|- Kenneth Greatorex -
This is the time of year when many will sing, "O come let us adore Him." We know this should not be limited to one season. So, this writer felt it would be good to share some thoughts about true worship.
"And the four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night saying: "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND IS AND IS TO COME!" Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him, who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying: "YOU ARE WORTHY, O LORD, TO RECEIVE GLORY AND HONOR AND POWER; FOR YOU CREATED ALL THINGS, AND BY YOUR WILL THEY EXIST AND WERE CREATED." [Revelation 4:8-11]
The setting of this scripture is before the Throne of God. Two groups are involved in worship - four living creatures, and twenty-four elders. The worship is not the carnal, earthly sort that most churches have today. TRUE WORSHIP is "WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH." Revelation 19:10 reads, "… WORSHIP GOD! FOR THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS IS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHESY." The word "testimony" is from the Greek, "marturia, "which involves a witness, certification, or a giving of evidence. This happens by the "SPIRIT OF PROPHECY."
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY MUST BIRTH, or INITIATE, OUR PRAISE AND WORSHIP! ALL else is wood hay and stubble, no matter how well performed it is. While many believe and teach that there are three steps to praise and worship, one CANNOT find a New Testament basis for it. It is understood than many saints drag their problems into a service, and it is not easy for them to worship. However, while there are lessons we may learn from Old Testament patterns, WE ARE NOT LIVING UNDER IT! It, and the Law have been consummated/completed in Christ!
Whether we "feel" like it or not, we MUST move in the ANOINTING, and NOT by the Adamic/carnal nature. THE ANOINTING ABIDES! [1 John 2:27] We don't have to feel the anointing, or even feel very spiritual, because within our spirit the HOLY SPIRIT is there. CHRIST LIVES WITHIN US! As in the world of computers, there may be programs running in the background that one is seldom, if ever, is aware of, therefore, WE CAN BEGIN IN THE ANOINTING FOR HE ABIDES!
Consider Hebrews 2:12 [Quoted from Psalm 22:22], "I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN; IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING PRAISE TO YOU." Literally, "I WILL HYMN YOU." This is CHRIST WITHIN, SINGING THE MUSIC OF HEAVEN. How different from the sounds heard in many a church service, with their planned Adamic effort to praise God, and LEARNED singing of praise.
We do not speak against preparation as musicians should develop their skills and learn new pieces, BUT MOST IMPORTANT is the preparation of the heart. When was the last time someone without any talent began to play in the anointing? An uncle of mine played the piano in a service under the anointing, yet he had no training, or natural talent. People who can't keep a tune can sing beautifully with the Spirit's anointing.
Now, let us take a look into the Scripture verses quoted at the top of this article. First we will look at the three truths of Revelation 4:8. "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND IS AND IS TO COME!"
There are three multiples of THREE here. Three is the first geometric figure which stands for length, breadth and height. [See also Ephesians 3:17] Three stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete and entire.
THREE gives the attributes of our perfect God: Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent.
MAN speaks of three divisions of time: past, present and future. In God, in the realm of the Spirit, there is no time.
THERE are three spiritual kingdoms presently, the Kingdom of God, Satan and of death. The last two have had their powers broken.
THE New Testament reveals Deity to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Seraphim of Isaiah 6:3 cried out, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, IS THE LORD OF HOSTS' THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY." When we have a revelation of God's holiness, it produces a change in us, as in Isaiah. He saw God for whom He IS, the One who is separate and apart, who is self-existent and independent from all other beings.
Isaiah could then see from God's view, as the seraphim declared, "THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY." We look for a coming glory. IN GOD IT IS NOW! This is the kind of revelation we may worship with.
The words, "LORD GOD ALMIGHTY," speaks of the ONE who is "omnipotent," the possessor, and CREATOR OF ALL. All power and authority flow from HIM. In the Old Testament He is known as EL SHADDAI. God gave ALL power and authority to Jesus.
