Part Two



John Hoole - October 23, 2011




In the first verse of Revelation 4, the scene before John sees changes.  John had written down, at Christ’s direction, the things that were intended for the seven churches of Asia Minor.  Now, he looks up and sees a door “standing open in heaven.”


As I said in our last lesson, I mention this first, not only because it is the first thing John sees, but because of the significance of it being open.  The door to the throne room of God is always open.


Hebrews 4:16  (NKJV) tells us:


16        Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


The Most Holy  Place once had restrictions on who could enter and how often.  But that all changed when Jesus sacrificed Himself and paid the penalty for our sins with his own blood.


A Passage in the book of Hebrews refers to the Most Holy Place:


Hebrews 10:19-22 NIV


19        Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,

20        by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,

21        and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

22        let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.


This is the greatest invitation we can ever imagine!  The Most Holy Place represents heaven itself.  “For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence” (Hebrews 9:24).


God desires full access for us in entering His throne room.  And all who have accepted Christ as Savior can enter.  The door is never closed – and it never matters the time of the day or night.


When the Lord shed his own blood on the cross and gave up His spirit, He not only caused the veil in the Temple to split in two (Matthew 27:51), but He also split the spiritual curtain which separated us from His holy presence.  We who now form part of His church have “a new and living way” open to the glory which is in Him.


So, let’s now approach the Most Holy Place – sometimes called the Throne Room in Heaven.  Many of the Bible writers give us a glimpse of the Throne Room, like Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.  But the most detailed description of the throne room is found in Revelation 4 & 5.


Now, let’s go through the door and gaze upon the throne.


Revelation 4 NKJV

1     After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."

2          Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

3          And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

4          Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.

5          And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.  Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

6          Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

7          The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

8          The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy,  Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"

9          Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,

10        the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, andcast their crowns before the throne, saying:

11        "You are worthy, O Lord,  To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created."


What does John see as he enters heaven through the open door?  The most striking part of the scene for John is the throne of God Himself upon which, he tells us, One sits.  It is important to note that John does not give us a detailed description of God Himself because such a description would be impossible.  As the apostle Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6:16:


         “[God] … alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen nor can see:  to whom be honor and eternal power.  Amen!”


Although John does not give us a description of God, he does give us a description of the Throne Room.  This throne must be spectacularly beautiful.  And this throne is occupied.


In my lifetime, I have personally seen only three thrones.


         •        King Ludwig I       Munich, Germany


                            The walls of the throne room are overlaid with pure gold.


         •        King Tutankhamen        2003         Cairo


When I was in Egypt, I visited the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, where King Tut’s throne was behind a thick glass enclosure.


         •        King Minos of Crete     2005         Outside Heraklion, Crete are the ruins of Knossos Palace of King Minos, king over the Minoan civilization.


When I saw these thrones, they were all unoccupied.  The kingdoms of these rulers of the past did not last forever.  In fact, none of them lasted very long.  But when John saw the throne in Heaven, it was occupied.


Psalms 47:8 NKJV


      8          God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.


In Isaiah 6:1 NKJV, we find the prophet talking about the throne room of God.  In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.



When Isaiah saw the throne of God, and He who sat there, he was never the same.  The key to our spiritual life is to glimpse upon and reverence the throne – and He who sits on it.  Let me remind you that the throne of God will never be vacant.  It cannot be stolen.  Our God cannot be out-muscled or over-powered.  Psalm 45:6 says:  “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.”


No!  Positively NO!  God’s throne is never vacant and never will be.  And none but God occupies it.  The throne of God stays exclusively His.  So when you come “boldly to the throne of grace,” as mentioned in Hebrews 4:16, there will be someone on that throne ready to listen.  In fact, anytime we experience the presence of the Lord, His throne is never far.  And it is more than just a seat to sit upon.  It represents authority, power, rule and dominion.  It is at this throne and from this throne that official Kingdom business are made and pronounced.


You and I have a standing invitation to enter the throne room of God.  The door leading into this room is always open.


Near the end of chapter 4, we find the inhabitants of heaven giving God glory and praise.  The world, as a whole today, does not give such honor to God.  Although mankind benefits from His goodness and live in a universe He created, they tend to neglect God altogether.


As we move into the fifth chapter of Revelation, the scene in heaven continues.  The throne of God is still in view, but a new object becomes the focus of this chapter’s presentation.


Revelation 5 NKJV_


1       And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

2       Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?"

3       And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.

4       So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.

5       But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."

6       And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

7       Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

8       Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

9       And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And with Your blood You purchased men from every tribe and language and people and nation,

10     And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."

11     Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

12     saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

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, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"

14     Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.


Let’s read Revelation 5:1 KJV, again.


1       And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.


Whenever a chapter in the Bible begins with the Greek word kai, often translated “and” (NIV = then), we know it should be joined to the preceding chapter.  This is not only true in subject matter, but also in chronology.  After John sees and describes the throne room of God and its activity, his attention is drawn to an object in the hand of God.


