Revelation Studies & Charts
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Revelation 5 (web)

The Scroll & The Lamb

5:1 I saw, in the right hand of him who sat on the throne,
a book written inside and outside, sealed shut with seven seals.

5:2 I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
"Who is worthy to open the book, and to break its seals?"
5:3 No one in heaven above, or on the earth, or under the earth,
was able to open the book, or to look in it.
5:4 And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look in it.

5:5 One of the elders said to me, "Don't weep. Behold, the Lion who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome; he who opens the book and its seven seals."

5:6 I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, 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.

5:7 Then he came, and he took it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne.
5:8 Now when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
5:9 They sang a new song, saying,
 

"You are worthy to take the book, And to open its seals:
For you were killed, And bought us for God with your blood,
Out of every tribe, language, people, and nation,
5:10 And made them kings and priests to our God, And they reign on earth."
5:11 I saw, and I heard something like a voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousands of ten thousands, and thousands of thousands;
5:12 saying with a loud voice,
 
"Worthy is the Lamb who has been killed to receive the power,
wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing!"
5:13 I heard every created thing which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them, saying,
 
"To him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be the blessing,
the honor, the glory, and the dominion, forever and ever! Amen!"
{TR omits "Amen!"}
5:14 The four living creatures said, "Amen!"
The {TR adds "twenty-four"} elders fell down and worshiped.
{TR adds "the one living forever and ever"}

Discussion Questions

vs 2-4 How is the Bible also a book which one cannot read without being found worthy?
vs 5-6 How are the two animals mentioned descriptive of Jesus?
vs 9 What made Jesus worthy of opening the scroll?
What phrases constitute worship in this chapter?
Application: since we are to worship God only then what phrases should you not use with respect to honorable saints?


Comments

vs 1-4 In John's time, official messages were often sent rolled up and then a wax seal was applied to hold it shut. The seal usually contained an official stamp. Jesus' tomb itself was sealed in this manner. (Matt 22:66) To break the seal was not a matter of ability, but of authority. Or in today's terms, it's illegal to open someone else's mail. It was apparent that this particular seal required supreme authority to open.

Some, like JW's, would argue against the deity of Christ from these verses saying that if Jesus were God, then he would not have to earn the right to open the scroll. Someone once asked, "Can God make a stone too big for Him to move?" I say He already has. For whenever He makes a promise, He is obligated to keep it, else it would be contrary to His character. Similarly with respect to redemption. In order to save people from His wrath, He was obligated to have the penalty payed for them. He couldn't just forgive them. For that would be unjust. (So much for the God of Islam!) So also the fact that Jesus had to be found worthy to open the scroll does not logically nullify his place in the Godhead.

vs 5-6 Jesus is spoken of as a Lion. One would expect a roaring lion standing forth proudly, but instead what appears is a lamb and not even a particularly healthy lamb, but one which has been slain. How do you perceive Jesus? As a lion or lamb? He has characteristics of both. As a lion, he is Lord and he is judge and reveals characteristics of justice and truth. As a lamb, he is a servant and sacrifice of atonement, and he reveals gentle characteristics of love and humility.

"Seven" as I mentioned before is a number symbolizing perfection or completion. I think that "horns" in Revelations represent mouth pieces to make announcements. The musical instrument called a "horn" got its name from the fact that they originally were made from the horns of beasts. These seven horns may also represent the seven trumpets yet to be sounded. The seven eyes may represent his ability to perceive perfectly what is going on. And these are functions of the Holy Spirit.

vs 7-10 The bowls of incense being the prayers of the saints may explain the symbolism of the altar of incense in the tabernacle.

Jesus had purchased men by his blood. But who was he purchasing them from? Essentially from God. (Matt 18:34) Because He is just, God was obligated to condemn these people for their sins so they had to pay the penalty for their sins. Who would they be paying such a penalty to? To God. But Jesus payed it in their stead.

Furthermore there as those, like Witness Lee's Local Church, who divide the redeemed into "overcomers" and "non-overcomers" and propose that only the "overcomers" reign with Christ. Lee actually proposes that the hypothetical "non-overcomers" end up in some sort of purgatorial situation - contrary to the basic concept of forgiveness of sins - and are left out of the "reign on earth" during the Millenial Kingdom. But vs 10 makes no such distinction among the redeemed and seems to include all the redeemed when speaking of them reigning on earth.

The elders were exercising worship - simply acknowledging back to God the facts of the case. We should worship in spirit and in truth as Jesus say in John 4:24. Some emphasize worshipping in spirit only and avoid Biblical truth. This is especially apparent in this post-modernistic age in which one's impression takes priority over facts.

vs 11-12 Since he has proven himself worthy, we ascribe to him power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. He had these before, but not so publically. Even in the Old Testament Jesus is rather obscure, but clearly revealed in the New Testament.

vs 13-14 This form of worship also affirms the deity of Christ. They worshipped both God and the Lamb. But Rev 22:9 indicates one should worship God only. Thus it is apparent that Jesus was treated as God.


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources


Jul 29,2015