Title : A Door standing open in Heaven #2
Summary : Revelation Ch. 4:
· A vision of the One worshipped ( 4:1-6a)
· A vision of the worshippers gathered around the throne in heaven ( 4:6b-11)
Heaven is a world of worship. Everything that has breath gathers to give glory to God. Sunday worship reflects a little of heaven on earth. True worship focuses, gathers, reveals, sings and glorifies the One on the throne in heaven. Heavenly worship is God centered. This ought to be reflected also in our worship on earth.
Revelation Ch. 5 is a continuation of Chapter 4. These 2 chapters provide the background against the rest of the book of Revelation. In reading this book we may get fearful as we see the forces of evil at work in this world. These two chapters give us great courage because they show us that God is on the throne of the universe. He is in the process of bringing all things in heaven and on earth together. This will involve a battle between Satan’s demonic forces and the army of God, but the final outcome of the book of Revelation is that Satan and his chronies will be cast into the lake of fire (20:10). Paul reminds the Roman Christians: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom. 16:20)
The 5th chapter introduces a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb that was slain (5:6,12). He is the main figure of this chapter. He receives power from God to do what no one in all creation was worthy and able to do, namely, to bring the kingdom of God to its completion.
[5:1] 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. What did John see? He sees the LORD God on the throne, but his focus is upon a scroll (Gr. biblion lit. ‘book’), sealed with 7 seals which is in God’s right hand. This book which was written within and on the back is sealed. The fact that it is sealed means that its contents are as yet secret. It also means that nothing can be added to this book, and nothing may be subtracted from it. In this sense the book of Revelation is also sealed (see Rev. 22:18,19). The truth contained in it is unalterable. “It is written…”!
What is the significance of this scroll? Whatever we do not yet understand, we may be certain that it contains the information concerning the things which must soon take place (1:1à 4:1)  And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice…”. The strong (mighty) angel is asking a weighty question: “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” A challenge is presented to every creature in the world: "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” Listen to the dramatic invitation that Herman Hoeksema imagines to hear : 
“…the creature receives the opportunity first. Before the Lamb…steps forward and takes the book out of the hand of Him Who sat on the throne, every creature must receive the invitation. Hence, the message goes forth. It goes forth to the angels in heaven: "Can you open that book, you myriads of holy spirits, who day and night surround the throne of God? Can you save the world? Can you bring peace and bliss to a world of sin?"
The challenge also comes to the earth, particularly, of course, to man. "Man, here is your opportunity. If you are worthy, take the book, and bring the kingdom. Send righteousness and bliss to all the world. You wise men of the world, you giants of thought, hear the message resound. Do you know how to open the book? Can you suggest the way of salvation for the world? You rulers and mighty ones, can you open the book? Can you by your laws and institutions, by your armies and power, inaugurate the kingdom of peace? All you that speak so highly of the regeneration of society, of a better world to live in, of social righteousness, here is the challenge! Are you important enough to take the book, and are you able to break the seals? Come on, now, human wisdom and power, riches and wealth, science and invention, come and take now the book, and open its seals."
You can hear a pin drop! All creation is silent  “And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it,…”. All of creation confesses by their silence that no one is able to break the seals and therefore no one is able to usher in the kingdom of God. All the political systems of men, whether monarchy, democracy, capitalism , socialism, communism, the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union cannot bring in a lasting kingdom. No amount of education, the making of better laws, nor the working for better living conditions will bring in the kingdom of God. No one is able to redeem this world!
The thought of this frightens John, and we read… " and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.” John senses what is at stake. If that book remains sealed, the kingdom will not come. The breaking of those seals does not only mean the revelation of God’s plan , but also the execution of God’s plan Hence, John weeps loudly because he cannot see how the prayers of the saints for justice will be answered (5:8) . He cannot yet see how the kingdom will be established. BUT, remember that John has not yet seen the Lamb!
Thankfully it does not take long for John to be comforted :  And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” An elder (one of the 24 elders representing the church of the OT and NT) steps forward and points John to Christ - the Lion of Judah, the Root of David . These two OT pictures connect the Lord of Glory with the OT Messiah who was anticipated by all the prophets. He is the seed of the woman that will crush Satan’s head (Gen 3:16). He is the ark of our salvation (Gen. 6&7). He is Abraham and Isaac’s substitutionary lamb (Gen. 22). He is the Lion of Judah, the Root of David. He alone can open the scroll. He alone can usher in the kingdom of God.
Having drawn his attention to Christ, John sees Him !  And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.  And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. To our surprise, the Lion of the tribe of Judah is now presented as a Lamb. The picture now corresponds with Isaiah 53:7 : "Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth." Our Lord Jesus, the Lion of Judah also is the Lamb of God. He is bold as a Lion and strong in His conquest and yet He is also meek and humble as a Lamb as He conquers the world through presenting Himself as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29,36). Here He bears the marks of a slain lamb. The miracle is this: though He was killed, He now lives ! He is the Lamb crucified and now glorified!
Furthermore, note that the Lamb has seven horns. The horn is the symbol of power and dominion in Scripture. Seven is the number of completeness with a view to the completion of the kingdom of God. He also has seven eyes, which we are told are “ the seven Spirits of God” . The Lamb has the Spirit of God in all His fullness, and He sends that Spirit into the whole world. His presence is in all the earth, ransoming people for God (Rev.5:9).
Note also that the Lamb stands between the throne and the four living creatures and the 24 elders. He is approaching the throne to receive the scroll. You may perhaps be wondering, When did Christ receive the scroll from the Father on the throne? We must not be tempted to bring the time element into the vision. He received the scroll not at this time (when John saw it in 95 AD) but after He had been crucified, risen and ascended to the Father in heaven, where He is now also exalted to the highest place to the right hand of the Father in heaven. From here He now directs all of history and all of the future – what must soon take place. He is no absent landlord . He is fully aware and fully engaged in the world. He directs every gospel effort, and He watches, allows and overrules world events, working out His decrees. He breaks seal after seal, as we shall see, and He brings to pass all that must still happen. When His purposes will have been accomplished, and when Satan’s power is finally broken the kingdom will be the Lord’s.
RESPONSE : Worship (vv. 8-14)
 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,  and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”  Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,  saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”  And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”  And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
What a contrast! A moment ago all creation was silent, and John wept because no one could open the scroll. But now the problem is solved. The Lamb is able and worthy to break the seals. He is able to execute what needs to take place, and therefore He is praised and glorified. The new song (5:9) celebrates His victory over every evil and sin by which He ransomed His people for God from every tribe, language and people and nation. The saints are a kingdom and priests to our God and they shall reign on the earth – this is true NOW as well as in the new creation, when the heavens and the earth shall be renewed.
The cross, the resurrection and the ascension have made all the difference and the closing verses affirm how this fact is celebrated in the entire universe when myriads of angels join in the song of the creatures and of the elders, singing: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and wealth, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing" - a 7-fold adoration. No creature can keep silence at this glorious occasion, now that the victory is assured and the coming of the kingdom safely rests in the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb which was slain!