Category Archives: REVELATION 5

The One who sits on the throne holds the book of judgement on His hand. The Lamb that was slain is the only one worthy to take the book and execute God’s judgements.

REVELATION 5

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NOTES ON REVELATION 5

Survey of the chapter
Whilst chapter 5 continues to describe the throne room of heaven and events that will take place there, the theme is different.  It is the Lamb of God that is prominent, telling us the subject is redemption.  But not only does redemption apply to those who believe, but also is relevant to this world, and one day the “redemption of the purchased possession” will take place, Ephesians 1:14, and Christ will come to claim what He purchased at Calvary.  In the language of the parable, He bought the field for the treasure that was in it, Matthew 13:44, and “the field is the world”, Matthew 13:38.  He is able to deliver creation from its bondage, and proves this ability by delivering from the greater bondage of sin.  Redemption is also relevant to Israel, and the nation will be delivered from the dispersion, and brought back to the Land of Promise to enjoy the glorious conditions of the millenial reign of Christ.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION CHAPTER 5, VERSES 1 TO 7:

5:1  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.

5:2  And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

5:3  And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

5:4  And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5:5  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

5:7  And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.


5:1  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.

And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book- this chapter centres upon the taking of a book from the hand of God.  As becomes evident when the book is opened, this is a book of judgement.  In fact the words that Ezekiel used of another book might well be applied to it, “lamentations and mourning and woe”, Ezekiel 2:10.  It rests on the hand of God, freely available to any who are competent to reach out and take it.  Of course, those who guard the throne of God, the elders surrounding it, (the “gate-keepers”, see comments on 4:4), will not allow any to take it whom they know, in their wisdom, are not qualified to do so.
Written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals- this book of judgement is a scroll, a rolled-up length of writing material; of which sort we are not told.  The emphasis is on what it says, and the seals that keep it from being unrolled.  The book is completely filled with writing, so there is no room left for any more judgements to be included.  When this scroll has been unsealed and unrolled, and its contents made known, God will say “It is done”, 16:17, for His wrath will have been satisfied.  The other noticeable feature of this scroll is that it is sealed with, not one, but no less than seven seals.  The contents of this scroll are so important, that it must not be read until in the hands of the right person. This is because the reading out of what is written is the signal for the carrying out of the contents.

5:2  And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice- note that the angel is strong, and his voice is loud, for he has the authority of heaven behind him.  His voice can reach into all parts of the universe, as the next verse will show, and his strength is enough to repel any who dare to advance upon the book without being qualified to do so.  He reaches all potential candidates, and he repels all unqualified candidates.  There are those who always seem to want to make angels represent the Lord Jesus in the Book of Revelation, (chapter 10 being a case in point); this is clearly not the case here, for the angel is not the one who advances to the throne to take the book.
Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?- it is interesting to notice that opening the book is mentioned before loosing the seals, whereas of course the seals must be loosed before the book can be opened.  The great question is who is competent to open the book, for only one capable of judging the world in righteousness can do this.  Yet God has already stated that He has appointed the one who will judge the world, and He marked Him out by raising Him from among the dead.  Here, however, the question is asked so that all who resent Christ’s position may be silenced.  It is the same at the Great White Throne judgement.  All who stand as sinners before God that fearful day are clearly not registered in the Book of Life, for it is the dead that stand before God then.  But nonetheless the Book of Life is opened that no complaint can be entertained, and justice can be seen to be done.

5:3  And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

And no man in heaven- no saint in heaven, (remembering that by the time these events take place the church saints will be in heaven), is competent to judge men.
Nor in earth, neither under the earth- no living men on earth, or dead Old Testament saints in sheol, were able to open the book.  All are excluded by these words.
Was able to open the book, neither to look thereon- no-one was competent to judge, and no-one could stand the sight of such fearful judgements as were written in the book.  The judgements are so fearful that there is only one great enough to read them.

5:4  And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon– we might think that John would be pleased that such a terrible book, full of judgement as it was, would remain unopened.  He had the interests of God too much to heart to think that, however.  He knew that only by judgement could God deal adequately with the sins of men.  His grace through Christ had been spurned too long for Him to ignore the rebellion of earth any longer.  Men could have escaped the wrath to come if they had been minded to, but now God’s patience is exhausted.  John is only in heaven in spirit, so his weeping does not spoil the joy of heaven, although it is noticed by the occupants of heaven.

5:5  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not- the fact that one of the elders can speak to John on his own shows that the 24 elders do not represent a group.  They are individual beings.  Ones, moreover, who are able to disclose their insight to John. 
Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David- it is interesting that the one who takes the book is described in terms relevant to Israel, thus confirming that the elders have a special relationship with that nation.  Long before, Jacob had prophesied that Judah would be like a lion, not only stooping, but going up from the prey, and couching as a lion, with none able to rouse him from his triumphant position, Genesis 49:9.  From him the sceptre would not depart.  Yet the Judah who heard these words had not prevailed when the test came; neither did he retain the sceptre, for he gave his staff to Tamar, Genesis 38:12-26.  There must be another who will fulfil these words.  The clue is found in the mention of the Root of David, the one through whom David derives his throne.  The Lord Jesus confounded the experts of His day when He asked them how it is that the Messiah can be David’s Son, but also David’s Lord, Matthew 22:41-46.  The answer is only known when we take account of His Deity. 
Hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof- the one who has prevailed over sin and Satan in His life when tempted, and at the cross when crucified, has the authority to take the book.  David prevailed over Goliath the Philistine, 1 Samuel 17:50,51; the Root of David has prevailed over a greater foe, the Devil himself. 
Clearly there was no dispute over the fact that Christ was of Judah in the days of the apostles, for the writer to the Hebrews can say “For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah”, Hebrews 7:14.  He is, more specifically, of David’s line, (as demonstrated by Matthew in the first chapter of his gospel), and therefore is of David.  Yet as the Root of David, David is of Him.
Again the loosing of the seals is mentioned after the opening of the book, although in practical terms the order would have to be the reverse.  Notice that He is worthy to loose the seven seals, for He will complete that task once it is begun, such is His competence. 

5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

And I beheld, and, lo- John not only saw for himself, “behold”, but draws our attention to the sight as well, “lo”. 
In the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders- it is no coincidence that this one is central to the throne, and is in the midst of the creatures that surround the throne also.  He is central to God’s purpose, just as He was central upon the cross.  There He was numbered with the transgressors, now He is numbered with the heavenly worshippers. The four living creatures are also said to be in the midst of the throne, but they cannot stand with Christ, so they must be behind the throne centrally.
Stood a Lamb as it had been slain- no longer hanging upon the cross, as if laid on an altar, but standing in resurrection life and power.  God has said to Him, “Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool”, Hebrews 1:13. This position is reserved for Him until a certain time. The particular word for “until” used in Hebrews 1:13 means “up to the time when”.  This verse does not imply that He cannot come for the church before the defeat of His enemies at His coming to earth, because even 1000 years after that event He will still have enemies that need to be subdued, see Revelation 20:7-9. The fact that He is seen standing indicates that the time approaches for Him to assert Himself, for God is about to make His foes His footstool.  The footstool, that is, of His own throne as He reigns on earth, Matthew 25:31; Revelation 3:21.
No doubt John expected to see a lion, but in fact saw a lamb.  This illustrates the point that Christ did not triumph over evil by mere force, but dealt with it in a morally satisfactory way.  That way was the way of sacrifice, as is indicated by the concept of the lamb, the weak and defenceless one that triumphs through death and resurrection.  We see the principle illustrated in the sons of Jacob.  Reuben, the first son, forfeited his right to be the firstborn in Jacob’s household through sin, Genesis 49:4.  Judah was given the right to rule, but because he fell in a similar way to Reuben, Genesis 38, the firstborn’s right was given to Joseph, who triumphed where the other two succumbed, see Genesis 39, 1 Chronicles 5:1,2.  So it is that the two characteristics are combined in Christ- the lion, as Judah, and the lamb, as Joseph.  He combines official and moral right in His person.  David lamented the fact that his house was not competent to rule because they had sinned, and “he that ruleth over men must be just”, 2 Samuel 23:3,5.  In a day to come, when Messiah arrives, the family of the House of David will mourn, no doubt for this very reason, Zechariah 12:12.
Matthew had begun his gospel with the idea of Christ being son of Abraham, (the True Isaac), and son of David, (the True Solomon).  Isaac was the youth on the altar like a young lamb, whereas Solomon was the king on the throne, but also as a young man, for David said of him, “Solomon my son is yet young and tender”, 1 Chronicles 22:5.
Having seven horns- this shows that He has sufficient power to execute the judgements that are about to be inflicted on the earth, for a horn in Scripture speaks of effective power. 
And seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth- He has seven eyes, for He will judge with perfect discernment, by the power of the Spirit of God.  As the psalmist said, “He ruleth by His power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves.  Selah”, Psalm 66:7.   But He also has perfect regard for His earthly people, and will redeem them from the hand of the enemy in His good time.  “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him”, 2 Chronicles 13:9.  “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry”, Psalm 34:15.

5:7  And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.

And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne- just as He had sat Himself down on the throne of God after He had ascended, Hebrews 1:3, so now, with perfect confidence, and without any possibility of challenge, He advances to the throne and takes the book.  He thus establishes His intention to take control of the judgements of the earth written in the book.  God’s right hand is the hand that elevated Him to the place of highest honour, Acts 2:33, and now the same hand lets go of the book and allows Him to take it.

The Lord Jesus has authority to judge for the following reasons:
1. He is sinless, and therefore is the only one who can judge the sins of others.  As He Himself said, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast first a stone at her”, John 8:7.
2. He is Only begotten Son of God, and as such has the same right as the Father to judge, being equal with Him, and due equal honour, John 5:22,23.
3. He is Firstborn Son of God, and as such has had allotted to Him all administration, John 3:3, and judgement is part of that administration.
4. He is Son of Man, and as such has had given to Him the task of judging men, John 5:27.  He stands in relation to all men, and has been here as a man amongst them so that they could have opportunity to come into relationship with Him.
5. He was slain, and thus showed His utter determination to deal with the root cause of what invites God’s judgement.  Only one who has the complete answer to sin has the right to judge that sin.  The heavenly host recognise this, so they say “Thou art worthy to take the book for Thou wast slain”, verse 9.
6. As a result of Calvary, the “prince of this world shall be cast out”, John 12:31, and the judgements initiated by Christ will ensure this.
7. He is risen from the dead, and “God hath appointed the day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead”, Acts 17:31.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION CHAPTER 5, VERSES 8 TO 14:

5:8  And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

5:11  And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

5:12  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

5:13  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

5:14  And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever. 

 

5:8  And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb- these who have a deep interest in the affairs of earth, who know the ravages sin has wrought since the day that Adam fell, greatly rejoice when at last one steps forward to remedy the situation.  The heavenly host had rejoiced at His first coming, and now they rejoice again, for “He cometh to judge the earth”, Psalm 98:9.  All the angels of God shall worship Him when He comes, and these angelic representatives anticipate that glorious time.  Note that they do not hesitate to fall down before the Lamb, even though they are in the presence of the one who sits upon the throne.  The Father has decreed that all should honour the Son as they honour him, the Father, John 5:23.
Having every one of them harps- as the heavenly counterparts of the temple choir and musicians in Solomon’s temple they are ready to praise God at this intervention by the Lamb.  There were those in the temple who “prophesied with a harp”, 1 Chronicles 25:3, by their singing unfolding the mind of God and thus prophesying, and these do the same.
It is worth noting that those who sing should say something by their singing.  The words of the song should have meaningful content, so that the truth of God is made known in some way.  The emphasis should always be on the words, and not the tune, although the tune can enhance the words, if carefully chosen.
And golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints- no doubt these prayers are for God’s intervention in the earth, uttered perhaps centuries ago, but yet to be answered in God’s good time. 

5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

And they sung a new song- it may be objected at this point that the twenty four elders cannot be angelic beings because it is said that the latter never sing.  That may or may not be so in the past, but this is a new song because of a new situation.  Is it not feasible that when the work of Christ is in view, praise is elevated to a higher level, so instead of simply saying, they sing?  There is a reference to singing at the founding of the earth in Job 38:7, “Or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy”.  It could well be that the morning stars are angels, for Lucifer was a “son of the morning” before his fall, Isaiah 14:12.
Saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation- these are representative beings, and they sing on behalf of Israel, just as the choir in the temple sang on behalf of the nation.  These sing in anticipation of Israel singing for itself.  It is true they sing of being redeemed, and reigning on the earth, but they do so representatively, and anticipatively.

In the New Testament the Lord Jesus and the apostles spoke of redemption as deliverance from sin.  Illustrations of this are as follows:
“For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many”, Mark 10:45. 
“Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity”, Titus 2:14. 
“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”, Ephesians 1:7. 
“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time”, 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

The Scriptures quoted above show how the idea of redemption, the setting free of the slave on payment of a price, was applied in the New Testament to sinners enslaved by sin, but released through the price Christ paid in blood.  In the Old Testament, however, the main idea is of deliverance from a place, whether geographical, as Egypt, or financial, as bankruptcy, as in the case of Naomi and Ruth.  Hence we read as follows:  “Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgements:”  Exodus 6:7.  And the prophets linked this event with a future return of the nation, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away”, Isaiah 35:10.  And, “Art Thou not It which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?  Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away”, Isaiah 51:10,11.

The word redeemed is used twice more in the book of Revelation.  In chapter 14:3 we read of 144,000 who have been “redeemed from the earth”, and in verse 4 we learn they have been “redeemed from among men”.  Now these are men sealed in chapter 7 from each of the tribes of Israel, yet they are said to be redeemed from among men.  So this latter phrase has to do with where they were rescued from, not of which nation they were of.  They were sent forth as sheep amongst wolves to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom among all nations, Matthew 24:14, but they were safely brought back by God, and are found before Him in chapter 15.  Now the full complement of them is in heaven, redeemed from their place of danger.  So it is that the twenty four elders anticipate a time when all Israel shall be redeemed from all the places they have been scattered, and brought to Zion.
This scattering is not just that which pertains now, but that which shall be in the future, for they shall be taken into captivity among all nations when Jerusalem is destroyed at the start of the Great Tribulation.  Daniel was told that “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”, Daniel 9:26.  Zechariah prophesied that God would “gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken…and half of the city shall go forth into captivity”, Zechariah 14:2.  The Lord Jesus spoke of this when He prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation is nigh…for these be the days of vengeance that all things that are written may be fulfilled…there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”, Luke 21:20-24.  The time-scale of this treading down of Jerusalem is given in Revelation 11:2 as 42 months, the three and a half years of the Great Tribulation.

It is from this captivity that Israel shall be redeemed by the Lord Jesus, for “the Redeemer shall come to Zion”, Isaiah 59:20.  From captivity in “all nations”, they are rescued by the power of God.  And this the twenty four elders celebrate in advance.

5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth- not only will Israel be redeemed from things, but to things as well.  The original intention of the covenant of the law was that they should be “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation”, Exodus 19:6.  They forfeited this privilege, however, by making and worshipping the golden calf.  They degenerated further into idolatry until they had to be sent into captivity to judge them.  Under the terms of the new covenant, however, they shall all be equal in their knowledge of God, Jeremiah 31:34.  Isaiah 61:6 reads, “But ye shall be named the priests of the Lord:  men shall call you the ministers of our God”.  We know from Ezekiel’s prophecy that priests of the Levitical order shall function in the temple of the kingdom age, offering commemorative sacrifices.  But Christ shall be priest upon His throne, Zechariah 6:13, a King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek.  The writer to the Hebrews makes an interesting addition to the words of Psalm 110 about this.  Instead of quoting “priest after the order of Melchizedek, he writes, “High priest after the order of Melchizedek”, Hebrews 6:20.  By this he leaves open the possibility that others would share in that priesthood, for “high priest” supposes people for Him to be high over.  Now the priesthood of Christ is founded upon the fact that His life is endless, Hebrews 7:16.  Those who have eternal life are therefore qualified to function as priests with Him.  This privilege will be known by Israel, for they shall be under the terms of the New Covenant, which involves knowing the Lord, a sign of the possession of eternal life, Jeremiah 31:34; John 17:3.  As such they shall reign on the earth with Christ, but they will reign as priests, as Revelation 20:6.  Those of Israel who have part in the first resurrection will reign on earth, whereas the church will reign with Him, but not necessarily on earth.
In Daniel 7:18 we read of the saints of the Most High who take and possess the kingdom.  The saints in Daniel’s prophecy refers to angels, who have a special ministry to perform as those sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation, Hebrews 1:14.  The salvation in question being entrance into the kingdom of Christ upon earth.  Then in verse 27 we read of the people (in the singular) of the saints of the Most High, who are given the kingdom.  This would refer to the nation of Israel as a nation when it is  gathered under their Messiah, (for the word “people” emphasises a congregated company).
This is the same scene as Daniel saw in his dream.  The Ancient of Days was sitting upon His throne, and “thousands thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgement was set, and the books were opened”, Daniel 7:10.  Then one like unto the Son of Man was brought before Him, “and there was given Him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him:  His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed”, Daniel 7:14.

