A Current Bible Study:
Revelation Chapter 4:
"Praise the Lord.
But why? Why Should We Praise Him?"
        John's vision of Heaven anticipates the world's (and in some cases, church's) arguments against acknowledging and praising the Lord. Let's peek into Heaven with John:

Verse 1- "After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter."
The Apostle John was a prophet. God showed him the future so he could show it to us. We call OUR day the "Information Age." Business executives and scholars thrive on statistics, studies and data. But Old John found the real power of inside information way back when. He was so blown away that although physically imprisoned at the time of the vision, he considered himself and us, who share in the Spirit and Word today, to be royalty (see Rev 1:6 and 5:10).
        Notice the voice of the trumpet in verse 1. Common thinking today is that man makes music beautiful. That the greatness of music belongs to the casino, night club, theatre, record company or concert hall. But the harmonies of music are present in anything that vibrates. And it is God who put music into our world. When the end comes, all must reckon that the beauty of music never came from man. It was God's all along. The voice of the trumpet is the Lord's voice. Man just plays around with what God had made available to him. There's more, beloved:

Verses 2-3- "And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald."
        All the world's treasures and all the jewelry in all the stores or malls was the Lord's. There's a store in our area called the "Jewelry Factory." But that is just a name. They couldn't make the gems. They just arranged and set them. Real jewels come from the earth, and again, God alone is the source. All that beauty was His beauty all along.

Verse 4- "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold."
    Beloved, I'm not going to pretend to know exactly who these people are. But, this I do see: mankind will be in Heaven. Those who have adopted the Lord's way, His lifestyle, and who have accepted and cherished His Son, will be vindicated by having a place in Heaven. The world scoffs at the Christian today, but in that day the wisdom of living for God will be totally validated. We'll get back to this group in a minute, but let's move on to the next verses:

Verses 5-6- "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."
        When all those nature specials were on TV, or when anyone visited a national park wilderness, they should rightly have given full credit and praise to the Lord. Now, gathered around His throne in Heaven, there are no more doubts for anyone. All Earth's natural beauty was His beauty.

Verses 7-8- "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."
    The adoration of these, very special, creatures will offer more than abundant proof that God alone was the Author and Sustainer of all life throughout all time. By the time this prophesy is fulfilled no one will believe in evolution. Faced with our Creator, we will all acknowledge the truth. (Beloved, don't concentrate too much on the debate over origins. That's a smoke screen. The real question is not whether God created this world, but whether you can believe He will return to create the next.)

Verses 9-10- "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 thrown, saying,"
        Yes, mankind will be represented in Heaven. This celebration of worship would not be complete without some people to take part. Let's face it we are the best and WORST of all God's creation. No creature has been more rebellious than man. But his voice will join the choruses of praise in Heaven. And this is what they say:
Verse 11- "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."
If any part of the creation would dispute the Lord's omnipotence at this point, it would have to be man. But no, here at the end, with all revealed and plain, man has no more doubts or questions about praising God. This will be praise totally unquestionable and uninhibited. Then no one will be able to assert that God does not have the right to recreate HIS Earth. And yet their will be more, there is more. God did more than just create "all things." He also created a way to save man. When you look at His power here in chapter 4, you see that he could make a heaven without ANY of us in it. I'm sure it would be glorious. But not glorious enough in His eyes. So, He sent Jesus, His only Son, and God the Creator became God the Savior. It is Jesus Who becomes our bridge to an eternity with the Lord. And it is Jesus Who will cause the creatures and the 24 elders around the throne to praise God again in Chapter 5, even while He is unleashing His judgment on this world and the souls of men. No wonder Jesus is so reviled today. He is the key to justifiable judgment, as well as our only hope for deliverance. Beloved, if you are not a believer yet (and I so want you to be), read Revelation Chapter 5 now, please.
        For those of us who are believers. We need to despise our doubts and start praising the Lord. Lip service will not suffice as praise. Because of Jesus, we have to praise God today with our whole life. We need to read Chapter 5, also, and mingle it with Matthew 7:20-27. Jesus, and He alone, has earned the right to judge mankind. Hell will be more bitter, if that is possible, to the one who claimed to praise and believe, but never obeyed.
        Heaven is real. A New Earth is on the way. The Father will accomplish what He has planned. The Son will judge the world. Praise will not take faith in that day. It will be obvious. Let's reach out to God NOW, by faith! Let's praise Him right now, together, you and I, until it changes the way we live.
 

May Jesus Christ richly bless you-JKD 5/31/06
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