Chapter 5

This chapter takes us to the seven sealed scroll, and the search for the One who is worthy to open the scroll. The scroll is shown to be in the hand of the One who sits on the throne.

Here we have the seven sealed scroll and details of this book (King James Version) along with a description of it.

  1. We will see a brief moment of sorrow from the Apostle John as he can find no one that is worthy to open the scroll.
  2. Then we see that there is found One that is worthy to open the scroll and that it is taken from the One that sits on the throne by the One that is found to be worthy.
  3. We will also see the qualifications or names of the One that was found to be worthy and all of this in the first eight verses of chapter five.
  4. Starting in verse nine we will see the worship that breaks out in Heaven.
  5. We will witness some controversy in verses 9 and 10, which should be interesting.
  6. Then it is back to the worship of the following verses through verse 14.

Revelation 5:1 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.

We see from this verse the picture of the book. The Greek word is Bib-lee-on, meaning a roll, book, scroll, or writing. There is writing on the inside (written within) of the scroll and there is writing on the outside (on the backside). It is also sealed with seven seals.

Historical records have revealed there were two emperors that left scrolls similar to this. These scrolls were in fact sealed with seven seals, and they had writing on the outside and the inside. The two emperors were Caesar Augustus and Vespasian. We see that it was Roman law for this type of scroll to be written and handed down so that the heirs would know how to handle the estate of the one who had written the scroll. This type of scroll would be the title deed to all that was owned by the one passing the scroll down, so we see that it is very important.

Now before we get into the meaning of the writing on the outside of the scroll, I would like to take a moment and turn to the Old Testament book of Daniel 12:4-9.

Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Daniel 12:5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.

Daniel 12:6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?

Daniel 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

Daniel 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Daniel is told to shut the book that he is holding and that it is sealed until the time of the end. Now, look a little closer at this verse 7 where it states, that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

For a time which equals one year,times which equals two years, and an half which equals one half year.

We can get a confirmation of the meaning of time, times and half time by looking at other passages of scripture.

Daniel 4:16 Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.

Daniel 4:25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

Daniel 7:25: And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

These scriptures explain the meaning of the words time, times and an half pretty clearly. In Daniel 4:16, 25 Nebuchadnezzar is given seven times to live like a beast of the field. This is the equivalent of seven years. We see further proof in Daniel 7:25 and Daniel 9:26-27. So, I conclude that what we have in Revelation would follow the normal usage of the word.

In Revelation chapter 5 we have a book that is about to be opened. Daniel’s prophesy is about the end times, the great tribulation and he is told to shut the book. Now in Revelation we have the book ready to be opened. Could this book, that Daniel was told to shut up, be the same book the Lord Jesus is about to open?

We are not told by scripture that it is but, we are not told that it is not the book either. Now, I am not saying that it is or that it is not, but I thought that it was at least very interesting and worthy of some speculation.

What do you think that the writing on the outside of the scroll is there for, what is the significance of this writing?

In Old Testament times this writing was used to show who was worthy to open the scroll, and who had the right of redemption and the price of redemption. These qualifications would be written on the outside of the scroll so that they could be easily read without opening any of the seals.

We have looked at the outside of the scroll and now let us look at the inside.

The scroll would be laid out flat and then would be written on, then rolled a little way and then sealed. Then more writing and another seal until there were seven periods of writing and seven seals, with the seventh seal sealing the final edge of the scroll.

You can see some of this in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 32:6 And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Jeremiah 32:7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.

Jeremiah 32:8 So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

Jeremiah 32:9 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.

Jeremiah 32:10 And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.

Jeremiah 32:11 So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open:

Jeremiah 32:12 And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.

Now to clear up any possible confusion about the seventh seal and the seven trumpets and the seven bowls! When the seventh seal is opened we will find the seven trumpets contained within the seventh seal. When the seventh trumpet is sounded, we will see contained within the seventh trumpet the seven bowls or vials. So the seventh seal “is” the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet “is” the seven bowls.

Notice the place of the scroll! It is in the right hand of him that sat on the throne. This is the place of all authority, sovereign control, and power.

Below are a few of the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures that refer to the ‘right hand of God’:

Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalms 17:7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.

Psalms 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Psalms 20:6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

Psalms 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

Psalms 48:10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.

Psalms 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

Psalms 63:8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

Psalms 89:13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.

Psalms 98:1 A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

Psalms 110:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Revelation 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

First who is the strong angel, and can we know who this angel is?

In the Bible we are given the names of two angels. The first is Michael and the second is Gabriel. Michael is called an archangel in Jude 9. The name Michael means “who is like God”, and the name Gabriel means “the strength of God”.

We know that this strong angel is not Christ, because we have already seen Christ at the right hand of the Father. Christ is never called a strong angel in scripture. If we go strictly by the names of the angels we would have to choose Gabriel as the strong angel.

