We next come to a chapter in Revelation that houses the beginning of those mind-boggling images. The most outstanding one is the Lamb with the Seven Eyes. Today’s accompanying image at the top is one representation envisioned in a science-fiction flick from 1980, Altered States, starring a young William Hurt. It is truly a visionary extravaganza—for the most part one of the best mystically religious depictions in cinema, although the ending is a great let-down as it is the usual canned love-relationship theme that wipes out all the mystical-revelations that meticulously came before. It is still worth watching for the visually-startling and gratifying mystical themes that bracket the movie throughout. Today’s accompanying reference to the scrolls with the seven seals is a book of destiny in which events of the end-time are recorded (Dan 10:21; 1 Enoch 81:1-3). Opening the seals is equivalent to causing these events to occur. (JBC)
The Lamb and the Scroll, 5:1-14
Rev 5:1 I saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne there was a scroll that was written on back and front and was sealed with seven seals.
Rev 5:2 Then I saw a powerful angel who called with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’
Rev 5:3 But there was no one, in heaven or on the earth or under the earth, who was able to open the scroll and read it.
Rev 5:4 I wept bitterly because nobody could be found to open the scroll and read it,
Rev 5:5 but one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and so he will open the scroll and its seven seals.’
Rev 5:6 Then I saw, in the middle of the throne with its four living creatures and the circle of the elders, a Lamb standing that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits that God has sent out over the whole world.
Rev 5:7 The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne,
Rev 5:8 and when he took it, the four living creatures prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense which are the prayers of the saints.
Rev 5:9 They sang a new hymn: You are worthy to take the scroll and to break its seals, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought people for God of every race, language, people and nation,
Rev 5:10 and made them a line of kings and priests for God, to rule the world.
Rev 5:11 In my vision, I heard the sound of an immense number of angels gathered round the throne and the living creatures and the elders; there were ten thousand times ten thousand of them and thousands upon thousands,
Rev 5:12 loudly chanting: Worthy is the Lamb that was sacrificed to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory and blessing.
Rev 5:13 Then I heard all the living things in creation — everything that lives in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, crying: To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb, be all praise, honour, glory and power, for ever and ever.
Rev 5:14 And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen’; and the elders prostrated themselves to worship.
As the scene opens, a scroll catches our attention, a scroll that is “written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.” Both of these characteristics mark the scroll as unusual. [Books] Scrolls in antiquity were normally written on only one side.
The immediate source for John’s description of the scroll may be the scroll given to the prophet Ezekiel, which also was described as being written on the front and back (2:10). As in Ezekiel, so in Revelation the writing on both sides may be simply an indication that the message was so long that it continued from the front of the scroll to the back. The seven seals indicate the secure nature of the scroll. This scroll will not be opened by accident or by one who does not have the proper authority. It is sealed tightly—seven times! (Smyth Helwys Bible Commentary)
A most familiar phrase accompanies the depiction of the Scroll—who is worthy to break open the scroll with its seals? This refrain often appears in Catholic Prayer books, like the daily breviary. Indeed, who is worthy to decipher this highly mystically-charged secret? Certainly it is no human agency. It is akin to breaking-open the Word found in the Lankavatara Sutra. It can only be done by one instilled with Noble Spiritual Wisdom. Here, it is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and so he will open the scroll and its seven seals. This is in reference to Jesus’ coming kingship of the line of David. But the lion here is in reality the sacrificial lamb with its seven eyes and seven horns.
Only the Lamb is worthy to possess the scroll and to open its seals. This implies that the death and resurrection of Jesus and the reconstitution of the redeemed people of God are essential prerequisites for the unfolding of the eschatological events. (JBC) But again, what is the added mystical significance of those seven eyes? The story of the Seven Eyes dates back to the ancient Babylonians, approximately 5,000 years ago. The Babylonians believed radiance emitted by an evil soul, often referred to as The Envious Eye, and could inflict harm on men, women and children. To protect themselves from this envy, people used a talisman —The Seven Eyes. Yea, this is a type of talisman for Unborn folk as well, for it protects the inner mode of awakening—one which is aligned with the seven chakras and their mystical stimulation. The eyes are for watching and observing, but also for directly infusing the sacred truths of the Unborn. I can remember as a child my paternal Italian grandmother would place a bowl of water mixed with seven droplets of oil over our foreheads whenever we felt sick—this was accompanied with a seven-fold prayer that was whispered on her lips during the procedure. According to the shapes that were formed from the droplets of oil, she was able to determine whether or not we were assaulted by the evil-eye. The horn against the evil-eye hung prominently in her kitchen widow. One of the seven-horns of the Lamb perhaps?
In my vision, I heard the sound of an immense number of angels gathered round the throne and the living creatures and the elders; there were ten thousand times ten thousand of them and thousands upon thousands, Rev 5:12 loudly chanting: Worthy is the Lamb that was sacrificed to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory and blessing:
Isn’t this scene akin to familiar visions within our own beloved Sutras, when the spiritual multitudes within that marvelous Sambhogakāya-plane would sing the praises of the Blessed One? Truly majestic in scope and transcendent significance.
The chapter also concluded with the singing of these praises by those four living creatures we covered in our previous blog (Lion, Bull, Divine Man, and Eagle).