Intro: We live in the time of grace—the age of the Church. Never forget, it is a very exciting time in which we live, my friends. Scripture teaches there will be a prophetic apocalypse (Greek name for the Book of Revelation] when the veil between heaven and earth will be lifted to reveal God’s rule, his plan for the world, and his victory over evil. Keep in mind John has a supernatural vantage point in this moment to see two realms—heaven and earth [earth is just a piece of a greater reality].
During the apocalyptic time preceding of our passage, there will be a revelation [unveiling] of God’s children of Light. Darkness must increase, so the Light of Christ in the Church [covenant believers] will be revealed—become clearly visible. As believers we live in the sphere of God’s rule—the kingdom that is ruled by grace through faith to reveal righteousness, wholeness, and JOY. Grace is the “right” or entitlement granted to us by our loving, merciful, and generous God. This entitlement is based on the work of Christ for salvation and has zero to do with our own merit. We deserve death, but God is merciful. Forgiven believers covered by the blood of Jesus now have the “right” to enter God’s presence to make our requests known before the throne, so the revelation of Christ in us is seen by the world [unbelievers]. This is the gospel of wholeness coming to earth; the Good News for those suffering beneath the load of evil’s oppressive rule.
In our passage today, God unveils worship in heaven to the apostle John. In his vision, John sees the redeemed—the Church—gathered around the throne of grace. The number twenty-four is symbolic of the priesthood of believers (1 Pet 2:9). They are casting their crowns at the feet of the Lord and praising him, because each person knows God alone is responsible for the rewards being granted. For those born of new life from God [believers] our very spirits are indebted to the vibrant life and power of the Holy Spirit that will one day take us home to our Father. For context, this passage does not yet reveal the Jews who will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Messiah or the believers who will accept him during the Great Tribulation. Never forget, it is our Creator’s purpose to redeem his creation; however, some will refuse to take God’s righteous hand extending salvation. It will take place…it is written. Therefore, may we as believers draw near to God and live ready for every opportunity to reveal the Light of Truth within us—the Gospel of Peace [wholeness]. Worship is oneness of devotion and wholeness with God. God is devoted to us and when we become genuinely devoted to him and his purpose for our lives—worship!
Revelation 4:1-11 (NLT) Worship in Heaven
1 Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” 2 And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. 3 The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. 4 Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit of God. 6 In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.
In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. 7 The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. 8 Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”
9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,
“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power.For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
Prayer: Father God, one day you will receive the honor you are due from creation. I pray for the world to wake up to your glorious Gift of Christ; to bow to your goodness and willingness to make us whole. Today, may you receive the honor and worship of my heart. I praise you, Lord, for your unfathomable goodness operating in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.