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Revelation 5:8-14 “The Worship Of The Lamb”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 The Worship Of The Lamb…

Revelation 5:8-14 KJV

(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.
(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;
(10)  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
(11)  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.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Chapter 5 continues the vision began in chapter 4.  In chapter four, we saw the worship of the spirits of the saints that surround the throne of God in heaven. Then in the beginning of chapter 5 we saw the Lamb being given the scroll.

Now, in the later part of chapter 5, we will see three different groups worshipping the Lamb for the great work He has done on their behalf (the redeemed in heaven vs 8-10; the angels vs 11-12; all creation vs 13-14)..

A very brief outline of this section of Scripture:
1.  Vision Of Heaven 4:1-5:14
2.  Worship Before The Throne  (4:1-11)
3.  The Throne Of God (vs 1-5)
4.   The Four Beast’s  & Elders Worship Of God (vs 6-11)
5.  The Scroll And The Lamb (5:1-7)
6.  Worship Of The Lamb (5:8-14)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

 

Revelation 5: –

 

(8)  And when he had taken the book,

This part of John’s vision (begun in Rev 4:1) takes place immediately following the Lamb’s receipt of the sealed scroll (which symbolizes Christ possessing the ability and authority to control the events of this world and grant His eternal inheritance to the saints of God).

 

the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb,

As the Lamb receives the scroll, the elders and beasts fall to their faces before the Lamb, which shows us their humble spirit of appreciation and their desire to honor and worship the Lamb.  They are doing this to praise Christ for His faithfulness to the Father, culminating in His death and resurrection, which allows Him to receive the authority and ability to control all the events of this world that lead up to the saint’s receipt of their eternal inheritance.

The beasts and elders will be seen acting in synchronization throughout this passage.  Please keep in mind that both of these groups symbolize the saints of God.  This is one reason of several why they are shown acting in unison.

 

having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

The elders and beasts possess both harps and golden bowls of incense.  We are told that the bowls of incense represent the pleasing nature and ascension of their prayers to Christ.  Perhaps, the harps also represented the pleasing nature of their prayers as they entered the ears of the listeners (God, Christ, and the angels). Or, perhaps, the harps simply emphasize the worshipful nature of their prayers.

In either case, both the harps and the bowls of incense reflect truths related to their prayers.

 

(9)  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof:

They jointly sing a “new” song of praise to the Lamb.  Why is it called a “new” song?   There are two reasons why their song of praise is described as new:

 

  1. this song is about being made new by the blood of Christ. We become new creatures with new desires, new lifestyles, new reasons for living, new family relationships, new national citizenship and a new inheritance.  The list goes on and on.

 

  1. this song is a different type of song than was sung by the saints in the OT times. Then, because Christ had not yet come to the earth, they did not understand all the details of the Messiah’s work on their behalf. Now, following Christ’s work, the saints more clearly understand what He has done for them and can sing with much more specificity.

 

  1. this song is about a new order being initiated through the death of Christ. Prior to Christ’s coming the OT ceremonial laws were actively used to display the coming work of the Messiah and the Old Testament was the only source of divine revelation.  Now, following Christ’s death, the ceremonial laws were done away, the rite of circumcision has been made obsolete, the worship place of God has been changed, and a new revelation from God has begun (New Testament).  These and many other differences have brought about a new way of worship and service of our Lord.

 

All of these make this song a wonderfully “new” song bringing honor to Christ.

 

for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

In this song, the saints reveal the basis of Christ’s worthiness to receive of the scroll… His death, and the resultant work of redemption of His people.  His people are called from every family, language, social group and national citizenship.

The word “us” (in vs 9-10) is referring back to the singers (beast and elders) of this song.  Folks, this plainly tells us that the elders and beasts must be symbolic of the saints (those who are saved by God’s grace).  They are the ones for whom Christ died and they are the ones who are redeemed by His blood.

 

Please note: There are certain translations of the Bible that change the word “us” to “them” or a generic term like “men”.  By doing this, they are implying that those who are singing do not, necessarily, represent those who are saved.  I disagree with those translations.

The word “us” is a translation of the Greek word “hemas” which is always translated in the KJV Bible in the first person (“us”, “we” or “our”).  Also, there are many translations including the KJV, SLT, EMTV, ACV etc. that translate this passage with “us”. This helps us to understand this is the proper translation of this passage.

Also, contextually, there is nothing that prohibits this translation, but there is much material from Revelation that supports it.  Other proofs of the identity of the elders and beasts as the saints of God will be presented later in our studies which will also support the translation “us” in this passage.

 

(10)  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

The elders and beasts continue to praise the Lord for making them “kings and priests”.  They are made “kings” in the sense they are given authority to be overcomers on this earth and to have perfect dominion on the New Earth (which is a part of their eternal inheritance).

They are said to be made “priests” because they are given direct access to the very presence God.  They do not need to speak to God through another man but they can pray directly to Him.  In eternity, they will be allowed to be physically present with God on the New Heavens and New Earth (another part of their inheritance).

