Sunday, November 27, 2011


As the 15th chapter of Revelation opens, John writes that God allowed him to see "another sign in heaven, great and marvelous" (Revlation 15:1). God used signs often throughout history to gain the attention of human beings. For example, God gave the sign of burning bush to Moses when He promised to deliver His people from Egyptian bondage. God also gave a sign to Gideon when He consumed his offering with fire, to validate His promise of deliverance from the Midianites.
In John's case, he saw "seven angels having the seven last plagues." The palgues are contained in bowls, and he recorded that "in them the wrath of God is complete" (Revelation 15:1). This great and marvelous sign of the seven angels, therefore, introduces the final outpouring of God's wrath against the sinful world.
When John writes here about God's wrath, it is significant that he uses a Greek word that connotes an outward expression of inward anger. Usually the word "wrath" suggests a slow, inward, boiling indignation. But in this case, "the wrath of God" describes the outworking of that anger in words or actions. Sin truly makes God angry, and the Bible records this fact repeatedly. "God's anger  was aroused" because of Balaam's stubbornness" (Number 22:22). Moses warned the Israelites to avoid idolatry, for to worship idols is "evil in the sight of the LORD your God, to provoke Him to anger" (Deuteronomy 4:25). The Israelites were to flee idolatry, "lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you, and destroy you from the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 6:15).
It is important to understand that God's anger is expressed against people. When David wondered whether people could sin and get away with it ("Shall they escape by iniquity?"), God inspired him to write the answer: "In anger cast down the peoples, O God" (Psalm 56:7). Jesus affirmed this truth when He taught that anyone who "does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the warth of God abides on him" (John 3:36). Another New Testament passage warns that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18).
Revelation records that God's wrath is coming. The seven plagues about to be loosed in final judgment include loathsome sores (Revelation 16:2), the turning of the seas and then the fresh water into blood (Revelation 16:3-4), heat and fire (Revelation 16:8), darkness and pain (Revelation 16:10), the drying up of the great Euphrates River so that the armies of the world may be gathered for Amrageddon (Revelation 16:12), and the worst earthquake and hail in history (Revelation 16:18). Men will try to hide from God in that day, but He will not cease until His wrath is completely spent on sinful people.
After John saw the seven angels holding bowls full of God's complete wrath, he reported,
"And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God." (Revelation 15:2)
John described a similar sea in heaven surrounding the throne of God (Revelation 4:6). In both cases, we might conclude that the crystalline quality of these seas represents purity from sin. if so, this sea of glass will be fitting place for the redeemed people of the Tribulation to stand before God. Little wonder that these Tribulation saints, "having the harps of God," will start to sing "the song of Moses" and "the song of the LAMB" (Revelation 15:2-3). We do not know what the song of the LAMB will be, although clearly it will be a song of praise to Christ for His sacrifice. The song of Moses, however, has a precedent in Scripture. This "servant of God" sang a song at the end of his wilderness journey, just before God took him home. "Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel, the words of this song until they were ended" (Deuteronomy 31:30).
In this song, Moses praises God as faithful and dependable (Deuteronomy 32:1-6), and as a God who provides for His people (7-14) in spite of the fact that they are often unthankful (15-18) and would later prove unfaithful. God would punish His people by displaying His love for the Gentiles, thus moving Israel to jealousy (19-21), and by bringing calamity upon Israel (22-35). Moses' song ends by declaring that God will redeem His own (36-39) and take vengeance on His enemies (41).
Like the song of Mises, the song sung by those redeemed from the Tribulation will praise God for His might and power.
"They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the LAMB, saying:'Great and marvelous are Your works, LORD God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O LORD, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.' " (Revelation 15:3-4)
This joyous song acknowledges God's great works, mighty power, justice, authority, and holiness. The saints singing in heaven teach the very  important lesson that prasie from redeemed people does not focus on self. There is no hint that anyone in heaven will complain about God's judgment on sin and sinners (although many on earth today are against at the thought of such judgment). None of the redeemed will complain that God allowed them to experience persecution in the Tribulation (although many today complain about their difficult circumstances and blame God for them).
The song of the saints in heaven will conclude that God is worthy to be feared. that fear is founded on an awesome respect for God's person and power, as well as dread of losing fellowship with the One who loves us. A right view of God compels us to glorify and reflect Him in what we think, say, and do. And this truth leads to a question: If you are uncomfortable or resentful with God for pouring out His just wrath in judgment against sin, how will you have a place in heaven with people who will praise His name because of that very same wrath? Indeed, how can you give God true worship today?
(an extract from TRUE WORSHIP by David Whitcomb and Mark Ward, Sr.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011


