5 continues chapter 4, the scene in Heaven focuses to events taking place on
the throne of God. In chapter 4, we received an overview of events around
the throne. John caught up to heaven, reported to the reader what he saw.
John introduces the reader to the throne of God, the four living
creatures (Cherubim), the 24 elders, and the sea of glass before the
throne. In Chapter 5, John directs reader’s attention back to the throne.
On the throne, God sits with a scroll, having seven seals, no one in heaven
or on earth is able to open the book. John weeps, for lack of a person who
can open the scroll, a lamb then appears which is able to open the scroll.
All of heaven falls before the throne of God and the Lamb in the midst of
The opening of this scroll, introduced in chapter 5, puts events into
motion leading to the return of Jesus Christ in Chapter 19 of Revelation.
Chapter 6 begins with the Lamb opening the seals on the scroll. The opening
of the scroll begins the period known as Daniel’s 70th week, the
seven-year tribulation period, a period of unparalleled horror and
destruction on the earth.
The beginning of the tribulation period begins with the confirmation of
an agreement between
Israel and the world,
allowing the Temple to be rebuilt and animal sacrifice to resume. Currently,
the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site to Islam occupies land
where the Jewish Temple is to be rebuilt. The building of the Temple can
only follow the destruction of this building holy to Islam. The destruction
of the Dome will unleash the Islamic world against
putting events in motion leading to the start of the tribulation period in
Between the rapture, Chapter 4 and the beginning of the tribulation
period, chapter 6, is period of pause. During this pre-tribulation,
post-rapture period, people will find Christ throughout the earth. The world
will also find itself in political upheaval as the order of nations
realigns. While these events are taking place on earth, in heaven the
events of Revelation chapter 4 and 5 will be taking place. How long this
period is not clear, it could be weeks, months or even years. This period
will conclude with establishment of the Jewish Temple and a worldwide peace
agreement enforced by military might, for seven-years. This seven-agreement
is Daniel’s 70th week.
The Seven Sealed Book
RE 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.
RE 5:2 Then I saw a strong
angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and
to loose its seals?"
RE 5:3 And no one in heaven
or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look
RE 5:4 So I wept much,
because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at
John again focuses on
events taking place on the Throne. God, seated on the His throne has a
scroll in His right hand. The right hand is the position of honor. Christ
when he ascended to heaven was seated at the right hand of the Father. (Acts
7:55, Hebrews 1:13, 8:1, 10;12,12:2) Stephan before he died, while he was
stoned, saw Jesus Christ standing at the right-hand of God’s throne.
The Greek word for scroll is
and is translated book. Books as we know them today
did not exist during this period. The scroll was made of Papyrus, Parchment
individual sheets were stitched or glued together to make a scroll. The
scroll was then rolled.
What was the scroll in the hand of God? The identity of this scroll has
been the subject of debate. The context of the scroll reveals its identity
as the title deed to the earth.
Sealed scrolls were used for property records in ancient
Israel, one copy would
remain open and the other copy sealed and stored to verify the true owner of
the property. (Jeremiah 32:9-14) The scroll in the right hand of God is
the sealed property deed. In Jeremiah 32, Babylon is about to conquer Judah
and Jeremiah has a cousin Hanamel who has property he wants to sell, which
he feels will be worthless after the Babylonian invasion. God instructs
Jeremiah to buy the property, as cousin, Jeremiah has the right of
redemption. Jeremiah buys the property and the deed is sealed before the
This sealed scroll is property deed which requires the right person to
claim ownership of the said property.
The use of the seal has an ancient history and was a way one
party would guarantee the item sent whether document or goods was received
in the order sent and not tampered with. John Walvoord, quoting Stauffer
Roman law required a will to be sealed seven times as illustrated in the
wills left by Augustus and Vespasian for their successors
The term strong angel is
used 2 more times in Revelation (10:1,18:21), and comes from the Greek word
Ischuros and means might or powerful. This angel makes the
proclamation to all of creation. He is asking someone to step forward who
can take the challenge. We see an example of this in the book of Isaiah,
when the armies of
Assyria surrounded Jerusalem, Rabshakeh was by the king of Assyria (Ish.37),
he challenged the Jerusalem to mount a defense against his king. This angel
asks someone to step forward who can open the scroll.
The angel literally cries out in a
fwnhv Phone , meaning sound. This is where we the term Megaphone comes
from meaning “great sound”.
Who is worthy
The angel asks who is worthy. The Greek word,
means weighing, having
weight, having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much.
The picture here is of a scale, the angel is asking who is able to counter
the balance in the scale.
Open the scroll
Only the person worthy could open the sealed scroll. Here
the picture of kinsman redeemer comes to mind. The position of kinsman, was
a relative who had the resources to “Redeem” or purchase what his relative
lost. The angel is making the offer to the universe, is someone able to
take possession of the sealed scroll?
No one… heaven…earth John is in heaven as spectator and reporter watching the
scene take place. The conclusion to the angel’s proclamation was no one in
Heaven or on earth was worthy to take possession and open the seals.
No angel in heaven was worthy to open the document because angels were
not “Kinsman” to humanity. Second, God had already surveyed all of humanity
from Adam until the end of time with one conclusion; none of humanity was
worthy or able.
looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who
understand, who seek God. 3 Every one of them has turned aside; They have
together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
God saw humanities situation was without hope and there was no one who
could intercede on the behalf of man, therefore God Himself would rescue
man. Isaiah writes about the bankrupt state of humanity in Isaiah 59. God
Himself comes to man’s rescue, being called the Arm of the Lord
(Psalm 98:1,Isaiah 40:10, 51:9,52:10,53:1, 59:16)
16 He saw that there was no
man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm
brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.
No angel or man was able to answer the call of the strong angel.
Humanity was without hope of redemption.
John as spectator saw the state of humanity, and begins to cry because
he also sees there is no hope for humanity. No man or angel in all
creation, from the beginning to the end, could respond to the angel’s loud
cry. John sees the hopeless condition of humanity.
The Lamb of God
RE 5:5 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
RE 5:6 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.
RE 5:7 Then He came and
took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
One of the 24 elders, who
was seated around the throne approached John and told him not to cry or
mourn over the lost condition of humanity. The elder then begins to explain
to John the victory of the Messiah, the Redeemer of humanity.
The elder in his consoling of John, explains to John the
nature and the work of the Messiah via his titles. The first title used is
Lion of the tribe of
Judah. This is reference
to the Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis about the coming Messiah.(Genesis
49:9-10) Judah is called a Lion, because out of Judah would come the
Messiah (Shiloh) who would rule the world. In the pictures of Messiah in
the Old Testament, we see two distinct portraits, one a conquering king
(Lion) the other a suffering servant (Lamb).
The Root of David
The reference to David’s
root comes from Isaiah 11:1. The Messiah would be a descendent of King
David as promised to David by Nathan the prophet. (2 Samuel 7:12-14)
There shall come forth a Rod
from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
"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."
The Messiah will reign on David’s throne over the earth, this is the
picture of the conquering king Messiah, the Lion aspect of king Messiah.
(Isaiah 9:7, Psalm 132;11)
Midst of the throne
John’s attention is now drawn to the center of the throne of
God. It is important to understand the location. The center indicates the
source of authority and nature of the referent.
John now sees a lamb in the
center of the throne. A first year male lamb is was what Israel was
required to sacrifice for the Passover (Exodus 12:3-7) The blood of the lamb
was then to placed over the lintels, when the angel of death passed by, he
would “Passover” the homes with the blood of the lamb.
The term used for lamb in Revelation is
Arnion. This word is used over 28 times in Revelation and means
little lamb. The term for lamb used in the Gospel of John, Acts and Peter
(John 1:29,36,Acts 8;32; I Peter 1;19) is
and means lamb, not in the diminutive sense, but in the
sacrificial sense. The word lion, in contrast to lamb appears once in the
book of Revelation.
When John saw Christ, he said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away
the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) The Lamb was a picture of the suffering,
sacrificial nature of the Messiah who would die for the sins of the world.
The two natures of Messiah are pictured in the Elders description of the
Redeemer, the Lion and the Lamb. Both pictures of the Messiah
are presented in Isaiah 52:12 to 53:13, the servant who is pictured who is
called the Arm of the Lord (Isaiah 52:10,53:1) will be revealed in
two different manners. The Servant who will be exalted and very high (The
Lion) will first have his appearance marred or corrupted (Lamb slain). In
the end, the kings of the earth will see the servant and as He really is and
they will shut their mouths, for what had not been told them they will see
(The Lion) ( See also Isaiah 59:16)
Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled
and be very high.
as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;
shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For
what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they
Isaiah then goes on into detail describing what the Messiah will go
through as the (Lamb slain) the “Suffering Servant” in the rest of the 53rd
1 Who has
believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been
3 He is despised
and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid,
as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
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.
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.
they made His grave with the wicked-But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
The fact the Messiah is
killed, is one of the main points in the 70 weeks of Daniel. God in fact
gives the exact day the Messiah dies, 539 years before He is born. (Daniel
9:24-27) The Messiah dies as our “Passover” sacrifice.
John sees the lamb with seven horns, horns are used
throughout scripture to represent authority and kingship. In Daniel 8, for
under Alexander the Great is pictured as one horned goat attacking
Media-Persia the two horned goat. (Daniel 8:5-7,20-21)
Further, the end-times ruler, the little horn, in Daniel 7 is pictured as
one of 10 kings all represented by horns. This is again reinforced in the
13th chapter of the book of Revelation (Rev. 13:1) when beast
arising out of the sea is pictured having 10 horns.
Seven is the number of completeness in scripture, here the “Little” slain
lamb, the suffering servant is on the throne in complete authority despite
his appearance to those in the world, as the “Little Lamb”.
The seven eyes on the
Lamb represents, the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 11:2,
Revelation 1:4,3;1,4:5 Zechariah 3:9, 4:2,11-14) The “Little” slain lamb
also sees all, nothing is hid from his sight.
Took the scroll
Only the lamb is able to
take the scroll from the hand of God the Father who is seated on the
throne. The interaction between God the Son and God the Father was pictured
in the book of Daniel over 500 years before the birth of Christ in Daniel
was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And
they brought Him near before Him.
to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples,
nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an
everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed
Here, the son of man (the lamb) approaches the Ancient of Days (the
Father) and is given an eternal kingdom over all humanity (the lion), all
people will serve/worship the son of man, who is the Lion of the tribe of
The Lamb worshipped
RE 5:8 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.
RE 5:9 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,
RE 5:10 And have made us
kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."
Fell down Earlier, the strong angel called out for anybody in Heaven
and on earth to open the scroll. Nobody was able to answer the call of the
angel, which caused John to weep. The only person who could open the book
was God Himself, who became man and died on the cross as our redeemer.
Jesus Christ, who came from Heaven to earth, became man making him our near
“kinsman” and thus giving Him the right as man to redeem man. Jesus was
both fully man, and fully God, Paul in Philippians chapter 2 verses
5 to 11 explains the incarnation. For this same reason the Cherubim,
the living creatures and the 24 elders fall down in worship before the Lamb.
The Lamb is fully God in the midst of the throne.
The Lamb, is in the midst of the throne demonstrating He is fully God,
and worthy of worship. If the suffering Messiah, the Lamb, were not God,
the creatures and the 24 elders would be in sin by falling down before Him.
Only two musical
instruments are mentioned in heaven, the trumpet and the lyre or harp. The
harp was the instrument used by David and one of the instruments used before
the Lord in worship in ancient Israel. (I Chron. 15:28)
The Lamb is worshiped by those in Heaven, with both music and prayer.
Prayers of the saints
The 24 elders have golden
bowls with incense, which represent the prayers of saints. The altar of
incense in the Temple, was a type, illustrating the prayers of the saints
who worship before the throne of God. Like fragrant smell of incense and
the smoke the drifts toward heaven, prayers are pictured as incense before
The elders, representing all of the redeemed bowing before the lamb, with
their harps and prayers stand as sympathetic representatives of all the
The fact these in Heaven
are singing a new song, signifies a change of events. This new song,
validates these are redeemed saints who are celebrating redemption. The
song is new because a new event has happened, redemption, the resurrection
of the dead.
The word used in Greek
here is ajgoravzw
Agorazo which means to be in the market place, to attend it, to do
business there. Jesus purchased the saints by His blood. The Lamb was
sacrificed for the sins of humanity. Jesus became our “Kinsman” Redeemer,
who by becoming man had the right of redemption, this is demonstrated in the
laws of Moses. (Numbers 27;1-11). Without Jesus Christ, man had no hope man
was completely lost.
Made us The controversy regarding this verse is in the manuscripts. Some
manuscripts read “Made them” and not “Us”. Most recent scholarship from the
most reliable manuscripts affirm the translation of “Made us”. This is
important because the argument that the 24 elders are angels does not exist
if the correct translation is “Made us”. The American Standard Version of
1901 uses the alternative manuscript source and translates this section as
they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open
the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy
blood [men] of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, 10 and
madest them [to be] unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon
Revelation 5:9-10 (ASV)
The song is personal and includes the 24 elders who are singing about
their own redemption, angels do not require redemption. The song by the
elders represents the redeemed and is for all the saved, from every nation,
tribe and tongue.
Kings During the Millennium the saints will rule and reign with
Christ. Jesus, in Matthew 19:28-29 informed the disciples they would rule
over the 12 tribes of
during the regeneration or resurrection. At the beginning of the
Millennium, the resurrected saints will be appointed to positions of
authority to administer the
who know Christ are part of a royal priesthood. Priest mediated between God
and men in Israel, representing men before the Temple. In the same way,
those who know Christ, represent or administer salvation to those who do not
know Christ. Christ has given us the responsibility to tell humanity about
Him, to administer salvation to the world.
5 you also, as living
stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up
spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
9 But you are a chosen
generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that
you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His
I Peter 2;5,9
The reigning of the saints
is a theme presented in both Old and New Testaments. Daniel points to the
day when the kingdoms of this world are turned over to the saints, who will
rule with the “Son of man” in the coming age. (2 Tim. 2:12, Revelation
Then the kingdom and
dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be
given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an
everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'
The parable of the talents and mina (Matthew 25:14-30, Luke19:12-26)
Jesus presents a noblemen who entrusts his servants with his possessions
while he is gone. When the nobleman returns he rewards his servants based on
what they did with his possessions entrusted to their care. In Luke, the
parable of the mina, the faithful servants receive rule over cities in the
kingdom the noblemen went to claim. This parable applies to the promise
reward for faithful service to Christ. In the Millennium, saints receive
positions of authority based on service in their lifetime.
Angels worship the Lamb
RE 5:11 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,
RE 5:12 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!"
Angels John again expands the picture, expanding the scene from the
throne. He describes all voices surrounding the throne, the angelic hosts
of heaven. They join the elders and the 4 living creatures of their praise
of the Lamb. John numbers the voices at
Murias (Myriads) times Murias or 10,000 times 10,000 which equals
However, the word here is not meant to apply an exact number, but the
picture of an innumerable number of angels gathered around the throne,
singing and worshiping the Lamb at the center of the throne who just took
the book from the right hand of the Father on the throne.
All Creation worship
RE 5:13 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
RE 5:14 Then the four
living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and
worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
John then reports hearing
every creature acknowledge the throne of God. On the throne are the Lamb
and the Father (Rev 5:6). The scene causing the praise of heaven and earth
is taking place from the middle of the throne, where the Lamb received the
All of the universe will one day acknowledge the work of Christ whether
they like it or not. Both Isaiah and Paul point to this day in the
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.Philippians
"Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and
there is no other.
have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall
take an oath.Isaiah 45:22-23