Friday, August 17, 2012

Revelation 5 Bible Study by Steve Wilson

Revelation 5

Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne [God the Father] a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David [Jesus], has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures [seraphim] and the elders [Israelite tribe leaders and Apostles]. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God [the manifold Holy Spirit] sent out into all the earth.

He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
    and they will reign[b] on the earth.”

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”

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

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

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


Why does Jesus appear as a lamb in this vision? He is the sacrificial Lamb God provides to die for our sins so that God’s wrath passes over us (see Genesis 22:8; John 1:29; Exodus 12; Mark 14:12-24; 1 Corinthians 5:7.)


In Revelation 4, God the Father was seen with the Holy Spirit. Revelation 4:5 – “From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.” Now we see Jesus entering the same scene having seven horns and seven eyes, showing the Holy Spirit is also with Him. Why does God the Father and Jesus both have the Spirit with them in the same scene?

The presence of God’s Spirit being a part of Jesus shows that Jesus and God are, in a sense, one. They are two individuals, but they share the same Spirit. God’s perfect Spirit is an integral part of Jesus.


Why is Jesus worthy to open the scroll?

The reason that Jesus is worthy and able to break the seals and open the scroll is the same reason that He was given the right to sit on God’s throne with Him. That reason is because He accomplished our salvation.

Philippians 2:6-11 -

Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage;

rather, He made Himself nothing

by taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

He humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death —

even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place

and gave Him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.”


It is the same reason the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures give in verse 9:

You are worthy to take the scroll

and to open its seals,

because You were slain,

and with Your blood You purchased for God

persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.”


The scene described in Revelation 4-5 is one of the most beautiful in the entire Bible because it shows us the entirety of the Gospel. God possesses all authority, but rather than opening the scroll Himself, He honors Christ with the privilege to do so because of Christ’s willing obedience to die for us. All three are honored – God, Christ, and humanity – because we are the reason for God’s honoring Christ. Humanity is important enough for God to base Christ’s honor on. Isn’t that a humbling thought? It’s difficult for us to think of ourselves as being that important, but it shows us how much God really does love and value us, that He would honor Christ so highly for accomplishing our salvation.

And here’s the kicker:


What is written on the scroll Jesus opens?

We’ll read in the next few chapters what happens as Jesus opens the scrolls, but there’s only one scroll (also translated “book”) that specifically belongs to Jesus:

Revelation 13:8 - All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast [the AntiChrist]—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

Revelation 20:11-15 - Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

The scroll (book) that only Jesus is worthy to open is the Lamb’s Book of Life. He is the only one who gets the honor of reading the names of everyone the Lord redeemed through His death on the cross. Each name written in His book was bought at a very high cost. Each name written in His book is precious to Him.



  1. Revelation 5:6 That is, the sevenfold Spirit
  2. Revelation 5:10 Some manuscripts they reign

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