"WHO IS WORTHY"
I. THE QUESTION RELATES TO THE SCROLL THAT IS HELD IN THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.
A. The issue is finding someone who is worthy to take the scroll and break the seven seals, so that the scroll might be opened.
B. What is the significance of the scroll?
1. Why is it so important that it be opened, that when no one is found worthy to open it, John breaks into convulsive sobs?
C. It is my opinion that the scroll is the title deed of the earth.
1. The earth originally belonged to the Lord. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and all they that dwell therein."
2. When God made Adam and placed him on the earth, He gave the earth to Adam.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
3. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God's commandment not to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden, and obeyed Satan's suggestion to eat of the fruit, in their double action of obedience to Satan, and disobedience to God, they forfeited the earth over to Satan.
a. Paul wrote:
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
b. Adam and Eve became servants of Satan. Their flesh now ruled over their spirit.
4. Through their action Satan gained control over the earth.
a. Jesus twice calls him the prince of this world.
b. Paul called him the god of this world. To the Ephesians he wrote:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
c. This is why it is so wrong to blame God for all of the tragedies and calamities in the world today.
d. These things all exist as the result of man's rebellion against God.
e. We call tornados and hurricanes, acts of God. Yet when Jesus was on the Sea of Galilee with His disciples and the great storm came up that threatened to destroy the little ship, Jesus stood up and rebuked the storm and there was a great calm.
f. It would probably be more accurate to call them acts of Satan. Satan is the spin master, getting men to blame God for the catastrophes he brings.
And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon. The Hebrew word Abaddon is destruction, and the Greek word Apollyon is destroyer.
h. Make no mistake, Satan is out to destroy you.
5. Jesus came that He might redeem the world back to God.
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
a. Note, as they sing of the worthiness of the Lamb to take the scroll and loose the seals, they attribute the worthiness to the fact that He was slain, and has redeemed us by His blood out of every kindred, tongue people and nation.
b. In the Old Testament, there were certain laws that dealt with the redemption of property and persons.
And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; [within] a full year may he redeem it.
And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that [is] in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubilee.
c. There was always the provision that if you were personally unable to redeem yourself or your property your next of kin could step in and redeem it for you.
d. Looking at the scroll as the title deed of the earth, we see why John is so distraught over the fact that no one was found worthy to take the scroll and loose the seals, for that would mean that the world would remain under Satan's control forever.
II. THE LAW OF REDEMPTION.
A. If I owed a debt that I could not pay, then the person to whom I owed the debt could have me sold as a slave, and the money would be used to pay the debt.
1. I would remain a slave up to six years, but in any case, in the seventh year I would be set free.
2. If I had a near relative, say a brother, he could step in and redeem me. He was known as a gaal, or a kinsman redeemer.
3. If I had sold my house because I was needing some money, within the year, I had the right to repurchase my home providing I could fulfill the requirements that were sealed in the scroll.
4. If I could not fulfill the requirements, but I had a relative who could, he could step in and redeem the property so that it remained in the family.
B. In selling a field the time for redemption was usually specified, but was a longer period of time.
C. The story of Ruth gives to us a classic example of this law of redemption.
1. Elimelech and Naomi sold their field and moved to Moab because of a prolonged draught.
2. After Elimelech and his two sons who had married Moabite girls died, Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem.
3. Her one daughter-in-law Ruth came with her and because they were poor, she went out to glean in the fields.
4. She happened to glean in a field that belonged to a very wealthy man whose name was Boaz, and it just so happened that Boaz was a relative to Elimelech.
5. At a strategic time Ruth asked Elimelech to fulfill the law of succession and redemption by redeeming the field that Elimelech had sold, and raise up a son to carry on the estate of his dead brother.
6. Boaz had fallen in love with Ruth, and expressed his desire to become the kinsman redeemer, but there was another brother who was closer of kin to Elimelech, and he had the first right of redemption.
7. Boaz met his brother at the city gate and told him of the redemption of the field that Elimelech had sold and his brother declared his desire to redeem the field, however when Boaz told him that it would carry the obligation to marry Ruth to carry on their brother's name, the brother of Boaz reneged because he was already married and suggested that Boaz redeem the field.
8. So Boaz redeemed the field, not because he wanted the field, but he wanted the bride that went with the field.
9. Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven was like a man who going through a field discovered a treasure, and for the joy of the discovery, he sold everything in order to buy that field so that He could claim the treasure.
10. In parables Jesus said the field was the world, who then sold everything to purchase the world? None other than Jesus, not that Jesus wanted another planet, but He desired the bride that went with the field.
D. The Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet,
Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that [is] in Anathoth: for the right of redemption [is] thine to buy [it].
So Hanameel mine uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that [is] in Anathoth, which [is] in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance [is] thine, and the redemption [is] thine; buy [it] for thyself. Then I knew that this [was] the word of the LORD.
And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that [was] in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, [even] seventeen shekels of silver.
E. In Revelation 5
, the time is up for the redemption of the earth, the judge holds the scroll, the title deed, and a strong angel announces, "Who is worthy to take the scroll and loose the seals?"
F. No man is found worthy, no man can redeem himself from the bondage of sin. No man can redeem the world from the powers of darkness.
G. John perceiving the horrible consequences, begins to sob, but the elder says to him, "Don't weep, behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed to take the scroll and loose the seals."
H. This tells us that no man can save himself, and no man can save the world.
I. Jesus the Lamb of God is the only One who can save or redeem you from your sins.
J. Jesus is the only hope of the world.
1. Religion cannot save.
2. The law cannot save.
3. Good works cannot save.
4. The golden rule cannot save.
5. What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus.