Jesus is Worthy of All Praise

                The apostle John will surely be recognized as one of the greatest apostles in eternity.  His most fruitful years were spent as the overseer of the church at Ephesus.  While there, he wrote his gospel and three epistles (letters).  As an old man he was exiled to the isle of Patmos “...for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 1:9b). 
     While on Patmos Jesus appeared to John in vision and revealed to him the prophecy we know as the book of Revelation.  Jesus assigned three divisions to the revelation He gave:

      1.        “. . .the things which you have seen. . .”  (chapter 1)
        “. . .the things which are. . .” (the Church age, Chapters 2, 3.
      . . .the things which will take place after these things.” (Chapters 4-20).  See
               Revelation 1:19.

John Was Caught Up In Spirit To Heaven

                At the beginning of Revelation 4 we find John caught up in the spirit to heaven.  To John alone Jesus gave the privilege of observing in spirit the events that will follow the church age.  The Holy Spirit enabled him to record what he saw so that through his eyes we might view the events that will come to pass after we who make up the church of Jesus are caught up to be with Him in heaven.

From A Rocky Cave to God’s Throne Room

God On His Throne

                As a banished exile on Patmos John’s quarters were a cave dug in volcanic rock.  In an instant of time he finds himself in the throne room of God.  His first impression is that of the heavenly Father on His throne.  He describes the Father on His throne as emanating a brilliant, clear light with fiery red light glowing at the center.  The clear light represents God’s pure holiness and the red light His justice burning in wrath.  In the background there is an emerald green rainbow representing God’s mercy.  Those who carefully read on in the book of Revelation find that there will be seven years following the church age which can be labeled “The Wrath of God” (See Revelation 6:16, 17).  The wrath of God will fall with increasing intensity on those who persist in their rebellion against His authority.  At the same time His mercy is abundantly available to those who yield to His authority and receive His Son, Jesus Christ, as their Savior.

Around God’s Throne

                Letting his gaze drift outward from the throne of God, the Father  John sees twenty-four elders sitting on thrones in a circle around the Father’s.  They are clothed in white garments and have golden crowns on their heads.  Our best guess is that twelve of them represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the other twelve represent the twelve apostles who are the original source of all who come into the church.

                John also sees four living creatures with six wings.  One like a lion, one like a calf, one like a man and one like an eagle.  Ezekiel had a similar vision (Ezekiel 1:5-10).  So did Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-7).  They guard the approach to God’s throne; proclaim God’s holiness and lead others in worship.  They proclaim night and day, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD God, the Almighty, Who was and Who is and Who is to come.”  Revelation 4:8b.  In response the twenty-four elders fall down before the Father and worship Him.  They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive honor and power;  for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”  Revelation 4:11  We learn from this that God, the Father is worthy of all praise.

The Book In The Right Hand Of The Father

               John’s attention (and ours) is next riveted on a book lying in the right hand of God, the Father.  We need to understand that in John’s day books were in the form of scrolls…up to 30 feet long.  The scroll that John saw in the Father’s hand had seven seals located throughout the book.  As each seal is broken, more of the scroll can be opened up and more of its contents read.

A Mysterious Yet Supremely Important Book

                With loud voice a mighty angel puts the question to the dwellers of Heaven, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”  John’s eyes fasten on the living creatures and the twenty-four elders.  They bow their heads in silence.  His eyes sweep the assembled throng and pause when he sees cherubim, seraphim and arch angels.  They too, stand mute because they know they are not worthy.  And John records, “no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look at it.”  Revelation 5:3.  And so John wept greatly.

  What Is The Book?

                Beyond question, this is a mysterious book that purposely leaves many things in the shadows of obscurity.  Yet, there are two major revelations that give us the key to understanding what this book is about:

1.        As each seal is broken a great event unfolds that brings the kingdoms of the world one step closer to being reclaimed for God and redeemed mankind’s champion, Jesus Christ.

2.        When the seventh seal is broken it initiates seven trumpets to be sounded by seven  angels.  When the seventh trumpet sounds we read of loud voices in heaven saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.”  We also read that the twenty-four elders fall on their faces and worship God saying, “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty. . .because You have taken Your great power and reigned.” Revelation 11:15-17.

     For want of better terms let us describe this book as “The Required Process For God To Reclaim His Ruler-ship Over The World.”

We are aware that God bestowed upon the first man the authority to rule over God’s creation.  Be fruitful and multiply: fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing. . .”.  Genesis 1:28.  We also are aware that Lucifer, the highest and most powerful being God created, rebelled against God.  With great subtlety he tempted Eve to disobey God.  When she did Adam joined her in disobedience.  As a result man’s authority to rule over God’s creation was lost.  Lucifer seized the scepter of universal rule that fell from Adam’s hand.  We have a clear example of how he has used this authority in 2nd Corinthians 4:  But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this world has blinded, who do not believe, lest  the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…”  Verses 3, 4.  Lucifer has effectively become the god of this world and he primarily uses his power to keep unsaved men and women from coming to an understanding of salvation.  More and more of the world's people have been kept in darkness to the true God.

This is the reason why it is so important that the ruler-ship of the world must be taken away from Lucifer and restored to God.  That book in God’s hands contains the steps necessary to bring this to pass.  And John continues to weep because no man is worthy to open the book and break its seals.

  The Lion of the Tribe of Judah Has Prevailed

                As John weeps one of the elders informs him, “Do not weep, Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed. . .to open the scroll and and to loose its seven seals.”  Revelation 5:5.  John lifts his gaze towards God’s throne expecting to see a lion.  Instead, he sees a Lamb as if it had been slain standing before God’s throne.  The Lamb steps forward and takes the book from the hand of God.  When He does the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fall down before the Lamb and begin to sing a new song:

Worthy are You to take the scroll and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.  You have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”   Revelation 5:9, 10.

 Heaven and Earth Rejoices

                The living creatures and elders are joined by Cherubim, Seraphim, Arch angels and myriad’s of angels beyond number saying with a loud voice,  Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”  Revelation 5:12.

                  At this point John is overwhelmed as every created being in heaven, on the earth and on the seas join the climactic chorus, “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to  Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.”  Revelation 5:13b.

    Jesus Is Worthy

Because He Was Slain For Our Sins

                He "Who being in the form of God (and) did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”   Philippians 2:6-8.  (See also 1st Peter 1:18, 19.)

                Every animal sacrifice by God’s redeemed people in the Old Testament was a picture of one of the benefits received by the sacrifice of “the Lamb of God”.

                The spirit of prophecy in the Old Testament prophets reaches its zenith in Isaiah 53.  God allowed Isaiah to see the Lamb of God hanging on the cross and here is how he described it:  Surely He has borne our grief’s and carried our sorrows:  Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;  The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned, every one to his own way;  And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."  .  Verses 4-6.

                The apostle Paul summed up New Testament teaching on the sacrifice of Christ when he wrote, “He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.´ 2nd Corinthians 5:21.

Because He Purchased People for God From Every Ethnic Group

                Our daily news is filled with reports of people hating and killing other people because they have a different bone structure or because they have more or less skin coloring or they speak a different language.  Not so Jesus Christ.  He loved the whole world and He received the punishment for the sins of all mankind and He turns no one away who comes to Him in sincerity and receives Him by faith as their Savior.  All those who join in this chorus of praise to Jesus are brothers and sisters in Christ.

  Because He Has Exalted Us To Be Kings and Priests

                Regardless of our social status redeemed people know that morally and spiritually our classification was somewhere between being “down and outers and up and outers” before we got saved.  But now we know we are royalty in waiting and can intercede as priests before God on behalf of the needs of other people.  When Jesus takes His throne our positions will be exalted to an even higher level.

  Let The Praise Begin

                  The eternity of every child of God began when they received Jesus as their Savior.  We do not have to wait for a change in location to begin our praise.  Let us be full of praise to Jesus…for defeating every temptation of Satan so He could be a sinless sacrifice…for being the Lamb for sinner’s slain on the cross…for defeating Satan, death, the grave, and hell itself…for rising again with all authority in heaven and earth…for saving to the uttermost all those who come to God by Him…for giving us power to rise in victory over our sins and habits…for cleansing us from the defilement of sin when we do fail…for comforting us in our grief and sorrows…for giving us courage in times of terror… for allowing us an audience with the heavenly Father to share all our concerns and burdens…for the blessed hope that He is coming again and these bodies will become immortal and incorruptible…for the realization that eternity holds for us wonderful things beyond our wildest dreams.

As a sacrificial Lamb Jesus made all this possible.  He is worthy of all our praise.

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted