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Revelation 4:2 TH
And immediately I was in the spirit…
I don’t know how things are at your house, but at my house there’s a whole lot of flesh at times. Just getting up in the morning and dealing with Jason is a challenge. Physically it sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies, snap, crackle, and pop is the normal morning song. Because of that
I’m really looking forward to being in the spirit, to being immediately changed. Spiritually, I have to constantly keep my natural man in check. He always wants to be in charge. How many of you today found yourself allowing the “man” to be in charge. We all struggle with this battle constantly. We all fail continually. However, there’s coming a day when we will no longer struggle with the flesh because when we see Him, we shall be like Him (1 John 3:2).
… and behold, a throne set in heaven,…
Now that John has been caught up in the spirit to witness the things that shall happen hereafter. He enters into the throne room. There the first thing that captures John’s eye is a throne set, or literally “planted” in heaven. Why, would this be so important. Considering who John was writing to it was vitally important. They were under terrible persecution and seeing a throne set as John saw Would bring them hope as it should us as well. Many of the altars or god’s of the old testament could be picked up and moved from one “grove” to the next. They’re gods were fleeting, had variance, and always changing. The altars of Baal and other gods were portable. The scene of a throne planted, unmovable and unshakeable would give them comfort.
He’s unmovable, unshakable, He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever, yet get’s better and better. As the old timers used to say He gets sweeter as the days go by.
…and one sat on the throne.
Hebrews 10:11-14 – He sat down…
Revelation 4:3 (a)
And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper…
The jasper stone was a clear stone—probably a diamond—and speaks of light, holiness and purity. Because God is light (1 John 1:5). His light dispels darkness. Maybe this week a word of disappointment hit your life and brought darkness. Maybe it was a medical report or a friend and a word from the hit your life. It may have surprised you because you weren’t expecting it. You were in the dark so to speak. However, God’s not in the dark about your disappointment. What often happens is we want to know, if God knows about it, why doesn’t He do something about it?
The answer to that is that He has.…
… and a sardius stone in appearance
A sardius stone was most likely what we call a ruby. As soon as we here of that stone the ruby, a color comes to mind. Which of course, is red. It’s the blood of Christ that was shed for us on Calvary, that is the solution to all of life’s problems. The blood flowed from His veins as the nails pierced His hands, as the crown of thorns was clubbed into His skull, as the spear sliced into His side.
And through it all, He would declare, His great love for us, in spite of who we were and who we are. God loves us. ( Romans 5:8). Tell me what else could God possibly do to show you He’s in love with you and wants the best for you? He laid everything on the line and was crucified in your place all the while with you on His mind and on His heart.
Exodus 28, tells us that the high priest wore a breastplate upon which were twelve stones—one for each tribe. The first of the twelve sons of Jacob was Reuben. Reuben’s name means “behold” or “see, a son.” His stone was the sardius stone. The last of the twelve sons was Benjamin, whose name means “son of my right hand.” Benjamin’s stone was a jasper.
Therefore, this One on the throne is, “Behold, the Son of My right hand.” It’s Jesus.
Revelation 4:3 (c)
and there wasa rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
We’ve been conditioned that the throne room of God is a dangerous, scary, and intimidating place. Two verses down it states that there is lightning and thunder coming from the throne. It gives a visual of a massive storm around the throne. So you would have to fight through the storm to get to the Throne of Grace. We have been trained, cautioned, and instructed that when a storm is approaching we should evacuate or take cover. The issue is two-fold. First, we have already been covered. We have been covered by the blood of Jesus and through that we gain access to enter the throne room of God. Not only to enter but enter boldly.
Secondly, it’s the wrong view of the throne. The throne of God is not surrounded by danger signs or warning lights. It’s surrounded by a rainbow which is an sign of grace (Genesis 9:16). That is why we are not instructed to come boldly unto the throne of service, intense worship, or even clean living. We are invited to come boldly unto the throne of grace(Hebrews 4:16).
4 Around the throne weretwenty-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.
Here are two different views of the identity of the twenty-four elders.
The Old Testament priesthood was divided into twenty-four groups (1 Chronicles 24), and because the church is called a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:6), some suggest that the twenty-four elders speaks of the church, with their white garments symbolizing the righteousness given to us in Christ.
Another view, which I am more inclined to agree with, is that the twenty-four elders refer to the twelve patriarchs and the twelve apostles because on each of the twelve gates into the New Jerusalem is the name of one of the patriarchs; and on each of the foundations is the name of an apostle (Revelation 21).
If this is the case, the twenty-four elders would symbolize God’s people in entirety—the patriarchs representing the Old Testament believers, the apostles representing the New Testament believers.
That’s my opinion regarding the identity of the twenty-four elders.
However, we can be certain of their ministry, for as the Book of Revelation progresses, we’ll see what these twenty four elders do in heaven. It’s a great example of what elders should be doing in the church.
First we see the elders sitting in the presence of God.
In the next chapter, the elders seek out John, saying, “Weep not. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah has prevailed.”
Later, we see an elder ask John questions to open a spiritual discussion, they provide information and revelation. You’ll also see the elders singing a new song.
I believe that elders, ministers, and those serving in the church here on earth, must be those who sit in God’s presence, those who seek out people who are hurting and point them to the Lord. We must be those who share truth; and those who sing a new song of something God is doing today, in this hour.
And from the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices…
When you see lightning and hear thunder, you know a storm is coming. Keep in mind that John is addressing people going through terrible times and dark days. Just like you and I when we are going through tough times. We want to know when the enemy of our soul gets what’s coming to him. You might not sense it, feel it or know it. However, there’s a storm of justice coming to your enemy that old serpent the devil. God will repay him for everything that he has done.
…seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
See Isaiah 11:2 this speaks of the seven-fold nature of God’s Spirit.
And before the throne there was a sea of glass like crystal…
When you get to heaven, the throne will catch your eye, seeing Jesus will impact your heart and life, and the crystal sea before the throne will bring you peace. However, this is a lesson for us now. When life is tough and difficult, we should pursue the throne of God. Often we want to go out and rectify the situation. Instead, we should head towards the throne, and while we are on our way, we will encounter the peace of God, even before we get to the throne.
…and in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, werefour living creatures full of eyes in front and in back
The Greek word translated “beasts” which is how It appears in the King James Version, actually means “creatures.” These living creatures are described in greater detail in Ezekiel 1 and 10, where we are told they are cherubim. We come into the Cherubim first in the Garden of Eden. God commissioned cherubim with flaming swords to keep Adam and Even from eating of the tree of life and living forever in their fallen condition (Genesis 3:24).
In the Book of Exodus, cherubim are then seen again on the mercy seat. (Exodus 25:17)
7 The first living creature waslike a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature waslike a flying eagle.
Since the early days of church history, many of stated that the four faces of these cherubim correspond with the four Gospels:
Matthew presents Jesus as King, typified by a lion.
Mark presents Him as a Servant, the ox representing a servant.
Luke presents Jesus in His Humanity, seen in the face of a man.
John presents Jesus as the Son of God, pictured by the eagle who not only soars higher than any other creature, but is the only animal able to look directly into the sun, even as only the Son of God beholds the glory of the Father.
Now when we are talking about a four faced creature, if I were to come in contact with it and not have understanding, I would have fear. Knowledge eliminates the fear and in its place should be peace. Understanding these four faces, having revelation brings peace to our lives. Dig a little deeper and we can get revelation about these four faced creatures.
In chapters 1 and 2 of the Book of Numbers, God declares that His people were to camp in a certain order as they traveled through the wilderness. He told the Levites to surround the tabernacle on the north, south, east, and west sides.
Numbers 2 goes on to say that on each of the four sides were to be three tribes.
Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon, numbering 186,400, were to camp on the east side and were known as the Camp of Judah.
What is the symbol of Judah? The Lion. Why were they on the east side? Because when Jesus comes back, roaring with authority, (I Thessalonians 4:15-18) He’s going to come from the East.
Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, numbering 108,100, were to camp on the west side, and were known as the Camp of Ephraim. Their symbol was an ox.
Reuben, Simeon, and Gad, numbering 151,400, were to camp on the south side and were known as the Camp of Reuben, whose symbol was a man.
Dan, Naphtali, and Asher, numbering 157,600, were to camp on the north side and were known as the Camp of Dan, signified by an eagle.
With the largest number of people camped on the east, the smallest number on the west, and an almost identical number of people on the north and south sides of the tabernacle, the configuration is that of a Cross. which is as applicable practically as it is significant spiritually.…
Balak, king of Moab, hired a prophet named Balaam to pronounce a curse upon the people of Israel. Balaam had to think this was easy money. After all the people of Israel were idolatrous and rebellious, ungrateful and immoral. Surely God will curse them or even destroy them.
Balaam was completely wrong in thinking God was angry with His people. When Balaam attempted to utter a curse over them, all that came out of his mouth was a blessing (Numbers 23–24). Why? Because he was looking over the camp of Israel from a high place of a false god named Baal. The image that Baal was seeing, was the image of the cross. (see images 1-3)
Revelation 4:1 (NKJV)
4After these things I looked, and behold, a door standingopen in heaven. And the first voice which I heard waslike a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here,and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
In Matthew 24:21 and in Revelation 7:14 the Great Tribulation. The discussion isn’t necessarily about the Great Tribulation and the unimaginable events that will surely take place. The discussion centers around whether or not we the church will go through the Great Tribulation?
I for years have stated emphatically, but without much discussion, that I do not believe that the church will go through, these times.
Why would the groom bludgeon His bride the night before the wedding, and then expect the bride to still go through with the wedding? We are the bride of Christ and Christ is the groom.
Some would say well the anger and the judgment of God needs to be poured out. However, that anger and wrath was already poured out. It was poured out on the Cross of Calvary. That was the purpose of the Cross, for as many as did receive Him, to them He gave power, not wrath.
I want to lay out four reasons, why you should have peace about this, and focus your efforts, energy, and purpose on making sure that as many people as possible, hear the knock of Jesus and they open the door to Him as their personal savior.
Reason #1 – the structural outline of Revelation. This outline was written by John, but given by Jesus.
3 sections of Revelation
A. Write the things which you have seen – John wrote in Chapter 1 on the Isle of Patmos the things which He had seen.
B. Write the things which are – the things of the churches – John wrote in Revelation 2 and 3
C. And the things that shall be hereafter (meta tauta)
John would write in Revelation 4 through 19 of the things that were to come to pass after the church was called up to heaven.
The question then is. How did the church get called up to heaven? The church was taken up, snatched away, or we church folk would say raptured.
The church will be taken away in a moment in a twinkling of an eye. This is what the Apostle Paul called the mystery in 1 Corinthians 15:51-56
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery (musterion): We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal mustput on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
56 The sting of death issin, and the strength of sin isthe law. 57 But thanks beto God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 4:1 states that a little different.
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standingopen in heaven. And the first voice which I heard waslike a trumpetspeaking with me, saying, “Come up here,and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
The New King James Version. (1982). (Re 4:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Paul also wrote to the church in Thessalonica these words.
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive andremain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive andremain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Th 4:13–18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
The word rapture is an old English word that means to transport.The church is transported before it happens.
Understand that the great tribulation is the end time visitation of God upon sin and Satan in this world. The judgment that we will face is found in II Corinthians 5:10 when we shall stand before the judgement seat of Christ. Each one of us will receive according to what we have done in the body of Christ.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things donein the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Co 5:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
God’s people will not go through that final wrath known as the great tribulation.
There istherefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
The New King James Version. (1982). (Ro 8:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life
The New King James Version. (1982). (Jn 5:24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 – 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Th 5:9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Revelation 3:10 – 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trialwhich shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
The New King James Version. (1982). (Re 3:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Jesus already took the penalty for our sins. When we received Him, we were saved by the sacrifice of Jesus and saved from the wrath and judgment.
The Delivered Church
Matthew 24:21, Revelation 7:14, Joel 2:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:2,
things that thou hast seen
Things that which are
Things that will take place
The church in Thessalonica was undergoing great trials. They believed that they were in the great tribulation. The verbiage in some translations states, they thought they were in the “day of the Lord”. These believers, because of the great trials and tribulations of their life, believed they were going through the great tribulation. Therefore, they asked Paul, what is this that is happening. We under so much pressure that we are being overwhelmed. Paul responds in an explanation to them in II Thessalonians 2.
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not comeunless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do sountil He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming
The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Th 2:1–8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Paul states the first thing that will happen in the Day of the Lord is that there will be a falling away and the man of sin is revealed.
Paul also states that the only thing that is keeping this from happening is that there is a “Restrainer”! Someone is keeping the Man of Sin from being revealed. Satan has always tried to do his thing, but there’s always been a restraint. He would kill you if he could, but he cannot. Satan would destroy if he could, but he cannot. Satan would steal from you, but someone is restraining him. Someone has more power than the devil.
Now some would say, oh, that has to be an angel. No! The bible says that not even Michael the archangel would dare to speak to Satan and rebuke him, instead Michael states “the Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 1:9 and 2 Peter 2:11).
Yet, the bible says that Greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
I believe that the Restrainer on the earth is the Holy Spirit of God. That Spirit rests inside of the believer and the believer is what makes up the church. So you can then see that the church on the earth is restraining the Man of Sin.
However, when the church is caught up, taken out of the way, there will be no restriction on the Man of Sin. Why? The Spirit of God will have been lifted, and when it’s lifted, everything that has that spirit will be caught up. I can envision in my mind that the lifting is that moment in the twinkling of an eye.
The Old Testament is types and shadows of what is to come in the New Testament. The Old Testament is the schoolmaster teaching us about Christ.
Luke 17 states – “as it was in the Days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man.”
As it was in the days of Noah… the scripture follows a pattern
In the days of Noah there was judgement.
However, there was man by the name of Enoch who was before Noah. Enoch though was taken up before the flood for He was pleasing to God.
Noah passed through the flood.
Enoch is the type of the church, we will be taken up before judgement.
Noah is the type of what we call the remnant, that is saved through the tribulation.
Now let’s look at another person for a moment.
Lot, this man was a compromising carnal Christian. By most accounts we believers wouldn’t think that Lot was worth saving. However, judgment was coming on Sodom and Gomorrah. God wouldn’t rain down judgement on those cities, because of Lot’s presence there.
In 2 Peter 2:8 – 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented hisrighteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing theirlawless deeds
The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Pe 2:8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Summarize Genesis 19…
However, the angel said “I can’t do anything to Sodom and Gomorrah until you arrive at Zoar!”
Judgment couldn’t rain down until Lot was out of the way. We cannot rain down judgment here until you get there. God’s judgement doesn’t rain down until His people are taken out of the way.
God’s people have a hope, the scripture lays out pretty clearly that we are to be a people of hope.
Now like you, I have known people who are more interested in looking for the man of sin, looking for a snake under every rock and around every corner. They are looking for the beast, the false prophet, the Anti-Christ. Others spend their time looking for the signs of Armageddon others are paying attention to the when the temple is being built. While others look for every detail for a sign of the end.
However, we aren’t to be looking for those signs. We are instructed by the bible to look to Jesus.
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
The New King James Version. (1982). (Tt 2:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Can you imagine the hope that builds when you begin to look at Christ instead of the things of the world. We would begin to live with Heaven on our minds. We would live with eternity being the forefront of our minds. We look for that blessed day when Jesus Christ Appears and in a moment in a twinkling of an eye, we will be with the Lord.
The Apostles and disciples would greet each other with maranatha – the Lord is at Hand.
We are to live with that imminence, that at any moment Jesus Christ is coming. When He comes it will not be with an announcement, no signs! He will come quietly, like a thief in the night. He will come and we will be caught up transported, through an open door in heaven.
How do you get an open door into Heaven? (Rev 4:1)
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Revelation 3:20 NKJV
When you heard Jesus knock on your door and you opened it and let him in. When you opened that door, He opened a door in Heaven for you. You invited Him in, on that day He will return the favor and invite you in.
Saying enter in, thou good and faithful servant.