The Book of Revelation with commentary by Dr. Henry M. Morris and paintings by Ramona Lowe
The paintings are a work in progress and the finished pieces are highlighted in red on Page 2

Page 34

Worthy Is the Lamb

(Revelation 5)

The Book of Destiny

     The fifth chapter of Revelation is certainly one of the most glorious chapters ever penned.  The grandeur of the setting is incomparable and the theme is nothing less than the very destiny of the world.  Its Creator is seated on the glorious throne established high in earth’s atmosphere, encircled by the emerald rainbow and surrounded by the elders of redeemed humanity.

     But the earth itself, depleted of its “salt” by the resurrection and rapture of all the saints, is more corrupt than ever, rapidly degenerating into a morass of wickedness and violence.  The price for earth’s redemption was paid long ago on Calvary’s cross, but it is still bound tight in the power of the wicked one (1 John 5:19), so that its actual redemption must still be accomplished. It is as though a man had purchased a tract of land, and had clear title to it legally but was barred from occupying it by unlawful usurpers who had settled on it.

     Just so, earth’s final redemption is yet to come.  “And when these things begin to come to pass,” Jesus said, “then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).  “Ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13, 14).  In this glorious fifth chapter of Revelation, earth’s great Redeemer is preparing to finish the task of purging the purchased world.

Revelation 5:1.    And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

     The majestic presence of God on the throne was hidden in the rainbow-hued light, but now it seemed as though a man’s right hand were there, clasping a most remarkable scroll.  The scroll had writings on it, on both front and back.  Then it was rolled tight and sealed with seven strong seals.  

     But what is this remarkable scroll?  It is nothing less than the title deed to the earth itself.  This is not explained in the immediate context, but it is clearly the antitype of all the rich typological teaching associated with the divinely specified procedures for land redemption in the Old Testament.

     In the first place, the earth is permanently God’s possession by right of creation, and nothing can eve alter that fact.  “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof;  the world, and they that dwell therein.  For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods” (Psalm 24:1, 2).  In the type, this was signified by God’s permanent gift of a portion of His land to each family among His chosen people.  “The land whall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.  And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land.  If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold” (Leviticus 25:23-25).

     Just as an Israelite could sell or lose his land for a time, so apparently Adam lost his God-given dominion over the earth.  Satan became the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).  But this situation could only be superficial and temporary, for “the earth hath he given to the children of men” (Psalm 115:16).

     A lost estate in Israel could be redeemed by any kinsman with the purchase price.  The only one able to redeem the earth, however, is the Creator Himself, and to be a kinsman of Adam, He must first become a man, the second Adam.  The redemption price, furthermore, cannot be mere money.  “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:18-20).

     The sinless Lamb of God must take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  But even after the price was paid, the great usurper must still be expelled from the redeemed estate before the redemption of the purchased possession would be complete.  For a long time, however, the Lamb of God, the rightful owner, has been away in heaven, preparing a great city as a home for his redeemed ones, to bring back with Him when He returns to take possession of the earth.

     This aspect is also pictured typologically in the Old Testament, this time in terms of the long absence of the whole nation of Judah from its land during the Babylonian captivity.  In token of his faith that God would eventually restore the land to them, the  prophet Jeremiah purchased a tract of land which he had the right as a kinsmen-redeemer to buy, even though he knew the Babylonian invaders would usurp the land for seventy long years (Jeremiah 25:11).

     The evidence of the transaction was to be buried until such time as the invaders were expelled and the rightful heirs could return to claim it. “And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.  So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open: And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.  And I charged Baruch before them, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.  For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land” (Jeremiah 32:10-15).

     The deed of sale was written and sealed.  A duplicate was also made, the latter remaining open so as to bear testimony to what was in the sealed copy, and to be available for records and reference.  The sealed copy, however, could only be opened by the rightful owner (as identified on the open copy), and the transaction was not fully consummated until he came forward to break the seals and exhibit the official title deed and right of ownership.  In Jeremiah’s case, both copies were buried together, since there was no safe place for records to be kept, and Jeremiah knew that God would somehow direct his heirs back to claim their inheritance

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