Why is Jesus called the “Word of God?”

Summary of the article

God exists beyond the time, space, and matter of the creation. For that reason, He cannot be seen and always interacts with the creation through Jesus Christ. Through Christ, God created all things, redeems sinners, resurrect believers, judge the world, and fulfills His promises. Through Christ, God reveals Himself, speaks to His creation, and rules the universe.

The WordThrough Christ, God provides everything that the creation needs and, through Christ, we draw near to God, and the adoration and thanksgiving of the creation flow back to God. Jesus Christ is “the Word of God” because He alone is the communication between God and His creation.

– END OF SUMMARY –

 

Introduction

Jesus Christ is not just “the Word:” He is “the Word of God.”

God exists beyond the time, space, and matter of creation. For that reason, He cannot be seen. Most certainly, He is able to cause an appearance of Him to be visible to His creatures, but it remains only an appearance. God is omnipresent and can never be limited to one place in His universe. For example:

Jesus Christ “is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15).

“The King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God” (1 Tim 1:17);

No one has seen God at any time” (1 John 4:12)

“The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Tim 6:15-16);

Therefore, in all respects, God interacts with His creation ONLY through His only begotten Son:

God created all things through Jesus Christ:

“All things came into being through Him
(John 1:2-3; cf. 1:10)

“There is but one God, the Father,
from whom are all things
and we exist for Him;
and one Lord, Jesus Christ,
by whom are all things,
and we exist through Him” (1 Cor 8:6).

“By (Gr. en = in) Him all things were created,
both in (Gr. en = in) the heavens and on earth …
all things have been created through Him” (Col 1:16).

“God … in these last days has spoken to us in His Son …
through whom also He made the world
(Heb 1:1-2; cf. 2:10).

God saves through Jesus Christ:

“God did … send the Son into the world … that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16)

He (Jesus) is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).

“God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus” (Acts 13:23).

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
being justified as a gift by
His grace through … Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:23-24).

“What the Law could not do … God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin” (Rom 8:3).

“God … gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:57).

“God … reconciled us to Himself through Christ” (2 Cor 5:18).

“The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ …
has blessed us with every spiritual blessing … in Christ,
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world … He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:3-5).

“It was the Father’s good pleasure
through Him to reconcile all things to Himself”
(Col 1:19-20).

“God has … destined us … for obtaining salvation
through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9).

“The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ …
has caused us to be born again …
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3).

God has sent His only begotten Son into the world
so that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).

God did miracles through Jesus Christ:

Jesus walks on water“Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst” (Acts 2:22).

God resurrect believers through Jesus Christ:

“An hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself” (John 5:25-26).

God will judge through Jesus Christ:

“God … will judge the world … through a Man whom He has appointed” (Acts 17:30-31).

He gave Him authority to execute judgment,
because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:27).

“God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus” (Rom 2:16).

We glorify God through Jesus Christ:

“I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Rom 1:8).

“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 7:25).

“To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ,
be the glory forever” (Rom 16:27).

“Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col 3:17).

“In all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11).

“To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory” (Jude 1:25).

Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:11).

God fulfills His promises through Jesus Christ:

“For as many as are the promises of God,
in Him (the Son of God, Christ Jesus) they are yes”
(2 Cor 1:19-20).

Through Christ, we trust God:

“Such confidence we have through Christ toward God” (2 Cor 3:4).

God sends the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ:

“The Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly
through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:4-6).

Having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear” (Acts 2:33).

We draw near to God through Christ:

“Jesus … is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him” (Heb 7:24-25).

“You also … are being built up … to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

God is revealed through Jesus Christ:

“He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

“He is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15).

“He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Heb 1:3).

God speaks through Jesus Christ:

“I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak” (John 12:49).

“God … in these last days has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb 1:2).

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place” (Rev 1:1).

God rules the universe through Jesus Christ:

“The God of our Lord Jesus Christ … raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (Eph 1:17-21).

God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW” (Phil 2:9-10).

Conclusion

God always interacts with the creation through Jesus Christ. Through Christ, God provides everything that the creation needs and, through Christ, the adoration and thanksgiving of the creation flow back to God. This is the true circle of life. Jesus Christ is “the Word of God” because He alone is the communication between God and His creation:

There is one God,
and one mediator also between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus
” (1 Tim 2:5).

