Concluding Thoughts on the Vision of Rev 4 and 5 (Enthronement 9)

Considering the biblical evidence regarding worship, how does the typical worship service in your local church compare? Is it God centered or is it centered on the worshipers? Does it emphasize what God has done or is doing (creation, cross, daily promptings of the Spirit) or what we must do? In the Bible, worship is always centered on what God has done rather than what we must do. And it is that God focus that unleashed the power of God’s original act (creation, Exodus, resurrection of Jesus) in the later situation (Exodus 15, 2 Chronicles 20, Daniel 9). When Israel recounted the mighty acts of God in their past, He acted mightily for them in the present.

Understanding and practicing this truth is the secret of unleashing God’s power in a local church. If worship seems powerless, it is because it is not centered in God. Worship is not about us, it is about God. Worship is not telling each other what we should do, it is reminding each other of what God has done.

What is the relationship between Revelation 4-5 and the Sabbath? In the vision of the heavenly throne room, worship is presented to God and the Lamb on account of creation (Rev. 4:11) and salvation (Rev. 5:9-10). In the Old Testament the Sabbath is the memorial of both creation (Exod. 20:11) and the Exodus, the great act of Israel’s salvation (Deut. 5:15). So the Sabbath points us to the mighty acts of God in creation, the Exodus and the cross.

The Sabbath reminds us that creation is solely God’s work, we had nothing to do with it, yet it affects everything we do. God made us free to live, choose, and create. The Sabbath reminds us of the Exodus, which is the model for our personal salvation. And Sabbath reminds us of the cross, where God demonstrated that He is safe to be in relationship. He does not even strike back at His creatures who are torturing Him and putting Him to death. Keeping the Sabbath is not about earning merit with God, it is a rehearsal of the mighty acts of God in creation, the Exodus and the cross. When we remember the Sabbath we are also remembering the great things God has done for us, and this is the foundation of true worship.

4 thoughts on “Concluding Thoughts on the Vision of Rev 4 and 5 (Enthronement 9)

  1. Andrei B.

    Dr. Paulien, your brevity and clarity of writ highlights the apparent paradox of how simple true worship is in comparison to how convoluted we, humans, are capable of making it.

    Worship God only, and only to Him give glory. Profoundly simple and yet, how tragically have humans erred to do so throughout the ages.

    I can’t thank you enough for the work you are doing with these blog posts and your work on Revelation especially.

    I’m also waiting (im)patiently for you to continue the “Conversations about God” series from G. Maxwell’s audio. Thank you again for the 10 chapters so far. They have truly served to create the most refreshing and true perspective of who God is and what the present situation is, as well as our role in it.

    May God use you to reach many.

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      Thanks for the kind words, Andrei. I wanted to get this summary of Revelation out first. I also have four chapters of CAG yet to write and have scheduled that this summer. So I will begins posting as soon as Rev is done and should complete within the next year.


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