The Worthiness Of The Lamb

Revelation

The Worthiness Of The Lamb

March 4th, 1962 @ 10:50 AM

Revelation 5:1-14

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 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, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
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THE WORTHINESS OF THE LAMB 

Dr. W. A. Criswell 

Revelation 5:1-14 

3-4-62    10:50 a.m. 

 

On the radio you are listening to the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas.  This is the pastor bringing the 11:00 o’clock morning message entitled The Worthiness of the Lamb.  In our preaching through the Bible we have come to the Revelation.  And, in preaching through the Revelation, we have come to chapter 5.  In your Bible, you can easily turn to the place, and you can follow the message as easily.  Chapter 5 of the Book of the Revelation:

 

And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book, a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 

And no one in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 

And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four cherubim, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 

And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.

[Revelation 5:1-7] 

 

As I said last Sunday morning, I wish it were possible that the pastor could preach the three sermons of last Lord’s day and today and next Sunday at one time.  For all of them concern one great sublime celestial scene, the redemption of this creation of God.  But there is no such opportunity.  Consequently, it is more difficult for us to see the panorama of it all, broken up as it is in these three parts.  Last Sunday morning, we spoke on the seven sealed book.  Next Sunday morning, we shall preach on the songs of the saints and of the redeemed and of the antiphonal responses of the muriados muriadōn, the uncounted millions of millions and multiplied millions of the innumerable of God’s hosts in heaven.  Men are numbered.  The cherubim are numbered.  The elders are numbered.  The elect are numbered.  There is never a number to God’s heavenly hosts, the angels in glory.  And their song and what they say will be the sermon next Sunday morning. 

Last Sunday morning, we spoke of The Seven-Sealed Book.  "And I saw, epi, upon, I saw lying upon the palm of the hand of God a scroll written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals" [Revelation 5:1].  And that book represents a forfeited inheritance.  And those seven seals, the book, the scroll rolled and then sealed, and then rolled and then sealed, and rolled and sealed; and rolled and sealed, until finally, the seventh seal sealed the entire scroll.  Then when it is opened, one seal broken and that much of the scroll unrolled and to view, and then the next seal broken, and that one unrolled, until finally when all seven seals were broken, the entire scroll was open to view.  That book is a book of the forfeiture of an inheritance. 

The inheritance is what God created for us, for Adam’s seed.  And we lost it in sin and transgression [Genesis 3:1-6; 22-24].  And a usurper took it: sin, and death, and hell, and Satan, and iniquity, and judgment, and wrath, and the curse took away our inheritance as it is unto this day.  And according to the law and to the customs of the ancient Jewish people, the sign of a forfeited inheritance was a sealed book.  And the fact that it has seven seals emphasizes the encumbrances that are upon this inheritance.  And an interloper, an intruder, an alien, an enemy has taken it, and that book of redemption awaits a goel, "a kinsman redeemer," a worthy, qualified and legal kinsman to buy it back and to restore it to its rightful owners.  And when that book of redemption lies in the hands of One who is worthy, and those seals are opened, then is cast out in the judgments of God that follow the breaking of those seals, then is cast out that interloper and that intruder and that alien and that enemy until finally the whole purchased possession is redeemed.  And sin, and hell, and death, and Satan are cast into the lake of fire, forever destroyed and forever destroyed [Revelation 20:10-15], and God creates for us this new heaven and new earth and gives us back the inheritance that we lost in Adam and in sin [Revelation 21:1-22:21].  That is the seven-sealed book that lies in the hand of God.  It is the symbol of a forfeited and lost inheritance.  It represents the encumbrance laid upon the property, awaiting one to redeem it, to buy it back, to retrieve it, to lift those deeds of montage and possession. 

Now, we begin with the sermon this morning.  "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who, who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?" [Revelation 5:2].  All the moral and intelligent mind and eye of God’s universe is focused upon that sealed book.  And, the voice of the strong angel called, saying that the time has come.  If there is a legal representative, if there is a qualified goel, if there is a kinsman-redeemer who is worthy and able to buy back this inheritance, then let him step forward, for the time has come to redeem the purchased possession. 

