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Revelation Chapter 5 – Yahweh's Covenant People, 01-08-2011
V 1 And I saw at the right hand of Him sitting upon the throne a scroll, written on the inside and on the back, having been sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty messenger proclaiming with a great voice: “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loosen its seven seals?” 3 And no one was able in heaven nor upon the earth nor under the earth to open the scroll or to see it. 4 And I wept much, because no one is found worthy to open the scroll or to see it. 5 And one from among the elders says to me: “Weep not! Behold! The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and its seven seals!”
Yahshua Christ is the Lion of Judah and He is also the root of David. This is the Christian Paradox, and it has been argued since the time of Christ: For that reason Christ asked the Pharisees “If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?”, as we see recorded at Matthew 22:45. That He is God, Yahweh Himself having come as one of His own sons, is the only way that He could possibly be both the Root and the Offspring of David (cf. Isaiah 11:1, 10, Rev. 22:16). Of all of the sons of Adam, only Yahshua is worthy to open the seven seals, because only Yahshua is blameless and only Yahshua is God. Only God Himself can see the future. The scroll is a metaphorical device, and it is about to be opened in these images which are related to John. The complete opening of the scroll is in stages. First there are 6 seals, and then a seventh which itself consists of seven trumpets. The seventh trumpet consists of the pouring of seven vials, so we have a picture of sevens nested to three levels.
KJV Isaiah 11:1, 10: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots ... 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.”
KJV Rev. 22:16: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”
There are a few profane commentators who would pervert Revelation 5:5 into saying something differently, such as that the “lion of Judah” does not refer to Christ, and that it is somehow the object of a verb rather than the subject. Yet all of the Greek manuscripts, without exception, have the entire clause “the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David” in the Nominative case, making the entire clause the subject of the verb, and no part of it could possibly be an object of the verb. It is also a grammatical device by which both phrases are meant to refer to the same entity. A modern equivalent would be a sentence such as “Today in the Big Apple, New York City, all of the airports were closed...” where we see that the phrase “Big Apple” is a synonym for and a reference to “New York City”. Only someone with an agenda, rather than the truth, could read Revelation 5:5 any other way: The King James Version has this verse translated properly.
6 And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders a Lamb standing as if having been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of Yahweh having been sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and received it from the right hand of Him sitting upon the throne.
The Lamb that appeared as if it had been slaughtered can only be Yahshua Christ, the Lamb of God, for which see John 1:29 and 1:36 where John the Baptist proclaims Him to be that very thing. Here the Lamb is symbolic, and this allegory also equates Christ to Yahweh, since He is depicted as having the seven spirits of Yahweh. That Yahweh which sits upon the throne is the Creator God who permeates the universe, while the Lamb is His physical manifestation.
KJV John 1:29: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
KJV John 1:35-36: “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples ... And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!”
The four living creatures are described much the same way Ezekiel described them as a part of the throne of Yahweh 700 years prior to John. These are the same as the cherubs which sat upon the ark of the covenant, those sphinx-like creatures which had the attributes of a man, a lion, a bull and an eagle, the symbols from the standards of the four leading tribes of Israel.
Ezekiel 1:4-11 KJV: “4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. 5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. 6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. 7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. 8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. 9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. 11 Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.”
8 And when He received the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb each having a lyre and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, 9 and they sang a new song, saying “You are worthy to receive the scroll and to open its seven seals, because You have been slaughtered and You have purchased for Yahweh with Your blood out of each tribe and tongue and people and nation 10 and have made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they shall rule over the earth!”
The purchase with blood for one's brethren is the ancient Hebrew law of the kinsman redeemer. And if you are not a kinsman to the Redeemer, you have no part with Him in the first place! We see this in the Law at Leviticus 25:47-49 where the KJV has: “47 And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: 48 After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: 49 Either his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.”
Related Scriptures abound in both the Old and New Testaments, and the Old Testament passages referenced below all use a specific word which the KJV usually translates into a simple word, to redeem, yet there is a much greater meaning in the underlying Hebrew. The word is ga'al, Strong's no. 1350, and Strong defines it thus: “... to redeem (according to the Oriental law of kinship), i.e. to be the next of kin (and as such to buy back a relative's property, marry his widow, etc.)...” As Strong's also attests, the King James Version has also translated the word to reflect all of these meanings in certain contexts in the Old Testament.
KJV Leviticus 25:25: “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 [as a kinsman] that which his brother sold.”
KJV Psalm 74:2: “Remember thy congregation which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed [as a kinsman]; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.”
KJV Psalm 107:2: “Let the redeemed [kinsmen] of Yahweh say so, whom he hath redeemed [as a kinsman] from the hand of the enemy.”
