16: God and the Lamb (Rev 4:1-5:14)
After John has recorded the words
of Christ to the seven churches, the scene now shifts to the heavenly throne
room of God. Chapter 4 describes God as one who sits on the throne, surrounded
by twenty-four elders and four living creatures. Chapter 5 introduces the
scroll and the Lamb who is the only one worthy to open the scroll. This vision
is an important introduction to the subsequent chapters. As we get a glimpse of
God and the Lamb in heaven, we know that God, as the sovereign Judge and
Redeemer, will surely prevail.
“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!’” (5:13).
Did You Know…?
1. Writing inside and on the back (5:1): “Like the stone
tablets of the OT covenant law (Ex 32:15; see Eze
2. Seals (5:1): “The importance attached to seals in the East
is so great that without one no document is regarded as authentic… In many
cases the seal consisted of a lump of clay, impressed with the seal and
attached to the document, whether of papyrus or other material, by strings. In
other cases wax was used.” 6/601
3. Seven horns (5:6): “The horn is an ancient Jewish symbol for
power or strength (cf. Dt 33:17).” 13/1931
4. Harp (5:8): “An ancient stringed instrument (not the large
modern harp) used especially to accompany songs (Ps. 33:2).”13/1931
5. New Song (5:9): “Cf. 14:3; Ps 33:3; 96:1; 144:9; Isa 42:10. In the OT a new song celebrated a new act of
divine deliverance or blessing”.13/1931
1. Fill out chart E at the end of this lesson and compare the
five hymns. Record your observations on the progression and organization of the
2. What common subjects link the two chapters together?
1a. What was the appearance of the One
sitting on the throne like? (cf. Eze 1:4,26-28)
1b. What proceeded from the throne? What
do these represent? Read also 8:5; 11:19; and 16:18.
1c. See Lesson 2, question 5 for the meaning of the seven lamps
and seven Spirits of God.
2. Why is it necessary for John and for us to know that God
sits on the throne?
3a. What was the appearance of the
3b. Who might the twenty-four elders
4. Who might the four living creatures represent?
5. What spiritual qualities does the appearance of the four
living creatures suggest?
5a. Lion (cf 5:5; Mic
5b. Ox (cf. Prov 14:4; 1Tim 5:17-18)
5c. Man (cf. Mt 8:17; 9:35-36; 12:17-21; Heb 2:18; 4:15-16)
5d. Flying eagle (cf. Ex 19:4; Isa
5e. Six wings (cf. Ps 18:10; Isa 6:2;
5f. Full of eyes around and within (cf. Mt 6:22-23; 1Cor 2:10-15;
6a. What do the twenty-four elders do as
the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to God?
6b. What could this action represent?
7. According to the hymn of the twenty-four elders in verse 11,
why is God worthy of all glory, honor, and power?
8a. From your study of God on His throne,
what impresses you the most?
8b. How should you worship and live your
life in view of what you have learned about God?
9. What does the opening of the scroll represent? Read Jer 36:1-6; Zech 5:1-4; Ezek 2:9-10; Rev 10:7.
10. Why did John weep much when he realized that no one can open
11. What titles are given to Christ, and what do these titles
mean? (cf. Gen 49:9-10; Isa 11:1,10; 55:3,4; Jer 23:5; Lk 1:32,33; Rom 15:12;
12. Where was the Lamb in the vision? What does this mean?
13a. Compare the image of the Lamb and the Lion of Judah.
13b. Why was Christ portrayed as a Lamb that
has been slain?
14. What does it mean that the Lamb has redeemed us by His blood?
15. What makes the Lamb worthy to open the scroll?
16. What happened when the Lamb had taken the scroll?
17. What is special about the 3rd hymn?
18. Who sang the 5th hymn? Compare this with Phil 2:8-11.
19. Why must believers always praise and worship God? Do you sing
praises day and night without stop (see 4:8)?