Although the word “book” is used by the KJV, we need to keep in mind that there were no hard-covered flat book at this time.  In the NIV, as is true of most translations, it is rendered "scroll" instead  of "book".


Revelation 5:1 NIV


5       Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.


In New Testament times, and during most of the Old Testament times, writings were either on papyrus or parchment (vellum).  A scroll could be 30 feet or more in length.


There are several characteristics of this scroll.  First, it was in the right hand of God.  Second, it was written on both sides.  Third, it was sealed shut by seven seals.  There can be no question that this is a significant scroll as determined by the events that follow.


But, it is not just anyone who can claim the right to take and open the scroll.  In fact, only one Person can ever claim to be authorized to unclasp the scroll.  And the unfolding of this scroll is seen in the vision John records in the rest of the book.


Whatever this scroll contains has been kept a secret up to this moment.  But with the unveiling, we see terrible things happen as God judges the earth for sin.


Could this scroll be a reference to what is mentioned in Daniel 12?  Daniel did not fully understand what he had written, and asked God for greater understanding.  In Daniel 12:8-9, we see God's response to Daniel.  "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end" (ESV).  Is Revelation 5, the time for its unveiling?


Revelation 22:10 (KJV) tells us that what was true of Daniel is not true with the book of Revelation.


         10     And he saith unto me, seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.


                   The book of Daniel was to be sealed, but the book of Revelation was not to be sealed.


Let now read Revelation 5:2-3 NIV


2       And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?"

3       But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.


John saw a strong and mighty angel proclaiming something in a loud voice.  What made this angel appear to be strong is not revealed, but he had the authority to speak in the presence of God.  We do not know who this angel is, but because the name "Gabriel" means "strength of God" some believe this angel is the archangel Gabriel.


John also describe the angel as speaking with a "loud voice."  In English word, "loud," comes from the Greek word, MEGAS.  And our English word, "voice," comes from the Greek word PHONE (Fo - NAY).  Putting the two Greek words together is where we get the English word, MEGAPHONE.  This is the first of twenty time the phrase, "loud voice," occurs in Revelation.  The last time is in Revelation 21:3.


The angel asks, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”  It then says that “No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth” was found.  The King James version say “No man…” was found.  This scroll is intensely related to the human race.  And from the praise in verse 9 through 13, this scroll has something to do with "redemption."  That is what the praise is all about.


This strong angel is not looking for another angel who is worthy to open the scroll.  But, for a moment, everything comes to a standstill while a diligent search is made to find someone who can break the seals and open the scroll.


Until that man is found there can be no further revelation.  Everything hinges upon the finding of one who is worthy to open the scroll.  In this scroll is contained the revelation and the account of all that is to follow.  The breaking of the 7 seals, the blowing of the 7 trumpets, and pouring out the 7 bowls, are all orchestrated by the One who is worthy to break the seals and to disclose the scroll's contents.


But, among all the redeemed of the human race, none is found worthy or able to break the seals.  The apostle John weeps because no person is found worthy.  Then, in verse 5, one of the 24 elders speaks to John that a person has been found.


Revelation 5:5 NKJV


5       But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."


Before continuing, let me ask a question.


WHO IS REPRESENTED BY THE TWO SYMBOLS MENTIONED: A) The Lion of the tribe of Judah, and B) the Root of David.


         I think most of you will say these symbols most assuredly are speaking of Christ.




In an earlier lesson, I mentioned that all symbols in the Book of Revelation are found elsewhere in the Bible.  If we compare Scripture with Scripture, we will come to an understanding of the symbols in Revelation.  This is a rather easy one because you remember reading of these symbols elsewhere in the Bible.  And that is the way we should come to understand the entire Book of Revelation.


The Lion of the tribe of Judah


Judah was one of twelve sons of Jacob and head of one of the 12 tribes.  In Genesis 49, we read of Jacob near the end of his life.  We are told he calls each son in to bless them individually.  The blessings also include a prophecy of each son's future.  In his blessing of Judah, Jacob calls him a lion.  Then he prophesies that the future Ruler of Israel and the whole earth - the Messiah, will come from the tribe of Judah.  The lion is the king of beasts and Judah is the royal tribe.  Jesus was born into a family of the tribe of Judah.


1 Peter 5:8 tells us that Satan walks about "like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.      But the fake roaring lion of hell is no match for the conquering Lion of Judah.


The root of David


The person who is worthy to take the scroll and open it is also called the "Root of David."  This title is taken from the prophecy found in Isaiah 11:10.


Isaiah 11:10 NKJV


10     "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.

Jesse is the father of David.  The future Ruler is prophesied as a shoot from Jesse, David's father, the future Ruler of the earth.  With this symbol - the Root of David - we don't have to guess as to what it represents.  We are given a clear explanation as to who this is.  And it is given to us in the Book of Revelation


Revelation 22:16 NKJV


16     "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."


Let's read Revelation 5:5 again, and add verse 6.


Revelation 5:5-6 NIV


5       Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."