So we see the proclamation and question Who is worthy!

Revelation 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

No one, no person, no thing, no one found that had the proper credentials to open the scroll, not in Heaven not on the earth and not under the earth. Not a man, not an angel, and not the devil could look upon or open the scroll.

Revelation 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

This word for weep is also found in Luke 19:41 of Jesus weeping and in Matthew 26:75 of Peter weeping.

Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Greek G2799 (Strong’s concordance)

klaio?

klah’-yo

Of uncertain affinity; to sob, that is, wail aloud (whereas G1145 is rather to cry silently): – bewail. weep.

Once again, in John 21:15 we see the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ as he reaches out to Peter with forgiveness and restoration.

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

In Revelation 5:4 we see the Apostle John weeping, in great distress because there was no one found worthy to open the scroll.

Oh, but all is not lost!

In verses 5-7 of Revelation Chapter 5 we see the Person who is worthy to open the scroll.

Revelation 5:5 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.

It is the Lion of the tribe of Juda. We can compare this with the following verses.

Genesis 49:8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.

Genesis 49:9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?

Gen 49:10 The sceptre 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.

The above scriptures point to the true Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Lion is used in the Old Testament 155 times and in the New Testament 9 times. The book of Revelation claims 6 of those uses out of the 9.

The lion is a symbol of destruction.

Hosea 5:14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.

The lion is a symbol of strength.

Judges 14:18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.

The lion is the symbol of boldness.

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

But we need to be careful here. There is a counterfeit out there seeking to destroy the Christian.

1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Once again we must remember the usage of symbolic language, ‘like’ and ‘as’. The adversary the devil is not a roaring lion, but walks about as one.

Revelation 5:5 tells us that Jesus Christ is also the Root of David. Now this is very interesting because in Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Jesus is speaking and calls Himself not only the Root of David but the offspring of David.

Jesus tells us here that He was before David as David’s ancestor (Root) and after David as his son (offspring). This shows us that Jesus is God, very God, very God in human flesh. Jesus Christ was God before David and is God after David. He, Jesus, is the eternal God.

We find prophecy of this in the Old Testament.

2 Samuel 7:12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

2 Samuel 7:13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

Psalm 132:11 The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Jesus Christ is also called the branch.

Jeremiah 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

And

Zechariah 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.

Jesus Christ is also the Lamb of God, 186 times in the bible, with 29 of those times here in Revelation.

Revelation 5:6 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.

First, the Greek word for slain literally means “slaughtered” or “butchered”, which is a much more descriptive word.

If we were to go to a cattle ranch and ask the rancher if we could buy a side of beef, he would take a live animal and slaughter it. We would get about 200 packages of beef, cut, wrapped, ready for the freezer, and ready to be eaten.

This word depicts the agony that Jesus went through when He was beaten, scourged and crucified on the cross. We are told in Isaiah that his visage was marred more than any man

Isaiah 52:14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:.

Second, where would we normally expect to find a slain lamb? Standing or lying down, lying down, of course, as if dead. Although Jesus is normally depicted as sitting at the right hand of God, here He is standing and taking all authority, depicting the all powerful, all knowing risen Lamb of God.

Third, the seven horns and seven eyes, what do you see here?

The seven horns depict sovereign control, and they represent authority and power. The seven Spirits of God represent the omniscience of God. The God that knows all things sees all things and has the power and authority to alter anything and everything.

And, lastly we see Jesus Christ in the midst of the throne. Jesus stands with the elders around Him, the four living creatures around Him. He is the central figure in Heaven just like He was in the Churches of Revelation chapters 2 and 3.

Revelation 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

Revelation 5:8 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.

Now we will look at the worship which takes place in Heaven, the Living creatures, and the 24 elders.

Before starting in verses 7-8, I would remind all that we should look for the figurative language. And we must do this before we take any passage to mean anything other than what it says literally. We do not want to get into the error of spiritualizing the scripture if the plain an obvious meaning is very apparent.

Remembering the rule, to wit:

If the plain sense makes good sense, do not look for any other sense, because you will get nonsense!

As proven, at least in my mind in the previous studies, we saw that the 24 elders were representatives of the completed body of believers. Whether we take this to mean the inclusion of the Old Testament saints or not is a subject for continuous debate.

We have seen that the four living creatures are cherubim and are the worship leaders of Heaven. What ever the cherubim do the elders immediately respond and follow.

Now we will see what I believe is the pivotal passage in the book of Revelation concerning the rapture of the Church and the time frame of the rapture. I know that there is quit a lot of opposition to this view, others will argue that the specific word usage cannot be correct and should be removed from the passage. Whatever your view on this passage of scripture, I can guarantee the study will not be boring. So, without further chit chat let us begin.

