The Vision: “E ho’ohälau i ka hale a piha i nä makamaka” (Fill the house full with intimate friends)

                                                                                REVELATION SERMON 2

Sermon Series: Understanding the Book of Revelation

Message Title: “Enter the Throne Room of God”

REVIEW:

Last week’s message we learned that:

Ø The Book of Revelation is a blessing (we are blessed if we read it, hear it and heed to it)

Ø The Book of Revelation was written to encourage the churches facing persecution, to address spiritual complacency and to deliver a “warning” of judgment coming.

Ø Apostle John wrote it on the Island of Patmos

Ø Jesus tells John to write a letter to the 7 churches in the province of Asia

Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea

 

Ephesus: “the loveless church” (they lost their first love –Jesus Christ) repent

Smyrna:  “the (suffering) persecuted church” (encouraged by Jesus not to be afraid—hang in there—crown of life given)

Pergamum:  “the compromising church”  (two-faced: loyal in not denying Jesus but tolerating false teachers, doctrines) repent

Thyatira:  “the (adulterous) corrupt church” (led astray into immorality and ungodly worship) repent

Sardis:  “the dead church” (appearing all spiritual on the outside but dead on the inside) repent

Philadelphia: “the faithful church” (no complaint, no correction—commends them for their obedience)

Laodicea:  “the disgusting church” (Jesus has nothing good to say—like lukewarm water wanting to spit it out—so self-absorbed/so materialistic/into their wealth.) repent

 

Summary:

These are the things Jesus needed to tell the seven churches which were actual historical churches.  Although the seven churches are long gone, the message they received still applies today.

That was the first vision, now let’s move on to the second vision…

 

Revelation 4: 1-2 (NASB)

Scene in Heaven”:

1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

 

o   Remember we read John was on the Island of Patmos?

Revelation 1:10 (NASB)

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet

We know this to be who?  Jesus Christ, similar to verse 1.

 

o   John somehow ends up in heaven, it says in verse 2: “Immediately I was in the Spirit” (the bible does not elaborate on this, we don’t know how this happened if John was physically here on earth and somehow his spirit ended up there, we don’t know if it was a “beam me up Scotty kind of moment” like Star Trek”.

o   But what we do know is that John finds himself in the throne room of Heaven and he sees God sitting on the throne.

o   And here is how the scene is described.

Revelation 4: 3-4 (NASB)

3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.

o   John uses brilliant gemstones to describe the scene:  Jasper, Sardius, Emerald.

 

1.    John doesn’t describe God’s features,  but describes his ________________(splendor)

Define splendor: Magnificent, brilliant, grand, impressiveness

o   John also mentions 24 golden thrones with 24 elders sitting on them with gold crowns on their heads. We don’t exactly know who they are….but they are there worshiping God eventually.

 

Difference between Western and Jewish mindset

(as stated by Jay McCarl, Middle East expert, author and Theologian)

The Western mindset tries to dissect every minute detail of something.

When we read about the Jasper, Sardius, Emerald Rainbow, etc. the Western mind wants to figure out the exact color and make up of that gemstone, how many shades in the emerald rainbow, how the golden thrones looked like, etc.

 

The Jewish mindset is more of a broader thinking/big picture way. Not so much what were the details and intricacies of the vision, but What was it for? –what was really being described? In this case the description was about “God’s Splendor.”

The scene goes on….

Revelaton 4:5-6 (NASB)

(Need lighting and thunder sounds as I read)

5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; 6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.

Let’s unpack this:

o   Flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder (similar language used in Exodus of God’s presence—God Speaking

Exodus 19:16 (AMP)

16 So it happened on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and flashes of lightning, and a thick cloud was on the mountain, and a very loud blast was sounded on a ram’s horn, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

Verse 5-6 also tells us:

o   Seven lamps of fire, seven Spirits of God represents the Holy Spirit

o   Something like a sea of glass—don’t read too much into it—John does not elaborate on this.

o   Then the “four living creatures” full of eyes in front and behind.

 

2.    The “four living creatures” here were _______________(Cherubim) angels.

o   These were the mightiest of angels in the ranks of angels---the big guys.

o   Other angels the bible talks about are Seraphim angels, Archangels, etc.

o   Covered with eyes?  Again think Jewish mindset---What was it for? How did they think? The eyes represented all around perfect vision, perfect sight, nothing escapes them.

 

Revelaton 4:7-8 (NASB)

7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

Jewish mindset: Not how it looked, but what was it for?

o   These were angels singing about God’s nature….Holy.Holy.Holy

3.    The primary purpose of the four living creatures was to ____________(worship) and declaring God’s ____________(holiness.)

o   We will read more about them in the next scene.

Revelaton 4:9-11 (NASB)

9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

 

o   What happens to the 24 elders when the four living creatures begin to give glory, honor and thanks to God?

o   They fall down and begin to worship Him…even taking off their crowns.

CONCLUSION

o   Revelation chapter 4 describe John’s vision of the throne of God in heaven.

o   Thrones always represent power and sovereignty of the one who sits there.

o   If you lived in a kingdom with a king sitting on the throne, you would know that nothing happened unless the king said so.

 

o   Well guess what?  You do live in a kingdom—God’s kingdom—God’s way of doing things as described in His word the Bible.

o   And nothing now and nothing in the future will happen outside of His control and command.

o   No matter what happens on earth, God in heaven is in charge of it all.  Make sense?

Review

1.  John doesn’t describe God’s features, but describes his ________________(splendor)

2. The “four living creatures” here were _______________(Cherubim) angels.

3. The primary purpose of the four living creatures was to ____________(worship) and declaring God’s ____________(holiness.)

 

What does this all mean for me today? Couple take away questions for us:

o   Does my life reflect the reverence and awe that’s due to God who sits on the throne in heaven as described by John?

o   What things are in the way of coming to God in worship, in Spirit and Truth?

o   Am I ready to go to heaven?  Let’s pray…

 

 

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