Ref: Deeper Life Ministry, search of Scripture, vol 75, Lesson 971
MEMORY VERSE: “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” (Revelation 5:5).
TEXT: REVELATION 5:1-14
John, the beloved apostle, received the vision of the sealed book from heaven. The event showed to him in the section under consideration will occur after the Church age. He saw a sealed book in the hand of the almighty God. But an angel gave a poser: “…Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” The apostle wept because no man was qualified to perform this role. However, consolation came when Christ, the Lamb, came forth to fulfil this glorious purpose. As the Lord stepped forward, heaven rose to adore Him as the most deserving Saviour.
Here, Christ who is the Redeemer of mankind was presented as the only One qualified to unseal the book, which signals the events that would reclaim the world for God. Christ has prevailed to reclaim the world from the bondage of Satan to which Adam and Eve plunged it. God, in His foreknowledge, made a plan for the redemption of man (Revelation 13:8). Every unconverted person is a slave to sin and Satan, the god of this world. The blood of the Lamb is the only provision for sinners to be saved from sin and its damning consequences. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
1.THE SEALED BOOK AND THE UNWORTHINESS OF MAN.
Revelation 5:1-4; Deuteronomy 29:29; Exodus 32:31-33; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; 20:12-15.
“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. And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon” (Revelation 5:1,3). The vision here appeared to John from heaven. The sealed book is symbolic and represents records of God’s programmes to end this present evil world and usher in a new era of righteousness. The number ‘seven’, which appears many times in the book of Revelation, symbolises perfection. God is perfect, so are all His works. The secrets of God are only known to Him except He reveals them to men (Deuteronomy 29:29).
There was announcement made in heaven as to “…Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” (Verse 2). As John waited in anticipation, he was disappointed that no man could open the sealed book.
He wept but was comforted that “…the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Verse 5). Having paid the utmost price for man’s redemption, He is preeminently qualified to launch the series of devastating events upon the earth. The Lord is pictured as the Lamb that was slain and “…having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth”. The seven horns symbolise the absolute power of the Lord as He declared in Matthew chapter twenty-eight verse eighteen: “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”. As the slain Lamb, Jesus had shed His precious, spotless blood to atone for our sins. This is the good news every creature should hear. Without appropriating by faith the shed blood of Christ, no one would be saved from eternal damnation. No other sacrifice could satisfy God’s requirement for divine justice and justification of man (Hebrews 10:4). As a result of the fall of Adam, all his descendants are born with the nature of sin and are captives of Satan; hence, all need redemption. Anyone who goes through this world without redemption will be condemned to suffer eternally in hell. Redemption through Christ grants freedom from sin and its accompanying present and eternal consequences.
No man was qualified to carry out the work of redemption because the fall of Adam rendered all men guilty before God. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). The blood of animals offered for the sacrifice of sin under the old covenant was only a shadow of things to come (John 1:29). As believers, we have been set free from bondage to serve the living God.
2. THE SLAIN LAMB AND HIS WORTHINESS TO UNSEAL THE BOOK.
Revelation 5:5-7; 4:11; Isaiah 53:4-7; John 1:29-36; Revelation 13:8; 21:27; Matthew 1:1-16.
“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” (verse 5). As the beloved Apostle John wept, he was consoled by one of the elders who informed him that Christ has emerged to open and unseal the book. It was a glad tiding in heaven, to John and mankind. The Saviour of man has come at last to redeem us from eternal perdition and perpetual enslavement to Satan.
Christ was introduced as the Lion of the tribe of Judah and Root of David. As the Lion, He has destroyed the roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). He descended from the lineage of David, from the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1:1-16). Thus, during His earthly ministry, many recognised Him as the Son of David (Matthew 9:27; 12:23; 15:22).
Christ being pictured as a Lamb teaches us the following: one, He is the spotless Lamb who offered Himself at Calvary to expiate our sins. Two, He is the gentle Lamb who leads His people in mercy and love. Three, He offered Himself willingly to be crucified. Four, He is meek and lowly. Five, the paschal lamb that delivered Israel from death in the land of Egypt was a symbol of Christ. Six, He is the good Shepherd who provides for and preserves His sheep. The seven horns and seven eyes of the Lamb symbolise perfect power and perfect knowledge to accomplish God’s purpose. Christ our Saviour possesses absolute power to do all things. “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 25). This should also spur both ministers and members of the Body of Christ to be faithful in carrying out the great commission of preaching the saving gospel to every creature everywhere in the world. While Christ was here on earth, the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees desperately tried all they could to entangle Him, but they were thoroughly frustrated, because “In [Him] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). The Jews were baffled by His wisdom when they heard His teaching (John 7:14,15).
The Lord took the sealed book and proceeded to open the seals one after another. The book contains records of God’s programme for the world. Even with the unprecedented advances in science and technology, men cannot know for certainty what the next moment can bring.
3. SAINTS’ PRAISE AND WORSHIP OF THE MOST DESERVING REDEEMER.
Revelation 5:8-14; 4:11; 7:12; 2 Chronicles 7:3; 29:30; Psalm 138:2; Hebrews 3:1-3.
“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” (verse 9). In appreciable response to the appearance of Christ to undertake and open the sealed book, the hosts of heaven bowed in praise and worshipped Him. It was a splendid and spontaneous worship of the dwellers in heaven. The prayers of saints were offered as sweet odours unto God. Believers who pray in righteousness are assured that their prayers are not forgotten.
All creatures are to worship Christ forever. The reason God created man is to worship Him. He said, “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise” (Isaiah 43:21). Unfortunately, most people on earth provoke God by their wicked acts. They make Him to regret creating man (Genesis 6:6). But sinners still have the opportunity to bring joy to their Creator by repenting of their sins, accepting Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and walking in newness of life with wholehearted obedience to God. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).
Saints and angels sang songs of praises in heaven to the most deserving Lamb of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In their song, they mentioned the worthiness of the Lord to open and unseal the book; the redemption of saints by the precious blood of Christ; and the great privilege of being made kings and priests that shall reign on the earth. Millions of saints from all nations will forever in heaven appreciate the great sacrifice made by the Lord to redeem them unto God, the Father.
As believers, we should show gratitude to Christ for our creation, redemption, provisions, preservation and future glorification. We can do this by living to please Him always; loving Him supremely; praising and worshipping Him in all circumstances; our willingness to suffer for His sake; seeking to save the lost; and consecration to His service.
The heavenly host ascribed “…power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 5:12) to the Lord in their worship. He is worthy of all the praises and honour we can ever express. Saints’ praise and worship will be perfected in heaven, as no language on earth is adequate to express our praises to the Lord.
Question 1: Why is Christ the only Person worthy to redeem mankind and reclaim the earth?
Question 2: What lesson does Christ’s picture as a Lion-Lamb teach us?
Question 3: What is expected of believers in light of the absolute power of the Lord?
Question 4: How do sinners make God to grieve and what will they do to please Him?
Question 5: In what ways should believers show their gratitude to Christ?