SUBJ: Thanksgiving for the very
reign of God in Christ through which all blessedness comes.
AIM: That we might ever be
thankful for Him and for the exercise of His power.
INTR: Sometimes we discover jewels
previously passed over because we were focused on some other object.
Such is my experience here.
1. The Book of Revelation is both a
fascination and a mystery to many who search for the sensational rather
than look to Christ alone.
2. My attraction would be the Lord
wherever He is revealed in Scripture and this is a wonderful example.
3. Having a complete explanation of the Book of Revelation would only
enhance our view and vision of Christ and His glory. To study it for any
other reason is vain.
While we give thanks for all things it must be realized that it has all
come to us in that He has exercised His great power on our behalf.
I. By whom thanks is given (v. 16)
1. We would consider the Four
and Twenty Elders and their significance (present and/or future)
They are worshipers
2) They are redeemed (See Rev. 5)
2. We are
constrained to think on the effect on the redeemed at the sight of Him
1) The need of redemption is made painfully evident.
2) The mighty
power to redeem is His alone and if we are redeemed it is because of
3. They present a picture of unabashed humility and worship - on
1) The only proper approach to God is worship.
proper posture is on our faces (it is He who will lift us up).
II. To Whom thanks is given (v. 17a)
1. The reference here is to
Jesus through Whom God is seen and is to Kingdom claims and reigns.
1) Consider: 1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all
enemies under his feet.
2) And: Hebrews 10:13 From henceforth
expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
3) And: Psalms
110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I
make thine enemies thy footstool.
2. Herein is a declaration of
universal sovereignty and power.
3. The message is that He is eternal
and immutable - "...art, wast, and art to come."
4. We would note at
this point that many relegate this entirely to the future while the
truths expressed here may be realized and experienced now as well.
The more distinct the view of Christ our Lord, the greater will be our
humility and worship.
III. Why Thanks is given (v.17b)
Gill rightly observes that power has always belonged to God.
Thanks here is given in that He has engaged that power and has reigned.
1) It was said and it is so that the Government shall be upon His
shoulders (Isaiah 9:7).
2) We are reminded repeatedly in scripture
that He has faced the enemy and has prevailed (we are reminded of the
various attempts of Satan to disrupt the plan of redemption and
especially the attacks on the lineage of Christ).
3) He had safely
delivered the Captives (Isaiah 63:1 Who is this that cometh from Edom,
with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel,
travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in
righteousness, mighty to save.
4) The Kingdom is/will be presented: 1
Corinthians 15:24-25 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have
delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put
down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he
hath put all enemies under his feet.
3. "...and hast reigned."
It has always been so.
2) While our vision may be clouded by our
present estate and environment we are reminded in Hebrews 2:9 that
"...we see Jesus..."
3) So shall it ever be so that: Revelation 19:6
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice
of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying,
Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.