Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pastoral Pings (Plus) ~ The Throne that Breaks our Pride and Builds our Hope

Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”[1]

          This paragraph has mesmerized me for a week. This morning it settled into a heartbreaking and hope-building picture that left me built up and encouraged in a way that only grace could accomplish. It is actually difficult to jump in to a conclusion without giving you a week’s worth of journey, but I trust that these few thoughts will stir you up to read the book for yourself, and join with other believers to delight in the one who sits on the throne.

          The first four chapters of Revelation have led us to clearly see that there is one who is “seated on the throne” of heaven, and that this throne transcends every other throne, power or authority we could fabricate or imagine. Now we are drawn to look at his right hand, the strong hand of the Lord God Almighty, and consider that he holds in this hand a scroll containing words that belong to him alone. Not only do this scroll and these words belong to him, but the scroll is sealed with seven seals, the signature of God’s completeness in what is in the scroll, and his completeness in sealing it against all intruders.

          While we are overwhelmed with the wonder of the words that God has written on the scroll, and the inescapable certainty that this scroll of words is held in the strong right hand of the one who is seated on the throne that is above every throne, a mighty angel comes to center stage and voices the obvious question, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”

          Suddenly the silence is deafening! There was not one person in heaven, including this mighty angel, nor one person on earth, who was able to open the scroll. Immediately the prophet begins to “weep loudly” because “no one was found worthy” to open the scroll or to look inside it.

          What this taught me this morning is that this revelation is death to all human pride. There are words written by God, ordained by God, sealed up in the strong right hand of the Lord God Almighty, and there is not a man or woman, angel or demon, who can open up the thoughts and words of God and look inside them. Pride is broken. There is no hope in people; there is no hope in angelic or demonic beings. No one can enter into what God has written by his own will and authority.

          On the other hand, the children of God have great reason for hope. We will face all manner of enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ who will attack his good name with their philosophies and religions, their antichrist atheism and evolution, their godless and unrighteous expressions of utter wickedness, and yet they will not touch the words that God has written. Even when the whole of the earth gathers against the one who sits on the throne, they will not be worthy to open the scroll and read what God has written, let alone interpose their thoughts and desires on the sacred words of God’s scroll.

          Which leads to the timeless exhortation to God’s people: “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” In other words (while remaining true to the words on the scroll), our pride is crushed, and our hope is built up, because Jesus Christ alone is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals, to look inside, and to bring all God’s plans and purposes to fruition. No one can open the scroll, and no one can stop Jesus from doing so.

          While on my journey to become like Jesus, this week has been both pride-shattering and hope-building. God doesn’t renovate. He demolishes what pride has built in order to give us what grace is building. He teaches us to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”[2]

          So, with the eyes of faith on the one who sits on the throne, and his strong right hand, and his perfect scroll of plans and purposes sealed with divine completeness, and opened by the divine Son of God, let us submit to the work of God to break our pride and humble us, and let us surrender to God’s work of renewing our minds and clothing us with the new self, the one that is created to be like Jesus Christ in true righteousness and holiness.

          After all, the words of Scripture are one with the words on the scroll, and guarantee that, “…until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”[3] And, as the one who opens the seven seals promises in Amen to the Father, Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”[4]

          From my heart,



© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)


[1] Revelation 5:1-5
[2] Ephesians 4:22-24
[3] Matthew 5:18
[4] Matthew 24:35

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