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Saturday, 15 October 2016 22:23

35. Singing a new song - PART 2 * Revelation 5:9-10

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9 And they sang a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open the seals thereof: for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation;

10 And have made us unto our God a kingdom and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.


*** Have redeemed us to God by your blood ***: Now we need to continue where we left off on study #34, the analysis of the unclear section in Revelation 5:8. There are a few different views on this passage. So, let's consider the different possibilities:

Option 1 - If only the elders were singing the new song in Revelation 5:9: On study #28, we saw that it is possible that the 24 elders are a complete representation of the people of God throughout History. And under this view, it makes sense that they were singing a new type of song. A song that talks about how it feels to be redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Unfallen beings don’t need personal salvation. They never sinned. They did not experience redemption in the way people who abandoned a life of sin did. That is why, under the assumption of Option 1, the four living creatures could not have sung the lyrics: “[…] for you were slain, and have redeemed US to God by your blood out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation”. (Similar translation found in: King James, New King James, Aramaic Bible in Plain English, Webster’s Bible Translation, World English Bible, Young’s Literal Translation, and others). Most Greek manuscripts, including the Textus Receptus, have the word “us” in this verse.

Option 2 - If the elders and the four living beings were singing the song in Revelation 5:9: In this case, the song would have to be different for the beings to be singing along with the elders. The line we just mentioned, talking about redemption, was written in the first person (“redeemed us”) in all but two Greek manuscripts. According to Stephanovic, the codex Alexandrinus and an Ethiopian versions do not have “us” in the text. In these two versions, the translation of the song, matching the assumption of option 2, reads: “and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (similar translation found in: New International Version, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, American Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, Darby Bible Translation, and others). In this version of the text, the living beings and the elders are singing about how Jesus had redeemed the people on Earth, and they are praising Him for this achievement.

*** Out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation ***: The redeemed people do not come from a specific group in the world. Jesus said in John 10:15-17: "As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” No matter where His people are, they will hear His voice, and come to Him at the right time, regardless of their appearance, language, or geographical location. We could even expand this concept to say that God has people everywhere, regardless of their religious affiliation. As representatives of the saved people, the 24 elders were likely from different places and nationalities as well.

*** Made us unto our God a kingdom and priests: and we shall reign on the earth ***: Once again, we see a difference in the use of “we” and “they”, referring to who they were singing about. These were promises made to the people of God throughout the Bible. We see these statements in the book of Revelation as well (Revelation 1:6; Revelation 2:26-27; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 20:4-6). Christ’s death sealed the job description for His people. His followers were made priests, with a mission of serving Him and carrying His message throughout the world. Jesus’ sacrifice also guaranteed that one day, the redeemed of God would reign with Him forever (Revelation 20:4-6; see study #5). These statements are true for both God’s people on Earth, and the 24 elders in Heaven. As we saw on study #28, the elders have both kingly and priestly characteristics: they had crowns, thrones, royal robes, harps, and censers.

*** Overview ***: As we saw in lesson #34, Christ’s victory then became the lyrics of a new song. Weather or not the elders were the only ones singing this song, is not the issue. Wether or not the song included the word “us” or “they”, is not essencial for the understanding of the new song. Jesus’ blood is the main theme of the song. From that point in time, His sacrifice had the power to redeem God’s children on Earth forward into the future, as well as backward into the past. And not only that, it also had the power to redeem the humans that were living in Heaven. The strength of the Cross can pass right through any human barriers. God’s promises are not limited by the walls of separation people raise around themselves here on Earth. When God calls His people to come to Him, all those who belong to Him will answer, no matter where they are, what they are, or who they are. Jesus’s blood can transform a repentant sinner into a priest and a king. What we used to be is forgotten. What we become when we experience redemption is what is important.

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