Summary: As John set about to write these two chapters I’m sure that he felt a deep sense of frustration. How could he put in words what he had seen in God’s throne room? He must have felt like he had been given the task of describing a rainbow to a blind man, or
Magnifying Christ’s Majesty
Purpose: To exalt Christ’s worthiness.
Aim: I want the listener to respond to Christ’s majesty with passionate worship.
INTRODUCTION: When Vance Havner once told a group of people that he was very optimistic about world events. Someone asked him how he could be with all the sin and suffering in the world. He answered, "Because I have read the last two chapters in the Bible and WE WON. There is no devil in the first two chapters of the Bible and no devil in the last two chapters of the Bible. And I’m proud to be a part of something that does away with the devil."
The glory of God that is described for us in chapters 4 and 5 is far beyond our imagination. As John set about to write these two chapters I’m sure that he felt a deep sense of frustration. How could he put in words what he had seen in God’s throne room? He must have felt like he had been given the task of describing a rainbow to a blind man, or a Beethoven sympathy to deaf person.
1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past “the things which you have seen”
2:1-5:14 II. Christ’s Vision of the Present “the things which are”
2:1-3:22 A. The testimony of the church on earth
4:1-5:14 B. The throne of God in heaven
4:1-11 1. God’s unchallenged authority
Vs.1-3,5a a. The sovereign One “One sitting on the throne”
Vs.5b b. The Holy Spirit “seven lamps of fire”
Vs.6a c. The sea of glass “a sea of glass like crystal”
Vs.6b-8 d. Four special creatures “Holy, Holy, Holy”
Vs.4,9-11 e. Saved sinners “twenty-four elders”
➽ 5:1-14 2. Christ’s unequaled glory
The focus of chapter four is the authority of either God the Father or the Trinity as a whole. As we come to chapter five the focus shifts completely to the glory of Jesus Christ.
➽ Vs.1 a. The title deed to the earth “a book”
Literally John saw a scroll [ Picture] but we don’t know if there was one scroll that was sealed seven times or if there were seven scrolls rolled up in each other, each one sealed with a wax seal. In other words, when a seal was broken it opened up one document was unrolled which then revealed another document sealed with a wax seal, and so forth.
“A Roman law required that a will was to be sealed seven times. The will of Caesar Augustus and Emperor Vespasian were sealed in this way. Some see this scroll as the ‘last testament’ of the One who died for us, containing the terms of His wrath upon those who reject His love and sacrificial death.” [“The Coming World Leader” by David Hocking, P.114]
Since the Greek language has no punctuation, verse 1 could read, “a book written within, and on the backside sealed with seven seals.”
Many years earlier Daniel was told: Daniel 12:4 “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” (NAU) Here in Revelation, that which was concealed to Daniel is revealed to us.
“The scroll of Rev 5 is a deed of redemption, and as such becomes effectively a will of inheritance. It is the legal document proving that a qualified Kinsman has paid the price to redeem the land once forfeited by His family. As each seal is broken, the deed of redemption reveals what must occur for the Kinsman-Redeemer to physically repossess the land, wresting it from enemy squatters, and returning it to those who were originally given dominion over it.” [From an online blog: http://revjc.blogspot.com/2005/02/scroll-of-seven-seals.html ]
The scroll contains the rest of the book of Revelation beginning in chapter six. So, what does the rest of the scroll reveal? The book of Revelation reveals the sinfulness of man and the judgments of God on this world, the defeat of Satan, and the renewing of this earth to the glory that God originally gave to it in Genesis chapter one. History is the story of the earth going from glory to glory. The earth begins with the glory of God being revealed in the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve ruling God’s creation. Sin corrupted and ruined God’s creation, but God had a plan to restore it. The book of Revelation unfolds the final epoch of history where Christ restores God’s glory to this earth and our position as rulers over His creation.
Isaiah sums up the book of Revelation this way: Isaiah 24:1-6 1 Behold, the Lord lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface and scatters its inhabitants. 2 …. 3 The earth will be completely laid waste and completely despoiled, for the Lord has spoken this word. 4 The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away. 5 The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left. (NAU) Isaiah 24:23-25:1 23 Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, And His glory will be before His elders. O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. (NAU)