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Who can interpret history?

Si Walker, 29th June 2020

The Book of Revelation, the final Bible book, shows us how things stand. The Apostle John has a vision of heavenly things (hence revelation) while in prison for his faith.

‘Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’ But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy top open the scroll or look inside it. Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep! See the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.’ Revelation 5:1-5

The scroll contains the true interpretation of history and how it is that things will be played out in the final days. It concerns such things as natural disasters, Revelation 6:12-14, and the fate of the kingdoms of the world, 6:15-17.

Although you and I try to understand world events, perhaps especially at this time, we cannot. God has given us the broad brush strokes of what to expect in his Word, but we don’t hold the divine detail. The owner and interpreter of history is designated as the lamb. The scroll is taken from the hand of the one who sits on the throne and given to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; Christ. He, v6, is also the lamb that was slain. All heaven declares that this one alone is worthy:

V9, ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals…’

V13, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the lamb, be praise….’

Christ is the only one with a true handle on history that has been given to him by his Father. We are not pure enough to be able to handle the truth about everything and to stand as definitive interpreters. As the famous line in the film comes: ‘You can’t handle the truth!’ Everything we say and think is only provisional. God might prove us wrong tomorrow! But Christ sees and knows everything. And what a comfort that he can say ‘All things have been committed to me by my Father.’ Matthew 11:27. We don’t have to carry the burden of this broken world. He has it all and so we need to be on his team. We need to stand with him, knowing how wonderful and powerful he is. All heaven thinks that. And one day he will stand and judge this world.

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