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The Reign Of The Saints

SIH STSTA ICON

 

In Revelation 5:8-9, we find the 4 beasts and the 24 elders (symbols of the people of God) praising the Lamb (Jesus Christ) for His great work on their behalf…

 

 

“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;”

Then, in the very next verse, they praise Christ for the blessings they receive through His work …
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

Here, we read of the saints being given two positions of great authority (“Kings and Priests”) allowing them to “reign on the earth”. What does this promise involve? Or put another way, In what way do the saints of God reign as Kings and Priests upon the earth? This is the question we will be answering in this Bible study.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Daniel 7:15-22; Daniel 7:26-27; Matthew 19:27-30; Matthew 24:45-51; Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 12:42-48; Luke 19:11-27; Luke 22:24-30;  1 Corinthians 6:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2:26-27; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:8-10; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 20:4-5; Revelation 22:3-5

THE STUDY:

When we speak of the saints reigning, we are describing several different types of dominion that are granted to the redeemed of God. The following is a description of these types of dominion by subject in outline, form. What follows the outline is a listing of many of the Bible texts which teach these areas of dominion with a brief summary of each event listed in chronological order (when possible).

 

Dominion Over The Nations – The Saints God-Given Authority Involves the saint exercising great authority over the powers of darkness IN THIS PRESENT WORLD and in THE WORLD TO COME:

A) Saints are given DOMINION IN THIS PRESENT WORLD (the existing heaven and earth):

(1) This dominion involves the ability to overcome the control of our sinful flesh and powers of darkness in this present world. This is why the saints are described as “Victors over the world” or “Overcomers”.

(2) This dominion is displayed by the saints’ sharing of victory at Armageddon – the saints accompanying Christ at final defeat of lost mankind in this present world at Christ’s second coming

B) Saints are promised to receive DOMINION IN THE WORLD TO COME (the New Heavens and New Earth) in which we will live eternally:

(1) This dominion will be a reward for the saint’s faithfulness – The future dominion of the saints is given as a reward for victorious living now. This dominion involves dominion over the nations, and dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth…

(a) Dominion Over The World By Judgment – this will take place as the saints share in the final judgment of the wicked men and angels, both Jew and Gentile, both OT and NT lost mankind. This will be the ultimate defeat of the powers of darkness in the world to come lasting for eternity.

1. Judging Israel – Saints will judge Israel (who rejected Messiah and crucified Him) during judgment of the lost. Israel is a representative of all lost mankind due to their rebellion and rejection of Christ.

2. Judging Angels – Saints will also judge the fallen angels (demons) including Satan, himself at this final judgment of the lost.

(b) Dominion over New Heavens and New Earth – Reign on NH & NE in Christ’s presence will stretch from the 1000 year reign into eternity. This will take place from the creation of the NH and NE throughout eternity. This includes both phases of the eternal state (the 1000 yr reign and the finalized eternal kingdom of God)…

1. 1000 Yr Reign – Beginning Of Christ’s reign on NH NE. As believers are judged they receive authority over NHNE during this time period

2.  Eternal Kingdom – This is the ultimate proof of the saint’s victory over this sinful world. Their dominion over the world symbolizing the renewal of the Garden of Eden on the New Earth.

 

Scripture References For Above Outline:

 

Dominion Over The Nations

1. The Lord blesses those who are truly saved (overcomers) with dominion over the powers of darkness of this world….

Revelation 2:26-27 KJV “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”

Note: “The nations” are referring to lost mankind (as part of the powers of darkness of this world). In this text, we are given representations of the two types of dominion possessed by saved mankind (dominion in this world and dominion in the world to come).
The phrase “rule with rod of iron” points us to the overcomers dominion over the powers of darkness in this world. This victory finds its completion at the Battle of Armageddon which is the last historic event that takes place on this present evil world.
The phrase “power over the nations” speaks of the dominion which the saints will possess in the future in the New world to come. This phrase speaks of the judgment of lost mankind at the final judgment and consignment to the Lake of Fire. This judgment is the ultimate, eternal defeat of the powers of darkness for eternity.

 

The Dominion Given To Saints NOW: “Overcomers”

1. The ability to escape the dominion of sin (context – false teaching) based upon power of indwelling Spirit…

1 John 4:4 KJV “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

2. Access to Godly power overcoming the dominion of sin (Satan, antichrist spirit, powers of darkness, our flesh) which is received through saving faith (resulting in Spirit indwelling)…

1 John 5:4-5 KJV “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

3. The Saints had overcome the dominion of sin (shown by thrones) and were now in Christ’s presence following their death …

Revelation 4:4 KJV “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.”

 

Victory At Armegeddon

1. The Lord, accompanied by His saints, returns to the earth and gains the final victory over the lost kingdoms of this current world…

Revelation 19:11-21 KJV “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

Note: The victory at Armageddon is an outward display of the authority given to the saints as Overcomers.

The Dominion Given To The Saints As A Reward For Faithfulness

1. Faithfulness of true believers will result in rewards and blessings of rulership at the believer’s judgment…

Matthew 24:45-51 KJV “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:14-30 KJV “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

2. The truly saved servant was faithful – he was rewarded with rulership. The lost servant was unfaithful and cast into hell.…

Luke 12:42-48 KJV “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

Note: Of those who were lost the greater the knowledge (responsibility) the greater the punishment. (Teaches us that levels of hell exist based upon amount of knowledge and willful rejection of truth)

Luke 19:11-27 KJV “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

Note: Those who are lost servants, who fear Lord as being unjust and hard will have their knowledge of God and hypocritical service made useless and they will be empty handed at day of judgment. The lost, who are outwardly rebellious and immoral, face immediate rejection by God as well.

Dominion Over New Heavens and New Earth

1. Saints, those who are redeemed through blood of Christ, are given authority to rule and enter God’s presence. Both types of dominion will be clearly seen as the saints enter eternity with the Lord, ruling over the New Creation and entering into His presence for an eternity.

Revelation 5:8-10 KJV “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

 

1000 Year Reign

1. This marks the first part of Christ’s eternal reign on the New Heavens and New Earth (immediately following the appearance of the NH & NE following Armageddon) At this point in time the saints are judged and they are given reign over NH and NE for eternity (restoration of Garden of Eden before fall).

Revelation 20:4-5 KJV “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”

 

2. This time periods runs from the 1000 Year Reign throughout Eternity

2 Timothy 2:11-13 KJV “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”

Revelation 3:21 KJV To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Judging The World

1. Saints will judge lost world (fallen world) during final judgment of lost…

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 KJV “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

2. This judgment also involves fallen angels (including Satan) as well as lost mankind…

1 Corinthians 6:1-3 KJV “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”

Note: saints will judge fallen angels during GWTH (Jude 1:6) (Satan included?) Saints, as Overcomers were given authority over demons during Bible days pictured saints holding authority over demons (John 12:31). Likewise, angels ministering to believers is a sign of man’s authority over angels as well.

3. A part of this judgment involves the nation of Israel (those who rejected and crucified Christ) picturing all lost mankind.

Matthew 19:27-30 KJV “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

Note: “The regeneration” is speaking of the reformation of the Heavens and Earth resulting in the New Heavens and New Earth. The Lord is reigning upon the earth with His saints at this time.

Luke 22:24-30 KJV “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 

Eternal Kingdom

1. Saints given “the kingdom” beginning with the end of Armegeddon (appearance of NH and NE) into 1000 yr to GWTH to Eternity

Daniel 7:15-22 KJV “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”

Daniel 7:26-27 KJV “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

 

2. The eternal, perfect, dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth. This is tantamount to the blessings of the Garden of Eden restored to mankind. The curse of sin being totally undone…

Revelation 22:1-5 KJV “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

 

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “The four and twenty elders…cast their crowns before the throne,”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:10 KJV

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,…

 

 

 

Here, we see the Christians (the 24 elders) taking the rewards they received for faithfulness (their crowns) and casting them back at the feet of the throne of God.

Why would they do such a thing?

Some of the most precious possessions the Christian will enjoy in eternity are the rewards for faithfulness that are given to them. Casting them at the feet of God is not an act of rejection of the rewards;  on the contrary, it is a display of their recognition that God deserves the rewards that they have received.

Stop and think about it… every act of faithfulness in our service for Christ is only performed because He has intervened in our lives and enabled us to serve Him faithfully.  Here are some examples of gifts from the Lord that enable us to faithfully serve Him: our physical life; the strength to walk and move about; our ability to speak; our knowledge and understanding of Scripture; the indwelling Spirit that leads us; the opportunity to serve Him; and, most importantly, the salvation we possess.  All of these, and many others, are needed for us to be faithful in His service and all of these are gifts of grace that He gives to us.

This is why the elders are casting their crowns at His feet…. It is an act of recognition, appreciation, a desire to glorify Him, and an act of justice.  They realize they could not serve Him apart from His grace, they are thankful for His enabling graces, they desire for Him to be glorified for His intervention in their lives, and they owe it to Him.

It is as if they are saying, “This reward I have been given is the result of your enabling me… I could not have done it without you… therefore, you deserve this reward not I.”

