Glory to God in the Highest !
graphic from Bill Lane
All of us are commanded to "Give God the glory that is due Him" ( Psalms 29:1, 2 and 96:7, 8) . How do we give God glory ? We glorify God by worshipping Him. What exactly is worship ? Worship can be singing, praising, bowing down, praying to God and more. Worship is living our lives in obedience to God. Worship is acknowledging God as sovereign in our lives. Worship involves action. We speak forth our allegiance to God. We state that Jesus is the Lord of our life.
Worshipping God is Loving God
Some people never acknowledge God. Some people believe in God, but are too afraid to publicly state their allegiance to Him. That is the spirit of fear. We are warned in Revelation 21:8 not to be fearful :
"But the fearful....shall have their part in the Lake of Fire".
"Fear of man is a dangerous trap" Proverbs 29:25
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."--- Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10
always under the command to worship God : "Keep holy the Sabbath day"
( Exodus 20:8-12 ). Keeping holy doesn't
necessarily mean church attendance as much as it means God-focused.
Hebrews 10: 25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another:
AND SO MUCH THE MORE, AS YOU SEE THE DAY APPROACHING.”
We are especially commanded to worship God in these last days, as told to us in the message communicated by the angel flying in the midst of heaven :
"Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgement is come;
And worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
-- Revelation 14:7
True worship is heartfelt and sincere. It is not a mere statement of fact. The devils believe in God, and even state that Jesus is the son of God :
Matthew 8:29; James 2:19; Luke 8:28; Mark 1:24; Mark 3:11; Luke 4:41.
But they were not worshipping Jesus when they said that. They merely made a statement of fact from a hardened, cold heart.
WORSHIP REQUIRED BY ALL -- even non-believers
When our Lord Jesus Christ comes back to earth again to rule and reign from Jerusalem, all nations will send representatives who come and acknowledge Jesus as the Great King. Zechariah 14:16; Psalm 47; Ps. 48:2.
The whole world will bow before His authority.
In eternity, all persons ever created (saved and unsaved) will fall down before Almighty God Our Father and the Lord Jesus and acknowledge the Triune God as Sovereign over all.
"And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying,
"Blessing, and honor, and glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb forever and ever." Revelation. 5:13
For the unsaved, this will be their admission that all throughout their life they were wrong to believe in evolution--- or whatever ----that kept them from worshipping God. This is the moment of victory over all flesh by our Lord.
This is the great fact due Him by His creation. Romans 1 : 20, 21.
Also please see Pascal’s Wager http://hopetotheend.com/wager.html
"Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."
--- Isaiah 45:23 ........... Romans 14:11 ...... ......... Philippians 2:10 ........... Revelation 5:13
Isaiah 45:22-24 "Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else.
I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return,
That unto Me EVERY KNEE shall bow, EVERY TONGUE shall swear."
Surely, shall one say, “In the LORD have I righteousness and strength”;
even to Him shall men come; and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed."
Romans 14: 11, 12 "For it is written, 'As I live saith the Lord, EVERY KNEE shall bow to Me and EVERY TONGUE shall confess to God.
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God"
Philippians 2:9-11 "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name:
That at the Name of Jesus EVERY KNEE should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
and that EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER."
Rev. 5: 13 ..."And EVERY CREATURE which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying,
"Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power,
be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."
WORSHIPPING in our HOME
"Behold I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me".
A lot of people in the world today never worship God. One can go to church and still not worship God. One may just be performing a traditional act, with little thought given to the words spoken, or to the hymns sung.
One has to make a conscious-contact with the Living God in order to really communicate with and worship Him.
One can do this at home, any day of the week. Romans 14: 5, 6
"One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike.
Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord;
and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it." (also see Galatians 4:10 )
The Priesthood of the Believer
If your church is not feeding you meat (depth, strength, sound doctrine, teaching and Truth) from the Word of God;
and if the songs being sung are not true worship songs --- holy, reverent and filled with meaning---- then perhaps some feeding upon the Scriptures at home alone -- with the Holy Ghost-- would be better. At home we can make melody in our own heart (Ephesians 5:19) and sup alone with Our Lord: Revelation 3:20.
