Revelation 5:1-14 The Lamb who is Worthy Pt. 1
December 16, 2012 Series: Revelation
Topic: Sunday Eve. Bible Study Passage: Revelation 5:1–5:14
Rev. 5:1-14 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” 3And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. 4Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
6And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And 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 earth.”
11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
14And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
Thinking about this last weekend; we are in our 4rth year of weekly teaching.
God is gracious to give me 4 minutes! So 4 years (or any part of it) is notable. And if you hang around certain teachers long enough, you'll pick up on themes that will get re-visited over and over.
I'm no different, so if you hang around my teaching, you'll discover a theme, or a thread if you will, that for me at least, (and I'm not bashful about trying to convince you also), but for me the common thread that ties all of the Bible together into one big story is "The Kingdom of God". The Authority to reign of God. On earth.
Here's the dynamic of the entire Bible in a nutshell.
God created man - He gave him authority to rule in the world. When Adam sinned - he forfeited that authority to Satan - and Satan has ruled this planet in complete rebellion to God.
The story of this book is the story of God, taking back this planet. And doing it in such a way that lost men are purchased by the blood of His only Son and redeemed back into God's kingdom.
Jesus says it in 14 words: "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
God's plan is for that to happen over a 6000 year period. Patriarchs. Jews. Moses. Law. Messiah's blood. Church age. And finally, the cataclysmic events of this book.
We're going into a period where the events played out in Connecticut will be repeated a thousand times. Why is this country upset about 20 little lives when they've murdered 54 million just like them since 1973? Pick any 20 abortions done in 2008 of the million done and you can replace these little ones. Why isn't the president wiping a tear for them. What's the difference. And we stand around and ask "Why did God allow this?" Goodness. Why is anyone in this nation still breathing?? That's the more logical question.
Jesus comes and crushes the rebellion and takes back this world.
Last week I said chapter 5 may be the most important chapter in the Bible! In this chapter, we'll see Jesus disciples prayer answered. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
In chapter 5 we see the document that deeds the earth back to it's rightful owner.
60 centuries have come and gone with a wicked usurper on the throne. Here is the document that returns it to it's rightful owner.
Thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
God isn't having any problem with His will not being done in heaven. Try to set up a coup, have a rebellion in heaven, I'm thinking those 4 living creatures around the throne will probably be squashing that.
God's will IS done in heaven. On earth, however, not so much. There needs to be a regime change on earth.
In order for the second part of the disciples prayer "thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" to happen, the first part has to happen. "Thy Kingdom come." has to happen - and that, folks, is a regime change, on a colossal level!!
This is the document - the Title deed to the earth - that sets that in motion.
Have I won you over? Are you starting to see why I would contend this is the MOST important chapter in the Bible?? (blank stares around the room) Let's get to it then.
Think about the word Sovereign. Sovereignty.
Sovereignty is ultimate will.
When Iran argues that the rest of the world cannot ultimately impose it's will on their decision to have nuclear weapons, what do they say? "We're a sovereign nation." They're saying we don't have to do what you say, we have sovereignty. Ultimate will.
Like, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." God HAS ultimate will on this earth. He IS a sovereign God. The reason everything in this Book either has already happened, or will happen is God is a sovereign King!
Sometimes I hear American evangelicals talking about God as if He's playing a pinball machine.
You pull back the launcher and let the steel ball fly - ding ding ding ding ding - points are getting added up (randomly) on the backboard - ding ding ding ding, finally the ball is done bouncing on the dingers (completely out of God's control) and it's rolling towards the flipper's and here's God going "come on, come on, come on! - flip flip flip, and He get's lucky and smacks the steel ball back into play - ding ding ding ding, and then it's rolling down, and God's flipping the flipper's for all He's worth - and the ball rolls past - thunk - game over - final score.
That's our view of God. (Low view)
No NO NO nO! This is not a game of chance with God almighty trying to combine skill and luck and chance hoping for the outcome He wants.
Look at the very first sentence in Chapter 5!
Vs.1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
Our Sovereign God holds the destiny for this world in the palm of His hand.
Our Sovereign God holds the destiny for this world in the palm of His hand.
IN - HIS - RIGHT - HAND! ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGN WILL OVER EVERYTHING.
We have a scroll with seven seals.
