Revelation 5

Greetings! Well, this is the last post of our series on Revelation chapters 4 and 5. In our last post, we talked about the significance of the harp in end time prophecy. In this last post in our study of Revelation chapter 5, we’re going to talk about the crescendo of worship that takes place during the apostle John’s visit to the throne room. Most people don’t notice it. Enjoy!

Revelation 5

Seventh in a Seven-Part Series
by Karen Thompson

Worshiping the Lamb Who Is Worthy

Four Beasts and 24 Elders Sing

Rev. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

In the last portion of this chapter, verses 8–14, John described hearing a build up of praise and worship by the beings in heaven. It first started when the Lamb had taken the book out of the Father’s hand. When He did, the four beasts and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb in worship. They then began to sing a song to the Lamb about why He was worthy to open the book. The song they sang said the Lamb was worthy to open the book and the seals because He was slain and redeemed us to God by His blood; and that His blood redeemed us out of every “kindred, tongue, people, and nation” meaning that His blood redeemed all of mankind. That’s why Jesus is worthy to open the book with the seven seals.

The rest of what they sang in verse 10 says that He “made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” This is a reference to the fact that Jesus will share His rulership over the nations of the earth with His followers. The believers will rule and reign with Jesus!

Angels Join the Beasts and Elders

Rev. 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Then after the four beasts and the 24 elders finished singing, John said thousands and thousands of angels joined in with them and worshiped the Lamb saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” Notice how the worship that came from the beings in heaven was seven-fold: power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing (v.12).

All of Earth’s Creation Join Heaven’s Creation

Rev. 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. 14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

After that, all the creatures in the earth, and under the earth, and in the sea joined together with all the creatures in heaven and said together, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” This time the worship was four-fold since it came from all of creation, not just heaven: blessing, honor, glory, and power. When the worship came to an end, the four beasts said, “Amen.” At that, the 24 elders fell down and worshiped the Lord.

Crescendo of Worship

When you read John’s descriptions of what he heard and saw while in heaven, it’s easy to miss the crescendo of worship that was taking place by the beings in God’s throne room. The worship began with the four living creatures and then continued to increase with intensity until it reached a climax of worship that had to have been ear deafening.

At first, it’s not automatically apparent that there actually is a crescendo of worship. That’s because between each segment of elevated worship, John described what he was seeing. We are so focused on John’s visual descriptions that we miss the worship experience. If we skip past all of John’s descriptions of what he saw and focus only on the crescendo of worship, we can better appreciate the dramatic swell of emotion it must have provoked in him. I’ll keep the description down as much as possible so as to duplicate in our minds what John experienced.

The first thing John heard was thunder, lightning, and voices coming from the throne of God. Then the four living creatures worshiped God saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8).

Next the 24 elders fall down before God, cast their crowns before the throne and say to the Father, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev. 4:11).

Then we see the Lamb take the scroll out of God’s right hand. And when He does, the four living creatures together with the 24 elders begin to sing a new song to the slain Lamb: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for 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” (Rev. 5:8–10).

The crescendo of worship quickly elevates when angels numbering ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands and thousands join the four living creatures and the 24 elders. All together, they say with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing” (Rev. 5:12).

The climax was reached when every creature in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and in the sea (meaning all creation) all said together, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Rev. 5:13).

The four living creatures closed the worship with, I imagine, a hearty “Amen!”

Look at the elevation of intensity. It started with just the four living creatures with worship to God. It stepped up a notch when the 24 elders gave worship to God. Next, the four living creatures together with the 24 elders sing a new song to the Lamb. Then innumerable angels join with the four living creatures and the 24 elders to worship the Lamb. Lastly, all the creatures of heaven together with all of creatures on earth, under the earth, and in the sea all worship God and the Lamb.

The worship grew in intensity and sound, ascending higher and higher until it reached its highest culmination. This ascending worship by the beings in heaven is an overture to the events that would follow. When the worship reached its highest culmination, the very first of end time events began—the opening of the book with seven seals.

When the Lamb opens all the seals, Daniel’s 70th week begins. It is the last seven years on the earth before the times of the Gentiles comes to an end. It is the last seven years that Israel will be trampled underfoot by Gentile nations. At the end of the seven years, Israel and the Jewish people will be restored as God’s special set-apart nation. Satan will be cast into the bottomless pit, and his rule over the kingdom of men will have come to an end. And, lastly, the millennial reign of our Lord will begin! This is what the crescendo of praise preceded.

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