"Be filled with the [Holy] Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord:
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Yes, "church" can even be a membership of one ... with Our Lord Jesus:
"Behold I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hear My voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me". Revelation 3:20
Whatever brings you into a closer relationship with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that is what is best
Times may get so hard in the Last Days that you may be the only "church" around. Are you grounded in your love for God that you and He can fellowship alone together ? That will be how it will be.
We, at Hope To The End, "sup" with the Lord at home by having a communion service of grape juice and a piece of a cracker or bread.
You say you have no grape juice? .... only water ? Well God can turn water into wine if need be , but I'm sure even water will do.
We examine our conscience before taking communion, ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-31 ) admitting our faults to God in silence, and asking for His forgiveness. If our faults involve immediate family members, we ask their forgiveness as well. "Confess your faults one to another" ( James 5:16). Then we recite Isaiah 53 or Psalm 22 or John Chapters 14 through 17 or any other type of reading before we break the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of the price Yeshua paid for our sins. It is truly a worship service.
Or "church" can be a membership of 2 or of 3 or 4 or ......
If you have a friend or two who are like-minded concerning the Scriptures, then that small group can be your fellowship "Wherever two or more are gathered together in My name, there I will be in the midst of them" Matthew 19:20
That includes husbands and wives and children gathered together in the living room, feeding upon God's Word, praying and singing together.
Worship originally began in the home :
The Lord inaugurated worship at home during a meal way back at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 12). It is the Passover meal--celebrated in the home, and not in a general assembly--- where coming together in the name of the Lord first began.
Home is the first center of worship. The secondary place of worship is in a larger context. That can be in any building, or any other means of staying connected with fellow-believers (such as on the Internet).
Hebrews 10:25 tells us "not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together". This was written to Christians who assembled in their homes. Church structures were uncommon in the first century. We come together in the home for worship time, and we stay connected with fellow Christians by the Internet, email, snail-mail, radio and Christian TV and whatever else keeps one alive in Christ Jesus. [ interactive ]
Just going to a building one day a week and mouthing what everyone else says does not necessarily mean that one has "worshipped".
Attitude of Worship : Practicing the Presence of God http://188.8.131.52/www1/icons/wright.html
Obedience to God is worship http://www.godlygames.com/studies/obeylove.htm
Compromised Church -- - by Paul Proctor ..a Must Read
We are to love God "with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength." Mark 12: 33
That is highly personal. Building-attendance can, and often does, become a mere social activity.
Let's remember that the word "church" does not mean a building, nor does it mean a network. The word "church" means "called out ones" and refers to anyone who is called out of the world's system and into the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We are a separated people. We are particularly separated from political-correctness.
"ekklesia" means "church" http://www.ekklesia.us/about/definition.asp
The Old Testament Jewish assembly was also called a "church". The first martyr of the New Testament, Stephen
stated emphatically so in Acts 7:38. The Jewish council was so incensed at this Messianic inference that they had Stephen executed. They refused to connect the dots (Isaiah 53).
Jewish assemblies can consist of only 10 males, if need be. http://www.jewfaq.org/prayer.htm#Group
Example of "tens sake" Genesis 18:32;
A group of 10 is called a "minyan".
Minyanim are more personable gatherings. Has the church gotten lost in her thousands ?
Is it because we need an outside consensus to confirm our beliefs, rather than the single approval of God, that we hesitate worshipping God at home? If so, then we need to ask for courage and discernment.
We must not be afraid to step out in faith, and trust the Holy Spirit to guide us.
John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name,
He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
We need no "mentors" or any "shepherding" within the flock: 1 John 2 : 27
We do not fellowship or come together to surrender to someone else for "accountability".
We are all 3 x 7 and come together to share a testimony, a hymn, a reading from the word.
