8. a. The moment He took the scroll, the Four Animals and Twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.
Each had a harp and each had a bowl, a gold bowl filled with incense, the prayers of God’s holy people.
And they sang a new song:
Worthy! Take the scroll, open its seals.
Slain! Paying in blood, you bought men and women,
Bought them back from all over the earth,
Bought them back for God.
Then you made them a Kingdom, Priests for our God,
Priest-kings to rule over the earth. MSG
b. The Lamb of God prevailed and gained the right to open the book.
He was slain (yet still alive) from the foundation of the world. 1 Peter 1:20
He fulfilled all the requirements by
- living on earth in human form, from the tribe of Judah, a descendant of David’s royal lineage,
- lived a sinless life,
- fulfilled every prophecy in minute detail,
- suffered the excruciating and humiliating death by crucifixion,
- spent three days in the place of the dead,
- conquered death through His triumphant resurrection from the dead.
Even before Jesus did all that,
- Jesus said, “My Father has entrusted everything to me. Matthew 11:27
- God gave Him all power and authority. Matthew 28:18
- Daniel wrote, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence.
- He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world so that people of every race and nation and language would serve and worship Him.
- His rule is eternal—it will never end.
- His kingdom will never be destroyed.
- He now sits on the Throne at the right hand of the Father having finished the work He was sent to do.
- God loves His Son and has entrusted everything into His hands. John 3:35
c. The Elders hold my prayers before the Throne of God,
worshipping Him with singing and harps. It comforts me to know my prayers aren’t just floating around in the atmosphere of earth or heaven. They are presented in God’s presence before His throne.
and how does the heavenly response influence yours?
This visual inspires me toward every increasing and intensity of worship for a holy God who is worthy and loves people beyond my comprehension.
9. God’s word assures me I am His!
And the Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with (my) spirit [assuring (me)] that I am a child of God. Romans 8:16 AMP
John 3:16 For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 17:2 You put him in charge of everything human. So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.
Romans 10:9-10 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.
Ephesians 1:13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.
2 Timothy 2:19-20 Meanwhile, God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones: God knows who belongs to him. Spurn evil, all you who name God as God.
Previously, Paul was writing about false prophets. The latter reference to turn from evil probably refers to false prophets and those who follow them. Those who say “Lord, Lord,” but He never knew them.
10. Identity of the Kingdom of Priests
The believers and followers of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” MSG
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. NLT
But you (we) are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. MSG
- I’m chosen.
- I’m commissioned.
- I’m speaking out for Christ.
- I’m doing what God commanded His followers to do — heal the sick [authenticating your message] AMP.
- I’m instructing others to do those things.
These were His instructions to them (about seventy people. He wanted to send even more.*): “The harvest is great, but the workers (willing*) are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
“When you enter a town (or shopping mall, etc.*) and are received, eat what they set before you, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, ‘God’s kingdom is right on your doorstep!’ Luke 10:1-2, 8-11 (Emphasis added) *my addition
- Thankfully, Jesus promised He would always be with me, [remaining with (me) perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion] AMP
Note to self: No one has offered to feed me yet, but when they do, eat it, whatever it is. Even if it’s from McDonalds. (Ha, I’m a particular eater.)