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Revelation 5

1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

  • And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll:
    • The focus of Revelation 4 was the throne. Here, John begins with reference to the throne, but now shifts his focus to the scroll held by the enthroned Lord.
    • Is it a scroll or Book? Read in KJV How the scroll looks like?
      • Ancient books are in scroll form.
    • What is this scroll?
      • Scrolls were read horizontally, not vertically. The “rolls” of the scroll were on the left and the right, and the writing lay in narrow columns about three inches wide, written on a substance kind of like brown paper. The scroll was held in the left hand, and unrolled with the right, and as the reading went on, the previously read portion was re-rolled. On such a typical scroll, the Book of Revelation would fill a scroll 15 feet long.
  • written inside and on the back, :
    • Does the content written on both the side? Yes
      • This means that this scroll is unusual. It wasn’t common practice to write on both sides of the scroll. This means that whatever the information on this scroll, there is a lot of it - almost more than the scroll can contain.
      • Nothing more could be added. What was written was completed and final.
      • Remember the emphasis is not on the content of the scroll, but on its seals and the One who worthy to take it.
  • sealed with seven seals:
    • When a roll was finished, it was fastened with strings and the strings were sealed with wax at the knots. This scroll is sealed with seven seals; there are seven strings sealed with was around the scroll.
    • These are not seven writings each separated by a seal; but seven seals all set upon one scroll. All the seals must be opened before the scroll can be read.
    • Roman law required a will to be sealed seven times as illustrated in the wills left by Augustus and Vespasian for their successors.” (Walvoord)
    • Jewish title deeds as sealed we can read this in Jeremiah 32:6-15.
      • Jer 32:9-11 - 9 So I bought the field from Hanamel, the son of my uncle who was in Anathoth, and weighed out to him the money--seventeen shekels of silver. 10 And I signed the deed and sealed it, took witnesses, and weighed the money on the scales. 11 So I took the purchase deed, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open;
    • Why seal is important?
      • If the scroll or sealed or an envelop was sealed with glue then no one can open except the owner. Even this is in usage in our local postal mail system.
      • Seal guarantees the content. If the seal is not tampered then it guarantees that the content is not altered.
      • Daniel 12:9 - And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
      • Esther 8:8,10 - 8 You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's signet ring; for whatever is written in the king's name and sealed with the king's signet ring no one can revoke." ... 10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed it with the king's signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses bred from swift steeds.

Application: What does the seal spiritually means?

  • We are sealed by the Holy Spirit when we commit our life to God (ie the day we born again in His Spirit) and the Holy Spirit remains in us as a guarantee until we see Jesus face to face.
    • Eph 1:13-14 - 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
    • 2 Cor 1:22 - 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
    • John 14:16,17 - 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
    • Rev 7:3 - saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."
  • God Himself is our seal and The Good Shepherd.
    • John 10:27-29 - 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 I and My Father are one."

2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?"

Who is this strong angel?

  • We don’t know who this angel is.
  • Many have suggested that it is Gabriel, but we don’t know.

What did the strong angel proclaims/challenges?

  • This angel challenges all creation: Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?

Does angel looks for owner or qualified person to open and loose its seals?

  • The angel looking for "worthy" person. So definitely angel is looking for qualified person to open and loose its seals.

3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. 4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.

  • John could not have said it any stronger. It is as if the strong angel looked through the entire universe to find someone worthy, and had not found anyone worthy to even look at the scroll.

Why did John wept much?

  1. There is no answer to the strong angel’s challenge because there is no one worthy to do this task.
  2. Previous promise to see the future may now be denied (Revelation 4:1),
  3. The consummation of history is now indefinitely postponed.

Why there is no one worthy except God to open and look the scroll? Why we are not worthy to loose its seals and look at it?

  • Is Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Salomon, Daniel, The Apostles, you, me, our decedents,...?
  • Because ... no one ever earned/obtained/achieved/reached this worthiness by keeping His standards. In other words no one earned the salvation including those elders, OT and NT believers.
  • We are sinners by birth and saved by grace not by works. Rom 3:21-25, Eph 2:8-10,
    • Rom 3:21-22 - 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
    • Rom 1:17 - For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
    • John 3:5-7 - 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
    • Eph 2:10 - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
  • We can be like Jesus but never become Jesus/God.
    • Luke 6:40 - A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher
  • Because the creation is utterly incapable of deciding or effecting its own destiny. Someone above the order of created must determine the course of history; only God can unfold this plan.

Now we are able to enter into the worship experience described in the reminder of Rev 5. And we will discover four compelling reasons why we worship Jesus Christ.

  1. Because of who He is (Rev 5:5,6)
  2. Because of where He is (Rev 5:6)
  3. Because of what He does (Rev 5:9-10)
  4. Because of what He has (Rev 5:11-14)

5 But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."

What God is saying to John and us through the elder?

  • Do not weep
  • Is 30:19 - 19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you.....21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.
  • Luke 7:13 - When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep."
  • NLT: Luke 7:11-16 - 11 Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, with a great crowd following him. 12 A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The boy who had died was the only son of a widow, and many mourners from the village were with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. "Don't cry!" he said. 14 Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. "Young man," he said, "get up." 15 Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk to those around him! And Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, "A mighty prophet has risen among us," and "We have seen the hand of God at work today."
  • Luke 8:52 - Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, "Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping."
  • NLT: Luke 8:44,49-55 - 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.....49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, "Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher." 50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, "Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well." 51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. 52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, "Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping." 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Little girl, arise." 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.

Who is this Lion of the tribe of Judah? Why Jesus is called Lion of the tribe of Judah?

  • Jacob prophetically gave the scepter to Judah and made it the tribe of the Kings.
  • The Messianic title Lion of the tribe of Judah comes from Genesis 49:9-10, Isaiah 31:4, and Hosea 11:10.
    • Genesis 49:9-10 - 8 "Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father's children shall bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
      NLT: 8 "Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will defeat your enemies. All your relatives will bow before you. 9 Judah is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness -- who will dare to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will obey.
    • Isaiah 31:4 - For thus the Lord has spoken to me: "As a lion roars, And a young lion over his prey (When a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him, He will not be afraid of their voice Nor be disturbed by their noise), So the Lord of hosts will come down To fight for Mount Zion and for its hill.
    • Hosea 11:10 - "They shall walk after the Lord. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, Then His sons shall come trembling from the west;
  • David -> Solomon ------> Jesus Christ
    • 1 Samuel 16:13 - Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
    • 1 Kings 1:30 - 28 Then King David answered and said, "Call Bathsheba to me." So she came into the king's presence and stood before the king. 29 And the king took an oath and said, "As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, 30 just as I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel, saying, 'Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,' so I certainly will do this day." 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and paid homage to the king, and said, "Let my lord King David live forever!"
    • Jesus Christ is only living Jews who can prove His kingship from the genealogical records.
      • Matthew 1:1,3,6,16 - Genealogy of Jesus as a descendant of Judah & David  via Joseph
      • Luke 3:23,31,33 - Genealogy of Jesus as a descendant of Judah & David via Mary
    Genealogy of Jesus Christ
  • Is Saul is from the tribe of Judah?
    • God never meant for Saul to establish a dynasty, because he came from the tribe of Benjamin. God used him to discipline Israel because the people asked for a king;  then He gave them David from the tribe of Judah.
    • 1 Sam 9:1-2 - 1 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. 2 And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.
  • The image of "the Lion" speaks of dignity, sovereignty, courage, and victory.
  • Trapp says that a Lion is a fitting image of our Messiah,
    1. For the excellency of his strength.
    2. For his heroical spirit.
    3. For his principality; the lion is the king of beasts.
    4. For his vigilancy; the lion sleepeth with open eyes.”

Who is this Root of David? Is Jesus is not the Son of David? How/Why Jesus is called Root of David?

  • "The Son of David" was a title often used when He was ministering on earth.
  • Also above title proves that Jesus is descendent of Judah via David.
    • Mat 1:1 - 1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: 2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.
  • As far as His humanity is concerned. Jesus had His roots in David
    • Is 11:1,10 - 1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. .... 10 "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious."
      NLT: 1 Out of the stump of David's family will grow a shoot -- yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. .... 10 In that day the heir to David's throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, for the land where he lives will be a glorious place.
  • Jesus is "the Root of David" which means he brought David (and David's line) into existences.
    • David calls Jesus as Lord - Psalms 110:1a - A Psalm of David. The LORD (YHWH/Yahweh - Jehovah) said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."
    • OT people know ther is Son of God: Prov 30:4 - 1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel--to Ithiel and Ucal: 2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, And do not have the understanding of a man. 3 I neither learned wisdom Nor have knowledge of the Holy One. 4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know? 5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. 6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
  • How the messiah could both be David's lord and David's son was the problem Jesus presented to the Phrases, and they could not (or would not) answer him
    • Matt 22:41-46 - 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of David." 43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 44 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" '? 45 "If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?" 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.
  • As far as deity is concerned, Jesus is the Root of David. This speaks of course, of our Lord's eternality; He is indeed the "Ancient of Days".
  • Jesus Himself says this in Revelation 22:16
    • Rev 22:16 - "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."

Jesus is the great figure of Old Testament prophecy:

  • the Lion of the tribe of Judah
  • the Root of David
  • Messiah of Israel and of the Gentiles.

Why/How Jesus is prevailed or qualified person to open this scroll?

