As we continue our visit to the Throne Room of God with the apostle John, a new object and a new individual are introduced to us in Revelation chapter 5. Both will become of utmost importance as we study in the coming days.
Today we will focus our attention on the first four verses of Revelation 5. Before we read them, however, I want to offer you the download of Lisa’s drawing of the fifth chapter of Revelation so you can begin to visualize what is taking place in the chapter. If you have artistic predilections, you might just want to begin to draw out the events of each chapter of The Revelation for your own benefit.
In case you did not meet my friend Lisa in our study of chapter four, allow me to introduce her to you.
Now, for the download of chapter 5. If this is your first time downloading one of the drawings, please note that the download is FREE. You will get an error and be asked to enable a payment process. Ignore the error message and continue with the download process.
Are you ready to read Revelation 5:1-4 (ESV)?
1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it,
4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
Let’s begin our study time by considering what we see in God’s hand. It is a SCROLL WRITTEN WITHIN AND ON THE BACK. It is also sealed with seven seals.
In antiquity there were no books. Instead there were scrolls made of papyrus or other materials. So, for there to be a scroll in heaven is not unusual. There are two unusual things about this particular scroll: it had writing on both sides and it was sealed with seven seals.
Usually a scroll only had writing on the inside, so for this scroll to be covered inside and out with writing likely meant that the author of the scroll had MUCH to say….almost more than could fit on a single scroll.
This heavenly scroll was sealed with seven seals. A seal was made by pressing something hard (often metal or wood) with a design or insignia into something softer (wax or clay). It was used much like a signature is used on a document today. Prominent citizens in antiquity often carried their own seal with them. Seals were used on things like contracts, accounts, deeds, and letters and indicated authority and authenticity.
The scroll in our study today had, not one, not two, but seven seals on it. Seven is the number of perfection or completion in Scripture, so this scroll was complete. This seven sealed document is most commonly believed to be the title deed to earth and its inhabitants.
As we move on in our study, we will find out exactly what was written in the scroll. For now, we know that it could only be opened by the appointed heir of God, and the search was on for that person. The Scripture tells us that no one was found in earth, heaven, or even under the earth (hell) who was the appointed heir. This lack of an heir to open the seals and read the scroll caused the apostle John to weep loudly…apparently the ultimate ugly cry!
What qualities would the heir need to possess in order to break the seals and read the scroll? If it were only perfection and holiness, then God would open it. So, obviously there is another quality that is required. We will examine this more next week. For now, let’s engage.
- Was there anything in our study today that encouraged or challenged your faith?
- The seven seals that we find on this scroll will be an integral part of our study in the coming weeks, so keep them in the back of your mind.
- If you downloaded the drawing for Chapter 4, did you find it helpful in your study? Have you downloaded the Chapter 5 drawing yet?