And the voice of that strong angel penetrates to the farthest corners of glory, and it searches the entire earth, and it reaches down into the realm of the departed dead.  Where is one?  And the search is made in heaven.  Where is one?  And the search is made in earth.  Where is one?  And the search is made in the netherworld.  Where is one who is able to come and to lift these title deeds, and to retrieve this mortgaged inheritance and to buy it back from the interloper and the intruder and the alien and the enemy who now possesses it?  "Who," says the large and strong and mighty angel, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose these seven seals and to rid the inheritance of these heavy and weighty encumbrances?" [Revelation 5:2]

Then the word in the next verse, "And oudeis in heaven, and oudeis in earth, and oudeis under the earth, was able to open the book" [Revelation 5:3].  There was no one able to open the book, nor to look thereon.  Now these words, the way thOSE Greeks built them up, like the Germans built them up, these words are expressive.  You have it translated here, "And no man in heaven, Nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book" [Revelation 5:3].  The way they build up that oudeis, the Greek word for "no," "not," is ou, and de is a little participle meaning "even," and the Greek word for "one, the cardinal number one is heis.  So, ou de heis, they put them together and made a word oudeis, "not even one."  Search was made in heaven and "not even one" in all heaven was able or worthy.  When the angel and the principalities and the powers and the archangels and all of the orders and ranks of heaven, when they looked at that sealed book and saw written on the backside the qualifications of those who were worthy and able to break those seals, they shrunk back in shame and in inability, and they were mute and dumb, and all heaven turned silent.  And, ou de heis, oudeis, and not even one was found in all of that netherworld.  Nor Moses nor Elijah nor Abraham nor all who have ever parted before and gone into that other earth, not one, ou de heis, not even one could be found in the whole realm of the dead, in the whole realm of the spirit world, not one could be found who was worthy.  And, ou de heis, nor was there even one that could be found in the earth.  Not one, not one [Revelation 5:3]. 

The way that sentence is framed, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?" [Revelation 5:2].  The way the thing is framed you would say that there were those who had attempted it, who had sought to achieve it.  And, if that sentence is so framed, then a question is asked.  It could refer to that.  It is certainly historically true.  For during the ages and ages since Adam lost his inheritance [Genesis 3:22-24], there has been the constant attempt of men to buy it back, to win it back, to find that highest good, and to give to us that lost inheritance, this utopia for which our souls do long for.  The arts of civilization have sought to do it.  All of the political science of the centuries, all of it, has sought to do it.  These revolutions, these different forms of government, trying to find some way to bring back to humanity that lost inheritance.  Philosophy, men’s finest thinking, has sought to think it through.  And man-made religion has sought to buy it back.  Through the centuries, through all of the story of mankind, that attempt has been made.  Who is worthy, who is able; to buy it back, to give us back, this lost inheritance?  Who?  And not even one in heaven above, in the earth beneath, or on the earth that now lives, not one was found able to open the book or to look thereon [Revelation 5:3]. 

Then this expressive saying in the Greek language as John writes it, "And I wept much" [Revelation 5:4].  The emphasis is upon the distress, and the agony of heart, and the grief of the seer as he breathlessly waited for someone out of heaven or out of the netherworld or on the earth for someone to come forward and to redeem this lost inheritance, God’s destroyed creation.  And as he waited, there was no one found, not in the earth, not in heaven, nor under the earth, there was no one found [Revelation 5:3].  And the seer writes it in a way.  You can see the deep agony of his soul.  "Kai ego, and I, then the personal pronoun is also in the verb, and I, I eklaion, and I burst into open lamentation and audible sobs" [Revelation 5:4].  You find that same and identical verb in its imperfect tense, just like it is here in the Revelation, in Luke 19:41, "And when the Lord was come near, He beheld the city, and eklausen, the same, same imperfect verb, and he audibly lamented over it."  He burst into tears, looking upon it.  That is John’s description of the agony of his soul as he breathlessly waited for some qualified redeemer to come forward and to take that possession and to give it back to a lost and destroyed humanity [Revelation 5:4].  And as he waited, and as he waited, and as all heaven was breathless and hushed and silent, there was no one, no one who came forward, who was able and worthy to take the book of the mortgage deed of God’s creation and to redeem it back to those to whom it rightfully belonged.  And John, as he waited and as no one came forward, and John burst into audible lamentation and tears [Revelation 5:4]. 

These are the tears of all God’s people through all of the centuries.  Those tears of the apostle John are the tears of Adam and Eve, driven out of the garden of Eden [Genesis 3:24], as they bowed over that first grave; as they watered the dust of the ground with their tears over the silent and still form of that son, Abel [Genesis 4:8-10].  Those are the tears of the children of Israel in bondage as they cried unto God in their affliction and in their agony [Exodus 3:7, 9].  These are the tears of God’s elect through the centuries as they cried unto heaven.  These are the sobs and the tears that have been wrung from the heart and the soul of God’s people as they look on their silent dead, as they stand beside their open graves, as they experience, in the trials and in the sufferings of life, those heartaches and those disappointments indescribable.  Death is the curse that sin and transgression has laid upon God’s beautiful creation [Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23].  And this is the damnation of the hand of him that holds it, that usurper, that interloper, that intruder, that alien, that stranger, that dragon, that serpent, that Satan, Devil. 

"And I wept audibly" [Revelation 5:4], for it meant that consigned forever, this earth, in its curse.  For it meant that death and sin and damnation and hell should reign forever and ever and the sovereignty of God’s earth should remain forever in the hands of Satan.  "I wept much because ou de heis," not even one in heaven, in earth, under the earth, was found worthy to open the book and to loose those seven seals, and to cast out these who curse and damn our earth.  "I wept." 

"And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not; behold, behold" [Revelation 5:5]. "And one of the elders"; why, I thought it was a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice.  No, and it is one of the elders.  "Blessed are they that mourn: they shall be comforted" [Matthew 5:4].  "And one of the elders," one who himself had known what it was to be regenerated in his heart, one who himself had known what it is to be redeemed, his body raised out of the dust of the ground and out of the heart of the earth.  And one of the elders, one of the redeemed, one of the blood-bought, "One of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, behold" [Revelation 5:5].  And that has been the cry of the church through all of these centuries, "Weep not, weep not.  Lift up your eyes.  Lift up your heart.  Raise your soul.  Look!  Behold, behold!"  That is what the prophets saw when they looked forward to see His day, and they saw it and were glad [John 8:56].  That is what the first Christian heralds, that’s what they announced to the world.  That is what they said.  That is what they preached.  This is the gospel of the Son of God: "Weep not!  Weep not!  Behold, behold!"  "One of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to break those seven seals of encumbrances and to lift the inheritance and to buy it back and to redeem it to Adam’s fallen race.  Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David," [Revelation 5:5]. 

Just for a moment, every syllable in this book and every word and every sentence is so fraught with deep unfathomable meanings.  "Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah."  I know that.  In the forty-ninth chapter of the Book of Genesis, when Israel was prophesying of his twelve sons, he turns to the fourth boy, Judah,  

 

Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise – that is his name, Judah, praise – thy hand shall be the in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. 

Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he crouched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?  Who would dare?  

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.

[Genesis :8-10]  

 

Judah!  "The Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Root of David" [Revelation 5:5].  In the last chapter of the Revelation, Revelation 22 and the [sixteenth] verse He says, "I Jesus have sent Mine angels to testify unto you these things in the churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David" [Revelation 22:16].  "I am the Root and the Offspring of David," the Root of David.  That is the same thing, and you will find it mentioned many times in the Word of God.  That is the same thing that John the Baptist said when in the first chapter of John, the fifteenth verse, John the Baptist said, "He that followeth after me is preferred before me: for He was before me" [John 1:15].  Here I am, the messenger, proclaiming the way of the Lord and announcing to the world that there follows after me the Lord Christ Messiah, but "He was before me," the Root of David! 

That is the same thing you will find discussed by our Lord in the twenty-second chapter of the Book of Matthew, as He said to those who sought to destroy Him:

 

What think ye of Christ? whose Son is He?  And they said to Him, The Son of David, the Son of David. 

Then Jesus said unto them, How then doth David in Spirit call Him Lord, saying, 

Then He quotes Psalm 110:1,

The Lord God said unto my Lord, Christ, the Son, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. 

If David then called Him Lord, how is He his Son?  

And they could not answer Him a word. 

[Matthew 22:42-46] 

 

How is it that David bows down, the great king?  How is it that David bows down before his Son and calls his own Son Lord?  Same name is for God, Lord.  "How is that?" says the Lord Jesus [Matthew 22:43-45].  Why, the answer is the revelation of the Word of God: "For He was before me" [John 1:30], the Root out of which David sprang. 

Why David?  Why not the Root of Abraham?  Could have been.  Why not the Root of Moses?  Why not the Root of Elijah?  Because David was preeminently the king, and that represents God’s purposes for His Son, that He shall reign, reign! [Luke 1:33].  The sovereignty in the earth, and the authority of all creation is in His hands, David’s Son, the Root and the Offspring of David [Matthew 28:18].  Abraham of promise, Moses of the law, Elijah of the prophets, but David of the kings!  And the Lord Christ is the Root and the Offspring of David.  All the meaning that David ever had was grown out of the greater Son and the greater kingdom God hath purposed and given to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root and the Offspring of David: "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four cherubim, and in the midst of the four and twenty elders, stood the Lion of the tribe of Judah, stood the Root and the Offspring of David" [Revelation 5:6].  God’s King, and our reigning Lord and monarch.  What an amazing thing! 

"And in the midst of the four and twenty elders and the throne and the cherubim stood a Lamb as if it had been slain" [Revelation 5:6], a Lamb.  Didn’t I tell you every little syllable of this, every word of this is fraught with eternal and unfathomable meaning?  And he saw a Lamb.  Now the Greek word for a lamb is amnos, amnos.  The Greek word for a little pet lamb, a baby lamb is arnion.  It is only used twice in the New Testament.  "Simon, lovest thou Me?"  "Lord, You know."  "Then take care of My arnia, My little pet lambs" [John 21:15].  And then the other time it is used here [Revelation 5:6].  And he saw in the midst of the throne, in the midst of the cherubim, in the midst of all God’s creation, in the midst of the four and twenty elders, in the midst of all God’s redeemed saints, he saw an arnion, a little pet lamb. 

Do you remember in the directions for the Passover, you are not to go out and just slay a lamb, but the lamb was to be carefully chosen from the firstlings of his flock, for its beauty and for its perfection.  And it was to be placed in the bosom and the heart of the family for four days, that is, until the children loved it and it was looked upon as a member of the family, a pet lamb, held next to the heart of those who lived in that household.  That little arnion, identified with the family, loved, cuddled, petted, caressed, an arnion, a little pet lamb [Exodus 12:3-6].  And he saw it sphazō, "slain, violent."  That is what the word means, "violently slain!"  It is a word used for the blood and the sacrifice and the suffering of the victim on the altar.  And the little pet lamb was slain.  In His body, the marks of His passion, in His hands the print of the nails [John 20:27].  And in the scar in His side, the spear thrust of that terrible, terrible spear [John 19:34], that scar.  In His body, the signs of His passion [John 20:27].  "A Lamb as it had been slain" [Revelation 5:6], destroyed! 

And he took, standing, slain, destroyed, blood poured out in the earth, he saw Him estēkos.  And they translated it here, "stood," there stood a Lamb [Revelation 5:6].  Oh, no! estēkos, standing, standing!  The Lamb slain, standing!  John had seen Him die on Calvary [John 19:26-30].  There He stands in the midst of the throne, preparing to receive the sovereignty of God’s universe! [Revelation 5:6].  Standing, on the basis of His sacrifice, having identified Himself with us as our Kinsman-Redeemer, standing, to take the purchased possession, and to cast out the interloper and the intruder and the enemy and the alien and the stranger, that devil, the dragon.  "I saw the Lamb, slain, standing" [Revelation 5:6].  Here is the majesty of the Lion, here is the meekness, the yieldedness of the lamb. 

It is a picture of our Lord Christ in His first coming as He stood and they spit upon Him [Matthew 27:30].  Ah!  The filth of that insult.  You see, and His beard covered with spittle, vile.  And they plucked out His beard! [Isaiah 50:6].  And they smote Him in the face and said, "Who, who smote Thee?  What is my name?" [Luke 22:64].  They pressed on His brow the crown of thorns, and they mocked Him with a reed for a scepter [Matthew 27:29] and a filthy, cast-off, dirty robe in the  palace for His raiment as a king [Matthew 27:28].  And they nailed Him like a common malefactor to a cross and raised Him up for the world to see an exhibition of ignominy and shame, the curse of the earth! [Matthew 27:32-38].  A crown of thorns pressed upon His brow [Matthew 27:29].  He stood as a lamb slain, with its throat cut, with the blood pouring out unto death [John 19:34].  That is the basis of redemption, the blood that washes sin away [Revelation 1:5], the sacrifice that paid the price and the penalty of our iniquity [1 Corinthians 15:3], the basis of redemption: a Lamb slain. 

But now, but now, but now – the time has come when that sacrifice, God’s suffering Servant who paid the price of our sin, who redeemed us and bought us back to God, the time has come for that Lamb of God to take out of the hand of the interloper, out of the hand of death, out of the hand of the grave, out of the curse and the damnation of sin, the time has come when, in the majesty of the Lion, as the King of glory to receive back for us and to bestow upon us our lost and defiled inheritance.  And He stands, and He stands, He stands, the Lion of the tribe of Judah; the Root of David hath prevailed [Revelation 5:5-7]. 

And you are as familiar with that Greek word as I am.  You have a Nike missile.  That is the Greek word for "victory," a nikē, a victory.  A winged victory its called a nikē, if you buy a little statue.  That is the word here, nikaō, "He hath prevailed" [Revelation 5:5].  "He hath," He is victorious.  He is the conqueror.  The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David hath prevailed, nikaō  He is victorious.  He prevailed in the day of temptation in the wilderness [Matthew 4:1-11].  He prevailed in the day of the cross when He fell unto the bonds of death; He prevailed when He broke them asunder and was raised from the dead [Matthew 27:50-28:7].  He prevailed when He entered back into heaven, carrying captivity captive and giving gifts unto men [Ephesians 4:8].  And He prevails now when He takes from the hand of the intruder our purchased possession to bestow it back and to give it to us, Adam’s fallen race, Adam’s seed [1 Corinthians 15:22]. 

"And I beheld, and, lo, the Lamb slain as He stands, having seven horns and seven eyes" [Revelation 5:6].  The seven horns are representative of the fullness of power that has been placed in His hands.  And the seven eyes, the vision, the intelligence by which God takes care of His people, watching, directing, counseling, marshaling, thrusting, against that final day of which the Revelation here speaks, when He shall take unto Himself His great power and shall reign in the earth [Revelation 11:15].  So, He is a Lamb [Revelation 5:6], redemption by blood, by suffering, by atonement; and He is the Lion [Revelation 5:5], redemption by power and by taking.  You have both of them there in the Book, and you have both of them here in the Revelation, a Lamb slain, offering His life for our sin, and the Lion, taking in His great mighty and powerful hands the sovereignty of the universe. 

Oh, oh, ah, when we come to the nineteenth chapter of the Book of the Revelation, and I start preaching at the eleventh verse, O God, that I had language and eloquence and ableness to describe that ultimate and final day and hour when the Lord comes as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, as the Root and the Offspring of David, as our ultimate and final King to give to us our lost inheritance! 

 

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, 

His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns,  

He was dressed in a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called,

THE KING OF KINGS, AND THE LORD OF LORDS.  And the Word of God!

[Revelation 19:11-13, 16] 

 

And there followed Him in heaven these, His righteous ones, His redeemed ones, His saints as they enter into their lost and purchased possession. 

"And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne" [Revelation 5:7].  That is the greatest act in all of the story of God’s creation.  That is the greatest act in the Apocalypse, and that is the greatest act in the history of mankind.  And He came and took the book.  He lifted the title deed of forfeiture to give back to us our lost inheritance.  In that act is the answer to the prayer of all of the saints through all of the ages.  And in that act is the judgment of God upon sin, and upon Satan, and upon death, and upon the grave, and upon hell!  And in that act is cast out all of these who would deny to us what God purposed for us when He saw us in the beginning and before the foundation of the earth [Ephesians 1:4].  Weep not!  Weep not.  Behold!  Behold [Revelation 5:5].  And, he saw our Savior who is also our Lord and our coming King.  Behold!  Lift up your hearts, lift up your face, lift up your eyes, lift up your soul.  Behold! [Revelation 5:6-9].

