Worthy is the,
Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy, is He
Sing a new song
to Him who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings
You are my everything,
And I will adore You
Clothed in rainbows
Of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the only wise King
Filled with wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your name is power
Breath, and living water
Such a marvelous mystery
The Story Behind “Revelation Song” (unabridged)
By Jennie Riddle
I gave my life to Jesus back in 1988. There was a new song out at the time entitled, “I Hear Angels” by Garrit Gustafson. The lyrics read:
“I hear angels singing praises, I see men from every nation, bowing down before the throne… like the sound of many waters… like the rushing wind around us… multitudes join the song… and a symphony of praise arises… tears are wiped away from eyes as men from every tongue and tribe all sing…. Holy, holy… God almighty… who was, and is, and is to come…”
I remember looking up and around asking, “Where God? I want to see and hear that too!” Those prophetic words from Mr. Gustafson took residence within me, became the lullaby sung over each of my children, and fueled an earnest, decade long prayer to see multitudes gathered around the throne.
Back in 1999, I had just changed my 20,446th diaper (yes… I count… don’t you? ), and began singing the aforementioned lullaby over my fourth son, Andrew, as we cuddled in our blue chair. My keyboard was broken down, and I simply didn’t have the energy to set it up; it had been a really tough “mommy” day. The guitar (which I didn’t really play) was accessible, my spaghetti dinner was begging to be cooked and calling my name… but so was the Holy Spirit. I, again, began telling Him how much I wanted to SEE and HEAR all creation worshipping Him. The songs being sung by the Bride at that time were focusing on need. My heart longed to focus on something far greater than my need, knowing that all needs would be satisfied with just one glimpse of Him.
Therefore, I asked the Holy Spirit to help me write a song that painted Him; a song that the angels and creation were already singing, so that we could join in with One Voice, as One Bride, to One King. My heart recalled Ezekiel 1:26-28 and Revelation 4.
“And then, as they stood with folded wings, there was a voice from above the dome over their heads. Above the dome there was something that looked like a throne, sky-blue like a sapphire, with a humanlike figure towering above the throne. From what I could see, from the waist up he looked like burnished bronze and from the waist down like a blazing fire. Brightness everywhere! The way a rainbow springs out of the sky on a rainy day—that's what it was like. It turned out to be the Glory of God! (Message)
“…a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was[like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightenings, thunderings, and voices… Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal… And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures… And they do not rest day or night, saying: ‘ Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’…”
I put the baby down to play with his toys, picked up the guitar, and began to play four chords I had figured out how to play the day before. Immersed in those scriptures, the Lord helped me paint what I was seeing through those passages," Clothed in rainbows of living color, flashes of lightening, rolls of thunder..." The melody stuck. It had the sound of heaven in it. The song wouldn’t leave me and I sang it for weeks. I can still hear the Lord whispering to me that He would carry this song across the world. I remember thinking how cool it was going to be to have a couple of my missionary friends carry it to the natives in the bush to be sung around campfires. I had no idea…
“Revelation Song” made its very first public outing when I introduced it to my local church on a Sunday when the Lord moved in such a way that it was called for unrehearsed and without preamble. The song resonated with the congregation and the pleasure of the Lord was discernable. It quickly became a loved song. Next, it was introduced to my students at the high school where I served as Dean of Student Life and Fine Arts Director. God met us every time we used it from that point on.
The first demo of the song was done for me by Walker Beach a couple of months after I wrote it. Klaus Kuehn helped me do a second demo in 2002. They both remembered it when it came time to select songs for the annual live recording at Christ for the Nations where Klaus was leading worship and Walker was directing the School of Worship. They introduced it to the student body during chapel and it was decided that it would be sung by Kari Jobe and released on the “Glorious” album in 2004. The anointing on those gifted worshippers, the excellent production, the tremendous musicianship, and the glory of God was fully captured in that recording. God met us powerfully that night! The student body at CFNI voted it their #1 favorite two semesters in a row.
Even though I had been writing songs for years, I had not promoted my music and didn’t know how to begin had I wanted to do so. The Holy Spirit kept nudging me and saying, “Give it to the Bride”. Finally, determining to send it to the two places that kept coming to mind, I mustered my courage, obeyed, and sent two recordings. That act of obedience was my only attempt to “do something” with the song. From there it spread. Encouragement and support materialized from all corners. Lindell Cooley with Music Missions International, the International Worship Institute, Song Discovery, and LeadWorship.com were instrumental in the early grass roots spread of Revelation Song and that first CFNI recording.
The following widely circulated version releasing the song to the church at large, was recorded by Gateway Church in 2006 under the direction of Thomas Miller and Walker Beach on the popular “Living for You” album. The song was signed to Gateway to be administered by Integrity. I was so impressed with the heart of Michael Coleman and all the folks at Integrity. That same year Don Moen placed it on his personal album entitled “Hiding Place”. That was especially dear to my husband and I as we sang one of his songs in our wedding. Gateway again recorded Revelation Song on Wake Up The World and absolutely brought it to a whole new level with an amazing instrumental bridge that they created. It is stunningly beautiful. In summary, there have now been several different renditions springing up by various artists, colleges, and churches, the most recent being a beautifully moving recording by Kari Jobe released on her self-titled project, and a wonderful new single featuring the unmistakable sound of beloved Philips, Craig and Dean whose full album is slated to be released on July 31st at Gateway Church in Southlake Texas.
“Revelation Song” has taken on a life of its own, and it has been an intense joy to watch the Father “grow it up”, and to hear the Voice of the Bride sing to Jesus; Her voice is so lovely. I often get asked the song story, and even more often, the question of “how” it got “out there” comes up. My only answer is that God chooses what He chooses. No amount of maneuvering, strategical posturing, or pitching would have gotten my music “out there”… whatever that means. I remember telling Jesus with complete sincerity that I could wait until I got to heaven to hear my song sung (although, I also suggested that it would be a terrific song for the angels and great cloud of witnesses to sing when He comes back for us… In the event that He had not already chosen one for the occasion, I didn’t think it would hurt to ask!). ☺