11 Worship in Awe (2)

Quotes on worship

“Until you know through personal experience who God is, you will never truly know who you are.”

“Fulfillment comes from worshiping Him, not from others worship you.”

“Worshiping God causes our deepest desires to come to pass.”

“The Church family that God places you in is a divine appointment.”

“Worshiping parents will lead their children into the presence of God.”

“True worship is not about stirring ourselves into an emotional frenzy.”

“Extremes actually draw more attention to the worshipers than to the one who is to be worshiped.”

“When we worship the living God, we do not want to be found performing.”

“Songs that truly connect the spirit of man with his creator will always be birthed through the well-worn path to the throne room of God.”

“A Christian musician intuitively knows the difference between simply playing music and playing music that touches God’s heart.”

Even if you are part of a worship team, your most glorious moments of worship should be off the platform when you are alone with God.

Although music is a wonderful expression of worship, it is not in itself the essence of it.

The core of worship is when one’s heart and soul, and all that is within, adores and connects with the Spirit of God.

“The strongest praise and worship songs are scripture put to music, purely because the Bible is the living, breathing, infallible Word of God.”

“Worship is a verb, defined as ‘Regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion.’”

(Adapted from Extravagant Worship by Darlene Zschech)

Your Initial Response

What is your feedback regarding the above quotes?

Revelation 4:7–11

7The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 

8Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “ ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” 

9Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 

10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 

11“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:7–11 NIV) 

1) “Eye” (“i=Eye”)

iEXP Bible Study Method

1 Draw a question mark at the place where you have difficulty of understanding.

2 Please circle the words relating to God’s attributes.

3 Please circle all of the actions and words that relate to the worship of God offered by the created beings.

4 Refer to other translations and come up with some new insights.

2) “Expound” (E)

iEXP Bible Study Method

As the great worship in heaven has commenced, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders worshipped the Lord in words and in deeds, it gives Christians in this day and age a way to approach corporate worship.

1 Why did the four living creatures have four faces respectively (Rev. 4:7)?

2 What is meant by “holy” (Rev. 4:8)

3 Why did the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to God (Rev. 4:9)?

4 The twenty-four elders lay their crowns before the throne. Any spiritual significance (Rev. 4:10)?

5 Why is God worthy to receive glory and honor and power (Rev. 4:11)?

Rev. 4:7

The four living creatures are a type of angels; they have four different faces, namely, the face of a lion, an ox, a man and a flying eagle. What are the significances or symbolic meanings of their faces? Early in the ancient church, the church leaders associated the four faces with the four Gospels. The Gospel of Matthew speaks of Jesus Christ as the Messiah King, and also Jesus is described as the Lion of Judah; therefore, many Bible expositors deduce the lion is the representative of the Gospel of Matthew. Ox does not only associate with sacrifices (Heb. 9:12, 19), it is also a symbol of diligence. In the Gospel of Mark, the author intentionally describes Jesus Christ as a hardworking servant; therefore, the Bible expositors infer the ox is the representative of the Gospel of Mark. As for the Gospel of Luke, many Bible commentators regard the humanity of Jesus Christ as its focus, thus deduce the man is the representative of this Gospel. Finally, the focus of the Gospel of John is Christ as God’s Son. The eagles cannot only fly high in the sky but said to be the only living creature which can look straight into the sun. Therefore, people firmly believe that the flying eagle is the representative of the Gospel of John. Besides, another Bible commentator provides the following explanation: the lion is supreme among beasts; the ox is supreme among cattle; the eagle is supreme among birds; and man is supreme among all creatures. In Revelation 4, John witnessed how the living creatures worshipped the God of Highest heaven; therefore, by using the face of a lion, ox, man and flying eagle to describe the four living creatures, it is a very meaningful way to articulate the fervent worship of the representatives of nature.

Rev. 4:8

Seraphim have six wings (Isa. 6:2), but cherubim have only four (Eze. 1:6). John has not mentioned the real identity of the living creatures here, but he drew out their traits instead. The living creatures were covered with eyes all around, implying that their alertness were very strong; hence, it reminds a person who worships God must have a watchful heart.

Rev. 4:8-9

By means of his supernatural experience, the Apostle John sees how the created beings worshipped God. Only God is worthy of worship, for He is the one who is omnipotent, self-existed and everlasting (“who was, and is, and is to come”). He is not only the Creator, and He is the mighty Ruler of the past and the future. The worship of the living creatures lasts throughout day and night here. Furthermore, they cry “holy” three times during their worship. To the Hebrews, saying the word holy twice is to describe someone as “most holy.” To say the word holy three times intensifies the idea to the highest level. By crying holy three times is a way to address God as the Most Holy One, and might also implies the trinity of God. A point that is worthy to mention is that, the worship of the four living creatures have directly motivated the twenty-four elders, for whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to the Lord who sits on the throne, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and lay their crowns before the throne (Rev. 4:10). To sum it up, only God is worthy of the created beings’ worship, because only He is glorious and honorable; therefore, created beings should ascribe to Him the thanksgivings that He deserves.

Rev. 4:10-11

Prostration on one’s face was an ancient form of homage offered to gods. The twenty-four elders willingly humbled before God and took away their crowns that symbolised honor, and lay down before God’s throne, signifying the Creator was worthy to be worshipped. The above act of worship is an exemplary to all Christians. Furthermore, the vocabulary of the twenty-four elders reminds worshippers the right attitude and practice. Ascribe glory to God for He is to be extolled in praises. Created beings should render honor to God for only He is worthy to be honored, respected and revered. We should ascribe power to God for only He is the mighty one. Finally, God created everything according to His will, thus there must be a divine purpose and expectation for every living creature. In other words, God’s people should have a purpose-driven life, and drawing near to God by means of worship, prayer and ministry is a life that seeks after His heart.

Conclusion

The Apostle John saw how the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures surrounded God and worshipped Him (Rev. 4:7-11). This is a pattern for present believers to refer to in corporate worship, so that we can have the correct attitude, principle and action to worship the Creator and Ruler of human history.

3) “Exercise” (X)

iEXP Bible Study Method

1 Ask the Lord to remind us always that only God is the object of prayer, worship and ministry of believers.

2 Sunday worship is very important; Christians should take it seriously and practice corporate worship.

3 God made everything for a reason; therefore, we must seek for our direction and purpose in our lifetime, and we should live for God as our purpose in life.

4 Memorise Revelation 4:11.

11“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11) 

5 Those who lead worship on the stage must avoid showing off, but must have a watchful and undivided heart to worship God.

6 Resolve to be alert (Rev. 4:8), avoid arriving late and leaving early in Sunday worship.

7 Let’s learn from the exemplary of the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders, and draw near to God in praying.

8 Treasure not only the opportunity of worship and also experience God personally during worship.

4) “Proclaim” (P)

By applying the biblical truths to their lives, believers would experience God. When the Bible students experience God and His truths, they should follow the example of the early Christians of testifying to non-believers and believers boldly. By means of speech, we witness to non-believing friends and to edify believers alike. The fourth step of the iEXP Bible study is “Proclaim”.

iEXP Bible Study Method

After finished studying the text, try to apply the truths to your daily living, family life and church life, and pray that you will experience the truthfulness and power of God’s Word. Grab the opportunity to share your experience with non-believers and believers, in family altar, small groups and social gatherings, as a way of witnessing the power of the gospel to non-believers and edification of believers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.