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Revelation 4:11

worthy to receive glory and honor and power
λαβεῖν [labein] , present tense: to be continually receiving. Both the Father and the Son are worthy to receive glory and honor and power (Rev. Rev. 5:12+). See Worship of God.

You created all things
If there could have been any doubt about Who is seated on the throne, here it is removed. He alone is creator, all else is creature. He alone is independent, all else is dependent upon Him. Recognition of this distinction is the foundation of all right worship, for worship of any other is directing to that which is dependent what is only for the Originator (Rev. Rev. 22:8-9+). All worship directed elsewhere is idolatry.

Scripture reveals that all three persons of the Trinity participated in creation:

  1. The Father (Gen. Gen. 1:1-31; Isa. Isa. 40:21-28; Isa. Isa. 43:1, Isa. 43:7; Isa. Isa. 45:12, Isa. 45:18; Isa. 48:13; Isa. 51:13; Acts Acts 14:15; Acts 17:24).
  2. The Spirit (Gen. Gen. 1:2; Job Job 26:13; Job 33:4; Ps. Ps. 104:30; Isa. Isa. 42:5).
  3. The Son (John John 1:3; Eph. Eph. 3:9; Col. Col. 1:16; Heb. Heb. 1:3; Rev. Rev. 3:14+).

by Your will they exist and were created
His role as Creator underwrites all worship of Him, for He alone is Creator and all else is creature and therefore, entirely dependent upon His will for continued existence (Heb. Heb. 1:3). “In Him all things consist” (Col. Col. 1:17) “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen” (Rom. Rom. 11:36).

TR and MT have εισι [eisi] , exist. NU has ἦσαν [ēsan] , existed. The past tense emphasizes the creative act. The present tense emphasizes their ongoing existence by His will.

Were created, ἔκτισας [ektisas] , the aorist tense typically denotes past time. God finished creation and then rested (Gen. Gen. 2:2-3; Ex. Ex. 20:11; Ex. 31:17). “When the NT refers to creation... it always refers to a past, completed event—an immediate work of God, not a still-occurring process of evolution.”1 Even if it were somehow possible for complex life forms to arise by chance,2 the notion is precluded by Scripture. Creation is not an ongoing process.3

Here we need to alert the reader of the danger of allowing the chapter break between chapters 4 and 5 to destroy the flow of the text. There is an intimate connection between the words of the cherubim and elders concerning creation and the events of the next chapter where the Lamb takes the seven-sealed scroll. For here the subject is creation and there it will be redemption. Not redemption positionally which was accomplished at the cross, but experientially. Not just redemption of saved men, but of the entire created order (Rom. Rom. 8:18-22) which has been subject to Satan since the fall (Mtt. Mat. 4:8; Luke Luke 4:6; John John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11; 2Cor. 2Cor. 4:4; 1Jn. 1Jn. 5:19; Rev. Rev. 13:1+; Rev. 13:7+).

Thus, creation is the subject of the first great utterance of the Zōa and the Elders. Their words announce the blessed fact that the judgments which are about to take place, have for their great object the removal of the curse [Gen. Gen. 3:14-19], and of all unholiness from the earth; and the ending of creation’s groaning and travail.4


Notes

1 John MacArthur, “Creation: Believe it or Not,” in Richard L. Mayhue, ed., The Master’s Seminary Journal, vol. 13 no. 1 (Sun Valley, CA: The Master’s Seminary, Spring 2002), 15.

2 All objective science shows that the generation of complexity requires intelligence. Design requires a designer.

3were created—by Thy definite act of creation at a definite time.”—A. R. Fausset, “The Revelation of St. John the Divine,” in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997, 1877), Rev. 4:11.

4 E. W. Bullinger, Commentary On Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1984, 1935), 231.

Read Revelation 4:11