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    Revelation Chapter 4-5


             IN HEAVEN

  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.”                                                                                                    

     Chapter 4 leads us into a throne room, where the King is sitting.  Twice in the Revelation we see an open door. 4:1, John sees “a door standing open in heaven”. John did not see the door as it opened – it was open all the time.  This is the door through which we came to God (Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life”)  Jesus is the open door to heaven.   
Revelation 19:11, John “saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse”.  The first time the door opens, someone goes up, and the next time, someone will come down.

       How can anyone describe God?  As a bright light, a presence, an old man with a beard, a voice.  John described God the Son, Jesus, in chapter 1.  Here in chapter 4, he describes God the Father. He could not distinguish a form of a person on the throne, only brilliance and brightness of precious stones.  A precious stone—all Jews could understand that. 

   2At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.                                                
   3And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.
   4 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.
   5 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[a] of God. 
   6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.
   7 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. 
   8 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.”
   “The appearance of jasper and carnelian (v. 3).  Every Jew knew these stones were the first and last stones in the breastplate of the high priest.  Jasper was a clear gem, like a diamond.  God’s glory more perfect than any diamond.  The first stone, in the beginning, God, perfect precious. Carnelian, or sardius, is red, like the ruby, the last stone in the breastplate.  Red like the blood of Jesus.

   Around the throne, a complete rainbow, all things are complete in heaven.  
   The Emerald is colored green, a symbol of life.
   The Circle – indicates eternity, never ending.
   The sea of glass in verse 6 speaks of its appearance, not the material it is made from.  Glass is reflective, clear and shiny. A sea is vast and tumultuous.  
All attention in heaven is on the throne.  God the Father is seated on the throne.  God the Son is standing before him (see 5:6) How can this be? They are one and the same, are they not?  Don’t ask me. I have no idea!!  Just accept it because God said it.  

   In 4:4 the 24 elders represent the church, dressed in white, crowns upon their heads.
   There are 5 different crowns available to us as rewards.
   1.     Crown of Incorruption – for those who live a 
Disciplined life (see 1 Cor. 9:26)
   2.     Crown of life – those who with patience endure trials. (see James 1:12)
   3.    Crown of  Rejoicing – Those who joyously expressed their faith.  This is also called the Soul-winners crown. (see 1 Thess. 2:19, 20)
   4.    Crown of Glory – faithful in ministering the Word (1 Peter 5:1-4)
   5.    Crown of Righteousness - for those who love His appearing.  (1 Timothy 4:8)
    What a scene in heaven!!! From the throne come flashes of lightning, voices, and thunder.  Have you ever watched a storm forming on the horizon? You watch as it begins to more towards you.  What do you see first?  Judgment is about to fall on earth.

   Verses 9-11
   9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever,
   10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
   11 “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.”

   4 living creatures – They are involved in worshiping God and carrying out His judgements on the world.  The Greek word for creatures here is zoa – where we get our English word Zoo. They are not wild beasts but living creatures.  Full of eyes, meaning alertness and awareness.  We have no idea of all the creatures we will see in heaven.  The Bible only mentions just a few of them.  Those we see on earth are only the beginning.

     The 24 elders fall down on their faces, cast their crowns at His feet.  The Lord said “Write it down, John”

    How will we be judged?  By our works, the quality of our works, 
Not the quantity. This has nothing to do with salvation.  This concerns rewards only.  Some folks say “Just get me into heaven, That’s good enough for me” – What do you think?  Is it good enough for you? Why do you want to go to heaven?  Just to miss hell? Do you find worship boring? If you do, then you won’t enjoy heaven.  Some say “no tears in heaven”.  I have news for you.   There will be tears.  Only after the period of tribulation and the end of the Millennium, THEN God will wipe away our tears. (see Rev. 21:4).

   Why will there be tears at this time? Because of neglected opportunities, bad investments, neglected holiness, lost rewards.  The list goes on and on.  The judgment seat of Christ is for the saved and will be a time of terror (1 Cor. 3:14) and shame (1John 2:28) But it will also be a time of triumph and great rewards for those who have been persecuted for Christ (Matt 5:12),

    What rewards will we get on that day?  Blue ribbons and gold medals, or humiliation?

   I have decided to combine chapters 4 and 5 because, together, they complete the look at the Throne room in heaven.  There will be other scenes from the Throne room in other chapters, but this chapter concludes the initial look at this magnificent scene.

   Turmoil reigns on earth.  God is on His throne in heaven.  The scroll is in His right hand, the hand of authority.  This is a record of the sequence of events for the next 7 years.

   ‘Rev. 5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.
   2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”
   3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.
   4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 
   What is this book in God’s hand?  Is it the title deed to the earth?  In Jeremiah 32:6-15, God told Jeremiah to have his servant go and buy some property and to get the title deed to it, because God promised that these people were going to be returned to the land.
The Lord Jesus holds the title deed to this earth.  He created it, He redeemed it, it belongs to Him.

    v. 2 begs the question who has the right to the title to this world?  Who can rule it” A strong angel means a powerful angel and one who speaks with power.  No man of Adams line (In other words, no human being). Who can rescue the earth from Satan’s clutches?  John wept.  Overwhelmed by the possibility that there may be no one.  Then Jesus steps up, the only One who has the right.

   5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
   6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
    7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 
    8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.
   A Lamb in the Greek is Arnion meaning: As if it had been slain, the emphasis here is upon His death. Watch the action here.   Standing – resurrection, no longer seated at the right hand of God.  Moving now, moving to power. The movement here is important.  No longer acting as intercessor of the church.  WHY?
   The Church is now with Him.  An intercessor no longer is needed.  Now He begins to act as Judge. THE LORD JESUS TAKES OVER.  
    9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
   Now notice the worship.  Harps indicate praise.  Singing, the angels join in the praise.  A new song is sung, a song of redemption.  What was the old song?  It was the song of creation. Remember this, worship is not an action, it is a reaction, a response.  If earthly worship is to be modeled after heavenly worship, what is most lacking in your experience of worship? If you are not in the habit of praising and worshiping Him, why don’t you start right now?  Let’s take the time right now to worship the Lamb and the one who sits on the throne

   10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
   11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 
   12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
   13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
   14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
John watches while Jesus takes the scroll from His Father, and breaks the first seal. Oh, what a worship service that one is.  Wouldn’t you love to be a part of that kind of  worship. Today we are fast approaching the appearance of a new world leader, a man described as the Dark Prince, the Antichrist.  I believe he is alive today.   
    Next week chapter 6, we begin to watch as the earth falls into tribulation as never before.  Jesus has taken the scroll, sealed with 7 seals, and is about to open the first seal.

You do not want to miss this chapter.
Meet you there, precious ones

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