Study of Revelation 15:1-16:21

Key Verse

“I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues – last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.” Revelation 15:1

Introduction

Chapters 15 and 16 show us the devastation of the final judgments of God on all those who refuse to repent. The increase of the intensity of His judgments can be unnerving at our first evaluation, but the angels, who’s evaluation is untainted by sin, worship God because His judgments are righteous and just on those who have murdered God’s people. 

The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet once more deceive the nations and gather them to destroy the people of God, only for them to realize that they’ve gathered for their own destruction. 

Scholarly Commentary

“The victory over the Egyptians was a foreshadowing of the victory of all God’s redeemed over the beast, his image, his number. Therefore, the song that the church triumphant is singing is called the song of Moses and of the Lamb. In both cases it was the Lamb who gave the victory.”53

“It appears that the seals, trumpets, and bowls all describe events that occur in the last days, (i.e., the period between the first and second comings of Christ.) Although each series recapitulates the same time period, the judgments grow more intense with each (e.g., from ¼ to 1/3 to 1), and all deliver us to the very end of history and the last judgment.”54

“Notice that in the bowls the aspect of finality is emphasized. Whereas only one-third of the living creatures in the sea died during the second trumpet, the destruction wrought by the second bowl is complete…This is God’s final wrath.”55

“Most of the bowls, like the trumpets, recall the plagues of the Exodus: sores (16:2), water into blood (16:3-4), and darkness (16:10, and in this case its antithesis, 16:9). By recalling the plagues, this series of judgments also reminds believers that as God protected his own people in Goshen during the plagues, so he will protect them from his judgments. The final two bowls represent the promised end-time battle and the completion of God’s promises.”56

“The enemies’ defeat, however, will take them unawares. The drying of the river removes and impediment that had hindered their assault on the church, so ‘the kings from the east,’ who stand for ‘the kings of the whole world’ (Rev. 16:14), gleefully gather for the kill. Surely, now that this barrier no longer restrains their violence and separates them from their prey, their victory is imminent! But they are sadly mistaken. In fact, they are assembling to meet their own destruction. The world’s rulers gather for the war only because the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet have deceived them. From those three villains’ mouths spring three demonic spirits in the form of frogs.”57

Reflection

Does reading about these judgments cause your heart to worship like the angels and glorified saints do when they witness the judgment and justice of God? Ask God to conform your heart and mind to His so that we can worship God for all that He does, crying out with our glorified brothers and sisters: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.” 

Works Cited

53, 55 Hendriksen, William. More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation

54 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation

56 Keener, Craig S. Revelation

57 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation

Study of Revelation 14

Key Verse

“He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’” Revelation 14:7

Introduction

Chapter 14 gives us a glimpse at the body of believers, sealed, marked, and glorified in the presence of the Lamb. We must understand the symbolic nature of numbers in Revelation when we consider the 144,000. In response to the blasphemies and deception of the beasts, angelic messengers pronounce judgments and declare the ruin of those who follow the beast and are opposed to the lordship of the true King. 

The last part of chapter 14 shows us the harvest of judgment that was prophesied about by the old testament prophet Joel. 

Revelation 14 Commentary 

“The war and struggle of chapter 13 appear in bold contrast to the victory and celebration of Chapter 14. In many ways, chapter 14 offers God’s response to the previous actions of the unholy trinity against his people: the triumph of the Lamb and his followers (14:1-5), angelic proclamations of judgment (14:6-13), and the harvest of judgment (14:14-20).”48

“Seals signify not only ownership but also security, protection under the authority of the One whose name we bear. But the beast’s mere ‘mark’ brings those who bear it no shelter from the coming wrath of God. Thus in these back to back visions John sees all humanity divided into two camps, bearing two different brands. Either the people bear the name of the Lamb and his Father, finding safety in their ownership; or people are claimed by the world system that opposes the Lord and His Christ, a system that is destined to be shattered like pottery when the Son appears.”49

“A warning of judgment to the unbelieving world is announced (vv. 6-7), but it will not be heeded by the world system and its followers, which results in their final judgment at the end of history (v. 8). This final historical judgment is the precursor to the final, eternal judgment (vv. 9-11). However, the warning is intended to influence true believers to remain faithful to Christ in order to receive an eternal reward (vv. 12-13).”50

“End-time Babylon is about to fall…The past tenses of “Fallen! Fallen” function like the Hebrew prophetic perfect tense, which expresses a future occurrence as though it has already occurred…The ungodly social, political, and economic system dominated by the Roman Empire placed believers in the same position as Israel under Babylon. Therefore, Rome and all wicked world systems take on the symbolic name ‘Babylon the great.’”51

“Finally, the vision John sees appears to be a fulfillment of Joel 3:13, ‘Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great…’ The double narration emphasizes the severity and unqualified nature of the punishment, which reaches its climax with the extensive blood-letting of v. 20.”52

Revelation 14 Reflection

Revelation 14:12 says, “this calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” Pray this week for the patient endurance and for a heart that remains faithful to Jesus in the face of opposition. 

Works Cited

47, 50, 51, 52 Beale, G. K. Revelation: A Shorter Commentary.

48 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation.

49 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation

Study of Revelation 13:1-18

Key Verse

“All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” Revelation 13:8

Introduction

In chapter 13 we see the embodiment of the opposition of the church in the two beasts. The first beast boasts in its power and authority that was given to it by the dragon and leads many in the world astray as they marvel at its power. This beast is the embodiment of all political and governmental power that arrogantly boasts sovereignty and persecutes the people of God.  

The second beast has the appearance of a lamb but speaks as a dragon and is the picture of false religion, signs, and anti-Christ philosophies. Just as the people of God are sealed and marked, the beast attempts a sorry counterfeit; spiritually marking his followers as well. 

Revelation 13 Commentary

“The diadems symbolize the beast’s false claims of sovereign, universal authority which are in opposition to the true ‘King of kings and Lord of lords,’ who also wears many diadems. The blasphemous names written on the beast’s heads represent blasphemous claims to earthly, divine kingship by the beast in feeble imitation of Christ’s true kingship.”43

“Like the first beast, this beast speaks with the full authority of the devil: he was speaking as a dragon. This beast is later called ‘the false prophet’, suggesting that its role is primarily religious. A true prophet leads people to worship God, but the false prophet leads them to worship the state (and, by extension, the devil).”44

“Throughout this entire gospel age – the forty-two months, the governments of this world place themselves on the throne, arrogate to themselves the authority that belongs to God, and blaspheme God and heaven…the second beast is the false prophet. It symbolizes false religion and false philosophy in whichever form these appear throughout the entire dispensation.”45

“Just as the beast from the sea is Rome and yet is much bigger than Rome, so the beast from the earth is the imperial cult indigenous to Asia Minor but also a larger phenomenon that continues in our day.”46

“The mark on their forehead, which is the name of the beast, or the number of his name, is the parody of and the opposite to the ‘seal’ in 7:3-8, which is the divine name written on the foreheads of true believers. Since the seal or name on the true believer is invisible, so is the mark on the unbeliever. That the two are of a parallel spiritual nature and intended to be compared is evident from the immediately following mention of the names of God and Christ written on the foreheads of the saints. (14:1).”47

Reflection

In light of this chapter, reflect on the foolishness of putting our hope, trust, and security in any person or institution that is not Christ on the throne. 

In the church age we are facing the opposition of Satan in the form of political persecution and religious and philosophical deception. Ask the Lord for the “patient endurance and faithfulness” from Revelation 13:1, knowing that this age will end in the destruction of all things opposed to Jesus and our glorification and rewards. 

Works Cited

43, 44, 47 Beale, G. K. Revelation: A Shorter Commentary

45 Hendriksen, William. More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation

46 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation

Study of Revelation 12:1-17

Key Verse

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring – those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” Revelation 12:17

Introduction

In chapter 12 John sees the vision of the woman, the child, and the dragon. The description of the woman gives us a glimpse into God’s perspective of His covenant people as she is arrayed with magnificent beauty. With jaws wide open, the dragon eagerly awaits the child’s birth in order to devour him, but the child is immediately taken to the throne of God to rule the nations with an iron scepter.

A great battle ensues, and the dragon is cast out of the presence of God, silencing his accusations by the blood of the Lamb. In his frustrated fury the dragon pursues the woman and her offspring to destroy them. 

