¶ 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.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
|.6 ¶ 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.|| Midst
of the throne The Lamb was the focal point. See symbolic diagram.
Four beasts See on re0406. Elders See on re0404.
Stood Now in power. Compare da1102.
Lamb The slaying is past. The Lamb is now alive. John sees a symbolic representation.
Seven horns Complete strength la0203.
Seven eyes As the seven Spirits. He sees or knows all. The seven Spirits of God were seen at Rev. 1:4, 5 re0104.
Sent forth zc0110, zc0605, jn1426, jn1526, jn1607, ga0406.
|.7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.|| Took
the book Christ accepted the commission to break its seals
(judge). This was prefigured by His taking the scroll of Isaiah when handed
to Him in the synagogue. lu0417.
Right hand Representing His power to act ex1506. All have sinned ro0323 and, without the price paid by the slain Lamb, deserve only death. Christ is also our judge jn0522 although the Father presides and is on the throne.
|.8 And 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.|| When
he had taken ... beasts ... elders As the
divine-human link between the redeemed and the Sovereign of the universe.
See on re0404 and
Amazing mediator 1ti0205.
Harps Compare re1402b.
Vials [or "bowls"] full Compare the plague bowls re1601.
Odours Greek thumiama or incense. Our prayers re0802c. The living ones and the elders carry incense burners as they represent us before the throne. They may be judges with Christ in the preadvent judgment as we are with Him in the millennial judgment re2004.
|.9 And 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;|| New
song ... worthy "New" because never before
this time in the history of the universe could it have been sung. Christ
here has returned to heaven after completing the promised sacrifice. He
is ready to assume a new role. Psalm 98 also illuminates this inauguration
and looks forward to righteous judgment which the cross has made possible.
Worthy See on v2 and see Note 1 below.
Wast slain So after the cross. From this and v10 we conclude that this was Pentecost ac0233.
# Note 2, Preparation for His roles by being anointed seven times plus one.
# Note 3, Searching for meaning in the seals.
|.10 And hast made us unto [or "to"] our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.|| Us
... we NU and M texts read "them" and "they."
The issue is the role of the beasts (living ones) and elders of v8 who
are speaking. This commentary holds that the elders are human representatives
of their brothers on earth. See the identity of the elders at re0713.
This means that they would have been redeemed v8.
Kings and priests Or "a kingdom of priests" See on re0106.
On the earth Better, "over the earth" lu2229, re2004.
See the notes for v10.
And 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;
12 Saying 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.
13 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.
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
magnificent Redeemer! - To hear music, Worthy
is the Lamb click.
Being proclaimed worthy in the coronation ceremony is being recognized as priest. Later in Revelation, Christ assumes His role as king re1116, re1912. The two roles may be seen foreshadowed, but not distinguished, in 2 Kings 11. As in the case of our world, a wicked person in the story (Athaliah) had taken over the throne until she would be overthrown and the rightful ruler should crowned. It's an interesting account. 2ki11. Compare re0505, ep0310.
We see the same scene from a different perspective, in chapter 12. When Satan is cast down and the brothers of those speaking from heaven are invited to rejoice re1212.
May Jesus Christ be priest and king in our hearts.
Preparation as high priest, king, and more
Seen in Leviticus
A table summarizing several chapters in the book of Leviticus helps us see the beauty of Christ. Although the same event as we see here in Revelation, we get a deeper insight into the process. Other texts are compared. Go to re0509t. Then you may return to continue with this page.
Seen in the life of Christ
Our Lord was anointed with the approval of the Father seven times. These anointings were for the reception of His crown as priest. In the Leviticus table referred to above, we see the anointing predicted in ceremony. Interpretations of both areas are open to further study.
Son of God
|. . . Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Mark 1:9-11 mr0109) Also in setting up the sanctuary|
|And . . . Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. (Matt. 17:1-5)|
| And there were certain
Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast. The same came therefore
to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying,
Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew
and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come,
that the Son of man should be glorified. . . .
Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. (John 12:20- 29)
| Father, I will that
they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may
behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the
foundation of the world. (John 17:24) This was fulfilled in the Garden
of Gethsemane as follows.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. . . . Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them [a mob with chief priests and Pharisees], Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground [as He was glorified]. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he. . . . (John 18:1-8)
|5||On the cross
|And Jesus said unto him [the thief], Verily I say unto thee To day, shalt thou be with me in paradise. (comma corrected)|
|But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:11-17) Jesus then ascended, received the Father's approval, and returned. We know this because "after eight days" He invited Thomas to touch Him. This was before His final ascension (John 20:26-29).|
| Thou hast ascended
on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for
men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among
them. (Ps. 68:18)
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26). I believe this special outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost was the fruit of being found worthy to open the book and break the seals (Rev. 5)
When Christ comes in glory,
represented by His riding the white horse in chapter 19, He will have "many
crowns" 1912. The anointings
seen above may be understood as a series of coronations. When He ascended
after His time on earth, the angels hailed Him as "the king of glory."
(Ps. 24). The anointings of Christ are worthy of more study and my ideas
could be improved on. As Satan falls in steps 1210a,
Christ is exonerated in steps.
...The anointing by Mary demonstrates your and my acceptance of Christ as Lord and Saviour. Praise God. See jn1203.
|Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. (John 12:1-3)|
|x||At the end
| I beheld till the thrones
were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white
as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like
the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued
and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was
set, and the books were opened. . . .
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Dan. 7:9, 10, 13, 14) The purpose of the judgment (Dan. 7:10) is to identify those who have chosen to be loyal subjects, providing a kingdom. 1115
with reference to the time of the song
|thou wast slain||past tense, the cross|
|and hast redeemed us to God out of every. . . nation||selected and saved, also past|
|and hast made us . . . kings and priests||present qualification for a future work of judgment (3:21; Eph. 3:5-7)|
|and we shall reign||future at this point|
this with Rev. 20
The work of judgment is given to the saints as kings and priests during the thousand years. In harmony here with 5:10, this assignment of authority would begin at the the coming of the Lord when the "dead in Christ" are raised and meet the Lord in the air 1th0415-8. The rest of the dead (not the righteous) stay dead during the thousand years. We will see this more clearly when we come to that chapter. The puzzle needs to be put together slowly and carefully. We can't just pick a verse and expound our ideas. All must finally harmonize.
Our understanding here is based on the position that the coming of Christ is at the beginning of the thousand years. This becomes clearer as we study the sequence of events shown in several places re1911a.
Where do the kings and priests reign?
We should make one more note on verse 10. The phrase, "we shall reign on the earth," may also be translated, "we shall reign over the earth." The "on" would indicate that we will be here at that time. Our reign, as seen in chapter 20, describes judging the wicked who were not taken to heaven. They remain dead on the earth 2005wh. Since, when Jesus comes, He takes the faithful where He went jn1401-3 . That would be heaven ac0109-1. The only ones left on the earth then are the wicked dead. It is over this domain of the wicked dead that the judgment where we will reign sits.
Think of it; reigning with Christ for a thousand years!