Is Jesus God?

There are many texts that identify “God” as our Savior (e.g., 1 Tim 2:3; 4:10; Titus 1:3). But there are also many texts that identify Jesus Christ as Savior (e.g., Eph 5:23; Phil 3:20; 2 Tim 1:20). This is one argument that Trinitarians use to say that Jesus is God. But when you look at verses that differentiate between the roles of God and of Jesus Christ in salvation, it is clear that Jesus Christ is the Means through which God saves as shown by many texts quoted above.

This same principle applies to creation. The Bible identifies both the Father and the Son as Creators but if one considers texts that differentiate between the roles of God and of Jesus Christ in creation, it is clear that Jesus Christ is the Means through whom God creates.

In other words, the Son is always presented as subordinate to the Father. In fact, while the Trinity doctrine teaches that Jesus is God and that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one single Being, the verses quoted above maintain a clear distinction between God and Jesus Christ. This the New Testament always does. See, Head of Christ.

I wonder why people are able to read the New Testament and come to a different conclusion. One reason is that the church has been brainwashed. Another is the extreme hostility that Christians experience when they reject the Trinity doctrine. They are often regarded as condemned. But I think another reason is simply that people are unable to conceptualize a being that is not God but is as exalted and as divine Jesus Christ is described. In this respect, I think that it is important that people better understand the Logos-Christology which the church adopted during the first 300 years of its existence, while it still was persecuted by the Roman Empire. I think that explains the evidence in the Bible of the relationship between God and His Son better than what the Trinity doctrine does. For a discussion of the Logos-Christology, see Hanson or The Real Issue

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Worship sounds and songs in God’s throne room (Revelation 4 & 5)

Summary

Revelation 4:8 continued

and day and night they do not cease to say,
“HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD,
THE ALMIGHTY,
WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.”

So far, Revelation 4 described God’s throne room visually. From this verse onwards, Revelation 4 describes the sounds of worship in God’s presence.

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY – God is holy because He is the Uncreated Source of all things. All else exists because He exists.

Day and night – While the four living creatures praise God “day and night,” Satan accuses God’s people “day and night” before God (Rev. 12:9); effectively accusing God of unfair judgment. Christ’s victorious death (Rev 12:5; cf. 5:5) made an end to Satan’s accusations (12:8) but Revelation 4 describes the time before Christ died. Consequently, the four living creatures, by praising God “day and night,” are opposing Satan’s “day and night” accusations.

THE ALMIGHTY – This phrase appears 9 times in Revelation and only once in the New Testament outside Revelation. The Bible never refers to Jesus as “the Almighty” but distinguishes Him with “the Almighty“ (21:22; cf. 19:15). For a discussion, see The Almighty. 

WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND IS TO COME – This may be related to the “I AM“-title in Exodus 3:14 and another way of saying that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). In Revelation, only the Father:

      • Is called God (cf. 1:2);
      • Is the Almighty,
      • Sits on the throne,
      • Lives forever (5:9),
      • Willed all things to exist (4:11) and
      • Was and is and is to come (cf. 1:4-5).

Revelation 4:9

And when the living creatures give
glory and honor and thanks
to Him who sits on the throne,
to Him who lives forever and ever

When – This word implies repetitive action and can also be translated as “whenever.” It confirms that this fourth chapter does not describe one specific event, but the general condition in God’s presence.

Him who sits on the throneThis is the “One sitting on the throne” in verse 2, namely God.

Him who lives forever and ever – Jesus is “alive forevermore” (1:18), but only the Father is “Him who lives forever” (4:9, 10; 15:7). The Father “alone possesses immortality” (1 Tim. 6:16). As the only begotten Son of God, Jesus derived His eternal nature from the Father. The Father is the Unbegotten Source of all things. See, God is the Head of Christ.

Revelation 4:10

the twenty-four elders will fall down
before Him who sits on the throne,
and will worship Him who lives forever and ever,
and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Fall down … worship – This verse translates the two key words for worship in Revelation as “fall down” and “worship.” Both words mean to prostrate oneself in obeisance toward a god or an exalted person like a king.

