WORTHY TO OPEN THE SCROLL
In Revelation 4 and 5 Christ is again presented to us. “After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things. Immediately I was in spirit; and behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and One sitting upon the throne” (4:1-2).
The scene in these two chapters portrays for us what went on when Christ ascended to the heavens. God was sitting upon the throne with a scroll in His right hand (5:1). That scroll contained His secret of the universe, but there seemed to be no one qualified to open it (v. 4). Then Christ as the Lion-Lamb stepped forward and took the scroll to open it (vv. 5-7). By opening the seven seals Christ unlocked the secret of the universe.
CHRIST AS “ANOTHER ANGEL”
The Opener of this mysterious scroll is four times in Revelation called another Angel (7:2; 8:3-5; 10:1-3; 18:1). These chapters, Revelation 7, 8, 10, and 18, reveal Christ as another Angel. An angel is a sent one. Of all the myriads of angels, Christ was the unique One sent by God to carry out His administration.
In chapter seven this another Angel “cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea, saying, Do not harm the earth nor the sea nor the trees until we have sealed the slaves of our God upon their foreheads” (vv. 2-3). He ordered the angels who were going to damage the earth to wait until those of Israel were sealed.
In chapter eight “another Angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and much incense was given to Him that He should add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense went up with the prayers of the saints out of the hand of the Angel before God. And the Angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar and cast it to the earth; and there were thunders and voices and lightnings and an earthquake” (vv. 3-5). This another Angel here offers the saints’ prayers to God. Then He brings God’s answer back to earth. When He pours out God’s answer to the saints’ prayers, the earth comes under God’s judgment.
In chapter ten John saw “another strong Angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire; and having in His hand a little opened scroll. And He placed His right foot on the sea and the left on the land, and cried with a loud voice as a lion roars. And when He cried, the seven thunders uttered their own voices” (vv. 1-3). Here Christ descends as the mighty One. His having one foot on the sea and the other on the land signifies that He is coming to take possession of the whole globe. Both the water and the land belong to Him. At this stage of His coming, however, He is hidden in a cloud, not visible openly to those on earth.
In chapter eighteen there was “another Angel coming down out of heaven, having great authority; and the earth was illumined with His glory. And He cried with a strong voice, saying, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! And she has become a dwelling place of demons and a hold of every unclean spirit and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (vv. 1-2). At this stage of His coming, the another Angel is no longer hidden. He comes with authority and glory to judge the great Babylon.
(The Mending Ministry of John, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)