Skip to content

The Reins of Power – Revelation 5:11-14


The Reins of Power

Text: Revelation 5:11-14 

The chapter is essentially about how the church worships Jesus. Our praise, heard in heaven’s halls!   Let’s look now at the concluding verses of the chapter… Let’s ask, “Who really holds the reins of power in this world?

Who ‘really’ holds the reins of power?

1. The Expansion of the Praise of Christ! The angels join the chorus. V11  

John’s vision now is expanded. It’s like concentric circles around the throne, for now there’s another circle added, as the heavenly host of angels join to praise the Lamb. But there’s an important distinction between the praise of the angels and the praise of the redeemed church. The creation, and the church are praising their redeemer in Rev. 5:9-10 That’s a song that the angels can never sing! These angels are ‘unfallen’ and therefore were never redeemed by the shed blood of the Lamb who was slain, they have not been adopted into God’s family, they have not known the benefits of that redemption, being made kings and priests unto God but they are created to bring praise and glory to the triune God. Luke 2:13-14  So the angelic host praise the Lamb, not for their redemption, but for OUR redemption, and because he is worthy to be praised!  

There’s another number introduced now too the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,. We’ve already noticed the significance of the numbers 4, and 24, but this new number is beyond our comprehension, for it is the entirety of the heavenly host, the living creatures, the redeemed church, the unfallen angels, all praising God, and it is so vast that John simply cannot count it.

2. The Content of the Praise of Christ. V12-13

Let’s move on…

  • What the heavenly host says in praise. V12 Note that it specifically says that they praised Him with a LOUD VOICE.  What were they praising him for? Look at the text, His omnipotence. His great possessions, for all creation is His. His omniscience. His everlasting endurance. His preeminence! He is crowned with honour and glory and blessing. 

Now, let’s do some application.  Remember what we learned in the opening verses of this chapter. There is a scroll which no-one can open – the scroll of destiny, the plan of God for his creation, and for mankind in particular, and unless it can be opened and enacted, the entire universe is lost. Because no-one could open it, John wept sore. Then John saw Jesus, the Lion of Judah and the Lamb who was slain, who WAS WORTHY to take the scroll and open the seals and to take control of destiny. When he does that all creation and all the redeemed and all the angels burst forth into a celebration of praise. 

Jesus is in control of history, in control of the destiny of the world, of mankind, in control of MY DESTINY. Grasp that fact very firmly, JESUS IS IN CONTROL – OF EVERYTHING –  

Now, that fact needs some consideration:-

  • Jesus has absolute power. John may be remembering the words of 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 What amazing authority. In sinful  fallen mankind, such unbridled power would be dangerous in the extreme.  But in Jesus, we have a powerful ruler, who is also sinless, and perfectly good, and who will act on our behalf for our blessing and salvation. We have a ruler who will give up his life for his people. The mighty Lion, who is simultaneously the Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world.
  • We can trust Him. Because He is incorruptible. Who are you trusting with your future? There are many self-proclaimed and elected potentates in this world who want to control your destiny.  Would you trust any of those people, the powerful shadowy men and women who rule this world? Every one of them will use whatever level of power they have for their own ends, will abuse and distort power and use it for malicious, evil purposes. The churches to whom John wrote in Asia Minor were a tiny minorities of believers, planted in the heart of one of the most evil empires this world has ever known, the Roman Empire. They must have looked at the might and power of Rome and thought, we are overwhelmed, we are numerically small, we are in a hopeless position… But John discovers here that Jesus is in control, – not the politicians or the bureaucrats or the securicrats, Jesus holds my destiny in his hand, and surrounding me, and surrounding his church, both in heaven and on earth, is a great host that no man can number, myriads of angels, saints of every age, the whole world and the universe! We are not alone in this wicked world. Our future, our destiny, and the destiny of our children and grandchildren are in his hands, and we can fully trust him!

For the church, the lesson is to get our eyes off the seemingly powerful, mighty figures who strut the stage of this world – of course, not to be unaware of them – but to focus on Jesus, to remember that our ultimate home is not this earth – it is to be among that great throng, around the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Now look at…

  • What the created world says in praise.  V13  They’re talking about saving the planet? John sees the natural world joining in the praise of the Lamb. This planet is not going to last forever in its present state. Like us, the planet is fallen and burdened by Adam’s sin. It is ruined and dying and spinning out of control, Yet it too has a destiny, a new earth, Romans 8:18-22 The planet is on our side! The planet is waiting for Jesus, for the last day, when Creation will be restored to its pre-fall condition, and around the throne of God the created order rejoices in praise of Him who created it.

3. The Unison of the Praise of Christ. V14  

In everything, Jesus is given the highest honour and praise. When the whole of heaven declares his pre-eminence, and his worthiness, creation and the church, everything God made and redeemed, cries out Amen! The sealed book has passed from the hands of the Creator to the hands of the Redeemer, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that Jesus is Lord, to the Glory of God.

© Bob McEvoy, July 2022

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: