Book Excerpt: Revelation: The Way It Happened

“Jesus sits on the throne?” Matthew queried. “I thought God sat on the throne.”

Samuel grimaced. “I don’t know. John’s vision sometimes confuses me,” he admitted before quickly continuing. “Around the throne, the elders and living creatures each hold a lyre and a bowl of incense.”

Matthew laughed. “How can anybody play the lyre while holding a bowl? Do they have three arms?”

Samuel frowned again. “I don’t think that’s the point, Matthew. It’s not only Jews who use a harp in temple worship to accompany hymns. Have you seen the artwork in our neighbors’ homes of Apollo holding a lyre and a bowl in a libation scene?”

“Libation? What does that mean?”

“It’s a ritual pouring of a drink as an offering to a god, like we do in the synagogue.”

Matthew squinted. “John’s vision should remind us of Apollo? You mean even the god Apollo will worship Jesus?”

“Even Apollo,” Samuel affirmed, not yet ready to reveal who on earth played the lyre and thought of himself as the Greek god Apollo, and before whom the kings of the earth bowed and laid down their crowns in obeisance.

Matthew lowered his chin into his hands, thinking aloud. “Twenty-four elders pretending to be kings lay down their crowns before God’s throne. Then along comes Jesus to sit with God on the throne. Now, the elders pretend to be Apollo, hinting that even the gods will worship Jesus.” Quietly, still averting his eyes, he said, “Father, the Sanhedrin judged Jesus correctly. This is blasphemy.”

–Revelation: The Way It Happened, 2010, pp. 21, by Lee Harmon

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