Sermon Transcript: Only Christ

2/28/2021 Jeff Schwarzentraub 42 min read

- Our Lord Jesus we give you all the glory, all the honor and all the praise for who you are. And God, we pray this morning, as we look into your living and your active word that you would have your way with us. Lord, blow us away this morning, by what we read about you. And Lord, what we experience in you while we're here. And Lord, for all you're going to accomplish, we give you praise, and glory, and honor. And Lord for all of us who are gathered here, who desire to hear your word to be who you say that we are and by faith put into practice what you show us, will you very loudly agree with me this morning by saying the word. Amen

- [Congregation] Amen.

- Amen, today we are in Revelation 5 and it really is a pickup from where we left off in Revelation 4 which I told a friend this week, I told several people, that was one of our best services last week that we ever had, amen? And then as I was saying, he went back and he said, "Well I got saved in this service, and I think that was the best service we ever had." And I said, okay, that was maybe the best service for you. But this is number two, because as God's people gather and we learn more about worship, and what's actually going on around the throne, and how vast our God is, and how big He is and how awesome He is?

it stirs us in our heart because right at the core of who we are we were all, every single one of us, we were made to worship. And as we get into chapter five, as we see these this section of scripture really culminating together, we're going to take a look at four uniquenesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. We're gonna take four uniquenesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what is it that makes the Lord Jesus Christ, so worthy of our worship?

If he ever Bibles, I encourage you open them up to Revelation 5 we're gonna look at the entire chapter. Revelation 5 I'd like to read it. And as I told you last week, if you'd like to stand for the scripture, stand for the scripture I think it's worthy of standing. 'Cause I had some people say I like to stand, but I don't wanna be the only one standing. So if you'd like to stay and stand, let's worship Him as we hear the word read.

He says, I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written in side and on the back sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice "who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals", and no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, stop weeping, behold, the lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the root of David has overcome. So as to open the book and its seven seals and I saw between the throne, with the four living creatures and the elders, a lamb standing as of slain having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four elders, I'm sorry, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the lamb each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song saying, worthy are you to take the book and to break it seals for you were slain and purchased for God, with your blood men from every tribe, and tongue, and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God and they will reign upon the earth. Then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures, and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands saying with a loud voice, worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing, and every created thing which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea. and all the things in them I heard saying, to Him who sits on the throne and to the lamb be blessing, and honor, and glory and dominion forever and ever. And the four living creatures kept saying, amen and the elders fell down and worshiped, amen.

The word of God.

As we look in this scripture in Revelation 5 we see a picture of the resurrected Jesus Christ, and what makes Jesus Christ unique? What makes us say only Jesus Christ? We'll take a look at four aspects of why Jesus alone is worthy and able to do everything that Revelation 5 is telling us about. Notice in 5:1 he says, I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back sealed up with seven seals.

Now, first thing we're gonna learn here is that Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ is worthy and able to reveal the future. Only Christ is able and worthy to reveal the future.

Now what he sees coming from the throne remember there was one who was seated on the throne that we read about in Revelation 4. And we really couldn't see Him. All we could see were colors describing Him. We saw emerald, we saw rainbow, we saw red, we saw clear white. We saw flashes of lightning. We saw peals of thunder. We saw all these different things. We didn't get a full description, but we were overwhelmed by the one that was seated on the throne.

Remember the word that we used last week to describe Him? Awesome, 'cause there's no other attributes that we can give to the Lord, but awesome. He's completely awesome. He's unlike anyone that we've ever seen or that we've ever known.

And so in chapter five as this picks up, John is still seen and what he's seen on the throne is he saw the right of Him. Now clearly we believe this is metaphoric language because the father is spirit. As He was being described in Revelation 4 He doesn't have anthropomorphic mechanisms. We're not gonna see His hands, His eyes, His feet.

The only one of the Trinity that you're ever going to see fully in heaven is the Lord Jesus Christ because he himself is fully God and fully man. The father is spirit, the Holy spirit is spirit, Jesus Christ is fully God but we'll also see Him because he's identified Himself with us forever and ever as human.

So when he sees this one holding a Bible, or holding a scroll, or a book as you would have it in his right hand is talking about the position of power that there's a thorny and power in the one that's holding this book. Now this word for book is properly translated book but in the time that this was written it was more of a scroll, a scroll that was rolled up. There's all sorts of debate was as the scroll that rolled up from each side was this one scroll that was rolled up. There's all sorts of options. The Bible doesn't tell us exactly what the scroll was. It's just that John saw on the throne a scroll or a book written inside and on the back sealed up with seven seals.

Now that may not mean much to us, but in Roman culture there is some evidence to show that a title deed, or owning a piece of property, or having something like that in official document would be sealed with seven different seals to indicate that it was authentic. And it meant that the contents were authentic. Now a seal was some sort of clay or wax that would be put on the scroll so that it couldn't be opened. It authenticated the scroll, it authenticated the contents of the scroll and it showed that it was true.

It is also not surprising in the book of Revelation that it would have seven seals since seven is the number of completion. And we see the number of seven all over the place. So this is completely sealed. This is perfectly sealed. This is one that he sees coming out of the throne. He sees the scroll in the right hand or the place of power.

