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Unveiling the Mystery of the Book of Revelation
Part II. The Vision of Heaven & the Scroll (Revelation 4-5)
At the beginning of Chapter 4 of the Book of Revelation, a voice told John, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." (Revelation 4:1) Then, John was instantly lifted into heaven "in the Spirit" and he saw the visions in heaven which no one else had seen and revealed before. This was the most amazing spiritual out-of-body experience that ever recorded in human history.
1. The Vision of Heaven (Revelation 4)
After he was spiritually lifted to heaven, John saw the following scenes in heaven:
The One who sits on the Great Throne - the Holy Father
The Twenty-Four Elders sitting on the throne surrounding the Great Throne
The Four Living Creatures with six wings and covered with eyes all around
The Lamb standing in the center of the throne, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders
Unlike what most Christians believed in the past that there was only ONE GOD in heaven, John actually saw 24 elders who were dressed in white with crowns of gold on their heads and sat on the thrones surrounding the Holy Father, the ONE who was sitting on the Great Throne. (Revelation 4:2-4)
This vision of the One sitting on the Great Throne and the Twenty-Four Elders sitting on the throne surrounding Him is similar to the scene described in many religions of polytheism. The only difference is the title of these twenty-four elders. In monotheism, they are called Elders, but in polytheism they are also called Gods or Lords as they are all the prominent divine figures in heaven, otherwise they could not sit on the thrones along with the Holy Father.
In the center, around the throne, there are four living creatures with eyes all around their bodies. They sing the praise to the Lord God Almighty and "give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne an who lives for ever and ever." (Revelation 4:8-9)
This vision of the Holy Father and 24 elders reflected the real situation in Heaven, which most churches did not teach in the past. In the Book of Genesis, when God said, "Let us make man in our image and in our likeness," (Genesis 1:26) He was referring to Himself and the 24 elders, not just Himself.
2. The Vision of the Lamb and the Scroll (Revelation 5)
Then, John saw the HOLY ONE who sat on the throne handed out "a scroll with writing on both sides." (Revelation 5:1) Unfortunately, "no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it." (Revelation 5:3) Only the Lamb who was slain and self-sacrificed for the human sins is worthy to take the scroll and open the seals on the scroll. (Revelation 5:6-9)
This indicated the significant authority is needed to open the scroll as only Christ the Lamb had the authority to unseal the seals on the scroll. In the same way, only the Christ of the "Second Coming" has the authority to unseal the true meaning of the visions on the scroll. That's why in the past two thousand years, no one could decode the real meaning of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation.
After the Lamb took the scroll from the Holy Father, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders all fell down before the Lamb and sang the song of praise to the Lamb. Then, all the angels encircled the throne and sang the praise to the Lamb,
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12)
In the end, every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them are singing:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb,
Be praise and honor and glory and power,
For ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13)
The vision carried TWO significant revelations that most Christians misunderstood in the past two thousand years.
First, the Holy Father who sits on the Great Throne and the Lamb who stands in front of the Great Throne are two different divine entities in Heaven. They are ONE in the Spirit, but separated in the Heavenly Body. That's why Jesus said "the Father is greater than I" (John 14:28) and He was doing the Father's will, not His own will.
Second, in the future, "every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea" will sing the praise and give honor to BOTH the Holy Father, the One who sits on the throne, and the Holy Son, the Lamb. That's why the Book of Revelation kept mentioning "God and His Christ" together but separately in Revelation 5:13, 7:10, 11:15, 12:10, 14:1,
The Holy Father who sits on the Great Throne and the Lamb who stands in front of the Great Throne are TWO separate heavenly figures but ONE in Spirit, the Holy Spirit. That's the true essence of the Trinity.
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