The Seven Angels With The Seven Trumpets
In Revelation chapter 8 to Chapter 11, the first six judgments on the earth will take place as the LAMB opens the first six seals of a book, or scroll. But when He opens the seventh seal, something different will occur. Seven angels will come forward, all bearing trumpets whose successive blasts introduce judgments even more serious than the previous six "seal judgments." One by one, the "trumpet judgments" unfold. All of heaven - the saints and elders, the four living creatures and the great angel host - will witness an incomparably awesome display of God'spower and wrath. Then, at last, everyone knows that the time has come for the seventh trumpet to herald God's final assault against sin and sinners. But the trumpet blast will be accompanied by an announcement: "Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,'The kingdoms of this world would have become the kingdoms of LORD and of His CHRIST,and He shall reign forever and ever!And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God'." (Revelation 11:15-16)
This announcement is the announcement for which all of creation has been waiting! Since Adam and Eve first trusted Satan more than they trusted God, until the moment of this announcement, the kingdoms of this world have been under the rule of the enemy. Jesus Himself called Satan "the ruler of this world" (John 14:30) and John affirmed that "the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one" (1 John 5:19). Satan made no empty boast when he tempted Christ by "show(ing) Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And said to Him, 'All these things I give You if You will fall down and worship me'" (Matthew 4:8-9)
How thankful we should be that Jesus did not yield to Satan's offer but chose to wait on His Father's timing! In the final redemption He will be restored as King of kings. Scripture declares that the literal kingdoms of this world rightly belong to this King of kings. "The earth is the LORD's and all its fulness; the world, and they those who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1). God Himself proclaimed,
"I have set my King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You, Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.' " (Psalm 2:6-8).
Interestingly, though Revelation describes future events, the announcement [that the kingdoms of the world will be restored to Christ] is made in the past tense. Even the grammar underlines the absolute certainty that full redemption will occur according to God's plan!
The Elders Bow Down in Worship
The Revelation provides a picture of how those in heaven will react to God's final judgment  upon the earth and the restoration of it's kingdoms to the rightful Ruler. Of those who represent the redeemed before the throne of God it is written, "And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: 'We give You thanks, O LORD  GOD ALMIGHTY, THE ONE WHO IS AND WHO WAS AND WHO IS TO COME, because You have taken Your great power and reigned." (Revelation 11:16-17)
Do the elders really know what is coming? Are they really thankful for the millions who will die and be eternally condemned because of the massive that God is about to bring to pass? YES! For Revelation confirms that the elders are aware that "the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come ... and [GOD] should destroy those who destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18). Then why do the elders give thanks? Because not only do they understand God, but they also understand His work.
Note, "the nations were angry." Even in the Old Testament times David wondered, "Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed" (Psalm 2:1-2). The world has always been angry with God! Yet mankind's innate consciousness of God, and since the time of the apostle, the minstry of the Holy Spirit, have restrained somewhat the full boldness of the wicked. During the Great Tribulation, however, their anger will no longer be suppressed. The world will vent its ultimate rage against God because of His full judgment against its sin.
Therefore, at the final destruction, the elders will give thanks and worship their triumphant LORD. No one will question, at this point, how a Christian can be joyful in heaven when others are suffering in hell. Indeed, as the elders fall down before God and worship Him, they will do so in the knowledge that:
"the time of the dead [is come], that they should be judged, and the You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great." (Revelation 11:18)
All men will have their due from God, whether for good or evil. In fact, this truth is explicitly affirmed at least thirty-four times in the Bible. Those who spurned His LAMB and chose to persih in their sins will be raised for their sentencing (Revleation 20:12). Judgment will come also to those who in life threw themselves on the mercy of God and atoning sacrifice of the LAMB. But their judgment will be for reward rather than for condemnation (2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:13-15).
The twenty-four elders will worship God as they rejoice in His triumph. Do we rejoice in His coming triumph as well? Does the thought that God will judge sin and restore rightful rule cause us to give thanks and bow before His great power? God's WORD gives us marvelous details about His work in the last days. If our worship is true, it will illustrate knowledge of what God has done and of what He will do to complete His plan of redemption.
(an extract from TRUE WORSHIP by David Whitcomb & Mark Ward, Sr.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Last week we shared the awesome grandeur worship in the Throne Room witnessed by the apostle John where he revealed wondrous heavenly beings and honoured elders of the redeeemed bowing down in worship to Almighty God. (Revelation 4). After this event, six terrible judgements will be loosed upon the world, and then follow a pause before the seventh and final judegment. During that pause, John beheld "a great multiude, which no man could number," standing before the Throne and worshiping God with grateful hearts.

[A] great multitude which no one could number ... [was] standing before the throne and before the Lamb ... and crying out with a loud voice, saying. "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:9-17)
What a magnificient scene! But who are these people that will be privileged to come into the Throne Room of God? Why will they honour Him and how will their honour of Him find exression in their worship? God has recorded their example in His Word for our instruction. What can we learn?

Revelation 7:9 tells us that the multitude comes from "all nations, tribes, people  and tongues."  indicating that the multitude includes the Jews and Gentiles. John further reveal that the multitude are "clothed with white robes with palm branches in their hands."  Clothed in white - symbolic of their victory in righteouness and  with palm branches - imply joyous celebration. Palm branches likewise figured significantly in Jesus' triumphanl entry into Jerusalem. (John 12:13) 
Who is the Lamb? His coming was prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 53:6-7). His arrival was announced by John the Baptist (John 1:29) And John the apostle records in the Revelation that "in the midst of the throne ... stood a Lamb as though it had been slain" (Revelation 5:6), at whose appearing the living creatures and elders will sing:
"You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9-10)
Then "with a loud voice": an innumerable host of angels will join in the song:
"Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessings!" (Revelation 5:12)
The LAMB IS JESUS! for what John records was prophesied in Philippians 2:10-11 that "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and of those under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is LORD."

We have established that the multitude will include Jews and Gentiles. The identity of the multitude is revealed to John in a conversation:
"Then one of the elders answered to me,'Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?' And I said to him,'Sir, you know.' So he said to me, 'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made white in the blood of the Lamb.' " (Revelation 7:13-14)
It is significant, therefore, that when the Tribulation saints give credit to the Lamb for their salvation, all heaven will join in their worship. The living creatures and elders and angels will have seen how these believers were martyred under the reign of the antichrist, being "slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held" (Revelation 6:9). Their testimony is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that God's Spirit will not be in the earth during the Tribulation. Through special witnesses given by God (see Revelation 7:1-8), these  saints will come to a knowledge of truth and despite great satanic delusion in the world. And then they will keep to their faith without the benefit of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So all of heaven will join their victory celebration, saying:
"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honour and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 7:12)
Even the angels will fall down and worship. They will never experience the joy of salvation, but they love God and cannot help joining the redeemed as they all worship their mutual Creator. The elders, also, will fall down and worship, for they know personally God's grace in salvation. And we, also, when we read of the Tribulation saints and their miraculous deliverance, should we wondrously encouraged at the saving grace and power of the Lamb. For these saints will be won the same way we are, through being washed by the blood of the Lamb!

Sunday, November 06, 2011


We began our study on the ESSENCE OF WORSHIP in Genesis with the first recorded Act of Worship in the Bible. God accepted the worship of Abel, but not his brother Cain (see TPWC's blog post dated 7 May 2011); God could see the conditions of their HEARTS. In fact, the pattern has been the same throughout the rest of the Bible. God instructs and encourages mankind to fall before Him in worship. Some people do; most do not. Now we come to the last book of the Bible - The Book of Revelation makes clear, sadly, that when time is coming to its end, humanity still will nothave learned its lesson. For the book records prophecy not only of TRUE WORSHIP from right HEARTS, but also of false idolatrous worship. Tragically, those who ignored His pleading, who preferred false worship because they did not have faith in God will become the objects of His final and immeasurable WRATH!
The apostle John was among the most privileged persons ever to live. God invited this choice servant to see a glimpse of His GLORY. As theRevelation opens, John records the vision he is given of the glorified Christ (Revelation 1:9-17) and of His letters to the seven churches (Revelation 1:18-3:22). After recording these letters, at last John is invited to see and to begin recording "the things which will take place after this."
"After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.[c] Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the[d] seven Spirits of God. Before the throne there was[e] a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. (Revelation 4:2-7)

Notice that John himself did not open the door; God opened the door for him. No man can possibly force himself into the THRONE ROOM of God! In the THRONE ROOM the Lord spoke to John in a voice that the apostle could only liken to a trumpet, for he could not think of any other earthly sound that would compare to the authoritative voice of God. When John writes that he "was in the spirit," he is indicating that he was transported to heaven by the Holy Spirit. This is the only way in which anyone can ever get into heaven: to be taken there to see a vision, as was the case with John, or whether he comes for eternal residence.
Once in the THRONE ROOM of God, John's natural and immediate response was obedience - that is, obedience to the command that he begin to write down what he saw. The word "THRONE" is in fact one of the key words in the Book of Revelation. John mentions it in nearlyevery chapter. Its importance to the Revelation is evidenced by the fact that of the sixty-two references to the word "THRONE" in the New Testament, forty-seven are in the final book. The idea of a THRONE conveyed ultimate power and authority.
Yet the majesty of God far surpassed even such a grand picture. John found tha the could not adequately describe in human terms the ONE seated on the THRONE. How long must John have marveled at the sight of the One upon the THRONE! How could any one of us have pulled our eyes away from that GLORY? But the apostle had been commanded to make a record of His vision, and so eventually he drew his gaze to another wondorus sight.

Revelation 4:8-11 ....'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.'
These beasts are heavenly beings, and how do they worship? They do not rest day or night in worshiping God. The twenty four elders not only fall upon the ground in humility and reverence, but they also throw all of their crowns at the foot of the throne.
In both the above scriptures we see the angels singing "HOLY HOLY HOLY ...."
(an extract from - The Fear of the Lord by John Bevere)
We have sung these exact words in out churches in hymns, worship choruses ... yet often our worship ring void of the passion found in these angels. As worship leader you would sometime see people yawning or glancing about as they sing the words. How different is the atmosphere in GOD'S THRONE ROOM!
These mighty, awesome angels are not bored or restless; they are not merely singing nice songs. They do not say, "God, I have been singing this song before Your throne for millions of years; do You think a replacement could be brought in? I would like to go explore the other parts of heaven." No way! They would not desire to be anywhere else but crying out and singing praises before the throne of God.
These spectacular angels are not merely singing a song. They are responding to what they see. Every moment, through vieled eyes they glimpse another facet and great dimension of God's glory being revealed. Overwhelmed, they shout, "Holy, holy, holy!"
Some points to note about heavenly worship:
(extract from : Exploring the Mysteries of Worship by Lamar Boschman)
1) Perfect Worship - In heaven worship occurs perfectly and continually.
2) Centre of Worship - The first thing Apostle John saw was a throne. In heaven there is no worship artist, worship leader or even a Christian leader of any kind. There is simply a throne and a LAMB!
3) Heavens's Songs - No single worship style is favoured over another in heaven. there is no debate over the worshipers' preference. Only One sits on the throne, and what He wants will be done. There is a perpetual song that is sung often in heaven. It is called the new song (Revelation 14:3)
4) Heaven's Musical Instruments - There is no mention of percussion or wind instruments used in worship in heaven. However, in connection with worship, strings instruments were played. (Revelation 5:8-9; 14:2-3)
5) Heaven's Order of Worship - John also described the position of the worshipers as they worshiped. It was almost like they were in a round stadium, only larger and more glorious. (Revelations 4:4-6)
6) Heaven's Modes of Worship - The expressions of worship in heaven are extreme. There is constant action of obeisance to Him who sits on the throne. (Revelation 4:10)
7) The Worship in Heaven is also loud and long (Revelations 5:11-12 & 7:9-11)

Blessing, Glory, Honour and Power to our Lord forever and ever Amen!