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Bible Studies in the Book of Revelation Study 8

Revelation 5               The Worthy Lamb     Pt 8

In chapter 4 John saw four things that formed the basis of his record of the vision, a door, a throne, a rainbow and a choir, here in the next vision he experiences four more aspects of the vision: Scroll, Lamb, Incense and Worship.

The Scroll

  • This had writing on it that appears to be on both sides, but it had seven seals. There was a great desire to have the seals broken, the scroll opened and its contents read.
  • Despite the call of the mighty angel, no one was found worthy to open the scroll; the whole of creation had been searched to no avail. [Daniel 12 also has a scroll]
  • John is upset as one might expect because he had seen so much so far in the vision and realised there was ore to come and the scroll was the focus of the next revelations.
  • One elder now comforts him with an assertion there is one able to open the scroll. Not only open it but to read the contents and make tem known.
  • The worthy one is described so vividly
    • Lion of the tribe of Judah
    • The Root of David
    • The Triumphant one
    • Able to open the scroll and break the seals

John is so excited at this prospect, his weeping must stop and he is prepared for the one who was found worthy. Jesus alone is worthy, because he has the right, a right that was won on the cross when he defeated the power of sin. John turns to see the scroll opened by Jesus and sees:

The Lamb

  • The freshly slain lamb symbolises the sacrifice that Jesus made on Calvary.
  • He is both Lion, the conqueror and the Lamb, the sacrifice
  • It is central to the picture and theme of heaven; the slain Lamb is standing! Among the four creatures and the elders at the centre of the throne.
  • Consider the aspects of his person:
    • Sovereign
    • Saviour
    • Before David, he existed and brought the kingly line into existence,
    • He now appears as Judge of all things
    • The sevens of perfection, horn of strength and honour, the eyes show vision and perception, that is understanding and all seeing eyes of the Lord and the spirit, seven seen as the light that goes out into the world to the churches. It is also seen as replicating some of the elements in the Temple and Tabernacle, earthly shadows of heavenly reality.
      • The Lord is Omnipotent
      • The Lord is Omniscient
      • The Lord is Omnipresent
  • He steps forward and takes the scroll out of the right hand of God the Father; who is sitting on the throne.

On his taking the scroll there is a reaction in heaven, the creatures and the elders fall down in worship of the Lamb taking his rightful place of power and authority. They each had a harp to make music of praise; to elevate their worship to the lamb, but John also sees they had golden bowls of incense. In the Tabernacle was a golden altar for the burning of incense, it sat before the Holy of Holies and the incense was burnt for the pleasing aroma of worship and prayers of the people to Yahweh. [Jehovah]

The Incense: There was still a sweet aroma for the Lord but in 24 bowls and represented not just the prayers of Israel, but of all God’s people, so included the saints or the church

  • On the Tabernacle altar were burnt four precious spices namely, stacte, onycha, galbanum and frankincense, these combined to make a rich perfume which drifted upwards, inwards and formed a combination of strong and pleasant odours.
  • If the incense of the Tabernacle was to present an acceptable aroma to the Lord, then the incense of the prayers of his people in the post Calvary dispensation was much richer, more perfect incense because we have the Spirit presenting the prayers we cannot make because of our spiritual weakness. [Rom 8.26-28]
  • So we have a member of the Trinity presenting our incense to the Trinity after creating the incense for us

No wonder in the situation of such sensory experiences that out it come praise and worship in the voices of those around the throne. It needed a new song, a song created in heaven for heaven by heaven.

The Worship

  • The worthiness of Christ as the only one to take the scroll
  • His power came from his death
  • His acceptance came from the blood of a perfect sacrifice
  • His offering was a purchase, a redeemed people for God. They came from all nations and languages
  • As his people they had been converted from sinners into a kingdom, not just any kingdom but one of priests, who present themselves to God in worship.
  • As a kingdom, they will have authority to reign on behalf of the King, King Jesus, in the earthly realm.
  • John looks and sees a multitude of angels joining in the praise. [Note: 10,000 is a common number in the Bible and if larger numbers are needed, the multiples of 10,000 are often used, as here]
    • Their song replicates that of the elders
    • The Lamb is worthy, that means because of his actions; entitled to be praised
    • His death is recognised as the portal to heaven’s praise and glory
    • What was the result, what could he receive?
      • Power
      • Wealth
      • Wisdom
      • Strength
      • Honour
      • Praise

They are then joined in the worship by a chorus from all creation, heavenly and earthly in an affirmation of his worthiness,

  • He has an eternal throne
  • He is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world
  • He is entitled to
    • Praise
    • Glory
    • Honour
  • His worthiness is eternal, unending because it cannot be exhausted
  • The Living Creatures said, Amen, an agreement to the praise offered
  • The elders fell again in worship to the Lamb

Notice how the praise grew, from the central throne outwards until it encompassed all creation. Heaven is a place of worship, are we ready to join in the new song? 

Page last updated: Saturday 16th April 2016 4:41 PM
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