Summary: God is in control, and we have have hope and security in knowing that nothing will take place in our lives, or in this world, that He is not aware of.

This past Wednesday, we began looking into the subject of worship. I shared with the church some-thing that the Lord spoke to me several weeks ago. He said, "I want this church to exemplify heavenly praise." I believe that this is God’s desire for the entire Body of Christ, but it has specific meaning right here, seeing as God spoke it specifically concerning this church.

Now, I do understand that there are a lot of people who are running around claiming that God has spoken to them. And I understand that for this to become relevant to you, you will have to do two things:

1. You’ll have to believe that the Lord truly did speak this to me concerning the church.

I’m afraid that because we hear so many people saying so many things, sometimes we fail to grasp the true seriousness of a spoken Word from God, because there are times when people claim that God spoke to them, and all they’re doing is seeking to "spiritualize their personal desires." In other words, they want to use God’s name to validate, ordain, and accomplish their own agenda. And for you to embrace this word as a directive from God, you will have to believe that He said it.

2. You must personally recognize and honor the Lordship of Christ, and, if He did say it, then our only reaction must be compliance with and obedience to that Word.

In other words, if you believe that this really is God’s desire, and that He really has spoken it to us, then how much you conform to it depends on your level of respect and submission to God. If He is truly Lord, and He has said that He wants us to exemplify heavenly praise, then our first action must be seeking to know exactly what that means, and what we need to do in order to accomplish that word. *Those two criteria must be met for this word to take root in your life.

The other night, we talked about bringing who we are, and what we’ve done, and recognizing that it is only by God’s grace that we’re here, and therefore we are to Cast Down Our Crown, our position, our authority, and all else, and give praise, glory, and honor to Him who sits on the throne!

We spoke on that, out of Revelation 4, where the beasts and 24 elders begin to have an all out worship service, falling down, casting crowns, and failing not to give God glory. But I want to move on into Revelation 5, and look at a couple of thoughts here.

The last chapter concluded with a united, concerted effort of praise and worship, with the casting down of the crowns by the 24 elders, and a chorus of worship that said, "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power...." And that is what worship is all about: Declaring the worth of God.

Then, chapter 5 picks up the scene, and returns the focus off of the worshipers, but upon the One being wor-shiped. *That’s part of the mandate that the Lord has put on this church. Our focus has to be back on Him, and not on others. There’s nothing wrong with us interacting with one another, and taking time to fellowship with, and greet one another. But HE must take preeminence over that.

And so John turns his attention back to God, who is sitting on the throne. And John relates a piece of truth here, that is very encouraging, and very important. He sees something in the right hand of Him who sits on the throne. Now, in the Bible, the right hand always talks about strength and power, and about possession.

So, John sees something in God’s strength, in His power, and in His possession. It is a book, or a scroll. This scroll had writing on both sides, and was sealed with seven seals. And John saw and heard a strong angel proclaiming, "Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose it’s seals?"

Now the question arises, what was so important about this book, that even the angels were desiring it to be opened? Well, a study of the book of Revelation, and the events following chapter 5, will reveal that within this scroll was the unfolding of future prophetic events.

Now, I don’t want to deal with the specific prophetic events, but I want to glean a principle from this passage that teaches and assures us, that, The Future Is In His Hand. *I want you to get that, and remember that.

When John heard the angel’s declaration, in the search for someone to open the seals of the book, first, the search turned up no man who was able to open the book. John records that He began to weep, but that one of the elders took a pause from praising God, long enough to tell John, "Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the seals of the book."

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