A Celebration to Worship Our Sovereign Jesus
"And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, ‘Amen! Alleluia!' Then a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!' " -Revelation 19:4-5, emphasis added
A Celebration of Jesus We WORSHIP: The twenty-four elders may represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles. The twelve foundations of heaven are the apostles, and the twelve gates are the twelve tribes. All of the Scriptures were written through the Jews, and the apostles were the foundation writers of Jesus Christ's gospel of the church; these two groups of twelve merged together. The four living creatures represent all the angels that worship God. They are the ones saying, "Amen! Alleluia!" That is a celebration of worship. But the number twenty-four is only used in Scripture when it relates to priests; so the church plus Israel's twelve plus the apostle's twelve may speak of all of us as Christ's priests in worship.
What is a servant? The Greek word for "servant" (Strong's # 1401) is doulos, which means "a slave, bondman, man of servile condition; one who gives himself up to another's will; devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests." In Philippians 2:7 we see that Christ's servants have His mind; in Colossians 4:12 they are prayerfully minded servants; and in 2 Timothy 2:24 they are gently minded servants-God's servants who don't strive and fight to get their way.
The transformed slaves of God will be there to celebrate worshiping Him. He longs for servants whose hearts well up and say, "God, You are who You say You are! I believe that, bow my life before You, and joyfully want to do whatever You say!" Sometimes we all struggle with obedience, but the direction of our life should be toward greater service to Jesus Christ-because this is what we are going to do forever.
Do you recall the parable of the ten virgins? They were waiting for the groom to come for them. While he was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. At midnight they heard the announcement that he had arrived. The five wise virgins arose and took oil in their vessels with their lamps; the five foolish virgins were not prepared, and their lamps went out. As a result, the foolish ones were not allowed into the wedding because they didn't have any oil for their lamps.
Bible scholars often say "oil" is the Holy Spirit. But oil here does not mean the Holy Spirit because the oil is to be purchased, and the Holy Spirit cannot be purchased. What may fit here is that the burning oil represents their Spirit-energized lives-being and living in righteousness as visible saints of God. They could put on an act for a while, but they eventually ran out of oil and never purchased more. (They never were actually living in righteousness and doing good works.) So when they came to the door, their lamps were out; there were no good works in their lives and they are excluded from heaven even though they thought they were going there. If you are saved, you will do good works, which prove that you are going to heaven. There are a lot of foolish people in the church today whose lamps are out. They are not consumed with the desire to be righteous, and to live out Christ's righteousness. When the Bridegroom comes, they are going to be locked out.
Jesus spent all of His ministry warning people who think they are going to heaven but are not, because they are not doing what He said (see Matthew 7:21-23 . These people believe that He is Lord by their words, but their works do not flow from a personal relationship with Christ. Who will get in and spend eternity with Christ and God the Father and the Holy Spirit and all the redeemed of all times? Those who do His will. The person Jesus was speaking of most clearly was Judas. He is the prime example. Judas prophesied and preached in Jesus' name; he cast out demons and did other wonders. But Jesus will look at him, and all the other Judases that have filled the church since, and He will say, "I never knew you" (Matthew 7:21-28). How do you know if you know Him? Your works will determine your destiny. They won't get you into heaven, but the nature of your works, if driven by the Spirit, will show that you are going to heaven. That is the catastrophic problem now-people perceive that they can be saved without having a transformed life. Jesus said that those at the Marriage Supper have a transformed life. That is the message of Revelation.
As you contemplate His glorious sovereignty, doesn't it just make you want to burst forth and sing: "All hail the pow'r of Jesus' name! Let angels prostrate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of all: Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of all." I hope that is your spirit because, if it isn't, you will feel out of place at the ultimate wedding banquet.
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