The Throne of God continued…
In the previous chapter, John was caught up to Heaven to show him future events. In order to provide a reference point for when these events would start, John was taken to the Throne of God where he saw God the Father seated on the Throne, and the Spirit of God in front of the Throne. Missing from this scene was the Son of God, which tells us that John was being shown events prior to the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven. In this chapter, the scene in Heaven continues when John, next, sees a Scroll with Seven Seals in the right hand of Him who sat on the Throne.
Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne 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. Rev. 5:1-3
As we will read later, the Scroll with Seven Seals contained a description of the future events that were to be shown to John but whose contents were sealed. When no one could be found who was worthy to open the scroll, it caused John to weep until he saw the Lamb of God appear and take the scroll from the one seated on the Throne.
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 and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. Rev. 5:6-7
The description of the Lamb, looking as if it has been slain, and standing at the center of the Throne is an unmistakable account of the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven following His crucifixion. Accordingly, the appearing of the Lamb at the Throne tells us that the Timeline of Events has moved from the period before the Ascension of Jesus Christ, to right after this event. In this way, we are given a picture of when the events of the Seven Seals will start, i.e., the events of the Seven Seals begin after the Ascension of Jesus Christ. Having been given the above starting point, John was next shown the opening of the First Seal.
NOTE: The use of the passing of one event (the Ascension of Jesus Christ) to show us when another event will start (the events of the Seven Seals) was first demonstrated to the disciples in the Lesson From the Fig Tree. In that lesson, the Lord taught the disciples how they could determine the timing of an event (the start of summer) by watching for the event that must occur before it (the budding of the fig tree). See Matt. 24:32-35. This same method will be used throughout the Revelation to show us when an event will start. To read more about the Lesson from the Fig Tree and how it applies to the Book of the Revelation, click here: Introduction.
The Throne of God continued…