And beyond the grave, there is Jesus, the Lord of life.  And, beyond our tears, there is Jesus, the God of all comfort.  And, beyond the heartaches and the heartbreaks and the despairs of this life, there is the King of glory with gifts in His hand.  Behold!  Behold.  That God would help a man preach, say things as they ought to be said, present it as it ought to be presented, describe it as it really is.  Ah, that a man could preach.  Next Sunday morning the sermon is, How They Sang Up There in Glory.  When He took that book, all of God’s creation burst into praise and adoration, glory, glory, glory! [Revelation 5:8-14].

Now, while we sing this hymn of appeal, somebody you give your heart to Jesus.  Somebody you put your life with us in the fellowship of the church.  In this balcony there is a stairway at the front and at the back, and time and to spare for you to come.  Come.  And on this lower floor, into the aisle and down here to the front, "I give you my hand, pastor, I give my heart to God."  While we sing, while we make appeal, as the Spirit shall make the word open, inviting; as God shall do it, not as a man might do it, as God shall do it, come.  "I trust Jesus and give Him my soul and life, destiny, and my forever."  Or, "There is a family of us.  We’re all coming."  Make it now, while we stand and while we sing.   

THE WORTHINESS OF THE LAMB

Dr. W. A. Criswell

Revelation 5:1-14

3-4-62

 

I.          Introduction

A.  The seven-sealed book on the hand of God – symbol of a forfeited inheritance(Revelation 5:1)

B.  The inheritance is what God created for us – we lost it in sin and transgression

C.  Awaits a kinsman redeemer, worthy to buy it back and restore it

 

II.         The challenge of the angel(Revelation 5:2)

A.  The attention of the moral, intelligent universe is focused on sealed book

1.  The final call is made – the time has come

2.  If a competent, qualified goel, kinsman redeemer, is found, he should come forward now to redeem the purchased possession

B.  The voice of the angel penetrates to the utmost bounds of the universe

 

III.        No one was able(Revelation 5:3)

A.  Oudeis – "not even one" found in heaven, in earth or under the earth

B.  The angels shrink back – it is beyond their qualification

C.  No one was worthy in the realm of the departed

D.  No one on earth was worthy

1.  The way the question is framed, it seems as if there were those who had attempted to achieve it

a. During the ages since Adam lost inheritance, there has been the constant attempt of men to win it back, to find that highest good for which our souls long

 

IV.       John weeps(Revelation 5:4)

A.  Emphasis on the distress and agony of heart of the seer as he breathlessly waited for someone to come forward

1.  No one comes – John bursts into open lamentation, audible sobs

a. Same verb used of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41)

B.  These are the tears of all God’s people through the centuries

1.  It meant that consigned forever this earth in its curse

 

V.        The elder’s encouragement(Revelation 5:5)

A.  One of the elders said, "Weep not…"

1.  It is not a mighty angel, but an elder, one who himself experienced the gift of redemption in his soul

B.  It is his privilege to convey to John the message of triumph, "Weep not…Behold!  Look!"

1.  That is what the church had been hearing from her elders, prophets, apostles and ministers through all the centuries

 

VI.       The Lion…the Root…has prevailed(Revelation 5:5-6)

A.  The Lion of the tribe of Judah(Genesis :8-10)

B.  The Root of David(Revelation 22:16)

1.  Both Root and Branch

a. Before David (John 1:15)

b. He is David’s Lord(Matthew 22:41-46, Psalm 110:1)

2.  Why David?  Why not the root of Abraham, Moses, Elijah?

a. David was preeminently the king

 

VII.      The Lamb (Revelation 5:6)

A.  Arnion – "little lamb"; used here and in John 21:15

1.  The little pet lamb seen as a member of the family at Passover

B.  Sphazo – "slain by violence"

1.  The marks of His passion on His body – the Lamb as it had been slain

C.Nikao – "He hath prevailed", victorious

D.  Estekos – "standing"

1.  The meekness of the Lamb slain, the majesty of the Lion

a. Picture of Christ in His first and second coming

2.  By blood – the cross, sin atoned for

3.  By power – judgment, Christ manifest(Revelation 19:11-13, 16)

a. Seven horns – fullness of power

b. Seven eyes – fullness of intelligence, vigilance for His people

 

VIII.     He came and took the book(Revelation 5:7)

A.  The greatest act in the Apocalypse – lifted the title deed of forfeiture to give back to us our lost inheritance

B.  The answer to prayers of all the saints, the judgment of God upon sin and Satan, the casting out of all these who would deny to us what God has purposed