Read for This Week’s Study: Revelation 4:1-11, Ezek. 1:5-14, Revelation 5:1-14, Eph. 1:20-23, Heb. 10:12, Acts 2:32-36.
Memory Text: “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals” (Revelation 5:5, NKJV).
Last week, we looked at Christ’s messages to His people on earth. Now John’s vision shifts from earth to heaven and focuses on the “things which must take place after this” (Rev. 4:1, NKJV) – the future.
The vision of chapters 4 and 5 takes places in heaven’s throne room. The scene of chapters 4 and 5 symbolically portrays God’s control of history and of the plan of salvation. Before the future is revealed, however, we are shown the centrality of Christ’s high-priestly ministry in heaven to His sovereignty over the affairs of the earth and to His redemption of the human race. In such a way, chapters 4 and 5 provide Heaven’s perspective on the meaning of future events recorded in the rest of the book.
One also may notice that while the messages to the seven churches were written in somewhat straightforward language, from now on the book employs even more symbolic language that is not always easy to interpret. This language is taken from the history of God’s people, as recorded in the Old Testament. A correct interpretation of Revelation requires a proper understanding of its symbolic language in light of the Old Testament.