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John Sees Heaven

4 1Then I looked, and there before me was an open door in heaven. And I heard the same voice that spoke to me before. It was the voice that sounded like a trumpet. The voice said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this." 2Then the Spirit* took control of me. There before me was a throne in heaven. Someone was sitting on the throne. 3The One who sat on the throne looked like precious stones, like jasper and carnelian. All around the throne was a rainbow with clear colors like an emerald. 4Around the throne there were 24 other thrones. There were 24 elders* sitting on the 24 thrones. The elders were dressed in white, and they had golden crowns on their heads. 5Lightning flashes and noises of thunder came from the throne. Before the throne there were seven lamps burning. These lamps are the seven Spirits of God. 6Also before the throne there was something that looked like a sea of glass. It was clear like crystal. In front of the throne and on each side of it there were four living things. These living things had eyes all over them, in front and in back. 7The first living thing was like a lion. The second was like a cow. The third had a face like a man. The fourth was like a flying eagle. 8Each of these four living things had six wings. These living things were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day and night these four living things never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God All-Powerful. He [always] was, he is, and he is coming." 9These living things give glory and honor and thanks to the One who sits on the throne. He is the One who lives forever and ever. And every time the living things do this, 10the 24 elders* bow down before the One who sits on the throne. The elders worship him who lives forever and ever. The elders put their crowns down before the throne and say: 11"Our Lord and God! You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power. You made all things. Everything existed and was made because you wanted it."

Spirit The Holy Spirit. He brings God's message (truth) to God's people. elders These are probably great leaders of God's people. They may be the leaders of the twelve Jewish family groups, plus Jesus' twelve apostles.

5 1 Then I saw a scroll* in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne. The scroll had writing on both sides. The scroll was kept closed with seven seals. 2And I saw a powerful angel. The angel called in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 3But there was no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth who could open the scroll or look inside it. 4I cried and cried because there was no one who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5But one of the elders* said to me, "Don't cry! The Lion (Christ) from Judah's family group has won the victory. He is David's* descendant.* He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." 6Then I saw a Lamb standing in the center of the throne with the four living things around it. The elders* were also around the Lamb. The Lamb looked like it had been killed. It had seven horns and seven eyes. These are the seven spirits of God that were sent into all the world. 7The Lamb came and took the scroll* from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne. 8After the Lamb took the scroll, the four living things and the 24 elders* bowed down before the Lamb. Each one of them had a harp.* Also they were holding golden bowls full of incense.* These bowls of incense are the prayers of God's holy people.* 9And they all sang a new song [to the Lamb]: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were killed; and with your blood (death) you bought people for God from every tribe, language, race of people, and nation. 10You made these people to be a kingdom, and you made these people to be priests for our God. And they will rule on the earth." 11Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels. The angels were around the throne, the [four] living things, and the elders.* There were thousands and thousands of angels--there were 10,000 times 10,000. 12The angels said with a loud voice: "[All] power, wealth, wisdom and strength belong to the Lamb (Jesus) that was killed. He is worthy to receive honor, glory, and praise!" 13Then I heard every living thing that is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. I heard every thing in all these places. I heard them all saying: "All praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever to the One that sits on the throne and to the Lamb!" 14The four living things said, "Amen!"* And the elders* bowed down and worshiped.

scroll A long roll of paper or leather used for writing on. elders These are probably great leaders of God's people. They may be the leaders of the twelve Jewish family groups, plus Jesus' twelve apostles. David King of Israel about 1000 years before Christ. descendant(s) The people born in a person's family after that person dies. harp A musical instrument with strings. incense Special dried tree sap used for a sacrifice. It was burned to make a sweet-smelling smoke. holy people God's people are called holy because they are made pure through Christ, and they belong only to God. Amen When a person says, "Amen," it means that person agrees strongly with something.

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