Morning Bible Study
We have come to that point in Revelation where we are looking into the
For John, the
future starts when a door opened in heaven and he was caught up before the
throne of God. He began to describe what he saw.
The throne of God.
A green rainbow around the throne. Twenty-four elders with golden crowns. Lightning,
thunder, and voices. Four living creatures known as the cherubim. And lots of
This only sets the stage for the main event … chapter five.
The drums have stopped and we’re ready for
the big event … and it’s not bad, it’s good!
5:1-7 The Lamb
There are a few things that are helpful in understanding
Property was meant to stay in the family.
When God brought the nation Israel into their promised land, He gave each family an
inheritance, a portion of land.
It was very important to God that each family retains their inheritance,
their land. The land was never to leave the possession of its family.
But God knew
that there would be instances where a family might become poor and need to sell their only
possession left, their land.
Yet even in these circumstances, the sale of the land was not permanent. It
could be bought back by a “redeemer”, if the redeemer was from the same family
as the original owners.
NKJV) ‘If one of
your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if
his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what
his brother sold.
Land that had been sold could be bought back, but it had
to be bought by a near relative.
You see how this “redemption” takes place in the book of Ruth.
A poor widow
named Naomi has come back to see if someone will “redeem” her family property. And
besides the land, there’s a young gal named Ruth that goes along with the
purchase. A relative named Boaz who is eligible to buy the property, and he
likes Ruth, but before he can make the transaction, he has to deal with another
relative who is “closer”.
(Ru 4:1–4 NKJV) —1 Now Boaz
went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom
Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So
he came aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the
city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. 3 Then he said to
the close relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold
the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 And I thought to inform
you, saying, ‘Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the
elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not
redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but
you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’ ” And he said, “I
will redeem it.”
There is a piece of property (and a gal) involved.
There are “kinsmen” who are qualified or “worthy” to make the purchase.
The transaction takes place at the city gate where the “elders” hang out.
In Jewish custom there were two copies of a deed of sale. One copy was
available for records and reference. The official copy was sealed and could only be opened by the
rightful owner as identified in the open copy. A transaction could not be
complete until the rightful owner came forward to break the seals and show that
he had the right of ownership. (Revelation Record by Henry Morris, p.
You see an example of this with Jeremiah, when he was bought his uncle’s
32:10–12 NLT) —10 I signed and sealed the deed of purchase before witnesses, weighed
out the silver, and paid him. 11 Then I took the sealed deed and an
unsealed copy of the deed, which contained the terms and conditions of the
purchase, 12 and I handed them to Baruch son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah. I did all
this in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the
deed, and all the men of Judah who were there in the courtyard of the
The title deed of the land was written on a scroll and sealed.
:1 And I saw in
the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and
on the back, sealed with seven seals.
– dexios – the
right, the right hand
:1 a scroll
– biblion – a small book, a scroll, a
Not a large scroll, but
a small scroll.
:1 sealed with
Not sealed side
by side, but one after another.
One seal on the outside, a little further in the scroll is the next seal, and
then another. Each seal reveals more of
What is the scroll?
There are no shortage of ideas. Some say it’s the “book of the new
covenant”, others a “book of judgment”.
I’d suggest it’s the title
deed of the earth.
1. God gave man the
earth for a possession.
NKJV) Then God
blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth
and subdue it; have
dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over
every living thing that moves on the earth.”
2. Man sold his
inheritance to Satan at the fall.
Adam’s sin brought judgment. Adam
was removed from the garden.
just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus
death spread to all men, because all sinned—
We're now at the gates of heaven, before the throne, with the elders
:2 Then I saw a
strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll
and to loose its seals?”
:2 Who is worthy
Who has the qualifications?
It has to be
someone who is a “near kinsman”.
The redeemer has to be related to Adam, the one who sold the property.
An angel wouldn’t do. An animal wouldn’t do.
It has to be
someone with human blood in His veins.
It has to be
someone who can pay the price.
You or I could not pay the price because the price-tag is too high.
(Ro 6:23 NKJV) For the
wages of sin is death
Someone has to pay for our sin. Someone has to die.
