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Glorious, Inexpressible Joy

11/26 – Forever and ever, amen! (Revelation 5)

 

Introduction — Here John continues to tell about the scene of worship around the throne of God. He writes what he saw. He writes what he heard. John saw in the right hand of Him who sits on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. John saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or earth was able to open the book or to look into it. John, then, began to weep greatly since no one was worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders told John, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, is victorious. He can open book and its seven seals.” Then John saw in the middle of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders, a Lamb standing, as if slain. The Lamb came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When he took the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each held a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the holy people of God. The heavenly chorus sang a new song. They said, “Worthy are You to take the book and to breaks its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with your blood those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth. Then John looked, and he heard the voice of many angels around the throne. The number of the angels was countless. The angels said with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” Then John heard every created thing, say, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever. The four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped. John saw and heard an amazing moment of worship around the throne of God.  There John saw the Lion, the Lamb who is worthy of worship. This One is Jesus. He is worthy. He is worthy. Let’s entrust our lives to Him. Let’s speak our praise to Him. Let’s sing our praise to Him. Let’s shout our praise to Him. Let’s bow down to Him. Let’s worship Him. Jesus is worthy of all our worship, both now and forever and ever, amen!

 

Jesus is the promised Messiah. Jesus is the one, true King. Jesus is the Lamb of God. Jesus died, yet lives again. He is the risen Lord. He is the almighty, all-knowing, ever-present Lord. He has all authority in all places all the time.  He has ransomed people for God, the Father, from every place on earth. He made those people a kingdom and priests to our God. Jesus is worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!  Jesus is the Lord of lords. Jesus is the King of kings.

 

Because of who He is and because of what He has done, Jesus is worthy!

 

Who is worthy? (1-4)

 

1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 

 

Weep no more; behold! (6-7)

 

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 

 

He is worthy!

 

And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

 

Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”

 

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,12 saying with a loud voice,

 

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

 

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

 

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

 

14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word Study for Revelation 5

2 worthy (axios—proper; good; just; deserved; valuable; fitting; appropriate; sufficient for)[1]

3 able (dynamai—be able; capable; have power; strength; strong enough)

4 overcome (nikao—conquer; prevail; be superior; triumph; overpower; victorious)

5 standing (histemi—establish; maintain; make stand; uphold; authorize; remain firmly)

5 slain (sphazo—slaughter; kill; to offer; murder; to sacrifice)

8 fell down (pipto—fall; prostrate oneself before; be destroyed; bow down)

8 prayers (proseuchē—place for prayer; vow; earnest prayer; and my house of prayer; worship)

9 purchased (agorazo—buy; redeem; acquire possessions; to cause release or freedom of persons)

10 reign (basileuo—be a king; control completely; rule; royal)

12 power (dynamis—ability; strength; mighty deed; miraculous power)

12 riches (ploutos—abundant; wealth; great value; abounding; flowing)

12 wisdom (sophia—skill; insight; specialized knowledge; prudence; discretion; capacity to understand)

12 might (ischys—strength; capability; strength of body; wealth)

12 glory (doxa—splendor; brightness; amazing might; praise; honor; weight; greatness)

12 blessing (eulogia—praise; act of blessing; benefit; gift; fair speech; flattering speech)

14 four (tessares—four)

14 amen (amen—truly; surely; amen)

 

Application for Revelation 5

Let’s keep our focus on Jesus.

Let’s see that He is the Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.
Let’s see that He is triumphant.

Let’s see that He is the Lamb standing, as if slain.

Let’s see the authority of Jesus.

Let’s see the majesty of Jesus.

Let’s see worth of Jesus.

Let’s see that He died and purchased for God with His blood people from every tribe and tongue and nation.

Let’s worship Jesus, for He is worthy. Amen.

 

Gospel Connections for Revelation 5

Jesus is worthy. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. Jesus is the Lamb standing, as if slain.

Jesus is worthy. He is able to take the book and to break its seals. Jesus was slain, and He purchased for God with His blood those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Jesus makes them to be a kingdom and priests to God. Jesus, the Lamb who was slain, is worthy. He is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.

 

Thoughts and Quotes for Revelation 5

A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will [come] out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshiping we are becoming. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Ev'rybody praises the thing they love, ev'ryone announces what they adore. Where you lay your treasure, there is your heart, there is your heart, there you find your heart. ~ Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin, and Jason Ingram

 

All heroes are shadows of Christ. ~ John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life

 

What are you really living for? It's crucial to realize that you either glorify God, or you glorify something or someone else. You're always making something look big. If you don't glorify God when you're involved in a conflict, you inevitably show that someone or something else rules your heart. ~ Ken Sande, Resolving Everyday Conflict

Revelation 5:1-14, NASB

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. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”

And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,

“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.

 

Comments

 

Jesus is the lion humbled. Jesus is the lamb exalted.

 

Jesus is the one, true King. He is the promised King. He is the victorious King. He is the mighty King. Because He is triumphant, Jesus can open the scroll and its seven seals. To see that Jesus can do what no one else can do should give us assurance in Him. We can trust Him. We can believe Him. We can look to Him, knowing that He is worthy. Jesus is the one, true King. And we can trust Him fully.

