Summary: Message 14 from revelation describing worship from chapter 5.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Heaven Worships the Redeemer
NOTE: these notes contain additional information for extended study not discussed in the sermon due to lack of time.
There are four things out of place in the universe today.
The church – which should be at the side of Jesus as His glorious bride.
Israel – which should be occupying the full territory in peace deeded to them by Yahweh.
Satan – who, along with his rebellions comrades, should be burning in the lake of fire
Jesus – who should be seated on the ruling in righteousness
Revelation records the process by which all things will be set in their rightful place.
I. PROLOGUE 1:1-20 (Things you have seen)
II. Messages to the Seven churches 2-3 (Things with are)
III. Last Days 4-22 (Things which are about to take place)
A. Heavenly worship around the throne 4-5
Heavenly worship focuses on the person and work of the Trinity.
Holiness, Power, Eternality, Love as expressed in the sacrifice of the Lamb for mankind.
How interesting that it is completely opposite of humanity’s sinfulness, helplessness, finiteness and selfishness.
1. Worship the Creator sitting on the Throne 4
2. Worship the Redeemer before the Throne 5
John introduced the praise team in chapter four; four living beings & 24 elders. John continued to record what he saw and heard going on in the throne room. He recorded ten events for us to prayerfully ponder.
1. John saw a sealed scroll in the right hand of God 5:1
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.
The first thing that catches John's attention is a “Scroll” in the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. The concept of single pages bound in a book had not yet been practiced by this time. They wrote on material made of papyrus or animals skins. The longer the message, the longer the scroll. I.e. Romans (11.5 feet) Philemon (1 foot)
This rolled up scroll had been previously inscribed on both sides indicating a considerable amount of material. This is probably symbolic of the fact that nothing is missing. Nothing needs to be added or taken away. Perhaps it had to do with God’s plan of redemption conceived before the foundation of the earth including details of the final stage or maybe this is the title be too man's inheritance "reserved in heaven for us". In this scroll is the means whereby earth would again be given back to the authority of the ones for whom it was created.
The fact that it was sealed indicated the sensitive nature or even mystery of its contents. The seven seals, the number of perfection, probably indicated the fact that it was impervious. During that day, seals were used to keep the contents of a document secret until one who had the proper authority broke the seal and reveal the contents. It is thought that the seals might have been on the edge of the scroll that allowed it to be unrolled only a certain distance until the second seal which needed to be broken to unroll the scroll further. It is a thought that it might be related to the scroll that Daniel was told to seal up until the end times. (Dan 12:4,9)
John saw the scroll in God's right hand. The right hand was symbolic of divine power and authority.
“What simpler and more sublime way of picturing God’s ultimate sovereignty over all history could be found than this picture of the scroll resting in the hand of God? However strong evil becomes, however fierce be the satanic evils that assail God’s people on earth, history still rests in God’s hand.”226
2. John saw and heard the impassioned plea of a mighty angel 5:2-4
And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?"
3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it.
4 Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it;
This mighty angel or another angel of stature shows up in chapter 10:1 and again 18:21
It was a call to action. (Continuous tense participle)
The loud voice perhaps indicated the power of the angel and authority given to him. The voice was loud enough to elicit help from any among all creation to step up to the task. His powerful voice reverberated throughout the whole universe. He issues this call over a period of time (continuous tense verb) for a qualified person to open the book by breaking its seals. He called for one who was both noble and able. He sought for one who was worthy and able to carry out the judgments written on the scroll. Breaking of the seals indicated one able to enact its judgments on the earth. Not just any man, but no one; no creature, no human being or mighty angel could be found to take on the task. This phrase could be translated "open the book even to break its seals?"