Worship in Revelation (8)

One of the great frustrations of this life is that even when we are granted a glimpse of the glory of God, our capacities for pleasure are so small that we groan at the incongruity between the revelation of heaven and the response of our heart. Therefore the great hope of all the holiest people is not only that they might see the glory of God, but that they might somehow be given a new strength to savor it with infinite satisfaction.

—John Piper, The Pleasures of God, 311


Worship in Revelation (7)

Christian worship takes place, as in Revelation, both in heaven and on earth. We worship in the Spirit, and as we do so we are taking our place amongst the angels and archangels and all the company of heaven. At this point I must pay tribute to John Calvin’s eucharistic theology, which like that of the eastern orthodox churches insists that the real action is taking place in heaven and that we, so far from bringing that magically down to earth, are instead caught up to heaven. The Sursum Corda, “lift up your hearts,” is the sign of what is really going on. Heaven is not a long way away. It is where Jesus and the Spirit are, revealing the Father and drawing us into worship, love, and obedience.

—N. T. Wright, “Freedom and Framework, Spirit and Truth: Recovering Biblical Worship,” 10

Worship in Revelation (5)

[Sorry for the hiatus—was overseas with limited Internet access]

The distinction between Christ and the angels which John establishes in chapter 5 with regard to the work of establishing God’s reign is therefore strictly parallel to the distinction we have observed John using with regard to the giving of revelation. Just as the angels are only fellow-servants with the Christian prophets in the communication of revelation and may not be worshipped (19:10; 22:8-9), so the angels who implement the divine purpose in history are only fellow-servants with the prophets and martyrs who bear the witness of Jesus in the world. In both cases, however, Christ, although He receives the revelation from God (1:1) and the scroll from God (5:7), is not classed with the servants who may not be worshipped but with God to whom worship is due.

—Richard Bauckham, “The Worship of Jesus in Apocalyptic Christianity,” New Testament Studies, vol. 27

Worship in Revelation (3)

Against those who have argued that John has made the worship of heaven in some way a reflection of what was going on in the churches of Asia in the first century, it is more reasonable to suggest that the reverse is true. John wrote to encourage his readers to reflect the pattern of the heavenly assembly in their life on earth, not simply when they gathered but when they were faced with any new sign of the dragon’s power or with any manifestations of God’s wrath. John is not simply concerned that the churches sing the same songs as the heavenly assembly but that they reflect the same confidence in God. 

—David Peterson, “Worship in the Revelation to John,” The Reformed Theological Review 47:3 (Sept-Dec’88), 77.