Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Revelation 4:11

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive - Thus all creation acknowledges the supremacy of God; and we learn from this song that he made all things for his pleasure; and through the same motive he preserves. Hence it is most evident, that he hateth nothing that he has made, and could have made no intelligent creature with the design to make it eternally miserable. It is strange that a contrary supposition has ever entered into the heart of man; and it is high time that the benevolent nature of the Supreme God should be fully vindicated from aspersions of this kind.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Thou art worthy, O Lord - In thy character, perfections, and government, there is what makes it proper that universal praise should be rendered. The feeling of all true worshippers is, that (God is worthy of the praise that is ascribed to him. No man worships him aright who does not feel that there is that in his nature and his doings which makes it proper that he should receive universal adoration.

To receive glory - To have praise or glory ascribed to thee.

And honour - To be honored; that is, to be approached and adored as worthy of honor.

And power - To have power ascribed to thee, or to be regarded as having infinite power. Man can confer no power on God, but he may acknowledge what he has, and adore him for its exertion in his behalf and in the government of the world.

For thou hast created all things - Thus, laying the foundation for praise. No one can contemplate this vast and wonderful universe without seeing that He who has made it is worthy to “receive glory, and honor, and power.” Compare the notes on Job 38:7.

And for thy pleasure they are - They exist by thy will - διὰ τὸ θέλημά dia to thelēmaThe meaning is, that they owe their existence to the will of God, and therefore their creation lays the foundation for praise. He “spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” He said, “Let there be light; and there was light.” There is no other reason why the universe exists at all than that such was the will of God; there is nothing else that is to be adduced as explaining the fact that anything has now a being. The putting forth of that will explains all; and, consequently, whatever wisdom, power, goodness, is manifested in the universe, is to be traced to God, and is the expression of what was in him from eternity. It is proper, then, to “look up through nature to nature‘s God,” and wherever we see greatness or goodness in the works of creation, to regard them as the faint expression of what exists essentially in the Creator.

And were created - Bringing more distinctly into notice the fact that they owe their existence to his will. They are not eternal; they are not self-existent; they were formed from nothing. This concludes the magnificent introduction to the principal visions in this book. It is beautifully appropriate to the solemn disclosures which are to be made in the following portions of the book, and, as in the case of Isaiah and Ezekiel, was eminently adapted to impress the mind of the holy seer with awe. Heaven is opened to his view; the throne of God is seen; there is a vision of Him who sits upon that throne; thunders and voices are heard around the throne; the lightnings play; and a rainbow, symbol of peace, encircles all; the representatives of the redeemed church, occupying subordinate thrones, and in robes of victory, and with crowns on their heads, are there; a vast smooth expanse like the sea is spread out before the throne; and the emblems of the wisdom, the power, the vigilance, the energy, the strength of the divine administration are there, represented as in the act of bringing honor to God, and proclaiming his praise. The mind of John was doubtless prepared by these august visions for the disclosures which follow; and the mind of the reader should in like manner be deeply and solemnly impressed when he contemplates them, as if he looked into heaven, and saw the impressive grandeur of the worship there. Let us fancy ourselves, therefore, with the holy seer looking into heaven, and listen with reverence to what the great God discloses respecting the various changes that are to occur until every foe of the church shall be subdued, and the earth shall acknowledge his sway, and the whole scene shall close in the triumphs and joys of heaven.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
All true believers wholly ascribe their redemption and conversion, their present privileges and future hopes, to the eternal and most holy God. Thus rise the for-ever harmonious, thankful songs of the redeemed in heaven. Would we on earth do like them, let our praises be constant, not interrupted; united, not divided; thankful, not cold and formal; humble, not self-confident.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 273.2

The whole of the natural world bears testimony of the works of the living God. Nature is our lesson book, given to us by God, the Creator of all things. These things of nature are not to be called God. They are the expression of God's character, but they are not God. By the things of His creation, we may understand God, and His love, His power, and His glory, but there is a great danger of men worshiping nature as God. TDG 273.2

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 261.5

Many allow their minds to dwell upon their unworthiness as though this was a virtue. It is a hindrance to their coming to Jesus in full assurance of faith. They should feel their unworthiness, and because of this—because of their sinfulness—should feel the necessity of coming to the Saviour, who is their worthiness and who will be their righteousness if they repent and humble themselves. Their unworthiness is a self-evident fact. Jesus Christ's worthiness is a sure thing. Then let every doubting soul take hope and courage, because he has One who is worthy to be his Saviour. His only hope of salvation is to lay hold by faith of a worthiness which he has not but which will be supplied by Jesus Christ our righteousness.—Manuscript 21, September 9, 1889, diary. TDG 261.5

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Ellen G. White
The Retirement Years, 154.3

Giving an account of the last days of Sir Davis Brewster, his daughter writes: “He thanked God that the way of salvation was so simple. No labored argument, no hard attainment, was required. To believe in the Lord Jesus Christ was to live. He trusted in Him, and enjoyed His peace.” The last words of this great man of science were: “Life has been very bright to me, and now there is the brightness beyond. I shall see Jesus, who created all things, who made the worlds. I shall see Him as He is. Yes, I have had the Light for many years. Oh, how bright it is! I feel so safe, so satisfied.” RY 154.3

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 70

“I will praise the name of God, ...
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”
PK 70.1

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor
and power.”
PK 70.2

“I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart:
And I will glorify Thy name forevermore.”
PK 70.3

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