Prophecy – Part 54, Vision Two cont’d, Revelation 4:5-11

As we ended our last study we were examining the fact that all the world is to praise God for His Holiness.  Today we want to begin with the fact that all the world is to praise God for His sovereignty and omnipotence.

In our previous study, we had reviewed three reasons why believers are to live holy lives.

  1. God is holy (I Peter 1:15-16).
  2. God has called all believers to live holy lives.
  3. God does not want His people corruptible and dying with the world.  God wants His people living holy lives and living with Him eternally.

It is an interesting fact of life, when we get the opportunity to meet an important leader or celebrity, most of us get excited and spend a good bit of time and energy getting prepared for that visit.  Perhaps, you can see yourself as having done this very thing:

  • Many will try on different clothes before finally selecting what they will wear in that invitation.
  • Others carefully rehearse what they will say.
  • Some will actually stand in front of a mirror to practice mannerisms, gestures, and smiles.
  • We do these things because we want to be at our very best when meeting someone who is considered important.  Let me suggest that there is no one more important to mankind than God Himself, that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today we want to continue to enlarge our thinking about God. No doubt when you read Revelation 4:1-11 you see God’s Sovereignty and Omnipotence and you want to worship and praise Him for including you in His family.

All the world is to praise God for His sovereignty and omnipotence.

The Scriptures teach us that God, as the Owner of the entire universe, heaven and hell, exercises sovereign, absolute rule over the universe to do what He wants done.  However, the lost do not want to recognize God’s rule and that is understandable.  However, it is very difficult to understand those who claim to be Christians, who also reject God’s sovereignty in their lives and their responsibility to be in submission to His will.

Let’s lay aside both groups and their false belief.  Let’s look at what the Scripture has to actually say about God’s Sovereign rule “over” His universe and all that is in it.

The Scriptures teach that God, as its Owner, exercises sovereign, absolute rule over the universe, to do what He wills:

“The earth is the LORD’S and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1, KJV).

Would not you agree that when we seek to enter the LORD’S presence, we should first reflect on His incomparable supremacy.  His unique majesty IS DISPLAYED FOR US DAILY IN THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH.

FACT:  By observing God’s glorious creation we see what a distinct privilege it is to enter into His presence…. however, do you see it that way?

In Psalm 50:1-6 we hear God’s summons to the whole earth: Prepare for the great judgment to come.

NOTE:  It is in the same manner that a court official announces the entrance of the judge.  Asaph trumpets the coming of God to judge His people throughout the earth.  From the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof is a poetic expression for the whole earth.

FACT:  God used Asaph to deliver a message for all of us:

  • Hear God’s summons to the whole world: Prepare for the great judgment to come (Psalm 50:1-6).
  • Hear God’s warning against empty, ritualistic worship (50:7-15).
  • Hear God’s warning against wicked and hypocritical behavior (50:16-21).
  • Hear God’s appeal to all who forget Him (50:22-23).

Please don’t miss the importance of God’s names that He Uses of  Himself.

  • Mighty God (El Elohim) – a name that places a double emphasis on God’s power and authority.  El means strong, mighty, and powerful; ELOHIM is the all-powerful God.
  • LORD (Yahweh, Jehovah) – God’s personal covenant name through which He reveals Himself and relates to His people.

“If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 50:12; emphasis added,  KJV). 

NOTE:  Also, God exercises absolute rule over His universe to do what He wills and He has a warning in Psalm 50:1-4.

Asaph’s announcement is a warning from GOD HIMSELF. 

He alerts us that a day is coming:

  • When each of us MUST stand before Him (Psalm 50:1; II Corinthians 5:10).  He will appear from Zion.
  • The place where His presence was once manifested, in the blazing light of perfection and beauty (Psalm 50:2; Psalm 48:1; Lamentations 2:15).
  • The perfect beauty of the earthly Zion, Jerusalem, foreshadows the glory of the heavenly Zion where God sits on His holy throne (Hebrews 8:1-5; 9:23-24; 12:22).  From there He will shine forth in the glorious radiance of His uncompromised holiness.
  • When God comes forth to judge His people, His presence will not be calm and quiet (Psalm 50:3). Asaph used two fearful images to describe God’s appearance in judgment: “a consuming fire and a raging storm” (Psalm 50:3; Exodus 24:17; Hebrews 12:29).
  • Both heavenly and earthly beings will be summoned to witness His judgment (Psalm 50:4).

Notice His purpose to gather and judge His people — all who made a covenant (promise) with Him (Psalm 50:5).

  • Under the old covenant, this was the Jewish people (Exodus 24:1-8).
  • Under the New Covenant, it is all who genuinely repent and receive Jesus Christ as Savior by faith (Hebrews 8:13-9:15).
  • All who know the LORD will be gathered and judged by Him.  The order to gather God’s people is most likely given to angels, in accordance with the words of Jesus (Matthew 24:31).

DOES GOD HAVE THE RIGHT TO BRING ABOUT THIS JUDGMENT OF THE SAVED AND LOST?  THE ANSWER OF COURSE IS YES!

“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for ALL that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head ABOVE ALL.  Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over ALL; and in thine hand is power and might; and in THINE HAND is to make great, and to give strength unto all” (I Chronicles 29:11-12, emphasis added, KJV).                                                                                                         

“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and His kingdoms ruleth over ALL” (Psalm 103:19, emphasis added, “KJV).

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh ALL THINGS after the counsel of his OWN WILL.  (Ephesians 1:11; emphasis added, KJV). 

“The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1, KJV).

NOTESovereignty (the quality of being supreme):  Consider some things:

  1. Function – This quality gives God the highest position and authority. God is supreme in position in the universe.  He is above all persons, things, and places (Deuteronomy 10:14; Isaiah 40:15-17).
  2. He is supreme in purpose. He will bring to pass ALL that He has decided to do (Isaiah 14:24, 27; Ephesians 1:11).
  3. It is our duty to recognize God’s sovereignty over our lives and to submit daily to His will.

NOTE:  Psalm 24 is about preparing for an audience with the most magnificent and memorable person of all times the LORD, the King of glory.  While the setting for this psalm is not definitely known, most commentators agree that David composed it for a specific event: the entrance of the ARK of the covenant arriving into Jerusalem (2 Samuel 2:6; I Chronicles 13-16).

The Ark of the covenant represented God’s literal presence among His people.  According to Hebrews 9:4, this wooden box, overlaid with pure gold, held the tables of the law (Exodus 25:16; 34:29), the golden manna pot (Exodus 16:33), and Aaron’s rod that budded, (Numbers 17:8-11).  It was covered by a golden lid that God called the MERCY SEAT (Exodus 25:17-21).

From the mercy seat, the LORD promised to meet with His people and commune with them (Exodus 25:22).  There the LORD accepted Israel’s sacrifices and atoned for their sins (Exodus 30:7-10; Leviticus 16).

NOTE:  After being captured and later returned by the Philistines, the Ark had rested in the house of Abinadab in Kirjath-Jearim for over twenty years, (1 Samuel 7:1-2).  Apparently, King Saul, David’s predecessor, had been unconcerned about restoring it to its rightful place of prominence.  His failure      was to recognize the crucial importance of God’s presence in his life, and in the midst of his people.

NOTE:  David had a different heart.  Being a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).  David had longed to bring the Ark to Jerusalem.  He fully understood the importance of the LORD’S presence among His people.  When that day finally arrived, it was a day of great celebration.  Scripture records that the people shouted and sounded trumpets. “And David danced before the LORD with all his might” (2 Samuel 6:14-15).

NOTE:  The arrival of God’s presence in Jerusalem, however, called for more than just CELEBRATION.  It called for SANCTIFICATION.  If we enter the LORD’S presence, we MUST BE HOLY.  We must seek Him diligently and set ourselves APART to Him (Hebrews 11:6).  This is the fundamental message of PSALM 24.  David wrote to instruct the Israelites, and us, about entering into the glory of God’s presence.

Psalm 24 is a hymn filled with practical application:

  • To the congregation of Israelites who were receiving the dwelling of God’s presence among them.
  • To the congregations of believers who seek the LORD’S presence.
  • To individual believers whose BODIES are the dwelling place of God’s Holy Spirit.

NOTE:  Psalm 24 is also filled with PROPHETIC IMPLICATIONS speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ:

  1. It completes the trilogy (Psalm 22-24) about Christ the Shepherd.
  2. It foretells of Christ’s return to earth to establish His Kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital (Psalm 24:7-10). (8)
  3. Christ is the ONLY ONE who perfectly fulfills its conditions: ONLY He is completely clean and pure (Psalm 24:4; I Peter 2:22).

NOTE:  Notice how the glory of the LORD is emphasized.   God’s glory is seen in His POWER, which is revealed IN CREATION (Psalm 24:1-2).  Also, note how His PURITY is reflected in verses 3-4.  The believer can experience this indescribable glory through WORSHIP.  David reveals to us the essential REQUIREMENTS for entering into the glorious presence of   God.  This is, HOW TO ENTER AND REVERE THE LORD’S PRESENCE. 24:1-10:

  • Acknowledge the LORD (Psalm 24:1-2).
  • Seek to enter and stand in God’s holy presence (24:3-6).
  • Welcome the conquering king (24:7-10).