Scholarly Commentary

“That woman symbolizes the church. Scripture emphasizes the fact that the Church in both dispensations is one. It is one chosen people in Christ. It is one tent; one vineyard; one family – Abraham is the father of all believers whether they are circumcised or not – one olive tree; one elect race, royal priesthood, holy nation, people for God’s own possession; one beautiful bride; and in its consummation one new Jerusalem whose gates bear the names of the twelve tribes and whose foundations are inscribed with the names of the twelve apostles.”38

“Second, there is the child, the seed of the woman. This mighty child is the Christ. He is the One ‘who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.’ This expression is clearly borrowed from Psalm 2:9, a messianic psalm, while Christ applies it to Himself in Revelation.”39

“As a result of Satan’s failure to kill Jesus or prevent his resurrection and exaltation, he turns his anger toward God’s messianic community. Satan is the ultimate source of persecution of God’s people, as his hatred of Christ leads to his hatred of Christ’s followers.”40

“The river of venom spewing from the serpent’s mouth represents Satan’s lies, deceit, false teaching, slander, accusations, counterfeit miracles, and persecution aimed at destroying God’s people.”41

“The battle in heaven and the hurling down of the dragon are not to be understood literally. Satan is ‘hurled down from heaven’ in this sense, namely that he has lost his place as an accuser of the brethren. Whereas Christ was born and rendered satisfaction for sin, Satan has lost every semblance of justice for his accusations against believers. True, he continues to accuse. That is his work even today. But no longer is he able to point to the unaccomplished work of the Savior. Christ’s atonement has been fully accomplished; complete satisfaction for sin had been rendered when He ascended to heaven.”42

Reflection

The church can seem underwhelming and if were honest, a bit disappointing to us sometimes. Reflect on how God describes His church in this chapter and how He loves and cares for her. 

Think about the fact that your enemy no longer has any basis for accusation against you and ask for the Lord’s help to remember that when the enemy opens his mouth against you. 


Works Cited

38, 39 & 42 Hendriksen, William. More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation.

40 & 41 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation.

Study of Revelation 11:1-19

Key Verse

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.’” Revelation 11:15

Introduction

Chapter 11 gives us a picture of the church as two witnesses, two olive trees, and two lampstands; a powerful and witnesses in the world, exemplifying the spirit of Moses and Elijah. It seems as if the church’s witness is silenced forever when the beast attacks and kills them, but the Spirit revives them in power, striking terror and worship in their opponents. 

We also see the consummation of the Kingdom with the seventh trumpet blast as God puts an end to all evil and rewards His servants with His presence. 

Scholarly Commentary

“The witnessing church carries out its prophetic ministry in the spirit and power of Moses and Elijah. Moses had the God-given power to turn water into blood and bring on plagues, while Elijah had the power to prevent rain. Likewise, the witnessing church possesses tremendous God-given power and authority to fulfill its mission. God equips his people with the resources necessary to carry out their divine calling.”33

“That the beast ‘overpowers’ or ‘conquers’ the saints (11:7; 13:7) indicates merely the temporal, human perspective. In the final analysis, the saints overcome the world by accepting martyrdom without compromise.”34

“At times it seems as if Satan is the supreme ruler. But once the judgment day has arrived, the full royal splendor of God’s sovereignty will be revealed, for all opposition will then be abolished. Then it will be clear to all that the world has become the province of our Lord and of His Christ. And He shall reign forever and ever.”35

“The church rejoices in the fact that the Lord has reached the zenith of His power and authority, now publicly displayed. The heathen were furious; they had made war with the witnesses, conquered them, killed them, and gloated over their misery. But at last God’s wrath became fully revealed, namely, on the day of final judgment which has now arrived. On that same day all those who fear the Lord receive their reward, while the destroyers are destroyed.”36

“We have already been told in 10:7 that when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, ‘the mystery of God will be accomplished.’ The consummated kingdom of God has arrived. We need to remember that Revelation does not unfold in sequential fashion but often revisits the same great realities in different ways as it spirals forward. The events described here will be more fully explained in chapters 19-22, but they refer to the same events.”37

Reflection

Does it feel like sometimes we are fighting a losing battle against the political powers and anti-God philosophies of our day? Ask the Lord to give you His perspective of the church; its power and function in the world. 