He notices this scroll, and what does he see about this scroll? He saw it sealed up with the seven seals. Now I had the, our team put together a picture of what the scroll may have looked like. And hopefully on the screen behind me you will see it. That's an indication of what the scroll may have looked like with seals that bound that together. So in order to open it up, seals would need to be broken. I don't know if we have the other picture that I found this week, indicating some people feel that the scroll would have looked more like this. Whereas each seal that was open, then you could open part of the book and then another seal be open. You could open another part of the book, but you couldn't open it completely until all the seals were open. I'm not sure, I wasn't there, I didn't see it, okay. You can have your own opinions, but we know this for sure. There was a scroll that was sealed with seven seals, showing that whatever the contents are of this seal it's completely authenticated. It's completely real. And notice what he sees next.

He says, I saw a strong angel proclaiming in a loud voice who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals. Now it's interesting to me that he saw strong angel. Every time that we see angels in the Bible, usually the words that come out of their mouth fairly regularly are this, do not fear me. Just one angel or two angels coming out of heaven. And people are terrified. The angels have to identify themselves, say don't fear, don't be scared it's just an angel. It's just me. I mean, even if the tomb of Jesus, there's two men and white and you have like the seal team six from the Roman occupied army that are scared to death, right? 'Cause they're angels.

Now, this isn't just any old angel. This is a strong one. And he's proclaiming in what kind of voice, a loud voice. Now you're gonna see this a loudness all throughout the book of Revelation. If you don't like it loud you need to get ready 'cause heaven's gonna be loud. It's gonna be very loud. And this strong angel, this mighty angels proclaiming in a loud voice who is worthy to open the scroll? Much like when you have a last will and testament who's worthy to open it up. It's not just for everybody an attorney has to open it up. An executor has to be there. There are certain things that are required.

So there's this title deed. There's this scroll that we're gonna find out is the title deed to the universe. It's the title deed to planet earth. It's the one who is going to be able to open up and bring to fruition and to culminate everything that he started like who can end this, who can bring all this chaos to an end. Who's the one who is worthy of doing that, who is worthy and able. So the angel starts shouting in a very loud voice who is worthy. And it says, and no one in heaven, or on the earth, or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it.

Now this scroll had writing on the outside and on the inside and there's nobody in heaven. There's nobody on earth. There's nobody under the earth. That's a way of saying there is no one anywhere who was worthy of opening the scroll.

That also means that there is no one anywhere that can bring evil to an end. That means sin is going to continue forever and death is going to continue forever. And there is no hope for planet earth. That's what it's saying. There's no one that can bring hope, except we're gonna find one.

See Jesus is the only one who can reveal the future and Jesus is the only one that can bring it to pass. Horoscopes will not help you. Fortune cookies, fun to eat. They will not help you calling 1-800-numbers will not help you.

Now, if you wanna push back on that and say, pastor Jeff you just don't know. There's a lot more out there spiritually than what you're aware of. And I've had people say things to me that only God could know. Somebody's spoken to my life about my dead relative. And somebody's spoken to my life about what's going on in heaven, and what they're doing, and where they are.

Here's what you need to know when a person dies they're dead. Now, that sounds pretty simple, but it's true. When you die you cross over. You're either in glory with Christ or you're separated from Him for all eternity. You're not communicating back with the living. You don't get to come back and have conversations. So if there's somebody that can channel something to you guess who they are, they are demon possessed people telling you about things that they were aware of that took place while that person was on planet earth, that's all. And you see it on TV. It's just demon channeling. I see that person they're like wearing A on their hat. I think it means Atlanta Braves. That's my granddad. That's not Jesus talking. That's a demon talking through a person about your granddad so that you will continue to trust someone other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the only one who knows the future. Jesus Christ is the only one who can bring the future to pass Did you get it.

So when John has seen this vision and he sees this scroll coming out from the throne this title deed to the universe, this title deed to planet earth. And he hears a strong angel saying, who is worthy, who is deserving. He's proclaiming in a loud voice. And they can't find anyone on the earth to open the scroll. What happened? John weeps, Revelation 5:4, then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it. weep does it mean he cried some tears? Weep doesn't mean he got misty when he saw that. weep doesn't mean he said, hey, can you get me a Kleenex? This weep is like uncontrollable sobs, like snot bubbling, cry. Like this weep is like, if no one can bring good out of what's going on in the world, what hope do we have?

We have no hope. There's no hope for the world. Friends, there is no hope for the world apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. Now think about this. Why is that true?

We studied book of Genesis to start this series, and we did that on purpose so we'd understand how everything got started here. That God created everything in the universe in six literal days, he rested on the seventh and he gave us a perfect world. The earth is uniquely situated for human beings to habitate and God created relationships in every good and perfect thing God created.

Then we get to Genesis 3 and what happens? Sin enters the world and it's destroyed. But what happens is, what happens when Adam and Eve sin what they did was they handed over their rights of authority to the devil, who is now in somewhat authority over the earth. We read about in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that the God of this world blinds the minds of unbelievers. Who's that? Satan, he's referred to in the New Testament as the God of this world.

In John 12:31 as Jesus is entering into Jerusalem before He dies on the cross, He refers to him this way. He says, now judgment is upon this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. Satan is referred to as the prince of the power of the air, the ruler of this world, the God of this age.

Taking a close look this week at Luke 4, during Jesus Christ temptation in Luke 4 you'll remember he was tempted three different times. But in Luke 4:5-7 notice how he was tempted. Satan took Him up and He let Him and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, this is Satan talking to Jesus. I will give you all this domain and its glory for it has been handed over to me and I give it to whomever I wish.

Did you hear what Satan said, Satan is talking to Jesus and he told Jesus these very words that all this domain in its glory he'll give Him for what it's been handed over to him and he gives it to whomever he wishes. Satan tells Jesus, this world is mine and I give it to whomever I wish. I run this place, I run this planet.

Now you'd expect you just to be like, shut up. You do not, I run this planet. Now here's what he says. Therefore - If you worship before me, Satan says, therefore if you worship before me it shall be yours. Jesus answered him, it is written you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.

Understand this, when Jesus Christ came and died on the cross it was the beginning of buying back everything that Satan had taken. Satan still sees himself as the ruler of this world, the God of this age, the Prince of the power of the air, but not for us who are believers in Christ. Our identity has been changed and we have authority in Jesus.

What kind of authority do we have? All authority? Where's the authority extend in heaven and on the earth. Where's the authority extent in all the universe we have authority now. Who do we have authority over?

We have authority over Satan, and what does he still try to do to believers? He still tries to lie to you and tell you that he's the God of this age. He still tries to lie to you and tells you he's in control of the future. He still tries to lie and say there is no hope in a world like this. No, he's just a liar.

When Jesus Christ came and died and rose from the dead, understand this, He bought back, He purchased back the authority that we gave him in our sin and Jesus Christ is authoritative in this world. And one day when He comes back He going to rule, and He is going to reign, and there will be no doubt in this theocracy who's in charge. It will be the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

John's weeping because John's a follower of Jesus. John sees his world the same way we see our world at times John read the news, just like we read the news and we think to ourselves sometimes, seriously how much more crazy can this place get? Seriously, is there any hope? Is this ever gonna end? Are people ever gonna stop dying? There's tragedy ever gonna come to an end? Are people actually gonna use their brain at some point in time? I mean, when is this gonna stop? Please tell me there's an end. And he sees a scroll and there's no one worthy 'cause an angels announcing to the universe. Is there anyone a here? And they can't find anyone. And John's just weeping.

Here's why I was weeping. Because when you place your whole faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is your hope to think that that's not the hope is devastating. I remember one time hearing a pastor preach. This was when I was in college and I was kind of walking with the Lord sometimes and kind of not walking with the Lord at other times. And he talked about the fact that if Jesus Christ is not who He says He is and Jesus is not the Lord overall. Here's a quote, "I'd rather be dead than continue to live." And I remember thinking, I don't know if I feel like that. I mean, I don't know if I'd wanna die. I mean, I might wanna if Jesus isn't real maybe I'd want to party more. Jesus, isn't real. Maybe I'd want to live for myself even more or something like that. But I don't know if I'd want to die.

I've walked with the Lord long enough now, if Jesus Christ is not who He says He is I would not wanna live another second. Like what would be the purpose? What would be the hope? Only Jesus Christ can reveal the future? Jesus Christ is the only hope for the world. John's weeping because he's placed his faith and trust in Jesus. And he says, when's this going to end? Is there any hope? And only Jesus Christ is worthy and only Jesus Christ is able to reveal the future.

But notice this? Only Christ is worthy and able to redeem humanity. Only Christ is worthy and able to redeem humanity. Notice verse five. And one of the elders said to me, stop weeping, stop crying, bro. I mean, it's interesting to me again, and I have different people talk to me this week. If you think the 24 elders of the church, great. We're not gonna argue over that, but this is another reason just to say he doesn't recognize any of the 24 elders of 12 of them were the apostles you would think that he recognized himself, or at least this person that's talking to him. He doesn't recognize anybody in this vision, but there's elder who I believe is an angel, tells him Stop weeping, stop weeping. Behold the lion that is from the tribe of Judah the root of David has overcome. So as to open the book and its seals.

What's the angel saying? We got someone stop crying. We found what He's worthy and He's able. Now why do we hear about this? I mean, you'll sing songs like that. The lion of Judah, hail the lion of Judah that goes all the way back to Genesis 49. And I know we didn't study the entire book of Genesis but just to read you a couple of verses and you can look at these this week.

in Genesis 49:8 and following I'll just read nine and 10. It says Judah is a lion's whelp or lion's cub from the prey my son, you have gone up. He couches he lies down and as a lion, who shall rouse him up the scepter shall not depart from Judah nor the ruler's staff from between his feet. What do you have coming out of the tribe of Judah? It's a promise that one that comes out of the tribe will rule and reign forever and ever.

We also see the same thing the lion of Judah, but we also see this route of David. You can read about it in Isaiah 11:1 and following that one of the prophecies is for the one who's gonna rule and reign the universe. They have to come from the line and the lineage of David. We see this in Revelation 22:16. If you want to flip to the last chapter in your Bible, we'll get there eventually. This is Jesus referring to Himself.

He says, I Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things for the churches I am the root and the descendant of David the bright and morning star. Jesus confirms that's who He is. So what do we see? We see the lion of Judah. We see one from the line of David who has overcome and is worthy, and notice what John sees next. If the Bible had music, when you played it this would be Jock Jams. This would be like the starting lineups. This would be the most miraculous song, I mean, in my Bible when I opened it up between Revelation 5:5 and Revelation 5:6 the thunder struck from AC/DC starts playing in the background as I'm listening to this.

And it says this, and I saw between the throne with the four living creatures and the elders a lamb standing as if slain having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat upon the throne. And everything in me wants to be like, yeah, you did it right. I mean, that's the starting lineup in heaven.

And there's only one worthy to be announced. And it's the Lord Jesus Christ. I mean, this is the one who's worthy to be worshiped. This is the one that meets all the requirements from prophecy. This is the one who's died and rose from the dead. This is the one who's the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. This is the one who has been introduced and where's he coming out of? He's in the middle of all of that that we've been talking about. Now we as pastors, oftentimes we refer to it as the throne room of God.

There is no room. It's just the throne mean there's no space. It's bigger than whatever space we call a room. And in between all of that, remember what was going on? All the colors, all the flashes of lightning all the peals of thunder, all the worship. He sees one coming out from that, from behind the curtain so to speak a lamb standing as of slain.

Now I don't have a lot of expertise in this, but my thought would be if the lamb was slain, He'd be laying. This lamb is standing as though it had been slain meaning it had all the marks of being slain. But this lamb that was slain wasn't dead. Who does that remind us of? That's the Lord, Jesus Christ. That's the one who died and rose from the dead. Isn't that awesome.

And He's there. And what's His first act that we see during worship in heaven. No one's worthy to take the scroll except when he's seen standing as those slain, this lamb, that's actually a lion. Isn't that awesome?

Well, is he a lion or a lamb? Yes. He's both. He's as humble as a lamb and ferocious as a lion. And what does He do? He goes to His father and says, I got it. It's not that his dad said, hey, come get the scroll and He's like, I'm busy. You know, I mean, the first thing He's doing is I'm gonna take the title deed to the universe because I'm worthy of getting it. And I'm about ready to open it up. And I'm gonna show you the things that are gonna big place.

He's a lamb standing as though slain. Now I got to thinking about this this week and it just kinda started moving me a little bit. And I don't know how true this is, but I'm gonna use some scripture to back up what I'm working on. 'Cause you have to know I'm a pastor but I'm studying the word of God too, right? You understand I'm learning, I don't have all this figured out. But it's interesting to me when Jesus Christ rose from the dead, the reason Thomas didn't believe it is because number one he hadn't been there and seen Him. And number two, he said, what? Unless I see His hands in His feet I'm not gonna believe Him. I gotta see the scars. I gotta know that this is the Jesus that I was worshiping. This is the Jesus that I was following. I got to know it's Him.

So in John 20 post resurrection Jesus came and stood among the disciples again and said, peace be with you. And then in 20:27 He says to Thomas reach here with your finger and see my hands, reach here with your hand and put it in my side and do not be unbelieving but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, my Lord and my God and Jesus said to him, because you have seen me you have believed blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed. So why did Thomas believe? He believed because he saw the scar marks of Jesus.

What do we see in heaven? It's a lamb standing as those slain. So what do you see in Jesus in heaven? You still see the marks of what His death. You still see the marks of the people that pierced Him. The people that put a sword in His side.

Now, this is interesting to me because when I read a Ephesians 5 talking about the mystery between Christ and his church, where we take a look at marriage, it's really a picture of Jesus. And that's why we can have solid marriages. It's interesting in Ephesians 5:27 talking about how the husbands are to love their wives but just think about this. Why? So that he might present to himself, the church in all her glory having what? No spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless.

How's Jesus gonna present the church to his father? Without spot, without wrinkle, holy and blameless.

Hmm, could it be that the only marks that we see in heaven. The only scars, the only marks are gonna be the one on Jesus Christ, from what humanity did to Him. Wouldn't it be interesting if every other blemish on every other human being is completely washed away presented faultless before the father, but the one who bears the mark of sin for all eternity is Jesus.

Wow, you talk about humility of our King. If that's true it's pretty awesome. Because when I read about our resurrected bodies and when I read about how Jesus is gonna present us without spot, or wrinkle, or stain and what our glorified bodies are gonna be like I'm thinking, man, my moles are going away. My hair's growing back. This is gonna be incredible, right? But then I see the lamb standing as those slain and like his marks aren't going away. Because he wants us to remember for all eternity his incredible love with which he purchased us. That his hands will be marked for eternity and so will his side. And it will be the only thing that's imperfect in heaven because of what humankind did to Him. And yet in his humility He was willing to bear the marks for all eternity, to demonstrate that he came to purchase you. Is that awesome or what?

That's our Lord. He's The only one who can reveal the future. He's the only one who can redeem humanity. That's why he says He is the way, and the truth, and the life. And no one comes to the father except through Him. That's why Paul tells the Corinthians. I'm telling you this as a first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried and that he was raised, according to the scriptures. That primary importance even in this book, has we're studying the book of Revelation is the unveiling of the person of Jesus Christ. That if anything is true about the book of Revelation, it's about the worship of Jesus Christ. It's about the worship individually. It's about the worship corporately. It's about the worship in our churches. It's about Jesus Christ being central and primary to everything.

And what do we notice about Jesus? I saw a Lamb standing as of slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. A horn is a place of authority or power. You'll see when animals fight in the wild, what do they do? I mean, animals that have horns that is. I mean, they lowered their heads and they run at each other to see who's gonna have the most dominance, and the most authority, and the most power. A horn as a way of showing authority, and dominance, and power.

What does he have? Seven horns what's that show, complete, authority, dominance and power. The same as He had when He gave the great commission to the disciples that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

And then what do we see with his seven eyes. Seven eyes the seven spirits of God, either a representing the Holy spirit or be showing that he sees all things that he's omniscient. We have the omnipotent, all powerful God. The omniscient one that knows everything where nothing is hidden from His sight, where all things are laid bare, where the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth to see whose heart is completely His. That God looks around the world to see who He can strengthen.

And God sees everything that happens in the world. And you can't hide one thing from Him. You will give an account for every thought, every motive, every action, every deed. That's who our God is. He's the King of Kings. He's the Lord of Lords. He's the champion of planet earth.

And He took that scroll. He took the book. He came to Him and took the book out of his right hand to Him who sat on the throne. Jesus is the only one who can reveal the future. He's the only one that can bring it to pass. Jesus Christ is the only one who can redeem humanity. There is no other God who can redeem humanity. Some people think it's offensive. You don't believe in any of the other religions in the world. I don't believe in religion in general. I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and regardless of your background, or your religious preference, or what you grew up with. If you'll repent of your sin and trust that Jesus Christ is the Lord over all you can be saved. And if you don't, amen. And if you don't, regardless of what religion you choose you're not saved. You can go to Brave Church for the rest of your life and die apart from Christ. Doesn't make you a believer to be here.

I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that He's the only one worthy. And He's the only one that can redeem humanity, because he's the only one that stepped out of heaven became incarnate flesh, fulfilled the law, died on a cross for all your sins was buried, was raised from the dead authenticating that He was the true son of God ascended to heaven and friends while He's being worshiped now know this, He's coming back soon to a city near you and your best be ready. That's why I believe in Jesus.

Well Jeff, that makes all the other religions of the world obsolete. Absolutely they do because the only religion that's going to take place around the throne is the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ. For those whom he's purchased, amen. That's it. Only Christ is worthy enable to reveal the future and to redeem humanity. And only Christ is worthy and able to rule the universe. There's no one else worthy or able to rule the universe. Only Christ can keep reading.

In Revelation 5:8 it says, when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song saying worthy are you to take the book and to break it seals for you were slain and purchased for God with your blood men from every tribe, tongue, and people, and nation. You made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God. And they will reign upon the earth.

Friends know this Jesus Christ is coming back to rule the planet. And as believers in Christ you're gonna reign with Him. You're going to reign with him. Now I need to explain this because in verse eight I think sometimes when we read about this, okay?

So there's all these angels around the throne, and they're playing harps, and there's bowls of incense. Yeah, that doesn't sound very fun. I mean, especially for guys like listen, in heaven like are we gonna be floating on a cloud playing a harp and like singing kumbaya or something like that. It's not what it is.

This Is representative of all of those who are in heaven at that time. All those angelic beings that are around the throne worshiping God. The harp is representative of the worship of the Lord. And the bowls are representative that incense is representative of the prayers of the saints.

It just shows that the prayers that we pray are being offered before the throne of God. And God loves two things significantly, our worship and our prayers. And guess what? He receives them both. And these prayers because of the significance and timing of what's going on in history. This is when Jesus is about ready to come back, and rule, and reign on planet earth. So our prayers that go something like this let your kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Those are prayers that are always going up before the father.

The prayers that go something like Lord how long into the earth looks like what you intended the earth to be? How long until your rule and your reign take place on planet. Just know this every single time you pray. And every single time you worship that is being extended to all mighty God in heaven. He receives that. He receives it, right?

That's why when we gather for corporate worship you can stand, you can sit. Sometimes it's good to stand and reflect on the words, you ever have one of those moments we're just caught up in, Oh my I'm overwhelmed. I just needed to be in this right now. But God wants us to worship.

We tell people all the time if you like to raise your hands, raise your hand. If you'd like to clap, clap. If you wanna knee, knee. You wanna get on your face before God, you get on your face before God. But please give a full expression of your praise and worship to Jesus.

I mean, imagine if Jesus was here in all of his full glory today after the preaching, How would you respond to Him then? You wouldn't be looking at how the worship teams dressed. You wouldn't be looking at how the song lyrics are. You would be saving in your heart that He's so worthy of all your praise. So here they are they're worshiping the Lord with a heart. They're worshiping the Lord with the prayers of God's people and knows what they sang.

They sang a new song. And then not to make too much of this. But we as Christians we don't like to change the songs very much, do we? "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God". I grew up going to a Lutheran grade school. That's like the hymn of the Lutherans. He sing that every single day for the rest of your life. We don't need another hymn just that one. That's good enough, all right. Went to a Methodist church. I know all the Wesleyan songs that John and his brother Charles wrote, I'm familiar with them but a lot time is we don't like to change the song. Notice in heaven what there is, there's a new song. And none of them are complaining about it. None of them were saying we didn't get a memo on this. No, the words aren't on the screen very well. I don't even know the tune, And there's this new song. And what's birthing in them is a new way to worship God.