 

Folks, when we look back on our day, week, year, or lifetime, and we remember the times that we have been faithful to our Lord, we should remind ourselves that these things were accomplished through His gracious intervention… and likewise, as we are faced with new opportunities of service, may we look to Him and rely upon Him solely for the enablement to be faithful in what lies ahead for us.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  John 15:5 KJV

Lord, please empower me to be faithful to you this day… without you I can do nothing to please or honor you; but I know, by faith, I can do all things with you at my side.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD

Do We Rise Above Our Trials?

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 4:7 KJV

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Ty

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the fourth beast was like a flying eagle…”

Revelation 4:7 KJV

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

In this section of John’s vision, we are introduced to four “beasts” (living creatures) which pictures for us a different aspect of our spiritual life in Christ.  We have already seen that the first beast symbolizes the Christian’s authority as overcomer in this world and the world to come.  We also saw that the second beast was a picture of the Christian as a servant of Christ, and the third living creature is pictured as a man, reminding us of the humanity and sinfulness of the Christian and his great continuing need for Christ’s intervention in His life.

The final living creature that is revealed to John in this vision is that of an eagle.  The eagle pictures for us the Christian’s ability to rise above the difficulties and heartaches of this world knowing that there awaits for them “some better thing” i.e. eternity with Christ.  (Hebrews 11:36-40)

 

Isaiah 40:31 KJV

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

 

The Bible says much about a Christian that feels weak and ready to faint in the midst of the trials of life.  Here is a very short listing of some principles that we should apply to our lives when we feel as if we are ready to faint under the heavy loads that life may put upon us…

  1. Psa 27:13 – always keep our minds on the blessings of the Lord and His promises for future blessings to come upon us
  2. Luke 18:1 – always take our needs, feelings and weaknesses to the Lord in prayer, looking to Him to meet our current set of needs.
  3. 2 Cor 4:1 – always remember the ministry to which we are called and count it a blessing to be used of Him. This gives us a purpose to continue on for His glory.
  4. 2 Cor 4:14-18 – always remember the blessings of eternity that await us.
  5. Gal 6:9 – remember the Lord is using our current labors so that we may reap the fruits of His glory, our good, and for a testimony of Godliness to those around us.
  6. Hebs 12:1-3 – always remember the example of faithfulness in suffering set by the Old Testament saints and, especially, our Lord Jesus Christ

As we enter our day of service for Christ, we may be touched by hardships and opposition that will wear us down and weaken us.   May we keep these basic principles in mind as we continue onward knowing that the Lord is with us, enabling, protecting, and comforting us as we walk down our personal valley of darkness.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “and the third beast had a face as a man,…”

SIH TOTT ICON
Revelation 4:7 KJV

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

 

 

In this section of John’s vision, we are introduced to four “beasts” (living creatures) which pictures for us a different aspect of our spiritual life in Christ.  We have already seen that the first beast symbolizes the Christian’s authority as overcomer in this world and the world to come.  We also saw that the second beast was a picture of the Christian as a servant of Christ.

The third living creature is pictured as a man, reminding us of the humanity and sinfulness of the Christian.  The Christian is a frail, fallen creature who desperately is in need of divine intervention in their lives on a daily basis.   Paul described this aspect of the Christian’s life best when he stated…

I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:21-25 KJV

 

Christ, Himself affirmed this same principle when He clearly proclaimed…

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5 KJV

 

This is why even the plowing of the wicked man is sinful in God’s sight.  The wicked man is not plowing as an act of faith and reliance upon Christ, but he is plowing pridefully relying only upon himself as a sinful fallen creature…

“An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.”  Proverbs 21:4 KJV

 

Folks, as we live our life today… lets remember the need to be CONSTANTLY looking to the Lord guidance, strength, wisdom and opportunity as we seek to serve Him.  He alone can give us the ability to successfully live our lives as witnesses of His glory.  He alone can graciously enable us to bear the fruits of His Spirit so others might see Him in us.  He alone can intercede before God on our behalf presenting our every need to the Father.  He alone gives us every breath we breathe, every step we take, and every word we speak.  He alone is our all in all.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “and the second beast like a calf…”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:7 KJV

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

 

 

In this section of John’s vision, we are introduced to four “beasts” (living creatures) which pictures for us a different aspect of our spiritual life in Christ.  We have already seen that the first beast symbolizes the Christian’s authority as overcomer in this world and the world to come.

The second living creature is pictured as a calf, or young ox.  This symbolically represents the Christian as the servant of the Most High God.