KJV Isaiah 43:1: “But now thus saith Yahweh that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have [as a kinsman] redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”
KJV Isaiah 62:12: “And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed [by their kinsman] of Yahweh: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” (Sought out must refer to the “hunters” of Jeremiah 16:16.)
The idea that Israel was sold in sin, and therefore Israel had to be redeemed, is also found explicitly in Scripture, for instance at Isaiah 50:1 and 52:3, which is also a Messianic prophecy.
KJV Isaiah 50:1: “Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.”
KJV Isaiah 52:3: For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed [by a kinsman] without money.
KJV Romans 7:14: “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
Therefore Paul, in Galatians Chapter 4, gives the very reason why Christ came to die on the cross in the first place, giving His blood as the price for His redemption of this same Israel people. Once this understanding is obtained, once and for all the Old Testament and the New clearly converge as one and the same book telling a consistent story from cover to cover.
CNT Galatians 4:4-5: “4 And when the fulfillment of the time had come, Yahweh had dispatched His Son, having been born of a woman, having been subject to law, 5 in order that he would redeem those subject to law, that we would recover the position of sons.” (See also Luke 1:68, 24:21; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 1:18; Revelation 14:3, 4.)
A Kingdom of Priests
The idea of a “Christian priest” does not exist in the ante-Nicene writers, because all Christians should be priests in their own right, and there should be no professional Christian priesthood. Those who do the will of God are doing the service to God that He requires and therefore they are all priests of God.
There is nothing in Christianity which requires that performance of any special ritual. We are merely told to keep His commandments and to love our brethren – in action and not in speech only – and by doing those things we achieve the execution of the true Christian priesthood. The idea that each and every Israelite who does the will of Yahweh is a priest of Yahweh belongs to the Old Testament as well as the New, and is evident from Exodus Chapter 19 as well as from the epistles of Peter. Paul, and elsewhere in the Revelation.
While Paul does not refer to this priesthood status of Christians explicitly, in those letters which we have he does often use the Greek word leitourgia, and words related to it, in reference to the deeds which common Christian people perform in obligation of their duties to God. Yet the meaning of this word, which bears the very meaning of a service performed for God, is hidden in translation. The professional priesthood has adopted it for their own purposes, where they merely transliterate it as liturgy. In Athens, the word was used to describe those services which men either chose or were elected to freely provide for the public. When Christians provide for their brethren, that is their liturgy and they are fulfilling their Christian priesthood!
KJV Exodus 19:5-6: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”
KJV 1 Peter 2:5, 9: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.... But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light...”
KJV Rev. 1:6: “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.”
11 And I looked, and heard a sound of many messengers around the throne, and of the living creatures and of the elders, and the number of them was ten thousands of ten thousands and thousands of thousands 12 saying with a great voice: “Worthy is the Lamb which had been slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and dignity and honor and praise!” 13 And every creature which is in heaven and upon the earth and under the earth and upon the sea and the things in them all heard, saying: “To Him sitting upon the throne and to the Lamb is the praise and the dignity and the honor and the sovereignty for the eternal ages!” 14 And the four living creatures said “Truly!” And the elders fell down and they worshipped.
The ten thousands of ten thousands must be a vision of the saints – or holy ones – of Yahweh, the redeemed of our race, which we shall see mentioned more often in the chapters which follow. As we see where Jude quotes the writings of Enoch, when Yahshua returns He comes “with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14, 15). Here we have a profession of those very same people, which at one time rejected Yahweh as their King, that indeed He is sovereign and rightfully so, for only Yahweh Himself can justly rule over His people.
In 1 Samuel Chapter 8 we see that the children of Israel demanded an earthly king, thereby rejecting the Sovereignty of Yahweh their God. This is summarized in 1 Samuel 10:19 thus: “And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands.” This is truly the “Stone which the builders rejected”, and in Christ it will once again become the chief cornerstone.
Introduction to Chapter 6:
There is a writing in the works of Irenaeus, a bishop of Lugdunum (which is now Lyons in France), which reveals the insight of this man into the Revelation, and also shows that the historical view of prophecy is the earliest view. Irenaeus dies circa 202 AD, and it is generally believed that he wrote his treatise entitled Against Heresies circa 180 AD. This is only about 90 years after the Revelation was put to papyrus by the apostle John. Here is a chapter from Irenaeus, Chapter 26 from Book 5 of Against Heresies (for the purpose of the audio presentation of Revelation Chapter 6 I am only going to read certain parts - those parts which follow immediately. For the entire text of the chapter see the end of this document):
“Chapter XXVI.—John and Daniel Have Predicted the Dissolution and Desolation of the Roman Empire, Which Shall Precede the End of the World and the Eternal Kingdom of Christ. The Gnostics are Refuted, Those Tools of Satan, Who Invent Another Father Different from the Creator.