Cast their crowns before the throne – In this way, the twenty-four elders acknowledge that they owe their victory completely to Him.

Revelation 4:11

“Worthy are You,
our Lord and our God,
to receive glory and honor and power;
for You created all things,
and because of Your will they existed,
and were created.”

Lord (Greek: kurios) – This means owner, master, or husband. It is an expression of respect, similar to “sir” in English. The New Testament uses it for God (e.g., Matt 5:33), Jesus Christ (e.g., Matt 20:31) and the Roman emperor (Acts 25:26).

God – This translates the Greek word theos which the Greeks used for their many gods. The New Testament uses theos for:

    • The God of Israel (Gal 4:8),
    • The Father who sent Jesus (John 17:3),
    • Jesus (John 1:1),
    • Satan (2 Cor 4:4) and
    • The gods of the nations (1 Cor 8:5).

The title theos, therefore, may also be translated as “god.”

The ancients did not distinguish between lower- and upper-case characters. The word “God,” with a capital G, is a more modern invention that functions as a proper name for one specific Being, namely the Almighty. To retain the original meaning, it might have been more appropriate to translate 4:11 as “our lord and our god.”

For You created all things – That is why God is worthy to receive our “glory and honor and power.

Because of Your will they existed – Behind the act of creation lies His “will.” Were it not for the will of God, the universe would not exist. 

FIVE SONGS

There are five songs of praise in Revelation 4 and 5:

    • The first two are sung to the One sitting on the throne, “for You created all things” (Rev 4:11).
    • The third and fourth hymns are sung in praise to the Lamb, “for You … purchased for God with Your blood men” (Rev 5:9-10).
    • But this final hymn in 5:13, as the climax of the series, is sung to both and by every created being.

Worship both the Father and the Son

In Rev 5:13, all creation bows down to praise both “Him who sits on the throne” and Jesus. Some use these verses as evidence that Jesus Christ is equal to His Father. However:

    • The Father is “Him who sits on the throne” and, therefore, the ultimate Ruler.
    • As discussed above under 4:8, in Revelation, only the Father is Almighty, has essential immortality and has willed all things to exist (4:11).
    • Philippians 2:6-11 also explains what happens after Jesus’ ascension to heaven and, therefore, explains this scene in Revelation 5. That passage indicates that Jesus is worshiped:
      • Because “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (v9) and
      • To the glory of God the Father” (v11).
        For a discussion, see the article on Philippians 2.

God is the Creator, but He created all things through His Son, gave all authority to His Son and wish that “all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father.” But when God’s end-time people are called to “Fear God, and … worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (Rev. 14:7), it is a call to worship the Father.

– END OF SUMMARY – 

PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE

A previous article discussed the first seven verses of Revelation 4, which give a visual description of heaven. The current article discusses the sounds and the songs of worship in God’s presence, as we find in the remainder of that chapter and in Revelation 5; after Jesus appears in the throne room.

Revelation 4:8

and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.

Day and night” means continual or ongoing.

To continually sing “holy, holy, holy” may seem boring, but the four living creatures have been created with the ability to understand something about God’s immeasurable holiness. Therefore, their intense emotions explode into words of exaltation: holy, holy, holy.

To be holy means to be separate:

      • Things are holy when consecrated to God.
      • People are holy when God assigns specific tasks to them.
      • God is holy because He is distinct from all creation. He is the Uncreated Source of all things. He is that which exists. All else exists because He exists. He created all things, and because of His will, they exist (4:11).

OPPOSING SATAN’S ACCUSATIONS

While the four living creatures praise God “day and night,” Satan accuses God’s people “day and night” (Rev. 12:9). By accusing the people God has chosen for eternal life, Satan, by implication, accuses God of unfair judgment (cf. Job 1 and 2).

Christ’s victory as a human being over sin and evil (Rev 12:5) refuted Satan’s accusations and made an end to Satan’s “day and night” accusations (Rev 12:8). But Revelation 4 describes the time before Christ died on the Cross:

Revelation 5:1-4 describes the time when there was a sealed book in heaven (Rev 5:1), causing much sorrow (5:4).

But then, in verse 5, Jesus appears as a slain lamb (pointing to His death), turning the sorrow into joy.

Revelation 5:1-4, and therefore the entire Revelation 4, describes the time before Christ’s victory when Satan was still accusing God’s people.

Consequently, the four living creatures, by praising God also “day and night,” were opposing Satan’s “day and night” accusations against God.

This is the reason for the great focus on the throne of God in Revelation 4. The throne represents the rule and authority of God, but that authority was being challenged by Satan.

GOD COULD NOT RESOLVE THE DISPUTE.

The One sitting on the throne created all things (4:11), but not even He is able to resolve the dispute by Himself because it is His judgments that are being questioned (See Book of Life.)

God creates free, intelligent beings because He desires a universe where love would rule and because love cannot be forced. True love is only possible where there is freedom. And freedom means that love can be rejected and creatures may rebel against God.

By creating intelligent beings with free will, God limited His own freedom. He sacrificed a great deal of control over the course of events in the universe. God is not a micro-manager who forces every detail into a pre-conceived mold. To protect their freedom, God’s intelligent beings must decide for themselves whether Satan’s accusations are true. The controversy can only be resolved on the basis of evidence.

THE ALMIGHTY

Verse 8 describes God as “the Almighty.” This phrase appears 9 times in Revelation and only once in the New Testament outside Revelation. The Bible never refers to Jesus as “the Almighty.” On the contrary, Jesus is contrasted with “the Almighty,“ for example:

The Lord God the Almighty
and the Lamb are its temple
” (21:22; cf. 19:15).

For a discussion, see Is Jesus the Almighty? Or Does the book of Revelation present Jesus as God?

WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME

Verse 8 also applies this title to God. This three-fold description of God occurs four times in Revelation (1:4, 8; 4:8; 11:17). However, in Revelation 11:17 the “is to come”-part is omitted because He has already come (11:15).

Who is and who was and who is to come” may be another way of saying God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). It may also be related to God’s “I AM“-title in Exodus 3:14.

All four uses of this phrase in Revelation apply only to God the Father. Titles such as “the first and the last,” “the beginning and the end,” “the Alpha and the Omega,” are possibly applied to Christ in 22:12-13 and mean that the Son is eternal. Nevertheless, the Father and Son are distinguished in the book of Revelation, and only the Father:

      • Is called God (cf. 1:2);
      • Is Almighty,
      • Sits on the throne,
      • Lives forever (e.g. 5:9),
      • Is the One by whose will we all exist (4:11) and
      • Was and is and is to come.

See the articles referenced above for further discussion.

Revelation 4:9

And when the living creatures give
glory and honor and thanks
to Him who sits on the throne,
to Him who lives forever and ever

The word “when” implies repetitive action and can also be translated as “whenever.” Similar to this entire fourth chapter, this verse does not describe one specific event, but the general condition in God’s presence.

Glory, literally, is the brightness or radiance that surrounds a divine figure. Here it is used in an extended sense of how wonderful God is.

Honor, literally, is an expression of reverence or respect toward another.

To give thanks is the foundation of true worship. Those who are mindful of all that God has done for them will express themselves with gratitude and this gratitude keeps them focused on God’s character and actions.

GOD IS WORSHIPED
BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS DONE.

Worship in the Bible is all about God and His mighty acts on our behalf, it is not about us, our feelings, or our duties. Worship is not a recital of what we need to do, it is a recital of what God HAS DONE:

    • In 4:11, God is worthy to “receive glory and honor and power” “because” (NIV) He created all things.
    • In Rev. 5:13, both “Him who sits on the throne, and … the Lamb” receive honor “because” (NIV) the Lamb was slain (5:9).
    • In Rev. 11:17, God is given thanks “because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.”

Worship throughout the Bible is talking about, singing about, repeating the acts that God has done (Deut. 26:1-11; Ps. 66:3-6; 78:5-15; 111:4).

Understanding and practicing this truth will unleash God’s power in a local church. If worship often seems powerless, it is because it is rarely centered in God. In Bible times, when people rehearsed what God had done for them in the past, the power of God’s original act was unleashed in the worshiper’s present (2 Chron. 20:5-22; Dan. 9:15; 10:19-21). Worship focuses attention away from us and toward God. Our weakness takes hold of His strength.

to Him who sits on the throne

Him who sits on the throne” refers back to the “One sitting on the throne” in verse two, who is God.

to Him who lives forever and ever

Jesus is “alive forevermore” (1:18) and “will reign forever” (11:15), but only the Father is “Him who lives forever” (4:9, 10; 15:7). The Father “alone possesses immortality” (1 Tim. 6:16). As the only begotten Son of God, Jesus derived His eternal nature from the Father but the Father is the Unbegotten Source of all things. He, alone, has inherent immortality.

Revelation 4:10

the twenty-four elders will fall down
before Him who sits on the throne,
and will worship Him who lives forever and ever,
and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

This verse repeats much of the previous verse. Here, the 24 elders worship God. In verse 8, it was the 4 living creatures. Whenever the four living creatures offer their triple praise to God, the twenty-elders fall down and worship God. In other words, worship is initiated by angels (represented by the living creatures) and then joined by human beings (represented by the 24 elders).

This verse translates the two key words for worship in Revelation as “fall down” (Greek: pesountai) and “worship” (proskunêsousin). Both words mean to prostrate oneself in obeisance toward a god or a king or somebody else. To translate the second word as “worship” goes beyond the meaning of the Greek word, for the English word “worship” implies that the one receiving obeisance is a god. For a discussion, see, Jesus is worshiped.

The crowns that the twenty-four elders throw down are not royal crowns (Greek: diadêma) but crowns of victory (Greek: stephanous). To cast their crown before the throne indicates that the wearers acknowledge that they owe their victory completely to Him. In a sense, they feel unworthy to wear their crowns in the presence of the One who gave them their victory.

Revelation 4:11

“Worthy are You,
our Lord and our God,
to receive glory and honor and power;
for You created all things,
and because of Your will they existed,
and were created.”

Worthy are You, our Lord and our God

The word “worthy” is one of the key words of chapter five, but its first appearance is here in the last verse of chapter four. Worthy means deserving, qualified, or fitted for. In this verse, the one sitting on the throne is deserving of worship because He created all things.

LORD

The one seated on the throne is addressed as Lord and God. The basic meaning of “Lord” (Greek: kurios) is owner, master, or husband. It is often used as an expression of respect, like “sir” in English. In the New Testament is used to designate:

    • God (Matt 5:33; Mark 12:29-30; Luke 1:11, 15, 17, etc.),
    • Jesus Christ (Matt 20:31; Acts 2:36; Rom 1:4; 10:9; 1 Pet 1:3) and
    • The Roman emperor (Acts 25:26).

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word Yahweh is nearly always translated with kurios (Gen 2:4; Exod 6:3; 20:11; Deut. 7:7-9; Ps. 1:2; Is. 53:1; Hosia 1:1). In 4:11, kurios refers to the Father.

GOD

The word “God” translates the Greek word theos which, in the Greek culture, was used for the many gods of the ancients. In the New Testament, theos is used for:

    • The God of Israel (Gal 4:8),
    • The Father who sent Jesus (John 17:3),
    • Jesus (John 1:1),
    • Satan (2 Cor 4:4) and
    • The gods of the nations (1 Cor 8:5).

In First Century Asia Minor, the emperor Domitian was known as “lord and god.” The word theos, therefore, is used for any being whose power is far beyond that of ordinary people; even for exalted people. For that reason, theos may also be translated as “god,” rather than “God.”

The ancients did not distinguish between lower and upper case characters. The word “God,” with a capital G, is a modern invention that functions as a proper name for one specific Being, namely the Almighty. For these reasons, to retain the original meaning, it might have been more appropriate to translate 4:11 as “our lord and our god,” for the ancients did not have a word equivalent to the modern word “God” and the 24 elders, by referring to God as “our lord and our god,” were acknowledging the Creator as THEIR lord and god; not as THE ONLY lord and god. For a further discussion, see, Is Jesus God in Revelation?

to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created

In verse 9, the four living beings ascribed “glory and honor and thanks” to Him. The current verse replaces “thanks” with “power,” for He is the Almighty Creator. All power inherently belongs to God. There never was a time when He did not have it. But He restrains His use of that power (11:17). God never forces anyone but seeks to win the love of His creatures rather than to use His power to force them to comply with His will (see Rev 15:3-4).