The most common title for the writers of the New Testament is “a servant of Christ”.  It is used by Paul (Romans 1:1 etc); James (James 1:1); Peter (2 Peter 1:1); Jude (Jude 1:1); and John (Revelation 1:1);  to describe themselves.   What a wonderful group of men to be associated with when we take upon ourselves this wonderful title!

To be a servant of Christ does not imply a forced servitude, but on the contrary, our service to Christ flows from a willing heart of appreciation for all He has done for us.  The Christian realizes that living a life of sacrifice for Christ is simply our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).  After all, since Christ gave His life on the cross for us, surely we can live a life of service for Him… it just makes sense!

Paul in Eph 6:5-6 gives us some various important principles to follow as faithful servants of Christ….

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Keep in mind, in these verses Paul is explaining that our submission to worldly authorities should be an earthly display of our service to Christ.  Here are a few principles we can glean from this passage…

Our service to Christ should involve:

  1. obedience – the fulfilling of delegated responsibilities
  2. fear – respect and recognition of authority over us
  3. trembling – recognition of possibility of discipline/correction if responsibilities are not fulfilled.
  4. singleness of heart – undivided love and desire to please
  5. not with eyeservice as menpleasers – motive of service should not be to “impress others” and “receive the praise of men”

Folks, what a wonderful privilege we, as Christians, possess…. To be servants of the faithful servants of the Almighty God, possessing undivided hearts of commitment, respect and fearful trembling as we seek to please the Lord above all else!
May we begin our day by remembering our role as servants of Christ and seek to be faithful in every opportunity of service that will open up to us today.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “And the first beast was like a lion…”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:7 KJV

(7)  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

 

 

 

In this section of John’s vision, we are introduced to four “beasts” (living creatures) which pictures for us a different aspect of our spiritual life in Christ.

The first beast is described as being “like a lion”.  In the Old Testament, the lion was an animal that symbolized Kingly authority.  This is why the approach to Solomon’s throne was lined with two lions (1 Kings 10:19); also, Christ Himself was described as the “lion of the Tribe of Judah” (Rev 5:5) pointing to the Kingly power that He possessed.  Amazingly, the child of God is also described as a “lion” in our passage.  This is helping us to understand that the people of God possess the authority to rule as Kings!

There are many aspects to this great authority that are given to the people of God.  Not only are we promised to possess great authority in the world to come (our role in the judgment of the lost and dominion over the New Heavens and New Earth etc),  but we also are told that we possess great authority NOW as we serve the Lord in this day and age.

This possession of ruling authority is the basis of the Christian’s New Testament title of “overcomer” or “victor”.  As Christians, we are promised that we have possess ruling authority over the powers of darkness in this world…

1 John 4:4 KJV Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

1 John 5:4-5 KJV “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Folks, as the people of God, we should never feel as if the powers of darkness have been given the control over us.  This is not so.  Based upon our faith in Christ, and His indwelling Spirit within us, we have been given great authority over those sinful powers.   The war against these great foes has already been won by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Although the battles may continue, the ultimate victory is Christ’s and He will share in that victory with us.

When Satan, the sinful influences of this fallen world, the demonic powers around us, and our sinful fallen nature, attempt to gain control of our thoughts and actions, we need to always remember our Lord is in control, He has gained the victory over all of these powers and is now living inside of us.  He is the One in control, He is the One that is the Lord whom we serve, He is the One that is victorious and has allowed us to, by faith, share in that victory NOW and in the world to come…

Romans 8:31-37 KJV

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

May we always look to the Lord in faith when these powers align themselves against us, knowing that He has gotten the victory and has promised to share in that victory with us NOW and in the world to come.

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD

Revelation 4: Summary

SIH STSTA ICONSUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

 

 

 

 

In our previous studies we have seen that Revelation chapter 4:, which begins a vision of worship taking place in heaven, contains 2 main divisions:

  1. Revelation 4:1-5 – The throne of God
  2. Revelation 4:6-11 – The worship of the four beasts and the twenty-four elders

 

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER: 

  1.  Revelation 4:1-5 – The throne of God 

In this first part of the vision, John sees a wondrous vision of the throne of God in heaven.  This vision displays the worship of the Lord by the spirits of the saints of God who have died and gone on before us.

John sees God’s all-encompassing authority symbolized by God sitting upon a throne.  God’s appearance is associated with colors that represent His holiness, justice, mercy and wrath.  Likewise the rainbow encircling the throne symbolizes God is the supremely faithful One who is the source of all physical and spiritual life.