FACT:  When we seek to enter the LORD’s presence, we should FIRST: 

  • Reflect on His incomparable supremacy.
  • Acknowledge His unique majesty as displayed for us every single day in the heavens and the uniqueness of the earth, as well as the uniqueness of the universe.
  • Observe God’s glorious creation, and see what a distinct privilege it is to enter into His glorious presence in prayer, with thanksgiving.

It is unfortunate that many people tend to view the heavens as God’s domain and the earth as our domain.  David began this Psalm with a simple statement of FACT:  THE EARTH BELONGS TO THE LORD (Psalm 24:1).  Perhaps you can accept the fact that the earth AND the heavens belong to GOD and not us, after reading David’s introduction!  While many of us possess property deeds to sections of the earth, we cannot truly claim it as our own.  We are tenants in this world, not owners.  God owns it, and He LENDS it to us.  We are merely stewards (managers) OF His property, His world.  The Lord has granted the earth’s provisions and fruitfulness to sustain us.

Psalm 24 helps us to understand that God holds the title to the earth and everything in it.  This is what is meant by the FULLNESS THEREOF.  All that fills the earth, everything contained in it, also belongs to Him.

This is a principle of truth that we should get hold of and understand.   We tend to think of possessions as ours.  After all, we make them, we work for them, we buy them.  But Psalm 24 should make us pause and think about what God is saying and how it should change our belief system.  Psalm 24 clearly states that God owns it all, not us!  We obtain these things only one way.  They are obtained through the abilities and power that He gives us (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

With this we understand that all that we have to work with belonged to Him before He lent it to us.  He has made available His things we need to work for Him and to use for His glory and pleasure (Colossians 1:16-17; Revelation 4:11).

No doubt, there are untold millions of human beings across the earth that consider themselves to be the owners and governors of their own lives.  It is true that we hold a measure of control over our lives, but for a purpose.  Our decisions largely determine our destinies (I John 2:15-16).

We make choices every day that affect our finances and standing in the community in addition to our health, relationships, and happiness.  But, in the end, we must ANSWER TO GOD—give an account to Him — for our lives; our words, actions, thoughts, and motives.

NOTE:  Regardless how self-sufficient we may think we are, EVERYONE of us must one day stand before God in His judgment of our time spent here on earth (Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:14).

FACT:  We must remember that God has a right to claim the earth and everything in it.  Also, everything we have to work with originally belonged to Him AND IT STILL DOES.  We have it only because He has lent it to us to bring glory, honor and pleasure to Him.

Further, we must also remember that God spoke the earth into existence out of nothing (Genesis 1-2).  And then, from these basic materials, He crafted man and woman as well as the animal population (Genesis 2:7, 18-22).

FACT:   People create nothing; we only invent things from that which God has already created.  All our material resources begin with something that God already had created, something that belonged exclusively to Him.  Further, it is He who gave us all of the ability and knowledge that we have to acquire [invent] the things we need to exist.  Therefore, in the end, all that we produce is rightly His.                                  

APPLICATION:

First, consider the great applications of these truths to the subject of the quoted Psalms, that is, entering into the presence of the Holy, Sovereign and omnipotent God of the Universe.

We were CREATED FOR GOD, for His pleasure and for the purpose of worshiping Him (Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).  Let’s consider this again:

  • God’s true purpose for making us was FOR HIMSELF.
  • We were made to have a relationship with Him.
  • We were made to know Him.
  • We were made to know His majestic presence and glory.
  • We were made to understand His eternal purpose, which is to point us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness towards us (Ephesians 2:7).
  • Through His Creation, God has revealed Himself to us.
  • His existence, unlimited power, and authority over us are understood through observing His marvelous works.
  • We know that there is a God who is real and that we are accountable to Him because of His creation (Romans 1:20).

If you have never accepted Christ as your Personal Savior, please understand that God loves you and wishes you no harm.

However, you will bring upon yourself God’s wrath if you reject His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead for you.  If you accept Christ as your eternal Savior, God will bless you richly because you are counted clothed in the righteousness of His Son.  Please read the following.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; Romans 5:8; Romans 10:9-10, 13; John   1:12; John 3:16,17; John 5:24; John 10:27-30; John 21:31

Having read the above seek God in prayer:

  • Thank Him for sending His Son in order that you might have His free gift of eternal life.
  • Thank Him for forgiving you of sin and bringing you into His family.
  • Thank Him for His perfect life, His death on the Cross; His burial and His resurrection to life, His presence in heaven upon whom you may focus.
  • Thank Him for the opportunity to live the life of His disciple in accordance with His Holy Word. 

“If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: For the world is mine, and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 50:12; KJV).                  

God owns all, God is Sovereign, above all and has given to those who trust His Son as Savior the privilege as heirs with His Son.

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