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Friday, 21 October 2016 22:23

36. Praise explosion * Revelation 5:11-14

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11   And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

12   Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.

13   And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.

14   And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshiped him that lives forever and ever.


*** The number of the angels ***: this is not the first time we see the numbering of Heavenly beings. When John first got to the throne room, in chapter 4 of Revelation, he saw a group of special angels, and there were 4 of them in the vision. Then he saw 24 elders. Now, in Revelation 5:11, we see the numbering of the other angels present in that throne room. It is a very large number: “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands”. This gives us a better idea of the size of this room. Going back to the Earthly Sanctuary, we can read about the many angels that were represented there, embroidered on the inner fabrics (Exodus 26:1). In the Heavenly throne room, these angels were everywhere, “round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders” (Revelation 5:11). The exact number of angels does not seem to be the main point of the passage, but the emphasis seems to be on the fact that there is an extraordinary number of them there.

*** What is implied ***: In study #34, we saw that Jesus approached the throne, and took possession of the sealed book. In chapter 5 of Revelation, there is no literal mention of Him sitting on the throne, but we know from other passages that Jesus did sit on the throne with the Father, including the passage in Revelation 3:21. The fact that all the angels are around the throne and praising both the Son and the Father, implies that Jesus has sat down next to the Father. He is now co-ruler with God the Father. This gathering is not only a worship service, but also a party! Heaven is celebrating the enthronement of Jesus!

*** Praising with a loud voice ***: Those thousands and thousands of angels were not shy about praising Father and Son. They were praising “with a loud voice” (Revelation 5:12). Their happiness and excitement could not be contained. They were praising the Ones sitting on the throne in equal measure (verses 12 and 13). The Son, who offered Himself as sacrifice for humanity, is worthy to receive what the Father already possesses: “power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing” (Revelation 5:12). They are one. In the words of Jesus Himself: “[…] he that has seen me has seen the Father […]” (John 14:9). We can probably not even imagine how powerful it must have been, to hear the entire Heaven, worship Father and Son, at the same time, in a loud voice, and with indescribable joy.

*** Every creature, everywhere ***: John heard the proclamation of how extensive Christ’s dominion was. Jesus had just ascended to the highest position in the cosmos, and His mandate would last forever. This event impacted not only humans, but also every being that was ever created. Jesus is now the co-ruler with God on a permanent basis. He has command over everything and everyone, regardless if they have sinned or not. Jesus’ enthronement was a pivotal moment in the History of the Universe. It affected the past, present and future. Those who were alive were able to enjoy the assurance of salvation. And those who had died while awaiting the Messiah, were guaranteed to be resurrected on the last day (John 11:24; John 6:39-44; John 6:54; John 12:48;  1 Thessalonians 4:16).

*** The living creatures and the elders ***: After the chorus of thousands of thousands voices finished their praise and worship session, the 4 living creatures confirmed the truth in the statement of the multitude gathered there, by saying Amen. And then the 24 elders continued on in worship. Once again they fell down and worshiped the One who lives forever: God the Father and Son. They are the central force of this chapter. The rulers of the Universe are the main theme of this portion of chapter 5, bringing us back to where the worship service started, in the beginning of chapter 4.

*** Overview ***: The countless celestial beings involved in this praise and worship were speaking in one voice. The strength of their unison emphasized how much the Lamb who was slain was worthy to receive the power, honor, glory, and all atributes assigned to the Father. Jesus’ victory was being celebrated. He took His position on the throne, and sat on the right side of the Father. And then, the entire Universe exploded in adoration. This is a big lesson for us today. Worship time does not need to be small and subdued. Those angels were praising God with every ounce of their soul. That was the most pure form of worship, where they recognized the undeniable perfect character of God and the worth of the Lamb. Christ’s new role has infinite dimensions, and literally affects every created being. His domain extends beyond the limits of the planet Earth. Jesus’ sacrifice proved once and for all, beyond any shadow of doubt, the true nature of God. God is Love. In the words of the four living beings: Amen!

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