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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Revelation 5

 

 

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Introduction

The Lamb That Redeemed Us
- Revelation Five
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John showed us the power of the Almighty as the Creator who is worthy of praise. (Revelation 4:1-11) He now moved to show us God"s love as Redeemer. (Revelation 5:1-14) Christians believe in the God who is all-powerful and present everywhere. He is the all wise creator and sustainer of heaven and earth. The design of Revelation five is to honor the Lamb of God, our Redeemer, by showing that power was entrusted to Him that was given to no one else in heaven or earth. Nothing better illustrated this than the fact that He alone was able to open the mysterious sealed book.

John wept when he felt that no one was able to open the book. He was, however, given the assurance that the Lion of the tribe of Judah had power to open the book. This Jesus is the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Root of David. Revelation one pictured the majesty and power of Jesus. Revelation five remembered His sacrifice and the atonement made by His blood.

Many joined in acknowledging that the Lamb of God was worthy to open this little book. He is worthy to open the book because of His redemptive work. The work of Jesus "redeemed us to God." His work bought us "by blood." His redemptive work reached "every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." This great work of redemption "made us unto our God kings and priests." Our faith must be in the loving Redeemer.


Verses 1-3

The book sealed with seven seals - Revelation 5:1-3 : In Revelation five John"s attention is on scroll held by the enthroned Lord. The scroll was unusual in that it was written on both sides. It was full of information. It would ordinarily be the case that a scroll would be sealed with one seal. This scroll is sealed with seven seals. This indicated just how securely the little book was sealed.

This little book contained a brief look at God"s providential dealings with this world. There is a special look at God"s care of Christians in the struggle with the Roman Empire. God here provided principles that will exist throughout the history of the world. At this point the emphasis is not on the content of the scroll, but on the One that is worthy to take it and open it.

The strong angel asked, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?" No created being was able to open the little book. In all the great realms, in heaven, on earth or under the earth, no one was qualified to open or look upon the contents of this mysterious scroll, except the Lamb of God.


Verses 4-8

The book opened by the Lion of Judah - Revelation 5:4-8 : John wept when on one was found to open the little book. God had promised John that He would show him things that would shortly come to pass. After waiting for one to open the book and seeing none John"s emotions turned to tears. John is thinking of the terrible situation the church is facing. He desired to know the outcome but felt frustrated that none could open the book. John was told, "Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."

As John looked the Lion became a Lamb. Jesus is pictured as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Christ is also called the Lamb of God because He was a sacrificial offering for our sins. The seven horns represent the infinite power and might of Jesus Christ. The seven eyes show His infinite knowledge and wisdom. The ability of Jesus to open the little book has been demonstrated by His work on the cross. When the Lamb took the scroll the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before Him. High-ranking angels and redeemed man join together in worship of the Lamb.

There were harps in heaven. Some have tried to use these as justification of instrumental music in the worship of the church. We must remember that in the worship of the church we are always limited to that which is authorized by God. The kind of music God authorized for the church is singing and making melody in the heart. (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16) This same verse (Revelation 5:8) pictured incense in heaven. Does this verse give authority for burning incense in the church? Surely no one would believe that it does!


Verses 9-11

The Redeemer receives praise from many - Revelation 5:9-11 : When the Redeemer takes the scroll, the response is immediate. The angels and redeemed ones join together in worship of the Lamb. They sang a new song concerning the victory of the redeemed. Under the Old Testament the people of God could only hope for redemption. Now, because of the Lamb of God we can both speak and sing of the redeemed.

The new song honors the slain Lamb as the price of redemption. The new song showed that the Lamb has redeemed us to God, by His blood. This redemption is available for every tribe and tongue and people and nation. The result of the redemption is that we are kings and priests unto God.

The statement, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" is perplexing to many. (Revelation 5:10) Observe the translation from the American Standard Version, "and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth." Christians of all nations are now reigning upon the earth with Jesus Christ. Christ"s kingdom is not of this world. It is a spiritual reign of a people who are "called out" of the world. The New Testament denies that Jesus ever intended or that He ever plans to rule in any temporal sense on this earth. The church of Christ is His kingdom.


Verses 12-14

The entire creation praised the Redeemer - Revelation 5:12-14 : Countless angels and others declare the worthiness of the Lamb because of the redemption He accomplished. Their message was "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." There is much rejoicing over the redemption and salvation of sinners.

Christ is worthy of all honor, glory, and blessing, because He is sufficient for the office. He is the Lion and the Lamb of God. Both Heaven and earth ring loud with the highest of praises for the Redeemer. We worship and glorify God both for our creation and for our redemption.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Revelation 5:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/box/revelation-5.html. 2014.

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