Sunday School April 29, 2018 Blessings, Glory, and Honor Forever
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Time: About A.D. 96 Place: Patmos
Golden Text: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing (Revelation 6:12).
In John’s day, books were written on scrolls, pieces of papyrus or vellum up to 30 feet long, rolled up and sealed with clay or wax. The scroll John sees contains the full account of what God has in store for the world. Jesus Christ is pictured as both a Lion (symbolizing His authority and power) and a Lamb (symbolizing His submission to God’s will). The apostle John is favored with a sight of the methods of His government as they were all written down in a book he holds in his hands. This book is considered shut up and sealed; God holds this book in His right hand to declare the authority of the book. It is known to none but Himself until He allows it to be opened. It is sealed with seven seals, each part seems to have its particular seal. These seven seals are not unsealed and opened at once, but successively one scene of Providence introducing another and explaining it.
Lesson Outline: I. The Lamb In the Midst of The Throne – Revelation 5:6-7
Revelation 5:6 – 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 for into all the earth. John had entered God’s throne room as part of his vision and saw an angel searching for someone worthy to open a scroll that revealed the world’s destiny. John saw the only One in all the universe who was found worthy to open the scroll, Jesus the Lamb, who was still bearing the marks of having been slain. He had seven horns, representing His majestic power, and seven eyes showing He was all-seeing and all-knowing. Jesus Christ is pictured as both a Lion symbolizing His authority and power and a Lamb symbolizing His submission to God’s will). One of the elders calls John to look at the Lion, but when John looks he sees a Lamb. Christ the Lamb was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, therefore, only He can save us from the terrible events revealed by the scroll. “The Lamb that had been slain” is Christ, whom John the Baptist called “the Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world. In the Bible, “horns” stand for power, strength, and the authority to rule.
Revelation 5:7 – And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. The reception of the scroll from the Father demonstrates that judgment and authority over the earth is committed to the Son; the scroll is likely the same one sealed by Daniel (And he said, Go thy way Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end-Daniel 12:9). The Lamb took the scroll from the right hand of God the Father as He sat on His throne. None in heaven or earth could accept the challenge and undertake the task. None under the earth, none of the fallen angels, Satan himself with all his subtlety couldn’t do it, only Jesus whom God has given Him the authority to be God could take the book from the Father. John saw the Lord Jesus Christ standing in the throne room in the midst of the four living creatures (beasts) and twenty-four elders. The living creatures are probably angels, and the twenty-four elders are most likely the twelve Patriarch and Apostles. When John saw Jesus Christ he could tell He had been slain because He still bore the marks of His crucifixion. John’s description of Jesus being a lamb perhaps the analogy to a lamb refers to His first coming in meekness and His role as a lion to His second coming in power.
Lesson Outline II. The Worship Around The Throne – Revelation 5:8-14
Revelation 5:8 – And when he had taken the book, the four beast 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 the saints. Sancified believers play important role in the Lamb’s opening of the scroll and the ensuing judgment. “Golden Bowls” are also used to pour out God’s wrath on the earth. Immediately, the twenty-four elders and four living creatures surrounding God’s throne fell down before the Lamb to worship Him. The elders had harps and golden bowls of incense. The incense signified the prayers of the saints. God views His people’s prayes as a fragrant offering to Him. Notice, the Bible didn’t say believers, but “saints” indicating those that are submitted to the Word of God, not just believing and not placing any actions behind it. We can’t live any kind of way and expect God to accept our prayers as the smell of sweet fragrance. Daily we should live as though Jesus is coming in a moment, this will eliminate us from living according to our will but the will of God. When we live according to the will of the Father our prayers will be answered.
Revelation 5:9 – And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. “New song” celebrates the redemptive work of the Son as the basis of His right to judge Divine rule has its basis in creation and redemption. People from every nation are praising God before His throne. God’s message of salvation and eternal life is not limited to a specific culture, race or country. Anyone who comes to God in repentance and faith is accepted by Him and will be part of His Kingdom.
Revelation 5:10 – And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. The song of God’s people praises Jesus Christ’s work. He was slain, bought them with His blood, gathered them into His Kingdom, made them priests and appointed them to reign upon the earth. Jesus has already died and paid the penalty for sin, He is now gathering us into His Kingdom and making us priests, and in the future, we will reign with Him. Worship God and praise Him for what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do for all who trust in Him and submit themselves to Him. The saints song praises Jesus Christ for bringing them into the Kingdom and making them kings and priests. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood according to the Word of God (But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praise of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light – 1st Peter 2:9). We have been chosen by God and live through Christ in the beauty of holiness meaning be separated by not practicing sin. Sin is anything that conflicts with the Word of God. When the Bible instructs not to do it, then we shouldn’t do it. When it instructs us to do it then we should be doing what He has instructed by His written Word.
Revelation 5:11 – 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 thousands, and thousands of thousands. Accompanying the creatures and elders is a second group of worshippers, an innumerable host of angels. The phrase “Ten Thousands times ten thousands, and thousands” is not meant to be a mathematical equation but is meant to convey a number beyond calculation. Angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out His work on earth. They bring messages, protect God’s people, often encouragement, give guidance, bring punishment, patrol the earth and fight the forces of evil. There are both good and evil angels, but because evil angels are allied with Satan, they have considerably less power and authority. Eventually, the main role of the good angels will be to offer continuous praise to God.
Revelation 5:12 – 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 blessings. The combined voices of the elders, creatures, and angels then offer their praise to the Lord. They speak with a loud voice because of the majesty of the Lamb. They sang that the Lamb was worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessings. They sang a new song that extolled the worthiness of the Lamb to take the book from the One who sat on the throne because He was slain and has redeemed people from all ethnic groups. They completed their new song by exclaiming the future reign of this great multitude of people.
Revelation 5:13 – 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, to be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever. In essence, this description says that everyone and everything in the universe will join in praising the Lamb. All living creatures ascribed to God the Father and Jesus blessing, honor, glory, and power forever and ever. All of nature and all created beings joined in the worship.
Revelation 5:14 – And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. Only the Lamb, Jesus Christ is worthy to open the scroll, Jesus not Satan holds the future. Jesus Christ is in control, and He alone is worthy to set into motion the events of the last day of history. The worship scene comes to a conclusion as the four living creatures bow and say “amen” and the elders fall down to worship the Lamb. True worship is about the Lord Himself, not about us. Some worship today is about what we do or what we may gain, that does not worship the Lord but it’s about us. True worship is about giving, not getting; we come to give something, we give the Lord our heartfelt worship, appreciation, and gratitude. True worship places a great emphasis on Christ’s death, “For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood”. Lastly, but not least true worship ascribes to the Lamb what He deserves, power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessings. True worship will be our eternal activity. We do not know all that we will do in heaven, but we do know that our time will be filled with regular and unending worship and praise to the Lamb of God, the Christ, our Savior, and Lord.