Revelation 5:1-15 Part 4


1)    And I did see a scroll on the right of the One sitting on the throne

2)    having been written front and back having been sealed with seven seals.

3)    And I did see a mighty messenger announcing in a great sound, “who worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”

4)    And no one in the heaven or upon the earth or under the earth was enabled to open the scroll or to see it.

5)    And I was weeping greatly because no one worthy had been found to open the scroll or to see it.

6)    And one of the elders says to me, “don’t be weeping!  Lo!  The Lion from the Judah tribe, the David Root, did overcome to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

7)    And in midst of the throne and of the four creatures and in midst of the elders I did see a lamb standing as slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the Spirits of God sending forth into all the earth.

8)    And He did come and He takes from the right of the One sitting upon the throne.

9)    And when He did take the scroll, the four creatures and the twenty four elders fell before the Lamb, each having a lyre and golden bowls filling with incense which are the prayers of the holy ones,

10) and singing new songs, saying “worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, for You were slain, and You did buy for God in Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

11) And You did make them a kingdom, and priests for our God, and they will reign upon the earth.

12) And I did see and hear a sound of many angels and the creatures and the elders around the throne, and was the number of them myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands

13) saying in a great sound, “worthy is the Lamb, the One slain, to receive the power and abundance and wisdom and might and honor and glory and praise.

14) And every creature which is in the heaven, upon the earth and under the earth, and upon the sea, and all things in them I heard saying, “the praise and the honor and the glory and the might into the ages of the ages to the One sitting upon the throne and to the Lamb”.

15) And the four creatures kept on saying “Amen”!  And the elders fell down and paid homage.


We’re still at verse six this morning; and we’ve just seen the recorded prophecies to which the elder-creature refers the apostle John.  The first, having to do with the Lion of the Judah tribe, in Genesis chapter forty-nine as Jacob blesses his fourth son – Judah.  And the second, having to do with the David Root, from three passages of the prophecies of Isaiah.  The One Who is worthy, or able, to open the scroll and to loose it seals, is the One Who is prophesied.

  And our text says that He did “OVERCOME”.  “Lo! The Lion from the Judah tribe, the David Root, did overcome to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (verse six)

First, I want to finish that which we didn’t have time for last Lord’s Day, in that there was one additional passage of Scripture of great importance regarding the “David Root”.  And I refer you to the highly doctrinal letter to the Church at Rome, in which the apostle Paul makes the absolute connection between God the Son and the “root” of Jesse – the father of King David.

In other words, the Word of God – God the Son, was that “root”. King David, not yet conceived in the womb of his mother, was “known” of God the Word, for Creator-God The Word “knew” him in all his parts and all his ways, having, Himself, been the very “root” of His father Jesse; and the “shoot” from that root being David – King of Israel… David himself being promised by God the Word that his son, and his Lord, would occupy his throne forever!

And, further, this passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans then connects the “David Root” to the salvation of the Gentiles in the New Covenant.  Listen to it in chapter fifteen:

7)    Wherefore receive ye one another, even as Christ also received you, to the glory of God.

8)    For I say that Christ hath been made a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, that he might confirm the promises given unto the fathers,

9)    and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, Therefore will I give praise unto thee among the Gentiles, And sing unto thy name.

10) And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.

11) And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; And let all the peoples praise him.

12) And again, Isaiah saith, There shall be the root of Jesse, And he that ariseth to rule over the Gentiles, on him shall the Gentiles hope.

13) 13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of Holy Spirit.


And He, “The Lion from the Judah tribe, the David Root, did overcome to open the scroll and its seven seals.”  I translated “did overcome” here in verse six because the verb “overcome” is in the historical past.  And what the “historical past” means is that this elder-creature is speaking to the apostle John at a time in history that is “later” – after – the time when Jesus “overcame” the world in His crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, reception into the heaven, and His glorification.

I refer you back to chapter three where Jesus sends a message to the Church at Laodicea, at verse 21:


“I will give to him who overcomes to sit with Me in My seat as I overcame and did sit with My Father in His seat.”


Now, having said that, I’m going to spend just a little time here with this word “overcome” because of its place in the theology of “victory”.  It was especially important to the seven Churches to which the risen and ascended Jesus sent messages, since he constantly urged them to overcome.  And therefore it is of great importance to us as well; and not only is it important to our remaining steadfast in the faith, but also to our eschatological hope and anticipation of what is to be.

We can’t read this word; we can’t hear this word; we can’t use this word “overcome” and retain a pessimistic eschatology!  The command from our Lord to “overcome” (on the one hand), and holding to a pessimistic eschatology (on the other) are mutually exclusive!

The word group which is liberally dispersed through the New Testament, and which is found in the Greek translation of the Hebrew old testament has, at its base, the idea of standing innocent before the judgment.  And it is striking to realize that the titles of fifty-five of the one hundred and fifty Psalms have this word in them.  Properly translated, “Into the overcoming”, or “into the victory”, is the meaning of those titles.  And the reference is to a superiority that is obvious to all!  The decisive victory isn’t won by the achievements of men, but by the Christ.

And as we said when preaching through the messages from Jesus to the Churches, those who would “overcome” were those who acknowledged that superiority, those who hoped in the decisive victory of the One Who, Himself, overcame, and those who were “faithful” to the Victorious One.  These are the ones who would stand victorious and innocent in the judgment

Great tribulation – mega-tribulation – was coming.  It was “near” Jesus said.  And those in the Churches who “anticipated” a complete victory in the risen and ascended Lord were the ones who Jesus described as “overcomers” – victorious in Him and with Him!  These are to ones who would stand with Him and then sit with Him in His seat!

The enemies of Jesus were to operate under a fatal self-delusion – that there was no decisive victory and that there would be no complete victory in history.  All would just continue on in the chaos of wars and rulers and sin and death as it always had.

But Jesus laid all of that to rest when He spoke to His disciples before His crucifixion and resurrection.  It’s recorded in John’s Gospel, chapter sixteen.  Listen:


32) Behold, the hour comes, yea, is come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

33) These things have I spoken unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation: but be confident; I have overcome the world.


So, you see, the word “overcome” is an eschatological word.  It is a word applied to men by our Lord Himself.  He is decisively victorious on the cross; decisively victorious over death and hades; decisively victorious in His ascent into the heaven; and decisively victorious in His having been crowned King of Kings.

And those in the Churches who acknowledged the victory of the Lion of Judah and the David Root, and who were “faithful” to Him, and who anticipated His ultimate victory over the world order, in history, were “overcomers” who would sit with Him on His throne.

On the other hand, those in the Churches who were pessimistic about the victory of David’s Son and David’s Lord, and therefore were not faithful to Him, were not overcomers.  And they would not sit with Him on His throne!

Now, considering the messages to the seven Churches directly from the mouth of our risen Lord to the apostle John (all of which are carefully recorded by him), and considering the praise heaped upon those in the Churches who were “overcomers”, and considering the dire threats to those in the Churches who were unfaithful to the decisively victorious Christ Jesus, it’s as clear as “mud” to me as to why anyone who is a student of the Bible would ever reach an accord with a pessimistic eschatology!

In the letters to the Churches, it was those who were pessimistic as to the decisive and ultimate victory of Jesus Christ who were the unfaithful ones.  And it was those who were steadfast in their assurance of that victory, and in reliance upon that victory, that were the “overcomers”!

It was Jesus Himself Who said to His disciples, “be confident.  I have overcome the world (order)”.  As He said to the Church at Philadelphia:

I come quickly!  Hold fast what you have, in order that no one might take your crown.


“I will make the one overcoming a pillar in the temple of My God; and he shall then by no means go out.  And I will write on him the Name of My God and the Name of the City of My God, the New Jerusalem, the One that descends out of the heavens from My God, and My Own new name.”


And as He said to the Church at Laodicea:

“I will give to him who overcomes to sit with Me in My seat as I overcame and did sit with My Father in His seat.”


And that’s the message that this elder-creature brings to the apostle, isn’t it?  “Don’t be weeping!  Lo!  The Lion from the Judah tribe, the David Root, did overcome to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

“I have overcome”, He said to His disciples.  “The Lion from the Judah tribe, the David Root, did overcome…” said the elder-creature. 

He was faithful to the One from Whom He came; He was victorious over every conspiracy to interfere with the occurrence of His birth; He was victorious over satanic temptations.  He was victorious over every treasonous scheme to cause Him to contradict His Own Word; like a sheep lead to the slaughter, He laid down His life in order that He might “take it up again” in victory over death and hades; He was victorious over the sin of the world as He entered once into the Holy of Holies – the High Priest and the Offering for the sin of His Father’s elect; and He is also victorious over the entire creation, for it is written that every knee shall bend and acknowledge that He is Lord.  And, as the apostle Paul said, the earth itself groans for its final redemption!  The entire creation “knows” that it is to be redeemed!  He has overcome!

And therefore, as the elder-creature tells John, this One is worthy!  He was mighty to overcome.  He has conquered.  He is victorious; and He is “able” to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.

So the Lord Jesus Christ, crucified, buried, risen and ascended is presented in the most fundamental way possible as the center of all of history – the Divine Root as well as the Branch, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega.  It is as the victorious and conquering Lion of Judah and the Providential Root of the resurrection and restoration of all things that He has prevailed to occupy the preeminent position in all of creation and all of its history.

And then John looks, and “in midst” of the throne, and surrounded by the elder-creatures, there appears – not a lion, and not a root – (there appears) a Lamb.  The Lamb is in midst of the throne; and He is standing “as slain”.  Not “like” He was slain, but standing “as” One Who was slain.  And John beholds the Lion of Judah and the David Root.  The One about Whom the elder-creature was speaking is identical to the Lamb as slain; and, in fact, IS the Lamb slain.

I don’t think there’s anything more important for us now than to proceed through the Scripture to glean what we can regarding the Lamb of God.  And then we’ll continue this all-important subject next time. 

So, to that end, let’s just begin with the most recognizable passage having to do with God’s Lamb.  This is the Gospel of John, chapter one.  And while you’re listening, please remember that John the Baptizer was born before Jesus:


28) These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29) On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Lo, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!

30) This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man who is become before me: for he was before me.

31) And I knew him not; but that he should be made manifest to Israel, for this cause came I baptizing in water.

32) And John bare witness, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon him.

33) And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize in water, he said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, the same is he that baptizeth in Holy Spirit.

34) And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.

35) Again on the morrow John was standing, and two of his disciples;

36) and he looked upon Jesus as he walked, and saith, Lo, the Lamb of God!

37) And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.


It’s obvious that John the Baptizer was inspired of Holy Spirit to recognize God’s Lamb when he saw Him.  After all, we are informed in Scripture that Mary, pregnant with the baby Jesus, when she visited with John the Baptizer’s mother, pregnant with the Baptizer, that John leapt in his mother’s womb at the presence of the Son of God.

But, although he was, indeed, inspired of Holy Spirit to recognize and know God’s Lamb when he saw Him, John was also very familiar with all of the older Scripture prophesying the appearance of the Lamb Who was to be sacrificed for the sin of the world.  And, as recorded by the apostle John, the Baptizer uses the word “LO” twice with regard to the appearance of the Lamb, indicating the fullness of the prophetic Word – the Fullness of the Law and the prophets!

Also please remember that it is in this same first chapter of the Gospel of John, and before the appearance of Jesus to the Baptizer, that the apostle tells us this:


14) And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth.


John the Baptizer understands that God’s Lamb Who takes away the sin of the world is that Word made flesh; and that’s why He said that Jesus “is become” before him, and that John isn’t “worthy” to loose the latchet of His shoes.  And that’s also the reason that the Baptizer quotes from Isaiah when he’s speaking to the Pharisees in that first chapter, saying, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord”.

You see, this Lamb of God is the Lord!  And He is prophesied all through the entirety of the older Scripture.  So let’s see a few of the most eminent passages having to do with God’s Lamb.  And the first has to be Genesis chapter twenty-two:


7)    And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father. And he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold, the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt-offering?

8)    And Abraham said, God will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son. So they went both of them together.

9)    And they came to the place which God had told him of. And Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.

10) And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

11) And the angel of Yahveh called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham. And he said, Here I am.

12) And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him. For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.

13) And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son.

14) And Abraham called the name of that place Yahveh-jireh. As it is said to this day, In the mount where Yahveh appears.

15) And the angel of Yahveh called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven,

16) and said, By myself have I sworn, saith Yahveh, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son,

17) that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore. And thy seed shall possess the gate of His enemies.

18) And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.


Yahveh-jireh means “Yahveh provides”.  He did not withhold HIS only Son!  The “seed”, according to the apostle Paul, is Jesus Christ the Lamb of God – our Lord – in Whom are all of God’s elect from every nation of the earth.

The next passage having to do with God’s Lamb has to be, of course, Exodus chapter twelve.  Listen carefully:


1)    And Yahveh spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

2)    This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

3)    Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household:

4)    and if the household be too little for a lamb, then shall he and his neighbor next unto his house take one according to the number of the souls; according to every man's eating ye shall make your count for the lamb.

5)    Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old: ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats:

6)    and ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at even.

7)    And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two side-posts and on the lintel, upon the houses wherein they shall eat it.

8)    And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

9)    Eat not of it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roast with fire; its head with its legs and with the inwards thereof.

10) And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.

11) And thus shall ye eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is Yahveh's passover.

12) For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am Yahveh.

13) And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

14) And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to Yahveh: throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.


Now, after an extensive account of the law of the offerings in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, in which one-year-old lambs without spot are required for the whole-burnt-offering (all of which, by the way, are explicit likenesses of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God), (after the law of the offerings) comes the prophets.  And chapter fifty-three of Isaiah is the first to come to mind for anyone who loves the Bible.  Listen:


1)    Who hath believed our message? and to whom hath the arm of Yahveh been revealed?

2)    For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form, nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3)    He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not.

4)    Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5)    But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6)    All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Yahveh hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7)    He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.


And, lastly, the apostles themselves were not slack in their acknowledgment of the Lamb of God prophesied throughout the older Scripture.  Here’s the apostle Peter in chapter one of his first letter to the refugees all through the nations – refugees from the great tribulation to come in Israel:


13) Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind, be sober and set your hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14) as children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in the time of your ignorance:

15) but like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living;

16) because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.

17) And if ye call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to each man's work, pass the time of your sojourning in fear:

18) knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers;

19) but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ:

20) who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the end of times for your sake,

21) who, through him, are believers in God, Who raised him from the dead and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God.


For a little while next Lord’s Day, we’ll enter into the glorious doctrine of the atonement wrought by the Lamb of God.  But, for now, please note that the word “standing” here in our text implies an abiding condition.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, the foreknown before the foundation of the world, ever remains the One slain for the sin of the world.