Reading the Scroll
The Question: Why do the 24 elders cast their crowns before the throne?
DK’s story illustrates the truth here better than any writing I can think of. At the end of a cycle of evolution we go through a period where we savor the fruits of our labors represented by the gold crowns. But then we must pass into a new cycle of higher evolution and release ourselves from all attachments to the past and rewards thereof, and pass through the eye of the needle into a higher order of kingdoms.
Question: What is the significance of the four beasts giving “glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever?”
This tells us that at the end of our evolution where we manifest the fullness of Christ, even as Jesus did, that our lower nature will yield to the higher, receive a fullness of joy and give glory to spirit instead of matter.
Who or what lives forever?
It is God in us who lives forever. Our God essence never had a beginning and shall never have an end.
Next we read:
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book (scroll) written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” Rev 5:1-4
Questions: What is the book (“scroll” in the Greek)? What does it mean that there is writing on both sides? What are the seven seals?
Why could no man open the book?
There are several additional things to keep in mind as we proceed. Most people read about the scroll and the opening of the seals and think it pertains to events of the last days before the end of the world.
Remember the first verse of the book which we quoted earlier which reads:
“The Revelation (unveiling) of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must SHORTLY come to pass.”
2000 years is not a short time by any historical standard. Therefore, to get the true unveiling that was the intention of the scroll perhaps we must look at the interpretation unfolding in the Christ within the servant, rather than a literal happening on the physical plane.
I will add this. The book does deal with cycles and correspondences; therefore, if we pick any time in history, past, present or future, we will see evidences of ancient prophecy coming true, but we will never see the literal sequence on the physical plane that many are expecting.
That said, let us look at the questions:
What is the book (“scroll” on the Greek)? What does it mean that there is writing on both sides? What are the seven seals?
Why could no man open the book?
Normally the ancient scribes wrote on one side of a scroll which was the inside. Part of the reason is that this side was made for writing and the direction of the fiber made writing easier. However, if one had a lot to say he would take the extra time and work to write on the second side.
The writing on the second side tells us several things.
First, revelation from the throne of God is in abundance. Wherever you look you will find knowledge and inspiration.
Secondly, the scroll is rolled up and sealed. All John could see was a small amount of writing on the backside. This told him that in addition to the normal writing on the inside that there was much more written on this scroll than a regular one. The fact that he could only see a small amount of writing on the outside of the scroll symbolizes that the knowledge of God held by the disciple only scratches the surface of what is available when the seals are broken and the whole book is read.
So, what is the book?
The book represents the book of life which contains all knowledge and wisdom which is available through the Oneness Principle. The beginning disciple is aware of the principle and has seen evidence that it is true and that all knowledge is available because he sees a small amount of the outside of the scroll. This small amount seen gives him faith and makes him press forward with the hope that all seals can be broken and all will knowledge be available to him.
The seven seals represent the seven divisions of the life of God as represented by the seven rays, the seven spirits before the throne, the seven chakras, the seven paths etc. Seven states of consciousness must be achieved to unseal the whole scroll so a fullness of the Oneness Principle can be achieved.
Then John wrote:
“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” Rev 5:2-3
Why could no man open the book?
The answer was given by Paul, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” I Cor 15:50
We cannot open this book using mortal flesh and blood human consciousness. The seeker must ascend to the throne which is beyond normal consciousness wherein lies the open door of the soul to the intuitive knowledge of the Oneness Principle.
Finally the scripture reads:
“And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” Rev 5:4
The disciple finds a small amount of evidence of the truth of the Oneness Principle and for a long time the opening of the book eludes him and he cries out in frustration. He often comes close to losing faith until:
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” Rev 5:5-7
One thing stands out here, which is overlooked by commentators, is Christ is identified here as both a lion and a lamb. Why is he linked to two beasts which are diametrically opposite to each other?
A reader observes that the slaying of the lamb was the slaying of our lower nature. This seems right, but notice that the lion was not slain and yet its beastly nature is much more powerful than the submitting lamb.
