Revelation 5:8-14 / Worthy is the Lamb!

Posted on May 3, 2015


This is the sixteenth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Revelation. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of May 3, 2015. This message continues to detail John’s vision of the throne room in Heaven, and focuses on the worthiness of Jesus Christ. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.


Rev. 5:8-14



The elders play their harps in praise of Christ. Music, and musical instruments are common forms of praising God.

  • Psalm 33:2
  • 1 Chronicles 13:8

Bowls full of incense. These golden, wide-mouth saucers were common in the tabernacle and temple. Incense was a normal part of the OT ritual. 

Priests stood twice daily before the inner veil of the temple and burned incense so that the smoke would carry into the Most Holy Place to God. That symbolized the people’s prayers rising to him.

  • Psalm 141:2
  • Leviticus 16:12-13

Lest he die” – A Christian without a prayer life, is a dead Christian. 
Specifically, these prayers represent all that the redeemed have ever prayed concerning ultimate and final redemption which is about to commence. These are prayers which have already been prayed. They have been prayed by saints throughout the ages. They could be the prayers of your parents, grandparents, even the apostles and the Old Testament prophets.

The prayers concerning God’s final and ultimate redemption have been stored up and kept by God. Keep this in mind when you think that God is not answering your prayers. It may just be that they will be fulfilled at a later time.

Every saint who had lived and died up to that point, who had prayed for Christ’s final judgment and redemption, never saw that prayer answered. However, it is obvious that God has been constantly working toward that end. Take heart that when you pray, that no prayer is ever lost or forgotten. God hears and knows each one.

Though the four living creatures have fallen down before the Lamb in worship, this song is sung by the elders.

“And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”

This clearly is sung by the elders (church) because it says “every tribe and tongue and people and nation“, not to mention that only the saints will become priests and kings. Nor was Christ’s blood shed for the redemption of any in the angelic realm. No fallen angels will be redeemed. Christ came as a man to save man.

This is a song of praise, and it is directed toward the Lamb. It is quite common in Scripture for a “new song” to be sung, when one has experienced God’s redemption or deliverance.

  • Psalm 33:3-4
  • Psalm 96:1-2
  • Psalm 144:9-10

The new song is a song of redemption, the old song is the song of creation.

  • Job 38:7

He is worthy. His worthiness for this task was won by his loving sacrifice on the cross.
After the song of praise of Christ’s redemption, all of the heavenly hosts join in praise. The praise now includes the four living creatures, and the many angels. The number is staggering! However amazing the magnitude of this praise is, Christ is worthy of infinitely more.

The recurring theme is “worthy”, and it is pronounced with a loud voice. Indeed, it is worth shouting!

  • He is worthy because He was slain.
  • He is worthy because He was forsaken.
  • He is worthy because He became sin for us.
  • He is worthy to receive power.
  • He is worthy to receive riches.
  • He is worthy to receive wisdom.
  • He is worthy to receive strength.
  • He is worthy to receive honor.
  • He is worthy to receive glory.
  • He is worthy to receive blessing.

Make no mistake, power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, honor, glory and blessing are already His. As God, these things have belonged to Him from eternity past, and will always be His.

His receiving the scroll is a formal and permenant claim to those things which satan has tried to steal. He is about to put Satan’s time to an end, and soon there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that these things belong to Christ. Satan will be able to deceive no longer.

The entire creation will praise God. God must be praised, it is impossible for Him to go without praise.

  • Luke 19:37-40

The praise of God cannot be kept silent, and it will continue into eternity. Why? Because He is worthy!

If you want to know what we’ll be singing about in heaven, its right here. We will be singing praises to the Lamb. We will sing the wondrous story of redemption in praise to the Lamb.

I love to tell the story, twill be my theme in glory. To tell the old old story, of Jesus and His Love.

This story will be met with “amen!”, and the worship will continue forever and ever.

We have every reason to worship Him today, and to do it publicly with a loud voice. No longer should the church remain silent. We should be loud and sure, proclaiming the worthiness of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.