John also sees “twenty four elders” sitting upon twenty-four thrones.  These twenty-four elders represent the saints of the most high with an emphasis on their position as the eternally blessed of God. They are twenty-four in number symbolizing their number includes both OT (12 tribes of Israel) and NT (12 apostles) saints. Their white robes reveal their righteous standing before God, their crowns symbolize for us their rewards for faithfulness including the authority to rule with Christ.

This part of the vision closes with lightning, thunder and voices coming from the throne representing the greatness of God, the One sitting on the throne.  Also John sees 7 lamps in front of the throne representing the one Holy Spirit ready to perform His seven-fold ministry at the bidding of God.

 

For a much more detailed look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Qa

 

 

  1.  Revelation 4:6-11 – The worship of the four beasts and twenty-four elders

In the second part of this vision, John sees sea of glass proceeding from God’s throne.  This sea symbolizes the perfect way of salvation which contains the living water that gives access to eternal life. Symbolically, it also explains that this way of salvation finds its origin in God, it is revealed to mankind through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it reveals man’s true condition and the genuine way that secures deliverance from sin.

In this vision, John also sees four beasts, which are representative of the saints of God with an emphasis on the spiritual life that they possess.  Their description and the accompanying symbolism is very detailed.  Basically, we are taught that those who possess eternal life from Christ: rule with Christ; serve Christ; although saved, are weak and frail due to their sinful flesh; can transcend the sin and trials of this temporal world because of their everlasting life; recognize their sin, are ashamed of it, but do not let it hinder their service to Christ; their possession of spiritual knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.  We also see their main activity in heaven is worship their God by praising Him for who He is and what He has done for them.

In the final part of this vision, John sees the twenty-four elders worshipping God by casting their crowns before the throne of the Lord.  This pictures for us the truth that all of our acts of service to the Lord are the result of His divine gracious enabling.  Following the receipt of rewards they are given back to God as the One who truly deserves them.

 

For a much more detailed look at this section of Scripture:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3RD

 

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In the next lesson in our series, we will be looking at Revelation 5:. In chapter 5 we have a continuation of this vision seen by the Apostle John.  We will have the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ as a Lamb who holds the world’s history from creation to consummation in His hands.

The following is a short outline of this entire vision…

  1. Vision Of Heaven 4:1-5:14
  2. Worship Before The Throne  (4:1-11)
  3. The Throne Of God (vs 1-5)
  4. The Four Beast’s Worship Of God (vs 6-11)
  5. The Scroll And The Lamb (5:1-7)
  6. Worship Of The Lamb (5:8-14)           

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 4:6-11 “The Four Beasts’ and The 24 Elders’ Worship of God”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

The Worship of The Four Beasts Before The Throne Of God In Heaven:

 

Revelation 4:6-11 KJV

(6)  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

(7)  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

(8)  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

(9)  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

(10)  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

(11)  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

 

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Chapter 4 begins a new section in the book of Revelation… “Jesus Christ In The Midst Of Heaven”.  Prior to this section, our attention was placed upon earth and the Lord in the midst of His assemblies, communing with them and instructing them.

In chapters 4 and 5, we will have our attention switched to the great worship taking place in heaven.  This worship will be pointed toward Christ and the Father.

A very brief outline of this section of Scripture:

Vision Of Heaven 4:1-5:14

  1. Worship Before The Throne  (4:1-11)
  2. The Throne Of God (vs 1-5)
  3. The Four Beasts’  & Elders’ Worship Of God (vs 6-11)
  4. The Scroll And The Lamb (5:1-7)
  5. Worship Of The Lamb (5:8-14)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 4: –

(6)  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: 

John’s description of the throne of God continues…

Flowing out from the throne was an expanse of glass stretching out like a sea .   This glass was very clear, much like perfect crystal.

This sea of glass is also described in Revelation 15:2… “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.”

This text helps us to see that it is solid (saints are standing on it) and reflective (the fire from the seven lamps reflected upon it)

 

What does this “sea of glass” symbolize for us?  It pictures the way of salvation for mankind or, put another way, it is the living water of God (John 4:10-11; 7:38).

Please notice that:

  1. it flows from the throne of God (salvation comes from God);
  2. it is illuminated by the 7 lamps (the Holy Spirit reveals the way of salvation to fallen mankind),
  3. those who have overcome the sinful world walk upon it (it is the path that is taken by the people of God that takes them into God’s presence);
  4. it is crystal clear (the way of salvation is genuine, true, not tainted by sin in any way)
  5. it is reflective (it reflects the light of the 7 lamps and, by implication, it reveals the spiritual condition of those who walk upon it. In other words, as the chosen of God come into contact with the gospel message they see themselves as sinners in need of a Savior, much like a person sees themselves in a mirror – James 1:23-24)

These are several of the reasons we can know that the sea of glass is a picture of God’s living waters presented as the way of salvation.