:3 And no one
in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to
look at it.
In all of creation, no one was qualified.
:4 So I wept much,
because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.
– klaio – to mourn, weep, lament
for the world
John is totally bummed that no one is qualified to open the scroll. The
idea is that no one is qualified to purchase the earth back from Satan.
Sometimes we as Christians are just a
bit too shallow. We don’t care much for
others. Play “Shallow Small Group”
sees the world going to hell, and it
makes him weep.
Do you weep for your unsaved friends?
:5 But one of the
elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the
Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
– nikao – to conquer; come off
victorious; to win the case
Someone has been found that can meet the qualifications.
:5 the Lion of the
tribe of Judah
The tribe of
Judah has long been associated with lions.
This is what Jacob prophesied over his son Judah:
49:9–10 NLT) —9 Judah, my son, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not
depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming
of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor.
The Lion was
the king of the beasts, and
Judah would be the one with the ruler’s scepter.
King David came
from the tribe of Judah, and the Messiah would be a descendant from King David.
built his grand throne out of ivory and gold, he had lions placed next to the
armrests and twelve lions next to the steps that ascended up to his throne. (1Ki. 10:18-20)
Moreover the king
made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
A lion speaks
of ferocity, authority, and power.
C.S. Lewis wove Jesus into the Narnia books as the character Aslan, a lion.
When the Pevensie children first hear about Aslan, they are having supper
with the beavers. They
hear that Aslan is a lion.
Susan says, “Ooh! I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall
feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” “That you will, dearie, and no
mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan
without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just
silly.” “Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you
hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell
C.S. Lewis, The
Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (pg. 75-76)
This is part of who Jesus is. This is how the elder describes Jesus.
:5 the Root of
I think this is hinting at Isaiah’s prophecy:
shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of
Jesse was the
father of David. The prophecy is that the Messiah would come from the family of David, with
David and Jesse being at the root of the family tree.
But here Jesus is actually the “root” of David.
Jesus is the One who has existed since eternity past.
‘The Lord said
to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’?
Micah hints at this paradox as well:
(Mic 5:2 NKJV) “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among
the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to
be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From
Bethlehem was the city of David, the birthplace of David. The
Messiah would come from Bethlehem, the city of David, but He would be the One
who has existed since eternity past.
Jesus was not only from the root of David, Jesus is the root of all things.
:6 And I looked,
and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in
the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven
horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the
:6 a Lamb
– arnion – a little lamb
It’s not just a “lamb”, but a “little lamb” (diminuitive of “lamb”)
He is introduced
as the “Lion”, but He appears
as a Lamb.
When John the Baptist saw Jesus …
NKJV) The next
day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who
takes away the sin of the world!
John was talking about a sacrificial
lamb. Jesus took on human flesh in order
to be a sacrifice, to pay the price for our sins.
:6 as though it had
been slain – sphazo – to
slay, slaughter, butcher
The Lamb has been slain, but he’s not lying down, he’s standing.
I think you could make the case that Jesus will still have nail-pierced hands and a
wounded side in heaven.
reminders of the price that He’s paid for us.
:6 seven horns …
The Lamb has “perfect” power and “perfect” knowledge.
:6 which are the
seven Spirits of God
The Lamb’s knowledge comes from the Holy Spirit. One strange picture.
:7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on
:7 took the scroll
Is Jesus qualified?
1. He is a
He was fully human, born of the virgin Mary. We’re related.
(Heb 2:14 NKJV) Inasmuch
then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise
shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power
of death, that is, the devil,
2. He paid the price
He is the Lamb that was slain for us.
He was also fully God. He laid down an infinite life to pay an infinite price.
9:24–26 NKJV) —24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which
are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the
presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as
the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would
have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at
the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of
Only One Way
There was only One who was worthy. Jesus
NKJV) Jesus said
to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through Me.
heaven, we will see all the pieces come together.
There is only One who is worthy. Only One who has paid for us.
He also said,
NKJV) For God so
loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in
Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Jesus. Are you trusting in Him?