The Vision of the Throne Room: The Lamb and the Scroll
1And 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.
The vision here is a continuation of chapter 4. God the Father sits on the throne. Next to that throne is a scroll written on both sides. It is sealed with seven seals. This image only sets up the rest of the metaphors so there is little interpretation that needs to be done at this time except perhaps with regard to the seals. In the book of Daniel, Daniel asks the question concerning the end of his people. He is then told to seal up the prophecy for the time is not yet (Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9). Now is the time of the fulfillment of that prophecy, which from Daniel 9 we know to be the 70th seven. I believe that the seven seals are related to this 70th seven, not chronologically but typologically. It represents an unsealing of what Daniel saw that he was not allowed to show in his book.
2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
The strong messenger here represents all the mightiest of those around the throne who could not open the seals. No mere angel (celestial or otherwise) is worthy (has the authority) to unseal what Jehovah God has commanded sealed.
3And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
Very simply, there were none found up to this point with the authority to open the scroll and read its contents.
4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
John weeps because none had the authority to open the book. The import to a former Jew concerning the end of his people, whom he still loves, sealed in the time of Daniel, appears as if (for the moment) it will remain forever a mystery.
5And 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.
John is consoled by one of the visionary elders. A new figure is described by the elder by titles we know to be Christ:
A. the Lion of the tribe of Judah…Edit
Throughout the Old Testament prophecies the lions are representative of kings (e.g. Ezekiel 19:1-9). This king of Judah is none other than the “King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37) Jesus, who is in reality King of Spiritual Israel.
B. the Root of David…Edit
C. hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof…Edit
Christ has the strength/power/authority to break the seals and bring about the end Daniel asked about, that Jehovah had commanded him to seal up.
6And 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.
In the last verse, one of the elders states that the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has the authority to open the book. When John finally sees this Lion/Shoot it is a Lamb.
A. stood a Lamb as it had been slain,...Edit
The lamb of God (John 1:29) which was slain on our behalf.
B. having seven horns...Edit
C. and seven eyes,...Edit
From Zechariah 4:10.
D. which are the seven Spirits of God...Edit
The horns and the eyes are both connected to the seven spirits of God here. Again, the capitalization is wrong. God only has one Spirit, not seven. The seven spirits are the lamp stands (4:5) which are the seven churches (1:20). So the horns and the eyes are parts of the body of Christ tied to the seven churches of Asia in this book.
E. sent forth into all the earth...Edit
Specifically John is seeing here a vision of the coming leadership role and the providence of Christ working through the seven churches of Asia in preparation for the fall of Jerusalem. These seven spirits are the Christians bringing John’s warning to the church in Palestine (the earth) of what is about to come.
7And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
Only Jesus has the authority to come and take something from His Father. This is the image of the passing of authority from Father to Son. The book represents Daniel’s vision of the end of the Jews over which God the Father formerly ruled until they rejected Him (1 Samuel 8:7). Now Christ is bringing about that end to establish the new, spiritual Israel over which He rules.
8And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
A. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb,...Edit
Only God is worthy of worship. As Jesus takes the book, the four beasts and twenty four elders bow to worship Him, acknowledging that He is God and worthy of worship.
B. having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.Edit
These twenty eight worshippers are pictured with both harps and golden vials of incense. It is imperative that we remember that this is a metaphor, a book of symbols. The harps and the vials represent the prayers of the saints. The emblem here is that all the church of God worships Christ, specifically praying through Christ to God the Father.
9And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
A. And they sung a new song, saying,...Edit
This new song is a song of praise to Christ. Again, singing is an act of worship. They honor Christ with their worship, once again showing Him to be God.
B. Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof:...Edit
The song praises Christ for being God, for having the authority to take the book and open it.
C. for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy bloodEdit
He has this authority now because of what He did on the cross. Note specifically that these that worship God in John’s vision are saying “you have redeemed “us”, further denoting these as representative of the church, the body of the saved.
D. out of every kindred [tribe], and tongue, and people, and nation;...Edit
Salvation was to the Jew first then to the Gentile. The great mystery of the gospel was the salvation of the Gentiles. The church is comprised of all kinds of people of all nations, not just the Hebrews.
10And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Christians are of royal heritage as the adopted children of God through the blood of Christ. By Him we are all made priests, able to communicate to God without need of a human go between such as the Levitical priests. Read (1 Corinthians 4:8; 2 Timothy 2:12). These verses will come into play more and more through the book of Revelation as we understand the nature of the reign over the earth by Christians. This is a looking forward to the reign after the events of Revelation come to completion.
11And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
John hears all those who are for the cause of Christ around the throne. Everyone on God’s side is represented here.
12Saying 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.
They all praise Christ as the one with the right to be given the authority (Matthew 28:18) and all the rest with regard to the next verse. This praise is given not in a literal, active voice by individuals, but because all who are doing the worshipping are following the part given to them to play, moved by God as the ultimate chess player, just like in Ezekiel.
13And 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.
A. And every creature...Edit
This is the creature of Romans 8:19-23, the human being.
B. 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,...Edit
Rulers, the people they rule, the dead, and even the Gentiles...
C. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever...Edit
Worship is given to God the Father and God the Son for what they are about to do to change the world forever.
14And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
More worship for the great I AM. In Truth and Love.