Revelation 5

The Throne of God continued…

In the previous chapter, we read how John was caught up to Heaven to show him the events that would take place following the events that are described in the Letters to the Seven Churches. In order to provide a reference point for when these events would start, John was taken to the Throne of God where he saw the Father seated on the Throne, and the Spirit of God in front of the Throne. Not mentioned in John’s account is the Son of God, which tells us that John was being shown events prior to the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven. Having been given the above reference point, John next saw 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. 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, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Rev. 5:1-5

As we will soon discover, the Scroll with Seven Seals contained a description of the future events that were to be shown to John. 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 John was given the starting point for when the events of the Seven Seals would begin, i.e. the events of the Seven Seals begin following the Ascension of Jesus Christ.

When the Lamb took the scroll form the Father, the Four Living Creatures and the Twenty-Four Elders bowed down to worship Him.

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. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Rev. 5:8-10

In addition to the worship of the Four Living Creatures and the Twenty-Four Elders, John next saw myriads of angels encircling the throne and worshiping the Lamb.

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. 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!” Rev. 5:11-12

Next John heard all of creation worshiping the Lamb.

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!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Rev. 5:13-14

The above description of events in Heaven corresponds with how the Throne of God is organized along military lines, with the Four Living Creatures functioning as a type of inner guard surrounding the Throne, and the army of angels being stationed further out. Even further out from these is all of creation that worships and praises the King who sits on the Throne.

From this and the previous chapter, we are given a glorious description of the Throne of God and the worship of Christ following His ascension to Heaven. While reading this account, we should not forget why this event was shown to John in the first place. Namely, the purpose of John being caught up to Heaven was to shown him the events that must take place through the opening of the Scroll with Seven Seals. Likewise, the purpose of John being shown the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven before the opening of the Seven Seals was to shown him when these events would start. In this way, we learn the following:

1. John was caught up to Heaven to show him the events that must take place.
2. These events will be shown to John through the opening of the Scroll with Seven Seals.
3. The starting point of the events of the Seven Seals is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

To understand the above events we have to look at how the Book of the Revelation is written. That is, the Revelation shows us future events but we are never given the times and dates of when these events will take place. Instead, the Revelation uses the passing of one event to show us when the next event will start. This method for describing when an event will begin was first explained to the disciples in the Lesson from the Fig Tree, which Jesus taught the disciples as they were leaving the Temple in Jerusalem. When the disciples pointed out the magnificent stones on the Temple building, the Lord stated that the day would come when the Temple would be torn down and not one stone would be left standing upon another. Later, when the disciples asked Him when this event would take place, the Lord responded by telling them to learn the Lesson from the Fig Tree, which He explained as follows; “When the leaves of the fig tree begin to bud, you know that summer is near; right at the door.” With this simple lesson, the Lord taught the disciples that if they wanted to know when an event was about to take place, they should look for the events that would occur before it. Accordingly, before the opening of the Scroll with Seven Seals, John was shown the Ascension of Jesus Christ in order to let him know when the events of the Seven Seals would begin. This same method will be used throughout the Revelation to show us when an event will begin. Accordingly, we can add the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to the front of our list of the Order of Events of the Last Days to be followed by the events that will be shown to John through the opening of the Scroll with Seven Seals.

Order of Events of the Last Days
1. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

2. The Hour of Trial
3. The Return of Christ

4. The Resurrection of the Dead


Revelation Chapter 4
Revelation Chapter 6

Questions and comments may be sent to RevelationStudyGuide@gmail.com