Revelation 5:8 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.

The following is taken from Professor Barnes on Revelation 5:8:

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts The acts of adoration here described as rendered by the four living creatures and the elders are, according to the explanation given in Revelation 4:4-7, emblematic of the honor done to the Redeemer by the church.”

fell down before the Lamb The usual posture of profound worship. Usually in such worship there was entire prostration on the earth.”

having every one of them harps That is, as the construction, and the propriety of the case would seem to demand, the elders had each of them harps. The whole prostrated themselves with profound reverence; the elders had harps and censers, and broke out into a song of praise for redemption. This construction is demanded, because:”

(a) “the Greek word – echontes – more properly agrees with the word “elders” – presbuteroi – and not with the word “beasts” – zo?a;”

(b) “there is an incongruity in the representation that the living creatures, in the form of a lion, a calf, an eagle, should have harps and censers; and,”

(c) “the song of praise that is sung Revelation 5:9 is one that properly applies to the elders as the representatives of the church, and not to the living creatures – Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”

“The harp was a well-known instrument used in the service of God.”

And golden vials The word “vial” with us, denoting a small slender bottle with a narrow neck, evidently does not express the idea here. The article here referred to was used for offering incense, and must have been a vessel with a large open mouth. The word “bowl” or “goblet” would better express the idea, and it is so explained by Prof. Robinson, Lexicon, and by Prof. Stuart, in loco. The Greek word – phiale? – occurs in the New Testament only in Revelation 5:8, Revelation 15:7; Revelation 16:1-4, Revelation 16:8, Revelation 16:10, Revelation 16:12, Revelation 16:17, Revelation 17:1, Revelation 21:9, and is uniformly rendered “vial” and “vials,” though the idea is always that of a “bowl” or “goblet”.”

full of odours Or rather, full of incense – thumiamato.”

which are the prayers of saints Which represent or denote the prayers of saints. Compare Psalms 141:2, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense.” The meaning is that incense was a proper emblem of prayer. This seems to have been in two respects:”

(a)”as being acceptable to God – as incense produced an agreeable fragrance; and,”

(b)”in its being wafted toward heaven – ascending toward the eternal throne.”

“In Revelation 8:3, an angel is represented as having a golden censer: And there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. The representation there undoubtedly is that the angel is employed in presenting the prayers of the saints which were offered on earth before the throne.”

“It is most natural to interpret the passage before us in the same way. The allusion is clearly to the temple service, and to the fact that incense was offered by the priest in the temple itself at the time that prayer was offered by the people in the courts of the temple. We see this in the New Testament book of Luke 1:9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

Luke 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

“It is not said that they offer the prayers themselves, but that they offer incense as representing the prayers of the saints. If this be the correct interpretation, as it seems to be the obvious one, then the passage lays no foundation for the view that prayer is offered by the redeemed in heaven. Whatever may be the truth on that point – on which the Bible seems to be silent – it will find no support from the passage before us. Adoration, praise, thanksgiving, are represented as the employment of the saints in heaven: the only representation respecting prayer as pertaining to that world is, that there are emblems there which symbolize its ascent before the throne, and which show that it is acceptable to God. It is an interesting and beautiful representation that there are in heaven appropriate symbols of ascending prayer, and that while in the outer courts here below we offer prayer, incense, emblematic of it, ascends in the holy of holies above. The impression which this should leave on our minds ought to be, that our prayers are wafted before the throne, and are acceptable to God.” (End of excerpt from Professor Barnes.)

After Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, takes the scroll from God the Father, the cherubim and the completed Church of the Lord Jesus Christ fall down before the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world and begin to worship. We see each one of them, having harps and golden vials full of odours (incense) which are the prayers of the saints.

Worship has broken out in heaven because the Lamb has taken control and is now in charge of all things. Judgment, mercy, forgiveness and compassion are all His to dispense, and He will dispense it with the wisdom of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

We have here the living beasts and the 24 elders prostrate before the Lamb of God, with harps, and the prayers of the saints. What do you think are the prayers of the saints?

We are not told exactly, but try this on and see if it witnesses with you.

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

This could be the fulfillment of that prayer. I am not saying that is, rather that it is possible it could be.

Revelation 5:9 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;

Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

My first question here is, who are the they that are singing a new song?

The grammar screams for masculine gender and can only refer to the 24 elders and not the cherubim (or angels) which are always referred to as neuter in gender.

Let me explain it this way:

The word for every one in Revelation 5:8 is masculine and can only refer to the 24 elders because the word beasts (living ones) is neuter, not masculine.

Angels cannot sing this song because they have not been redeemed. In fact, we are told in scripture that the angels have a desire to look into this gospel of salvation.

1 Peter 1:8-12 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

1Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

1Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

1Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

1Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

The word for sung in Revelation 5:9 and 10 is present active indicative. This means they are singing. We also get a glimpse of the song in the following passages.

Psalms 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

Psalms 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Psalms 96:1 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.

Psalms 144:9 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

Isaiah 42:10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

Revelation 5:9 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;

Revelation 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Let us look at the purchase price for the redeemed and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

1Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

We also have the “people” that have been redeemed out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

Look at the position of redeemed people and hast made us unto our God kings and priests.

Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

And finally we look at the promise made to the redeemed people and we shall reign on the earth.

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

We are now left with the 24 elders that are the representation of the people who died in faith, which includes the New Testament Church. The elders are singing in the second person as they sing you are worthyyou were slain, whereas angels always praise in the third person.

Now we come to the us and we and the them and they problem of Rev 5:9-10.

In my studies the only manuscript that I can find that contains “men, them, and they” is the Codex Alexandrinus. Out of the hundreds of manuscripts, this is the only one that contains the variant reading. The Codex Sinaiticus, Vatacanus, Coptic, Vulgate and Cyprian, along with the Byzantine text which is also known as the Textus Receptus which originates about the third century, these all contain the word us in Revelation 5:9 and us and we in Revelation 5:10. Everything else contains us and we. By the preponderance of evidence I must conclude that the us belongs in the text and is correctly rendered, and the redeemed are the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just because Codex Alexandrinus may be the oldest manuscript does not mean that it is the best.

Now here is my main point. If us and we are indeed in the text, then the 24 elders do in fact represent the Body of Christ in Heaven before the tribulation period starts. This is the strongest argument for a pretribulation rapture. This would then show the raptured Church in Heaven before the tribulation starting in Revelation chapter six, and all Bible scholars know this to be true if us and weare in the passage.

Now here is one final note. As mentioned before, I asked myself if there were any other quotations of this passage in scripture and there is. Once again please refer to Revelation 1:5-6.

This has to do with the law of first mention which states in part, that the first mention of a passage sets the tone for any following mention.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Now look at this verse in the other Bible versions, because it is fascinating.

NASB (New Amercian Standard Bible) version:

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood–

Revelation 1:6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father–to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

In addition, the NIV (New International Version) translates in the same manner. There is no controversy in the manuscripts or translations for Revelation 1:5-6.

I believe that the King James Version is exactly correct in the rendering of Revelation 5:9-10.

For the condensed version of the us and we problem see it at the end of this chapter.

There are also some wonderful materials on the validity and reliability of some of the old manuscripts. If you would like further information please contact us at our e-mail address.

Do I like the King James Version? Yep!

Is it hard to read at times? Yep!

Do I use any other translations to get clarity? Yep! NKJV (New King James Version), MKJV (Modern King James Version) NASB, ASV (Amercian Standard Version), NIV and the Parallel Bible.

Now, let us move along with verse 11.

Revelation 5:11 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;

Can you imagine the defining sound as millions of angels, the four living creatures and the elders all saying the same thing at the same time?

Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.

The scripture says that it was loud. Now if you do not like loud music God will change your ears so that you can handle it.

Heaven has broken out in praise and worship saying Worthy is the Lamb that was slain (slaughtered) and they ascribe to Christ a seven fold blessing!

1 power, 2 riches, 3 wisdom, 4 strength, 5 honor, 6 glory, and 7 blessing.

Last, we see that the adoration comes from every creature in Revelation 5:13a, and in Revelation 5:13b we see the acclaim directed to the Father and the Son.

Revelation 5:13 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, 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.

Revelation 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Can you even get your mind wrapped around every creature praising God? The birds, fish, cows, cats and dogs. Every creature on the earth is giving worship to God the Father and God the Son.

Then the four living creatures say AMEN and the elders fall prostrate before the Lamb and worship. And, since this in the imperfect tense, it is actually “kept saying” Amen, Amen, Amen.

Amen

Now If I may here is the condensed version of the us and we problem. By this I mean, what is the correct reading in Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Some versions of the Bible replaceus and we with them and they.

The following are the results my study into the manuscript evidence.

  1. In Revelation 5:9 the removal of the word us is only found in Codex Alexandrinus.
  2. In Revelation 5:10 the word them and the third person plural they shall reign are all variant readings.
  3. There is a variant reading between the future and present tenses of the word reign.
  4. The Latin Vulgate translation of Jerome reads us in both verses.
  5. It is possible to read us in verse 9 and then them in verse 10 as an editorial comment of the redeemed ones of verse 9.
  6. If we look for other like passages we find just that in Revelation 1:4-6

John to the seven Churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood–

and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father–to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. This seems to settle the issue. The pronouns are first person plural us.

May God richly bless you as you wrestle with His word.