The apostle John had a vision in Revelation 5:1-14 (see NIV) about a book or scroll with seven seals. The book was being held in the right hand of God who sat upon the throne in heaven. The book has unparalleled significance. It contains a full account of what God will do concerning the destiny of the world. Today, we will discuss several points about this vision.
One, salvation can only come through one who is worthy to save us! Let us turn to the One who is worthy!
The stage is set in Revelation 5:1-4. John saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" The search began, but no one was found in heaven or on earth or under the earth who could open the scroll or even look inside it. Then John says, "I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside."
The angel's question is crucial. "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" The clear implication is that salvation can only come through one who is worthy. Because all have sinned (Romans 3:23), no man is worthy. We can only be saved through one who has not sinned and who is worthy of all praise.
Many pretending prophets profess to proclaim a way of salvation. But, without Christ, they have nothing to offer. Their way of salvation is dependent on leaders who are not "worthy." They, themselves are sinners and are lost without God. We must turn to the One who is worthy!
Two, the suffering Lamb is worthy to conquer! Let us accept the sacrifice of the Lamb for us!
According to Revelation 5:5, Christ is "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" and "the Root of David." This Lion has overcome so as to open the book and the seven seals. We have here a picture of the Christ who conquers. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. As the triumphant Christ, He will rule the world!
However, the life of Christ is paradoxical. John also sees Christ as "the Lamb standing as if slain." The slain lamb signifies the Christ who suffered and gave His life for all. He died for us and atoned for our sins. He paid the price for us! He did this as a prior step in the process of bringing salvation to all of us. Because He died and rose again, He will rule over all.
The course of action for us is clear. Let us accept the sacrifice of Christ for us. We can freely accept His great work of salvation for us. Our salvation Him was costly for Him, but for us it is free. We must come humbly, with open hearts, and wilth gratitude for all Christ has done for us.
Three, the Spirit is on a mission for Christ! Let us be empowered with the Spirit!
John sees the Lamb as if slain. This Lamb has seven horns and seven eyes. In John's vision the seven eyes are "the seven Spirits of God," sent out into all the earth. The seven eyes of the Lamb are the seven Spirits of God. Christ and the Spirit are one and yet are different. The seven Spirits of God represent the Holy Spirit who is on a mission for Christ.
The Spirit of God guides, gives wisdom, knows all things, and fulfills the mission of Christ. He is the Great Helper (Paraclete) who continues the work of Christ in the world. We do not work alone to build the Kingdom of God; rather, we are the hands and feet of the Triune God Himself. With His power the Kingdom will be built.
The lesson for us is clear. We as believers are united with Christ. His cause is our cause. We have been commissioned to take the gospel to the whole world, but we do not go in our own strength. We go in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.
Four, all who were present worshipped Christ. We must worship Him too!
In John's vision the four living creatures, the twenty-four elders, and all the angels worshipped Christ. Various groups sang praises to the Lamb for all that He has done. The twenty-four elders sang this song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
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 on the earth." NIV
The Lamb is exalted. He has purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Heaven will be populated with redeemed people from all the earth. The mission of Christ will be accomplished. Today, let us worship Christ! And let us be a part of the redeemed forces of the earth who proclaim His name! We will be victorious!
We will conclude today with verses 13-14 of Revelation 5. Here we read:
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, singing:
"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. NIV