Revelation : Chapter 5
Before you begin reading my breakdown of Revelation 5, please read the chapter in its entirety first. Here is a great website to use : BlueLetterBible
If you haven’t read my other posts on the book of Revelation you can head them here:
Revelation – Introduction
Revelation – Chapter 1
Revelation – Chapter 2
Revelation – Chapter 3
Revelation – Chapter 4
(More to Come!)
In Chapter 5 we are continuing with John’s vision of heaven. He is witnessing events that unfold prior to the opening of the 7 seals. In the end of verse 1 of Chapter 4 we saw a voice calling to John saying, “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter“. This is all considered to be in the “hereafter” or “future” from John’s point of view.
Chart Made by Pastor Stephen Anderson / FaithfulWordBaptistChurch
The chapter text will be red to make it easily distinguishable.
Revelation Chapter 5 (KJV)
“(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.”
Right out of the gate we are introduced to the famous book or scroll with seven seals. We will be discussing this in more depth in Chapter 6 but I would like to make a very important distinction. The first 6 seals are not the wrath of God but instead they are the tribulation period. This is evidenced by Revelation 6:11 when the fifth seal is opened and the martyrs appear under the alter crying aloud, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Therefore the first 6 seals cannot be the wrath or judgement of God. That being said we will see that the opening of the 6th seal (the rapture) those that remain on earth become fearful because they know what is coming. The opening of the 7th seal is what begins God’s wrath.
“(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.”
Something that I would like to point out is that according to verse three there are people in three places: heaven, earth, and hell (under the earth). Even though this is in the “hear after” or future, neither the rapture or judgement has come yet. This rules out doctrines like “purgatory” or “soul sleep”. No man in any of these three places is able or worthy to open the book or look thereon. John is so eager to know what this book says that he begins weeping.
“(5) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
The elder tells John not to worry, that there is one who can open the book: “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David”. If we look back at Genesis 49, we see the only other reference to the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Jacob is giving blessings to his sons and telling them what is going to happen in the last days. If we read from verse 8 forward, we see what is said to Judah..
[Gen 49:8-11 KJV]
“8 Judah, thou [art he] whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand [shall be] in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. 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 sceptre 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]. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:“
What we see here is a prophecy of Jesus Christ (Shiloh) coming from the line of the tribe of Judah. Also, we know from Christ’s genealogy in Matthew that He is of the line of David. Not only is Jesus the root but he is also the offspring. As we see later on in Revelation Chapter 22 Jesus confirms this claim..
[Rev 22:16 KJV]
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.”
When we consider this concept it may sound counterintuitive. How can He be both the root and the offspring? Consider John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jesus being the Word, and the Word being God). This means that Jesus is also the creator of the whole world. Thus he is the root (creator) and offspring, or descendent, of David at the same time.
“(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.”
We know that the Lamb is Christ Jesus. In John Chapter 1 He is referred to twice as the Lamb of God: Verse 29 “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”, and verse 36 “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!”
We touched on the seven spirits of God in Revelation 4:5, and while there are a few different interpretations of them, I believe they are named in Isaiah 11:2, “And the (1) spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the (2) spirit of wisdom and (3) understanding, the (4) spirit of counsel and (5) might, the (6) spirit of knowledge and of the (7) fear of the LORD“.
“(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 odours, 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; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
Here we have Christ taking the book with the 7 seals from God which He is preparing to open. As soon as He takes the book the 24 elders and the 4 beasts (discussed in Chapter 4, these are seraphim) fall down and begin to worship Christ with a new song saying He is worthy to open the seals. They remind us of His sacrifice which cleansed us of our sin should we accept the free gift and believe on Him, making us kings and priests who will reign on the earth with Christ during His millennial reign. This whole scene reminds us of a few passages..
Jesus is worthy of our praise..
[Phl 2:9-11 KJV]
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; 11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The storing up of the tears and prayers of the saints..
[Psa 56:8-10 KJV]
8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book? 9 When I cry [unto thee], then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God [is] for me. 10 In God will I praise [his] word: in the LORD will I praise [his] word.
Christ has made us kings and priests..
[1Pe 2:9 KJV]
9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
“(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;”
I would like to point out something here.. “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” in Bible speak would be 102 million angels (at minimum). This correlates to the vision in Daniel 7:10, “..thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him..”.
Also, this verse brought something to mind. While many believe this is not specifically spelled out in any one verse, it is generally accepted that when satan fell he took 1/3 of the angels with him. As we will see in Revelation 12:4 it says, “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth”. As we have already seen, “stars” is often used to describe angels. When we consider the timeline of Revelation this makes perfect sense seeing as Chapter 12 is a summary of events from creation to the stage being set for the tribulation (Chapters 1-11 and 12-22 are parallel passages, each section giving more detail on certain events, but keeping the same timeline as you will see). All this to say, the third of the angels that would have fallen with satan would have numbered approximately 51 million (at minimum). This should help us wrap our mind around the seriousness of spiritual warfare. An interesting topic in my opinion.
If you haven’t read my post on the “Sons of God” or “Fallen Angels” in the Old testament, you can read it here: Sons of God – Old Testament.
“(12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, 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 honour, and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (14) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four [and] twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.”
Not only does John hear the millions of angels praising Christ, but he then hears every creature in heaven, on earth, in hell and in the sea joining with a song of praise. This is showing us that every creature is giving blessing and honor to Jesus at this point. The four beasts say “amen”, and the 24 elders fall down again to worship the Lamb who is worthy to open the seals.
This concludes my breakdown of Chapter 5. In Chapter 6 we will begin reading about the first 6 of the 7 seals being opened.
As always thank you for reading! Please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Your brother in Christ Jesus