1 Corinthians 14:26 ( there is no word "accountability" there).
" The anointing which you have received of Him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you,
but the same anointing shall teach you of all things, and is truth and is no lie,
and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in Him." -- 1 John 2:27
See also Hebrews 8: 10, 11
John 16: 13, 14 "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come (Bible prophecy)
"He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you."
We must ask for the Holy Spirit to lead us in praise and worship
Luke 11: 5-13 " how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? "
Perhaps the churches of the last days have gotten too big and impersonal, and thus have quenched the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5: 19
Maybe it's time to think small and bring back the intimacy of the Holy Spirit in our own living rooms, thus deepening our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany ( Aug 21- 2005 ) Pope Benedict the 16th (Ratzinger) frowned on the idea of a do-it-yourself spirituality. Is that not closing the door on the Holy Spirit, and instead encouraging people to trust in an organized system ? We are sure glad Peter and the Apostles went for the one-on-one, instead of the local synagogue and Temple. If they had gone with the Temple crowd, which side would they have endorsed on Good Friday ?
What does the Lord feel about hierarchy and religious governing bodies ?
Matthew 23 ... Ezekiel 34 ... and Jeremiah 23 ( 3 p's ...Prophet, Priest and People )
Who are the Nicolaitanes ? http://hopetotheend.com/nics.htm
How did the Sanhedrin impress the Lord ? Ezekiel 8 and John 19:11
What does the Lord say about people who blindly follow leaders and systems, instead of relying on the Holy Ghost for a one-on-one ? Ezekiel 34: 17 and 20
" And as for you O My flock, thus saith the Lord GOD;
"Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats....
"I will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle"
In these Last Days of deception ( Matthew 24:4 ) and apostasy, it says in Jeremiah 5:31 :
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so.
2 Timothy 4 : 3, 4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables."
HOLINESS AT HOME
Acts 1: 4 + 14 Acts 2: 1 Acts 4: 31 Acts 5: 18 Acts 12: 4 + 12 Acts 16: 13 + 23 Acts 20: 7
Acts 23: 35 Acts 26: 10 -- Communion 1 Corinthians 11: 23.
The Book of Acts shows us how church-gatherings began in the home. That was when the church was strong and flourishing.
Paul the Apostle began church-seeding across Europe. The word "Paul" in Hebrew means "small". These seed-plantings were meant, we believe, to remain small, and branch off for every 10 men or so.
It would have kept us from the large mega- churches which-- for the most part-- are impersonal. Remaining small keeps the home-fires burning with the presence of the Holy Ghost.
Revelation: A Book of WORSHIP
Prophecy is all about Worshipping Jesus Christ ---- Revelation 19: 10
"WORSHIP GOD : for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy "
Because Hope To The End is a Bible-Prophecy website, we spend time researching the who, what, why , where and when of the end-times. Sometimes in this preoccupation with the details of the New World Order, the 666 System, of antichrist and of the false prophet, we get lost in the main theme of the Book of Revelation.
The main theme of the Book of Revelation is Worshipping God, our sacrificed Lamb, Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach.
In an effort to not lose site of our "First Love" (letter to the Ephesian Church in Revelation 2:1) we have pursued this article.
Let us now examine the Book of Revelation as a Guide Book to worshipping our Lamb and Savior, Jesus Christ.
THE BOOK of REVELATION ... our
handbook on Worship
The last book of the Bible, the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation) is a guide book on how to worship the Living and True God . Each chapter has an aspect pertaining to worship within it. One can use this little book as a guide to worshipping God, whether alone or with others. Jesus our Rabbi (our teacher) shows us what worship involves, as we study closely the words of this last book.
The Book of Revelation / Apocalypse has many wonderful passages of praise--- holy and worshipful--- that bear our repeating, when we come together to worship God in our homes. Let's look at those worshipful passages.
