The Book of Revelation with commentary by Dr. Henry M. Morris and paintings by Ramona Lowe
The paintings are a work in progress and the finished pieces are highlighted in red on Page 2

Page 33

In Praise of Creation

Revelation 4:9.    And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever.

     The amazing scene before John’s eyes now begins to move to a new activity.  The glorious resurrection and rapture of the saints has been consummated, their sins have been purged and rewards given, and their elders have assumed the thrones prepared for them.  The four living ones now change their perpetual refrain of holiness to the Lord and take up a new theme, ascribing glory and honor to Him as well as holiness.  The term “honor” is a word meaning “value.”  He is all-worthy!

     But they also thank Him!  They are not among the redeemed ones, since they were never lost, so their doxology of thanksgiving must center on the fact of their creation, as is evident from verse 11, and their preservation through all the ages of satanic and human rebellion.

     It is noteworthy that the last three references in the Bible to thanksgiving all apply to this throne-room in heaven.  The first, as noted above, focused on God’s work of creation.  The second (Revelation 7:12), is primarily in relation to God’s work of salvation.  The last (Revelation 11:17), anticipates the great work of consummation.  Only the “elders” are participants in all three (Revelation 4:10; 7:11; 11-16).  Only the redeemed know the full meaning of thanksgiving.

Revelation 4:10.    The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, . . .

     When the four living ones give the signal, as it were, by their action of glorifying, honoring, and thanking the eternal One, then the twenty-four elders likewise join in the chorus of praise.  It is probable also that this action in turn is followed by the millions of redeemed men and women whom the elders represent, who also will fall down in adoration before the One on the throne.

     Before they can prostrate themselves before His throne, they must descend from their own kingly thrones.  Furthermore, the beautiful crowns with which they have been rewarded for faithful service as overcoming believers will somehow suddenly seem unseemly.  They will realize that even their faithfulness has been made possible by His faithfulness.  They have nothing which they were not given; they accomplished only what He willed and enabled.  All is of God.  Consequently their crowns are not really their own, and they must return them to Him.

     And then how wonderful it will be to accompany their Redeemer back to earth in triumph, observing Him leading them, viewing Him in His majesty, for “on his head were many crowns” (Revelation 19:12).  Though they have indeed been made kings and priests, and rewarded according to their works, the greatest joy of every redeemed saint will be simply to “enjoy him forever,” as the old creed puts it, and to fulfill His purpose in each life.

     “His servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3, 4).

Revelation 4:11.    Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

     Before God can be truly known as Redeemer, He must first be believed and acknowledged as Creator.  It is significant that this great doxology of creation is offered up by the twenty-four elders, no doubt accompanied by all the saints, as their first response after the resurrection and rewards at Christ’s judgment seat.  This in sharp contrast to the attitude of most living “evangelicals,” who consider the doctrine of creation to be of only incidental importance.  Many even compromise with atheism to the extent of trying to say that evolution was God’s method of creation.

     Not so the redeemed in glory!  To them all things “are” (that is, “have existence”) solely because of God’s creative will.  They “were created” (not “are being created,” as evolutionary theory must postulate).  The system known as “theistic evolution” is contrary to both science and Scripture and is dishonoring to God’s grace and power.

     The word “pleasure” is the Greek thelema, normally translated “will,” and this is its last occurrence in the Bible.  Its first occurrence in the New Testament is in the prayer which the Lord taught the disciples: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).  The final answer to that prayer is foreseen in Revelation, and this first occurrence of “will” looks forward to the consummation, just as the last occurrence looks back to the creation.  God’s will is eternal, with beginning and ending all of one to Him.

     This doxology also answers the question as to why God created all things.  It was simply God’s will to do so!  Since our very minds were created by Him, it is presumptuous to question His will in so doing.  “The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Proverbs 16:4).  “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7).  “For who hath known the mind of the Lord?” or who hath been his counselor?” (Romans 11:34).  “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?  Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? . . .  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory” (Romans 9:20-23).

     The evidence that God has created all things, when rightly and openly examined, is overwhelming.  That being the case, we can be sure that such an omnipotent God is also omniscient.  He is not capricious, and we can be absolutely confident that His will is good and right.  That is all the reason needed by us to explain and justify His creation.

     Therefore He alone is worthy to receive “the glory and the honor and the power” (the definite article is present in the Greek original).  Neither men nor angels can create anything, and certainly random matter cannot create or organize itself.  Only God can create and has created!  All that exists can find its meaning and explanation for existence only in the fact of special creation by the eternal, transcendent, personal Creator God. 

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