6       Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne,


Although the mighty angel introduced the Lord as a lion, when John turns, what He sees is a Lamb, and the Lamb is standing in the middle of the throne.  When Jesus walked the earth, John the Baptist introduces him by saying "Behold! the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world." (John 1:29)


The Book of Revelation contains both a “key phrase” and a “key verse.”  I mentioned the key verse - Revelation 1:19 - in our last lesson.  The “key phrase” of the entire Book is found in the very first verse of Revelation.


Revelation 1:1 NKJV


1       The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants — things which must quickly take place.


The first 5 word – The Revelation of Jesus Christ – come from only 3 Greek words:


                   Apokálupsis Ieesoú Christoú Apokalupsis Iesou Xristou)


The book begins by describing itself as “the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  If your Bible is like mine, the title page of the Book says “The Revelation of St. John the Divine.”  That really is a misnomer.  The revelation was indeed given to John, but it is a revelation – an unveiling – of Jesus Christ.  He is himself its grand theme.


As you study the book of Revelation….keep this Key Phrase in mind.  Jesus is the central person of the Book of Revelation – not John.  This is a revelation of Jesus as told to John.  And if we study the book of Revelation and don’t learn anything about Christ, then we have misread the book of Revelation.


When studying the book of Revelation, it is very easy to become focused on trying to decipher and understand the prophecy details.  However, our main focus is to be on the One whose coming is prophesied.  We want to be aware and understand the Coming of Christ, but not at the expense of understanding the Person of Christ.


26 times in Revelation, He is shown to be the sacrificial Lamb.  The book is full of Him.  Just like the rest of the Bible, this book points to Christ as the Messiah – the Savior.


Whether it is the study of Prophecy or any other Doctrine of the Scripture, it can be seen that Christ is the central Theme of it all.  He is the essence of history.  As one person put it:  “History is His-Story”


Begin with the writings of Moses and go all the way through the Bible to the Book of Revelation, you will continuously be confronted with this central Figure of all history.  All of the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament were a type or a foreshadow of Christ.  He was the Sacrificial Lamb that would come to take away the sin of the world, once-for-all.  (Exodus 12 cf. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, John 1:29).


Again, like the rest of the Bible, the Book of Revelation is full of Jesus Christ.  To emphasize why I believe this book is an unveiling of the Person of Jesus Christ like no other book in the Bible consider all the various titles and descriptive phrases given to Him in this book.


We have already mentioned “Sacrificial Lamb.”


            1.    The faithful witness (1:5)

            2.    The firstborn from the dead  (1:5)

            3.    The ruler over the kings of the earth  (1:8)

            4.    The Alpha and the Omega  (1:8)

            5.    The Beginning and the end  (1:8)

            6.    The One who is and who was and who is to come  (1:8)

            7.    The Almighty  (1:8)

            8.    The First and the Last  (1:11,  17)

            9.    The Son of Man  (1:13)

          10.    He who lives (1:18)

11.    He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands  (2:1)

12.    He who has the sharp two-edged sword  (2:12)

13.    Son of God  (2:18)

14.    He who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass (2:18)

15.    He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars  (3:1)

16.    He who is holy  (3:7)

17.    He who is true  (3:7)

18.    He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens (3:7)

19.    The Amen  (3:14)

20.    The Faithful and True Witness  (3:14)

21.    The Beginning of the creation of God  (3:14)

22.    The Lion of the Tribe of Judah  (5:5)

23.    The Root of David  (5:5,  22:16)

24.    Lord, holy and true  (6:10)

25.    Lord God Almighty  (15:3)

26.    King of the saints  (15:3)

27.    The Word of God  (19:13)

28.    King of kings and Lord of lords  (19:16)

29.     The Bright and Morning Star  (22:16)

30.     Lord Jesus   (22:20)

31.     Lord Jesus Christ  (22:21)


What a testimony to the person and work of Jesus Christ.  If one does not see Jesus in this book, they must be blind.  He is the focus of it all:


         --       the centerpiece of its pages,

         --       the reason for its message,

         --       the glory of its words.


With the heavenly vision of chapters 4 & 5, the stage is set for the dramatic events which follow.  It is clear from these chapters that heaven is indeed real, not imagined.  These two chapters reveal the indescribable glory and majesty of the Godhead in heaven.  What follows in chapter 6 and on, is orchestrated from this throne room.  It is Christ Himself that loosens each seal on the scroll, and with it each judgment proceeds from His hands.


It doesn't take long for people on earth to recognize that the events in chapter 6 are being directed by Him who sits on the throne and the Lamb.


Revelation 6:16-17 NIV


15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.

16     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!

17     For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"


These words are being spoken by ungodly people.  They recognize these judgments are coming from the throne of God.  And yet, rather than repent, they cry for rocks to fall on them to bring an end to this judgment.


How unlike the scene in heaven where we find those who praise Him who is on the throne, are those on earth who wish to get as far away from this throne as possible.