 

Jesus is Lamb of God. He died, slain as a ransom. By His blood, Jesus purchased the freedom of people who now belong to God. Those set free from sin and death come from every tribe and language and people and nation. Jesus, the Lamb of God, makes them a kingdom and priests to our God. And they shall reign on the earth. Jesus is the humble Lamb, the least likely savior. Jesus is the Lamb who died, the perfect savior. Jesus is the Lamb who lives again, the victorious savior. Jesus is the Lamb who is mighty and wise and present, the glorious savior. Jesus is the Lamb who rules over all. He is the King of kings. He is the Lord of lords.

 

Jesus died in our place. That should humble us. Jesus paid our ransom price. That should overwhelm us. Jesus is the perfect, mighty, savior. That should bring us to our knees in awestruck worship.

 

To see the worth of Jesus is the fuel and fire of worship. And to worship Jesus should never be a yawnfest. In fact, to worship Him is our bubbling, joyous, hopeful, unashamed delight. To worship Jesus is our faith-filled, grace-overflowing response to Him. He is worthy. He is worthy. He is worthy.

 

To Jesus we say: Blessing! Honor! Glory! Might! Forever and ever! Amen!

Commentary on Revelation Chapter Five

 

Now the whole creation joins in the song.  Every creature is explicit enough, but John spells it out in detail by mentioning specifically heaven, earth, the subterranean regions and the sea. All that are in them is redundant, for everything has been covered, but it serves to emphasize that all are included in the mighty chorus of praise.  John’s vision is not concerned with an obscure being of no importance.  In the last resort there is no creature, wherever found, which does not recognize the superior worth of the Lamb.

 

There is a certain exuberance about the songs which recks not of exact calculation.  They simply represent the fervent outpouring of hearts full of adoration and love and praise for all that God has done through the Lamb.

~ Leon Morris, Revelation, p. 101-102.

 

 

He was born in weakness and died in weakness, but He is the recipient of all power.  He became the poorest of the poor (2 Cor. 8:9), and yet He owns all the riches of heaven and earth. Men laughed at Him and called Him a fool, yet He is the very wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24; Col. 2:3).

 

He shared in the sinless weaknesses of humanity as He hungered, thirsted, and became weary.  Today in glory, He possesses all strength.  On earth, He experienced humiliation and shame as sinners ridiculed and reviled Him.  They laughed at His kingship and attired Him in a mock robe, crown, and scepter.  But all of that is changed now!  He has received all honor and glory!

 

And blessing!  He became a curse for us on the cross (Gal. 3:13, so that we can never be under the curse of the broken law. (Some translations read “praise” instead of “blessing,” but the Greek word carries both meanings.)  He is worthy of all praise!

~ Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Victorious, p. 73-74.

 

 

The four living creatures give their approval to the doxology after the antiphonal songs fell down and worshipped (epesan kai prodekunēsan). In silent adoration that closes the whole service of praise to the One upon the throne and to the Lamb.  As in 4:10 so here the representatives of the redeemed bow in silent worship.  Pliny says that the Christians sing a song to Christ as to God.  He is here worshipped by the universe (Phil. 2:10f.).

~ A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, vol. 6., p. 337-338.

 

 

Joy, shouting, instruments, and celebration do not by themselves constitute worship, otherwise some college frat parties would qualify!  The heart of worship is declaring to God (whether in the second person or sometimes in the third person but with God in mind, as in some psalms) how majestic he is and how great his works are, which in short means articulating the truth about him.  Theology can thus be worshipful, though biblical worship is generally not simply rational but affective as well, devoting one’s whole being in attention to God . . . Theologians often must speak the language of their guild, but all believers, when they have a proper understanding of God, can participate by articulating biblical themes that glorify God in the artistic, metaphorical language of poetry and song.  As C.S. Lewis also recognized, given the limitations of human language, musical metaphors and apocalyptic images may communicate God’s glory to most people better than our dry treatises would.

~ Craig S. Keener, Revelation: The NIV Application Commentary, p. 196.

 

 

 

What the Lamb is worthy . . . to receive includes three of the previous acclamations of which the One who sits on the throne is worthy: power, honor, glory; now as the first, fifth, and sixth items.  To these are added wealth and wisdom and strength . . . and praise.  Thus, typical of the Christology of both the gospel of John and the Revelation, the more expansive praise and adoration is offered to the Son; and that is not because the Son is more significant, but because our existence both now and forever is predicated on his death and resurrection.  That is, the more extensive language of praise is fittingly reserved for the Lamb, who, even though he was the co-creator of all things, nonetheless in his incarnation endured the abuse and rejection of those he had created to bear the divine image on earth.  In doing it this way, John is quite in keeping with the christocentric emphasis of the entire New Testament.  By means of the Lamb, God both has been made known and has offered himself in a sacrificial way for the eternal redemption of those created in the divine image.

~ Gordon D. Fee, Revelation, p. 87.

 

 



[1] Word studies from various sources on Logos Software, including, but not limited to Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains by James A. Swanson