Prophecy – Part 56, The Picture of Things Hereafter, Revelation 5:1-4
As we stopped our study last time we were examining the fact that God DESERVES PRAISE. We saw from Scripture that God is eternal and nothing can hinder Him because He is Sovereign.
We also considered that ALL the world is to praise God for His eternal existence. We also finished our study of the Elders of Revelation and their function, etc. connecting their function with our function as Christians in the Age of Grace.
Today we continue the same scene of God’s throne that we saw in Revelation chapter four. Perhaps it would help us in our study if we did not break between chapters four and five. Why? Because it is the same throne room that is being looked at in chapters 4 and 5.
Today, as we begin our study, God is again seen sitting upon His throne. The change in the scene is that He is holding a sealed book in His right hand. It has NEVER been opened. The importance of the sealed book cannot be over-emphasized. Why? Because the book is the key to understanding the rest of the book of Revelation and the climactic events of the universe.
NOTE: We might view the sealed book or scroll as the OFFICIAL DOCUMENT of the last days of human history. The world’s future is about to be unfolded before our eyes (Revelation 4:1; 5:1).
John sees God holding the book in His right hand. The picture shows God extending the book outward, poised to hand it to someone. He is looking for someone who is worthy enough to open it and carry out what is necessary to oversee the ending events of earth’s history (loose the seals) (5:2).
NOTE: The fact that God Himself is holding the book shows us several important facts:
- God is the Supreme Authority over the end of the world, which includes the destiny of mankind.
- He governs all the events of history both upon earth and throughout the universe.
- God holds the future in His hands, the destiny of the world.
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever” (I Timothy 1:17).
“And I heard as if it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God, omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6). Can you praise God as your Savior?
“The LORD shall reign for ever and ever” (Exodus 15:18).
WHAT WE ARE SEEING IS AWESOME, NOTICE:
- God is ready to carry out and execute His plans.
- God is ready to begin the events of the end time.
- God is ready for the end of the world to begin.
- God is ready for the only One who is qualified TO STEP FORWARD, someone who can take the book out of His hand and begin opening the seals OF THE END TIMES.
That One can only be God Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ. Only God Himself can oversee and carry out the end time events. Remember, the Book of Revelation is all about the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God!
NOTE: The book is written on both the front and back of the pages (Revelation 5:1). The book was actually a roll or scroll. Remember, there were no printing presses or books as we know them back then.
The fact is that the events of the end time are being offered. God is waiting for someone who is qualified to step forward and take the book. This shows us that God is going to reveal a great deal about the end time.
The writing and size of the scroll indicates that it will take a great deal of time to reveal the contents of the scroll. As we dig into the book of Revelation we should become excited as we review the end times and our final home.
The book is sealed with seven seals which shows us several things:
- To compare the book of seven seals to our time we might see the book with seven seals like the last will and testament of God. In the Roman world of that time a man’s will had to be witnessed by seven people, with the man placing his own seal on the document.
- The seven seals show us that the book is large; it has a great deal of material in it. This means:
- That there are a lot of events that are included in the end time; there are many events that are about to take place. God is so awesome and in His book He is telling YOU that you can know some of that which will take place SOON (Revelation 1:1)!
- That God is going to reveal much to man [YOU] as soon as someone is found worthy enough to open the book [scroll] (Revelation 5:1-4).
- Remember, for the one who hears, studies AND APPLIES the book of Revelation God has a very special blessing. Will you be one of those who will receive that blessing? You can be, for that is exactly what God says and He cannot lie (See Revelation 1:3)!
- Let me say to you who fear this book, that as a Christian you have nothing to fear but everything to gain as you study this awesome message to YOU!
“What shall we then say to these things? IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?” (Romans 8:31, emphasis added, KJV).
“Ye are of God [saved], little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4, emphasis added, KJV).
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in ALL these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US. For I AM PERSUADED, THAT NEITHER death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, NOR THINGS TO COME, nor height, nor depth, nor another creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39, emphasis added, KJV).
Now, let’s review the search for one worthy to open the book and point us to the end times. Note several interesting, but wonderful facts that point our thinking to the fact that when God is involved, never, never, never give up, even when it seems impossible.
“I can do ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13, emphasis added, KJV).
“But MY God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, emphasis added, KJV). All your needs will be supplied when walking in the spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galations 5:16) even thou it may seem impossible.
Note: John saw the strong angel – an angel so strong that he could shout throughout the universe and be heard by all in both heaven and earth. He shouted a message that penetrated the entire universe, all of earth and heaven. “…Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals thereof?” (Revelation 5:2).
This shows us how supreme and majestic God really is. Are you not blessed realizing that this is your God who is at work? He is so far above all the creatures that this search of heaven and earth produced no one who was worthy. No one being in heaven or on earth was worthy to approach God and open the book.
No statesman, no educator, no scientist, no minister [pastor or missionary], no prophet, no astrologer, no magician, no person under the earth, no person from the dead — as great as some have been in history was found worthy to open the book.
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (I Corinthians 2:7-8, emphasis added, KJV).
“But the natural man (unsaved) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” I Corinthians 2:14, emphasis added, KJV).
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4, emphasis added, KJV).
“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18, emphasis added, KJV).
This awesome search FAILS, and John breaks down and cries bitterly. Why? Because John saw something that he had never seen before (Revelations 4:2-3):
- the greatness of God,
- the supreme majesty and glory of God,
- how far superior God is to all living creatures,
- that all creatures, both of heaven and earth were so far short of God’s glory and majesty they could not approach God, and
- that God broke John in humility and with a sense of his own unworthiness John wept bitterly at his own unworthiness before God who is so high and lifted up.
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost [Holy Spirit], and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11, emphasis added, KJV).
“The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed’ ” (Mathew 8:8, emphasis added, KJV, See also Matthew 10:38; Luke 3:8; Luke 15:19,21; Luke 21:3).
John had another reason for weeping, he was not going to be able to see the future of the world, the events of the end time. Put yourself in John’s shoes. He had been promised that he would see these things which MUST BE HEREAFTER (Revelations 4:1). However, now he was not going to see them. If no one could take the book and open it.
Why? Because there was no person worthy to approach God and open the book. Can you imagine the frustration that John must have felt? He and all other beings of heaven and earth were far too short of God to understand and execute the will of God for the end time.
“Watch ye therefore, and PRAY ALWAYS, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36, emphasis added, KJV).
“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter‘ ” (John 13:7, emphasis added, KJV).
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now” (John 16:12, KJV).
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (I Corinthians 13:12, emphasis added, KJV).
The reason no person is worthy to open this book is because of its contents. The book is the destiny of the world – what is to happen in the end time of the world. Revelation chapters 6-21 show this clearly.
Maybe you will feel some of John’s frustrations because we will have to wait till next week before we will dig further into this important section.
As we leave this week, we trust that you will join with us as the book is opened. I would like to challenge you to think about salvation and God’s FREE GIFT OF SALVATION, if you have not accepted God’s Son as your personal Savior.
Wouldn’t it be great to be a “joyful disciple of Christ” instead of not knowing where you will spend eternity? You can know for certain where you will spend eternity, if you want to know. Did you know that? Listen to God, who cannot lie.
“For God so loved the world [YOU], THAT he gave his ONLY BEGOTTEN SON that whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, emphasis added, KJV).
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