter seven. Huge interlude between the sixth and the seventh Trumpet Chapter ten and part of Chapter 11. Another huge interlude between the sixth and the seventh Ball. Chapter 16 is just a one verse interlude, which is sort of inside that Jesus speaks into the space between the sixth and the seventh ball. Another feature of these last groups of seven is that there is a distinction between the first four and the last three. And we'll see how that plays itself out here. It's clear because the first four are the four horsemen. And then five, six and seven deal with other dynamics. With the first four of the trumpets and the first four of the bowls. We'll see that they deal with exactly the same thing the earth, the seas, the rivers of water and the sun. So and then you go over the next three, go in a different direction. So there's sort of a dual dynamic to these last groups that last three groups of center. First for last three in an interlude between the six and seven. So and I'll point these out to you as as we go on. Then John said, I saw the lamb open one of the seven seals. And I heard one of the living creatures call out. As with a voice of thunder, he's really shouting this out, you know, Come and John, look. And there was a white horse. Its rider had a bow. A crown was given to him, and he came out conquering and to conquer. And of course, once again, the question is who is he? Who dat, by the way, that these first four SEALs are associated with the four living creatures? Also, one of the four living creatures sort of introduces each of these writers.


Which suggests that what we're dealing with here somehow deal with the created or remember for the number of creation. So we're dealing with actions of God in the midst of creation in some way. Now, who is this? Well, there is. If you read commentaries, you discover there is great argument about who this first writer is. Two basic camps. One camp. This is the anti-Christ. Now, of course, that word is not used here. It's not used anywhere in Revelation, actually. The only place in it, the only place it is used is in first John and second John. And there John is talking about present people in his own day, not some future being this one to show up on the scene. And in fact, John says there are many Antichrist have already gone out from us. The word Antichrist Christ, Christus means anointed. Christus is simply the Greek translation of Messiah. So an A.I. Messiah is a person who rejects Jesus as the Messiah. And apparently what John's dealing with in his day as he writes his letters to the church is first and second letters to the churches. He's writing about a group of people who are rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. And as we read on in those letters, we discover they also are rejecting that Jesus came in the flesh, some sort of, you know, protean Gnosticism appears to be going on here. So when John uses Antichrist. It has nothing to do with the way it's used by the dispensation or movement of our day. And one of the ways, you know, the way in which they keep using anti-Christ in interpreting Revelation really is ridiculous because it never appears. And you would think that if Antichrist meant what they say, it means that the person, the only person who used it in the New Testament, John, would certainly have included it in his revelation if it were to remain and it appears not to have been named because he never uses it.


So it doesn't seem very likely that this first writer is the, quote, antichrist, unquote. The other the other camp is this is Christ. This is Jesus. And that one, I think, can be proved. If you look at and not notice. Notice the way he's described. Yeah. Let me let me let me just do something here. I want to I want to go forward to chapter 19. Well, yeah. Let's talk about. And I want to go to verse. 11. That's a. Yeah. And I went with this to the Greek. In. What was the symbol for the green camp? I can't find it. Help me. Help me all. Under what was a number you need to know. It's not there. We could use that. Yeah, right. Yeah, we. I think we can. Let me run this up a bit. Here we go. We. Oh, yeah. Okay, Now see if I can get this down. I can point at it a little bit. Just a minute. Now look at what you have here. Don't write down for me. Drop it so I can point specifically to these verses. I want to work. This needs to come down a bit. Oops, wrong way. Yeah. Okay, We're okay. Now, here. Notice. Eight on, eight on. You do. You do. Hey, boss. Hey, boss. Lucas. Lucas. Chi Chi Hall or Gotham. And ask of him on us. EP. EP out on our time. The rider in chapter 19 is introduced in exactly the same phrase that the first rider in Chapter six is introduced with. In chapter 19. The writer is Jesus. We'll see if we get a check now. If you read through, it is the word of God and it is the one who conquers the beast and the false prophet.


So that is the first the first evidence that. New. Here we go. And let's. Together. One another piece of evidence. B that Jesus is the only one who has done any conquering up to this point. That's another one of the fact there. There are a number of factors here. The first the first is, is that Jesus is introduced with the exact same phrase in 19 is here. Number two, the first writer. The first writer's on a white horse. In John's vision, White is associated only with the redeemed and heavenly beings. No, nothing associated with in Babylon has white associated with it. Then the crown. The Stefanos Crown. No one in Revelation has a Stefanos crown except Jesus and the Redeemed. And then he went out conquering and to conquer, with two exceptions. We'll see those when we get over into Chapter 11 and 13. With only two exceptions, every use of conquering in John's vision is either of Jesus. Or of the Saints. So it would seem that it's pretty clear, both from the imagery, as John uses it throughout the description of his vision and the fact that Jesus is introduced by the exact same phrase in 19 that this is Jesus. Okay, I'm with you so far. So it's just just a it's not a critical question. A crown was given to him. Who gave him the crown? And is just Jesus need to be given anything. And don't get too hung up on being too literal here. Of course, in the Hebrew, whenever you use a passive tense, it's God that doing it, that, you know, God gave it to him. Okay. So and of course, Jesus says in his prayer and in John 17, you know the glory you have given me, I have given them.


Well, God obviously gave Jesus the glory. Okay. So how how how do you speak of of God giving God something? How do you deal with the mystery? Yeah. Following that literal line of thinking, you have Jesus, the lamb opening a scroll where Jesus, the rider pops out. So you have two Jesus coexisting. Yeah. Yeah. How can Jesus both open the open the scroll. And what's he doing that for? I was just going to quick jump on the horse. Again. You can't you can't you can't force literalism upon the imagery. You know, John, John is trying to trying to convey the reality of his visionary experience and using the best imagery he's available and trying to use it to the best of his ability. But you see. So what you have here and we'll see the next the next three writers are in various ways represent Fallen Babylon. But here you begin with Jesus. And and of course, we've already seen some indications that that the cross is the undoing of the rebellion. Remember what we're doing in this Ford 22. We're backing off from the seven churches all the way up close and personal, the microcosmic into the macrocosm perspective of the reality within which those seven churches are experiencing their life in the world as citizens of New Jerusalem. So when he opens the second silk drawn, here is the second living creature. Cry out. Presumably again, with that voice of thunder come. And now came another hoarse, bright red. And if you look over at the Greek, it is porous, fiery. We get pyromaniac from this Greek word grasses. That is the Greek word for fire or poor. The Greek word for fire poor us is fiery or red OC. But it's significant.


Its work, its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth. Notice in the Greek to take the peace. You take pain every name, not just piece by piece. I'll come back to that in a moment. So that people would slaughter one another. And he was given a great sword. And of course, the question again, who that you know. The word poor Ross appears twice in John's vision. Here's the first use. The second use is in the Dragon Inn in Chapter 11. It is a porous dragon. Who is Satan? The deceiver, the ancient serpent. The devil. So that suggests that this second writer is Satan. And. It was given to him. Permitted. Permitted is a good way to do that too. By whom? By God. Obviously, he was ready to take him Iranian. The peace Now in Greek, the presence or the absence of the definite article is significant. If you do not have the definite article you're talking about just sort of a general thing or general reality. If John, everyone is a piece from the Earth, it would use paint. Irina When you use the definite article, you're talking about a definite thing. You're talking about a very specific piece. So what peace would Satan have taken from the earth? By the way, this is our first clue as to the definition of Earth. It's God. Shalom in the Hebrew School of Images. Shalom is a significant image. Shalom is God's shalom. Shalom is not the absence of conflict. Shalom is that whole order of being. In which human wholeness is found. And so what we've got here in a sense, is is a way of imaging the fall in this. Of humanity and of creation and its source. Satan was permitted. And of course, the question there is why did God permit this? I mean, if God is all powerful, just zap him out of existence, right? Well, that misses what's going on here.


God created humanity. God created us for a loving relationship. A relationship of loving union with God. And it's in that relationship of loving union that we find our true identity, our true meaning, our true value, our true purpose. We find our whole ness in that relationship. But a love relationship. A number of you've heard me do this before. A love relationship requires. I think I it here when we're talking about one of the churches, I forget. No, it was not the point where I was casting the crown requires for the beloved to be free to say no. God in order to create beings in God's own image for a relationship of loving union between God and that being. God had to allow He had to permit that being say no. Otherwise, we would not be beings in God's image. There is where he was permitted. You see. This is what John is dealing with here. And notice what the with a consequence was he first of all, he permitted to take leaps to de Satan. Has destroyed that realm. And as a consequence so that. See in order that purpose clause here. In order that. They might kill one another. And he's given a great sword. Or as a symbol of that of that slaying. And of course, what happens when when we go away from our relationship of loving union with God and become self reference beings, what happens to our relationships with others? Our only unity is in God. It's sort of like the spokes of a wheel. You know, the individual spokes find their unity in the hub. When we go away from the presence of the Lord, you come self-reference beings my self references sooner or later rubs up against your self references.


And if we both want the same thing. And only one can have it. What's going to happen? We're going to be at each other's throats. We're going to slay one another. Maybe not necessarily physically, but emotionally, mentally, psychologically. You know? What you're seeing here is the consequences of Satan's rebellion. Of the images or thinking about the narrative and this that back in Genesis. Yeah. The question is, are there images of the fall here or the fall narrative is that was going on? Certainly John's Jewish readers would reflect back upon the account of the fall witnesses, although here Jon really isn't. Giving any clear symbols that would point you in that direction. Okay. Okay. Can we do one more? When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out calm again, most likely with that voice of thunder. John looked and there was a black horse. Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand. And by scales. It doesn't mean your bathroom scared you, Stefan. Okay? It had to a woman's hand. Yeah. He has the balance type scales where you have the two pans and you put the product in one. The weight. That's the kind of scale you have. And then I heard what seemed to be what seems to be. It wasn't, but it seemed to be what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures. Now, who's in the midst of the four living creatures? Chapter four. My God. And from chapter five, The LAMB. So a voice from In the midst of the Four Living Creatures is is God's voice saying a quart of wheat for a day's pay, the Nereus and the Greek and three quarts of barley for a day's pay, but do not damage the olive oil and the wine.


And what's going on here? Well, a denarius is a day's pay for a a quart of wheat or three quarts of barley where minimal subsistence supplies. A quart of wheat or three quarts of barley were enough to support a family for one day. That was your food for the day. So you've got poverty level conditions. You've got subsistence level conditions. In that imagery, then you're not damaged. Olive oil and wine. Olive oil and wine are processed foods. The olives have to be harvested from the trees. They have to be pressed to get the oil out of them. The oil has to be filtered. That has to be bottle in some way and then gotten to the market. Same with wine. The grapes have to be plucked. They have to be pressed. It has to be bottled and fermented and then brought to the market. And as we know, processed foods are much more expensive than non processed foods. Now, there's a little bit of processing. Of course, with wheat and barley, you have to get the chaff out. But that's it. Once you've got the chaff out, it's right there. You don't do any more processing. So what you've got here is an economic picture and an image of economic disparity where the poor are living at a poverty level in existence and the rich aren't touched, don't harm the oil or the wine. These are the prerogatives of the wealthy. You see those who can afford the processed foods. And so you've got this economic disparity. Now, we're going to see when we get to chapter 13 that the second beast who later is identified as the false prophet, has an economic dynamic to it. If you don't have the mark of the beast, you can't buy or sell.


And we'll see when we get over to chapter 18 that John focuses in on the economic dynamic in Babylon. And of course, we can see this in the world around us. But when peace is taken, when God's shalom is taken out of the human community, there are those who enrich themselves at the cost of others. You have an economic disparity that emerges. Because I and my playing God in the world, I want what I want. And if that means you have less than I do, that's tough luck, buddy. You know, you can you can fight for it the same way I did. And of course, just look at the economic status of our country right now. Who is being hit the hardest by this recession. Not the rich. Oh, sure. You know, Bill Gates may may have lost 50% of the portfolio, but he's still got $7 billion. You know, I can live on that. We all could live on that. We could pay all of your tuition, you know. Oh, but but but what's happened? What's happening to the the person that, you know. Just trying to scratch together a daily living. Their problems separate John the here. You see the dynamics of fallen behavior. So if the second writer Satan, then the third writer is most likely the beast and false prophet, the incarnation of Satan's rebellion in in the world. Okay, we'll leave it there and I will pick up there on Tuesday. Good weekend. Whoever has the attendance slip. Be sure to get it up to me, please.