Sun, Sep 23, 2018

Heart of Worship

Series: Guest Speaker Text: Revelation 4 Speaker: Larry Vasquez View the sermon notes here: Join us! Service times are: Sun: 08:30 am / 10:30 am Wed: 07:00 pm What We Believe Our weekly sermon podcasts can be found here: iTunes Visit us on Facebook at: or
Duration:52 mins 32 secs

Introduction - Key Text Rev 4:

Ø Greeting –

Ø Have you ever wondered?

-      Why we turn down the lights for worship?

-      Why do we have images on the screen; scriptures, etc?

-      Or, why is volume higher than some would like?

Answer: It’s to help us lose ourselves, and focus on the Lord!

          In essence; It’s to point us to the heart of worship!

At the end of the service were sing a song – The Heart of Worship

“When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come; longing just to bring, something that's of worth that will bless your heart. --- I'll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what You have required. You search much deeper within, through the way things appear; You’re looking into my heart --- I'm coming back to the heart of worship; and it's all about You... its all about You, Jesus. I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it, when it's all about You... its all about You, Jesus”

Ø Today’s message focuses on the picture painted for us in scripture regarding the heart and intent of worship!

Stand and Read with me:

Rev 4:1 “After these things” I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."

Rev 4:2 Immediately, I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

Rev 4:3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

Rev 4:4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones, I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.

Rev 4:5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thundering’s, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Rev 4:6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

Rev 4:7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

Rev 4:8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"

Rev 4:9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,

Rev 4:10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

Rev 4:11 "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."”

Ø Opening Prayer:

Ø Overview:

§  Of all the passages in scripture dealing with worship, this is definitely one of the most poignant.

§  The book of Revelation (which by the way is the Revelation of Jesus Christ) – not some mysterious message; it’s the unveiling of Jesus from the church age to the new heaven and earth.

§  This is John, the one “whom Jesus loved” – who as a young boy would lay his head on Jesus chest and listen intently to everything he would say; now nearly 100 years old, seeing this future kingdom that he’d heard so much about.

§  John starts chapter 4, beginning and ending the verse with the Greek phrase:

-      {met-ah' - tow'-tah} – Literally…   After these things

§  So, there’s an emphasis on “after these things”

§  But after what things? – in the beginning of this revelation (Ch1), God tells John to:

“Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.” (Rev 1:19)

§  So, John wasn’t only to write about what he had seen or about the things which are (the Seven Churches in Asia Minor), – He was to write about the things which will take place.                                                            

§  That’s really what’s taking place here in chapter 4; John’s attempting to paint a picture of what is to come – It is a Picture of Heavenly worship that will take place for all eternity.

§  This is foundational, because it describes for us the intent of what worship is to be! Note: teaching wrestling from the end point


Ø In these verses we’ll cover three (3) major points regarding worship

First: True Worship is predicated in Revelation – (I’m not talking about head knowledge – simply do we see God for who He is?)

Second: It’s to be Constant – (worship isn’t songs we sing on Sunday)

Third: It’s to be All Consuming – (worship is to be an expression of God being our everything)


Ø First Point (1):  True Worship is predicated in Revelation:

§  Here in Chapter 4, John sees a vision of things to come –

§  He describes this scene of God on his throne –

§  But in reality, there’s no ability to describe Him who cannot be described – In that way it is impossible

§  Never the less God tells him to write – so he begins to draw, as best he can, a word picture using color, stones, and light

v3 “And He who sat there (upon Throne) was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”

§  So, John sees God sitting upon his throne; and the only way he can explain is as colors (symbology of royalty – Red) and light emanating from God like through the prisms of stones:

-   But the idea of describing God as light wasn’t a new concept.

-   Think about Moses on the Mount Sinai; desiring to see God face to face (the dwelling - Shekinah) of God – But God tells him he can’t – why? because “he would perish”. – Gods presence, so pure and holy, man cannot co-exist

-   In fact, Paul says exactly that in I Tim 6 as he explains God as dwelling in unapproachable light. (I Tim 6:16)

o  The idea being God is perfect; He is so pure and holy; that no man can look upon or approach His presence.

-   But John wasn’t saying God was reflecting light; he’s saying God is the source from which all light; all things pure; all things perfect; and all things complete; come from.

James would declare - “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (Jas 1:17)

-   John is seeing God on the throne, righteous, pure, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – Do we see God in that way?

§  But, nearly 1000 years before John sees this revelation, Isaiah sees God in a temple, and he declares:

“I saw… the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”

-   Isaiah sees God upon a throne as John did

-   And he sees God elevated “high and lifted up” – not in terms of height, but in terms of the magnitude of who God is and the distinct separation from all of creation.

o  In fact, the term holy {Heb. kaw-doshe'} comes from that very thought – “There is God, and that which is not God.”  - complete and utter distinction

o  In fact, Isaiah was emphasizing this point; because in the next verse he says he saw something “above” the throne of God, in terms of height. He says: “Above it stood the seraphim’s”

o  Isaiah sees these 6-winged creatures (Seraphim’s) as flying above the throne

o  What was their response to seeing God? With two wings they would fly, with two wings to cover their feet, and with two wings to cover their eyes.


o  True worship requires seeing God, not only as light (perfect, pure, and holy in every way), no shadow of turning, as James would declare

o  But it requires seeing God, elevated and separated from all creation – and to this point; that these incredible beings, with reverence for the Lord, dare not set their eyes upon the One who is truly holy and so they would cry out: “…Holy, holy, holy,”

o  There is God, And that which is NOT God! – Does our worship reflect this revelation?


Second Point (2):  Worship is to be Constant:

v6 “… And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back…v8 goes on to tell us: “The four living creatures, each having six wings…”

Question: So, what are these creatures?

(Is 6) Seraphim – [Heb. - Burning Ones] “Relentless worshippers”- they have 6 wings but are definitely geared toward worship.

But there were also Cherubim – [Heb. - to Guard] “powerful protectors”- eyes all around and 4 wings, Gen (guard Eden), Ezekiel (protect throne), Exodus (protecting the Ark of the Covenant)

Answer: It seems these creatures here in Rev 4 are a combination of the two?  it seems in the future heaven all are worshippers?)

v8 Continues “…and they (in this context it’s these four creatures) …they do not rest day or night…”

§  The word rest consisting of two (2) Greek words {echō}+{anapausis}

o  {echō} – To Hold

o  {anapausis} – Intermission or Recreation

§  The Idea is that in the presence of God there is not a break from that place of worship – in other words Worship is life!

§  Unfortunately, in today’s world recreation takes the place of God

§  Here in Rev 4, John gives us a reference as to the constant nature worship was intended to be

Question: Is worship that for me and for you?


Third Point (3):  Worship is to be All Consuming:

Rev 4:9Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, v10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne…”,

§  “Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor” – something happens:

-   So, how often do the creatures give glory?  v8 “Day and Night”

-   So, as we’ve already established, this event is Continuous.

§  But what’s continuous? They worship Him that lives forever”

§  This is an important point – I think at times, we can lose something in the translation of the word and concept of Worship:

§  To illustrate this thought, think of the blind man Jesus healed in John 9:

Story: It is the Sabbath; no work was to be done, and Jesus encounters a man who was blind from birth.

John 9 uses the same word used here in Rev 4:

-   Greek {proskuneō (pros-koo-neh'-o) - προσκυνέω} - G4314 to prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore).


-   But, it’s the root of the word that should resonate with you and me. The root word means: to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.

Point:  The Idea is that Worship is All Consuming… and without regard to ourselves - Jesus being our-everything.

-      The healed man wasn’t worried about who saw him prostrate at the feet of Jesus!

-      In heaven, we’re not going to be looking around trying to see if anyone is looking at us raise our hands or fall to our knees.

John goes on in the next chapter and describes a continuation of the scene at the throne:

-      He sees a Lamb “as though it had been slain…”Rev 5:6

-      He sees the four living creatures elders fall before the Lamb

-      And then he sees in verse 11:

Rev 5:11 “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

v12 saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

v13  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, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"

v14 Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”

Closing Point: A glimpse of this is what gave the Disciples strength to die, as an act of worship, for the Lord – every one of them, except John, martyred for the Lord!

·     Peter: Crucified Upside-down (not feeling worthy to die as Jesus did)

·     Andrew: crucified (bound, not nailed, to a cross)

·     James (Son Of Zebedee): Beheaded.

·     Philip: Crucified

·     Bartholomew: Flayed alive and crucified

·     Thomas: Speared to death

·     Matthew: Stabbed to death

·     James (Son of Alphaeus): Was thrown off the southeast pinnacle of the Temple; surviving that he was beaten with clubs

·     Thaddeus (or Judas –not Iscariot): Stoned to death

·     Simon (the Zealot): Crucified

·     Paul: Beheaded in Rome

Question:  How could they endure such things?

Answer: because long before they were martyred for the Lord, as John would, they would see “Lamb who was slain”

Question – Do we worship:

o  With Understanding – (That He alone is God)

o  Continuously – (without Intermission or Recreation)

o  All Consuming – (because he is our everything)


Ø Closing Prayer


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