Revelation 5:11
Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels and living creatures and elders encircling the throne, and their number was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands.
Sermons
The Adoration of the LambS. Conway Revelation 5:1-14
The Triple DoxologyS. Conway Revelation 5:9, 12-14
Christ the Lamb SlainJohn Russell.Revelation 5:11-13
Christ the Object of Angelic WorshipR. Balmer, D. D.Revelation 5:11-13
Glory Ascribed in Heaven to the LambJ. Dixon.Revelation 5:11-13
Praise a DutyJ. R. Miller, D. D.Revelation 5:11-13
The Great Festal Gathering and Song of HeavenJ. R. Macduff, D. D.Revelation 5:11-13
The Hymn of the Angels and of CreationW. M. Johnston, M. A.Revelation 5:11-13
The Worthiness of Christ to Receive Man's RichesHomilistRevelation 5:11-13
The Worthy Sacrifice of ChristT. Adkins.Revelation 5:11-13
The Angelic and Universal ChorusR. Green Revelation 5:11-14
The Worthiness of Christ to Receive Man's RichesD. Thomas Revelation 5:11-14


Now the song bursts out beyond the circles of the redeemed host. "The voice of many angels," even "ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands," bears onwards the same burden of song, "Worthy is the Lamb," and the chorus is completed only when it is taken up by "every created thing which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea;" and the song ascribes "the blessing, and the honour, and the glory, and the dominion" unto "him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb," and that "forever and ever."

"The whole creation join in one
To bless the sacred Name
Of him that sits upon the throne,
And to adore the Lamb." The vision is prophetic - it anticipates the final condition, the ultimate triumph of redemption, the ultimate acknowledgment of it. It is the song from the redeemed, and declares the widespread influence of redemption. It is creation's song. All creatures, "every created thing," praises the creating and redeeming Lord.

I. IT IS THE UNIVERSAL RECOGNITION OF THE BLESSINGS OF REDEMPTION.

1. The angelic host, forming a semi-chorus, exult in the gracious work of the Lamb - in which figure must be seen represented the total idea of redemption by "the Lamb of God." Angels, who desired to "look into" these things, have found in them matter for praise. High above the incidents of the human history rises the image of him to whom all is due.

2. The "great voice" of the many angels "and the living creatures and the elders" is exceeded by that of "every created thing" in heaven, earth, and sea, even "all things that are in them." This voice of the entire, the grand chorus, the holy seer heard. It was his to discern the beneficent effect of redemption, his to catch the re-echoing song of all things as they praised the holy Name. It stands as the counterpart to "God cursed the ground for man's sake." All is ordered and readjusted. The disturbance by sin gives place to the harmony of all creation "in him" in whom all things are "gathered together in one."

3. All is followed by the solemn "Amen," the reverent assent of the four living creatures - representatives of all creature life, not excluding the Church.

II. IT IS CREATION'S TESTIMONY TO THE GLORY OF GOD IS THE REDEMPTION OF MEN.

III. IT IS DECLARATIVE OF THE UNIVERSAL INTEREST IN THE HISTORY OF THE REDEEMED RACE. The angels, who rejoiced over one sinner repenting, rejoice now in the completed work of the universal redemption. They who saw "first the blade," and sang over it, now behold "the full corn in the ear," and offer their loudest praise to the Lord of the harvest. Herein is signified the unity of the entire creation. Subtle links bind all in one. Each part is helpful to the other. There is mutual harmony, and there are mutual dependence and relationship. The whole finds its termination in a new act of adoring worship: "The four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped." As is most meet, the praise of all is paid to him "of whom and to whom and for whom are all things." The Church below may learn:

1. The certainty of the final triumph of the Lamb in his own conquering work of redemption.

2. The identification of the work of redemption with the purposes of creation.

3. The duty of praise to God for this his unspeakable gift.

4. The sympathy of the angelic and universal life in the spiritual career of the redeemed. - R.G.









The voice of many angels round about the throne.
I. THE COMPLACENCY WITH WHICH CHRIST LOOKS BACK ON HIS OWN ATONING WORK AND SUFFERINGS.

II. THE PERPETUAL EFFICACY OF THE SAVIOUR'S SACRIFICE.

III. THE CONTINUED IDENTITY OF CHRIST'S PERSON AS GOD-MAN MEDIATOR.

IV. REDEMPTION IS THE GRAND THEME OF ADORATION FOR UNREDEEMED ANGELS AS WELL AS FOR THE REDEEMED FAMILY OF GOD.

V. THE PRE-EMINENT DIGNITY AND BLISS OF THE RANSOMED SAINTS.

VI. THE UNITY WHICH PERVADES THE HEAVENLY RANKS.

VII. THE VISION SEEMS INTENDED TO PREPARE THE CHURCH ON EARTH FOR HER OWN SUFFERINGS, AND RECONCILE HER TO HER APPROACHING TRIBULATION.

(J. R. Macduff, D. D.)

I. First let us understand THE ATTITUDE AND POSITION OF THE ANGELS. They are round about the throne of God, around the elders — that is, the Church — and around the living creatures. They are, therefore, the sentinels and the guardians of Divine and human things. So they stand equally around the emblem of eternal power, around the fourfold forms of life, around its drudgery as well as its ambition, and around the Church, distressed and broken and divided and betrayed. No thought of fear dims the lustre of their eyes, nor lessens the precision and the emphasis of their song. And it is worthy of notice that they secure ample leisure for worship. It is a lesson that ought not to be lost upon our hurrying age. Thank heaven, there are still secluded corners of our land where the shriek of steam-engines, the clamour of crowded streets, the driving of pulse and brain, is unknown; where the valleys laugh and sing with the standing corn, where the hilltops are silent as the seas, and where jaded brains may shape some thought of God. But heaven is busy too, and there is work enough to be accomplished. There are sinners lost in the wilds of the hill, and in loathsome dens of the city, who will need to be brought home. There are claims and needs and dangers of the Church the world over — energies to be cherished, works to be encouraged, impurities to be purged, sorrows and disappointments to be assuaged. And with all these interests in hand their eye is upon the throne, for here only do angels and men alike behold, and thence only receive the interpretation of life and the wisdom and guidance for work. And well were it, not only for its honesty, but even more for its progress, if the commerce of England and Scotland and Ireland were directed by the laws which abide in God. Only those who obey can worship, and only those who rightly worship can truly live. And so —

II. The central thought of the angels, like that of the Church, was THE WORTHINESS OF CHRIST. "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain." And as it was in the mind of the Church, so here again this worthiness is associated with sacrifice. For most men suffer only when they must, and they fail to perceive that sacrifice at once tests what we are, and makes us what we ought to be. In this way Christ's sacrifice proved His essential worth, and, beyond this, proves to-day His permanent worth to His people. It is not His power alone. That never elicits adoration. It is the goodness that reigns paramount within Him which men worship and love.

III. THE RESPONSE OF CREATION. The poet of Palestine had said, many a year before St. John lived, that there is neither speech nor language throughout the earth in which the voice of the firmament is not heard. "The songs of the spheres" was another method of expressing the same truth. The sky vibrates with praise as the great stars stand out in their places. "Earth, with its thousand voices," said Coleridge, "praises God." And while these call to man, whatever his tongue or his worship, man the world round feels that he must respond. He cannot help worshipping. Under the gaslight, and in the heated atmosphere of some remote meeting-place in the big town, he may lustily proclaim that God is nothing to him. But when the gas is out and the cheering companions are gone, when he is alone on the mountain-side, and the thunder booms out its terror above and the lightning flashes death around him, a voice within answers the voices without, and the infidel is compelled to pray. And as man must worship, so his worship adopts a more expansive form than that which angels take as yet (Revelation 7:12). His eyes, too, are indeed filled with the image of the Lamb. What mind can forget Calvary and Olivet? But away beyond the present fact he contemplates the continuous recognition, and age upon age he hears the same hymn. And further yet, and fuller, the worship of the Lamb broadens into the worship of the Godhead. It is offered to "Him that sitteth upon the throne." And it expresses the spiritual history of every saint. We see ourselves in this hymn. When first our life lay before us, and we took it up and placed it upon the altar of God's salvation, Jesus Christ was all, was everything to us. Then as faith deepened and threw up the greater and stronger life, we saw Jesus in all things. And then we beheld the love of the Father to be as great and tender as the love of the Son, and the strength of the Holy Ghost gathered round us and within us, and God in His blessed Trinity embraced all things.

(W. M. Johnston, M. A.)

I. THE HOMAGE HERE REPRESENTED AS RENDERED TO THE SAVIOUR BY THE ANGELIC HOSTS.

1. Angels are the worshippers to whom our attention is more particularly directed in the text.

2. The nature of the homage which they render Him. The particulars here specified relate rather to the natural than the moral attributes of our Saviour, to His greatness rather than His goodness; that is, to His prerogatives and glories which He most obscured in His humbled state, or of which He then emptied Himself, as the Scripture expresses it.

3. The ground of this homage. As a person inherently possessed of all Divine excellences and glories, the Son of God, in common with the Father, has an incontestable title to the worship and obedience of the heavenly hosts. He has a further claim as the author and preserver of their existence, and as the source and dispenser of all their happiness. It is not, however, on this ground, strong as it is, that the homage manifested in the text is rendered Him. Look to the passage and you will at once perceive that the basis on which the Son of God is worshipped, both by the representatives of the Church and by the angelic hosts, is His death or sacrifice. But does the death of Christ give Him any new or peculiar claims to the homage of the heavenly hierarchies who are not immediately interested in its benefits? Unquestionably it does, and some of these claims it is not difficult to discover. His death was not only in itself the most extraordinary event that ever took place, it afforded incomparably the most magnificent display that ever was exhibited of generosity and kindness, of compassion and tenderness. It is an essential part of true excellence to admire excellence in another, and the admiration ought to be proportioned to the measure of excellence displayed. What a resistless impulse, then, must it communicate to the adoration and praise of the holy angels, to contemplate the death of the Son of God. Recollect next the display of the Divine character and perfections exhibited in the death of Christ, and you will see in it another reason to ampel the hosts of heaven to honour and adore Him. Consider, again, that while the death of Christ contributes so much to advance the honour of God, it contributes not less to promote the happiness of man. "They rejoice over one sinner that repenteth." In further illustration of this topic, I might add that it is the opinion of the great Mr. Howe, and of some other eminent divines, that angels, though not redeemed by Christ, are confirmed in happiness in consequence of their union to Him. It is further certain that in Him angels and saints are united in one harmonious and happy association, and that it has pleased the Father by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven." And these wonderful arrangements furnish angels with another reason to worship and serve "the Lamb that was slain."

II. THE ARGUMENT SUGGESTED BY THEIR CONDUCT TO INDUCE US TO RENDER THE LAMB A SIMILAR HOMAGE.

1. We have a direct and personal interest in His death. If His matchless love excites, as well it may, the admiration even of creatures not immediately interested, and impels them "to prepare new honours for His name," what words can express the claims which He has to our admiration, gratitude, and praise?

2. We are still in circumstances of danger. Many and formidable are the enemies who seek our ruin, numerous and painful are the toils and hardships we must encounter ere we reach our "Father's loved abode." There is one, and only one, who can protect you amid your multitudinous dangers, and bring you to the land which you wish to reach. "Jesus Christ, the captain of salvation, having been made perfect through sufferings, will conduct you to glory," if only you will confide in Him. What an argument to love and trust, to adore and praise Him!

3. I might remark that, allowing He has conferred on angels higher capacities and higher joys, our happiness has been procured by Him at a price far more costly. To communicate to angels existence and happiness required nothing more than a simple volition of His irresistible will, a single word of His omnipotent voice. It was not thus that the happiness of the apostate race could be restored, that the redemption of our lost world was to be achieved.Lessons:

1. How inconceivably glorious must heaven be, and how worthy of our earnest desire and our constant pursuit!

2. How reasonable that we should render Divine honours to the Lord Jesus.

3. How important that we cultivate a love to the exercises of heaven.

4. This subject suggests a test by which we may ascertain whether we are fit for heaven. To ascertain your meetness for heaven you have then only to inquire whether you take delight in devotional exercises and in holy pursuits and enjoyments.

5. This subject shows us the folly of the irreligious. Think of heaven with all its joys and splendours. Contrast with this hell with its horrors, a place of outer darkness and of gnashing of teeth.

(R. Balmer, D. D.)

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.
I. CONTEMPLATE CHRIST AS HE IS REPRESENTED UNDER THE CHARACTER OF A LAMB. The lamb is an appropriate symbol of innocence and meekness. Never were the lamb-like virtues brought to so severe a test, and never were they so strikingly portrayed. A recluse in his cell may reason justly on the duties of forbearance and forgiveness, but it is difficult to carry into practice the dictates of sober solitude, yet Jesus gave not only the theory but the practice of every possible virtue.

II. MEDITATE ON THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

1. He was slain decretively in the purposes of Jehovah.

2. He was slain emblematically by the sacrifices under the Levitical dispensation.

3. He was slain instrumentally by the hands of the Jews.

4. He was slain really by the justice of God for the sins of His people.

III. CELEBRATE HIS PRAISE.

1. He is worthy of the trust and confidence of His people.

2. He is worthy of the adoration and praise of the redeemed spirits above.

3. He is worthy the adoration of the purest intelligences of the universe.

4. He is worthy of the final conquest of the world.

(T. Adkins.)

