Revelation 4:1-4Amplified Bible
Scene in Heaven
4 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.” 2 At once I was in [special communication with] the Spirit; and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne. 3 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. 4 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 Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
This morning I find myself meditating upon the Book of Revelation and its stark description of worship in heaven and the songs of praise sung to God.
Meditating about worshiping in God’s presence has set my heart on eternity, the greatness of God, the grandeur of the throne room of God, the angels are singing loud and the wonderful things He has done for us and will do for us.
I got to pondering about how exactly how thrilling will it be to be in the very Presence of the Lord with saints from every tribe, tongue, nation, and period throughout all of history doing nothing but lifting high the name of Jesus!
Below is a list of verses from Revelation describing worship in heaven.
As you read them, I encourage you to use the words for your own praise and worship to our Maker and Savior, as well as dwell on the following themes:
- The holiness and greatness of God
- The content of the praises, specifically the gospel, in which Christ redeems people from every nation through His blood
- The benefits believers have in Christ
- The diversity of worshippers in heaven
- The justice of God
Worship in Heaven According to Revelation
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:8-11)
And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Revelation 5:9-14)
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:9-10)
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 7:9-12)
And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. (Revelation 11:17-19)
And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:3-4)
And I heard the angel in charge of the waters say, “Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!” And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!” (Revelation 16:5-6)
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
Once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.” Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:1-9)
So, as you have meditated and pondered these verses over the past few minutes,
Will you now tell God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit exactly how do you feel?
You are standing in the doorway to heaven.
Before you, taking central stage, is God sitting on his great throne.
You cannot make him out clearly because of the dazzling splendor.
You see something like bright, beautiful jewels.
An emerald rainbow surrounds the throne, and from the throne shoots forth flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne stand burning seven torches of fire.
Can you tell God that you feel the unquestioned, undeniable majesty of God?
Or is the fullness of your heart and soul and mind just far too deep in minutiae?
A few concluding observations:
- We often love to praise God for loving us, but how often do we praise Him for His judgment? How often do we even speak of His judgment? Not speaking of God as a god of judgment can reflect a one-dimensional view of God who is love, but also a God of holiness and justice that hates sin enough to send people to hell for all of eternity. This should cause us a holy fear of God and magnify in our hearts His awesome justice and mercy shown to us in Christ on the cross.
- The mighty works of God throughout history have not come to an end. A reason why a “new” song is sung is because God will do amazing works at the end of history that He hasn’t received praise for yet. When God does something great in your life–praise Him for His marvelous works! (To go deeper, see Psalm 107.)
- We are only able to clothe ourselves in bright and pure fine linen and worship our true God through the blood of the lamb spilt for us. Praise be to God for His unlimited authority, undeniable, immeasurable grace shown us in the gospel!
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Heavenly Father, on a regular basis, life reminds us how little control we have over anything—over the quality of the weather, or the quantity, measure, of our disappointments; over unexpected windfalls, and days that take the wind out of us; and over circumstances we don’t like, and people we do love; over local and national and international news, or our limited views, our children’s views.
Yet, Father, through the riches of your grace, we are actually becoming more comfortable with acknowledging you are God, and we are not. Just keep giving us an unobstructed, undiminished, 20/20 sighting of you sitting upon your throne, totally engaged and joyfully and absolutely sovereign over everything.
We don’t really need a timeline of when everything’s going to be okay. All we need to know, in our heart of hearts, is that you are at work for your pleasure and your purpose alone in our lives, and that your plans for us are good—even in the moments (seasons) when it might seem, overwhelmingly so, otherwise.
Since you’ve given Jesus for our perfect and full salvation, we can be certain that you’ll never withhold anything central to your purpose for our lives, or for the entire cosmos. You quite literally DO have the whole world in your hands.
You promise sufficient grace, not the satisfaction of our agenda. You promise to make us like Jesus every day; not to place us in a hammock under a cool breeze. You promise full redemption, not immediate relief. Thank you. Father, we want to want what you want, more fully, gladly, and quickly. So very Amen we pray, in our Lord and Savior Jesus’ kind and always to be exalted and glorious name.