Monday, 2 November 2020
“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 4:11
The words here are those uttered by the twenty-four elders noted in the previous verse. When the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the One on the throne, the elders fall down before Him in worship, cast their crowns before the throne, and utter these words, beginning with, “You are worthy, O Lord.”
Here, some manuscripts say, “our Lord and our God,” instead of “O Lord.” Others say, “the Holy One.” Despite the variations, the attention is focused on the One on the throne. This is Christ Jesus – fully God and fully Man. He is worthy because He is God. As such, it is right and proper that He “receive glory and honor and power.”
It is true that there are heretics who deny the deity of Christ, and thus deny that He is the one being referred to. However, the contents of this verse, and those of verses ahead in Chapter 5, will refute that notion.
First, the words here change from those of verse 4:9, which said, “glory and honor and thanks.” Instead, “thanks” is changed to “power.” God has all power. And yet, here it is said that the one on the throne receives power. That is reflective of the words of Matthew 28:18, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
With authority comes the power to exercise that authority. Likewise, Paul says in Ephesians 1 –
“which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Ephesians 1:20, 21
The idea here is that the humanity of Christ is exalted above all things in the creation that He in His deity created. He never stopped being God, and yet in the incarnation, He united with creation in order to redeem. That will be seen in Chapter 5. For now, the focus is on the creative aspect of God in Christ. As it next says, “For You created all things.”
The New Testament evidence of Christ the Creator is overwhelming. But two citations are enough –
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:1-3
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:15, 16
Understanding that God in Christ is the Creator, the elders next proclaim, “And by Your will they exist and were created.” Here, the creation is said to “exist.” The verb is in the imperfect tense. It is a way of saying that a state of existence (or an action) was still going on in the past. As Cambridge translates and explains it, “Read they were: not exactly ‘they came into being,’ but ‘they had their being.’”
In the fact that these things came into existence by Him, and because they still exist now, it indicates that not only were they created, but they continue to be sustained by Him. In other words, there is implied in the doxology the thought of continuance. That is reflected in what is said of Christ Jesus in these verses –
“And *he* is before all, and all things subsist together by him.” Colossians 1:17 (Darby)
“who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Hebrews 1:3
It is God in Christ Jesus that accomplished the creative effort, and it is He who continues to sustain the creation now and forever. As the Creator, He is before all things, and therefore all things owe Him the acknowledgment of this. We are wholly dependent on His will, and to Him alone is praise and honor and glory and power to be ascribed.
Life application: As noted above, this verse forms the first doxology of praise from the twenty-four elders, and it encompasses the concept of creation. In the next chapter, there will be a doxology referring to redemption.
These same concepts form the reason for the fourth of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 and then in Deuteronomy 5. Further, they are given in the same order. Thus, these doxologies are tying the Lord (Jesus) of Revelation in with the Lord (Yehovah) of the Old Testament. He is the Creator, and He is the Redeemer.
Reviewing those verses will show us this –
“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:11
“And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.” Deuteronomy 5:15
Jesus is the One who was there at the beginning – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). If He created these things, then He was there before they came to exist. He created what is from what was not (creation ex nihilo) and therefore He was before they came to be. Everything was in His mind and then He spoke it all into existence. Because of this, everything belongs to Him and the purpose of His act of creation is to bring Himself glory.
And not only did He create all things, but He is currently and continuously sustaining all things. Man doesn’t need the Bible to understand the necessity of a Creator and a Sustainer. These concepts can be thought through, understood, and supported by reason and intellect alone.
Once these things are grasped, then all mankind needs to do is to search out where this infinite Mind has revealed Himself. There is only one text that accurately defines what we can know about this glorious Creator – the Holy Bible. Reason alone excludes all other religions and religious texts on earth and confirms the God of the Bible as the One true God. Jesus Christ is the full, complete, and only proper revelation of this Creator. He is the Lord God Almighty… He is JESUS.
Oh God! To plumb the depth and riches of Your word, the Holy Bible, is something that we will be able to do forever. There is no end to the wisdom and beauty of what You have given us in its pages. You are worthy, O God, to receive glory, and honor, and praise, and power. Amen!