After having a closer look at the vision that John has recorded in the book of Revelation we will push the rewind button and go all the way back to ancient stories in the Old Testament that will in a remarkable way help us to understand what is happening in Revelation. Many of the stories of the past are typologies that find a larger fulfilment in the prophecies pointing to the restoration of all things.
And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. Can you imagine the dazzling beauty of the scene? There is a throne and God the Father sits on it! Around Him are 24 elders. The chapter continues to describe how the 24 elders, together with other heavenly creatures, worship the almighty Creator. But then the scene transitions and suddenly John sees a sealed scroll in the hand of the one sitting on the throne.
So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. Here again we have our most important question. His tears have profound meaning and significance that we can only discover by entering into the world of Judaism. We need to take a look at the past to really grasp the significance of the picture that passed before John. The scene unfolding before John was not unfamiliar to him. The Old Testament contains typologies, which are stories that like a shadow point to something greater, that unlock the mysteries of the great controversy between light and darkness, between Christ and Satan.
John, being a first century Jew, had seen sealed scrolls in the presence of elders and witnesses before. He knew what it meant and he knew that if such a scroll could not be opened it had overwhelming implications. We push the rewind button and go all the way back to the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. He is also known as the rejected prophet. To say his life was hard is an understatement.
His main prophetic message was the invasion of the king of the north, Babylon, and the overthrow of Judah as a judgement from God for the continual apostasy and sins of the Jews. Tired of his predictions the people locked him in prison. While in prison his predictions came to pass and the king of Babylon surrounded the city. At this time of universal apostasy and judgment the Word of the Lord comes to Jeremiah and asks him to do something that humanly speaking would seem nonsensical at such a time as this. Buying land when the land was invaded by Babylon seemed ludicrous and senseless.
Yet God was giving an important message to His people through this transaction. Jeremiah had prophesied that the people would spend 70 years in Babylon, which came to pass. After the 70 years they indeed returned and again possessed the land. Once again they bought and sold properties just as was predicted. It is interesting to notice the details of how the land is sold to Jeremiah. It was a very common scene for the Jews at that time. A careful look will remind us of the similar scene we looked at in Revelation.
The proof of the purchase was written in a scroll and sealed in the presence of witnesses. And I signed the deed and sealed it, took witnesses, and weighed the money on the scales.
It all happened according to the law and custom of those days. The purchase was recorded on a scroll, which was sealed. This familiar scene must have come to the mind of John as he beheld God the Father on the throne, surrounded by 24 elders, holding a sealed book. John realizes that the scroll contains the evidence of who owns and possesses the land. This time we are not just looking at the ownership and possession of one piece of land but the entire earth. He understands that if the scroll is not unsealed and opened we will never know who is the owner of this earth and who will posses this land!
To further grasp the scene of Revelation we need to again push the rewind button and travel further back in time. We are going all the way back to the early days of the Jewish nation as they possessed the land of Canaan. Their culture and way of life revolved around the writings of Moses, which we have in the first 5 books of the Bible. The Jews referred to these books as the Torah. Leviticus, the third of these books, records how the Jews were to go about selling and buying land. For six years the Jews would grow food and reap their harvest, but not the seventh year.
It would be a year of rest and they exercised faith in Gods provision. This cycle continued for 49 years and then came another special year. The 50th year was the year of Jubilee. What happened in the year of Jubilee? It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine.
For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. In the year of Jubilee possessions would be returned. Land could be sold, but it would be given back in the year of jubilee to secure the inheritance of families. When a poor family needed to sell their land there first choice would be a close relative. And in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land.
If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold. Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it, then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession.
But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession. All property would automatically revert to the original owner in the year of jubilee, but it might be redeemed at any time by the owner, or by one of his relatives, upon payment of that which was due. The amount due was to be reckoned by the number of harvests between the time of redemption and the year of jubilee.
The one who had bought the property paid for it according to the number of harvests until the year of jubilee, omitting of course the sabbatical years, when there was no harvest. When the land was bought back he was to be repaid accordingly. This provision enabled a man to recover his property at any time.
This legislation favored the poor and encouraged him to work for the recovery of his property. God sought to prevent some people from becoming very rich and others very poor. Jeremiah as a close relative purchases the land to secure it. In the year of Jubilee it would return to Hanamel. This is all written on a scroll as evidence to be revealed when appropriate.
How do these typologies unfold in the great plan of redemption? This earth was originally given to man. It was given to Adam and Eve and we as their children inherit it. Originally this perfect world, created by God, was entrusted to mankind. The first man, Adam, was the representative of planet earth. But this perfect story took a drastic turn when Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit and sinned against God. Satan now claims ownership of this world! In the story of Job Satan appears before God obviously claiming this earth as his territory.
Satan claims this earth as his! But praise God for Jesus Christ who became one of us, a close relative, in order to redeem this earth back!
He purchased this earth with His own blood! At His death the ruler of this world, Satan himself, was cast out of his position as owner of this earth. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. When Jesus was lifted up on the cross he cast down all the arguments of Satan and before all the witnesses of un-fallen worlds He paid the price necessary to redeem this earth and to redeem you and me from sin!
When Jesus comes again the second time we enter the figurative year of Jubilee. Just as every six years was followed by a seventh year of rest, which continued for 7 cycles of 7 years culminating in the 50th year of Jubilee rest, so this earth is about years removed from creation.
When Jesus comes back we enter into the millennium of spending years of rest in heaven. According to Revelation chapter 20 the redeemed will reign with Christ during this period. After the years are finished the New Jerusalem descends from heaven and is described as a bride adorned for her husband. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
God Himself will be with them and be their God. There is another typology that gives us a picture of this final wedding between Christ and His people. It is the story of Ruth. This typology also reiterates the Jewish customs of buying and selling land, and gives us some more clues to the meaning of the sealed scroll and the rightful owner. Elimelech, Naomi and their two sons, as a Jewish family, go to live in Moab because of a famine in Israel. They stay there and their two sons get married to two Moabites, Ruth and Orpah.
Then over the course of years Elimelech and his two married sons die. Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah are left. The sixth seal, seventh trumpet and seventh bowl all involve a great earthquake and stars falling from the sky like hail. The latter two of these also mention the temple being opened: "I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place" Revelation "Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant.
And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. Many mistakenly believe that it is the Revelation of St. John the Divine, because that is a sub-caption under the title in many Bibles including mine.
This is incorrect, although Jesus sends the revelation via an angel to John, who in turn writes it to the seven churches of Asia Minor, and perhaps by extension, to us today. Revelation of the New International Version informs us that the Son of Man said to the church at Sardis, "Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.
He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. It was written for Christians facing a challenging situation. Which one of these famous speeches comes closest to sharing the same setting? The key word is "overcome" which occurs nine times in the book. Churchill's speech was given before the British House of Commons in , when all seemed bleak in the war against Germany.
He was brutally frank about the difficulties Britain was facing and that these would probably get worse. He clung to the hope, though, that victory would come in the end.
The language of his concluding words comes very close to being a perfect summary of the book of Revelation: " Copyright FunTrivia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. FunTrivia is a collaborative community effort, where we are constantly updating questions to keep them accurate. If you find an error, click through to the quiz link under the stated answer and then click "Report error" at the bottom of that page.