Couldn’t the elders and angels in Revelation do something useful?

In Revelation we read over and over again about how those in heaven fall down and worship God. When I was reading Revelation I was sarcastically thinking, “Couldn’t they do something useful? (See the recent post on doing and serving.)

Doing and serving is important. TC talks about actions in a legitimate way. Knowing TC, he’s not talking about this as the main thing without putting the utmost importance on knowing God through Bible reading and prayer.

To know that God gave us the Bible and to say that doctrine and theology aren’t important is the height of arrogance.

I have a collection of quotes on the importance of doctrine, theology, Bible reading, prayer and the benefits of spending time with God. Some of them may be repeats.

The growth of ignorance in the Church is the logical and inevitable result of the false notion that Christianity is a life and not also a doctrine; if Christianity is not a doctrine then of course teaching is not necessary to Christianity.

–Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism

THIS BOOK contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword and the Christian’s charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object, our good is its design and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgement, and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.


It was only yesterday, after laying down the Bible, that I wondered what kind of mind I would have had if I had not the Book of God, the Book containing the astounding idea of ‘from everlasting to everlasting,’ the development of all that is worth knowing … One would think, that as I have critically and, I think, devoutly read and examined every verse, every word in the Bible, some a score of times over, I should not require to open the pages of that unspeakable blessed Book. Alas, for the human memory! I read the Bible today with the same feeling I ever did, like the hungry when seeking food, the thirsty when seeking drink, the bewildered when seeking counsel and the mourner when seeking comfort. Don’t you believe all this? For alas, I read it sometimes as a formal thing, though my heart condemns me afterwards … I am yet astonished at my own ignorance of the Bible!

–Robert Moffat


There is something about the Bible that can instill confidence in God in a way that nothing else can. God speaks to our hearts through his Spirit, and we come into closer relation to him.

–G.K. Beale, 1-2 Thessalonians

We can accomplish more by time and strength put into prayer (and bible study) than we can by putting the same amount of time and strength into anything else.

–R.A. Torrey

Make up your mind that you will put some time every day into the study of the Word of God. That is an easy resolution to make, and not a very difficult one to keep; if the one who makes it is in earnest. It is one of the most fruitful resolutions that any Christian ever made. The forming of that resolution and the holding faithfully to it, has been the turning point in many a life. Many a life that has been barren and unsatisfactory has become rich and useful through the introduction into it of regular, persevering, daily study of the Bible. This study may not be very interesting at first, the results may not be very encouraging; but, if one will keep pegging away, it will soon begin to count as nothing else has ever counted in the development of character, and in the enrichment of the whole life. Nothing short of absolute physical inability should be allowed to interfere with this daily study.

–R. A. Torrey, introduction to the New Topical Textbook.

When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of Him the more insatiable, and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable. And the Lord will not allow me to feel as though I were fully supplied and satisfied, but keeps me still reaching forward.

–David Brainerd

If you approach the Scriptures with all humility and with regulated caution, you will perceive that you have been breathed upon by the Holy Will. It will bring about a transformation which is impossible to describe. You will perceive the delights of the Blessed Bridegroom; you will see the riches of Solomon. The hidden treasures of eternal wisdom will be yours. Yet I would caution you. The entrance to this abode of wisdom is narrow. The doorway is low, and there is danger in not stooping when you enter.

–Erasmus, The Handbook of the Militant Christian

4 Responses to “Couldn’t the elders and angels in Revelation do something useful?”

  1. 1 TC Robinson

    Jeff, thanks for the mention.  While I’m a big advocate of right actions, I’m equally a big advocate of proper theology as a basis for right actions.

    Without right theology, our right actions are simply self-serving.  There’s nothing in them for God.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    Nicely put.


  3. 3 Iris

    Worship (falling down above etc…) is one of the most “useful” things any person or angel could possibly do. It is an enjoyment of Him beyond any normal action. A person who truly worships, will do right actions. A person who does “right” actions without worship is probably involved in “vain works.”

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    I’m getting some nice quotable quotes here. Thanks.


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