Now, if God is who he says He is and how He's revealing Himself in scripture, do you think there's more than one way to sing to God? Do you think there's more than one way to say praise to God that God's looking for your heart? He's looking for your mind. He's looking for your soul. He's looking for your worship.

And here they're starting to sing about his redemption. In chapter four, they're praising God for his creation of the universe. Here they're praising God for his redemption. He says worthy are you to take the book and to break it seals, for you were slain and purchased for God with your blood men from every tribe, and tongue and people and nation.

Why was this a new song? 'Cause Jesus just took the book, Jesus just as took the scroll. Means somebody up in heaven was like, oh, we got to write a new one. We got to write a new one. We don't have one about Jesus taking the scroll yet. But without Jesus taking the scroll there's no hope for the universe. And now he's taking the scroll.  So let's sing praise to the Lord Jesus Christ because he's worthy to bring everything to pass that was meant to come to pass.

And notice what he says, it's through his blood that he purchased the people. Make no mistake about it, It's not the you chose Jesus, Jesus chose you. In Revelation 13, You'll see it spelled out that your name was in the book of life long before you were ever even created. God came to get you. God came to redeem you. God came to know you. God came to be with you.

You say, well, what about all the other people in the earth? Hey, guess what? God's desires that all the people in the world would come to know who He is. God's desires that everyone would worship Him but God knows all things the end from the beginning.

And for those of you who are Christians here's what you can bask in. If you've repented of your sin and trusted in Jesus Christ it wasn't you coming to Christ. It was Christ coming for you. I mean, that's the beauty of the gospel that the gospel is offered to the world. But once you've accepted Christ you realize He was coming for me all along. I couldn't even screw it up. And I tried to and He still loved and redeemed me. How awesome is our God?

Worthy is He, worthy is the one to bring hope to the world.

It's interesting for me when I read Revelation 4 and 5 I'm awestruck. Is like reverential awe. And I see everything that's going on around the throne. And then I think about what people say when people die I've been to a number of funerals and these are some of the comments I sometimes hear. Yeah, I know Joe, right now, He's up in heaven getting a cocktail with the big guy. I've heard that. No, he's up shooting hoops in heaven right now. I bet he's on the third hole playing some golf. Maybe he's out there fishing, right? You ever heard comments like this? I bet she's up there just having the time of her life Knitting. You heard stuff like this. Why is it we take what we think is so essential and take it to heaven and make it better. That's not what heaven's like. I don't see anybody knitting or playing golf in the scripture. I see nobody doing those things. I think if you're going to heaven thinking I'm looking forward to the knitting up there. I think you're gonna miss out. And there's nobody having a cocktail with Jesus. There's nobody that's even approaching the throne because there's such reverential awe.

Does that mean, that we'll never be able to do anything else than worship? No, Jesus is gonna bring his church back to planet earth and we are gonna rule and reign with Him for a thousand years. And then there's gonna be an eternal state, and we'll have responsibilities, and there'll be things we get to do but don't miss this point.

Worship is the essential, primary, awesome, transcendent part of what heaven is going to be like. God is not the big guy upstairs. He's the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins and Rose from the dead, and he deserves more of your honor and praise than that, right? That's what worship is, right?

And when I read through God's word and when I see worship in Revelation 4 and 5, I see just this reverential awe for all that Christ has done. And again notice, this is the 24 elders. This is the four living creatures. They're crying out to God. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God. And they will reign upon the earth.

Now I'm familiar with all the different translations. And I realized that the King James translated this you have made us to be a kingdom of priests and we will reign upon the earth. But if you go back and you study original manuscripts the best manuscripts, the most conservative manuscripts, the ones that are the best will tell you that's not what it's saying. Again, 24 elders, four living creatures are talking about them. It's talking about us. It's talking about a group of people that are not yet in heaven that are about ready to come that's what's going on here. And Jesus Christ is the only one that's worthy to rule the universe. And it's because of his blood.

Remember in John chapter 6 where Jesus said unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you don't have any part of me. For My flesh is real food and My blood is true drink. What was he talking about? That in Him and in Him alone, did we have salvation? It says you made them so that they will reign upon the earth.

Isn't it pretty awesome to think that if you're a believer in Christ, that one day you will not just be on the earth with Jesus ruling from Jerusalem. You will reign on the earth. That you will have specific responsibilities to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in a specific way, based upon how well you served him while you were here. I mean, it's amazing. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

I mean, how many people clamor to get close to certain politicians, or certain positions where they'll have more authority? The one that has all authority says, I picked you. I picked you. You're part of My political team, that's gonna rule on planet earth. I'm gonna be in charge of everything. And I'm gonna show you what you will do. And it's gonna be incredible. And where's it gonna start with? It's gonna start with the worship in heaven and he's gonna bring us back.

And only Jesus Christ is worthy of ruling the universe. Make no mistake about it. He's gonna rule the world. Make no mistake about it. He's already begun his reign, but when He gets back He will leave no room for doubt. And then finally we see this which I think is pretty awesome for us and very applicational that only Jesus Christ is worthy and able to receive worship.

Now, listen to me on this only Jesus Christ is worthy and able to receive worship. Notice verse 11. Then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures, and the elders. And the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands. How many is that? How many is myriads of myriads? How many thousands of thousands? Here's what John's saying. They're everywhere. There's millions of angels. They're everywhere. I see them everywhere. They're almost too many to count. And they're saying with a loud voice worthy is the, say it what does the Bible say?

- [Congregation] Lamb

- Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing. Power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory and blessing.

It should not surprise us that there are seven attributes given to worship here. It doesn't necessarily mean it's an exhaustive list but it's talking about our complete worship should go to the Lord because he's the only one worthy of it. And he's the only one able to receive it.

And here's the truth. Every single person created was created to worship. It's who you are. It's innate in who you are. And if you don't worship the Lord you will find something less than the Lord to worship or you'll worship yourself.

So what are we going after here? I see seven things that we tend to go after here that the devil lies to us and tells us that we need. How about power? Power is strength, it's force, it's capability. It's the ability to make things happen. If you don't worship the Lord Jesus Christ you will worship someone that has the ability to make something happen on your behalf. Maybe a politician, may be an athlete, may maybe a neighbor or you'll worship your ability to make things happen on your own behalf. If you don't worship Jesus, you'll get near or worship someone who can make things happen for you, or you'll worship yourself for being the kind of person that can make things happen.

What about riches? Do we even need to talk about that? Riches or wealth and abundance? If you don't worship the one who has it all you'll worship one who you think does, you'll worship wealthy, you'll worship somebody that has more than you or you'll try to be the one that has the wealth so that you can worship your own sense of abundance. But I got news for you. You brought nothing in this world and you're taking nothing out of it. Power, riches, what about wisdom? Wisdom is the capacity to understand and function accordingly. It's knowing what to do in life.

Whether we're talking marriage, whether we're talking raising your kids, whether we're talking finances, whether we're talking getting a job, whatever. If you don't worship the one who knows it all, You'll try to find someone who thinks they know it all to worship, or you'll be the know it all. You'll be the one that people worship. I got so great, he knows everything. All you gotta do is ask him a question. He's got the answer. She's so smart. She's got it all figured out, right?

Power, riches, wisdom, what's might. Might it is a little different than power. It's the dominance that you have. It's the capability of independence. If you don't worship the one who's completely independent you'll try to worship people who are or you'll try to become that person. I wanna be totally independent. So I don't need anybody else ever feel that lie. How about the last three honor, glory and blessing. Honor is the respect that I enjoy.

If you don't honor the one that deserves all your respect you'll try to honor somebody else. You'll make it a possession. I love having the respect of others or I'll give them respect. It's crazy to look at some of the people that we worship and we give all of our allegiance to them, and they're mere mortals, right?

What about glory? Glory is really recognition of status or performance. If you don't worship Jesus for all He is and does all He's done. You'll find somebody else to worship their status and performance. You ever seen that happen in our world, like maybe in I don't know, athletics, or Hollywood, or singers. We wanna worship and we're gonna even have nights where we celebrate all the wonderful things that they've done.

Or what about the final one blessing? Blessing is speaking in favorable terms. It's giving praise to someone else or it's receiving praise for ourselves. Do you see, this show up in our world? I mean, the enemy is always lying to you saying don't give your glory to God. You should be one who should be seeking power, riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing.

And here's the truth. If you don't worship Jesus you will worship somebody else that appears to have some of these things, but they're so substandard. Or you'll try to develop them yourself. Every self-help book, go to your local bookstore. They have bookstores anymore. Go to Amazon, look up self-help books. One of these seven will be there. How you can have more power in your life, more riches, more wisdom, more might, more honor, more glory, more blessing.

This is all intended for the Lord. He's the only one who's worthy of it. He's the only one who is able to handle it. We were made to worship. None of us were made to be worship. We're a horrible addict. Exhibit A, Hollywood, they're not good at it. When people get worshiped, they're not very good at it. Athletes, when people get worship they're not very good at it. Singers, actors, actresses, whoever you want. When we give our worship to people those people don't usually do very good with receiving worship, because they were never created to receive it.

Now, this doesn't mean as if somebody tells you good job. You're like, oh, it wasn't me. It was the Lord. I don't take any, that's not what it means. You can say thank you and people see God do something in you that's fine. I'm talking and about that deep rooted place in your life. What drives your life? And what drives your satisfaction? Is it receiving these seven things or giving them away?

See John the Baptist Jesus' cousin said it right in John 3:30. He must increase I must decrease. When you begin to live in such a way where all the power, riches, wisdom, might, honor, glory and blessing are all about the Lord. Your life begins to change.

Guess what I've learned I don't need to have all the power in the world. You know what? Because the one I serve has it. you know what I realized I don't need to pursue wealth because the one that I pursue owns the cattle on 1,000 hills and he has it all. You know what I've learned that I don't need to fight for my own way because Jesus can make a path where there seems to be no way. I've learned, right? That I don't need to take honor as a place of respect because I'm put on this earth to give it to the Lord. And it's awesome when he's the one doing it. I don't need to seek my own glory and own recognition because none of that stuff matters anyway.

Nobody will remember me when I die. The only thing that is worth remembering is that I love the Lord, and I don't need blessing because God wants my blessing. Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless His Holy name, amen.

Whatever, where you're going after just check your own heart on these things. Just check your own heart. Because the devil will lie to us from time to time and say, no you need to sneak a little more power. You need a little more wealth. You needed a little more recognition. Nobody noticed that you did that at the church. Can you believe that you served and nobody even saw you. Jesus did, right? That's what's going on. And that's what we need to be aware of because if we don't do this and we don't give our riches, and honor, and glory, and strength to Him, we'll end up receiving it ourselves. And it's the most unsatisfying thing in the world. 'Cause there are many people that spend their whole lives pursuing these things only to find out the road is really, really empty. But when you serve the one that has all those things you're ready.

And notice what you're ready for. As they see them all and they start shouting this praise saying in a loud voice there's the word loud again, worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing knows what happens in verse 13. It's a foreshadowing of the future.

And every created thing which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and all the things in them I heard saying, very similar to what we read about in Philippians 2 that the name of Jesus every knee will bow in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth. And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Here in Revelation we see it's in the sea as well. What are we seeing here? We're seeing all created beings, bringing worship to God the way they were designed to bring worship to God. And what does he hear them saying to him who sits on the throne and to the lamb, be blessing and honor, and glory, and dominion, forever and ever blessing, honor and glory. And there's that word dominion. That means you're gonna rule and reign forever. And the four living creatures kept saying amen. And all the elders fell down and worshiped.

Now, why is it so important that you know this? Because for those of you who are believers, when you enter heaven, if you've been living for the Lord it will be an extension of what you've been doing here in a way that's indescribable and awesome. For those of you who are Christians who have been living for your own strength, your own power, and your home might. There'll be a shift going on that you're not quite ready to jump into, and God wants us to be ready to worship Him.

God wants us to be ready to give Him all the praise 'cause we never know when our time is. Today maybe my time, today maybe your time may not happen for a while. We don't know, but we need to be ready to worship the Lord. And the way we prepare for worship in the Lord is worshiping Him now. That way we're ready.

Are you ready? I was at a restaurant on Friday night and we were celebrating my mother-in-law's birthday. And as the meal continued, we ended up bringing our own cake, and we were cutting the cake. And we had asked for knives and plates. And I happened to be texting something on my phone. At the time I looked up I saw a guy that I thought was a waiter. Cause he was wearing a black t-shirt like everybody else. I'm like, hey bro I said, can you get us some forks? And he looked at me kind of strange, like all right. And he went over to this table and he grabbed a bunch. He's like, is this enough? Am I be good, he goes, I don't even work here. And I was like, you did a great job though. So we gave him a piece of cake for his table. He was ready.

Here's the question. Are you ready? Because when your time comes you don't know when it's gonna be, but I can tell you what it's going to be. If you know Christ, you're gonna enter a worship service like you've never experienced before. If you don't, you will be separated from Christ for all eternity. And there is no coming back.

That's why I'm telling you if you don't know the Lord make today the day that you give your heart and your life to Him. And if you know the Lord, if you know the Lord don't be cavalier about your worship and your prayers. God loves our worship. God loves our prayers. And when we're worshiping Him and when we're praying to Him he has a way of changing us so that we would say to Him Lord worthy are you to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory and blessing. And isn't it interesting at the end as they give this other chorus to the lamb be blessing, and honor, and glory and dominion forever and ever. And the four living creatures kept saying amen and the elders fell down and worshiped.

What do you keep seeing? Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Because there's no other way to describe. That's true. And you're gonna do this and you're gonna bring the world to an end, and you're gonna usher in your righteousness and you're gonna, you're gonna destroy the wicked, and you're gonna do what is right. And you're gonna bring in the utopia as the theocracy that we've always longed for.

And people can't say amen enough. It's not like they're saying it in unison. I mean, you have myriads upon myriads and 10 thousands upon 10 thousands of angels. They're just saying. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. So pretty cool thing, right?

So I thought the way that we can end today is as I pray for us, I'm gonna pray for us. May I have you stand. And as I pray, I'm gonna invite those who don't know Christ to know Him and I'm gonna pray for you who do. And then I'm gonna read this at the end. And to the extent that you feel comfortable worship's going to start. But to the extent you feel comfortable while I'm reading this. You can just begin to say, amen if you want to. 'Cause I think there's something special and there's no rhythm to it. You don't have to say anything but for those who believe this you wanna say,

so Lord we come before your throne right now. And Lord, we ask that you would do a work in here as we worship your name. And if you're here today and you've never trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior. Here's how you can pray, Lord Jesus I know I'm a sinner and I know I'm separated from you. But I believe you love me enough to die on the cross for my sins and rise from the dead. And so right in this place I wanna turn from my sin and I wanna confess you as the Lord of my life. Come into my life and make me alive. And Lord for those of us who know you we pray you would help us take a step of faith in our worship, and in our prayers. That we might serve you, the living God, the only God the one God. To Him who sits on the throne and to the lamb Be blessing, and honor, and glory, and dominion forever and ever. Amen and amen. We give God praise. Amen for who He is, amen.

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