Posts

The Vision of Heaven and Praise in Heaven (Continued)

Rev Mar’s Sept 27 sermon in PDF may be downloaded here:

The Vision of Heaven and Praise in Heaven Continued (Revelation Chapter 5)

Tanggapin nating lahat ang walang hanggang biyaya o pagmamagandang loob st saka kaligtasan at buhay na walang hanggan na walang makapagkaloob at walang makakapagdulot sa lahat sa atin kundi itong si Cristo Jesus na Siyang Makapangyarihan sa Lahat na Panginoong Dios Anak na nagkatawang tao na sa Kaniyang pagkakatawang tao at ganap na pagkatao ay Kaniyang ginampanan ang Kaniyang tungkulin bilang Siya ang lahat sa lahat upang sa gayon na kapag ang sinoman ay lubusan, tuwiran agad at tuluyan na sumampalataya, umasa at umibig sa Kaniya ay hindi na mapahamak kundi ito nang Panginoong Jesucristo na ito ang Siya nilang maging kaligtasan, buhay na walang hanggan at kaluwalhatian magpakailanman.

Ngunit bago ang lahat ay tayo ay magbukas sa isang panalangin:

Panginoong Jesucristo, buksan mo po ang aming mga mata at tainga at puso upang aming matutunan ang iyong mga salita at matupad naming ang iyong pagkakatawag sa bawat isa sa amin. Pagpalain po ninyo ang iyong mga salita na aming papaksahin at pagliwanagin mo po ang mga ito bilang ilawan sa aming mga paa upang hindi po kami maliligaw at hindi rin kami magliligaw ng ibang tao.

A. A Review To Get Our Bearings.

1. In Revelation Chapter 1, the apostle John was exiled in the isle of Patmos, but he does not talk about his being persecuted by the Roman emperor. His mind is on the Lord. Even during his being persecuted, that was not the reason for being in the isle of Patmos. His mind and spirit was that he was there not to undergo hardships but he was there “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The apostle John sees that even his difficulties can be used for the Lord’s glory. How do we see our burdens, difficulties, tribulations and persecutions we are going through? Do we see them as John sees them but he sees them beyond the difficulties? Are they hindrances or instruments of the Lord to use us according to the best situation? Do we see the burden or do we see a higher purpose; it is for the Lord’s glory.

2. Still in chapter 1, in verse 11, John is instructed by the Lord saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia. The book is divided into three major divisions: Chapter 1 which are things which John has seen (past, Chapter 1, a vision of the risen, glorified and exalted Jesus Christ), the things which are (present, state of the churches, Chapters 2 and 3) and the things which shall be hereafter (future, Rapture of the church, and the Tribulation on earth, the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to defeat the enemy and establish His Millennial reign with the raptured and resurrected saints unto the great white throne judgment and the Lord creating new heavens and new earth of which the Lamb is seen as sitting on the throne, His name is on the foreheads of the citizens of the new world, and they will serve the Lamb who is upon the throne forever and ever.

3. Here in Chapters 4 and 5, we are in a transition between the things which are (present) and the things which shall be hereafter (future). In this transition, John writes his vision of the worship going on in the present heaven around a heavenly throne and One is sitting there.

a. Without identifying this One seen sitting on the throne but John knows it is the Lord Jesus Christ for the great voice, as of a trumpet, which the voice of Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:10 is the same voice as it were of a trumpet talking to him to come up to heaven that the Lord may reveal to him the things which shall be hereafter. Furthermore, the Bible says that the Lord Jesus Christ “when He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3) or after He “endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

b. Though God the Father is not visible (John 1:18; Colossians 1:15; 1Timothy 6:16), He is sitting with the Son on the throne. Also God the Father called the Son, in Psalm 110:1, “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” 

c. Surrounding the throne is a rainbow giving glory to the One sitting on the throne because quoting the prophet Ezekiel, his vision of the rainbow around the throne of the Lord is described as “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.” (Ezekiel 1:28) And before the throne were 7 lamps representing the 7 Spirits of God; the number 7 indicating perfection while the 7 lamps symbolize the seven attributes of the Holy Spirit that will anoint the “rod out of the stem (stump of a tree) of Jesse, and a Branch (shoot) shall grow out of his roots” (this is the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes in the flesh. Isaiah 11:1-3; Revelation 5:5; 22:16).

4. Then there were four living creatures surrounding the throne which did not rest day and night saying,

“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, which is and which is to come.”

This vision of praise to the Lord Jesus Christ is the same vision Isaiah saw in his book in chapter 6:1-3. The apostle John in the gospel he wrote said, “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.” (John 12:41)

5. After the four living creatures, there were twenty four thrones surrounding the throne and twenty four elders were sitting on them wearing white raiments and each had a golden crown. And when the four living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sat on the throne, the 24 elders would fall down before Him who sat on the throne and worship Him casting 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.”

6. We learned something about worship in the heavens:

a. As we see in heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ is the focus of worship and praise coming from the creatures. The Lord’s Prayer mention this as “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).  We have learned that worship should be Christ-centered. Why? Because Revelation 4:11 says that the Lord Jesus created all things and all things were created for His pleasure. So worship should be Christ-centered and not to ourselves. It is for the Lord’s pleasure. Worship is prepared not to impress people or so people will enjoy the worship service but rather it is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). Diyan sa Chapter 4, natutunan natin na ang pagsamba ay nakafocus sa Panginoong Jesucristo.

b. We have seen how the four living creatures and the 24 elders worship with total devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. In Revelation 4, we see the elders and the angels who know the Lord far better than we do, and the depth of their worship is directly tied to their knowledge of Jesus. This means that if we want to worship the Lord and He is worthy to receive all the worship the world can ascribe to Him, we ought to be preoccupied with knowing Jesus more and studying His word and doing our devotion to develop our relationship with Him. That is why Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

c. Worship involves surrender. Revelation 4:10 says, “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.” When we come to worship Jesus Christ, we come to surrender our all to Him. It means committing your all to Him. (2 Timothy 1:12) This is not just material possessions, it means surrendering your agenda, your household, your future, your time, your hopes, your reputation to Him, your livelihood, even unconfessed sins. As I often say, when we come before the Lord and give an account of our lives, we shall leave behind everything that we have; things like titles, trophies, plaques, citations, certificates. The only thing we can bring is what we are! When we give up our no-thing, Jesus becomes our everything!

B. Chapter 5 is a continuation of the worship in heaven.

1. In chapter 4, the Lord Jesus is worshipped because of His character, because of His attributes (Holy 3x, Lord God Almighty, ever-existing, ever-living, never-changing One, the I Am; all things were created by Him and for Him). Not that these are the only attributes of God that He is worthy of all our worship. No one can exhaust the infinite attributes of the Lord. AW Tozer in his book, The Attributes of God, wrote only 10 of the attributes of God in 320 pages. I tried searching the Internet the know how many of the Lord’s attributes can man mention. Depending on the subject treatment, their citations vary greatly from site to site, beginning from 3 to 15 attributes. An extremely deficient presentation of what the Lord is. Yet the Bible commands us that worship Him with our all as in Deuteronomy 6:4.

2. The danger of not knowing the Lord is:

a. not rendering to Him the necessary depth of worship He is worthy of. Half-hearted or lukewarm worship is a major problem of churches in the last days as seen with the church of Laodicea. It is so bad that they are the last to know that they are not saved. They are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. So the Lord said to them, “Because you are lukewarm, I will spew thee out.” Though the letters of Jesus were addressed to churches but they are also addressed to individuals like you and me because at the end of every letter, the Lord says, “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith.”

b. Without the testimony of the Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy, the revealed will of God through the Lord Jesus Christ written and compiled in the Bible, any attempt to explain God’s attributes and understanding the Lord may lead one to worship a god which is not the God of the Bible. But through the Bible, the testimony of Jesus, we can understand much about who the Lord is and what He demands from us. Until we have come to know the Lord Jesus, no one of us will be able to come to a true examination of ourselves and we will fail to be conformed to the Lord’s image from glory to glory. For example, if we do not know the humility of Jesus, we will never be able to confront the pride that is in us all. 

3. Here in chapter 5, the Lord Jesus, the Lamb, is worshipped not only because of His attributes but because He is the resolution of a dilemma.

a. What is the dilemma? God the Father sitting on the throne, not visible but a symbolic representation of Him was seen as His right hand holding a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And John saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the scroll, neither to look thereon. And John wept bitterly because no one is worthy to take the scroll and open the seals that those written therein may be revealed. After all, John was called up to heaven to write “the things which shall be hereafter” or “the things which must shortly come to pass.”

b. What does the scroll represent? This scroll must represent the eternal purpose of God which has been eternally covenanted by the members of the Trinity, viz., God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit of which fulfillment we are still waiting. Largely of the eternal purpose of God is the return of the Lord Jesus to fulfill His rightful role as King of kings and Lord of lords here on earth and unto eternity.

