"And I saw in the right hand of him
that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with
Most of the rest of the book of Revelation
revolves around the book that is mentioned in the above verse. There is much
that we are told about this book in the succeeding verses and chapters. Some
have tried to put a label on this book, such as this being "the Lamb's book of
life" or the "book of life" or the "book of revealed truth," etc. Unsealed this
book reveals the eternal and timely salvations of God's elect. I suppose if we
were to put a name on it, it might be the "book of salvation" or the "book of
The book was in the "right hand" of him that sat
on the throne. The right hand is the position of honor and the position of
power as the following verses show:
1. Ex. 6:6 "Thy right hand, O
LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces
2. Ex. 12:12 "Thou stretchedst out
thy right hand, the earth swallowed them."
3. Deu. 33:2 "And he said, The
LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from
mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went
a fiery law for them."
4. 1 Kings 2:19 "Bathsheba
therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king
rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and
caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand."
5. Ps. 16:8 "I have set the LORD
always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved."
6. Ps. 17:7 "Show 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."
7. Ps. 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."
8. Ps. 45:9 "Kings' daughters were
among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of
9. Ps. 80:17 "Let thy hand be upon
the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for
10. Matt. 25:33 "And he shall set
the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King
say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the
kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:"
Thus this book that is in the right hand of the
Lord Jesus Christ, our King, shows forth the power of Christ to save us and to
place the elect in a position of honor at his right hand.
This book was written within and on the
backside. We find a similarly described book in Ezekiel: Ezek. 2:8 "But
thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that
rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. 9 And when I
looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and
there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe." The book in
Revelation appears also to be a roll as it was unfolded by the loosing of the
seals. The book in Ezekiel was written on both sides, thus there was no wasted
space. Thus everything that was written must be important both in the book
mentioned in Ezekiel and in the book mentioned in Revelation. The book written
in Ezekiel was said to be God's word to the rebellious house of Israel. In it
were pronounced lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Are the elect children of
God any less rebellious today than the rebellious house of Israel? There are
also lamentations, and mourning, and woe set forth in the succeeding chapters of
the book of Revelation. However, unlike the book in Ezekiel, the book mentioned
in Revelation also sets forth blessings, rejoicing, and deliverances to God's
The book was sealed with seven seals. The word
"seal" is used to mean two different things in the scriptures. First there is
the type of seal made by a signature ring or other device to make an impression
so as to indicate the authenticity and authority of the thing or ones sealed.
This type of "seal" is set forth in the following verses:
1. I Kings 21:8 So she wrote
letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto
the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth."
2. Neh. 9:38 "And because of all
this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and
priests, seal unto it."
3. Est. 3:12 "Then were the king's
scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written
according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to
the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people
of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after
their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with
the king's ring."
4. Rom. 4:11 "And he received the
sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet
being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe,
though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them
The second use of the word "seal" is to indicate
something closed or kept secret until the time of unsealing. The following
verses indicate this type of seal:
1. Job 14:17 "My transgression is
sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity."
2. Is. 29:11 "And the vision of
all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver
to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot;
for it is sealed:"
3. Jer. 32:10 "And I subscribed
the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in
4. Dan. 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."
5. Eph. 4:30 "And grieve not the
holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
The seven seals are like the second seal. That
contained in the book is sealed up and secret until the one who has the ability
and authority to open the seals comes and opens them. In the succeeding
chapters we will see what is unveiled when the Lamb comes and opens the seven
Rev 5:2, 3 "And I saw a strong angel
proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the
seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the
earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon."
"And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a
loud voice…" We will first attempt to identify who the strong angel is. The
only time the phrase, "strong angel," appears in the scriptures is in this verse
of scripture. However, the Greek word translated "strong" is also translated
"mighty." Three times in the scriptures the term "mighty angel" or "mighty
angels" appear in the scriptures and two of those times the context suggest that
it has reference to the Lord:
1. 2 Thes. 1:7 "And to you who are
troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with
his mighty angels."
2. Rev. 10:1 "And I saw another
mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon
his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:"
3. Rev. 18:21 "And a mighty angel
took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus
with violence shall that great city
Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no
more at all."
While I can't prove without a doubt that the
"strong angel" is the Lord, I suspect it probably was the Lord. I certainly
can't prove that it was anyone other than the Lord.
"Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose
the seals thereof?" Obviously there were qualifications that a person had to
meet in order to be considered "worthy." From later verses it is apparent that
the Lamb of God is the only one who met the qualifications. A lamb to be
qualified as an acceptable sacrifice had to meet certain qualifications: the
lamb was to be without blemish and without spot:
1. Ex. 12:5 "Your lamb shall be
without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep,
or from the goats: 6 And ye shall
keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of
the congregation of Israel shall
kill it in the evening."
2. Lev. 1:3 "If his offering be a
burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish:"
3. Lev. 22:21 "And whosoever
offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or
a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted;
there shall be no blemish therein. 22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or
having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor
make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD.
4. Num 28:3 "And thou shalt say
unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD;
two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt
offering. 4 The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other
lamb shalt thou offer at even;"
5. Num 29:17 "And on the second
day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first
year without spot:"
6. 1 Pet. 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; 19 But
with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without
The priests who made the offerings had to meet
certain qualifications as well: Lev. 21:17 "Speak unto Aaron, saying,
Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him
not approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For whatsoever man he be
that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that
hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, 19 Or a man that is
brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, 20 Or crookbacked, or a dwarf, or that
hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;
21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come
nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he
shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God."
When it came to redemption we find that all of
mankind are found unworthy:
1. Ps. 14:2 "The LORD looked down
from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did
understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all
together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat
bread, and call not upon the LORD."
2. Ps. 53:2 "God looked down from
heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand,
that did seek God. 3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether
become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4 Have the
workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they
have not called upon God."
3. Is. 63:5 "And I looked, and
there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore
mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me."
"And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither
under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon." We
find that the word of God teaches three heavens and this verse doesn't
differentiate which heaven. Since it doesn't then we can assume that no man in
either the law heaven, or the kingdom of heaven, or the glory world was found
worthy to open the book or look thereon. Likewise there was no man in earth
that could open the book or look thereon. Finally there was no man under the
earth (in the grave?) who could open the book or look thereon. This effectively
rules out all of mankind. It wasn't because there weren't some who desired to
look thereon, but rather they were not found worthy. They and we didn't meet
the qualifications of worthiness.