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Revelation 5:8





8 And [kai] when [hote] he had taken [lambano] the book, [biblion] the four [tessares] beasts [zoon] and [kai] four [tessares] and twenty [eikosi] elders [presbuteros] fell down [pipto] before [enopion] the Lamb, [arnion] having [echo] every one of them [hekastos] harps, [kithara] and [kai] golden [chruseos] vials [phiale] full [gemo] of odours, [thumiama] which [hos] are [eisi] the prayers [proseuche] of saints. [hagios]    KJV-Interlinear

8 And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.    NASB



The lamb took the book (scroll).  The lamb represents the victory of Christ on the Cross.His death, burial, and resurrection, making Him the single and only and unique person of the universe, who is now qualified to complete history – to reveal it and to execute it to its proper completion.


At the moment of the victory on the Cross through the resurrection and ascension of Christ, the defeat of sin has been accomplished, the defeat of death has been accomplished, and the long awaited defeat of Satan is all that remains.


The four creatures, the living entities which represent the foundation of life and truth, fell down before the ultimate ruler of the universe and heaven.This recognizes Jesus Christ as the ultimate and supreme sovereign over all things.  Above Christ there is nothing and no one higher.


The twenty-four elders, represent the glorified royal family, already assembled in heaven, each holding in their hands, harps and golden bowls.


The elders bow down before the lamb (Jesus Christ), acknowledging His deity, His rightful place, His glory, and His rightful authority, which He has confirmed and verified through His work on the Cross.  That confirmation having been challenged by Satan, but now restored by Christ Himself, Matt. 4:10, John 17:5.


All things are now placed in subjection under the authority of Jesus Christ, Eph 1:20-22.


Harps have been used to represent worship and prophecy, the promises of God, throughout the bible.


Harps were associated with worship, 2 Sam 6:5; 1 Chron 15:16,20,28; 16:5; 2 Chron 5:12; 29:25; Ps 33:2; 71:22; 92:1-4; 144:9; 150:3; Rev 14:2; 15:2, and they were also closely linked to prophecy, 1 Sam 10:5, 2 Kings 3:15, 1 Chron 25:1, 3, 6.


The elders were also holding golden bowls full of incense. These are wide-mouthed bowls which were used in the tabernacle and the temple where they were connected with the altar, 1 Kings 7:40,45,50; 2 Kings 12:13-14; 1 Chron 28:17; 2 Chron 4:22; Jer 52:19; Zech 14:20.  They symbolized the priestly work of intercession between people and God. The bowls are associated with the burning of incense which were the prayers of the saints, Ps 141:2; Luke 1:9-10; and Rev 8:3-4, 6:9-10.


The incense in these bowls represents the prayers of believers throughout history, that God's prophesy and promised redemption of the earth, might come.


Taken together, the harps and the bowls indicate that all that the prophets ever prophesied and all that God's children ever prayed for is finally to be fulfilled.


There are five things that are out of place and need to be corrected.


First, the universe and earth are under a curse, the curse of Satan’s fall.


Second, the Church’s rightful place and home should be in heaven.


Third, Israel should be living in peace and occupying all of the land promised.


Fourth, evil needs to be obliterated from existence.


Fifth, Christ should be sitting on the throne, ruling and reigning, bringing peace, freedom, liberty, opportunity, prosperity, security, happiness, and contentment, finally and for all time.


And when Christ takes the scroll, then all of these things will be set right, and normalcy, for the first time since the original rebellion of Satan, will be restored.



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