  • Jesus is the only sinless person in the earth.
    • Hebrews 4:15 - For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
      NLT: This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.
  • Not only that He is sinless while he lived in this earth He also fulfilled the task Father God has given by dying on the Cross and fulfilled the will of the father.
    • John 8:28 - Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.
    • John 5:30 - I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
    • Matt 26:37-44 - 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." 39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." 40 Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
    • John 18:37 - Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
    • John 19:30 - So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
    • Phi 2:8 - 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • So in earthly point of view this gives Him a complete qualification to open the scroll.

While Jesus is there to open the scroll why the strong angel in verse 3 said that there is no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it? Read in KJV

  • KJV: Rev 5:2-4 - 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? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
  • In heavenly perspective Jesus is not the part of creation like us but Jesus is creator. So He is Holy - set apart from us. Read Rev 4:8b From what the Lord is set apart from?.
    • He is set apart from creation, in that the Lord God is not a creature, and He exists outside of all creation. If all creation were to dissolve, the Lord God would remain. He is set apart from humanity, in that His “nature” or “essence” is Divine, not human.
    • God is not a super-man or the ultimate man. God is not merely smarter than any man, stronger than any man, older than any man, or better than any man. You can’t measure God on man’s chart at all. He is Divine, and we are human.
    • Yet, because we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), humanity is compatible with Divinity.... They are different, but they do not automatically oppose each other. This is how Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, could add humanity to His deity when He became a man. Unfallen humanity is not deity, but it is compatible with it.
      • 2 Peter 1:3,4 - 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
    • God’s holiness is a part of everything He is and does. God’s power is a holy power. God’s love is a holy love. God’s wisdom is a holy wisdom. Holiness is not an aspect of God’s personality; it is one characteristic of His entire Being.

6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

What did John saw?

  • When John turned to see he saw not a Lion but a lamb!
  • Because of the elder’s announcement, John expected to see a Lion, but sees a Lamb instead. John even uses the specific word for a little lamb; he “Signifies a little or delicate lamb.” (Clarke)
  • The Greek word used means "a little pet lamb"

Who is the Lamb?

  • Jesus Christ is called the Lamb
    • John 1:29 - The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
  • Jesus Christ is called the Lamb at least 28 time in the book of Revelations. The emphasis is not hard to miss.
    • The choir of heaven sing, "Worthy is the Lamb!" - Rev 5:12
    • God's wrath is "the wrath of the Lamb" - Rev 6:16
    • Cleansing is by "the blood of the Lamb" - Rev 7:14
    • All believers in Christ or the Church is the bride/wife of the Lamb - Rev 19:7,8
      • (WW) The bride, of course, is the church (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22-33); and Jesus Christ, the Lamb, is the Bridegroom (John 3:29). At a wedding, it is customary to focus attention on the bride; but in this case, it is the Bridegroom who receives the honor! "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him."
      • 2 Cor. 11:2 - For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
      • Eph. 5:22-33 - 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
      • John 3:29 25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified--behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!"27 John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.' 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
      • Rev 19:7-8 - 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
    • New Jerusalem also called as the Lamb's wife - Rev 21:9,10
      • Rev 21:9-10 - 9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

Why He is called Lamb?

  • The them of "the Lamb" is an important one through out scripture, for it presents the person and work of Jesus Christ, the redeemer.
  • The Old Testament question "Where is the Lamb?" (Gen 22:7,8) was answered the John the Baptist, "behold the Lamb of God, which take away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
    • Gen 22:7,8 - 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" 8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." 12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The Lord it shall be provided."
  • In Genesis 22, a ram was substituted for Isaac, a picture of Christ giving His life for the individual
    • Gal 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
  • At Passover, the lamb was slain for each family
    • Ex 12:3 - 1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire--its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.

How the Lamb look like?

  • Lamb as though it had been slain: The Lamb didn't look pretty
  • The Lamb is presented in a way both sympathetic and powerful; He is living, but He still has the marks of previous sacrifice upon Him (as though it had been slain).
  • If the description of the Lamb in Rev 5:6 produced literally by an artist, would provide grotesque (odd, unnatural or ugly) picture; when understood symbolically conveys spiritual truth.
  • It’s hard to describe what John saw, but this Lamb had the marks of sacrifice on it. The coming judgment beginning in chapter six is dictated and administrated by the Lamb who already offered an escape from judgment by taking judgment upon Himself. The judgment comes upon a world that hates the Lamb and all He stands for, and rejects His offer of escape
  • The idea is that the sacrifice of Jesus is still fresh and current before God the Father. There is nothing “stale” or “outworn” in the work of Jesus on the cross. Thousands of years later, it is still “fresh” as the day He died on the cross.
  • (Clarke) As it had been slain: “As if now in the act of being offered. This is very remarkable; so important is the sacrificial offering of Christ in the sight of God that he is still represented as being in the very act of pouring out his blood for the offences of man. This gives great advantage to faith; when any soul comes to the throne of grace, he finds a sacrifice there provided for him to offer to God. Thus all succeeding generations find they have the continual sacrifice ready, and the newly-shed blood to offer.”
  • John 20:25-29 - 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Is Jesus died for Israel or Gentiles?

  • Isaiah states that Jesus died for the nation for Israel (Isa 53:8; see also John 11:49-52).
    • Isa 53:8 - 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
    • John 11:49-52 - 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go." 45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation." 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish." 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. 53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.
  • John affirms that the Lamb died for the whole world!
    • John 1:29 - The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
    • 1 John 2:2 - And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
      NLT: He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
    • Rom 3:25 - 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
      NIV: God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished
      NLT: For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times
  • When men want symbols of power they conjure up ferocious beasts and birds of prey such as those that represent nations and sports teams. But the representative of the kingdom of heaven is a Lamb, representing humility, gentleness, and sacrificial love.
  • The more you meditate on the power and scope of Christ's work on the cross, the more humbled and worshipful you become.

What is horn, eyes and Spirit of God referred here?

  • Since seven is the number of perfection, we have here perfect power (seven horns), perfect wisdom (seven eyes), perfect presence (seven Spirits in all the earth). The theologian would call these qualities omnipotent, omniscience, and omnipresent; and all three are attributes of God. The Lamb is God the Son, Christ Jesus.
  • Throughout the Scriptures, eyes suggest knowledge and wisdom, and horns suggest power. This Lamb has knowledge, wisdom, and power fulfilled perfectly: seven horns and seven eyes.
  • The Holy Spirit is not only the Spirit of God (in the sense of being the “Spirit of the Father”), but also the Spirit of Christ (Acts 16:7 and Romans 8:9).
    • Rom 8:9 - But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
    • Acts 16:7-10 - 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.
  • For more details read Rev 1:4 notes.

Where is the Lamb standing? Where is Christ in heaven?

  •  Here He is not in the right hand side of the Father but in the midst throne.
    • Heb 12:2 - looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    • Matt 22:44 - 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of David." 43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 44 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" '? 45 "If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?" 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.
  • The Lamb is the center of all that transpires in heaven. All creation centers in Him (the four living creatures), as do all of God's people (the elders). The angels around the throne encircle the Savior and praise Him.
  • To begin with Jesus is in heaven. He is not in the manger in Jerusalem, on the cross, or in the tomb. He is ascended and exalted in heaven. What an encouragement this is to suffering Christians, to know that their Savior has defeated every enemy and is now controlling events from glory! He too suffered, but God turned His suffering into glory.
  • He is also at the throne. Some sentimental Christian poetry and hymnody dethrones our Savior and emphasizes only His earthly life. These poems and songs glamorize "the gentle Carpenter" of "the humble Teacher," but they fail to exalt the risen Lord! We do not worship a Babe in a manger or a corpse on a cross. We worship the living, reigning Lamb of God who is in the midst of all in heaven.
  • Jesus identified with Old Testament the Almighty:
    • Rev 1:8 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
      • As in Revelation 1:8, the ancient Greek word is pantokrator (Almighty), with the idea of “the one who has His hand on everything.”
    • Is 9:6 - For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • Jesus identification with the Old Testament Jehovah/LORD:
    • John 1:23 - 19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." 21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." 22 Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?" 23 He said: "I am 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make straight the way of the Lord," ' as the prophet Isaiah said."
    • Is 40:3 - 1 "Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" Says your God. 2 "Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the Lord's hand Double for all her sins." 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.
  • Jesus looks like our Father God:
    • Rev 1:14 - 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
    • Dan 7:9 - 9 "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; 10 A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.
  • Jesus himself said that I and My Father are one:
    • John 10:30 - 30 I and My Father are one." 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God."
    • NLT: John 10:30- 30 The Father and I are one." 31 Once again the Jewish leaders picked up stones to kill him. 32 Jesus said, "At my Father's direction I have done many things to help the people. For which one of these good deeds are you killing me?" 33 They replied, "Not for any good work, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, have made yourself God." 34 Jesus replied, "It is written in your own law that God said to certain leaders of the people, 'I say, you are gods!' 35 And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people, who received God's message, were called 'gods,' 36 why do you call it blasphemy when the Holy One who was sent into the world by the Father says, 'I am the Son of God'? 37 Don't believe me unless I carry out my Father's work. 38 But if I do his work, believe in what I have done, even if you don't believe me. Then you will realize that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father." 39 Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them. 40 He went beyond the Jordan River to stay near the place where John was first baptizing. 41 And many followed him. "John didn't do miracles," they remarked to one another, "but all his predictions about this man have come true." 42 And many believed in him there.
  • Father God calls Jesus as God:
    • Heb 1:8-9 - 8 But to the Son He says: "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions."
    • Ps 45:6,7 - 6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.
    • Heb 1:10 - And: "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
    • Ps 102:25-27 - 25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. 27 But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

From where Jesus came to took the scroll?

  • From the midst of the thrown
  • No created being was found worthy to take the scroll, but the Lamb can take it.  His rank, character and ability to take the scroll and open it (and thus dictate the destiny of creation) has been permanently demonstrated by His work on the cross.
  • This is sealed to Daniel in Daniel 12:9 but revealed through Jesus Christ to us.
    • Dan 12:1-4,8,9-13 - 4 "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.".
      ...  8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?" 9 And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

What is written in it?

  • Through the centuries, commentators have suggested many different ideas. It’s important to remember that whatever is on this scroll, no one except Jesus is worthy to open it (Revelation 5:3-4).
  • Some think the scroll is the title deed to planet earth. This is an attractive idea, especially because the coming time of tribulation will end with Jesus ruling on earth. But it is hard to demonstrate this with certainty. The best connection in this idea seems to be with Jeremiah 32:6-15, which describes Jewish title deeds as sealed. But there is no doubt that the earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1), though the governments of this world belong to Satan (Luke 4:5-8). If God has to get the title deed back, when did God ever “lose” the title deed to planet earth? In fact, God holds this scroll - it isn’t lost. But the scroll must be opened, it must be revealed
  • The idea here is that God has a book in which the history of the universe is already written. He has written the history of the world in advance, He holds in His hand the history of the world in advance, and He initiates the consummation of all history. Only God can hold this scroll.
  • The scroll represents Christ's "Title Deed" to all that the Father promised Him because of His sacrifice on the cross "Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen (nations) for thin inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." (PS 2:8). Jesus Christ is the "heir of all things" (Heb 1:2). He is our beloved "kinsmen-redeemer" who was willing to give His live to set as free from bondage and to restore our lost inheritance (see Lev 25:23-46; the book of Ruth; Jer 32:6-15)
  • A title deed or will can be opened only by the appointed heir, and this is Jesus Christ. No one in all the universe could be found worthy enough to break the seal. No wonder John wept, for he realize that God's glorious redemption plan for man kind could never be completed until this scroll was opened. The redeemer had to be near of kin willing to redeem and able to redeem. Jesus Christ meets all of His qualification. He became flesh, so He is our kin's man. He loves us and He is willing to redeem; and He paid the price so He is able to redeem.
  • Some think the scroll is the text of the Book of Revelation, or the next few chapters.
  • The best solution is to see the scroll as “God’s will, his final settlement of the affairs of the universe.” (Barclay) This is based on the idea that customarily, under Roman law, wills were sealed with seven seals, each from a witness to the validity of the will.
  • “The seven sealed book therefore is the comprehensive program of God culminating in the second coming of Christ.” (Walvoord)
  • As Christ removed the seal,  various dramatic event took place. The seventh seal introduced the seven trumpet judgment (Rev 8:1-2). Then, when 7th trumpet has blown, the great day of God's wrath was announced, ushering in the "vial (bowl) judgments" that brought to a climax the wrath of God (Rev 11:15ff; 15:1). It is possible that the trumpet judgment were written on the one side of the scroll and bowl judgment on the other.

8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

What happened when He take the scroll?

  • Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb:
    • When the Lamb came and took the scroll (see Dan 7:13-14), the weeping ended and the praising began. God's people and the representatives of God's people and the representatives of God's creation jointed their voices in a new song of praise.
    • When the Lamb takes the scroll, the response is immediate. High-ranking angels and redeemed man join together in worship of the Lamb.

What do each one have?

  • Each having a harp:
    • The harp is “Properly, a zithern/zither or kind of guitar, played either with the hand, or with a pick.” (Alford)
      Harp  Harp Playing
    • Worship in heaven is accompanied by music. Of course, this is the passage that started the idea that we will all have harps in heaven.

What is incense means?

  • an aromatic substance burnt
    • smoke of incense,
    • odor of (burning) sacrifice
  • perfume

Why incense is used in OT?

  • Ex 25:6 - 1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. 3 And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; 4 blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats' hair; 5 ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; 6 oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; 7 onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.
  • Ex 30:1-10 - 1 "You shall make an altar to burn incense on; you shall make it of acacia wood. 2 A cubit shall be its length and a cubit its width--it shall be square--and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. 3 And you shall overlay its top, its sides all around, and its horns with pure gold; and you shall make for it a molding of gold all around. 4 Two gold rings you shall make for it, under the molding on both its sides. You shall place them on its two sides, and they will be holders for the poles with which to bear it. 5 You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 6 And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you. 7 Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. 8 And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. 9 You shall not offer strange incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering; nor shall you pour a drink offering on it. 10 And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord."

What is incense in golden bowls are referred to?

  • And golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints:
    • Who is saints?
      • All believers of God Almighty are called saints both Old Testament and New Testament times.
      • Saint means godly, holy, set apart for God,...
      • 1 Samuel 2:9 - He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. "For by strength no man shall prevail.
      • Psalms 16:3 - As for the saints who are on the earth, "They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight."
      • Psalms 30:4 - Sing praise to the Lord, You saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
      • Psalms 31:23 - Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person.
      • Psalms 34:9 - Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
      • Psalms 50:5,7,16 - 5 "Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." 6 Let the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is Judge. Selah 7 "Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I am God, your God! 8 I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices Or your burnt offerings, Which are continually before Me. 9 I will not take a bull from your house, Nor goats out of your folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. 12 "If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. 13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." 16 But to the wicked God says: "What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth,
      • Matthew 27:52 - and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
      • Acts 9:13 - Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.
      • Romans 1:7 - To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
      • 1 Corinthians 1:2 - To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
      • 1 Corinthians 6:1,2 - 1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
      • 2 Corinthians 1:1 -
      • 2 Corinthians 9:1, 12 -
      • 2 Corinthians 13:13 -
      • Philippians 4:21 - Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
    • With their golden bowls full of incense, the elders symbolically present the prayers of the saints.
    • (David Guzik) In this we see how precious the prayers are the saints are to God. He regards them as a sweet smelling incense, as if set in precious golden bowls.
    • Note that praise and prayer were united, for incense is a picture of prayer rising to the throne of God (Ps 141:2; Luke 1:10). We shall meet the "incense prayers" of the saints again (Rev 6:9-11; 8:1-6).
      • Rev 6:9-11 - 9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
      • Rev 8:1-6 - 1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound
      • Ps 141:2 - 1 A Psalm of David. Lord, I cry out to You; Make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. 2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. 3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.
      • Luke 1:10 - 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. 8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

Are they interceding for the saints?

  • They are not interceding for the saints, functioning as mediators for God’s people.
  • (Warren Wiersbe) The "prayers of the saints" are not the prayer of a special group of people in heaven who have arrived at "sainthood." And there is no definite teaching in the Scriptures that people in heaven pray for believers on earth, or that we can direct our prayers to God through them. We pray to the Father through the Son for He alone is worthy (Rev 5:3).
  • We are reminded that there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). These elders are not praying for the saints, and this in no wise justifies the Roman Catholic practice of praying to the saints, asking them to pray for us.
    • 1 Tim 2:5 - For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."

Who sings this song?

  • And they sang a new song, saying:
    • The elders sing a new song, for mercies that are forever new.
    • “By a new song is either to be understood as an excellent song (for new songs were usually most valued,) or (which pleaseth me best) new as to the matter of it; for the servants of God under the Old Testament could not bless God for the actual redemption of man by the blood of Christ, but only rejoice in hope, embracing the promises seen afar off by the eye of faith.” (Poole)
    • “It is a new thing that the Son of God should become man. It is a new thing to ascend into the heavens with a body. It is a new thing to give remission of sins to men. It is a new thing for men to be sealed with the Holy Spirit. It is a new thing to receive the priesthood of sacred observance, and to look for a kingdom of unbounded promise.” (Victorinus)

Why they are personalizing (v9 redeemed us v10 made us) this salvation song? Why some translation uses "them" in the place of "us"?

  • Read following passage from KJV or NKJV which uses very old Greek manuscript.
    • ASB, NASB and vast majority of modern translations based upon GNT Morph (i.e. the "Alexandrian" text type). The Alexandrian-based text shown in the Blue Letter Bible combines the Westcott-Hort (1881) edition with the Nestle-Aland 26th edition (and its variants).
    • The King James Version (KJV) and New King James Version (NKJV) is not based upon this. The Authorized Version of 1611 King James Version utilizes the Textus Receptus ("Received Text") as the basis for the Greek New Testament. The Textus Receptus is based upon various Greek texts but also carries some influence from the Latin Vulgate. The earliest work was prepared by Desiderius Erasmus. This work was later revised by Robert Estienne (or, Stephanus) and further revised by Theodore Beza. The text produced by each is substantially the same, aside from some minor variations. The Blue Letter Bible utilizes Stephanus' edition from 1550.
  • NKJV: Rev 5:9-10 - 9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."
  • KJV: Rev 5:9-10 - 9 And they sung a new song, saying , Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain , and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
  • NASB: Rev 5:9-10 - 9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals ; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 "You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God ; and they will reign upon the

What is this song about? What kind of song did they sing? Because of what He does (Rev 5:9-10)

