James J. Barker

Lesson 10



  1. Revelation chapter 5 is a continuation of chapter 4.   The two chapters should be studied together as a unit (cf. Rev. 2 & 3; 17 & 18).
  2. God the Father is seated on His throne in heaven (4:2, 3; cf. 5:1).
  3. In chapter 5, the focus is on the seven-sealed book in His hand (5:1-4).  The book is actually a scroll, written on both sides -- "written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals" (5:1).
  4. This seven-sealed book was not mentioned in chapter 4, but it is prominent in chapter 5.  The first six seals are opened in chapter 6 (6:1).
  5. The seventh seal is not opened until Revelation 8:1, which immediately follows Revelation chapter 6, because Revelation chapter 7 is parenthetical.
  6. Out of the seventh seal come the seven trumpet judgments (8:1, 2).



  1. The book is a scroll, written on both sides -- "written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals" (5:1).
  2. Roman law required all legal documents pertaining to life and death to be sealed seven times.
  3. This book is the title deed to planet earth.  It includes the prophecies of the impending events that are about to unfold.
  4. There are many angels in the book of Revelation.   You may recall way back in Revelation 1:1, we are told, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John."
  5. This angel here in Revelation 5:2 is referred to as "a strong angel" "with a loud voice."
  6. His name is not given.  Some think he is Gabriel (mentioned in the book of Daniel and the Gospel of Luke), but that is just speculation.
  7. The angel asks, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” (5:2).
  8. John then tells us in verse 3 that no one in heaven, in earth, or under the earth was able (“had the power or the authority”) to open the book.
  9. John Walvoord says, "It is evident that the contents of the book are impressive in character and require the power of God for their revelation as well as for the execution of their program. John records that he wept much because no one was found worthy either to open and read or even to look upon the book. The purpose of this dramatic presentation of the seven-sealed book was to impress upon John the importance of its contents and of the revelation contained therein" (The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
  10. John "wept much" because no man was found worthy to open the book, and then one of the elders told him that he could stop weeping because "the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof" (5:5).
  11. The allusion to “the Lion” is a reference to Genesis 49:9, where Jacob said, "Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?"
  12. In Isaiah 11:1, it is prophesied that the Messiah would "come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse."  And then in Isaiah 11:10, Christ is called "a root of Jesse."  Jesse was the father of King David (cf. Rev. 5:5).
  13. Revelation 5:5 says Christ "hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” His victory is such that He alone is "worthy and has full authority and sovereignty in respect to the contents of the seven-sealed book" (Walvoord).
  14. The Lamb is described as having been slain and then raised from the dead (He "stood") and as possessing seven horns and seven eyes (5:6).
  15. The Lamb speaks of Christ in His first coming as our Saviour; the Lion speaks of Christ in His second coming as our sovereign King.
  16. Interestingly, Christ is referred to only once in the book of Revelation as the Lion (5:5), but 28 times as the Lamb. This emphasizes His substitutionary death -- as a lamb without blemish and without spot.
  17. This emphasizes that our coming King loves us, "and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (1:5).
  18. Revelation 12:11 says, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb."
  19. John 1:29 says that when John the Baptist saw Jesus coming unto him, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29; cf. 1:36).
  20. First Peter 1:18 and 19 says we were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
  21. The apostle Paul refers to Christ as our Passover lamb in I Corinthians 5:7.
  22. The Lamb's seven horns speak of His strength and power (Rev. 5:6). The seven eyes are identified as “the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth," a reference to the sevenfold Spirit of God.
  23. Taking the book from the right hand of God the Father signifies that judgment and power over the earth are committed to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
  24. There is a similar scene in Daniel 7:13 and 14.
  25. In the book of Revelation the focus is upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" (1:1). In the book of Revelation the Lord Jesus Christ is shown given His rightful worship.



  1. This marvelous symphony of praise to the Lamb is declared to be "a new song" (5:9).  Our wonderful redemption in Christ Jesus by which sinners "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" can be redeemed and enter into the blessing of saints is the occasion for this new song of redemption.

                Let every kindred, every tribe

              on this terrestrial ball,

              to him all majesty ascribe,

              and crown him Lord of all.  (Edward Perronet)

  2. "For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood" (5:9).
  3. Colossians 1:14 says, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."
  4. In Revelation chapter 4, the four and twenty elders worship God the Father, who is seated upon His throne in heaven (4:10, 11).
  5. In Revelation chapter 5, the four and twenty elders worship God the Son, because He alone is worthy to take the book, and to open the seals, and because He alone has redeemed us to God by His blood (5:8, 9).
  6. There are many references to the Lamb slain for our redemption in the book of Revelation.
  • There is a great choir of many angels, and the four living creatures, and the four and twenty elders, "Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain" (5:12; cf. 5:6, 9).
  • Revelation 13:8 refers to "the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
  • Referring to the martyrs killed during the tribulation, Revelation 7:14 says, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
  1. Cultists and other unbelievers teach that it is wrong to worship Christ, but there are many references in Scripture of people worshipping Christ.
  • The wise men from the east "fell down, and worshipped Him" (Matt. 2:11).
  • A leper worshipped Him in Matthew 8:2.
  • A certain ruler, whose daughter had died, worshipped Him in Matthew 9:18.
  • In Matthew 14:33, the disciples worshipped Him.
  • In Matthew 15:25, the Syro-Phoenician woman worshipped Him.
  • In Matthew 28:9, the disciples "came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him."
  • And again, in Matthew 28:17: "And when they saw him, they worshipped Him."
  • In Mark 5:6, the demon-possessed man worshipped Him.
  • In Luke 24:52 it says the disciples worshipped Him.
  • In John chapter 9 we read that our Lord gave eyesight to a blind man.  John 9:38 says, "And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him."
  1. And here in Revelation 5:12, the Word of God says many angels, and the four living creatures, and the four and twenty elders all say with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."
  2. And Revelation 5:13 and 14 says, "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.  And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever."
  3. In connection with their worship of the Lamb, it is mentioned that the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders have harps (5:8).



  1. These vials are said to be "golden vials" (5:8), signifying their value and their beauty.  Gold is mentioned 22 times in the book of Revelation.
  2. Revelation 8:3 says, "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne."
  3. Therefore, the prayers of saints are represented by "golden vials full of odours" (5:8), and these prayers are offered up on the golden altar before the throne of God in heaven along with "much incense" from this "golden censer" in the angel's hand (8:3).
  4. The golden vials filled with sacred incense represent the prayers of the saints. The symbolism of incense representing the prayers of the saints is also seen in David's prayer in Psalm 141:2, "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”
  5. We are again reminded of the importance of prayer, the value of prayer, and the beauty of prayer.



  1. In Revelation 5:10, the twenty-four elders are declared to be kings and priests who shall reign on earth.
  2. "The church is a priesthood rather than having a priesthood, and is a royal family rather than merely being ruled by a king" (John Walvoord).
  3. Christians will not just be subjects of the millennial kingdom. We will reign with Christ on the earth.
  4. Second Timothy 2:12 says, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us."
  5. Revelation 20:6 says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
  6. And Revelation 22:5 says we "shall reign for ever and ever."
  7. John introduces the exaltation of the Lamb in verse 11 with the familiar words “And I beheld, and I heard.”
  8. Forty-four times in the book of Revelation John declares that he beheld or saw something and twenty-seven times he declares, “I heard.”
  9. The Lamb is surrounded by the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders, and the angelic hosts are seen on every side numbering "ten thousand times ten thousand," an innumerable throng in one mighty symphony of praise (5:11, 12).
  10. Christ is the Lamb of God crucified, magnified, and glorified!
  11. The sevenfold attributes (5:12) ascribed to the Lamb their worship and adoration. This great chorus of praise is a glorious prelude to the prophetic scenes which will soon unfold, when in the succeeding chapters, the seven-sealed book is unrolled.
  12. To this mighty chorus in heaven is added the praise of every creature on earth and under the earth and in the sea. John hears them all joining in blessing and praise to the One on the throne and to the Lamb.
  13. Climaxing the scene of worship, the four living creatures pronounce their amen, and the twenty-four elders once again fall down and worship.
  14. After this magnificent scene in heaven -- what Scofield calls the "Universal adoration of the Lamb who is King" -- the scene shifts back from heaven to the earth (Rev. 6).
  15. "The beauty and wonder of the scene in chapter 5 are in startling contrast to the dark clouds of divine judgment portrayed as falling upon the earth in the tribulation as revealed in the chapters which follow" (John Walvoord).
  16. This beautiful chorus, described here in Revelation 5:11-14, is a prelude to the opening of the seven seals (Rev. 6).



  1. Those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour will be numbered among the great throng pictured in chapter 5 as giving their worship and praise to the Lamb.
  2. That which John beheld in prophetic vision will take place immediately after the rapture.
  3. Chapters 4 and 5 give us the heavenly side of the picture; while chapter 6 shows us things to come here on earth.
  4. The same Lamb of God who is the object of worship and praise in heaven is also the righteous Judge of the earth.
  5. Today is the day of grace but soon this dispensation will end, and God will pour out His wrath upon this wicked and sin-loving world.
  6. Those who hear and respond to the Gospel have the promise of forgiveness of sin and everlasting life.
  7. The choice is this: either blessing throughout eternity and deliverance from the coming judgment, or be left behind at the rapture to face the terrors of the coming tribulation.

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