Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


Who is Worthy to Take the Book?


Revelation 5:1-14


Introduction:

·         The book of Revelation deals with future events; with end-time prophecy. God gave the Apostle John these visions while he was exiled in Patmos. He was the only Apostle to not die young as a martyr.

·         Although it may seem difficult to understand because there is much symbolism in the book, if we take what we read at face value the symbols become quite clear.

·         Revelation chapter 5 is really a continuation of chapter 4.   The two chapters should be studied together as a unit

·         In chapter 4 the focus is on God the Father seated on His throne in heaven.

·         In chapter 5, the focus is on the seven-sealed book in His hand

·         The scene is the raptured church in Heaven before the Tribulation  

 

I.                    Him that sat upon the throne- v. 1

a.      The Location: This throne "was set in heaven" (4:2), a reminder of the sovereignty of God who is far removed from the struggles of earthly government.

b.      This is the true picture of the universe- under the authority of our omnipotent God.

c.       As Christians living in America we pray for our government officials, and try to elect those who uphold morality, but no matter who is in the White House, we know who sits on the Throne in Heaven!

d.      In chapter 4, John describes the presence of God as “like a jasper and a sardine stone.” The sight of a rainbow around the throne like an emerald further enriches this beautiful, colorful picture.

e.      It is clear that the one sitting on the throne is God the Father

f.        In His right hand he holds a book

II.                  The book- v. 1ff

a.      The book is a scroll “written inside and on the back”- This means that this scroll was unusual. It wasn’t common practice to write on both sides of the scroll. This means that whatever information was on this scroll, there was a lot of it – almost more than the scroll can contain.

b.      Sealed with 7 seals- All the seals must be opened before the scroll could be read.

c.       What is this book? When was it written, what are its contents?

                                                              i.      Through the centuries, commentators suggest many different ideas for what this scroll is, and what was written upon it Was it the O.T.? The Lamb’s book of Life?

                                                            ii.      Without getting into it too much- I believe this book represents God’s purpose and plans for this earth!

d.      This scroll is “God’s will, his final settlement of the affairs of the universe.” (Barclay) Customarily, under Roman law, when one left behind a will,  it was sealed with seven seals.

e.      “The seven sealed book therefore is the comprehensive program of God culminating in the second coming of Christ.” (Walvoord)

f.        The idea here is that God has a book in which the history of the universe is already written. He has written the history of the world in advance, He holds in His hand the history of the world! Kingdoms rising and falling, world leaders coming and going, famines, poverty, times of prosperity and advancement- It’s all in His book!

g.       And this book initiates the grand finale of all history. Only God can hold a book like this.

h.      This book means, there is not a trial in your life that God doesn’t already know about. He has a plan for that- how comforting to know that it was in God’s book from the beginning!

                                                              i.      God is sovereign- this book was completed, and there are no updated revisions, or unexpected things to be added later. No accidents with God!

                                                            ii.      God is good- “All the way my Savior Leads Me: I know what e’er befall me Jesus doeth all things well!”

III.                The strong angel- v. 2

a.      A strong angel: We don’t know who this angel is. Many have suggested that it is Gabriel, but we don’t know.

b.      John sees this angel that he notes as strong- is there such a thing as a weak, feeble angel? No, this angel had the appearance he could carry the universe on his broad shoulders and had immense strength!

c.       He cries with a loud voice, Who is worthy? This is a challenge no creature can answer because no creature is worthy to open this particular scroll- even this strong angel

d.      John Walvoord says, "It is evident that the contents of the book are impressive in character and require the power of God for their revelation as well as for the execution of their program.”

e.      V. 3- No one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it: John could not have said it any stronger. It was as if the strong angel looked through the entire universe to find someone worthy, and did not find anyone worthy to even look at the scroll.

IV.                The weeping- v. 4

a.      This might seem like something inconsequential, or minor- but not to John.

b.      John wept much- because he realized the consummation of history would be postponed. God’s program cannot move forward, or be executed until one can take this book it seems.

c.       There is now this vacuum of time in which we may wonder- where are things headed? How will everything turn out? What is the purpose and design and meaning of life itself?

d.      Will the wrongs of earth go unrighted, will the wicked go unpunished? Would the righteous be vindicated, would the kingdom still come?

e.      II Peter 3:3-4, 9

f.        Romans 8- all of creation groans and eagerly anticipates the one who can take the book!

g.      V. 4- Note the emphasis-It must be a man. And yet more than a man!

h.        (Rev 5:2-4) Who is worthy to open the scroll? Is it a political party? The United Nations? Is it with the wealth and might of man’s progress and technological advancements? Is it our economic developments?

V.                  The Lion and the Lamb- v. 5

a.       (Rev 5:5-7) It is within this vacuum that we then see only the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Root of David is worthy to open the scroll.

b.      The Messianic title Lion of the tribe of Judah comes from Genesis 49:9-10 when old Jacob was dying and gave this prophecy to his son Judah.

c.       He is also the Root of David. The title Root is similar to Branch meaning He is the fulfilment of an eternal kingdom through David’s line- but here he is called the very Root of David! The Creator and Originator!

d.      V. 6- John saw the Lamb that was slain- but dead lambs cannot do much. This lamb was slain and was risen again!

e.      He is living (stood a Lamb), but He still had the marks of previous sacrifice upon Him (as though it had been slain).

f.        Did you know that for all eternity Jesus bears the marks of dying on the cross for our sin?

g.      Trust in the sacrifice of the Lamb! John the Baptist cried out, Behold the Lamb which taketh away the sins of the world! Why would Jesus have to die if you could save yourself?

h.      The Lamb is eternally marked- not marred- but forever recognizable by the marks which signify our salvation. They are like medals of honor! “I shall know Him, by the print of the nails in His hand!”

i.        V. 6-In the midst- Christ is ready to act as the righteous Judge of the earth

j.        Seven horns- complete power; seven spirits- complete knowledge!

k.       V. 7- Then He came and took the book: No created being was found worthy to take the book, but the Lamb can take it. Only He had the rank, character and ability to take the book and open it!

l.        When Jesus takes this book, something incredible happens. The scene shift to immediate worship of the lamb!

VI.                Worshipping the Lamb- v. 8-14

a.      The living creatures, the angels, the 24 elders (which represent the church) begin to worship!

b.      He alone is worthy to look at the book! He alone is worthy to take the book and unseal it! He alone is worthy to grab the reins of human history and bring it to a screeching halt! He alone commandeers the very purpose and design of Almighty God, because He himself is God! This should make us worship Him too.

c.       Revelation presents Christ as the Lamb- He alone loved you enough to die for your sins. He alone can take your sins away and give you eternal life. He alone has the power to save you.

d.      He is the Lion-He alone has the authority to rule over you. He desires to not only rule over the history of all creation, but also to rule over your individual life. He alone is worthy to sit on the throne of your heart and reign. Will you let Him?

e.      He took the book from God’s right hand- a had of power and authority. God had to let him!

f.        Will you let Christ take control of your life? Finances, goals, relationships, etc.

g.      The elders represent the raptured Church which sings songs of redemption (Revelation 5:8-10). They sing a new song

h.      The song honors the price of redemption: for You were slain

i.        The song honors the destination of redemption: have redeemed us to God

j.        The song honors the payment of redemption: by Your blood

k.       The song honors the scope of redemption: every kindred and tongue and people and nation

l.        This is a song that the angels cannot sing! In fact the Bible refers to the Angels as declaring, saying- not singing. But we, the redeemed, we sing! We bring a glorious melody boasting of God’s grace

m.    “There cannot be the slightest doubt that the Lamb is to be considered with God and as God.” (L. Morris)

n.      “Now if Jesus Christ were not properly God this would be idolatry, as it would be giving to the creature what belongs to the Creator.” (Clarke)

o.      In Heaven the Lamb is worshipped- Jesus is God

 

Conclusion:

·         Those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour will be numbered among the great throng pictured in chapter 5 as giving their worship and praise to the Lamb. Will you be in that number? Are you ready for when Christ returns?

·         Those who crown Christ as King and worthy to rule their lives will enjoy His peace and His power. The 24 elders were not looking for things to hold back when they praised Christ! V. 12. He is worthy of all! The excuses we give pale in comparison with the worthiness of Christ don’t they?

·         What will you do with Jesus? Will you accept his sacrifice for your sin? Will you allow him to take control of your life and accomplish God’s will?


Sing: I Surrender All