I’ve been away from writing for a while, so let’s jump into the Eternity series. Our last post on this topic was aimed at explaining that we are being prepared now for the tasks that will be given to us at the end of time and in eternity. I quoted from a book called, Destined for the Throne, and if you haven’t read this book, I would suggest you do. If nothing else, it will get you thinking about concepts that you cannot turn a blind eye to; you must take the time to study, discuss and consider what is delivered in this book.
The Book of Revelation gives a pretty startling picture of Heaven, the troubles that await the end of time here in Creation, and a glimpse into eternity. With just a quick glance through the pages of Revelation, I’ve found four roles that we can consider ourselves being prepared for in our currently daily lives that we will only later fulfill. Let’s take a look at them.
If you know me at all, by now you must realize that worship means a lot to me. Maybe that is because I have come to the understanding that worship is likely to be a major factor in our (the believer’s) eternal state. This comes from the obvious implications of Revelation 4 and 5. In these chapters we get a front row seat to happenings within Heaven’s Throne Room.
First we see what appears to be a current snapshot of the Throne and the King’s court:
Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 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. 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. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
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. 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. 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!”
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 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:
“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.”
(Revelation 4:2-11, NKJV)
Around the Throne are four living creatures, which are believed to symbolize the entirety of the created universe. And here we see that all of Creation speaks out, day and night in worship to God.
As the Creation cries out in its worship, there are twenty-four elders that respond. One of the characteristics of these elders is their white robes (verse 4), which scholars believe signifies these as representatives of the universal Church. These, like the four living creatures, worship the One upon the Throne.
It is said that those things instituted by God on earth are shadows of what truly exists in Heaven. For example, Revelation 15:5-8 describes a Temple in Heaven that many believe was depicted in the Tabernacle/Temple of the Old Testament.
Another example might be how David instituted a system of worship for the Tabernacle in Jerusalem whereby worship was maintained day and night.
Now these are the men whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after the ark came to rest. They were ministering with music before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of meeting…
(1 Chronicles 6:31, NKJV)
Then they took in the ark of God and put it inside the tent which David had put up for it… And he put some of the Levites before the ark of the Lord as servants, to keep the acts of the Lord in memory, and to give worship and praise to the Lord, the God of Israel…with corded instruments of music…with brass instruments sounding loudly…blowing horns all the time before the ark of the agreement of God.
(1 Chronicles 16:4-6, Cambridge)
Though Scripture doesn’t say that God told David to create this system, it is possible that He inspired David, himself a worshiper, to mirror the continual worship in place around God’s heavenly throne.
As believers, we have the opportunity, in our current situations and circumstances, both individually and corporately, to learn how to worship God.