1) This promise was made in Genesis 49:10 when Jacob prophesied concerning the descendants of his son Judah: The scepter (symbol of a king) shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet (his descendants), until Shiloh (the One who owns, Redeemer) come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. The fulfillment of this prophecy began when David, a descendant of Judah, became king of Israel. As prophesied, the scepter passed on to David’s descendants. Jesus is the rightful heir to the throne of David, He is called the Son of David, the Messiah. This prophecy will be fulfilled when Jesus comes in His glory to reign as King of kings and the Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:15-16; Philippians 2:9-11) 

2) Old Testament Prophets showed the coming of the Messiah to reign as King. (Isa 9:6-7; Isa 24:23; Dan 2:44; Dan 7:13-14; Mic 4:6-7; Joel 2:32; and Zech 14:5-9)

3) Jesus in the gospels, preached saying, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) Jesus always spoke of the kingdom of God on earth as something that was “coming“, i.e. a future event (Luke 22:18  For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God shall come.) Jesus spoke about the kingdom even after His resurrection (Acts 1:3  To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.).

4) The disciples asked the risen Lord, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)

5) The Apostles spoke of the coming kingdom of God: Acts 14:22, Acts 28:23, 1Corinthians 15:24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power., Col 1:13-14  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.)

6) The fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose in Christ is a victory over Satan and his cohorts, sin, death, hell, and the grave. Fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose is rendering justice and righteousness to those who have been faithful to the Lord and gathering them together with Jesus so that Jesus becomes their all in all. If the eternal purpose of God is not fulfilled then, this world is doomed, and we would be the most miserable people living on earth and we have nothing to wait for but condemnation and judgment. There would be no hope in this world. That is why the apostle John wept bitterly.

c. Revelation 5:5. John is comforted that there is One who can take the scroll, loose the seals and look what is in it. “The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” But when John looked, he did not see a Lion; he saw a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

1) The only one who can take the book from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne is described as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” is a title based on Isaiah 49:9  “Judah is a lion’s cub.” Jacob’s blessing upon Judah was to be a young lion, and the sceptre would not depart from Judah. In other words, the rulers of God’s people and the Messiah would be descendants of Judah. In this descendant of Judah, upon the Messiah rests power and authority.

2) The root of David refers to Isa. 11, where the Messiah would be a descendant of Jesse and David, though the line was cut off by Nebuchadnezzar, a branch would grow up out of the stump of Jesse. There was one coming, a descendant of David who would once again lead God’s people.

3) On the other hand, “the Lamb” a title based on some OT verses: the Passover Lamb (Exodus chapter 12); the Lamb is a type of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53:7, “he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. In the NT, the title as Lamb is more explicit by John the Baptist pointing tho the Lord Jesus Christ saying, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). The Lamb appeared as it was slain because this is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Lamb sacrificed as the sin sacrifice for the whole world. 

4) Revelation 5:6b  “…a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth”. In the Bible, the horn is an OT symbol for power. Seven is a depicts completeness or perfection; so seven horns mean complete power, completer control, and relating it to a king, it would mean complete control of all things. Jesus is in full control of all things. 

5) Mentioned also are the “seven eyes” of the Lamb. This description is explained for us as a reference to the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. You may recall that Jesus was described in Revelation 3:1 as the One who has the seven spirits of God. But like before, this image also has its roots in the OT, in Zechariah 4. When Zechariah sees a lampstand with seven branches or arms (a menorah), he is told “These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:10). So between Revelation 4:5 (the seven torches before the throne) and 5:6, we see all the same imagery: the lamps, the eyes, and the spirits or Spirit of God. The seven eyes of the Lord symbolize the fullness of the knowledge of the Lord that nothing is hid in His sight from His throne.

d. So we can see that based on the eternal covenant, the eternal purpose can be fulfilled by only the Lord Jesus Christ because the eternal purpose was purposed on Him. (Ephesians 3:11) Why? He was slain for us and hast redeemed us to God by His 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. (Rev 5:9-10)  Therefore, the things in the last days, things which shall be hereafter that are written in the scroll, can come to their fulfillment through the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this unique and unalterable and non-transferable function of the Lord Jesus Christ as the fulfiller of the purpose of God in the last days, Jesus is the only One qualified to take the scroll from God the Father to loose the 7 seals.

e. We learned that the eternal purpose of God (Ephesians 3:11) can only be realized based on the working arrangement of the Trinity in their eternal covenant where the eternal covenant was confirmed by the blood of the great shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:20) that the eternal purpose and the promises of God (2 Corinthians 1:20) can be fulfilled only by the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24) by the anointing of the eternal Spirit even in eternity. (Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 1:8-9) So no one in heaven or in earth or under the earth can take the scroll from the hand of the Father and break the seals and look into it.

f. Now the worship. There was no one in heaven, in earth and under the earth to receive worship but the Lord Jesus Christ. He is worshipped not only because of His attributes as God sitting on the throne with the Father and glorified by the Holy Spirit but also because of His authority, power, and wisdom given to Him to accomplish the eternal purpose of God. Jesus is the only one worthy to fulfill the things in the last days to come as the victorious King of kings and the Lord of lords who will overcome satan and his cohorts, sin, death, and the grave and to reign with His saints forever and ever in truth and righteousness.

g. There are three levels of worship:

1) The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders worship Him singing a new song saying, “Thou art worthy to take the scroll 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. (Revelation 5:9-10)

2) Then the living creatures and the elders are joined by many angels round about the throne and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, 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 honour, and glory, and blessing.” (Revelation 5:11-12)

3) Finally, the four living creatures and twenty-four elders and the angels in heaven are joined by those on earth and under the earth such as are in the sea and all that are in them, saying, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. (Revelation 5:13-14) This is exactly expressed in Philippians 2:9-11  “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him (Jesus) 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.

4. Conclusion.

a. In the Lord’s Prayer, there is a verse that indicates how we should worship. Matthew 6:10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. We have seen in Chapters 4 and 5 of the Book of Revelation that in heaven, worship, devotion, and praise and prayers of saints are focused on the Lamb upon the throne, the Lord Jesus Christ. The same worship done in heaven should be done here on earth, i.e., it should be Christ-centered. So, whether in heaven or on earth or under the earth, worship should be uniformly Christ-centered.

b. Such is the will of the Father that all worship, praise, and prayer should be gathered together in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 1:9-10 says, For the Father has “made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.

c. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” It is the Father’s will and it is His good pleasure that all things in heaven and in earth and under the earth be gathered together in one in Christ Jesus. Things to be gathered in one in Christ Jesus will include our devotion, praise, worship, and prayers, in fact, our all so that Jesus can be the fulfillment of our all in all. The Lord Jesus Christ has nothing but the best for our all in all because all the promises of God are yea in Him and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

d. Are you still chasing those elusive dreams, life agenda, plans of your own? Why don’t you turn them over to Jesus and make Him the rightful King sitting on your heart’s throne and give Him all your devotions to Him and Jesus will be the best fulfillment in your life not only here on earth, not only in the heavenly but unto eternity. Jesus has nothing but the best for you and me, for all of us!

Closing Prayer:

Panginoong Jesucristo, tunay po na kayo po ang pinakamabuti at pinakamagandang katuparan ng aming mga buhay. At ayon sa walang hanggang kasunduan ng Dios Ama at Dios Anak at Dios Espirito Santo, aming inilalagay at ipinagkakatiwala sa iyong mga kamay ang lahat ng aming lahat sa lahat, upang ang mga ito ay magkakalakiplakip sa aming ikabubuti at pagkatupad ng iyong pagkakatawag sa amin bilang mga tagasunod mo po at mangyari ang pinakamagandang buhay para sa bawat isa sa amin. Patuloy mo pong saliksikin ang aming puso, subukin ang aming pagiisip at ipakita mo sa amin kung ano pa ang aming hindi pa isinusuko sa iyo at akayin mo po kami sa landas ng buhay na walang hanggan. 

At kung mayroon pa sa amin na hindi nakapagsuko ng buhay sa iyo, kahabagan po ninyo siya at sa biyaya po ninyo ay hipuin ninyo ang kaniyang puso na ikaw po ang kaniayng iluklok sa trono ng kaniyang buhay at magmula ngayon ay matupad din ang pinakamagandang buhay na inyo pong inihanda sa bawat magtatalaga ng kaniyang lahat sa iyo. Buksan po ninyo ang kaniyang mga mata at tainga na kaniyang Makita at maunawaan na ikaw po ang pinakamagandang katuparan sa buhay ninoman na magtalaga ng kaniyang lahat sa iyo sa pagsampalataya, pagasa at pagibig.

Benediction

Num 6:24  The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 

Num 6:25  The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 

Num 6:26  The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 

Heb 13:20  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 

Heb 13:21  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: