A Vision of Perfect Worship: Revelation Chapter 4
“It is very little that we can know of the future state, but we may be quite sure that we know as much as is good for us. We ought to be as content with that which is not revealed as with that which is. If God wills us not to know, we ought to be satisfied not to know. Depend on it, he has told us all about heaven that is necessary to bring us there; and if he had revealed more, it would have served rather for the gratification of our curiosity than for the increase of our grace.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
Revelation Chapter 4
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.
- Opening of chapter marks a transition
- (linear time = after ‘church age’)
- 7 churches interpreted as ‘ages’ of Christ’s Church
At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.
- Define ‘In The Spirit’
- THRONE = Authority
- God’s Throne mentioned 14 time in this chapter 41 times in the whole book
- JASPER & RUBY Symbols of connection to the 12 tribes & Holiness / Justice
Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.
- 12 tribes of Israel + Jesus’ 12 Disciples / Apostles
- Represent Redeemed of all mankind
- Dressed in White = Purified / Forgiven
- Crowns = Reward for acted upon faith
From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
- Like the scene on Mt Sini when the Law was delivered to Moses
- Seven Spirits (Totality of The Holy Spirit)
- The Sea looked like glass…purifying barrier
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.
- They were similarly described in Isiah 6 and Ezekiel 1 & 10
- Angelic Beings that were not messengers but instead devoted to praising God
- They were there to lead the Elders in Worship
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’
- Eyes everywhere on them was about seeing and being seen
- Worship only happens with total transparency
- They declare His uniqueness, one of a kind nature
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever.
- They react to the reality of God
- They fall down prostrate (posture of submission and humility)
They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’
- Laying down their crowns says: ALL the glory is yours, we deserve none
- ABSOLUTE recognition of God’s sovereignty
- His worthiness is not dependent on our recognition of it
- The declaring His Lordship positions us where we should be
Why should we pay close attention to scenes like this in Scripture?
How might you live if you had a vision of the ‘Reality of Worship’ in Heaven?
What can we do as a church to cultivate a greater sense of AWE for God?
What allows you to ‘get real with God’ when worshiping?
How can we build a culture @t Midtown of giving God ALL glory, for everything?
How can we as Disciples of Christ practice the reality of God’s Sovereignty better?