The third view is that the scroll is actually the Old Testament, because it is only Christ who can really interpret the Old Testament. Since the Old Testament points to Christ, he is the key to understanding it. You may recall that Jesus pointed that out himself to the Emmaus disciples in Luke 24. Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself, beginning with Moses and the prophets. That’s the whole of the Old Testament, and it all has to do with Christ and his suffering. But there is nothing in Revelation anywhere to suggest that this scroll is the Old Testament.

There was once a small boy who was very absorbed in drawing and coloring a very elaborate picture. His mother asked him what he was doing. He said, "I'm drawing a picture of God." She said to him, "That's very nice, but, you know, nobody knows what God looks like." And the boy said, "They will now." Well, nobody does know what God looks like, not even John, who has given us this magnificent Book of Revelation. You'll notice, for example, that he doesn’t describe God. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t even call him God.

Thirdly, the elders also say that God sustains the universe continuously by his will and by his power. This is the point of the last line of their hymn, which reads, "...and have their being." It means that the universe exists from moment to moment only because God continues to keep it in existence. God not only brought all things into being, but he now freely sustains all things in their existence by his will. If God should cease to sustain them, even for a moment, they would instantly be gone, or disappear. And it’s true of you as well. You continue in your existence only because of God’s good pleasure. Isn’t this humbling? It is meant to be humbling, and it should be.

As we turn to the earth - what of the earth? Here the wonders of the macrocosm - the world of large things - are repeated in the microcosm, which is the world of small things. Here there are electrons and protons, neutrons, neutrinos, and a seemingly endless variety of particles that we don’t even begin to understand. The distance between them proportionate to their size is comparable to some of the distances in the solar system. If we were to take the simplest of atoms - the hydrogen atom - and blow it up billions upon billions of times to where the proton at its center is about the size of a ten-inch soccer ball, the electron that’s circling around it would be the size of a golf ball, but it would be five miles away. And in between there'd be absolutely nothing. That’s just the simplest of the atoms. The saints in heaven are praising God for the wonders of his Creation. Shouldn’t we be able to do that in our worship?

God is eternal. He had no beginning, and he’ll have no end. Moreover, God is always the same in his eternal being. That’s what the words "who was, and is, and is to come" mean. God is past, that is, was. He is present - the word is, and he is also future - is to come. That last phrase is adding the idea that this eternally existing God is yet to come to us in judgment. He is the one before whom all hearts are open, and with whom you and I must deal.