“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; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” Revelation 5:11-12
In this Chapter of Revelation, there contains the title deed of redemption and the song of the redeemed. The theme of this chapter is redemption. The star of this chapter, as well as the entire book of Revelation, is the Lion who is a Lamb.
What is this book? Whatever the scroll contained, it was extremely important; under Roman Law, all legal documents pertaining to life and death, were to be sealed 7-times.
What was in the Book?
The designs and methods of Divine Providence, toward the church and the world, are stated, fixed, and made a matter of record.
In Chapter 5 of Revelation, John proclaims and then he laments;
1. Proclaims - 5:1
a. He sees these 7-seals
b. He sees a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, - 5:2 “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?”
The angel’s voice penetrated heaven, earth, and Hades - isn’t that awesome? And not even he had the power to break the seals - to disclose the secret counsels of God.
2. Laments - 5:4
This passage marks the final instance of a believer weeping; sorrowing, suffering, and death, have combined to carve out an ocean of human tears, since Adam’s rebellion against God. But all this weeping will soon end, when the rightful ruler of this universe comes forth!
Why did John cry?
“And I wept much,..” 5:4
He wanted to know the future, and could not open the seals for himself!
There are certain things that penetrate and occur constantly in the minds of men, and perhaps this reasoning drove John to sob his heart out.
a. Men have a strong desire to penetrate the future. If you have ever studied history, you will have seen a pattern emerge; a desire to lift the mysterious veil which shrouds that which is to come; to find some way to pierce the dark wall which seems to stand up before us, and which shuts from our view that which is to be hereafter.
b. There have been no more earnest efforts made by men than those which have been made to read the sealed volume which contains the record of what is yet to come. By dreams, and omens (old-favorites), and auguries (audits), and astrology, and the flight of birds, and necromancy (necessity), men have sought anxiously to ascertain what is to be - hereafter. John’s crying may be regarded as an instance of the deep grief which men often experience when all efforts to penetrate the future fail, and they feel that after all they are left completely in the dark.
Who is this Heavenly Hero who so boldly removes the Scroll?
A Lamb - The Messiah!
God very willingly and justly put the book of his eternal counsels into the hand of Christ, and Christ as readily and gladly took it into his hand; for he delights to reveal and to do the will of his Father.
“And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.” 5:7
1. He is called a Lion, but he appears as a Lamb slain.
2. He appears with the marks of his sufferings, to show that he pleads for us in heaven, in virtue of his satisfaction.
3. He appears as a Lamb, having seven horns and seven eyes; perfect power to execute all the will of God, and perfect wisdom to understand it, and to do it in the most effectual manner.
4. The Father put the book of his eternal counsels into the hand of Christ, and Christ readily and gladly took it into his hand; for he delights to make known the will of his Father; and the Holy Spirit is given by him to reveal the truth and will of God.
Facial description of the Lamb - Seven horns, and seven eyes; the symbols of intelligence and power, and a number that denotes completeness - No.7 The strength of an animal is in the horn.
John immediately recognized Him; the mortal wounds, representing the great work which the Redeemer performed--that of making an atonement for sin - Perfect power to execute all the will of God and perfect wisdom to understand it all and to do it in the most effectual manner.
What were the 4-Beasts?
1. The first was like a lion - He communicates the office of Christ as King
2. The second was like a calf - He communicates the office of Christ as servant.
3. The third was like a man - He communicates the humanity of Christ.
4. The fourth was like an eagle - He communicates the deity of Christ.
In addition, the number four marks world-wide extension: the four quarters of the world.
The deliverance to him of the book was a signal for the four living creatures and the elders to fall before the Lamb, as they had fallen before the throne. They recognize in the fact that he has the book "that all power in heaven and earth is given into his hands."
Who are the Four and Twenty Elders?
The plan of God prevails. The four and twenty elders represent the rapture of the Church and the Church knows that there is no cause to weep. God has made arrangements. The price has been paid, and the title deed will be claimed. “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: 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.” 5:5
What are the golden vials full of odors?
These symbolize the prayers of the saints. Prayer and praise should always go together.
The whole universe, is represented in Revelation, as in a state of profound adoration, waiting for the developments to follow on the opening of the mysterious volume. All feel an interest in it; all feel that the secret is with God; all feel that there is but One who can open this volume; and all gather around, in the most reverential posture, awaiting the disclosure of the great mystery. I can’t wait - can you?
If John wept much because he could not look into the book of God's decrees, what reason have many to shed floods of tears for their ignorance of the gospel of Christ! of that on which everlasting salvation depends!
We worship and glorify one and the same God for our creation and for our redemption. This sealed book passing with great solemnity from the hand of the Creator into the hand of the Redeemer.
It is matter of joy to all the world, to see that God deals with men in grace and mercy through the Redeemer. He governs the world, not merely as a Creator, but as our Saviour.
Let me pause here to mention to you the hopelessness of those who don’t know the Lamb of God.
1. Without the Lamb of God life is a pointless exercise in futility.
2. Without the Lamb of God all of creation is hopelessly out of balance.
3. Without the Lamb of God the future means nothing.
4. If you don’t know the Lamb of God you are yet in sin and under the curse of God’s judgment.
Your view of Jesus depends on which side of redemption you stand. You will see the Lion of Judah as a Lamb of God, or the Lamb of God as a Lion of Judah.
When John first looked at the throne, he could not really see who was on the throne. He saw colors like a jasper and sardine stone (Rev 4:3). He saw a rainbow round the throne with an emerald color. He saw a vague shape, but he couldn’t see a “person.” The reason is that God, Who is the eternal Spirit, does not have a shape. The only time God is seen with a form is for the benefit of mankind. When John looks up to behold the Lion, he sees a Lamb in the midst of the throne. Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God (Col 1:15). If you ever see God face to face, you will find yourself looking into the eyes of Jesus Christ. The glory of God is in the face (or “person”) of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6).
The Lord Jesus will complete the final phase of redemption in His Church by redeeming their bodies. This is the catching away or the rapture. Why does the redemption of all Creation begin with the Church? Because the Church is the Bride of Christ and she plays a crucial role in the overall plan of redemption! What is the first thing that happens when the most critical moment in all of time takes place?
The Lion, who is a Lamb, takes possession of the title deed of all creation while the universe watches in rapt silence. And then the celebration begins!
God has given you a song that the angels cannot sing. God has given you a song that none of the animal kingdoms can sing. It is the song of redemption. And when your redemption is complete and you stand in heaven before the throne, you will be given a new song. This is the complete song of redemption. Right now our song is missing the last verse. But in heaven we will be given it and we will sing a new song. The last verse says that our redemption is complete and we not look forward to the next event on God’s timetable - the Millennial Reign.
The Book of Revelation is laid out logically and the events are in sequential order. There are six intervals, or pauses where the effects of the events just described are revealed. The future events of Revelation begin with the rapture in chapter four. Chapter five speaks about the seven-sealed book, which is the title deed to creation.
From this point on, the scene will move back and forth between heaven and earth. As each seal of the book is opened, events take place on earth.
Hold onto your seats!
I Love You,