Ask the Lord for power, passion, and effectiveness as witnesses in our community.


Works Cited

33 & 37 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation

34 Keener, Craig S. Revelation.

35 & 36 Hendriksen, William. More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation.

Study of Revelation 10:1-11

Key Verse

“And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, ‘there will be no more delay! But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.’” Revelation 10:6-7

Introduction

In chapter 10 John sees a magnificent angel come down from heaven with a scroll in his hand. Interestingly, seven thunders respond to the angel’s shout, but John is forbidden from writing down what the thunders said. The angel declares that there will be no more delay and that with the last trumpet blast “the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to his servants the prophets.” The angel stresses the certainty and finality of the consummation of all things with the last trumpet blast. 

We also see John recommissioned as a prophet as he is told to eat the scroll that the angel was holding. Similar to the prophet Ezekiel, John is told after eating the scroll that the must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings. 

Scholarly Commentary

“Between the sixth and the seventh trumpet judgments we find an interlude consisting of two visions: the mighty angel and the little scroll in 10:1-11, when John is recommissioned to prophesy, and the vision of the two witnesses in 11:1-13, when the role and destiny of the witnessing church is described.”28

“John must ‘seal up’ what the thunders have spoken, keeping its content hidden in the counsel of God. This sudden secrecy seems strange in a book given to reveal to God’s servants what must occur. Perhaps this symbolism makes the general point that God’s prophets may speak only what God has authorized them to speak.”29

“The scroll reveals how God plans to defeat evil, rescue his people, and transform his creation, and what all this means for John and the rest of God’s people on earth.”30

“The angel’s stance on the land and the sea points to God’s sovereign control over his world. This is the only place in Revelation where anyone swears an oath, and the background is Daniel 12, where the prophet asks a question about the end of time: ‘How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?’ (Dan. 12:6) Note as well that the figure in Daniel also swears by him who lives forever (Dan. 12:7). What is delayed in Daniel now stands ready to be fulfilled: ‘There will be no more delay!’ (cf. Dan. 12:9 with Rev. 10:6)”31

“So, in the vision, John takes the little scroll out of the angel’s hand and eats it. In his mouth it is, indeed, sweet as honey, but when he had eaten it, it made his belly bitter. The meaning is very clear: the apostle must not merely understand and digest the message of the gospel; he must experience both its sweetness and the suffering, the cross-bearing, which is always the portion of those who truthfully proclaim it.”32

Reflection

It has been nearly 2000 years since Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and sometimes it feels as if things will go on like this forever. Ask for the Lord’s help to live in light of the imminent return of Christ and the resolution of all things. 

Reflect on the sweetness of the Gospel and the suffering that comes with it. Ask the Lord for strength, perseverance, and joy in our service to Him. 


Works Cited

28, 30 & 31 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation.

29 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation.

32 Hendriksen, William. More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation.

Study of Revelation 8:6-9:20

Key Verse

“The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood – idols that cannot see or hear or walk.” Revelation 9:20

Introduction

Chapter 8 begins with the seventh seal and ends with the first four trumpets and in chapter 9 we see the 5th and 6th trumpet judgments. It is important to note that the prayers of God’s people are poured out to Him right before the angels sound their trumpets in judgment. Another important thing to note is that the trumpet judgments are not chronologically after the seal judgments, they are progressively parallel, and all the judgments (seals, trumpets, and bowls) occur between the first and second advent of Jesus. 

Sadly, even after given time to repent, the end of chapter 9 shows us that those who were not killed by the plagues still would not repent of their idolatry or rebellion against the Lamb. God’s judgment against them simply hardens their hearts further toward Jesus. 

Scholarly Commentary

“In the first four trumpet judgments we see clear parallels with the plagues of Egypt, and this exodus typology clearly demonstrates three realities. First, through the plague judgments God is demonstrating that he is Lord over creation and human history and will reign victoriously over every competing god or idol. Second, God responds to the cries of his people by punishing wickedness, but he does so in a manner that allows for unbelievers to repent. Third, the plague judgments also serve as a prelude to God’s deliverance of his people.”24

“God’s judgments are not handed out arbitrarily or frivolously but are poured out on those who stubbornly refuse to repent. Such people have repeatedly rejected God’s gracious overtures and have preferred instead gods of their own making. The message of the sixth trumpet also affirms the depths and deadliness of human sin.”25

“The last three trumpets are woes to come on ‘those who dwell on the earth.’ Whereas the first four affected the spheres surrounding and supporting human life, the last three will target rebellious humanity directly.”26

“The general meaning of these trumpets is clear. Throughout this entire period, extending from the first to the second coming, our exalted Lord Jesus Christ, who rules all things in accordance with the scroll of God’s decree, will again and again punish the persecutors of the church by inflicting upon them disasters in every sphere of life, both physical and spiritual…Yet, in spite of all these warning voices, mankind in general does not repent…The persecuting world becomes the impenitent world. It is the impenitence that brings about not only the outpouring of the bowls of final wrath but also the culmination of this wrath in the final judgment.”27

Reflection

Spend some time praying for those in your life who have not submitted to the Lordship of Jesus and experienced His deliverance from judgment.

Reflect on the fact that just as God delivered Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, He is judging those who come against His covenant people and the message that we proclaim and that He hears, sees, and cares about those who suffer for His name’s sake.


Works Cited

24 & 25 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation
26 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation
27 Hendriksen, William. More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation

Study of Revelation 7:1-8:5

Key Verse

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9

Introduction

In chapter 7 we see God’s elect sealed by God to protect them from His judgment. The Bible is clear that Christians will suffer at the hands of the ungodly, but it is also just as clear that Christians will never suffer the judgment of God because the Lamb was slain in their place.

Chapter 7 also gives us a glimpse into the throne room once more as we witness glorified believers, a multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language who have come out of the great tribulation, worshipping the Lamb for redeeming them.

Scholarly Commentary

“This sealing is the most precious thing under heaven. Scripture speaks of the seal in a threefold sense. First of all, a seal protects against tampering…Second, a seal marks ownership…third, a seal certifies genuine character.”19

“(the 144,000) represent those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes, and the entire church militant, therefore, as is also clearly taught in Revelation 22:4. Christ, having purchased them by His own precious blood, owns them, and the Father (through Christ, in the Spirit) protects them. Let the winds blow; they will not harm God’s people. Let the judgments come; they will not hurt His elect!”20

“The church is thus depicted in military terms as a remnant called out of the world to do battle for God. This force is ready to fight, and v. 14 interprets the manner of their fighting. They conquer their enemy ironically in the same way in which the kingly Lamb from Judah ironically conquered at the cross: by maintaining their faith and witness through suffering, they overcome their foe, the devil and his hosts. Consequently, they are those ‘who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.’”21

“First, in 7:1-8 we see God’s people sealed or protected and prepared for spiritual battle. Second, in 7:9-17 we see God’s people celebrating in heaven following their victorious endurance though the great tribulation.”22

“We might therefore expect that the seventh seal would disclose the new creation that is to come. Instead, when the Lamb breaks the seventh seal, nothing seems to happen: ‘there was silence in heaven for about half an hour’…silence is creation’s expectant response to the Lord’s impending arrival in judgment. ‘Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for he is aroused from his holy habitation.’” (Zech. 2:13)23

Reflection

Spend some time reflecting on the promise of Revelation 7:15-17. Ask the Lord to cause this hope to give you strength for enduring whatever suffering you face.

Think about the fact that your prayers are poured out on an altar before Lord and are pleasing to Him. Let this truth sink in to your heart and motivate you to pray more earnestly and passionately than you ever have for God’s purposes to be accomplished. 


Works cited

19 & 20 Hendriksen, William. More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation.

21 Beale, G. K. Revelation: A Shorter Commentary.

22 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation.

23 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation

Study of Revelation 6

Key Verse 

“They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?’” Revelation 6:16-17

Introduction

In chapter 6 the Lamb opens the first 6 seals of the scroll and brings judgment on the world. It is important to remember the genre when we read John’s visions. We should not look to the sky for colored horses but understand what the Lord is communicating. 

An important thing to notice is that God’s judgment is just and is partially an answer to the prayers of the martyrs who cry out for justice. In verse 11 those who had been slain are reassured that God will avenge their blood when the full number of martyrs has been fulfilled.  

Scholarly Commentary

“Just as the vision of the glorified Christ in Revelation 1 leads into the messages to the seven churches in chapters 2-3, so the throne-room vision of Revelation 4-5 prepares the way for God’s righteous judgments that commence in chapter 6.”12

“The first four seals: Christ uses evil heavenly forces to inflict trials on people throughout the church age for either purification or punishment (6:1-8).”13

“The fifth seal: the appeal to God by persecuted and glorified Christians to demonstrate His justice by judging their persecutors will be answered when all His people complete the suffering that He has determined for them (6:9-11).”14

“The sixth seal: God will demonstrate His justice by executing final judgment on the unbelieving world (6:12-17).”15

“Revelation supports the notion that God’s judgments often involved allowing evil to run its course.”16

“The four horsemen remind us not to be seduced by a false sense of security provided by human empires, institutions, or personalities. None of these can save us from death. As a result, this passage implicitly demands a renewed trust in the Lord as our only reliable source of security.”17

“The theological significance of the earthquake is rooted in Old Testament precedent. In previous biblical narrative and imagery, the earth was set to quaking at the coming of the Lord in his holiness to establish justice. God descent to Sinai to deliver his law to Moses for the people was accompanied by earthquake (Exod. 19:18).”18

Reflection

Think about your initial response to the judgments that God brings on the earth and those who refuse to put their faith in Jesus. 

How does your response differ from your glorified brothers and sisters who were slain in Revelation 6:10?

Take some time to thank the Lord that He has delivered you from all of His judgments. 


Works Cited

12, 16, & 17 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation.

13, 14 & 15 Beale, G. K. Revelation: A Shorter Commentary.

18 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation. 

Study of Revelation 5

Key Verse 

“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.’”Revelation 5:9

Introduction

John sees a scroll that needs to be opened and its seals broken for God’s purposes to be accomplished in the universe, but to his dismay, nobody is found worthy to break the seals and reveal the content of the scroll. One of the elders then comforts John and points out that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed and is able to do it.

Commentary

“The scroll represents God’s redemptive plan to defeat evil once and for all, to rescue His people, and to transform His creation through the victory achieved by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.”6

“This is the striking paradox: the conquering lion, warrior-king of Judah’s tribe and David’s line, champion of the people of God, appears before John’s eyes as a lamb slaughtered yet standing7 Jesus conquered not by using the power and force of a lion but by dying as the Passover Lamb. The great victory over all the forces of evil has already occurred at the cross and resurrection.”8

“That God has so many myriads (Rev. 5:11) to worship him reinforces the text’s example for us that he is worthy of worship. ‘Ten thousand’ was simply the largest number for which the Greek language afforded a ready term, so the plural (in the Greek) of “ten thousand times ten thousand” is a handy way of saying that they were innumerable.”9

“The Lamb’s seven horns show his supreme worthiness to receive the praises that greet his appearance, but they primarily portray his supreme power. They are the visual equivalent of the title Almighty, ascribed to the Lord God (1:8, 4:8).”10

“Here very definitely the Mediator’s present rule or dominion over the universe is described as being a reward for His suffering and death. Both the particular and universal aspects of the atonement are beautifully combined. The Lamb did not purchase the salvation of every single individual. No, He paid the price for His elect, that is, for men out of every tribe and tongue, etc. Yet, on the other hand, there is nothing narrow or national about this redemption. It is worldwide in its scope and embraces every group: ethnic (tribe), linguistic (tongue), political (people), and social (nation).”11

Reflection

Take some time this week to prayerfully think about all the was accomplished by Jesus on the cross. 

Look at how Jesus is described in this chapter and pray that the Holy Spirit would fill you with love and adoration for all that He is and all that He has accomplished on your behalf.


Works Cited

6, 8 Duvall, J. Scott. Revelation.

7, 10 Johnson, Dennis E. Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation.

9 Keener, Craig S. Revelation

11 Hendriksen, William. More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation.