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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 3:26 PM

JeffersonMarshall:
This is purely symbolic language. To understand a material harp in a purely spiritual realm, played by spirit beings, is, of course, incongruous.

Don't you just love it when they say something is quite literal then turn around and tell you something else is symbolic?  I guess it's whatever suits their convenience.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 3:55 PM

Please forgive my indulgence, and candor. I tried to keep quiet but I just can't help it.

JeffersonMarshall:
This is purely symbolic language

JeffersonMarshall:
each Christian would have to use a harp individually in worshiping.

This is by no means proper exegesis. I'm amazed how we can be so led astray, in order to "shoehorn" our theology into Scripture.

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 4:13 PM

George Somsel:

Ted Hans:
 I suspect he is of a Reformed persuasion or coming at it from a particular Reformed perspective.

That is not Reformed.  I should know.

George what do you mean? what about the regulative principle? Spurgeon would not allow instrument for the reason given by our good friend. of course not all Reform guys agree with this. Truly it is found and rooted in some aspect of the Reform tradition. Dr Masters of the Met Tab (Spurgeon church in London) is sympathetic to the view mentioned by our dear friend although ( the Met Tab) they have a piano. I know of Reform Church's in the UK who take the same view basing it on the Regulative Principle & i suspect that is the case in the US. How do i know this b/cos John Frame was criticise by Reform theologians for his view on Worship. If by "this is not Reform" you mean not all agree on this then i would say - yes but i was careful to note that it was an aspect from a particular Reform point of view.

I will not argue on weather you are right that this is not the consensus in the Reformed camp today but i think the traditionalist would argue that "no instrument" was the prevailing view until recently. The Puritans allowing instruments in worship? Somehow i don't see that as being possible .You may be right but i cannot say for certain.

Yours in Christ

Sir T.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 4:35 PM

Ted Hans:
I know of Reform Church's in the UK who take the same view basing it on the Regulative Principle

In that case, I hope they don't have pews in the church since that is also not found in scripture.  Come to think of it, they shouldn't even have church buildings since the early church met in members' houses.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 4:50 PM

JeffersonMarshall:
This is purely symbolic language. To understand a material harp in a purely spiritual realm, played by spirit beings, is, of course, incongruous
George Somsel:
Don't you just love it when they say something is quite literal then turn around and tell you something else is symbolic?  I guess it's whatever suits their convenience

Okay while i disagree with Jefferson (i still want to give his view some serious thought) should we not be sympathetic to his point? Let's see God sits on a physical throne, God has a right hand, a physical Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered-all this is visionary/dream like experience. Ah golden bowls full of incense = which are the prayers of the saints Hmmm. What John saw was literal but what does it signify, it goes beyond the literal into the symbolic?

I think a better approach would be to offer exegesis that counters his reading of the Revelation passage. BTW i am not an Amill in eschatology.

 

Sir T.

 6 Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. 8 When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They sing a new song:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and people and nation;
10     you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God,
and they will reign on earth.”

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 5:01 PM

George Somsel:

Ted Hans:
I know of Reform Church's in the UK who take the same view basing it on the Regulative Principle

In that case, I hope they don't have pews in the church since that is also not found in scripture.  Come to think of it, they shouldn't even have church buildings since the early church met in members' houses.

George i did say i disagreed with that view or i will not go that farBig Smile

Sir T.

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Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 5:38 PM

George Somsel:
In that case, I hope they don't have pews in the church since that is also not found in scripture.  Come to think of it, they shouldn't even have church buildings since the early church met in members' houses.

I've been agreeing all along with the point you are making, and then I realized that the Amish people take this line of reasoning seriously.

It's too bad that God did not make salvation free, and then people wouldn't have to work so hard for it.

But wait, He did, and yet they still do...

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 5:48 PM

Paul Golder:

George Somsel:
In that case, I hope they don't have pews in the church since that is also not found in scripture.  Come to think of it, they shouldn't even have church buildings since the early church met in members' houses.