“In a still clearer light has John, in the Apocalypse, indicated to the Lord’s disciples what shall happen in the last times [which we are now in, cf. Hebrews 1:2; 1 John 2:18 - WRF], and concerning the ten kings who shall then arise, among whom the empire which now rules [the earth] shall be partitioned. He teaches us what the ten horns shall be which were seen by Daniel, telling us that thus it had been said to him: 'And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet, but shall receive power as if kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and give their strength and power to the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings.' It is manifest, therefore, that of these [potentates], he who is to come shall slay three, and subject the remainder to his power, and that he shall be himself the eighth among them. And they shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight. After that they shall be destroyed by the coming of our Lord. For that the kingdom must be divided, and thus come to ruin, the Lord [declares when He] says: 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.' … Daniel also says particularly, that the end of the fourth kingdom consists in the toes of the image seen by Nebuchadnezzar, upon which came the stone cut out without hands; and as he does himself say: 'The feet were indeed the one part iron, the other part clay, until the stone was cut out without hands, and struck the image upon the iron and clay feet, and dashed them into pieces, even to the end.' Then afterwards, when interpreting this, he says: 'And as thou sawest the feet and the toes, partly indeed of clay, and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided, and there shall be in it a root of iron, as thou sawest iron mixed with baked clay. And the toes were indeed the one part iron, but the other part clay.' The ten toes, therefore, are these ten kings, among whom the kingdom shall be partitioned, of whom some indeed shall be strong and active, or energetic; others, again, shall be sluggish and useless, and shall not agree; as also Daniel says: 'Some part of the kingdom shall be strong, and part shall be broken from it. As thou sawest the iron mixed with the baked clay, there shall be minglings among the human race, but no cohesion one with the other, just as iron cannot be welded on to pottery ware.'
Now, while not all of what Irenaeus said is perfect, there are a few things plainly evident in his writing which are most important. The first is that he saw in both Daniel and the Revelation a historical fulfillment of prophecy, and that is exactly what traditional Christian Identity, as defined by Rand, Comparet, Swift, and those who follow them, also see. This is also the view of prophecy that the Reformers had, and none of this is anything like the Preterists and Futurist imaginings of the jewish Jesuits which most mainstream sects cling to today.
Another important aspect of Irenaeus' interpretation of Daniel is that from Daniel Chapter 2 he fully understood (as modern Christian Identity also recognizes but the mainstream sects do not) that Rome was destined to fail because of “minglings among the human race” (i.e. Daniel 2:43), and Rome did that same thing in the centuries before its fall. Today, we are also besieged by that very thing, and therefore the fall of this modern world order is also imminent. Therefore, on at least these two issues (although many more may be illustrated), it is Christian Identity which represents traditional Christianity, that of the earliest Christian writers, and not the modern judaized sects.
While Irenaeus saw the fifth kingdom of Daniel as the body of Christians in the world (the assembly, not the church in the catholic sense, he was in part correct, but those people are to be found as only one stone cut out from a much greater mountain: they are the Germanic tribes which destroyed Rome and came to world hegemony from the period of the Reformation. Further discussion of this would best be preserved for the appropriate places in the forthcoming verses and chapters.
Here in Chapter 6 we see the famous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It is evident that these four horsemen represent four stages in the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. It can be argued that this vision of the four horsemen may mean something different, however that argument becomes less plausible once we examine and interpret the chapters of the Revelation which follow. It is also evident that many elements in these four horsemen also accurately describe the development and demise of the imperialist empires of modern times. This is because history repeats itself, usually because men never fail to ignore its lessons. If we would only learn from history, we would stop repeating its mistakes. However people are easily swayed by the empty promises of the short-sighted, and therefore the short-sighted consistently prevail.
VI 1 Then I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder: “Come!” 2 And I saw, and behold! A white horse, and he sitting upon it having a bow, and a crown has been given to him and he went out conquering and that he may conquer.
Most commentators date the Roman Empire to begin with the era of the Caesars, either with the dictatorship of Julius Caesar or the monarchical system set up under Octavian, later Augustus Caesar. This view is very skewed and demonstrates a poor understanding of systems of government. The term empire is properly applied to a government which rules over more than one nation of people. From The American Heritage College Dictionary, Third Edition: “empire...1.a. A political unit comprising a number of territories or nations and ruled by a single supreme authority....” By that measure, Rome became an empire in the third century BC when it conquered and defeated all of the other tribes of the Italian Peninsula, the Etruscans, Sabines, Samnites and the Greeks of southern Italy and Sicily. By the end of the second century BC Rome ruled all of Greece, Asia Minor, Sardinia, parts of Spain, and the formerly Phoenician areas of North Africa. While further expansion occurred in later periods of Roman history, this certainly marked the White Horse period, and the time when Rome became an empire, whether the supreme ruling authority was a Republican government or a dictatorship or a monarchy.
To be continued on the 23rd of January – Yahweh willing!