Christ was showing John the expectant Church Triumphant, in Heaven above. Then the Lord Jesus next went on to show the Apostle the central role which He Himself had played and keeps on playing in the salvation of the entire elect Universe after His ascension and heavenly session. For He Himself even now promotes the further development of the whole cosmos not just there and now in Heaven, but also here and now on Earth.
First. John, in his heavenly vision, saw a scroll in the right hand of Jehovah. "Then I saw in the right hand of Him Who sat on the throne, a book written on the inside and on the outside sealed with seven seals."152
151 Rev. 5:8-10. The manuscript versions of vv. 9f are very important, shedding much light on various possible meanings. (1) Kai aidousin: "and they sang," v. 9. Here, it is not altogether clear exactly who sang. "Saints" in v. 8 is the immediate antecedent to "they sang." Yet it is more probable that the singing was done by the more remote antecedents mentioned in v. 8, namely "the twenty-four Elders." For it is only each of the Elders who had "harps" (to the accompaniment of which they too perhaps sang). (2) Egorasas tooi Theooi: "You have redeemed unto God," v. 9. It is not altogether clear exactly who God thus redeemed whether He redeemed "us" (the twenty-four Elders), or whether He redeemed "saints" (v. 8). The preferred readings omit the word "us." (3) Kai epoieesas autous: "and He has made them," v. 10. This is the preferred reading (rather than "He has made us"). The "them" would then mean: those whom God has redeemed from every kindred and tongue and people and nation. (4) Basileian: "[as] a kingdom,” v. 10. This is the preferred reading, rather than: “[as] kings.” (5) Kai hiereis: “and [as] priests,” v. 10. This is the preferred reading, rather than: “and a priesthood.” (6) Kai basileusousin: “and they shall reign,” v. 10. This is the preferred reading, rather than: “and they reign” or “and we shall reign.” Putting all these preferred readings together, Rev. 5:8-10 would run as follows: “And when He [the Lamb] had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four Elders fell down before the Lamb, every one of them having harps and golden bowls full of perfumes which are the prayers of the saints. Then they [the twentyfour Elders] sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the book and to open its seals! For You were slain, and You have redeemed to God by Your blood from every kindred [or family] and tongue and people and nation and You have made them [whom You have redeemed] to be a kingdom and to be priests for our God. And they [the redeemed] shall reign on Earth." 152 Rev. 5:1 cf. Ezek. 2:9f & Zech. 5:1-3.
The Elect of Every Nation are to reign with Christ on Earth
As will later appear, that very bookroll or scroll is not only Christ's blood-bought title deed to His two-sided redeemed creation (both the heavenly "inside" and the earthly "outside"). But it is also the record of the major religious events of all future history of that "inside" and that "outside" of the Universe. For as the scroll is later unrolled, it also deals with the unfolding of the future development of the plan of redemption.153
As such, it is Christ's 'title deed' to all cosmic development.154 For, as the Geneva Bible observes, this bookroll or scroll "signifies all the counsels and judgments of God which are known only to Christ."155