And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, 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. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. Revelation 5:1–7
Read More Than Conquerors, pp. 108–111
A. THE SEALED SCROLL (OR THE CLOSED BOOK), verses 1–4
The book of Revelation has something to tell us about God’s eternal counsel. It pictures this plan under symbolism of a scroll tightly sealed with seven seals; the seven arranged. no doubt. in a row on the outside of the scroD. Notice also that this seal which John saw in the right hand of the exalted Throne-Occupant, was “written within and on the back.” Just what do you make of that? Would you say that it could mean that everything that ever comes to pass was already included in God’s plan from eternity? Or would you agree rather with the sentiment of Colonel Edmund W. Starling who in his interesting book (Starling Of The White House, p. 48 ) states that he had a system whereby he put small things into the hands of man and left large things to the plan of God?
Now it is, indeed, a comforting thought, namely, to know that no enemy is ever able to thwart God’s decree. That thought was sweet to the heart of John, the exile, and to the hearts of all the other persecuted children of God both then and now. Nevertheless, the plan, as such. will do little good unless it is executed, carried out. But in the present vision we notice that although a strong angel loudly shouts the question, “Who is worthy to open the scroll, and to loose the seals thereof?” no one responded. No one, in fact, was worthy to respond. No wonder that John wept bitterly. He knew very well that God’s plan from eternity is the plan of salvation for his people. If that plan is not carried out, no one will ever be saved.
B. THE SCROLL ABOUT TO BE UNS!:ALED (OR THE BOOK ABOUT TO BE OPENED), verses 5–7
“And one of the elders saith to me, Weep not; behold the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath overcome to open the book and the seven seals thereof.” That Lion is our Lord Jesus Christ, of course. In the vision he—in the form of a slaughtered Lamb—then came and took his place at the right hand of the Father. right with him on his throne. Out of the right hand of the Father he took the scroll, so as to be able to open its seals. This must mean that Christ, at his glorious ascension and with his arrival in heaven, received authority to execute the plan of God, governing the world in the interest of the church and to the glory of God. “Not the Roman emperor but Jesus is reigning.” Such is the comfort which the Holy Spirit through the apostle John is here imparting to God’s persecuted children.
What a rich variety of names our Savior has. Here, for example, he is called both Lion and Lamb. lance culled from Scripture at least ninety of these names, I formed them into a poem (tune, “Beautiful Savior”) as follows:
1. Jesus, our Savior Head and Redeemer, Lord of lords and King of kings, Horn of Salvation, Judge of Creation, Heaven’s Sun with Healing in his wings,
2. Light of each Nation, Only Foundation, Son of David and Abraham, Rabboni. Master Mine, True Vine and Great Ensign, God’s Image, Word of God, I Am.
3. Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Governor, Truth and Life and Living Way, True Light and Witness, Yaveh our Righteousness, Star of the Mom and of the Day.
4. Lion and David’s Root, Seed, Branch, and Jesse’s Shoot, Prince of Life, Israel’s Sceptre, Tried, Precious Cornerstone, Plantation for Renown, Rabbi, Apostle, Teacher.
5. Gift of God, Holy One, Only Begotten Son, Bread of Life, Resurrection, Leader, Commander, Man, Mediator, Mighty to Save, Redemption.
6. Lord Christ and Son of Man, Faithful and True, Amen, Lord of the Sabbath, Carpenter, Elect, Beloved Son, Bridegroom and Righteous One, Lamb that was slain and Forerunner.
7. God’s Son and Wisdom, Power and Ransom, Friend of Sinner and Publican, Alpha, Omega, Christ, our Messiah, Highpriest of our Confession.
8. Servent, Deliverer, Peace, Purifier, Son of the Blessed, Immanuel, Star out of Jacob. Dayspring and Bishop, Glory and Hope of Israel.
9. Eternal Father, God Blessed Forever, King, Prophet, Priest, and Chosen, First, Last, and Living One, Good Shepherd, Fountain, Lily and Rose of Sharon.
Is it not a comfort to know that it is that rich and glorious Redeemer who from his heavenly throne is governing all things?
1. Do you agree with the sentiment of Starling? If so, why? If not, why not? See under A above.
2. “No one was found worthy to…look thereon.” How do people sometimes sin against the implication of these words of verse 3?
3. A “strong anger” asked the question (verse 2) but an “elder” answered it. Why an elder?
4. The “Lion” who takes the scroll is here pictured as a Lamb. Why?
5. Why is the slaughtered Lamb pictured as having seven hams?
6.Why as having seven eyes?
7. What theological name do we give to the carrying out of God’s decree in history?
8. If you must have an 8th question this time, all right, here it is: Just where in Scripture do you find these 90 or more Names of our Exalted Mediator? (Skip that one if you have no time for it.)