To understand either animal as they relate to the unveiling of Christ in us we must look at both of them as a whole.
After describing the two beasts John says, “And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.”
Who took the book? Was it the living lion, or the lamb who appeared to have been slain?
There is a great mystery here and one must examine the words carefully.
First, notice that it doesn’t say the lamb was dead, but the scripture indicates the lamb was standing in such a manner to give the appearance of having been slain.
When Christ was crucified it seemed by all appearances he was dead, but as it turned out he rose again so it only appeared he was slain. He was not slain at all but came back with the power and strength of a lion, which put the fear of God in the hearts of all his enemies just as a powerful lion would.
Notice the key words describing the animals. The lion “prevailed” and the lamb appeared to have been “slain.”
It is interesting that followers in the Bible are often called sheep (mature lambs) but “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by force.” Matt 11:12.
The path must be trod by the humble lamb, but in the end the lamb gets slain and it takes the power of the resurrected lion to take the kingdom by force and to open the seals.
The pilgrim treads the path as the humble lamb which is herded about and controlled by many shepherds, some good and some not so good. With each new shepherd he thinks he has found the ultimate truth, but each time this happens he finds he is only herded about until eventually he winds up on the kill floor. As the lamb faces death by the hands of those with whom he was supposed to trust, and all his friends flee to a safe distance, the lion is born from the humble lamb. He rises from what seemed to be a dead end, seizes the kingdom and opens the seven seals which before were beyond his grasp.
Even so it is with us. Each of us must find the peaceful Christ consciousness within and humbly follow it, as a lamb follows his shepherd, until the point of tension is reached. Then, the initiate, or the lion part of the Christ, is resurrected and seizes the pillars of knowledge. The lion of Christ realizes the shepherds can only take him so far, even with the help of the lamb of Christ within.
Eventually, “Carpe Diem” comes to his consciousness and he finds he must not only seize the day, but he must seize the kingdom.
Seizing the kingdom is a great mystery and exact instructions for it cannot be put into earthly words. The path of the lamb can be put into words and followed and this takes the pilgrim to the threshold. At the threshold the revelation manifests and the lion comes to life and has an innate knowing of how to take the scroll out of the right hand of power and open the seals.
Until that day comes the pilgrim must play the role of the lamb of God, follows the highest he knows and as well as the promptings of the Christ within, even if it seems he will be slain.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matt 16:25-26
The lamb seems to have been slain, but rises with the strength of a lion and takes the kingdom. At that point the Christ within says: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matt 28:18
All things are now possible, but he no longer wants all things. He wants to see the will of God done on the earth as it is in heaven and accepts that portion of the marvelous work which belongs to him.
We are told the lamb has “seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” What does this mean?
Externally the seven horns signify seven attempts in our recent cycle of history to establish the kingdom of God on the earth and the seven eyes symbolize seven revelations given to mankind. For instance, Buddha, Christ and Moses represent three of them. These revelations and attempts at the kingdom were “sent forth into all the earth,” just as the scripture says.
For the disciple on the threshold of achieving full Christ consciousness the seven horns represent seven cycles of his own personal evolution through a series of lives and the seven eyes represent the inner vision gained from the opening of the seven chakras. These seven eyes see into heaven as well as into all the earth(ly nature) and blend the two into a working whole.
The scripture ends with:
“And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.”
The disciple submits as the lamb until he approaches the throne and presence of God. He is afraid and weeps that neither he or anyone he knows can take the scroll out of the hand of the Presence. After a time he gains courage and rises as the lion, enters the Presence and takes the light and knowledge from the throne of God.
Now let us look at the next verses:
“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Rev 5:8-10
Contemplate the meaning in preparation for the next discussion.
“Dreamers can find their way by moonlight and their only punishment is that they see the dawn before the rest of the world.” Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)
March 19, 2005
Copyright by J J Dewey
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