Summary: Imagine seeing God! How would you react? The key word to what happens when we see God is "worship." Everyone will eventually fall down and worship God. Do it now and be glad when He appears in glory and judgment.
Revelation, the Grand Finale of God’s Word
Worshiping the Worthy One
Have you ever been to a big sporting event when every seat was sold out and the game was intense? There are stadiums that can hold over 90,000 people and in a sell out crowd of that size the cheering can be deafening. People gather and cheer for their team and you would think that the world hangs in the balance when the scores are close and the final seconds are ticking off the clock.
But did you ever stop to think that cheering is also a form of worship? It is an emotional, mental and physical expression of what matters very much to us, what we value, what we consider worth a lot, in other words, what we worship.
When we read the Bible, we find that worship in both the Old and New Testaments were often exciting events filled with wonder, loud acclamation and praise and sometimes there were physical expressions of exuberant joy. There are Christian denominations that are known for this. Some are mocked because of their showiness or for their artificial emotional expressions. Reason or rationalism views such emotional outpourings as irreverent or at least uncomfortable. But spiritual worship as we see before the very throne of God include loud songs of praise and falling down before God, casting crowns before him in honor and praise. This is certainly not irreverent, artificial, or improper. When we study the worship of heaven and remember the prayer of Jesus, we may view worship in a new way: Jesus said, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Does this include the way we praise and honor God on earth today?
Notice that there are two extremes that both present a danger here. On the one hand, our expressions of praise and worship should never be artificial. Quiet adoration and praise is acceptable to God in scripture. On the other hand, mockery of those who genuinely praise God with audible, emotional and physical expressions that are exemplified in God’s Word has no place either, since these, too, are scriptural expressions of worship.
In such matters, “Judge not that ye be not judged,” would certainly apply. The worship that is in spirit and in truth may take various forms. However we express praise and adoration, Jesus, the Lamb of God, deserves all we have to give!
Read Chapter 4.
What is the overall theme in this section?
List the characters of this section. You may wish to underline each and notice all of whom are present in John’s description of heaven.
Notice the throne. Underline this word and pay attention to how it is the center of all that happens and all the activity begins here.
What are some strange things that you notice that are near the throne?
Where are the four living creatures? What are they doing?
Read Isaiah 6:1-7
Describe the Seriphim:
Read Ezekiel 1-2
What does Ezekiel see here that compares with what John sees in chapter 4?
Dear student, when you hear God’s word describing the presence of God, know that one day you and I will be there. Much of what we read is difficult to understand, but this is clear: God’s presence is awesome and those closest to Him have nothing but praise and adoration to tell. May you and I draw nearer to the throne of God and be filled with awe and wonder! May God fill our mouths with praise and our hearts with thanksgiving and may we grow to worship Him in the beauty of Holiness.
Read chapter 5.
What is the problem that is introduced in chapter five? What solution is found?
Describe the book that is sealed:
No one knows for sure what this book represents. We will be reading about what happens as each seal is opened when we study the next section. It would seem that whatever is contained in this book (or scroll) has to do with the history of the salvation of God. Jesus is the only one who can open the book’s seals. The praises given when he takes the book all point to the saving work of Jesus through his death, and the purchase made by his blood. The word for book here,(biblion), can mean scroll or book or certificate. It occurs 34 times in the New Testament, 20 of those are in Revelation. Look for the “books”(or scrolls) in Revelation!
Books in heaven?
Look at Exodus 32:31-35
What book is mentioned here and why?
Rev. 3:5; 10:1-2, 8-10; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12-15; 21:27. Read these references and write what each book seems to refer to.