"WHO WAS AND IS AND IS TO COME!" This speaks of the omnipresence of God. We are confined by time, IN God it is ALWAYS NOW. A story was told [several versions] of a small boy trying to watch a parade through a knot hole in a board fence. His brother called for him to come upstairs. To his delight he could see the parade, which had passed by, was now passing, and that which would soon pass by. This simple illustration helps us understand what we might call the eternal viewpoint.
This scene of worship in Heaven begins with four Heavenly beings, in Verse Ten it changes to twenty-four elders. The ONE worshiped remains seated on His throne, as it is the place of authority and rest. CHRIST is NOW seated on the throne. Ephesians 2:6 tells us that WE ARE NOW SEATED in the heavenly places. The lines of an old chorus are:
We've found a new place in the heavenlies,
In Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ.
We've found a new place in the heavenlies,
In Jesus Christ.
A place of peace,
A place of rest,
A place of joy and blessedness,
We've found a new place in the heavenlies,
Hidden with Christ in God.
Revelation 4:11 reads: "YOU ARE WORTHY, O LORD, TO RECEIVE GLORY, HONOR AND POWER, FOR YOU CREATED ALL THINGS, AND BY YOUR WILL THEY EXIST AND WERE CREATED."
In the Tenth verse the elders fell down and began to worship. They cast their crowns before Him, as a sign of the total surrender of ALL they valued as NOTHING in comparison to Him. They spoke of the WORTHINESS of the ONE on the throne. There are two sets of "threes" are in this verse.
CHRIST is worthy to receive, GLORY, HONOR AND POWER." These are expressions of the high esteem our Lord must receive. How different from the bragging of how well we think, we are worshiping as in many of our "I" and "me" centered choruses which are EGO centered.
The next set of threes speaks of the Creator. Genesis 1:1 reads, "IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED ..." ELOHIM, the "putter forth of power (Girdlestone), the MAJESTIC ONE created. Revelation affirms, as does Colossians 1:16 that, He is the creator of ALL things, and that by His they will exist (continue to exist) and were created. The Almighty is worshiped as the Great Creator.
Romans 11:36 reads, "FOR OF HIM AND THROUGH HIM AND TO HIM [ARE] ALL THINGS." The New English Bible reads simply, "SOURCE, GUIDE, AND GOAL OF ALL THAT IS - " As we recognize our Lord for whom He is, our hearts bend in worship to the Almighty.
It is difficult for us to believe that ALL THINGS were created by God and SERVE HIS PURPOSE. The Scripture says it is so! [John 1:3, Colossians 1:16-17; Revelation 4:11] Are we willing to let God be God and work out the fullness of His purposes according to His own will? AND, in His own way? Yes, I know that religion suggests that God really failed, and that His creation turned its back on Him, and that even a supposed leader of heavenly worship rebelled. OR, could it be that our all wise, and all knowing, Father has a way to ultimate perfection for ALL of His creation, that we see but dimly?
Our lives are swallowed up in victory,
Death has no dominion over us,
Since Jesus came, O praise His name!
Our lives are swallowed up in His victory.
All of creation has entered into death. Death has reigned until Christ. I Corinthians 15:22 says, "AS IN ADAM ALL DIE, EVEN SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE." Romans 8:20, "FOR THE CREATION WAS SUBJECT TO FUTILITY, NOT WILLINGLY, BUT BECAUSE OF HIM WHO SUBJECTED IT IN HOPE." Verse 22, "FOR WE KNOW THAT THE WHOLE CREATION GROANS AND LABORS WITH BIRTH PANGS TOGETHER UNTIL NOW."
O Most Holy and Righteous Father, our hearts bow before you in love and adoration. We worship and adore you in all of your wondrous ways. Open our eyes to see wonderful things in Your word. Give us hearing ears. Obedient hearts. Be glorified in our lives as you fulfil Your purposes in the earth. May we no longer be blinded by religion, and the teachings of those who would bring us again into bondage. Rather may we rejoice in the fullness of Your love.
WE WORSHIP YOU WITH ALL THAT WE HAVE, AND ARE!
Writings in This Series: