Count the Worshippers (Newsletter 4-4)

Count the Worshipers by Simeon Young Sr.

John’s words in Revelation 11: 1 (“Measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein”) are prophetic in scope and foresee the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in the international city of Jerusalem. Jesus’ command for John to count the worshipers has spiritual implications for us today. Whether it is worship in a rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem or in our church services, worship and worshipers matter to Jesus. It is not how many people among us who have academic degrees that counts. How expensive our clothes are does not count with Jesus. He is not impressed with our automobiles. It does not matter to Him how many professions we have in our churches. Nor is He impressed with how many well-heeled members attend our churches. Let the rich and the poor come, but let them worship. Let the white and the black and the red and the yellow and the brown come, but let them worship. Let the garbage collector and the college professor and the plumber and the doctor and the farmer and the lawyer and the ditch- digger come, but let them worship.

If a person does not worship God, his or her social status does not matter. If we do not worship God, our tenure in the church, our marks of distinction, our church attendance, our singing, our shouting, our financial contributions, and our talents do not count. We must worship for anything else to matter. It does not matter how big and beautiful and costly the building is if there is no worship in the building. Worship is what counts with Jesus, not square footage. It is not the technology, or the latest gadgetry, or the tasteful appointments, or the eye-catching architecture that matter. In light of the fact that only the worshipers count with Jesus, we must all ask ourselves, “Do I measure up when it comes to worship?”

Satan wants to dilute, diminish, de- grade, and divert our worship. But God wants us to lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting. He wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth. He wants us to give unto Him the glory due unto His name. He wants us to worship Him in the beauty of holiness.

He wants us to come before His presence with singing. He wants us to enter into His gates with thanksgiving. He wants us to clap our hands. He wants us to make a joyful noise unto Him. He wants us to come near and bow before Him in worship. He wants us to cover our faces and say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.” He wants us to be joyful in His house of praise. He wants us to offer sacrifices of praise.

Jesus said, “The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). Humility and wonder and sincerity and authenticity add up to worship that the Father seeks, and worship is what counts with Him.

It is widely held among theologians that the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders of Revelation represent the redeemed of every age since the fall in the Garden of Eden. John heard the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders sing a new song saying, “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 on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

As this cosmic cacophony of praise rises, one hundred million plus angels pick up the refrain and say with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever” (Revelation 5:11-13).

It seems that now the voices of the blasphemers are far louder than the voices of the blessers. Our God is defamed and cursed and ridiculed and mocked and blasphemed now. But one day soon multiplied millions of redeemed people will join the angelic host to ascribe blessing and honor and glory and power to Him who sits on the throne. On that glorious day the voices of millions of people who adore God with their praises will drown out the voices of those who have plundered Him with their blasphemies.

But we don’t have to wait for some future prophetic opportunity for our heartfelt worship that blesses God to counterbalance the blasphemy. The blasphemers don’t care who hears them curse God, and we shouldn’t care what the world thinks about our worship. We must ask ourselves, “Do I love Him as much as the world hates Him?” (it)