5:11  And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders- John’s attention is now directed to the massed ranks of the angels.  There are one hundred million of them, and more, yet they speak with one voice.  There is not a dissenter amongst them as they ascribe honour to the Lamb.  This is a reminder of the words of the writer to the Hebrews that “unto the angels hath He not put into subjection the world to come whereof we  speak”, Hebrews 2:5.  The world to come is the habitable earth which is the subject of chapter 1:6-14, and it is a man who shall administer that.  The only one capable of ruling for God is currently at the right hand of God’s throne in heaven, but soon He shall be installed on His own throne of glory upon the earth. 
And the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands- when the law was given we learn from Moses himself that “He came with ten thousands of His saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them”, Deuteronomy 33:2.  But as Hebrews 12:26 says, “Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven”.  The angels stand ready to come with Him again, this time to judge the earth, for “the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him”, Matthew 25:31.  Enoch foresaw this and declared, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgement upon all…” Jude 14,15.

5:12  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Saying with a loud voice- not only are they united, they are also enthusiastic as they speak with loud voice.  The fact that there are myriads of them does not prevent them from heartily expressing their individual appreciation of the Lamb. 
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain- they, like the twenty four elders, see the worthiness of the Lamb as being because He was slain.  The horror of what earth had done to Him centuries before had not left them.  “This is the heir; come let us kill Him!” was the attitude of men, Matthew 21:38, and the angels who looked on, and whose help was not requested, even though it was available, Matthew 26:53,54, have not forgotten. 
To receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing- they ascribe seven things to Him.  When they say He is worthy to receive, they mean “worthy to receive the credit for”.  First, power; this is the dynamite needed to shake the earth to its foundations, in order that a kingdom that cannot be shaken may be established, Hebrews 12:26-29. 
Second, riches: the angels know that the Divine resources needed to judge the earth are resident in the Lamb, for to Him all administrative rights are given.
Third, wisdom: the earth’s rulers have been marked by folly.  The ultimate expression of this being the crucifixion of the Lord of glory because they were ignorant of Him, 1 Corinthians 2:8.  The greater than Solomon in all His wisdom stands ready to rule the world.
Fourth, strength: the glory of this might, this ability to prevail, will be manifested when Christ comes to earth, 2 Thessalonians 1:9.
Fifth, honour: the value placed upon one by those competent to judge.  When He came to Israel, they “esteemed Him not”, Isaiah 53:3, or, in other words, valued Him at nothing.  They certainly did not think Him to be worthy of the throne of David.  God’s verdict is otherwise, and the angels agree.
Sixth, glory:  the outshining of inner excellence is pre-eminently His, and the angels are not afraid to express this in the presence of God.  Those who glorify Christ in no wise detract from the glory of the Father.  He said in the Old Testament, “I am the Lord: that is My name: and My glory I will not give to another, neither My praise to graven images”, Isaiah 42:8.  In John 17:5 however, the Lord Jesus prayed thus, “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was”.  That prayer has been answered, and that place of acknowledged glory has been given back to the Son of God.  When down here this glory was withheld from Him, as men largely refused His claims, but in heaven He is glorified as He should be.  The angels are happy to recognise this.
Seventh, blessing:  on earth Christ was cursed and blasphemed by men, but the psalmist had predicted that He would “receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of His salvation”, Psalm 24:5.  And so it has come to pass in heaven, and soon on earth as well.  Injustice and cursing has been exchanged for righteousness and blessing.

5:13  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying- the praise of the Lamb now extends universally, as John hears every creature recognising God and the Lamb.  This is not to say that all are believers, but all are constrained to admit that God and the Lamb are worthy of recognition.  Psalm 148 calls upon all to acknowledge the Lord, and this is the response to that call.  All the angel hosts, of whatever rank; all men on earth; all the dead in the grave; all that are sailing on the sea, (for when men are on board ship they often feel as if they are released from the constraints of morality), are united in recognising God and the Lamb. 
“All that is in them” is literally “And all the things in them”, so it is not a question of wholehearted response, but universal response without exception. 
All recognise that blessing comes from the throne of God.  After long centuries of blaming God for evil, they at last realise it was not true.  When God was manifest in flesh, He came to bless, not curse.  They are forced to admit that the ones who seemed to be so important, as the Antichrist and his false prophet dominated the earth, are but tools of the Devil, and have received their due recompense.  At last glory will be given to the God of heaven and His Son.  Glory which they refused Christ when He was here, and refused God when He was judging the earth in the tribulation, Revelation 16:9, “they repented not to give Him glory”.
There will be universal admission in that day that God is the God of power, for His judgements will have demonstrated that convincingly.

5:14  And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever. 

And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever- the representatives of the earth say Amen to these words, for they have an interest in the name of God and the Lamb being celebrated by all creatures.  The worship of the hosts of heaven now gives way to the woes on earth.