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Revelation chapter 5

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  • Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
  • 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.

If a book was seen to be in the hand of God Himself, one would assume that the book was very important and that it was necessary to be read and understood. Whatever John felt as he saw this vision of the future, is caused much weeping to pour from his innermost being. John was an apostle that had love and compassion. He cared about the things of God very deeply. He was the apostle that loved much.

We know that God is worthy so it seems here that it had to be a man to be worthy enough to open this book that would start the judgment and wrath of God upon the earth. No man was found worthy. Why could not God Himself open the book? Surely God the Father was worthy. Perhaps though for some reason, the book had to be opened by a man but alas, no man was found to be worthy.

This book was so powerful that not only could no one open it but they couldn't look upon it. That book contains the judgment of God, the final war between good and evil and the fate of all creation. Who was worthy to open this book, read and understand? Some believe this book was the title deed to the earth to be given after the judgments that it contained is fulfilled.

  • Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

There was only one qualified and worthy to open this book. The Lion of the tribe of Judah. Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah. Judah was appointed to be the tribe from which came the kings that rule over Israel. To fulfill and have the right to rule, Jesus had to come from the tribe of Judah. Jesus was the faithful witness and the first to rise from the dead. He was the only one to give Himself as a sacrifice offered up for the sins of all mankind. The Lion is the king of the beasts. Jesus is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

As the lion, Christ fulfills prophecies in Genesis 49: 9,10

  • Genesis 49:9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
  • 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Also Numbers 24: 17-19

  • Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
  • 18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
  • 19 Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

Micah 5: 1,2

  • Micah 5:1 Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
  • 2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

As the root of David

  • Psalm 89:35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
  • 36 His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me.
  • 37 It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.

In Isaiah:

  • Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
  • 2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
  • 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
  • 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
  • 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
  • 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
  • 7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
  • 8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den.
  • 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah is full of Messianic Prophecies.

  • Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
  • 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

And Jeremiah:

  • Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
  • 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The teachings of the New Testament show us the rule and faith in which we are to live as Christians. The Old Testament proves the truth of the New Testament by prophetic passages telling of the coming of the one who is to rule as a righteous king of kings and Lord of Lords.

  • Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Jesus shall rule like a lion but first He came as a lamb. Innocent lambs were used as sacrifices or offerings for sin. Jesus gave Himself as a final complete sacrifice for our sins. He was the lamb that was slain. He overcame all the temptations thrown at him by Satan. He knew that to save mankind from eternal death, He would have to pay the price for their sins. Someone had to be sacrificed for our sins for the blood of lambs and goats could not take away sin. Since by man came sin upon the whole human race, only a holy, pure, righteous man could reverse the curse that came upon us. This one was Jesus Christ.

That is why there is no salvation in any other religion or religious work. Someone perfect had to die in our place and for our sins. There is no good deed we could do great enough to get us into heaven apart from Jesus Christ. Jesus was filled with the fullness of God's spirit. All that He did on the earth He did by the spirit which was given to Him from God. We too are to be filled with this same spirit and walk in the spirit.

No man that deserved to die for his own sin could be that sacrifice. It had to be one who had not sinned and yet died being innocent. Only then could His death be counted to reverse the curse and make all believers righteous. By the time Jesus takes this book and opens it, the redemptive work He did on our behalf is complete. It is finished. If we reject this, there is no other way for God to save us. The price has been paid, Jesus was worthy and faithful unto death.

God was also faithful in raising Him from the dead so that we also who believe will go and rise in the first resurrection and inherit life eternal.

The horns stand for power. Seven horns indicate that this lamb was given complete power. The seven horns and seven eyes indicate the complete anointing and power of the Holy Spirit was upon Christ in His work of redemption for all mankind who would receive Him.

  • Revelation 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
  • 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints.
  • 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;

This verse is why so many believe that at this point the church and all true believers who have died previously to this or who was alive and taken to be with Christ (the rapture) is present here in heaven before the great tribulation and wrath of God is poured out over the earth. Notice the words, "hast redeemed us to God" These elders were redeemed. They were representative of the redeemed people from all over the earth who had trusted in the fact that the blood of Jesus was what redeemed them to God. Without that shed blood none of us could be worthy to enter heaven.

That is why these elders fell down and worshipped this lamb that was slain. This was our beloved Jesus Christ and none other. They knew that it is because of Him (Jesus) that they even made it to heaven. They realized how great this lamb was and that they couldn't have arrived there without Him and neither can we. Money, fame, good works, and all we could do will not get us into the presence of God. Another proof of the previous rapture of the church was that they were praising the lamb of God, Jesus Christ for redeeming them to God out of every kindred tongue, people and nations. Redeem means to save. They were not just Israel. If the 24 elders were the heads of the 12 tribes and the 12 apostles, they wouldn't have been able to say they were redeemed out of every tribe and nation.

These were saved people that were before the throne. How did they get there? Many believe they were taken there by Jesus in what we call the rapture. All the faithful in Christ Jesus are taken whether they are dead or alive when Jesus returns to get His people. Angels are not redeemed. Whoever is before Godís throne here is praising God for redeeming them.

The actual tribulation doesnít start until chapter six so we see saints in heaven before it starts. Remember though that this is my understanding of these verses. Others may see it differently but I see these as believers who previously lived upon the earth and were with Jesus in heaven at this time. Its my own understanding of what is here and not to be taken as, "The exact word of God."

Notice also that the elders had vials full of the prayers of the saints. Remember saints are all who believe in Christ. Our prayers are so important that they are kept in vials. These prayers are probably the prayers of the martyrs and those persecuted for their faith. These prayers are what prompts God to begin to pour out judgment upon the earth. These vials containing the prayers of the saints are being offered at this time.

Here is another proof that a previous rapture of saints may have occurred. Something isnít offered up to God unless it is finished or complete. These prayers are from people who have been made pure and white. These are not prayers of half hearted hypocrites but those that have been tried and made white. I believe they are no longer on earth here but present when these prayers are offered.
If the saints were still upon the earth at this time, they would still be praying.

This little book is not the same as the book of life in which the names of all the faithful in Christ are named but this book represents the judgments that are coming upon the earth at this point in time. The same lamb of God who had mercy on our lost condition and forgave us of all sin is now about to open the seals that would be the cause of the wrath of God coming upon the inhabitants of the earth because of their rejection of the Messiah provided for them and their persecution of Godís messengers that were sent to preach the gospel.

  • Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

These people were to be made kings and priests and will reign with Jesus Christ at His second coming when He sits up His literal kingdom upon the earth.

  • Revelation 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts 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 that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
  • 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, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.
  • 14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth forever and ever.

We see spontaneous worship to God the Father and to Jesus Christ the lamb that was slain for all our sins. We also see that there were more people present than the 24 elders. There were angels, angelic beasts, and all creatures seen here worshipping the Lord. Many whose bodies were in the sea, under the earth gave worship to God and His Son. Notice it says that every creature was worshipping God. It is assumed that this is a figure of speech like we would say, the whole city came to the fair when we know in reality the whole city did not go to the fair.

All the earth does not worship God at this time as we shall see in coming chapters of Revelation. Many actually curse God and hate Him. Although one day the worship of God will be universal and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess the Jesus is Lord, at this point it has not happened yet so we can assume that the words, ďevery creatureĒ means every one that recognizes that Jesus is Lord at that point in time.

We would venture to say, everyone present or all raptured saints or all that involved in the worship of Jesus in this vision of John. It is a dangerous thing to reject this message and ignore God's greatest gift to mankind. There is nothing else that is great enough to save a lost sinner. We can do all the good deeds that we desire, live as holy as we think we should, do all the religious rituals that we can and have all the priests in the world praying over our body but nothing can save us except faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ to cover our sins and make us acceptable to God. We cannot save ourselves except by Jesus.

We need Jesus Christ. Except a man (meaning women and children also) be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Being born again by God's spirit takes place the minute one turns from sin and turns to Christ in faith, believing and trusting in Jesus to take away sins and give eternal life instead. Sin leaves and the spirit of God comes within us. We are actually born again by Godís spirit.

We should then begin to seek to be completely immersed or baptized in the Holy Spirit. In fact we should never stop seeking to be filled with the spirit at all times. This vision of John also proves that there is a Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is God who came in the flesh but He is a separate being from His Father. There are two, actually three when we add the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not His own Father like some teach. It was God the Father who held the little book and gave it to the lamb of God which is Christ to open.

There are so many other proofs of there being a Father and a Son. The seals on the little book are actually holding back judgment until someone worthy opens the seals one by one. The trumpets represent announcement of something about to happen. They herald in the judgments and when they sound it is just before the events happen. The vials represent a more severe judgment or the wrath of God being poured out upon the earth.

Revelation 6