I. THE WONDERFUL PERSON of the glorious sufferer will furnish occasion of unceasing admiration to the great multitude before the throne.

II. The multitude before the throne will have occasion to give glory to the great Redeemer when they contemplate THE MYSTERIOUS NATURE OF HIS SUFFERINGS.

III. Similar acknowledgments will be called forth when the saints in heaven remember THEIR SINS as the procuring cause of the Saviour's sufferings.

IV. The sufferings of the Redeemer are considered by the multitude before the throne as the result of A PLAN CONTRIVED BY THE INFINITE WISDOM OF GOD in His eternal counsels.

V. The sufferings of the Redeemer are considered by the multitude before the throne as the genuine effect of His OWN UNCONTROLLED AND SOVEREIGN PLEASURE. To Himself alone, and to the free exercise of His own good will, this act of grace and humiliation must be referred.

VI. The sufferings of the Redeemer are considered by those who stand around the throne as affording THE BRIGHTEST MANIFESTATION OF THE DIVINE PERFECTIONS.

VII. The sufferings of the Redeemer present new occasion of admiration and triumph to the multitude before the throne, because thereby REDEMPTION IS COMPLETELY PURCHASED.

(John Russell.)

1. The sacrifice of Christ has had the effect of developing the hidden perfections and glories of God in what may be considered their Christian and evangelical aspect, both in the Church above and in the Church below, consequently all glory is due to Christ upon this principle.

2. The elementary state cud high reward of heaven is the result of our Saviour's work, and consequently the glory must be due to Him.

3. The relationship in which the triumphant Church will stand to her Lord will induce these sentiments, and lead to this triumphant song. In what relationship does He stand to us here? "God with us." In what relation does He appear to the Church above? "God with them."

(J. Dixon.)

Homilist.
I. BECAUSE HE IS THE ORIGINAL PROPRIETOR OF IT. The gold that any man holds in his hands is his in a very secondary sense; his property a few years ago was in the possession of others, and a few years hence it will pass from him into other hands. All material wealth belongs to Christ.

II. BECAUSE HE HAS ENABLED YOU TO PROCURE IT. Why have you wealth more than others? Has it come to you through heirdom, legacy, or your own industry? In either case you have it through Christ.

III. BECAUSE HE GIVES YOU THE QUALIFICATION TO ENJOY IT. Who gave you the unmiserly spirit, the bodily health, the mental capacity by which you can enjoy your riches?

IV. BECAUSE HE WILL MAKE THE BEST USE OF IT.

1. The best use of it for yourselves. There is no better investment. Your contributions to Him serve you in many ways.

(1)Serve to test your character.

(2)Serve to detach you from materialism.

(3)Serve to ennoble your character. It is a great thing to be trusted, to be thrown upon your honour. Christ trusts you.

2. The best use of it for the world. When you are gone Christ's Church will be here working with the means you have entrusted to it, and working to spread truth, virtue, and happiness through the world.

(Homilist.)

No other duty is enjoined so often in the Scriptures as praise. The Bible is full of music. The woods in the summer days are not so full of bird-notes as this sacred book is of voices of song. Christian life can realise the Divine thought for it only by being songful. The old fable of the harp of Memnon, that it began to breathe out sweet music the moment the morning light swept its chords, has its true fulfil. ment in the human soul, which, the instant the light of Divine love breaks upon it gives forth notes of gladness and praise.

(J. R. Miller, D. D.).

The Lamb opened one of the seals. &&&
I. The development of GOOD in human history.

1. The good is embodied in a personal life. "He that sat," etc. "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." He was the Right — incarnate, living, acting; and this, not only during His corporeal life here, but in all His disciples through all times.

2. The good embodied in a personal life is aggressive in its action. "He went forth," etc. Wherever the sunbeams break, darkness departs; so with the right, it is always conquering. In its aggressiveness it moves —(1) Righteously. The "horse" is the instrument it employs to bear it on to victory. The good is not only pure in its nature and aims, but pure in its methods.(2) Triumphantly. The "bow" carries the arrow, and the arrow penetrates the foe.(3) Royally. "There was given unto Him a crown." Right is royal, the only royal thing in the universe, and the more perfectly it is embodied the more brilliant the diadem. Hence Christ is crowned with glory and honour, "exalted above all principalities and powers," etc.