In that part of the world, a will, or a title deed would be written on a papyrus scroll and sealed.
Remember Puff? The magic dragon? What did Jackie Paper give him? Strings, and sealing wax, and other fancy stuff. (peter, paul, and mary) obviously apostolic.
Sealing wax is still around. 4,000 years later. So what happens is the author writes a portion, rolls up what's written, seals it shut. The wax bonds the 2 surfaces together, and the part that's sealed can't be seen anymore. And so on seven times.
Typically the one sealing will have a unique stamp and will make an impression in the hot wax while it's still a little soft.
So this will, this deed, is written on 7 times, and sealed 7 times.
The document will define WHO is allowed to break the seals and open it up. We can picture this scenario. A father writes a will, a deed to all he owns and seals it with his unique seal. He gives the seal to his son but states the document can be opened only after his death, and only by the one who has the signet ring that matches the seal and fit's perfectly into the depression on the document.
If the seal is broken illegally, the document is no good. It can only be opened by the bearer of the ring that made the impression in the soft wax. That is the proof.
So the son goes to another country and the very rich father dies and leaves the will with the instructions. Many people try to convince the authorities that they're the one, but there isn't a match with the impression in the seal.
Finally after years, the son, the rightful heir returns and finds his father is dead. He goes to claim what is his - but wait - does the signet ring match the impressions in the documents seals? Yes! So he is the legal heir, and the other pre-requisites are all met, he is the one who is qualified to open the will.
That's what we have here. This document was written on and sealed seven times. Seven seals. And so the call goes out in verse 2; Who is worthy?
Vs. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
Who is worthy? Who meets the criteria? What IS the criteria. Worth. Worth-i-ness. Who has enough worth to own the world? Creator. Redeemer. God.
So the search goes out - every person! Now you and I might have a good laugh about when our names came up. What about Jim Galli? ummm, nope. He's vile. Evil. Filthy. He's got pooply clothes on.
That's funny, but, there are men who want this position! Remember Daniel? 6 world empires where 1 man controlled all of the earth. There are men audacious enough to want this position. Daniel says there's one more. A 7th world leader comes out of the 6th empire. We haven't met him yet, or if we have, we don't know him as this. yet.
It could happen in a week. All the worlds economies collapse - and satan gives this man the power to miraculously fix it somehow.
I'll give you a hint out of Habakkuk 2.
6“Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him,
Even mockery and insinuations against him
And say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his—
For how long—
And makes himself rich with loans?’
7“Will not your creditors rise up suddenly,
And those who collect from you awaken?
It'll be someone who has a huge debt built up. Make of that whatever you please.
There are men who want the whole world. But are they worthy? Do they meet the requirements that the rightful heir meets? No!
Vs 3 And no one
Well, you say, maybe there's someone qualified, but they're currently "off planet". Nope! Verse 3 covers that; no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it,
NO ONE! has the worth to own this world and glorify God with the glory that is His. No one!
4 and I began to weep loudly
Why is John weeping? He's weeping for the same reason the 20 families of kindergarten children in Connecticut are weeping today. He's weeping because the world is in unexplainable chaos. Ruled by a murderer.
Satan is a murderer. Why? Here's a fun what-if for you. This and $1.95 will get you a coffee at starbucks. We know God rolls with 7's. It's his favorite number. Why does satan murder? What if God has set the population of the world, after the rapture at exactly 7 billion? What if Satan doesn't want that number, whatever it is, to get reached and his last 7 year clock to begin ticking. So he murders. Wars. Syrians. Kindergartener's. Baby's in wombs. Murder, murder, murder trying to hold off that number. What if?
I checked. Yesterday morning at 11:49 it was 7,085,000,000. That means if there's a hundred million christians, it'll happen some time tomorrow. Just saying. Just being whimsical. I'll deny anything.
John is weeping because the world is held captive by a murderer, a thief, and a lier. John is weeping because people are perishing into a hopeless eternity of fire and weeping. Thousands, every second, going over that cliff into eternity without God. John is weeping because the search went out and........
because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. That is reason for weeping! Ask the families of those kindergarteners. Ask any post abortive mother. Don't tell me those women don't weep over those lost babies.
This world is un-imaginably sad. Most of us live with our heads in the sand. If we thought about it much, the sadness of this place is overwhelming!
Vs. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
I just read that for the who knows how many - th time, and my eyes teared up. Again!
When you understand what this means. All the tears shed in this world because it has been held captive for centuries and men have been wasted in sin for centuries. All the wars, all the evil, all the pain, all of the tears for 6,000 years ..............OVER. Done. Satan is deposed in this document. The heir of the world, when He reigns as king will wipe all the tears away!
It's breath taking! It knocks you back. The whole story of the entire book is about THIS verse. This is the peak. The pinnacle. The apogee...of the story!
In my business, on rare occasions, we hear that word. A missile is launched. It goes up up up, levels out, and the point where it tips over and starts to come back down, that is the apogee.
Now there are certainly some spectacular details about how this takes place. We've got 14 or 15 chapters of them in this book. But the climax of the book is here. All of the shed tears were waiting for THIS. Let me read it to you again;
“Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Oh my! So John turns to see this Lion, and what does he see?
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
It's a lamb that reigns on the throne of David forever.
Way back, at the beginning of the story, when Isaac was walking with his father to the place of sacrificial slaughter, and he asked Abraham, "Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" and Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”
And John the baptist in John 1:29; The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
The Lion who conquers, does so by His own death as a lamb.
God could have swept Satan and the entire hoard of rebellious men into hell for eternity, and been righteous to do so. He could have taken His world back, sent Satan to the pit, and men to hell, and started over.
He chose to do it another way. And we exult because His attributes of Mercy and Grace and Love are for eternity known, because he rescued us by the blood of the lamb who was slain.
7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.
Remember the 4 living creatures. I'm going to go out on a limb and say if anyone else besides Jesus walked up and tried to take this scroll.... It would go badly. Only one person in the universe can walk right up to His father and take this scroll. The rightful heir. Jesus. Messiah. Lamb of God. Lion of Judah.
The earth has been groaning in childbirth waiting for the moment when Jesus takes this scroll from the right hand of God. It will groan a little longer until the things written in the scroll take place.
The thing is DONE! The title deed to the earth has been passed from Almighty's right hand to Jesus. That's the pinnacle of the chapter. After that we look on as all of heaven and earth sing praises to the Lamb. The rest of the chapter is worship. Worship to Him who is worthy.
8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb,
We have a new challenge in our family. A niece, my sister's child, who we haven't been as close to as we should have, has joined a cult named Qadosh Ministries.
And typical of all cults, they have some loud mouthed prophet who has discovered the real truth that the harlot church babylon has missed for 2,000 years. So 90 people are going to heaven and us whore's are going to hell. Textbook cult.
And here's the gist. Jesus is subordinate to God. He is less than God. Take everything the whore church taught you about the trinity and throw that in the trash and understand that Jesus is NOT God. AND you haven't been saying His name right, and He's really mad about that.
What does that have to do with Revelation 5? I want you to look again at verse 8. He took the title deed to the earth. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb
Fell down before - who? The Lamb. Before we're done with this chapter, every living being in the universe, past present and future, all of creation, including those who have rejected and rebelled, will fall down and worship . . who? Every knee will bow to who?? The second person of the Trinity, the Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, The bright and morning star, Jesus
each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Bowls full of incense. The prayers of the saints. Did you know your prayers are incense. A sweet aroma in heaven.
Every prayer? I don't know. Like when I'm praying for God to open up a parking spot closer to the door of the mall? I don't know. Or when I pray because my dog is lost? I don't know. Or how about when I pray that my paycheck will beat the bills that I wrote checks for back to the bank. I don't know.
Are there lukewarm prayers? And if there are, do they have the same effect on God's nose as our lukewarmness does in his mouth? I don't know. Just throwing that out there. Fart prayers.
I don't want to discourage anyone from praying. But I do want to encourage you to pray for lost men in every tribe and people group on the earth that the Lamb of God shed His blood for. He purchased them to give glory to His father in heaven.
I want to be part of a church who's mission is focused like a laser on reaching men in every nation. Maybe you're job in the kingdom is baking cookies for the guy out on the front lines slugging it out. Or maybe the Lamb is calling you to go take some heat, face to face with adversity ON that front line.
Either way, that should be our focus, and all the other stuff should be secondary.