Now, is exactly the right time! Come, Let Us Finally get excited about our Worship of our God. Revelation 4:1-11

Revelation 4 Amplified Bible

Scene in Heaven

After this I looked, and behold, [a]a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a [war] trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” At once I was in [special communication with] the Spirit; and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne. And He who sat there appeared like [the crystalline sparkle of] [b]a jasper stone and [the fiery redness of] a sardius stone, and encircling the throne there was a rainbow that looked like [the color of an] emerald. Twenty-four [other] thrones surrounded the throne; and seated on these thrones were [c]twenty-four elders dressed in white clothing, with crowns of gold on their heads.

The Throne and Worship of the Creator

From the throne came flashes of lightning and [rumbling] sounds and peals of thunder. Seven lamps of fire were burning in front of the throne, which are [d] the seven Spirits of God; and in front of the throne there was something like a sea or large expanse of glass, like [the clearest] crystal. In the center and around the throne were four living [e]creatures who were full of eyes in front and behind [seeing everything and knowing everything that is around them]. 7 [f] The first living creature was like a lion, the second creature like a calf (ox), the third creature had the face of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes all over and within [underneath their wings]; and day and night they never stop saying,

“Holy, holy, holy [is the] Lord God, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all], who was and who is and who is to come [the unchanging, eternal God].”

Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanksgiving to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they worship Him who lives forever and ever; and they throw down their crowns before the throne, saying,

“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they exist, and were created and brought into being.”

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Heaven’s throne room is filled with indescribable sounds of praise and worship.

The four living creatures give round-the-clock adoration to the One on the throne. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,” they proclaim.

This is a picture of all creation exalting, glorifying, honoring, magnifying, God as the Creator and Lord over all things—the only ONE worthy of all our praise.

Creation’s song of praise—led by the four living creatures— serves as a call to worship for the twenty-four elders.

God’s people cannot help themselves, responding in everlasting worship when surrounded by the authentic, enthusiastic praises of all the rest of creation.

All God’s people in his worldwide church—young and elder­ly, seekers and established followers—help each other cele­brate and confess with praise.

Together, today, every single moment of every single day, we join with the rest of creation, saying,

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they . . . have their being.”

This picture reminds us that just as all of creation constantly proclaims the glory of God (Psalm 19), so too can all God’s people—in our work and play each day as well as when we gather for a worship service. All things give glory to God for bringing them into being, and he keeps all creation in his constant care.

Our creating, life-sustaining God is worthy to receive our praise always.

But now let us ask the question I am sure everyone has their own answer for:

What is worship? 

Okay, I know that is a ridiculously obvious question!

Every adult and most children reading this morning know what worship is!”

Since in these 2022 technological times and that is such a ridiculously obvious question and the answer is obviously such common knowledge to the vast majority of those in this assembly, quietly answer that question to yourself.

If you were standing on the exact place of your own Judgement, and God asked you to put your head up, shoulders back and your smart phone down, and then look and answer the question, “What is worship?” what would your answer be?

The New Testament does very little to either define or describe worship.

In fact, the Old Testament does more to define and describe worship than does the New Testament.

Jesus talked very little about worship.

The book of Acts describes the beginning of Christianity but does not describe Christian worship in detail.

The epistles do not contain major sections on worship.

The New Testament book that says more about worship than any other New Testament writing is the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

It in symbolic terms makes several statements about worship in heaven.

I. I ask you to do two things.

A. The first thing I ask you to do is to call to mind your definition of worship.

1. I am quite serious.

2. Think about your definition of worship.

3. I want you to consciously hold on to that definition.

B. The second thing I want you to do is this:

1. While you keep your definition of worship firmly in your awareness,

2. I want you to read with me several worship scenes from the book of Revelation.

3. So I want you to do two things at one time:

stay constantly aware of your personal definition of worship

and listen to what Revelation says about worship.

C. Read with me.

Revelation 4:8Amplified Bible

And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes all over and within [underneath their wings]; and day and night they never stop saying,

“Holy, holy, holy [is the] Lord God, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all], who was and who is and who is to come [the unchanging, eternal God].”

Take great care to note the stress upon God’s holiness.

Revelation 4:9-11 Amplified Bible

Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanksgiving to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and they worship Him who lives forever and ever; and they throw down their crowns before the throne, saying,

“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they exist, and were created and brought into being.”

Again, take great care to note the stress upon God’s holiness.

Revelation 5:8-10Amplified Bible

And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb (Christ), each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of fragrant incense, which are the prayers of the saints (God’s people). And they sang a new song [of glorious redemption], saying,

“Worthy and deserving are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slain (sacrificed), and with Your blood You purchased people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
“You have made them to be a kingdom [of royal subjects] and priests to our God; and they will reign on the earth.”

Note the first two passages involved the worship of God, Who is the central figure in heaven.

Note the shift in this passage: the worship of the resurrected Jesus, God’s sacrificial Lamb.

Note the emphasis is on the worthiness of Jesus because he accomplished God’s basic objective.

Revelation 5:11-12Amplified Bible

Angels Exalt the Lamb

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and [the voice] of the living creatures and the elders; and they numbered myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands (innumerable), 12 saying in a loud voice,

“Worthy and deserving is the Lamb that was sacrificed to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

The Lamb is still the focus of worship here.

Take great care to note again the stress is still on worthiness.

Revelation 5:13-14 Amplified Bible

13 And I heard every created thing that is in heaven or on earth or under the earth [in Hades, the realm of the dead] or on the sea, and everything that is in them, saying [together],

“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb (Christ), be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

14 And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped [Him who lives forever and ever].

Now the focus is both on God and the Lamb.

The stress is on their praise worthiness.

Revelation 7:11-12 Amplified Bible

11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the [twenty-four] elders and the four living creatures; and they fell to their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and majesty and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might belong to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

The focus of worship is now back on God.

Again, take great care to note God is praised for His worthiness.

Revelation 11:16-18 Amplified Bible

16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell face downward and worshiped God, 17 saying,

“To You we give thanks, O Lord God Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all], Who are and Who were, because You have taken Your great power and the sovereignty [which is rightly Yours] and have [now] begun to reign. 18 And the nations (Gentiles) became enraged, and Your wrath and indignation came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and [the time came] to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints (God’s people) and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and [the time came] to destroy the destroyers of the earth.”

The focus is still on God.

Note the stress is on thanksgiving.

There was an outpouring of gratitude because God has used His power to rescue them from all that tried to destroy them.

Revelation 14:6-7Amplified Bible

The Angel with the Gospel

Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an [a]eternal gospel to preach to the inhabitants of the earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people; and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God [with awe and reverence], and give Him glory [and honor and praise in worship], because the hour of His judgment has come; [with all your heart] worship Him who created the heaven and the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

The focus is still on God.

The stress is on reverencing (fear) God by giving Him glory as the source of judgment and creation.

Revelation 15:2-4Amplified Bible

Then I saw something like a sea or large expanse of glass mixed with fire, and those who were victorious over the beast and over his image and over the number corresponding to his name were standing on the sea or large expanse of glass, holding harps of God [worshiping Him]. And they [a]sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and wonderful and awe-inspiring are Your works [in judgment],

O Lord God, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all];
Righteous and true are Your ways,
O King of the [b]nations!

“Who will not fear [reverently] and glorify Your name, O Lord [giving You honor and praise in worship]?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your righteous acts [Your just decrees and judgments] have been revealed and displayed.”

The focus in still on God.

They sang.

God’s greatness and holiness is honored.

Revelation 19:1-6Amplified Bible

The Fourfold Hallelujah

19 After these [a]things I heard something like the great and mighty shout of a vast multitude in heaven, [b]exclaiming,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory (splendor, majesty) and power (dominion, might) belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous. He has judged [convicted and pronounced sentence on] the great prostitute (idolatress) who was corrupting and ruining and poisoning the earth with her adultery (idolatry), and He has imposed the penalty for the blood of His bond-servants [c]on her.” And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke shall ascend forever and ever.” Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures also fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah (praise the Lord)!” Then from the throne there came a voice, saying,

“Praise our God, all you bond-servants of His, you who fear Him, the small (common) and the great (distinguished).”

Marriage of the Lamb

Then I heard something like the shout of a vast multitude, and like the boom of many pounding waves, and like the roar of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all] reigns.

The focus is still on God.

It is a scene of praise.

Four times God’s throne rings with the sound of creatures declaring, “Hallelujah!” [Literally, “Praise the Lord,” a joyful expression of thanksgiving.]

God won!

He did what He intended to do!

He defeated even the strongest centers of wickedness and evil, and He rescued all who would turn to Him!

The result was an incredible, indescribable, outpouring of gratitude to Him.

Now is the time (sorry, I have to) to return you to the year of our Savior 2022.

D. Do a little comparing.

0. Do you still have your definition of worship clearly in your mind?

1. How does your definition of worship compare to what happened in heaven in worship of God and of the Lamb (Jesus Christ)?

2. Where in your definition of worship do these things fit in?

a. The holiness of God.

b. The worthiness of God.

c. The praise worthiness of God and the Lamb.

d. Reverencing God for His holiness.

e. Glorifying God.

f. Saying, “Amen,” and declaring, “Hallelujah” with joy.

II. Let me make some personal observations–you do not have to agree with me, but I surely hope and fervently pray that God has challenged you to think.

A. My first observation is that there is not a whole lot that occurs in our worship assemblies that prepares us for heavenly worship.

0. There are not many “Amens.”

1. Too rarely is there this powerful sense of gratitude because our God of power has forgiven us and rescued us.

2. Too rarely is there this powerful sense of joy that flows from the gratitude of what God has done.

3. There are almost no hallelujahs, or obvious expressions and declarations of praise because of God’s great worthiness and holiness.

4. There is little evidence that we who believe and preach and confess and testify to belonging to God feel genuinely compelled to fall before our God.

B. My second observation is that we have through the centuries changed worship.

0. It has become a “take out’” type of worship, not much better than the take-out meals we have become accustom too.

1. No preparation. No real purification, No real cost, No real thought, and no real effort and no real inspiration or encouragement towards active participation.

C. We have made worship assemblies primarily about education instead of primarily about praising God.

a. We are so busy there is no time for spiritual education.

b. There is not convenient time to study–individually or with a group.

c. I wonder if for some of you the only time you seriously think about the Bible is when you read a daily devotional or go to “church” on any Sunday morning.

1. The core of our worship focuses on the sermon, a human accomplishment, rather than the Lord’s Supper, a divine accomplishment.

a. If you are typical, you are more likely to react to your opinion of the sermon than your opinion of what God did in Jesus Christ.

b. Your faith is more likely to be affected by what is said or what is not said, but should have been said, in a sermon than what God did in the death of Jesus.

D. My third observation: (and this one might prayerfully stun a few people) one of the key reasons [not all the reasons, but one of the significant reasons] that we are losing so many people is this: we have made too much effort to convert people to the church denomination, too little effort to convert people to Christ.

0. We are the church–the church is not some institution that exists apart from us.

1. If a man or a woman is in Christ, he or she by an act of God is part of God and Christ’s church.

2. The power of God and the glory of God will be seen in the church when the power of God and the glory of God is seen in our lives.

III. The basic objective of worship is simple.

A. First, worship should call all who are in Christ closer to God.

B. Second, worship should fill those who belong to God through Christ with a sense of joy and gratitude.

C. Third, worship should make every single Christian feel closer to every other Christian because the one thing we all have in common, the unifying element, is that we are in our Lord and Savior and King, Christ Jesus.

Question: how often to you leave a worship assembly without worshipping?

Question: how often do you leave a worship assembly feeling joy and gratitude because you feel much closer to God?

Question: Will you feel, have you felt, joy and gratitude toward God this week?

Question: How did you express it?

Question: How did you experience it?

Question: How will you live it out?

Question: How do you live into it?

Question: How do you live outward from it?

Question: How will you maximize ‘Love God, your neighbor, yourself’ from it?

Question: How have you been minimizing ‘Love God, neighbor, self’ from it?

Question: Does your neighbor know anything about your maximum, minimum?

What other questions do you have on your heart, soul, which require an answer?

What about your “eternal perspective” of worship requires a “re-adjustment?”

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Prayer of Affirmation

This world would deny you, Lord,
and rely overmuch on human wisdom
in their alleged “search” for answers
to questions they have yet to ask,
but we will yet raise to praise you,
and exalt and magnify your name,
for we know that you are Alpha,
the beginning of all things,
and Omega,
the end,
and all that is between.
We have known your healing.
We have known your provision,
We have known your victory.
Our sorrow has turned into dancing
and our tears to songs of joy.
We shall praise you ever more. Amen

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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