 

and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts 

John describes the throne as having four “beasts”, or living creatures, in the middle of and surrounding the throne.  What does he mean by this?  The throne had one beast surrounding it on each side… one to the north, one to the south, one to the east and one to the west.   Each beast was in the midst, or in the middle, of the throne (each one stood in the exact middle of each side of the throne).

John begins to describe these beasts which will help us to understand what they symbolize…

 

full of eyes before and behind.

These living creatures possessed numerous eyes that entirely surrounded their heads.  In other words they could see in every direction.

 

(7)  And the first beast was like a lion,  and the second beast like a calf,  and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

Please note they look differently one to another…

  1. one’s face resembled a lion – a lion is a symbol of royalty and authority
  2. one’s face resembled a calf (or ox) – an ox represents a service, slavery, laborer
  3. one’s face resembled a man – a man represents humanity, weakness, frailty
  4. one’s face resembled an eaglean eagle represents deity, transcendence and all-knowledge

 

These four living creatures seem to be presented to us in the Old Testament in Isaiah 6:2-7;  Ezekiel 1:5-25 and 10:1-22.  Note the following table that emphasizes the similarities of these beasts…

 

Description Revelation 4: Isaiah 6: Ezekiel 1: Ezekiel 10:
         
Lion X   X X
Calf (Ox) X   X X
Man X   X X
Eagle X   X X
Wings (4 or 6) X X X X
Full Of Eyes X   X  
Verbal Praise X X    
         

(8)  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him;

These beasts had six wings.  In Isaiah 6:, we are told that two wings are used to cover their face, and two wings are used to cover their feet, and two wings were used to fly.

 

and they were full of eyes within: 

Once again John explains the great number of eyes that could be seen surrounding their head.

 

and they rest not day and night,

Their constant activity is to praise the Lord day and night.

 

Saying Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.   (9)  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,  

Their message of praise includes:

1.  “Holy, holy, holy” – a declaration of the exclusivity of God (He stands out from all others). It is only the three persons of the Godhead are sinless, just, all wise, all knowing, present everywhere etc etc etc.

  1. Lord God Almighty,” – a declaration of His great strength and authority
  1. “which was, and is, and is to come”. – He eternally exists as Creator and Completer of all things. He existed before all things (throughout eternity past) and will exist throughout eternity future. He began everything and will bring everything to His desired end.
  1. “give glory and honour and thanks” – Their message gives to the Lord praise, value and words of appreciation for all He has done.
  1. “to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever” –  Their praise is pointed towards the eternally existing God.

 

Who are these 4 living creatures?  If we look ahead at the next chapter (5:8-10) we find that these four beasts sing a song (along with the 24 elders) that proclaim that they are redeemed by Christ’s blood, made kings and priests of God, and will reign with God on the New Earth.   This clearly tells us that they represent the saved.

 

Please keep in mind the 24 elders represented the saved and, especially their blessed POSITION OF HONOR AS THE ETERNALLY BLESSED OF GOD.

The 24 living creatures represent for us another aspect of those who are saved… THEIR POSSESSION OF ETERNAL LIFE.

 

This use of different symbols to present the same basic type of being was also used in the 7 lamps of fire representing the same Holy Spirit in its seven ministries.  In our text today, we see the 24 elders and the 4 beasts all picturing the saints of God.  However, they symbolize different characteristics of those saints.

 

Please take notice of many aspects of believers represented by these 4 living creatures:

1.  They are described as “beasts” (in Greek “living creatures”) This points us to the eternal life that they possess. Other titles given to these heavenly creatures are “Seraphim” (burning) point to saints as those purified ones and those who are the light of the world; and “Cherubims” (grasped ones) which point to saints as being held, protected in the hand of God.

  1. They surround the throne eagerly awaiting the commands of God to then do His bidding. They are pointed towards all four directions on the globe ready to take the gospel message throughout all the world.
  1. They were “full of eyes before and behind” – saints of the Lord possess spiritual sight and constantly are to be on guard against Satan and the influences of this world etc.
  1. They are pictured as a lion, ox, man and eagle – they are given great authority from God; they are the servants of God, they are fallen; sinful, weak, humanity; they are overcomers and victors in Christ transcending the sinfulness and heartaches of this world
  1. They had six wings (covering their face, feet, yet continue to fly) – the saints are ashamed (covering face) not wanting to look at Lord due to their sinfulness; the saints recognize their sinful walk; yet the saints fly above all these hindrances to service knowing there are servants of the Ultimate Victor over sin, death and Satan.
  1. “They rest not day and night” – the saints of God are constantly seeking opportunities to serve the Lord in this world and in the world to come.
  1. “saying holy holy holy…” – the saints praise the Lord on earth and throughout eternity with their entire being for all He has done for them.

 

 (10)  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, 

 Now, the 24 elders in response to the praise of the 4 beasts are said to “fall down before him that sat on the throne” – They fall down in humility and submission to God.   How important it is for us to always allow the worship of other Christians to encourage our hearts to worship and submit to Christ’s will also.

 

 and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

The rewards for faithful service to Christ that they have received they now give back in praise to God.

Stop and think about it… every act of service that we perform for the Lord can only be done through His gracious intercession in our lives.  Our service comes from His granting us the ability to serve Him.  Our words come from His enabling of our understanding and our mouths as He opens the door of ministry.  Our Godly actions come from the Lord’s giving us our life, health, strength, gifts of ministry, opportunities to serve etc etc etc.  EVERYTHING we do for Him is only through HIS enabling graces.  That is why He is the only One that truly deserves the rewards for our service.

  

(11)  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:

These 24 elders now praise the Lord for His deserving of all acts of praise and service that we can give to Him.  All of our desires, words and actions that give forth praise, value, and ability are deserved by Him.  We cannot “over-serve” Him.

  

for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Why does He deserve all that we can do for Him?  It is because He is our Creator, and the One who freely chose to create us of His own sovereign abilities.

 

  

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this section of Scripture, we see the results of Christ’s work continually on display.

We see that, because Christ died and rose again, His people are saved from their sins and obtain eternal life.  Based upon this we see God being worshipped now and throughout eternity.

In the symbolism of the four beasts (and the 24 elders from our previous section) we can see the tremendous number of eternal spiritual blessings that sinful mankind receives through the work of Christ.

All of the activity we see in this vision is a wonderful display of the results of the effectual work of Christ on the cross.  God will be honored eternally based upon the faithfulness of Christ as He gave His life on the cross for the forgiveness of His people and the securing of their eternal life.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

As the possessors of eternal life, we have been blessed of God in many different ways.  All of these culminate in our need to prais and honor the Lord with “all that is within” us.  May we all see the need to glorify the Lord as we live our lives on earth, knowing that throughout eternity we will be praising Him for all He has done!

 

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:5 KJV

(5)  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

 

 

 

Here, in John’s vision, we see the Holy Spirit described as “seven lamps burning before the throne.”  Another way to describe this is the seven lamps were lighting the way that led to the throne of God.

This gives us a glorious picture of the work of the Holy Spirit in revealing God to man.  Through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we are given an understanding of the Lord and the way that leads us to the Lord.   As sinners, due to our sinful condition as members of fallen mankind, we are blinded to the truths of God.   It is only through the intervention of the Spirit in our lives that we are given the ability to understand our great need of deliverance from sin and the path of salvation that leads to the Lord Jesus Christ…

John 14:25-26 KJV

(25)  These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

(26)  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

In these two verses we have many things for which to thank the Holy Spirit:

  1. He is our Comforter – He stands with us, enabling us, interceding for us, and comforting us.
  2. He teaches us all things – He gives us a knowledge, understanding of God’s Word.
  3. He reminds us – He brings to our mind the Word so that we may apply its principles to our lives.

What a wonderful Lord we serve that would come and dwell within us in the person of the Holy Spirit.  The next time we find ourselves reading His Word and learning something new, let’s thank the Holy Spirit for revealing it to us.  The next time we find ourselves understanding the proper path to take to please the Lord in life situation we face, let’s thank the Holy Spirit for bringing these principles to our mind and heart.

Folks, our entire day, in the midst of our overly busy schedules, we should take the time to appreciate all that the Lord has done for us.  The ministry of the Holy Spirit is one example of the many blessings that are given to us that we may overlook during the course of our day.  May we all seek God’s enablement to seek to recognize and appreciate His great works on our behalf!

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Qa

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices:”

SIH TOTT ICON

Revelation 4:5 KJV

(5)  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

 

 

 

What a grand scene this must have been!

John, after seeing a throne surrounded by a green rainbow, with God’s glory shining forth as a jasper and sardine stone, now sees the presence of God manifest by lightnings, thunderings and voices.   This scene is very similar to the display of God’s greatness that was seen by the Israelites in Old Testament times…

 

Exodus 20:18-21 KJV

(18)  And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

(19)  And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

(20)  And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

(21)  And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

 

In both of these instances, we can see that the sight of God’s presence is likened unto a vicious thunderstorm.