 

(11)  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;

Following the worship of the saints, we now have more than 100 million heavenly angels joining into the song of praise.

 

(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.

As the angels join in the singing the subject of the song no longer speaks of Christ’s death on their behalf and the resultant blessings, but now places their attention solely on the worthiness of Christ.

This is a very important transition, since the angels are not redeemed through the shed blood of Christ, they can only sing that He deserves great honor and blessings for His death on behalf of the saints of God.  This is another indicator that the beasts and elders represent those who are saints of God (those who are redeemed through His blood) in comparison to angels that are not redeemed.

The elders, beasts and angels proclaim that Christ deserves the receipt of:

  1. power – strength to accomplish any task
  2. riches – possess of all valuable items
  3. wisdom – insight into the true nature of things
  4. strength – knowledge and capability to do anything
  5. honor – to be perceived as possessing great value
  6. glory – to be outwardly praised for being greatly valuable
  7. blessing – to be spoken well by others

If you notice these speak of two basic principles (power, riches, wisdom, and strength) speak of Christ’s POSSESSION OF perfect attributes, authority and ability etc.

While (honor, glory, and blessing) speak of Christ’s DESERVING TO BE GIVEN the appropriate worship, reverence, respect and fear of men, angels and all other members of creation.

 

 

(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, 

As this song progresses, the remaining portion of creation (“every creature”) now joins this song of praise.

The remaining parts of creation are described as:

  1. in heaven – astronauts, pilots, sun, moon, stars, birds, flying insects etc
  2. on earth – all living men, crawling insects, animals, lizards, mountains, streams, rivers, plant-life, fallen angels, Satan etc
  3. under the earth – miners, wells of water, burrowing animals and insects, bodies of the dead, inhabitants of hell, fallen angels. molten lava, etc
  4. in sea – fish, lobsters, sailors, whales etc
  5. all that are in creation – anything and everything that is created by God.

All of God’s creation now sings along with the saints and heavenly angels…

 

Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

All of God’s creation now sings praise to God and the Lamb for who they are and what they have done. They give to both God and the Lamb:

  1. blessing – they speak well of Them both
  2. honour – they perceive both of Them to be of great worth
  3. glory – they outwardly praise Them for
  4. power – they acknowledge They possess the dominion over all creation

 

(14)  And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

To close the song the saints of God (beasts) acknowledge the truthfulness of the song “AMEN” and then the saints (those who are eternally blessed of God) bow down and worship God.

Here we find, a difference in the reaction of the beasts and the elders.  Why is there a difference?

Remember, the beasts are representative of those who possess eternal life through Christ and His work.  Why would they say “AMEN” (a word that represents recognition, agreement and acceptance)?  Perhaps it is to teach us that only those who possess eternal life can come to an understanding and agreement with the worship of God and the Lamb.  Those who are spiritually dead CANNOT come to an understanding of the truths of God and will actively, or passively, oppose the worship of God and the Lamb on the earth.

The elders, who are representative of saints as the recipients of God’s eternal blessings, respond by bowing down and worshipping.  Why might this be?  They are acknowledging that all of their blessings (including their right to reign as Kings and Priests) only comes through the gracious work of God and Christ.  They are nothing of themselves.  Therefore they respond in humble submission to the God and the Lamb after hearing this song that presents Their greatness so clearly.  This reminds of the elders casting their crowns at the feet of God in humble acknowledgement that God deserves all the rewards they had received for faithful service (Rev 4:10).

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text we have seen Christ presented as the Deserving Lamb of God.  He is deserving of all the divine blessings of authority and power given to Him.  He is deserving of mankind’s absolute submission and worship with their entire being.

Why is He deserving of such great and wonderful blessings?  In the shedding of His blood we can see that He successfully accomplished the task at hand, He was faithful in fulfilling the desires of the Father, and He was willing to give His life for those He loved.  All of these prove beyond doubt He is deserving of our total commitment as well as God’s exaltation to His right hand.

What a wonderful, faithful Lord that we serve!

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

We have seen the honor, praise and worship of our Lord set before us in the song that has been sung.  Folks just as the heavenly saints, elect angels, and all creation honoring Christ, so too, should each one of us left here on earth.

We should have on our minds, daily, what He has so graciously done for us.  In response we should be appreciative and willing to give our all to Him.  Then, this desire to give our all should translate into living lives that are living sacrifices of service to Christ.  One of the greatest encouragements to serve Him daily is a proper appreciation of His great work on our behalf.  Likewise, one of the greatest hindrances to our faithful service is a forgetful spirit and lack of appreciation not recognizing all the blessings He has, is, and will bestow upon us.

May we all seek to come to a better recognition and appreciation of all our Lord has done for us as we seek to live our lives for His glory and honor.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    Thanks for a good read Rob

  2. Ann-Louise G says:

    Amen! Thanks for sharing this wonderful exposition of Revelation 5 and of the honor and glory due our Savior’s Name.

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this devotional!

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