I've been agreeing all along with the point you are making, and then I realized that the Amish people take this line of reasoning seriously.

It's too bad that God did not make salvation free, and then people wouldn't have to work so hard for it.

But wait, He did, and yet they still do...

 

 

Only a C.H. Spurgeon would have come up with that lineBig Smile Okay you qualify you are a C.H.S admirerWink

Sir T.

 

 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 6:40 PM

Surely y'all jest!   .......................(that's an Okie expression)

But there is much to be considered here. When a church borrows $5 million to build a structure.  Hmmm, "owe no man anything, save love"..... "I do not dwell in houses made by men"...."and they went from house to house.." So the building project is nothing more than a mortgaged pile of bricks.

I may be mistaken but I believe Brother Jefferson is probably of the Church of Christ, non-instrumental persuasion. I am very familiar with their doctrine because I was raised with similar teachings. The  Disciples of Christ, the Christian Church & Church of Christ (both instrumental & non-instrumental) all have common roots that others refer to as "Campbellites."

There are varying degrees of the concept of worship in these churches. Jefferson obviously comes from the church that sees a very strict definition of worship. I've attended social functions in that type of congregation and they will actually announce  "worship service is now beginning." Believers then adjust all conduct to solemnly reverence God. Maybe you view worship as something you do every day and everywhere in whatever activity you are doing. I think jefferson views it a little bit differently.

Now, if only we had a NASB Reverse Interlinear we could settle both the question of instruments and the "church" becoming the bank's slave. (How is that for getting back on topic?)

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 7:39 PM

Paul Golder:
It's too bad that God did not make

That's precisely why this whole business gets me a bit upset.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 8:15 PM

JeffersonMarshall:
Notice the angels were "saying or speaking" together, just like how it ought to be done here on the earth. Matthew 16:19 should help us understand that. The fact that Christ is with us in worship should comfort us in what we can (not) do. Ask yourselves what is He doing (Romans 2:12) and what He commands (Romans 15:10-11)? If we are to worship God in heaven (if we make it), we would have to be properly trained down here on the earth. We cannot do stuff that has not been authorized in heaven.

JeffersonMarshall:
You have to jump though to many hoops (add your personal preferences) to think musical instruments in worship is allowed. Mechanical instruments are NOT expedients to the command to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with the mind and spirit and the understanding to God, period. BTW.

I grow less & less comfortable with this view of musical instruments in worship, especially when Matthew 16:19 & Romans 2:12 (??) are being quoted in support. There is no allowance of Grace as it implies God will be less than pleased with singing accompanied by music coming/arising from the heart.

Dave
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Jules lamond | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 10:12 PM

I was watching this post and I just realized that we have been misunderstanding what Jefferson said and implied.

I have been seriously struggling with what he (Jefferson) said and he drives home the point that God has said "the how, the who, the where, the when and the what" of singing in worship to Him. I find it difficult to argue against this simple common sense approach.

We (including myself) have missed the simplicity of what Jefferson said.

I have been reading a lot of skirting around in this post on what he had said. He touched my nerve, but I was forced to investigate what he said.

No one has adequately and definitively refuted what he has said (other than to use snide remarks as a counter weight). I myself have found it extremely difficult to do as well. 

He has not stated anything technical at all. He has tested our hearts

I have NOW changed my position on this issue and recognize that it is better to abide in what Christ said and is doing in our worship, and not what I desire. Jefferson has been quite logical and truer to the text than most of us, including myself. 

I took the time to breakdown what Jefferson said into the following:

Christ is in our midst (Matt 16:19), and sings with us (Heb 2:12). We cannot be sure to use instruments because we know for sure what Christ does. So we should not use them.

Worship is a spiritual exercise (John 4:24). 

Since Christ authorizes singing and sings with us, then we cannot categorically play instruments because Christ is not doing so in our worship (Rom 15:10-11). We will be hard pressed to prove it, and if Christ is the the author and perfecter of faith (Heb 12:2) then we are most miserably wrong.

Since what has already been bound in heaven is to be bound on earth, it stands to reason that we cannot use musical instruments.

The critique of symbolic (figurative) vs literal and his exegesis for the revelation texts were invalid arguments if WE all are to be fair and honest.

I asked myself, "What am I to sing and to sing "with" to God (1 Cor 14:15; Heb 13:15)." This is what really got my attention. It was there all the time, but I never saw it.

Humans sing, instruments play. God expects us to sing. He made it that simple. 

Jefferson really got me to question my beliefs.

It was extremely difficult to find a crack or a hole in this thought process.

I will honestly concede that we are in error to use musical instruments in praise to God.

Love from across the pond.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 10:23 PM

Jules lamond:

I took the time to breakdown what Jefferson said into the following:

Christ is in our midst (Matt 16:19), and sings with us (Heb 2:12). We cannot be sure to use instruments because we know for sure what Christ does. So we should not use them.

Worship is a spiritual exercise (John 4:24). 

Since Christ authorizes singing and sings with us, then we cannot categorically play instruments because Christ is not doing so in our worship (Rom 15:10-11). We will be hard pressed to prove it, and if Christ is the the author and perfecter of faith (Heb 12:2) then we are most miserably wrong.

Since what has already been bound in heaven is to be bound on earth, it stands to reason that we cannot use musical instruments.

And yet, it is precisely in heaven, right in front of the throne that they are playing instruments.  He says this is symbolic.  Symbolic of what?  Instruments perhaps?  May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Play on !

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 8
Jules lamond | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 11:04 PM

Context, context context.

It seems that you have not grasped the Revelation text. 

Let me explain, since no one else is volunteering a proper exegesis.

The harp here in Rev 5:6-10 is purely symbolical, not of mechanical instruments of music, but of singing, an action in which the heavenly host immediately engaged. 

the vision emphasized that Christ was seen "with seven horns" (symbol of strength, Deut. 33:17; 1 Kings 22:11) "and with seven eyes", in turn interpreted as the seven spirits of God sent out into all the world and symbol of national or kingly might (Zech. 1:18-20; Dan. 7:7ff).  In the Revelation generally, horns symbolize the might of the persecuting power (Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3ff). Though he is a Lamb sacrificed, Jesus is seen in his heavenly position exercising power over all flesh (Matt. 28:18; John 17:1; Eph. 1:21).  The Lamb's all-seeing vision is emphasized by his having "seven eyes".  The Old Testament counterpart of this is Zechariah's vision of the seven lamps which are said to be the seven eyes of the Lord, "which range through the whole earth" (Zech. 4:2,10).  These are now further explained as "the seven spirits sent out into all the earth" (note Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 4:5, indicating the Spirit's worldwide mission).

The action which is to carry forward the drama begins when the Lamb "took the scroll from the right hand" of God, at which point the living creatures and the elders fell down before the Lamb.  In their hands these heavenly inhabitants held a harp (symbol of praise) and "golden bowls full of incense".  The incense is a symbol of "the prayers of the saints" (cf. Ps. 141:2; Rev. 8:3).  The prayers of the saints on earth are mighty before God (James 5:16).  These heavenly inhabitants thus represent the saints on earth who have prayed for the coming of the events now to be worked out and who add their praise and prayer for the accomplishment of God's purpose.

The action which is to carry forward the drama begins when the Lamb "took the scroll from the right hand" of God, at which point the living creatures and the elders fell down before the Lamb.  In their hands these heavenly inhabitants held a harp (symbol of praise) and "golden bowls full of incense".  

The incense is a symbol of "the prayers of the saints" (cf. Ps. 141:2; Rev. 8:3).  The prayers of the saints on earth are mighty before God (James 5:16).  These heavenly inhabitants thus represent the saints on earth who have prayed for the coming of the events now to be worked out and who add their praise and prayer for the accomplishment of God's purpose.

