Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, September 10, 2015
“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:5–11).
John, being under inspiration by the Spirit of God, begins to direct our minds to a quite familiar scene. It might not seem to be at first, but if we allow the same Spirit who enlightened him to give us understanding, we will see where he was coming from.
In the same way the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel described heavenly cherubim in chapters one and 10 of his book, John describes those who worship God in heaven. In both of their visions these beasts/animals, which are represented as having wings of swift movement and eyes of incredible intelligence, rested neither day nor night. Rather, they extolled the eternal King of the universe (blessed be His name) without ceasing much like the angels Isaiah saw in his vision recorded in chapter six of his book. Isn’t it amazing that with just a few Bible references, the Spirit of God can unlock what seemed to be a foreboding mystery in Revelation? Do not overlook the keys I just shared with you just because I may have made them seem too simple. Day and night, heavenly beings worship the God who was, is, and is to come.
This service that John saw in heaven was so inspiring that not only did the angels bow and worship God, but those redeemed from earth whom we discussed yesterday, the 24 elders joined in. And, unlike Lucifer, who eventually was dissatisfied with living in God’s presence, these mighty angels and redeemed saints took off their crowns and cast them before the throne in honor of their King. They well understood and respected the fact that they owed their joy and existence to the Creator of all things visible and invisible. They fully imbibed the privilege it was to be welcomed into His presence.
Their message, which comes to us amid the impressive thunderings, lightnings, voices of God’s throne room (similar to what Moses experienced in the mount with God), and the perfect enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, is a call to worship for us! When Isaiah had a similar experience, he immediately recognized his sinfulness in contrast to God’s holiness, and received the cleansing that only God can give (Isaiah 6:1-7). Not only was he in awe of all he experienced, but he also heard the call of God to speak a word on His behalf to the nations (vss. 8-11).
While most of us will not have the real life experiences of Moses, John, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, to get a sneak peek of the throne room of God, we can and must be actuated by the same Holy Spirit who gave them enlightenment. We can live vicariously through their witness with His help. Immediately upon our encounter with the Eternal, we are faced with the reality that if heavenly angels, and those whom God has resurrected to be with Him in heaven worship God, we would be sorely remiss not to join in. If those over whom death, weakness, etc., has no power relish the presence of God, of what value would His presence be to us who are being delivered through this battle with sin?
Since the Lord has given us a glimpse into the fact that He welcomes us to come boldly before the Throne of Grace to give Him glory through Jesus Christ, why not get a good start right now? We will see this theme repeated throughout the Revelation, that all can, and all will worship God. Some will worship God, because we have heeded the call, and recognize how loving and merciful He is. Some will choose to resist His love and mercy, allowing the enemy to hoodwink them out of a lively relationship with Him. But, all will worship Him. Every knee with eventually bow, and every tongue will eventually confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Isaiah 45:23; Philippians 2:10; Romans 14:11-12). Are you willing to worship Him today while the light of the Holy Spirit still shines on earth? Are you willing to welcome others into a living worship experience with your King?
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, thank you for giving us the opportunity to worship you today. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.