The Meaning of Worship according to the Book of Revelation -- By: Mazie Nakhro

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 158:629 (Jan 2001)
Article: The Meaning of Worship according to the Book of Revelation
Author: Mazie Nakhro


The Meaning of Worship according to the Book of Revelation

Mazie Nakhroa

Worship in the Book of Revelation, as in any other book of the Bible, is the proper response of created beings to God. Worship is not a sentimental feeling of nostalgia; rather, it is an engagement of one’s total being with the triune God. A study of worship in the Book of Revelation reveals the true meaning of worship and how believers today should worship God. In the Book of Revelation those who worship God are seen declaring the Lamb’s worthiness, celebrating God’s presence, submitting to His authority, and fearing and serving Him.

Worship as Adoration of God’s Being

Although the word “adoration” is not used in English translations of Revelation, the concept is clear from the worshipers’ ascription of honor and glory to God (Rev. 4:9, 11; 5:5, 12; 19:1) and their offering praises to Him (19:1, 3–6).1 Even the gestures of the worshipers suggest their supreme admiration of God for who He is (4:1–5:14; cf. 1:17).

Adoration of God’s unique being and divine character is seen in the worship given by the four living creatures in heaven, as recorded in 4:8: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was, and who is and who is to come.”

This verse reveals several aspects of God’s character that are adored. First, He is worshiped as the Holy One (cf. 15:3–4; 16:5).2

Holiness in this verse refers to God’s attribute of absolute moral purity, but it also seems to mean more. The phrase ἅγιος ἅγιος ἅγιος (“Holy, Holy, Holy”)3 in 4:8 is reminiscent of the words of the seraphim in Isaiah 6:3, thereby suggesting the same God whom Isaiah envisioned as the Holy One (cf. 40:25; You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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