  • "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals;:
    • In the days of the Apostle John, Roman Emperors were celebrated upon their arrival with the Latin expression vere dignus, which is translated You are worthy. Here the true Ruler of the world is honored.
  • For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,:
    • To begin with, it was a worship hymn, for they said, "Thou art worthy!" and Jesus alone is worthy. When I was in the pastorate, I tried to open each morning worship service with a hymn that lifted the congregation's minds and hearts upward to the the Lord Jesus Christ. Too many contemporary songs are "I" center rather than "Christ" centered. They so emphasis the believer's experience that they almost ignore the Lord's glory. Certainly there is a place for that kind of song, but nothing can compare with adoring Christ in spiritual worship.
    • But this song was also a Gospel song! "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us (some texts read them) by Thy blood." The word translated slain means "violently slain" (Rev 5:6). Heaven sings about the Cross and the blood! I read about a denomination that revised its official hymnal and removed all songs about the blood of Christ. That hymnal could never be used in heaven, because there they glorify the Lamb slain for the sins of the world.
    • This song was also a missionary song. Sinners were redeemed "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev 5:9). Kindred refers to a common ancestor and tongue to a common language. People means a common race, and nation a common rule or government. God loves a whole world (John 3:16) and His desire is that the message of redemption be taken to a whole world (Matt. 28:18-20).
  • And have made us kings and priests to our God;:
    • Believers are kings because of their royal birth and their destiny to reign with Jesus. They are priests because they need no mediator other than Jesus Himself.
    • When a fellow comes forward in all sorts of curious garments, and says he is a priest, the poorest child of God may say, ‘Stand away, and don’t interfere with my office: I am a priest; I know not what you may be. You surely must be a priest of Baal, for the only mention of the word vestments in Scripture is in connection with the temple of Baal.’ The priesthood belongs to all the saints.” (Spurgeon)
    • This heavenly hymn was also a devotional hymn, for it announced our unique position in Christ as "a Kingdom of priests." Like Melchizedek of old, believers are kings and priests (Gen 14:17ff; Heb. 7; 1 Peter 2:5-10). The veil of the temple was torn when Jesus died, and the way is opened to God (Heb 10:19-25). We "reign in life" as we yield to Christ and allow His Spirit to work in us (Rom 5:17).
  •  And we shall reign on the earth.":
    • Finally this song was a prophetic hymn: "We shall reign on the earth" (Rev 5:10). When Jesus Christ returns to earth, He will establish His righteous kingdom for 1,000 years; and we shall reign with Him (Rev 20:1-6). The prayers of the saints, "Thy kingdom come!" will then be fulfilled. Creation shall then be set free from bondage to sin (Isa 11:1-10; Rom 8:17-23), and Christ shall reign in justice and power.
  • In the praise of Revelation 4:11, the emphasis is on God’s work of creation. Here, the emphasis is on His work of redemption.
    • The song honors the price of redemption: for You were slain
    • The song honors the worker of redemption: have redeemed us
    • The song honors the destination of redemption: have redeemed us to God
    • The song honors the payment of redemption: by Your blood
    • The song honors the scope of redemption: every tribe and tongue and people and nation
    • The song honors the length of redemption: have made us kings and priests to our God
    • The song honors the result of redemption: and we shall reign on the earth
  • What a marvelous hymn! How rich would be our worship if only we would blend all these truths in honoring Him!

Compare this song with following two songs V12 and V13

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

Who is sings this song?

  • Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders;:
    • Angels and other living creatures joins the Elders.
    • The angels and the elders fell down before the Lamb together (Revelation 5:8). But it seems that only the elders sang the song of the redeemed (Revelation 5:9-10), because in no place does the Bible tell us of the redemption of angels. But now, the voice of many angels around the throne rises up with the praise of the Great Redeemer.
    • In Revelation 4:9-10, the angels prompt the elders into worship. Here, the elders seem to prompt the angels. It is a wonderful cycle in heaven, with the angels and elders encouraging each other to more and more praise.

How many of them are singing?

  • and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,:
    • This is an innumerable company of angels.
      • Heb 11:12 - 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude--innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth
        NLT: 12 And so a whole nation came from this one man, Abraham, who was too old to have any children -- a nation with so many people that, like the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them. 13 All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God. They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth.
      • Heb 12:22 - 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.") 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
        NLT: 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, "I am terrified and trembling." 22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to thousands of angels in joyful assembly. 23 You have come to the assembly of God's firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge of all people. And you have come to the spirits of the redeemed in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which graciously forgives instead of crying out for vengeance as the blood of Abel did.
    • some believe Raptured believers also the part of the count because we are also there in heaven.
      • Rev 6:9-11 - 9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

What is this song about? Because of what He has (Rev 5:11-14)

  • saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!":
    • In their song, the angels do not offer praise for their redemption. This is because angels are not (to the best of our knowledge) subjects of this redemption but they are careful observers of it, and are therefore able to praise God because of it (1 Peter 1:12 and Ephesians 3:10).
      • 1 Peter 1:12 - 10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into. 13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
      • Eph 3:10 - 8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory
    • The angels can clearly see the greatness of God’s work in redeeming fallen men, so in response they credit power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing to the Lamb.
  • Application: In the same way, we can praise God for the way He works in the lives of other people.

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, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!" 14 Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.

Who sings this song?

  • 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,:
    • All Creations
    • John couldn’t be any more complete in his description. Truly, this is every creature - in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them.

What is this song about? Because of what He has (Rev 5:11-14)

  • I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
    • This combined worship of the Father and the Lamb is strong testimony to the deity of Jesus. “There cannot be the slightest doubt that the Lamb is to be reckoned with God and as God.” (Morris)
    • “Now if Jesus Christ were not properly God this would be idolatry, as it would be giving to the creature what belongs to the Creator.” (Clarke)
    • “Depend upon it, my hearer, you never will go to heaven unless you are prepared to worship Jesus Christ as God. They are all doing it there: you will have to come to it, and if you entertain the notion that he is a mere man, or that he is anything less than God, I am afraid you will have to begin at the beginning and learn what true religion means. You have a poor foundation to rest upon. I could not trust my soul with a mere man, or believe in an atonement made by a mere man: I must see God himself putting his hand to so gigantic a work.” (Spurgeon)
    • In this closing burst of praise, all the angels and every creature in the universe joined together to worship the Redeemer. What a cascade of harmony John heard! In this hymn, they stated those things that Jesus Christ deserved to receive because of His sacrificial death on the cross. When He was on earth, people did not ascribe these things to Him; for many of these things He deliberately laid aside in His humiliation.
    • He was born in weakness and He died in weakness; but He is the recipient of all power. He became the poorest of the poor (2 Cor 8:9), and yet He owns all the riches of heaven and earth. Men laughed at Him and called Him a fool; yet He is the very wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24; Col 2:3).
    • He shared in the sinless weaknesses of humanity as He hungered, thirsted, and became weary. Today is glory, He possesses all strength. On earth, He experienced humiliation and shame as sinners ridiculed and reviled Him. They laughed at His kingship and attired Him in a mock robe, crown, and scepter. But all of that is changed now! He has received all honor and glory!
    • And blessing! He became a curse for us on the cross (Gal 3:13), so that we can never be under the curse of the broken Law. (Some translations read "praise" instead of "blessing," but the Greek word carries both meanings.) He is worthy of all praise!
  • Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!"
    • The worship service climaxed with all of the universe praising the Lamb of God and the Father seated on the throne!
    • And there was even a loud "Amen!" from  the four living creatures! In heaven, we are permitted to say "Amen!"
  • And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.:
    • The ancient Greek word for worshipped is literally “to prostrate” or “to lay before another in complete submission.” The scene may be that the elders fell down to their knees, then laid themselves before Him who lives forever and ever as an expression of their total submission and worship.
    • “This is the eastern method of adoration: first, the person worshipping fell down on his knees; and then, bowing down touched the earth with his forehead. This latter act was prostration.” (Clarke)
    • Forever and ever . . . worshipped Him who lives forever and ever: The living God reigns eternally. The Caesars come and go, including those persecute God’s people. But the Lord God lives forever and ever and is ever worthy of our praise.
    • For more details about the worship you can read in ....

Application:

  • Keep in mind that all of this praise centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. It is not Christ the Teacher, but Christ the Savior, who is the theme of their worship. While an unconverted person could praise the Creator, he certainly could not sincerely praise the Redeemer.
  • All of Heaven's praise came because the Lamb took the scroll from the Father's hand. God's great eternal plan would now be fulfilled and creation would be set free from the bondage of sin and death. One day the Lamb will break the seals and put in motion events that will eventually lead to His coming to earth and the establishment of His Kingdom.
  • As you share in these heavenly worship services, do you find your own heart saying "Amen!" to what they have sung? You may believe in Christ as the Creator, but have you trusted Him as your Redeemer? If not will you do so right now?
    • "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Rev 3:20).

Following Taken from Warren Wiersbe commentary: Parallelism with Old Testament Temple:

There is no temple in heaven in a material sense. All of heaven is God’s Sanctuary for those who serve before His holy throne (Rev 7:15) However, John indicates in Revelation 11:19, 15:5-8 that there is a special “Sanctuary” of God. In the eternal state, there will be no temple (Rev 21:22). The Scriptures show us that the tabernacle is a model of the throne of God, in some manner (Exodus 25:8-9).

Earthly Temple / Tabernacle Heavenly Temple
Holy of Holies The throne of God (Rev 4:2)
Seven Branched Candle Stick Seven lamps of fire before the thrones (Rev 4:5)
Bronze Laver Sea of Glass (Rev 4:6, 15:2)
Cherubim over the mercy seat Four living creatures around the throne (Rev 4:6)
Priest Elders (Rev 4:4)
Bronze Alter Altar (Rev 6:9-11, 8:5)
Incense Altar Incense Altar (Rev 5:9, 8:3-5)
Ark of Covenant Ark of Covenant (Rev 11:19)
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