I. The book becomes the focal point (Rev. 5:1)
We continue with the scenes in heaven which we have found to be the pattern of which the earthly things found in the temple and tabernacle were made. There is a celebration in heaven in the fourth and fifth chapters and that celebration is centered on God and the man Christ Jesus. The judgment of this earth that will bring forth the reign of Jesus Christ upon this earth is getting ready to be opened. There is an intense moment though before all attention is centered on the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. We have sung about the worthiness of God. In the light of the glory of God all surrounding the throne are seen to be unworthy before Christ is seen as worthy.
First, we see the book. “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.” This book now becomes a focal point for within this book will come the things which we are studying in this book. What is this book? The books in the ancient world were not as the books in our time. Their books were scrolls made of papyrus or animal skin. Exactly what the book in the hand of God looks like is not known but the picture here is a scroll sealed by the authority of God seven times. Henry stated that “God holds this book in his right hand, to declare the authority of the book, and his readiness and resolution to execute all the contents thereof, all the counsels and purposes therein recorded.” It is not as important for us to know what the book looks like as it is for us to ascertain what it contains. Some have stated that this book is the title deed to this earth. God the Creator owns all things. God gave the earth to the dominion of man. Man lost his dominion over the earth. The devil became the god of this world. Christ regained the title to this earth through obedience unto death. This though does not seem to be a completely feasible. The natural flow of this book indicates that all that proceeds from this point will proceed from this book. That which Christ described as the beginning of sorrows corresponds with the opening of the seals. Out of those seven seals proceed seven trumpets and out of the seven trumpets proceed the seven bowels of wrath. All of this is consummated with the physical return of Christ to this earth. Daniel who waited for the coming Messiah and the resurrection was told by God to seal up the words of his book until the time of the end (Dan. 12). Here we have them opened again to us who live in the last days. The events which will fulfill the Scripture are in the hands of God alone, the one that sat upon the throne. Jesus told us this: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). This then begins with the book in the hand of the Father. The Father is about to make known to all creation that which is in His power alone. Henry again stated that “This book in the hand of God is shut up and sealed; it is known to none but himself, till he allows it to be opened. Known unto God, and to him alone, are all his works, from the beginning of the world; but it is his glory to conceal the matter as he pleases. The times and seasons, and their great events, he hath kept in his own hand and power.”
So we find sealed in the hand of the Father all that shall proceed. This is no small volume; this volume is written within and on the backside. Gill said that this is “to show that it contains a large account of things, a long train of events to be accomplished….” What we have here in the book of Revelation is only snap shots of what is there contained. We still await the moment that that all things will be revealed. We learn therefore certain things from this scene. We learn that God’s Word and Will are indeed settled in heaven. God is not sitting around trying to figure out what to do; He already has that settled. He knows the end from the beginning and He has declared all of His works from the beginning. When it is all said and done we will see that what God has declared will be what is done. God has a plan for the ages and He will perform it. We also learn that when these seals are broken that which God has declared shall be done; they shall be actual.