The Apostle John has been in a perpetual state of amazement from chapter one onward. What he has seen has repeatedly overwhelmed him. Once again John sees such incredible sights that all he can do is fall down and again try to worship the messenger that has been guided his tour of Heaven (the last time he tried that was in 19:10). That is the context of v. 9 as John is corrected by the angel. Here we get the incredible insight that:
Worship is the Central
Theme of the Bible
Here we get to the final chapter, of the final book: where we see the final word on worship, given to us by God. Here God instructs us on the most important of all subjects: Worship. A simple definition of worship would be: worship is honor and adoration directed to God.
There is no subject more important to God’s servants than worship. Worship of God is the mark of true believers. The worship of God is declared to be the content of the eternal Gospel. True worship, of the true God, is truly the key to everything that matters.
The angel repeats to John, what God has already revealed to John in chapter 14. Listen to what the angel says to John:
Revelation 22:9 (NKJV) Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book.Worship God.”
Worship is no small subject. In this final word from God on worship we hear declared the centrality of worship. The importance of worship we can infer from the rest of God’s Word; but here in Revelation, God makes it clear.
Now turn back to Revelation 14:6-7. Here we find the answer to one of the most important questions: “Who will have eternal life?”
Rev. 14:6-7 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Notice that the angel’s message is called “the eternal gospel.”
The Message of the
What is the eternal message? “Fear God, and give Him glory: and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth.”
Those who live forever are those who have responded to the Gospel.
At the end of everything, how does God summarize those who possess eternal life? God says that they “worship God”.
Worship God. That is the everlasting gospel, the message that God has given from eternity to eternity. It is the theme of Scripture, the theme of eternity, the theme of redemptive history—to worship the true and living and glorious God.
Before the creation, after the creation, in eternity past, in eternity future, and throughout all time in between, worship is the theme, the central issue in all of creation.
Now, as we open to Revelation 4-5, we can see a future picture of all of us true believers, gathered in Heaven as the true worshippers of God,worshipping at the highest level in: unhindered, focused, and glorified worship.
Those in Heaven are:unhindered by time, or by their flesh, or by any distraction; and they are focuseddirectly upon the Lamb as they bow in front of the Throne; and most of all, they are glorified, so that no more does their humanness, or sin, or the Devil interfere in any way with worship. That is worship at the highest level. We have arrived at a passage of God’s Word that gives us what can only be called:
A Theology of
This passage in Revelation 4-5 gives us the most complete theology or study from God’s Word of worship that there could ever be. As we look at the worship detailed in Revelation: it is the final portion of God’s inspired Word, it is the last word as it were on the subject.
We have everything we need to know about anything to do with worship as we hear these final words from God to us.
As we look at worship we find that God reveals to us the most important element of worship in this passage: the identity of true worshippers. We can ask and answer the question through this passage: “Who are the True Worshippers?” The text answers that by revealing them as the Redeemed.
The redeemed, those who have been saved, those who have been washed by the blood of the perfect Lamb of God slain for their sins: they are the true worshippers.
Revelation 4-5 breaks into five elements or units for us to study. Remember that God gave this report of what is happening in Heaven for us as His servants.
The Elements of Worship
Here are the observations we can make from this passage that God gives to us: