Chapter 5

 

The Lion of Judah has Conquered

 

The Scroll and the One who Took it. v1 - 7.

 

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."

 

As John's eyes centred on the Throne he saw a scroll in the right hand of the One who sat on it, which was written on both inside and on the back, which represents the fullness or completeness of the revelation it contained. The scroll was rolled up and sealed shut with seven seals. That is, it was divided into seven volumes that would each be opened separately as each seal was broken. The contents of the scroll would reveal the things that were to come.

 

2, 3, 4. "Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?" And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it."

 

A mighty angel asks with a loud voice whether there is anyone in the whole universe who is so complete in moral perfection as to be qualified to take the scroll from the hand of the Holy One and to break its seals open. John wept with sorrow to see that there was no one in heaven or earth or among the dead that had the necessary qualifications that would enable them to open the scroll and to understand and make known its contents.

 

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."

 

One of the twenty four elders tells him to stop crying for there is one who has conquered and so is worthy to open the book and reveal its contents. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is Jesus Christ and this is the only place in Scripture where He is given this title. As lion He is the outstanding leader of the kingly tribe; the all powerful King of Kings. (Gen. 49:10; Isaiah 11:1).

 

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."

 

Expecting to see this lion like Lord, John lifts his eyes to the throne where, surrounded by the four living beings and elders, he sees instead the Lord Jesus Christ as a lamb who had been slain, the one who had given His life for the sins of the whole world (John 1:29). The lamb is represented as having seven horns and seven eyes, depicting His anointing with the Holy Spirit's power, wisdom and knowledge. The same Holy Spirit with whom Christ was anointed has been poured out by Him on all His people all over the earth. (John 14:26; John 16:7 - 8; Acts 1:8).

 

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

 

Having the right by virtue of who He is and what He had done, Christ approaches and takes the book out of the right hand of God the Father.

 

Worthy is the Lamb. v8 -14.

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."

 

As the lamb took the scroll the living beings and elders fell down before Him in adoration. Each of the elders (not the living beings) had harps and golden bowls filled with incense representing the prayers of all God's people (the saints).

 

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,"

 

The elders join their voices as one to sing a new song to the lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, the song of redemption. Because the sinless Son of God came to earth and gave His life on the cross as a sacrifice for sin; He is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals to reveal what is in it. By shedding His blood on the cross He has redeemed or purchased for God a people from every nation (1 Pet. 1:18 - 19).

 

10. "And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."

 

Christ has made those He has redeemed a kingdom of priests to serve God eternally and they shall reign with Him on earth. (Rev. 20:6)

 

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,"

 

The angelic hosts of heaven and the living beings join the elders around the throne. John saw them as a countless number, literally ten thousands of ten thousands.

 

12. "Saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honour and glory and blessing!"

 

These all proclaim with a mighty voice that the lamb who was slain is worthy to receive: the power (Matt. 28:18); the riches - an abundant fullness of possessions; the  wisdom - wisdom of God; the strength - the ability to accomplish His purposes (1 Cor. 15:25); the  honour - to be esteemed above all (Phil. 2:9); the glory - all praise and worship and the blessing  - the Divine approval (Isaiah 53:12).

 

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 honour and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"

 

Then John heard all created things cry out together to Him who sits on the Throne and to the Lamb, ascribing to them blessing, honour, glory and power for ever 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."

 

The four living beings declare "Amen!" Which means "so it is".  The elders, giving the final response fall down and worship Him who lives for ever and ever.

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