After offering the praise and prayers of the saints to God, the living creatures and the elders begin their own song of praise.  It is called "a new song", a phrase frequently used in the Old Testament (Ps. 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1-9; 149:1; Isa. 42:10) for any new or recently composed hymn, but especially for a composition in honor of a special occasion.  In most of the passages the occasion is the celebration of God's coming in judgment and worldwide victory.

The "new song", repeating the former declaration of the worthiness of the Lamb to open the scroll, now states the reason for that worthiness.  As he had formerly been seen as a Lamb slaughtered, so now his position as one who can open the seals and bring about the anticipated events is directly connected with his sacrifice on the cross: "for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men".  Christians firmly believed that the sacrificial death of Jesus, in which he vicariously gave his lifeblood for the sins of men, served as the ransom price for men from the slavery of sin (1 Pet. 1:18ff; Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:20).  The former slaves to sin were thus purchased (see the metaphor used in 1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; Gal. 4:5; Rev. 14:3; 2 Pet. 2:1).  This ransoming was for God, in that they are now destined for his service.

I am not a defender for anyone, but you make the point for Jefferson that you do not understand the text for which you confidently assert so much knowledge about (1 Tim 1:7). 

If he reads this post, he must me praying that you be swift to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19)

Instead of trying to belittle, examine truthfully what he said. As a matter-of-fact, examine what I have said before so being quick to respond.

Cheers

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Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 11:49 PM

George Somsel:

Jules lamond:

I took the time to breakdown what Jefferson said into the following:

Christ is in our midst (Matt 16:19), and sings with us (Heb 2:12). We cannot be sure to use instruments because we know for sure what Christ does. So we should not use them.

Worship is a spiritual exercise (John 4:24). 

Since Christ authorizes singing and sings with us, then we cannot categorically play instruments because Christ is not doing so in our worship (Rom 15:10-11). We will be hard pressed to prove it, and if Christ is the the author and perfecter of faith (Heb 12:2) then we are most miserably wrong.

Since what has already been bound in heaven is to be bound on earth, it stands to reason that we cannot use musical instruments.

And yet, it is precisely in heaven, right in front of the throne that they are playing instruments.  He says this is symbolic.  Symbolic of what?  Instruments perhaps?  May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Play on !

I come from a very strict Christian background originally. On one hand I fully respect that, in a sense, clear-cut way of approaching the Scriptures, however I have seen on the other hand, unfruitful and divisive tendencies in the Body of Christ, when that approach is applied, also in many other matters. It is not only a matter of instruments, but many other things like head coverings etc. It touches IMHO whole way of how we do our hermeneutics. IMHO we would have to define clearly what we understand with the term of "worship". Is it that time in our services we use or not use our voices and instruments? Is it also my everyday attitude of obedience to God? Is it done with my physical voice or "in Spirit and Truth"? Can we, or even should we, apply also such scriptures as  Rom 14:5 and 22? How can we fulfill the commands from verses like the following: 2 Tim 4:13? Literally? By making a pilgrimage? Or by trying to understand the spirit of the scripture in more complex way? Is really our singing and praising of the Lord so much different from what David did? Why God would so much change his attitude to the instruments? Isn't it similar matter to our approach to buildings? In the OT the Temple was a building, in our case buildings are just a "roof over the heads of the real Temple of the Holy Spirit" as I believe Bible defines our church buildings today. But it does not mean we are not allowed to use buildings in a proper understanding of their role. IMHO, I believe we can have the same approach to the instruments. If they help us to just sing from the bottom of our hearts in all sincerity and humility and honor and understanding that it is not our pleasure, what is the goal, but God who is the receiver of our praises, what wrong it could be? But again, I respect the other way of seeing the thing and I am open to change my understanding if I see the message of the Scripture showing that direction. IMHO all the arguments given here so far (and all of them I have heard from other sources on the subject) have not convinced me so, but, let us stay Brothers.

6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since she gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For tnone of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, uwhether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ro 14:6-8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Bohuslav

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Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 17 2009 11:59 PM

Jules lamond:
be swift to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19)

Well, I understand why it is safer not to allow any off-topic discussions. Why so quickly attack motives and attitudes of the discussing person? Why not just to speak about the matter itself, respecting the other person and the limits of our ability to know exactly his/her attitudes?

Bohuslav

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 18 2009 12:07 AM

Jules lamond:

Since Christ authorizes singing and sings with us, then we cannot categorically play instruments because Christ is not doing so in our worship (Rom 15:10-11). We will be hard pressed to prove it, and if Christ is the the author and perfecter of faith (Heb 12:2) then we are most miserably wrong.

Since what has already been bound in heaven is to be bound on earth, it stands to reason that we cannot use musical instruments.

This form of argument/exegesis is circular and no different to what Jefferson used i.e. what else is Christ not doing. Has the heavenly pattern changed since Ps 33:1-3 and Ps 150:3-5?

 

Dave
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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 18 2009 12:26 AM

Jules lamond:
I was watching this post and I just realized that we have been misunderstanding what Jefferson said and implied.

First, I understood him to say he wants a NASB Interlinear.      Secondly, He doesn't want instruments in worship.

Christ is my High Priest and my Advocate with the Father. He fulfills what no other can.  Being the Author and Finisher of our faith, Christ has pleased the Father and that righteousness has been imputed to my account. (My "righteousness" is as filthy rags). My heart sings praises to God for His wonderful grace He has given. If God wants me to worship without instruments, I trust He will show me. If I am unknowingly sinning by using instruments, then the blood of Christ has dealt with that also. I go through my day trying to please my God in everything I do. I know I fail often but His grace is sufficient.

All I can say is love God with all your heart, soul, mind & strength. Do what you know is right and don't violate your conscience. But do understand the freedom everyone has in Christ just might have your Christian brothers using instruments in worship.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 18 2009 3:18 AM

Jules lamond:

It seems that you have not grasped the Revelation text. 

Let me explain, since no one else is volunteering a proper exegesis.

The harp here in Rev 5:6-10 is purely symbolical, not of mechanical instruments of music, but of singing, an action in which the heavenly host immediately engaged. 

WRONG !

8 When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They sing a new song:

The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Re 5:7-9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The notice that they are holding harps is supplemented by the notice that they sing.  If the harps had symbolized singing then it would not be stated that they sang.  Your "exegesis" if faulty.

 

george
gfsomsel

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 18 2009 4:17 AM

George Somsel:

Jules lamond:

It seems that you have not grasped the Revelation text. 

Let me explain, since no one else is volunteering a proper exegesis.

The harp here in Rev 5:6-10 is purely symbolical, not of mechanical instruments of music, but of singing, an action in which the heavenly host immediately engaged. 

WRONG !

8 When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They sing a new song:

The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Re 5:7-9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The notice that they are holding harps is supplemented by the notice that they sing.  If the harps had symbolized singing then it would not be stated that they sang.  Your "exegesis" if faulty.

 

I think if you read her in context where she explains in the body of her exegesis her meaning.
She means that the" harp" = "praise" see below. Some say it refers to worship, praise or to prophesy. 

  QUESTION—What does a κιθάρα ‘harp’ symbolize?

A harp is a symbol of the worship of God [EC, Wal]. In Revelation it is always associated with the praise of God [TNTC]. In Psalm 33:2 the harp is associated with praise [Ld, NIC]

Trail, R. (2008). An Exegetical Summary of Revelation 1-11 (2nd ed.) (140). Dallas, TX: SIL International

"The action which is to carry forward the drama begins when the Lamb "took the scroll from the right hand" of God, at which point the living creatures and the elders fell down before the Lamb.  In their hands these heavenly inhabitants held a harp (symbol of praise) and "golden bowls full of incense". Jules lamond

"The action which is to carry forward the drama begins when the Lamb "took the scroll from the right hand" of God, at which point the living creatures and the elders fell down before the Lamb.  In their hands these heavenly inhabitants held a harp (symbol of praise) and "golden bowls full of incense".Jules lamond

Sir T.

 

.

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