II. The development of EVIL in human history.

1. War (ver. 4). The spirit of murder burns throughout the race. The "red horse" is ever on the gallop.

2. Indigence (ver. 5). Famine generally follows the sword.

3. Mortality (ver. 8). With every breath we draw some one falls.

4. Martyrdom (vers. 9-11).(1) A martyr is one who dies for the truth.(2) He is one who in heaven remembers the injustice of His persecutors.(3) He is one who in the heavenly world is more than compensated for all the wrongs received on earth. In heaven they have —

(a)Purity.

(b)Repose.

(c)Social hopes.

5. Physical convulsion (vers. 12-17).(1) Our earth is constantly subject to great physical convulsions.(2) These are always terribly alarming to ungodly men.(3) The alarm of ungodly men is heightened by a dread of God. "The wrath of the Lamb." A more terrific idea I cannot get. It is an ocean of oil in flames.

( D. Thomas, D. D.)

A white
1. That the preaching of the gospel cometh not by guess amongst a people, but is sent and ordered as other dispensations are, and hath a particular commission. It is one of the horses He sendeth here. So, Acts 16., the Spirit putteth them to one place, and suffereth them not to go to another place. There is not a sermon cometh without a commission.

2. That the success of the gospel goeth not by guess. The gospel hath its end as well as its commission (Isaiah 55:10; 2 Corinthians 2:14).

3. The gospel is most mighty to conquer when Christ armeth it with a commission and doth concur therewith (2 Corinthians 10:4).

4. From this description of the horse and his rider and his employment, observe that the great end of the gospel, where it cometh, is to subdue souls. Thai is the end of a ministry, to bring souls in subjection to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). And it hath its end when Christ's arrows are made powerful to pierce hearts (Ephesians 4:8; Psalm 68:18).

5. The gospel conquereth more or less wherever it cometh. When Christ is mounted He is going to conquer, if it were but to take one fort or one soul from Satan.

6. Taking this conquest and flourishing estate of the gospel to relate to the first times thereof when it came into the world. Observe that most frequently the gospel at its first coming amongst a people prevaileth most, and hath more sensible success than at any other time. So was it when it came first to the world, its victories were swift and speedy, increasing more for a few years at that time than afterwards in many generations.

(James Durham.)

Conquering, and to Conquer
I. THE ADVERSARIES OF OUR REDEEMER.

1. The powers of darkness.

2. All men in an unrenewed and unconverted state.

3. False systems of religion, which, although perhaps assuming the name of Christianity, are hostile to its spirit and design.

II. THE INSTRUMENTS WHICH OUR REDEEMER EMPLOYS.

1. The publication of His Word.

2. The agency of His Spirit.

III. THE VICTORIES OF OUR REDEEMER.

1. They are founded upon His right to universal domain.

2. They are continuous, and widely extended.

3. They are essentially connected with the diffusion of pure and perfect happiness.In conclusion: how important it is —

1. That you should yourselves surrender your hearts in personal subjection to the Redeemer's power.

2. That you devote your energies to the further extension of His empire.

(J. Parsons.)

I. THE ILLUSTRIOUS PERSONAGE DESCRIBED.

1. His spotless charchter. "A white horse."

2. His warfare. "A bow."

3. His exaltation to regal dignity. "A crown."

4. His gradual conquest. "Conquering and to conquer."

II. SENTIMENTS AND REFLECTIONS SUITABLE TO THE SUBJECT.

1. We should cultivate and cherish the most exalted estimate of the person of Jesus Christ.

2. The imminent peril in which those are placed who continue among the adversaries of Jesus Christ.

3. Are you among His true and faithful subjects?

4. Strive, by every means in your power, to advance the extent and glory of His dominion.

(J. Clayton, M. A.)

Behold the combat beyond all others important, the combat between Christ and Satan for the human soul.

I. THE CAUSE OF STRIFE — the soul. A colony of heaven had been taken by the powers of hell, and the effort to restore it to allegiance was the main cause of this celestial war. The domination of Satan over the human soul is despotic, degrading, and destructive.

II. THE BATTLE. The Divine Saviour stronger than the strong man armed as our champion. The first grapple seems to have been the temptation in the wilderness, the next in the performance of miracles, the next the death grapple, the last the rising from the dead and ascension into heaven.

III. THE VICTORY. It was complete, it was benevolent, it was unchanging. The attack which the Saviour made upon the enemy was such as to tear away the very source and energies of his power. In the time of the Lord's victory we do not see traces of carnage, nor hear orphans wailing the dead; but a voice breathes the comfortable word, "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain." The triumphs of the Saviour brighten with the lapse of time. Time cannot tarnish their lustre, nor death itself destroy.

(W. M. Punshon, D. D.)

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