Title: WORSHIP ERUPTS FROM HEAVEN
Text: Revelation 5:1-14
In the days of John, a scroll that had a seal on it represented one of two things. It could have represented a secretive letter from a government top official to another, or it could be a title deed only to be opened upon the death of the property owner. Such was the case with the seven-sealed scroll or book. The top government official, God the Father was revealing the war plans against Satan’s host, to the next top official, God the Son. No one was worthy to open it except the Son of the Commander-in-Chief. In the case of the title deed, within this scroll was the revelation of how God would complete His plan for the redemption of the saved and the destruction of the corrupt. Now that the property owner of the souls has died, He has come back to life and is therefore worthy to break its seal and open the scroll.
When Jesus takes the scroll in order to open it, worship erupts all over Heaven, and that’s the continuing theme from chapter 4. There is a lot to learn about worship in this chapter as well. Let’s discover it. Read Text.
This chapter reveals four compelling reasons why we worship Jesus Christ. 1) Because of who He is. 2) Because of where He is. 3) Because of what He does. 4) Because of what He has done.
1. First, its noteworthy to clarify whom has the book in their hands. Who is it? John noticed it was written inside and out. What does that say to you? (Nothing more could be added.) What would a message with seven seals say to your mind? (Super important, not to be opened by unauthorized people, nothing more to be added.)
2. What does Heb. 1:1-2 tell us that would indicate why Jesus is worthy to open this seven-sealed scroll? (Title deeds or wills can only be opened by the appointed heir, and Jesus is the heir of all things.)
3. Notice it is a strong angel with a loud voice that asks the question, “Who is worthy to open the book and break the seals?” Why a strong angel? (He’s going to enforce that only the one worthy is going to open it.)
4. What do think was behind John’s tears and weeping? (God’s glorious redemption plan could never be completed until the scroll was opened. Rev. 4:1) Isa. 29:11-12; Dan 12:8-10
5. One of the 24 elders comforts John and tells him to stop weeping because there is one who is worthy to open the book. Who does the elder announce is worthy to open the book and its seals? (Lion of Judah, Root of David, v. 6 – the Lamb.) Read Gen. 49:8-10 and see if you can explain where the term “Lion of Judah” would come from. (Jacob prophetically gave the scepter to Judah and made him the tribe of Kings. God never meant for Saul to establish a dynasty because he came from the tribe of Benjamin. God used him to discipline Israel because the people asked for a king. Then God gave them David from the tribe of Judah. David was young at the time Saul was enthroned, so he’s the lion’s whelp, and Jesus, who came later, was the full-grown Lion.) What characteristics come to mind when you think of a lion? (Dignity, king of the forest, courage, victory.)
Insight: The opening of the seals is an act of strength, a declaration of war, and along with it the power to take possession of a Kingdom. As we will see later, after each is broken, there comes a strong, fierce assault upon the enemies who usurp God’s authority on earth. There is terror and destruction at every successive moment. But here, Jesus overcame the trials of life in the temptations in the wilderness, in the agonies of the garden, in the terrors of death, and from the grave. He ascended to Heaven leading those who were captive into a new freedom. He is Victor over law, sin, death and hell. He has paid the redemption price for mankind. Hallelujah!
6. What relationship does the root have with the tree? (It is the beginning of the tree and it brings it its nourishment.) What, then, does the Root of David mean in relationship between David and Christ? (Jesus brought David into existence; but as far as Jesus’ human origin is concerned, Jesus had His roots in David.) Isa. 11:1, 10
7. When John turned to see whom the elder was referring to, instead of seeing a Lion, he saw a Lamb. Why is that? (What is in the sealed book was about the completion of the redemption of man. Jesus was the sacrifice Lamb that made our redemption possible. 7:14) Notice John’s special wording as he describes the Lamb. What meaning do you get with “the Lamb standing as if slain”? (The crucified Lamb now stands alive in Heaven. He is standing for action, not sitting to administrate; He is standing so He can walk forward and take the sealed scroll from the Father who is on the throne.)
8. If an artist painted a literal picture of the Lamb described in verse 6, it would be a grotesque picture. But when we understand it symbolically, it shows a beautiful picture. What does the number 7 represent in the book of Revelation? (Completeness or perfection.) So, the Lamb with 7 horns would represent what? (Perfect power – God’s omnipotence.) Seven eyes? (Perfect vision and wisdom – God’s omniscience.) Seven spirits? (Perfect presence – God’s omnipresence.)
Insight: In this vision of the resurrected Christ we see the three attributes He has inherited from the Father. Truly, Jesus, the Lamb is the Son of God! Jesus the Child, was born in a manger. Jesus the Savior was buried in a tomb. But now, Jesus the Lamb stands in Heaven exalted and glorified! What great encouragement for the suffering Christian – the Lamb has defeated every enemy and is now in His full glory! He stands between the 24 elders and the throne, thus He is the center of all that transpires in Heaven.
9. What happens when Jesus comes and takes the scroll from the right hand of the Father? (The weeping ended and worship begins!)
Insight: Worship breaks out in Heaven because this is the most outstanding single act recorded in the Book of Revelation. It is the beginning of the repossession of that which was lost in Adam. Second, if you ever wondered where in Scripture it speaks of harps in Heaven, mark this verse, for it’s the only verse in reference to it. Notice it’s not the angels who have the harps, but the 4 creatures and the 24 elders.
10. Notice prayer is paralleled with incense. Why do you think that is? (Prayer is sweet smelling to God; it’s a picture of our prayers rising to the throne of God.) Lk. 1:8-11; Ps. 141:2; Rev. 8:3-4 Notice the power that comes from those prayers in Rev. 8:5
11. What kind of a song did they sing to the Lamb? (It’s a worship hymn – “Thou art worthy”; it’s a Gospel song – “Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us by Thy blood”; it was a missionary song – sinners redeemed “out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation.” I’ve heard of a denomination [Methodist] that revised its official hymnal to remove all songs about the blood of Christ. That hymnal could never be used in Heaven, because there they glorify the Lamb slain for the sins of the world!)
12. What does the song say the redeemed become? (v. 10) 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 20:4-6
13. Who is the next group to join praising the Lamb? How many join the singing? (Myriad = a countless number.) What do you think this would sound like when they all join together to sing? Rev. 19:5-6 Who also joins the worship of the Lamb? (All creation.)
The intensity of worship escalates exponentially as word spreads through Heaven that the Lamb is finally taking the sealed book from the right hand of the Father. All Heaven has been waiting for the day when that event would start the beginning of the end and the completion of the redemption of man. Heaven has waited for this day, and when it arrives the intensity of the adoration roars through Heaven and even the farthest corner of the universe. Wider and wider spreads the symphonic response of adoring rapture. There will not be a heart unmoved or a tongue that will not lift up its voice to sing. Nowhere in the Bible is there anything to compare to it! NOWHERE!! So we eagerly await the beginning of the end when we can sing our heart out!!