And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
And they sang as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
When the Scriptures refer to the “Heavenly Host,” we usually think of “choirs of angels.” The word “host” in the Bible meant “army” (Luke 2:13). Let us perceive that the hosts of Heaven are worshipping armies. Indeed, no one can do warfare who is not first a worshipper of God.
The Central Issue In Tribulation: Worship
One does not have to penetrate deeply into the Revelation of John to discover that both God and the devil are seeking worshippers (Rev. 14:7; 7:11; 13:4; 14:11). Time and time again the line is drawn between those who “worship the beast and his image” and those who worship God.
Let us realize beforehand, that in the last great battle before Jesus returns, the outcome of every man’s life shall be weighed upon a scale of worship: in the midst of warfare and battles, to whom will we bow, God or Satan?
Yet, while this warfare shall culminate in the establishment of the Lord’s Kingdom on earth (Rev. 11:15), we must realize the essence of this battle is the central issue in our warfare today. Will we faithfully worship God during satanic assault and temptation? True worship must emerge now in the context of our daily lives, for no man will worship through the great battles of tomorrow who complains in the mere skirmishes of today!
You will remember that the Lord’s call to the Israelites was a call to worship and service before Him in the wilderness (Ex. 5:3; 7:16). Indeed, when Moses first spoke of God’s loving concern, we read that the Hebrews “bowed low and worshipped” (Ex. 4:31). But when trials and pressure came, they fell quickly into murmuring, complaining and blatant rebellion. Their worship was superficial, a form without a heart of worship.
This same condition of shallow worship prevails in much of Christianity today. If a message is given that speaks of the Lord’s great care for His people, with eagerness do we bow low and worship. But as soon as the pressures of daily living arise or temptations come, how quickly we rebel against God and resist His dealings? The enemy has easy access to the soul that is not protected by the true worship of God!God’s purpose in the wilderness was to perfect true worship, which is based upon the reality of God, not circumstances. The Lord knows that the heart that will worship Him in the wilderness of affliction will continue to worship in the promised land of plenty.
Without true worship of God, there can be no victory in warfare. For what we bleed when we are wounded by satanic assault or difficult circumstances is the true measure of our worship! You see, what comes out of our hearts during times of pressure was in us, but hidden, during times of ease. If you are a true worshipper, your spirit will exude worship to God no matter what battle you are fighting. In warfare, worship is a wall around the soul.
Protecting Your Heart Through Worship
Most of us understand the basic dynamics of the human soul. We have been taught, and rightly so, that the soul is the combination of our “mind, will and emotions.” Generally speaking, when the enemy comes against the church, he targets any of these three areas. We must see that the protection of these areas is of vital importance in our war against Satan.
To further illuminate the nature of this battle, let us add something to our definition of the soul. Generally speaking, the essence of who we are is made of events and how we responded to those events. Who we are today is the sum of what we have encountered in life and our subsequent reactions. Abuses and afflictions hammer us one way, encouragement and praise inflate us another. Our reaction to each event, whether that event was positive or negative, is poured into the creative marrow of our individuality, where it is blended into the nature of our character.
What we call “memory” is actually our spirit gazing at the substance of our soul. With few exceptions, those events which we remember the most have shaped us the most. Indeed, the reason our natural minds cannot forget certain incidents is because those experiences have literally become a part of our nature!
We are what the past has made us. Yet, we are commanded to “not look back” and to “forget…..those things which are behind” (Phil. 3:13; Lk 9:62; Heb. 11:15). With God, this is not impossible, for although the eventsof our lives are irreversible, our reactions to those events can still be changed. And as our reactions change, we change. In other words, although we cannot alter the past, we can put our past upon the “altar” as an act of worship. A worshipping heart truly allows God to restore the soul.
All of us receive a portion of both good and evil in this world. But for life to be good, God, Who is the essence of life, must reach into our experiences and redeem us for our negative reactions. The channel through which the Lord extends Himself, even into our past, is our love and worship of Him.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good, for those who love God.” (Rom. 8:28a) the key for the fulfillment of this verse is that we become lovers of God in our spirits. When we are given to loving Him, all that we have passed through in life is washed in that love. It is redeemed and becomes good within us.
Therefore, it is essential to both the salvation of our souls and our protection in warfare that we be worshippers. For the ark which safely carries us through adversity is worship.
Psalm 84 expresses in praise to God the wonderful effect worship has upon the soul. “How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca (weeping), they make it a spring, the early rain also covers it with blessings” (vs. 5-6). If you are “ever praising” God (vs. 4), your worship of God will transform the negative assault of the enemy into a spring of sweet waters which will refresh you. No matter what befalls a worshipper, their “valley of weeping” always becomes a spring covered with blessings. You cannot successfully engage in warfare, nor pass safely through the wilderness of this life, without first becoming a worshipper of God.