The Throne Room of the Universe - John Barnett

  1. THE MAP OF THE FUTURE GOD LEFT IN HIS WORD
    Revelation 1-22

    God wrote down an inspired record of the history of the world: from the time when John was sitting on Patmos in AD 95, right up to the very end of days. That is what you are holding in your hands this morning.

    The online world mourned for a few moments this week, the passing of another icon from the former, pre-cyber world of the past. After 244 years of publication, the Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer be printed on paper. Thus ended the longest published record of civilization’s knowledge.

    The byline of that monumental compendium of knowledge, are these words: facts matter.

    Facts matter even more to God. Today, the facts about what God has said, describing the future of every person in the world, are crucial. The facts that God has given to us are quite clear. The ability to precisely tell the future is part of God’s uniquely Divine identity. First we know that:

    God Always
    Gives the Facts

    Do you remember a few weeks ago when we looked at how we know the Bible is true?

    Remember the fourth reason we should trust God’s Word? It was: Fulfilled Prophecy is the simplest and yet most profound evidence the Bible offers. Prophecy fulfilled is an irrefutable verification found only in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures.

    Prophecy is the missing element in all other sacred scriptures of the world's religions. It is not to be found in the Muslim’s Koran, the sayings of Buddha, the Hindu’s Vedas, or the Mormon’s Book.

    By contrast: prophecy comprises about one-third of the Scriptures! The Book of Isaiah contains six of the clearest declarations of God’s sole ability to write the future, plus perhaps the clearest and most remarkable prophetic passage, in the Bible!

    Look at this string of declarations from the one and only God, who reveals Himself by writing down history before it happens. Start with me in Isaiah 41:21.

    1. Prophecy is God’s Unique Distinctive: Isaiah 41:21-22 (NKJV) "Present your case," says the LORD. "Bring forth your strong reasons," says the King of Jacob. 22 “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come.

    2. Prophecy is a demonstration of God’s Glory: Isaiah 42:8-9 (NKJV) I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

    3. Prophecy is the Acid Test of Deity: Isaiah 44:6-7 (NKJV) “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.7 And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them.

    4. Prophecy is a Verifiable Proof of God’s Power: Isaiah 45:21 (NKJV) Tell and bring forth your case; Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me.

    5. Prophecy is History Written in Advance: Isaiah 46:10 (NKJV) Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’

    6. Prophecy is to Confirm that God can be Trusted: Isaiah 48:3-5 (NKJV) “I have declared the former things from the beginning; They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass. 4 Because I knew that you were obstinate, And your neck was an iron sinew, And your brow bronze, 5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, And my carved image and my molded image Have commanded them.’

    Now, for a moment, move back to Isaiah 45:1. This is what I call perhaps the single most remarkable prophecy in the Bible.

    One of the Most Astounding
    Biblical Prophecies

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  2. The Apostle John has been in a perpetual state of amazement from chapter one onward. What he has seen has repeatedly overwhelmed him. Once again John sees such incredible sights that all he can do is fall down and again try to worship the messenger that has been guided his tour of Heaven (the last time he tried that was in 19:10). That is the context of v. 9 as John is corrected by the angel. Here we get the incredible insight that:

    Worship is the Central
    Theme of the Bible

    Here we get to the final chapter, of the final book: where we see the final word on worship, given to us by God. Here God instructs us on the most important of all subjects: Worship. A simple definition of worship would be: worship is honor and adoration directed to God.

    There is no subject more important to God’s servants than worship. Worship of God is the mark of true believers. The worship of God is declared to be the content of the eternal Gospel. True worship, of the true God, is truly the key to everything that matters.

    The angel repeats to John, what God has already revealed to John in chapter 14. Listen to what the angel says to John:

    Revelation 22:9 (NKJV) Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book.Worship God.”

    Worship is no small subject. In this final word from God on worship we hear declared the centrality of worship. The importance of worship we can infer from the rest of God’s Word; but here in Revelation, God makes it clear.

    Now turn back to Revelation 14:6-7. Here we find the answer to one of the most important questions: “Who will have eternal life?”

    Rev. 14:6-7 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

    Notice that the angel’s message is called “the eternal gospel.”

    The Message of the
    Eternal Gospel

    What is the eternal message? “Fear God, and give Him glory: and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth.”

    Those who live forever are those who have responded to the Gospel.

    At the end of everything, how does God summarize those who possess eternal life? God says that they “worship God”.

    Worship God. That is the everlasting gospel, the message that God has given from eternity to eternity. It is the theme of Scripture, the theme of eternity, the theme of redemptive history—to worship the true and living and glorious God.

    Before the creation, after the creation, in eternity past, in eternity future, and throughout all time in between, worship is the theme, the central issue in all of creation.

    Now, as we open to Revelation 4-5, we can see a future picture of all of us true believers, gathered in Heaven as the true worshippers of God,worshipping at the highest level in: unhindered, focused, and glorified worship.

    Those in Heaven are:unhindered by time, or by their flesh, or by any distraction; and they are focuseddirectly upon the Lamb as they bow in front of the Throne; and most of all, they are glorified, so that no more does their humanness, or sin, or the Devil interfere in any way with worship. That is worship at the highest level. We have arrived at a passage of God's Word that gives us what can only be called:

    A Theology of
    True Worship

    This passage in Revelation 4-5 gives us the most complete theology or study from God's Word of worship that there could ever be. As we look at the worship detailed in Revelation: it is the final portion of God’s inspired Word, it is the last word as it were on the subject.

    We have everything we need to know about anything to do with worship as we hear these final words from God to us.

    As we look at worship we find that God reveals to us the most important element of worship in this passage: the identity of true worshippers. We can ask and answer the question through this passage: “Who are the True Worshippers?” The text answers that by revealing them as the Redeemed.

    The redeemed, those who have been saved, those who have been washed by the blood of the perfect Lamb of God slain for their sins: they are the true worshippers.

    Revelation 4-5 breaks into five elements or units for us to study. Remember that God gave this report of what is happening in Heaven for us as His servants.

    The Elements of Worship
    God Emphasizes

    Here are the observations we can make from this passage that God gives to us:

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  3. Towering over all our daily lives and worship we offer as believers: is the Throne of our God the King.

    When we pray it’s to the Throne of our Hallowed Father who is King in Heaven that we are to address our prayers.

    When we struggle it is to the Throne of our King of Grace and Mercythat we cry to out for help in time of need.

    When we serve it is our King who tests all our good works by His refining fire, and then passes out all rewards, that we prepare to stand before.

    When we worship it is the Throne of God our King, surrounded by the numberless hosts who join with us, that we sync our worship with.

    We Worship our
    King on The Throne

    As we open to Revelation 4, we find that the last book of the Bible merges the Throne of our God the King with our worship.

    The only people who get to enjoy God forever are worshippers; and the only way to become a worshipper is to become God’s subject, surrendering to His Rule.

    God’s servants worship Him now because we forever will bow in submission and adoration before Him.

    A Biblical Theology of Worship is that we are true worshippers who serve God because we have bowed to Him as King, and He has given us a new heart.

    The whole book of Revelation revolves around the facts of seeing and responding to our God on His Throne. Jesus gives us this last book to get us ready to meet and bow before Him as our King.

    Please join me as we stand to read Revelation 4. As we do so we enter the Throne Room of the King of the Universe; and we see and feel the wonder of worshipping the King who sits upon that Throne.

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  4. This morning there is just one truth I want you to hold onto, and think through, with me:

    God has told us EXACTLY how He wants to be Worshipped.

    That description of how God has told us He wants to be worshipped is the title of our study today: The Foundations of True Biblical Worship.

    To understand this topic we need to ponder several individual concepts, the first one is:

    What Kind of Worship
    Does God Accept?

    This question about worship is vital to every believer because:

    • If our worship is not built upon the foundation that God has laid down: it is not Biblical.

    • If our worship is not Biblical: it does not please God, nor does He accept that worship.

    Think about that for a moment.

    That means that any worship not offered the way that God has dictated is unacceptable worship.

    That means that worship prompted by unsaved people is rejected; and any fleshly motivated, self-guided worship offered by un-surrendered believers is also rejected. Always remember the severity of Christ’s judgment upon the fleshly excesses of the Corinthians.

    Worship acceptable to God is what we must think about as we offer our adoration, and honor to God. God spends so much time in His Word describing the clean hands and pure hearts that must deliver any worship that is given to Him.

    Have you ever gotten a meal on a dirty plate, or a drink in a greasy unwashed cup, or seen raw food being prepared on a filthy counter, and right there and then decided: I will not accept that food?

    Worship is much like the medium God used to portray sacrifices in the Old Testament: all of the sacrifices were from “clean” types of food or animals. Any unclean offering or any unclean person making an offering: made the worship offered, get rejected by God.

    That idea of rejected worship is the theme of the final book of the Old Testament called Malachi. The Jews were going through the motions of worshipping God, but their hearts and lives were dirty: so their worship was rejected.

    People were also bringing to God animal offerings that were defiled, unclean, or sickly: so their worship was rejected.

    God wants us to worship Him, but He is very specific on what He accepts. That brings us to our second concept. Not only should we understand what kind of worship God accepts, but we also need to understand the truth that:

    Biblical Worship Always
    Has Three Elements

    Think about everything you know from the Bible about worship.

    Every time worship is portrayed in the Bible it always has three elements: first, the person that is offering the worship; and second, the offering that they are bringing; and third, the One they are giving that offering to.

    Those three perspectives are always present in the Bible. And all three elements had to be RIGHT or the worship was WRONG.

    The first worship scene in the Bible is in in Genesis 4. The two characters are Cain & Abel. We all know the story. They bring their offerings to God, one offering of worship (Abel’s) is accepted, the other offering of worship (Cain’s), is rejected. Did you notice three parts to the scene of worship?

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  5. Last time we saw what always makes worship unacceptable to God. This week we are looking at what always makes our worship acceptable and pleasing to God.

    As we read these words, think about what you are looking at as we see a picture of the 24 elders; most likely, each of these 24 men seated on the inner circle of the Throne were formerly imperfect sinners, saved by grace, cleansed each day by the sacrifice of Christ, glorified at the moment of their death, and now in Heaven offering perfected worship.

    Did you catch one very profound truth? Each servant of God that we will ever find in Heaven was once an imperfect servant of God, the entire time they lived on Earth.

    Truth # 1: All Believers, in Every Time Period, Have
    Always Been Imperfect, All throughout Their Lives

    One of the most amazing truths of God’s Word is that God accepts and uses imperfect people. The simplest and most accurate description of the Apostles would be: twelve imperfect men. The simplest and most accurate description of the John, Paul, Peter, Noah, Daniel, Moses, Hannah, and even Mary would be: they each were imperfect servants.

    The same could be said for every servant, every saint, every Christian home, and every Christian marriage. The simplest and most accurate description of all we do, and are, is: imperfect.

    Truth # 2: Imperfect Saints that are Surrendered Can
    Offer Worship that God Treasures and Rewards

    So what is it that makes what we do acceptable, pleasing to God, lasting, golden like the crowns of Heaven, and eternal? Submission. In the verses we have before us this morning portrays the submission God delights in.

    The elders (who were formerly imperfect earthly saints) do a visual for us as they worship in Heaven: they humbly fall on their faces, bowing submissively before Christ the King, and as an offering of worship, lay their golden crowns as His feet.

    They humbly fall on their faces in Heaven, because they had humbly worshipped on Earth. They submissively bow in Heaven, because they had submissively bowed on Earth.

    They offer golden crowns in Heaven, because God declares their worship on Earth was tested as they offered it, and was found to be like gold. Remember what God has already told us in I Corinthians 3:10-13, that all of our good works will go through the fires of refinement to see what is true gold.

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The Throne Room of the Universe - John Barnett

Calvary Bible Church PRO

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