The words “for” and “because” indicate cause and consequence: Because God created all things, He is worthy to receive our “glory and honor and power.”

All things” means the entire universe (Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 1:10; 3:9; Heb 1:3; 2:10); the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them.

Because of Your will” – Behind the act of creation lies the will and purpose of God. Were it not for the will and purpose of God, the universe would not exist. 

WORSHIP IN REVELATION 5

FIVE WORSHIP HYMNS

Five hymns are sung in Revelation 4 and 5. The first two are sung in honor of the One on the throne. The next two songs praise the Lamb. The last hymn offer praise to both. There is a crescendo in the size of the groups singing these hymns:

SUNG TO: SUNG BY:
(1) 4:8 “Holy, holy, holy” The One on the throne The 4 living creatures.
(2) 4:11 – Praising God as the Creator The 24 elders
(3) 5:9-10 – Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals The Lamb The 4 living creatures and the 24 elders
(4) 5:12 – Worthy is the Lamb to receive power, riches, wisdom … The 4 living creatures and the 24 elders are joined by millions of angels.
(5) 5:13 – blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever Both Every creature in the entire universe

So the whole sequence of Revelation 4-5 moves forward to the great climax in which “all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (John 5:23).

JESUS RECEIVES THE SAME HONOR AS THE FATHER.

In Revelation 5, all creation bows down to praise both “Him who sits on the throne” and Jesus:

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth … singing:
– ‘To him who sits on the throne
– and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power!
” Rev 5:13.

Because of this, it is often stated that this scene accords to Jesus Christ EQUAL STATUS with His Father. However:

      • The Father is the One on the throne (5:13) and, therefore, the ultimate Ruler.
      • As discussed above, in Revelation, only the Father is Almighty, has essential immortality and has willed all things to exist.
      • Philippians 2:6-11 also explains what happens after Jesus’ ascension to heaven and, therefore, explains this scene in Revelation 5. That passage indicates that Jesus is worshiped:
        • Because “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (v9) and
        • To the glory of God the Father” (v11).
          For a discussion, see the article on Philippians 2.

God is the Creator, but He created all things through His Son (e.g. John 1:3; Heb. 1:2; 1 Cor. 8:6). God is the ultimate Ruler, but He gave all authority to His Son (Mt. 28:18). God alone is worthy of worship, but “all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (John 5:23), for that is God’s wish (Phil. 2:9; Heb 1:6). God’s end-time people are called to “Fear God, and … worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters” (Rev. 14:7). In the language of Revelation, this is a call to worship the Father. In Revelation, God is also Jesus’ God (1:6; 3:12). To elevate Jesus to the level of the Almighty God distorts the Word of God. For a further discussion, see – In the Trinity theory, God is three Persons in one Being, but Jesus is not God.

FINAL CONCLUSIONS

      1. Revelation 4 depicts the time before Christ’s victory on earth.
      2. The reason for the great focus on the throne of God in Revelation 4 is that God’s authority was being challenged by Satan.
      3. God created intelligent beings with freedom and they must decide for themselves whether Satan’s accusations are true. 
      4. Only the Father is Almighty and the ultimate uncaused Cause of everything else.
      5. The Greek word translated “worship” means to prostrate oneself in obeisance toward a god or an exalted person like a king.
      6. The word translated “Lord” means owner, master, or husband.
      7. The word translated “God” is used for the many gods of the ancients and even for exalted human beings.
      8. In Revelation 5, all creation bows down to praise both “Him who sits on the throne” AND Jesus but that does NOT mean that these beings accord to Jesus Christ EQUAL STATUS with His Father.

ARTICLES ON THE SEVEN SEALS

OVERVIEW

REVELATION 4

REVELATION 5

REVELATION 6

    • Seal 1: The white horse is the gospel.
    • Seals 2 to 4: Bloodshed, famine and death
    • Seal 5: Who are the souls under the altar?
    • Seal 6 includes the plagues and concludes with Christ’s return.

REVELATION 7

REVELATION 8

For further reading on Revelation, I recommend Jon Paulien’s commentary. For general discussions of theology, I recommend Graham Maxwell, who you will find on the Pineknoll website.