John the Revelator begins this book with praise, declaring three titles of Jesus:
"Jesus Christ Who is the Faithful Witness (martyr), and the First Begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth . Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood." Revelation. 1:5
This is a high exaltation. It shows Jesus as the holy sacrifice for our sins. It reveals the fact that Jesus did this for no other reason than Love itself (agape). Jesus was martyred in our behalf .... actually dying. But He did not stay in the grave, for He was resurrected, and as such is "The First Begotten of the dead"[ the first to rise with a glorified body ] . He is the "Firstfruit", the Bikkur. ( 1 Corinthians 15:20-23)
Christ died for us while we were yet sinners -- Romans 5:8.
This proves that God loved us first before we ever loved Him. 1 John 4:19
When we confess our sins to God--- sincerely forsaking them--- then we are washed in His blood. Jesus is our atonement, our blood-covering (our "kippur"). He is our Passover Lamb. 1 Corinthians 5:7
OTHER TITLES of RESPECT
"I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending." Revelation 1:8
God is the ultimate source and cause of all things and God is the ultimate fulfillment of all things. It is all His plan and His purpose. He exists as the Eternal God,
EL Olam... from everlasting to everlasting...from vanishing point to vanishing point.
"Alpha" and "Omega" are Greek words. If the Book of Revelation were being read in Hebrew, it would say : I am the "Aleph " and the "Tav".
If it were translated into modern English , it would say
I am the" A and the Z". God is all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:28. It is good for us to think upon the eternal-ness of God, how infinite and all encompassing He is.
"Fear not; I am the First and the Last. I am He that liveth and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
The Lord has been properly addressed in this little book, and now He prepares to give His message to the churches... not to buildings, but to persons. The Lord gives us first priority in this Book of Revelation message. Amos 3:7 Ephesians 1:12
We too ought to give Him the preeminence in all things. Colossians 1:18
MESSAGE to the 7 CHURCHES
We are to worship God in spirit and in truth, and the Father looks down to see if any of us are doing that.
John 4: 23, 24. Accuracy matters. Accuracy is truth. Accuracy is found in the Bible : "Thy word is truth" John 17: 17.
In the 7 letters to the Churches, God warns His church against error. That is why we can never make a man or his ministry our final say on spiritual matters. It is through popular ministries that error has crept in. Note the word "popular". The people endorsed these errors and they were maintained over long periods of time. The Holy Ghost and the Word of God are the final say on spiritual matters. That is why Our Lord repeats the phrase "Let him who has ears to hear, listen to WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING" (not what one person or one ministry is saying, but what THE HOLY SPIRIT is saying.) This is repeated seven times.
Are we guilty of "personality-cult" worship ? If we parrot one person and his ministry, then perhaps we are drowning out the voice of the Holy Spirit. We also deprive the Holy Spirit of leading and guiding us when we have mentors "shepherding" us, or when we have spiritual sponsors and coaches and the like. Counseling has its place, second to the Holy Spirit. God is our "wonderful Counselor" Isaiah 9:6.
We do not have fellowship for "accountability". We have fellowship for testimonies and encouragement.
Accountability comes naturally from observing those led of the Holy Ghost.
We are all 3 x 7 and as such have the ability to discern right from wrong and have the ability to selectively choose
which path to follow...the good or the bad. Others cannot do that for us. Only the Holy Ghost can enable us to walk the walk ( Romans 8 )
What A Friend We have in Jesus... all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer."
Do we hesitate to worship at home, fearing we might not be in tune with the Holy Ghost ? Well, we are all supposed to be little "churches", led by the Holy Ghost.
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of the Holy Ghost" ? 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19 and 2 Corinthians 6:16.
God tells us in Luke 11 that if we ask for the Holy Spirit ( and His guidance ) we will receive it. That is why we pray to the Holy Ghost BEFORE we read the word. It is the Holy Spirit that gives enlightenment to each word. It is the Holy Spirit that turns our light bulb on, and then we can better understand the Scriptures. Left to ourselves, error creeps in. So we must ask for the Holy Spirit, just like it says in Luke 11.
