|UNTO Him who loveth us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father: To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen| (Rev. i:5-6). This great outburst of praise may well be called |the Glory Song.| It glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ; it reveals also the Glory of those He has redeemed and will be heard throughout eternity. There will never be a moment in the countless ages of eternity when this Glory song will be hushed or forgotten. We begin to sing it here on earth. The more we know the Christ of God and His great love for us, the more we delight to praise and to worship Him. Such worship of the heart in the power of the Spirit is the atmosphere of heaven upon earth. And some day we shall see Him whom we worship and adore in faith. In that glorious moment, when we shall see Him as He is we shall realize for the first time the length and breadth, the heighth and depth of His love and know the Glory to which He has brought us. Then we and all the redeemed will sing this song in a better and more perfect way than we have ever done here. |Thou art worthy * * * for Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests and we shall reign over the earth| (Rev. v:9, 10).
This blessed Word of Praise is placed by the Holy Spirit in the foreground of the book which bears the name, the Revelation, or, Unveiling of Jesus Christ. In it is found the great unveiling of the future, the great coming tribulation and judgment period through which the earth must pass, events which precede the glorious manifestation of the Lord. But in this last great Bible book there is also a complete unveiling of the Person, the Glory and the dignity of Him to whom all judgment is committed. Not alone are in this book many of the prophecies, given of old by the holy men of God, rehearsed, but all He is, His Name, His power, His Glory, His work, and many of his titles are restated. Think of what He is called and how He is described in this book. We find Him called the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Almighty, the Lord, the Alpha, the Omega, the First, the Last, the Beginning of the Creation of God, the Amen, the faithful Witness, the First begotten from the dead, the Word of God, the Lamb, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the mighty Angel, He that liveth, He that was dead, He that is alive evermore, the Root and Offspring of David, the bright and Morning star, the Prince of the kings of the earth, the King of kings, the Lord of lords. What an array of titles. On earth great ones, kings and princes, have numerous titles. They concern only earthly glories; they are but for a moment. But His titles concern the earth and the heavens. They belong to Him because He is God, while others are acquired through His great work of redemption. His Glory and His dignity are indescribable. One who reads the Book of Revelation and reads it again will be increasingly impressed with the Glory of Him, whom John beheld in all His Majesty.
Before the Spirit of God records this Glory song, the utterance of praise to be used and to be enjoyed by redeemed sinners, He mentions three titles of our Lord. The faithful Witness; the First begotten from the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. These three titles take in His earthly life, His redemption work and His future Glory. On earth He was the faithful witness. He glorified the Father. He had come into the world to bear witness unto the truth. He was faithful and nothing marred His witness. He came as the Only begotten of the Father and the faithful witness, the Son of God went to the cross to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. The open and empty tomb is the witness that it was perfectly and righteously accomplished. Now He is the First begotten from the dead as well as the First fruits. His death and His resurrection are, therefore, in view in this second title. His glorious future is beheld in the third title, the Prince of the kings of the earth. The kingdoms of the earth belong to Him; He has a perfect right and title to the earth and its government. Now still the god of this age rules, but ere long He comes |whose right it is| and claims His inheritance. In these three wonderful titles we behold all the Son of God as Son of Man has accomplished in His mighty work. He lived the path of faith and obedience on earth, as the faithful witness. He has put away sin and conquered death and the grave as well as him who has the power of death, that is the devil. In the future He will be King of kings and Lord of lords.
And then follows this outburst of Praise. The Holy Spirit, who is here on earth to glorify Him, breaks forth at once into singing and directs the heart to worship Him. Beloved readers if the Holy Spirit is ungrieved in us He will lead our hearts into such praise and adoration of the Lord; nothing grieves the Holy Spirit more than when a believer does not appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ and manifest this appreciation by praise and worship.
Three things are stated in this blessed doxology:
He loved us.
He washed us.
He hath made us.
These three things correspond to the three titles which precede this doxology. Love it was, which brought Him down from the Glory to walk upon this earth in humiliation, the faithful witness, and that love knew and saw the cross. Love led Him there to die for such as we are. What love it was! Who can ever declare it!
The true translation is not |who loved us,| but |who loveth us.| His love is an abiding love. He does nothing but love those who belong to Him, who have trusted Him and are the Beloved of God. Our sins, our weaknesses, our infirmities and failures can never affect or diminish His love. Never, oh child of God, doubt His abiding love. Yea, whatever our circumstances are, in trials, in the hard places, in troubles, burdened with cares and full of anxiety, in all our failures we can look up and say, |He loveth me.| It is an ever present and eternal love. Never, oh child of God, measure that love by your changing feeling or by your experience. And this love He manifested by dying for us. He has washed us from our sins in His own blood. To this His title as |The First begotten from the dead| refers. |Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes ye are healed| (1 Pet ii:24). The precious blood of Christ has washed us from our sins. They can never come up again. Oh blessed knowledge! Cleansed by His own blood, the precious blood of the Lamb without spot and blemish! And the blessedness of all that is connected with this!
Oh, the peace forever flowing
From God's thoughts of His own Son!
Oh, the peace of simply knowing
On the cross that all was done!
Peace with God, the blood in heaven
Speaks of pardon now to me:
Peace with God! the Lord is risen!
Righteousness now counts me free.
Peace with God is Christ in glory;
God is just and God is love;
Jesus died to tell the story,
Foes to bring to God above.
But more than that |He hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father.| This belongs also to His mighty love. His future of Glory as the Prince of the Kings of the earth, the King of kings and Lord of lords, His fathomless love leads Him to share with those for whom He died, whom He purged and fitted by His own blood. He hath made us kings and priests. It is all His work. A more correct translation is |He hath made us a Kingdom.| This, however, does not mean that He has linked us with a Kingdom in which we are to be subjects and governed by Him. We are not subjects of a Kingdom, but are a Kingdom, partakers of it in rule with Himself. We shall rule and reign with Him over the earth. And because He will be |a priest upon His throne| (Zech. vi:13) we, too, will be priests. What it all includes, what glories await us, what enjoyment with Him, what riches and blessings, power and honor, no mind can grasp and no tongue nor pen can describe.
|To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.| All glory and dominion to Him! Thou art worthy! Thou art worthy! This is the heart's cry, which really knows Him and is devoted to Him. |Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power.| Our crowns we cast before Thy throne. Amen and Amen.
Reader can you add your |Amen| -- your, |be it so| to all this? Do you sing this Glory song? In a day when He, who is worthy, is but little praised, do you praise Him thus? Do you live in the daily enjoyment of His love? Do you give Him the pre-eminence to whom God has given the pre-eminence in all things? Amen! And oh the happy thought, which helps us so in these evil days, that soon He, who loveth us, who washed us, who hath made us a Kingdom and priests, may call us into His own glorious presence.