Revelation Study Guide: Week 10, Chapter 5
By Coty Pinckney
Read chapter 5 of Revelation at least three times, without looking at notes or commentaries. Look again at Ezekiel 1, and read Ezekiel 2:1-3:4.
(1) Look ahead into chapter 6 enough to get a feel for the content of this scroll. What does "being worthy" have to do with being able to open this scroll? What happens when the seals are broken? What is it about Jesus that makes Him worthy to open the scroll? Consider John 8:7.
(2) Why does John weep in verse 4? Why does the lack of a worthy person produce such grief?
(3) In verse 5, we are told that the Lion of Judah, the Root of David has "overcome" or "triumphed," depending on the translation you use. The word is the same one repeated in the promises that conclude the letters to the churches in chapters 2 and 3. Look at these promises again, especially 3:21. How did Jesus overcome or triumph in a way that makes Him worthy to open this scroll?
(4) Who is speaking in verse 5? See Isaiah 11:1-10 for Root, and Genesis 49:9. What is Jacob prophesying about Judah? How was that fulfilled? Why are these titles -- "Lion of Judah, Root of David" -- important?
(5) When John looks at the beginning of verse 6, what does he expect to see? What does he see? What is the purpose of this surprise?
(6) A literal translation of the position of the Lamb: "in the midst of the throne, and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb ..." "Midst" is mesos; Mesopotamia means "the land in the midst of the rivers." Mesos is also used for "middle," "center," or "most prominent position." For example, in Mark 3:3 Jesus says to the man with the withered hand, "Rise up into the mesos," which is rendered in the NASB: "Rise and come forward." So picture the throne, the lamb, the four living creatures, and the elders. Where is the Lamb? Why is this strange (and important)?
(7) Identify three characteristics of the lamb that John notes, and explain why each is important. See also Deuteronomy 33:17, Psalm 18:2, and Zechariah chapters 3 and 4. Also recall Rev 1:4 and 3:1.
(8) In verse 8, why do the elders and creatures fall down before the lamb? What is the implication of this action?
(9) Compare the songs sung to the Lamb in verses 9, 10, 12, and 13 to the praise spoken to God the Father in 4:8 and 4:11. How are they similar? How are they different? Note who says the words, and how they are said, in addition to the words themselves.
(10) Compare verses 13 and 11 with verse 3. To whom was the angel with the loud voice speaking in verse 3? What is their eventual reaction?
Read Wilcock pages 68-69, and Stedman's sermon on this passage, then reconsider your answers.
Finally, reread chapters 4 and 5, recalling the insights you have gained into these chapters. Spend some time in prayer, meditating on what you have learned about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Immediately after this period of time, if possible listen to the last chorus in Handelís Messiah, "Worthy is the Lamb," which is based on verses 9, 12, 13, and 14. In the same decade that Handel composed Messiah, Jonathan Edwards wrote:
If the great things of religion are rightly understood, they will affect the heart. The reason why men are not affected by such infinitely great, important, glorious, and wonderful things, as they often hear and read of, in the word of God, is undoubtedly because they are blind; if they were not so, it would be impossible, and utterly inconsistent with human nature, that their hearts should be otherwise than strongly impressed, and greatly moved by such things.
Let these infinitely great truths affect your heart, and be greatly moved.
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