In most of the letters to the churches, God tells us to have a spirit of humility and repentance. If error has crept into our lives, we must have the courage to correct it and humble ourselves before Him. Truth is found in the word of God "Thy word is truth". John 17:17
But one fault that spearheads all the other faults found in the church is the fact that we can lose our First Love, Jesus Christ. The organized church can become an octopus of networking, a huge impersonal corporation with mega-investment portfolios-- with the dollar sign front-and-center-stage, …that Jesus Christ is no longer the Presence within. We ourselves personally can get so caught up with the busy-ness of performing our "work" for God that we lose sight of His still small voice, now drowned out by the company of men.
" I'd rather have the single approval of God,
than the loudest applause of man" --old saying
Modern man can so easily get distracted with trivial pursuits that hence "the little foxes have spoiled the vines". Canticles 2:15
We get led astray so easily from what is to be our "magnificent obsession".
"We like sheep have gone astray, each one to his own way" Isaiah 53 ...."prone to wonder, Lord I feel it". (Hymn)
And yet even when distracted from God, "our hearts are restless till they rest in Him" (St. Augustine). The spirit within ourselves longs to worship God.
After Our Lord has given His message to the churches (individuals within), we then come upon the Great Worship scenes of Revelation Chapters 4 and 5.
The Four Living Creatures, and the 24 elders
Revelation Chapters 4 contains many verses of praise that bear repeating during our own prayer time.
The first sounds of exaltation come from the Four Living Creatures ( called "beasts"). Perhaps they represent all of creation. Because they each have 6 wings, then perhaps they are Seraphim, as identified in Isaiah 6: 2, 3
These four proclaim: "Holy, holy , holy , Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."
Note that the emphasis here is on prophecy...the One "who is to come".
Prophecy is very important. Bible Prophecy is the Blessed Hope of every Believer.
"The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus Christ " Revelation 19:10.
Jesus came to earth for a reason and a purpose: the saving of individual souls from eternal hell, due to one's self-will.
Our Lord's atoning death and resurrection is the verification / justification of His authority and Lordship.
1 Timothy 3:16 and Rev. 5 : 9
He is coming again to establish righteousness upon the earth. Daniel 9:24
Jesus is the only One in all of creation worthy of our worship because He --Jesus of Nazareth-- is the only One in all of History who fulfilled the minute prophecies in explicit detail written of Him ages ago.
Jesus fulfilled all the Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament
These Seraphim then give "glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever." Revelation 4:8, 9 .
In Isaiah 6:2, the Seraphim exclaim,
"Holy , holy , holy, is the LORD of hosts . The whole earth is full of His glory."
("Lord Sabaoth" is another way of saying 'Lord of Hosts', and means that Jesus is the Commander-in-chief of the heavenly armies, or hosts)
I SEE GOD EVERYWHERE
It is a form of worship to look around us and to see all of nature as an expression of the Living God:
His beauty, His order, His engineering, His unfathomable mathematical lay-out, His creation, His magnificent plan all unfolding right now before our very own eyes.
Proverbs 8: 22-36 " The Lord possessed me (Wisdom) in the beginning, before He created anything else"
"I see His blood upon the rose, and in the stars the glory of His eyes" (author unknown)
Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made" (all the material world conveys insights into the spiritual world), "even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse"
(all those who do not acknowledge God as Creator are without excuse ).
All of Chapters 38 and 39 of Job: "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth : declare, if thou hast understanding".
It is Jesus Christ Who created all things.
"All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made." John 1:3
and also Colossians 1:16 "all things were created by Him and for Him."
God's plan was laid down before the foundation of the world. Revelation. 13:8 Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:18-21; Revelation 17:8b.
So then, the Seraphim--- representing all of creation--- give honor and praise to God for His singularity, His uniqueness, His Holiness and His difference from all creation. He is distinct from creation for He is the Creator. He has the preeminence in all things. Colossians 1:18.
Next, the 24 elders " fall down before Him that sat upon the throne, and worship Him that liveth forever and forever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure, they are and were created."
Revelation 4:10, 11
We are never told who the 24 elders are. Could they be the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel, and the 12 apostles ?
They could be. The 12 tribes have their names written upon the gates of the Holy Jerusalem in Revelation. 21:12
And the apostles names are written into the 12 foundations of the Holy City. Revelation. 21:14.
Those two groups could well be the 24 elders.
Revelation Chapter Five, Redeemed by the BLOOD of the LAMB
In this Chapter the question is asked, Who has the authority to judge the earth ? Who, out of all of creation, lived upon earth totally sinless ? No one that has been created has ever lived sinless 1 John 1 : 8, 9. Only Jesus Christ lived upon earth sinless . 1 Peter 3:18 and 2 Corinthians 5:2
So then, one of the 24 elders ( probably the elder of the tribe of Judah ) steps out to say:
"Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."
Then all together the 24 elders (representing Israel and representing the Church) "fell down before the Lamb (Jesus), having everyone of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sung a new song saying,
"THOU ART WORTHY to take the book, and to open the seals thereof:
For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood, out of every kindred and tongue and people, and nation;"
and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth."
(This last statement refers to the future Kingdom after Armageddon. Christians are not to politically "Christianize" the world during this dispensation. That is what is called "Kingdom Theology".
It is of the flesh, and seeks civil power. The Book of Zechariah clearly shows that there are two separate entities... the civil realm and the spiritual realm. We are to be salt and light in the world ... not to change the world politically.
Jesus Christ IS worthy to call this final antichristian generation to account. It says in John 15:22
"If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin."
If Jesus had not entered human history as a man; if He had not lived a sinless and miracle-filled life; if He had not witnessed to us of His Father and of the kingdom of heaven; if He had not died in our place as the sacrifice for our sin (Isaiah 53) and if He had not risen from the grave triumphantly, then maybe, just maybe, we could fantasize that we could squirm out of judgement. But the fact is Jesus did do all of those things, and they were recorded authentically in a book--the Bible--and we do know about His unique mission. Yet many choose not to acknowledge Jesus as Lord of their life, and they trade the Living Waters for broken cisterns. Jeremiah 2. They are without excuse. They have no cloak for their sin. Now they must eat the bitter fruit of having their own way. Proverbs 1:31.
So Jesus, the slain Lamb, is here proclaimed worthy to judge all of mankind because of His shed blood. And by that blood Israel and the Church rule and reign as priests and kings unto God. [during the 1,000 year Millennium reign of Jesus Christ AFTER Armageddon ...please see Rev. 20:4 ]
MYRIADS of ANGELS
At this high-point of the proof of Christ's power and authority over mankind and the earth, the angels break forth into praise.
"And I beheld and heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders: and the number of them was 10,000 times 10,000, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice,
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing." Revelation 5:12
Not only do the four living creatures, the twenty-four elders and the myriads of angels praise God, but His whole entire creation (saint and unrepentant sinner alike) proclaim:
"Blessing and honor, and glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever." Revelation. 5:13
And the four living creatures said, "Amen". And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth forever and ever." Revelation. 5:14
These are excellent phrases to incorporate into our daily prayers.
The Wrath of the Lamb --Revelation Chapter 6
Worship also involves a wholesome fear, or reverence for God.
We are to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. 1 Corinthians 2:3
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10
We are to have a wholesome and realistic fear of God's wrath and judgements. The 7 seals, 7 trumpets and 7 vials within Chapters 6, 8, 9, and 16 reveal God as the Judge of the whole earth. Genesis 18:25 Mankind is being judged for Godlessness and disobedience. 2 Thessalonians 1: 8
Revelation Chapter 6 describes many cataclysmic occurrences in the heavens and upon the earth. We see earthquakes and volcanoes( tsunamis ?) , a polar shift, an asteroid shower and even a nuclear bomb. All of these are intended to shake mankind into the realization that sin is judged and cannot be tolerated. Judgement should lead us to cry out to God for mercy, with a repentant heart.
In Revelation 6, we see men's hearts failing them for fear Luke 21:26 as the wrath of the Lamb is unleashed.
"Hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb;
for the great day of His wrath has come, and who can stand?" Revelation 6:16,17.
But all of these judgements have a purpose:
"Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven....signifying the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." Hebrews 12: 26,27
What is it that cannot be shaken ? It is our faith, hope and trust in God, no matter what, as long as we have nurtured that faith and trust by steeping ourselves in God's Word and our obedience.
"But none of these things move me, neither do I count my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy" Acts 20:24
Are there some people who have an unshakable faith in God, even within the Great Tribulation, the last 3 and ˝ years of this age ? Yes. It is the multitude that no man can number of Revelation Chapter 7. http://hopetotheend.com/ch7p1.html
Their faith and trust in God carried them through all the trials and suffering of the Great Tribulation -- the last
3 1/2 years of this final age.
They lived in the wilderness and died:
"they shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.... and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Revelation 7: 16,17.
They endured all that the Great Tribulation held.
Yet even so, these people still give God praise and worship .
SALVATION to OUR GOD
"Salvation belongeth unto the LORD" Psalm 3:8
In Revelation Chapter 7, the multitude that died during the Great Tribulation (the last 3 1/2 years of this age) are seen in heaven, and this is their worshipful praise:
"Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Revelation 7:10
This multitude is indeed saved, for they are dressed in white robes that had been washed in the blood of the Lamb.
They paid the full price for having lived outside of the System. They had to scratch for food, often times going without. They faced the elements--the cold of winter, the unbearable heat of the summer with no roof over their heads. They faced hardships of all kinds.
Some of them must have received angelic protection and helps during their wilderness experience, just like Elijah did -- 1 Kings 19:5-8 -- for even the angels break in with praise at this point
Then the angels "fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying,
"Amen. Blessing and glory and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen." Revelation 7:12
One feels that the reason why the angels interject their praise here, is because they were so instrumental in the care of each person within this great multitude. Day after day great angelic protection must have helped these people
to survive, until it was time for each one to come home. ... to rest from their weariness.
And even then, Grace carried them home, winged by their angels; so we believe.
http://hopetotheend.com/JJ.html and http://hopetotheend.com/sparo.html
"Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth "
"Yeah, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them." Revelation 14:13
On earth, each one within this multitude had endured great hardships for a season: hungering and thirsting; scorched by the sun, cold in the winters, being exposed to the elements. (they were homeless). They died in this time of plagues during the Great Tribulation. But their souls and spirits were always alive to God, and they were obedient to the Bible by not taking the 666 mark of the beast.
For if they had taken the 666 mark of the beast, they would have been well filled with food and drink, they would have had good clothes, necessities and a decent roof over their heads.... a soft bed, warm blankets, jobs, chats by the fireside, etc. etc. etc. But by refusing the 666 Mark of the Beast, they sacrificed literally everything. They emptied themselves unto death, so that they might obtain the eternal prize.
(take what applies, and leave the rest)
And now the Lamb Himself feeds them, and leads them unto Living Fountains of Waters;
and God Himself shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Revelation 7:17
All circumstances give praise to God----even War
"All things work together for good to those who love God " Romans 8:28
Revelation Chapters 8 (War ) and 9 (terrorism) deal with these harsh realities.
"There is a time of war and a time of peace." Ecclesiastes 3:8
War brings out more prayer and worship than perhaps any other circumstance on earth.
"There are no atheists in foxholes"(famous saying)
A title of God that is rarely referred to is this :" The LORD is a man of war" Exodus 15:3.
Because man's heart is continually set upon to do evil Genesis 6:5 the Lord allows wars as a form of judgement.
And even in war, God can protect His own, in order to fulfill His Plan and purpose.
Psalm 144:1, 2 " Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
My goodness and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield and He in whom I trust.
(also see Psalm 18)
Some live, some die...and through it all the purposes of God are fulfilled.
TIME WILL TELL
The war of Revelation Chapters 8 and 9 is most likely th Russian-led Invasion of Israel, the Magog War of Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39, as we see it, it will be a limited nuclear exchange. In these chapters of Ezekiel, we see that even war gives honor to God, for "then they ( all people) will know that I am the Lord".
Ezekiel 38:16 + 23; Ezekiel. 39: 6,7 + 21, 22.
God intervenes miraculously in times of war. His instruments are that of weather and the elements.
Job all of Chapter 37, especially verse 13; Job 38:22, 23 And more importantly it is God alone who makes wars to cease Psalm 46:9 . After Armageddon, man will learn war no more Isaiah 2:4. Only the Prince of Peace,
Jesus Christ Isaiah 9:6, can bring 1,000 years of peace. The history of man has proven that we can not do that.
Thomas More's "Utopia" brings to light the fact that all of man's idealistic imaginations fall short of reality.
We may pray and fast and weep for peace. We may march and protest against war. But the fact remains, man is ever divided over the issues of life so long as man is not under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
"Our hearts are restless, till they rest in Thee" St. Augustine.
James 4: 1,2 "From whence come wars and fightings "?
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword" (decision/division)
"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth ? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." Luke 12:51
"It is better to be divided by truth than united in error.
It is better to speak (or write ) the truth that hurts and then heals,
than to speak a lie that will comfort, and then kill.
It is better to be hated for telling the truth, than to be loved for telling a lie.
It is better to stand alone with the truth, than to be wrong with a multitude.
It is better to ultimately die with the truth, than to live with a lie."
From Adrian Rogers 5-95
"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Galatians 4:16
But the end of this age will eventually bring forth peace, when all nations come to Jerusalem to acknowledge the kingship of Jesus Christ.
Zechariah 14:16 " And it shall come to pass, that everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles."
Other references: Psalm 22: 27, 28; Isaiah 45:22, 23; Isaiah 49:7; Daniel 2:35 + 44,45; Revelation 15:4. + 20:4
The Seven Thunders
There is not only the Mid East wars of Revelation Chapters 8 and 9, but there are other wars to follow. Revelation Chapter 10 tells of an angel whose loud cry brought forth 7 thunders. It is our belief that these
7 thunders pertain to many wars fought on all Continents. Actually there will be wars upon wars up to, and including, the final battle of Armageddon, the final battle.
Wars have a way of sifting our hearts like nothing else can. War can either bring out the worst in us, or the best in us.
Romans 8:28 tells us that "all things work together for good to those who love God" and yes, God can bring good out of war and tragedy. We will hear those testimonies in heaven, when we arrive at "the tabernacle of testimony" Revelation. 15:5.
Conclusion: Even wars can bring praise and honor to God.
VICTORY CRY before the showdown
In this Chapter it is our belief that the Rapture of the Church takes place... the Seventh Trumpet.
And at this point all heaven breaks out in highest praise:
"The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ:
for He shall reign forever and ever." Rev. 11:15
Yes, we can all hear Handel's "Messiah" resounding in that phrase.
Even though this victory shout is given out just 3 1/2 years before Armageddon, God IS taking to Himself His great power, and will pour forth judgements in greater and greater proportions until the end. Always in the Bible God gives the victory proclamation before the battle begins, victory is so assured. And that is the case here also.
Then the 24 elders fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying,
"We give thee THANKS, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come;
because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned.
And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldst give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy Name, small and great; and shouldst destroy them which destroy the earth."
Indeed, God is taking to Himself the power over the universe and using all His heavenly weaponry against a rebellious planet.
WORSHIP, part TWO continued at hopetotheend.com/worship2.html
A Commentary on the Book of Revelation --- Tom Stewart
Websites on the Book of Revelation hopetotheend.com/linkspg2.html
Websites on Prophecy hopetotheend.com/spiritual.html
Home Worship Resources hopetotheend.com/hworship.html