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Our Praise in Heaven’s Halls, Rev. 5:8-10


Our Praise in Heaven’s Halls

Text: Revelation 5:8-10   

Revelation 4 is about the worship of God the Creator, and Revelation 5 is about the worship of God the Redeemer.  Remember what we learned in our last lesson. Jesus had taken the scroll that no-one could open, for only he was found worthy, the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and the worship of the Lamb had begun, as all creation fell down before him and sang his praise.  And that’s where we start today. Notice that…

1. Our Praise is Heard in Heaven.  V8  

So, the worship which was correctly directed to our creator, is now being directed to our Redeemer. See:-

  • The bearers of our praise. Four living creatures and twenty four elders. Now, Revelation is full of symbolism, so we need to discover more about these symbolic entities…
    • Their numbers. There are three numbers mentioned:
      • Four creatures. The number four is always the number of completeness, and it is frequently referred to in relation to the world, to creation. The four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:12. That text also mentions the four winds, Zechariah 2:6    There are four seasons, four points of the compass. So, the four creatures are symbolic of the natural world, all the created universe, for all of creation will worship the Lord. As Jesus went into Jerusalem for the very last time, the people cried out in praise of Christ.  Read Luke 19:39-40  The heavens declare the Glory of God!
      • Twenty four elders. They are not identified, but look at them. In 4:4, they are dressed in white robes, and they have crowns of gold, and they cast their crowns at the feet of God. They sit in thrones, so they are reigning. – They can’t be angels, for angels don’t rule, and don’t sit on thrones and are never promised crowns. So, that would seem to suggest that these elders are symbolic of the compete church, all the people of God, Old Testament and New Testament church, all redeemed by the blood of Christ, represented as 24 – 12 OT tribes, + 12 NT apostles, and symbolised by elders – representatives of the churches. Every single believer in every age.  
    • Their posture. ‘They fell down.’ It is to prostrate oneself before the Lord, to fall down as if dead. Before Jesus, we drop to our knees!
    • Their music. Harps and songs! Again we look for symbolism. The harp is one of the earliest forms of instrument, just strings, tightened on a frame, yet if you hear a good harpist, the sound is truly beautiful.  Genesis 4:21,  Psalm 33:2, 1 Samuel 16:23  Revelation 14:2  The sound of the harp is symbolic of the sound of heaven, peace, and joy, and praise, but there is also song in heaven. One unique feature of the Christian Church is our song. We SING! The psalms are a song book, given by God to his people, to enable us to worship him, with words that are his, and so pleasing in his sight.

Here’s some application. If these elders are representative of the whole church, of every age, – then they represent us! And that is exactly what they are doing here. They are presenting before God, the prayers of the saints. All of creation, and all of the redeemed people of God are around the throne, worshipping Jesus, including us, even here in our local assembly. Now that we know that, see:-

  • The description of our praise. It is ‘INCENSE.’ Ephesians 5:2  Philippians 4:18  
  • The value of our praise. See how this incense is offered – in ‘golden bowls.’   These gold bowls are so valuable that they are in the hands of the elders, of the church, and the prayers they contain are safely delivered up before God, which are like precious incense rising up to please God.  Ps. 141:2,  

So, our praise is ascending to heaven, right into the throne room of God the father, where it is being offered to him, as a sweet smelling sacrifice of praise! There are two more things to note about this worship…

2. Christ is Magnified in Our Praise. V9  

The object of our praise is Jesus. The One who is exalted over all. See here that we worship him because of:-

  • His worthiness.  We have already saw that only He was worthy to take the scroll and open it. He is worthy because he is the Lion – the mighty conqueror, and the Lamb, who defeated death in his own atoning death on the cross. And because he has purchased our redemption.
  • Our redemption.We praise him out of gratitude. When we truly realise the extent of his saving work in our own lives, when we appreciate the value of our salvation, what we were saved from, what that salvation entailed and cost, and what we are saved to be in the eschaton, – the future, how can we not lift our hearts and voices in praise to Jesus. We are bought by his blood, by Him we are reconciled to God, and by him we are brought together into God’s kingdom.

It’s all about Jesus! Worthy is the Lamb.

3. The Church’s Status is Declared. V10  

As believers, we are, and one day shall be restored to our pre-fall condition, like God originally intended us to be, like Adam and Eve were meant to be, were created to be. Now, in that our fellowship with God has been restored, in Christ, and at the last day, when there will be a new heaven, and a new earth, a recreated earth, where there will be no sin, and where everything will be as God intended the earth to be before Genesis three, before the fall of man, when sin entered into the world.  

  • Created to Rule! They were placed in God’s garden, and given distinct instructions, Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” They were to rule over the earth. 
  • Crashed to Ruin! But after the Fall, they were put out of the garden, and it was sealed up to them, and from that day to this mankind had been unable to fulfil his true purpose. In fact it seems that we have come to the point where we are not ruling over the earth, but that mankind is actually worshipping the earth – it is ruling over us! And the Climate Change Cult wants us to sacrifice our children to their goddess, to Mother Nature.  We are sacrificing human lives, pre-born human babies to ‘save the earth.’ Such is the depths of the sin and depravity of mankind after the fall.
  • Converted unto Restoration. Now, in Revelation 5, we ‘reign on the earth.’ Quite simply – our true purpose has been restored, in God’s sight, and like Adam and Eve before the fall, we are in complete fellowship with the God who created us, enjoying his presence, glorifying him for ever, we are doing and being what we were meant to do and be. WE ARE NO LONGER WORSHIPPING CREATION, WE ARE JOINING WITH CREATION IN WORSHIPPING THE GOD WHO IS OUR CREATOR AND OUR REDEEMER.

So, what have we learned?  When we meet together and pray, and sing his praises, we join with the gathered church around the throne, and as the universal, invisible church, we carry our praises to God, like a golden precious bowl, full of beautiful incense, and together with all the saints of every age, it is poured out before the heavenly throne, where Christ is enthroned with the Father. And because our praise already rises to heaven, one day, we shall present that praise in person, in a glorious new body, in complete fellowship with God and each other.

© Bob McEvoy

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