Scripture is in BLACK FONT
Words of Jesus in RED FONT
Notes in BLUE FONT
Chapter 5 is made up of the following
1. The Heavenly Book – Revelation 5:1-4
2. The Heavenly Lamb – Revelation 5:5-7
3. The Worship of the Lamb by the Living Creatures and Elders – Revelation 5:8-10
4. The Universal Worship of God and of the Lamb – Revelation 5:11-14
The Heavenly Book – Revelation 5:1-4
Once again, our attention is directed to God, Who sits on the throne, and the book (a scroll) in His right hand. We are told the writing cannot be seen from the outside of the scroll but is written within to make certain no one sees the contents (at least at this time). It is sealed with seven seals. These seven seals will begin the judgments that will come upon the planet during the Great Tribulation period. It is seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials interspersed with three woes. The seals, trumpets, and vials follow each other in chronological order. The first seal will begin at the beginning of the tribulation period.
The strong angel spoken of in verse 2 is not named. There are 26 unidentified angels in the book of Revelation. Also, there are 15 angels identified as men. Christ is also spoken of as an angel (Revelation 8:2-6; 10:1). Lucifer is mentioned in Revelation 12:1-9 and Michael in Revelation 12:7-10. We are not told who the strong angel is, but to John, he must have looked more powerful than the other angels he saw.
The strong angel questions with a loud voice the worthiness of anyone to open the book and to loose the seals thereof. No man was able. I think we should be very conscious of the statement made here. The statement “...no man...was able...” indicates “no man was worthy” (Revelation 5:3). This verse of scripture should help us to understand that man has no worthiness. That’s why Jesus told us “Judge not,...” (Matthew 7:1-2).
No man is worthy to judge another. Any salvation, justification, forgiveness, sanctification, reconciliation, or holiness that any individual may possess is all of Christ and none of himself. When the statement “...no man in heaven,...” is used, it is saying that the greatness of every prophet of the Bible (who was in heaven by the time of John’s vision) was all of Christ and none of themselves. The roll is long. You can include Moses, David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. When John wrote this, all of the apostles were in glory including Peter, James, even Paul. No one in heaven was worthy. He used the term “...nor in earth,...” meaning all those who were on earth serving God fell into the same category, which included himself. The statement “...under the earth,...” simply refers to the all-encompassing search which yielded “no man.”
The entire 5th chapter of Revelation should give us pause. The only Worthy One is Christ. Any time we conduct ourselves otherwise, we are calling the strong angel a liar. John, realizing the tremendous import of this book, even though he had no knowledge of its contents, wept much. He realized its vast significance simply because it was held in the right hand of God. The strong angel proclaimed with a loud voice asking who could open the book. The book pertains to judgment upon this world. In John’s great burden, the term “...wept much,...” says to us every redeemed saint of God should have been judged and condemned to eternal hell. However, Jesus Christ became our substitute. When we identified with Him, the judgment that should have come upon us was, instead, sent upon Him. When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, we are saved. Consequently, no man, no matter how close to God he may be, is qualified to judge another. Only Christ can do that.
The Heavenly Lamb – Revelation 5:5-7
Then one of the elders (redeemed saints) said to John 'Weep not. Christ has prevailed and can open the book.' Here Jesus is called “…the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David,…” These statements are used, at least in part, to denote the significance of the incarnation of Christ. To redeem man, Christ had to become man, it was not enough to become an angel. Hebrews 2:9 declares, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Jesus was made lower than the angels because angels cannot die (Matthew 22:30). It was necessary for Christ to be capable of death so that He could die for every man. The words “...hath prevailed...” referred to Christ conquering satan at Calvary.
In the 6th verse, John describes what Jesus did to redeem man. The word Lamb, in the Greek, “arnion”, means a young lamb, a baby lamb. John said, “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) All the hundreds of millions of lambs (an estimated one billion) offered since the beginning, Genesis 3:21, pointed to “the Lamb to come.” As John sees this scene unfolding before the throne of God, he sees Jesus as a baby lamb (helpless) typifying the price he paid (Isaiah 53). The lamb had been slain, signifying the Lord’s death at Calvary.
Then, he gives us a strange statement in the latter part of the 6th verse concerning the seven horns and seven eyes explained in Revelation chapters 4 and 5. Everything Jesus did was by the power of The Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18-19). The seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth typify the completeness of The Holy Spirit, Who is able to come to earth due to the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that the Gospel is to go into all the world (Acts 2; Mark 16:15).
And then verse 7 says that Jesus came and took the book out of His Father’s right hand.
The Worship of the Lamb by the Living Creatures and Elders – Revelation 5:8-10
When Jesus takes the book out of the hand of God the Father, then the four beasts and twenty-four elders fall down before the Lamb, signifying His worthiness to open the book. In this (the four beasts and twenty-four elders), we have the host of heaven represented by the four beasts, and the redeemed of the earth represented by the twenty-four elders, proclaiming Christ’s worthiness.
Once again, the Holy Spirit emphasizes in the 8th verse, the word “Lamb”, signifying the worship of Him is given not only because of His deity, because of the tremendous price He paid at Calvary for the redemption of mankind. The salvation of mankind depended totally and completely on The Lamb.
The scripture in Revelation 5:8 then tells us that the elders and living creatures have harps. In Revelation 14:2, the 144,000 are given harps, and in Revelation 14:2, we are told about the innumerable harps. If God allows this many harps (musical instruments) in Heaven, let’s not consider it unheavenly to have musical instruments in churches.
The golden vials are golden bowls full of incense. They represent the prayers of the saints, according to Psalms 141:2 and Revelation 8:4. Before the throne of God, the twenty -four elders and the four living creatures sing a new song, accompanying themselves on harps with the incense (which the Scripture says are the prayers of the saints) from the golden vials permeating the throne of God.
The new song addressed itself to the worthiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. In verse 9, there is a slight discrepancy which makes it seems as if the living creatures are also thanking the Lord for redeeming them as the twenty-four elders are thanking Him. However, we know these living creatures from Revelation 4:6-8 call attention to God’s holiness and not the redeemed saints as the twenty-four elders are. Many Greek scholars, referring to the 9th verse, say that the pronoun “us” should have been translated “them.” In other words, it should read “and has redeemed them to God by the blood, etc.” In verse 10, where it now reads “...hast made us...”, should read “hast made them,” and where it says, “...we shall reign...” it should say, “they shall reign.” Verse 9 refers to the saints of verse 8 signifying worldwide redemption “...by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” In the 10th verse, “...hast made us...” implies a complete redemption resulting from a complete work.
Once again, we can add nothing to our salvation. He made us. We had no part in it. It is always all of Christ and none of us. This great work that Christ has performed within us presents us to God as kings and priests. Every saint is a king and priest “...we shall reign on the earth” pertains to Christ and the resurrected saints reigning on the earth in the Millennium and in the new earth forever.
The Universal Worship of God and of the Lamb – Revelation 5:11-14
After the new song is sung by the living creatures and the twenty-four elders, angels say with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb...” The number ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands is a Hebraism meaning myriads of myriads and chiliads of chiliads. It means countless numbers.
Along with the living creatures, the twenty-four elders and the countless angels, the Scripture says that “every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth,...” etc. also say “...Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power,..." All of this is directed toward God Who sits on the throne and unto the Lord Jesus Christ symbolized by The Lamb.
In the 14th verse, the four living creatures say “...Amen...” and once again, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever. The magnitude of worship is unparalleled. God is not looking for holy worship. He is looking for holy worshipers according to John 4:23-24. Also, all holy worship on the earth is an echo of what is already happening in Heaven.
1 And I saw in the right hand
of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
-The seven seals signify that the time of Jacob’s trouble is about to begin, which will rapidly bring to a conclusion that which must be done.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
-This strong angel is probably Gabriel as evidenced by Gabriel’s appearance to Daniel.
Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
-This implies moral fitness according to Romans 1:4.
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
-We should look very carefully at these words “no man.”
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
-This pertains to the fact that this book is so very important. It contains not only information regarding the coming judgment upon this earth, but as well, the message that this judgment, as tendered by God, will ultimately lead to the redemption of the earth.
The Lion and the Lamb
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not:
-states that man’s dilemma has been solved
behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
-presents the Lord Jesus Christ
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain,
-The crucifixion of Christ is represented here by the word Lamb, which refers to the fact that it was The Cross which redeemed mankind. The slain Lamb alone has redeemed all things.
having seven horns
-Horns denote dominion and seven denotes total dominion. All of this was done for you and me, meaning that we can have total dominion over the powers of darkness and, in every capacity, so there is no excuse for a lack of victory.
and seven eyes,
-Denotes total, perfect, pure, and complete illumination of all things spiritual which is, again, made possible for you and me by The Cross. If the believer makes The Cross the object of his faith, he will never be drawn away by false doctrine.
which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
-signifying that The Holy Spirit, in all His perfection and universality, functions entirely within the parameters of the Finished Work of Christ. In other words, it is required that we ever make The Cross the object of our faith, which gives The Holy Spirit latitude and guarantees the dominion and the illumination. (Isaiah 11:2; Romans 8:2)
7 And he (The Lord Jesus Christ) came and took the book out of the right hand of him (God the Father) that sat upon the throne.
-All of Heaven stands in awe as The Lamb steps forward to take the book.
8 And when he (The Lord Jesus Christ) had taken the book, the four beasts (living creatures) and four and twenty elders (representatives of The Church) fell down before the Lamb,
-proclaims to us the deity of Christ
having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
-In the Greek, this refers to the twenty-four elders only. All the prayers that have ever come up before God for things to be rectified are about to be answered.
9 And they sung a new song, saying,
-Only the redeemed can sing.
Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof:
-proclaims that, by Christ’s death, He has acquired a right to approach where no other one could approach and has to do what no other one could do.
for thou wast slain,
-refers to The Cross, which has made everything possible
and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood
-proclaims the manner in which redemption was purchased
out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
-proclaims the fact that salvation, secured by the death of Christ, universally applies to all classes of people of the earth
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests:
-This scripture abundantly proclaims that whatever Jesus did was because of The Cross, and that’s what we are also.
and we shall reign on the earth.
-refers to the coming millennial reign
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
-Ten thousand is the greatest number expressed by the Greek vocabulary, and in itself, may denote an unlimited number, but here we have a quadruple plural, ten thousands of ten thousands and thousands of thousands, which in the Greek, actually says myriads and myriads i.e., an innumerable host.
12 Saying with a loud voice,
-Considering the tremendous number, actually beyond comprehension, what a sound this must have been.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
-Through and by The Cross, the seven-fold blessing is given to Christ and is given to us as well. Let us say it again and again, it’s The Cross, The Cross, The Cross!
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying,
-The death of Christ, as atonement, is the ground or basis of the restoration of all things and is implied in Philippians 2:8-11.
Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, (God the Father) and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
-What Jesus did at The Cross guaranteed the total defeat of satan and all of his minions of darkness, which will ultimately cleanse Heaven and earth in totality and forever.
14 And the four beasts (living creatures) said, Amen.
-The four living ones say “Amen” to the four-fold blessing.
And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
-This records the fact that, not only is God eternal, but what Jesus did at The Cross will have eternal results as well.
*Extra Reading – My Utmost for His Highest April 10 “Moral Decision about Sin: Co-Crucifixion”
The Book of Revelation