This sermon is from our expositional study of The Book of Revelation and was preached at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Cherry Log, Georgia on April 6, 2014 by Pastor Paul Mims. You can hear this sermon at

Revelation 5: 1-14We now come to the very heart of the Book of Revelation. This is the Key to understanding the things that will be revealed. This pictures for us the sovereignty of God in human and world affairs. It will remind us who is in charge. It may seem to us that evil is triumphing over good but that will not last long. The reading of this chapter reminds who is in charge. A child needs to know who is in charge in the home. When he goes to school he is told who is in charge. When he goes out into the business world he discovers who is in charge. We are reminded in Revelation that Jesus is head of the church. And to make it more personal as Christians, we are reminded that although evil tries to control us, Jesus is Lord of our lives.

How have you tried to imagine what heaven is like? Today, we are going to get some “inside information.”
The scene in John’s vision now shifts from earth to heaven. Chapter 4 is the introduction to our theme today. “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.

The scene was that of God on the throne in heaven. Surrounding Him were the colors of the rainbow and the brilliant colors of jasper, carnelian, and emerald. Around the throne were twenty four other thrones and seated on them were twenty four elders dressed in white with crowns of gold on their heads. These are thought to be the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles. In Matthew 19:28, Jesus told his disciples, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” From the throne came flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. Before the throne seven lamps were blazing representing the full power of the Spirit of God. Before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne were four living creatures and they were covered with eyes in front and back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. These represent all created life in praise to their creator. Everything that was created has a purpose in the plan of God and is praising Him in this theophany around the throne. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever, the twenty four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

As John looks at the throne he sees a scroll in the hand of God. This is an image of first century writing. It was a rolled up parchment that was written on both sides and was sealed with seven seals which means that it was securely closed. It contained news of the things that “must” take place in the unfolding plan of God after the age of grace. It is interesting that after the letters to the seven churches in chapters two and three, the church is never mentioned again in the Revelation. So when we come to this point we understand that the plan of God for the end times is written on this scroll.

John sees a mighty angel shouting “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” In response to this query no angel came forward. No prophet appeared. No apostle responded. No preacher could do it. No saint of any of the ages was qualified. So no one was found in heaven or in all the expanse of creation in all the centuries who had the qualifications open and look inside the scroll. It was an emotional experience for John to see this and he wept because no one was found. Then one of the elders said to him, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

The angel is describing him who is the only begotten son who qualifies to break the seals and open the scroll. The angel called him, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.” A great truth that this study is impressing upon us is that the Jewish heritage and foundation of our faith is vital to understanding the future as it relates to Israel past and present.

“The Lion of Judah” refers us back to Genesis 49:9. As Jacob is blessing his twelve sons, he says to Judah, “You are a lion’s cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness – who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his.” “The Lion of Judah” became a messianic title for the Jews and was applied to Jesus in this vision. In the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:4, “Judah, the father of Perez” is singled out as the son of Jacob who was in his ancestry line. It is also from Judah that the Jews get their name. So Jesus is seen in this vision as strong as a lion that has triumphed. The Lion was the symbol of the tribe of Judah.

He is also called “The Root of David.” In Isaiah 11:1 it says, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” And in 11:10, “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.” In Matthew 22: 41-46, Jesus asked the Pharisees, “Whose son would Messiah be?” They replied that Messiah would be a son of David.

John said, “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.” Perhaps John had a remembrance of a lamb being slaughtered at the Temple for the sins of the people. The Lamb is pictured as having seven horns which represents complete power and seven eyes which represents the ability to see and understand all things. You remember that John the Baptist said of Jesus at his baptism, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Jesus is referred to as “The Lamb” over twenty-five times in the Revelation.

Then notice what happens – the Lamb approaches the throne and takes the scroll from the hand of him that sat on the throne. This causes the living creatures and the twenty four elders to fall down before him. Each one is holding a golden bowl full of incense which represents the prayers of the saints. Therefore, all of our prayers for God to come and straighten out things in this evil world and show his power have been collected and are about to be answered. We are assured that not one of our prayers is in vain when we pray for the glory of our Lord to be revealed.

The twenty four elders and the four living creatures begin to sing a new song to the Lamb. “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom of priest to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Our missionaries rejoice in this verse. Personally, I think of those that I have had the privilege to tell of Christ in Korea, China, India, Russia, France, Mexico, and several of the Caribbean Islands plus those here in America. Some of them will be among the great heavenly throng singing the songs of praise to our victorious Lord.

Notice that it is a new song that is sung. The Greek language has two words for “new.” “Neos” means new “in point of time.” “Kainos” means new in quality. “Kainos” is used here and means that a song like this has never been sung before. We can read the words in our time, but to hear the heavenly hosts sing it with their praise is a sound that human ears have never heard.

It is a song of redemption that said that because of the Lamb’s sacrificial death he is worthy to take the scroll and break the seals to see what the things are that must happen as history unfolds. He is seen as holding in his hand the destiny of all people. All of the Patriarchs of the Old Testament are singing and bowing at his feet. The Twelve Apostles are singing and holding the golden bowls containing the prayers of the saints. We wonder here who the twelfth apostle is since Judas was an outcast. The church elected Matthias in Acts 1:23-26 to replace Judas, but it is likely the one Jesus chose himself – the Apostle Paul.
Then the angels who were encircling the throne numbering ten thousands times ten thousands began to sing with loud voices, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!

The next chorus came from all of the creation in heaven and on earth singing, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!

Near the end of his life atheist philosopher Jean Paul Sarte told Pierre Victor, “I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.” A fellow philosopher and longtime companion said, “How should one explain the senile act of a turncoat?” He had learned who was in charge. Before long, the whole unbelieving world will know who is in charge as the sovereignty of God is unfolded before us in the breaking of the seven seals.

Worthy is the Lamb to hold your life in his hands. He came to earth for you. He lived for you. He died for you. He was resurrected for you. He ascended for you. He is preparing a place for you. He is coming again for you.

Worthy is the Lamb to save any lost person here today. Worthy is the Lamb to heal any person broken in heart or body. I copied this doxology years ago on a blank page of one of my older Bibles.

“Tis the church triumphant singing
Worthy is the Lamb.
Heaven throughout with praises ringing,
Worthy is the Lamb.

Thrones and powers before Him bending,
Incense sweet and voice ascending,
Swell the chorus never ending,
Worthy is the Lamb.

Every kindred and tongue and nation,
Worthy is the Lamb.
Join to sing the great salvation,
Worthy is the Lamb.

Loud as mighty thunder roaring,
Floods of might and waters pouring,
Prostrate at His feet adoring,
Worthy is the Lamb.

Harps and songs forever sounding,
Worthy is the Lamb.
Mighty grace o’er sin abounding,
Worthy is the Lamb.

By His blood He dearly bought us,
Wandering from the foul He sought us,
Into glory faithful brought us,
Worthy is the Lamb.

Sing with blessed anticipation,
Worthy is the Lamb.
Through the veil and tribulation,
Worthy is the Lamb.

Sweetest notes all notes excelling,
On this theme forever dwelling,
Still untold though ever telling,
Worthy is the Lamb.” (Author Unknown)

PRAISE BE TO HIS NAME! - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

News - Videos - TV - Marketing - Website Design - Commercial Production - Consultation

Search - Citizen Journalists - A place to share “Your” work. Send us “Your” information or tips - 706.276.NEWs (6397) 706.889.9700

Back to Top