Stop and think about what a thunderstorm is like… strong winds blowing, thunder crashing, and bright flashes of light shining across the sky.  What a tremendous earthly display of God’s greatness and awesome power.   But sadly, how often do we watch a thunderstorm and give God no thought at all?

Folks, the next time we experience the wonder of a thunderstorm, let’s call to mind our breathtaking God.  He is the One that is putting His greatness on display.  He is the One that created the storm, He is the One that is controlling the storm, and He is the One that will bring the storm to an end, in His time.

 

In this same fashion, He is in absolute control of the storms and trials of our life.  He brings the storm, He controls of the storm, and He ends the storm when it has accomplished its purpose in our lives.

 

May we all bring honor and glory to our Lord by remembering Him in the midst of the earthly storms that take place around us, and the storms of trials that we experience in our personal lives.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Qa

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:3 KJV

And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

 

 

 

As John looks at the throne of God, he sees that the throne is surrounded by a rainbow which is made up of many different shades of green.  Green being representative of life, and the rainbow representative of God’s faithfulness to His promises, reminds us of God’s faithfulness to His promise of eternal life to those who trust in Him.

As a child of God, we have received a precious promise of a glorious eternal existence with Christ throughout eternity.   The green rainbow around the throne assures us we can rest assured His promise of eternal life will be fulfilled at His coming with the receipt of our glorified body.  As a matter of fact, the fulfillment of this promise is so sure, in God’s mind, it has already taken place…

Romans 8:29-30 KJV

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 

Notice in this set of verses that God’s actions performed on behalf of His people are ALL in the past tense.  Our God has already foreknown, predestinated, called, justified AND GLORIFIED!

In a sense, based upon the certainty of the counsel of God and His faithfulness to His promises, His people are already glorified.  It is a certainty, it will take place.  There is no need to worry about losing our salvation, there is no reason to worry about God not keeping His promises, in God’s view of things our glorification is already been brought to completion!

 

As we enter our day, let us have confidence knowing we are a child of the King! No matter what may come our way, someday we will leave this sinful world behind us and dwell with Him eternally.  No matter what affliction may cause us suffering, it is but for a moment when compared to the eternity awaiting us.  No matter how tired we may be, at His coming we will enter into eternal rest with Him.  All of this is true because He WILL keep His all of His promises to us..

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 KJV

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Qa

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “a jasper and a sardine stone”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:3 KJV

(3)  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

 

 

 

Here, our God is described as looking clear and transparent (jasper) and also having a blood red color (sardine stone).   When we study these colors and their symbolic application we can see the holiness, wrath and grace of God in view.  How wonderful it is for us to come to understand that our God is a holy God who is both just and merciful!

If we stop and think about the holiness of God we come to a very clear conclusion… God does not commit sin.  God is completely separate from personal sin this is the most evident meaning of being holy.

But divine holiness, in principle, also carries with it a different aspect of His character… because our God is a holy God, He must be a God of justice, He must reject and punish every sin that is committed.

If God recognized sin as being acceptable He would taint His holy character by placing Himself in alliance with those who work injustice in this world.  If God simply excused sin without punishment, His actions would be unjust making Him guilty of personal sin.  Because our God is holy, His character demands that he reject and punish all sin.

This is where the sardine (blood red color) comes in.  Throughout the Bible, the punishment of sin in symbol and actuality involves the shedding of blood. The shed blood of the sacrificial animals in the OT and the shed blood of the wicked at the final judgment are two examples of this principle.  When we see God described as jasper and sardine, we see Him as the perfectly Holy One who punishes iniquity.

But, by far, the greatest example of shed blood found in the Scriptures is the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Christ and His work on the cross (including the shedding of His blood) is one of the greatest themes found in the Bible.

Why did a sinless Christ shed His blood?  It was done in payment for sins that were committed by others.  Christ died so that sinners could escape the judgment of a holy God.  In Christ’s death we can see both the justice and the mercy of God.  God’s justice was at work in punishment of sin that was found in Christ’s shed blood and death on the cross. But God’s mercy was also on display in Christ’s death which allowed those who were guilty of sin to escape eternal punishment for that sin.  In this way, we can see the blood red color of the sardine stone representing a Holy God’s mercy in the face of His wrath.

For those of us who have been redeemed through Christ and His work, we can enter this day with joyful hearts.  Our God, is the God of the jasper and sardine stone.  He is the Holy One who has mercifully removed the just punishment for sin that we deserved.   The punishment for our sin was taken upon Himself (in the person of Christ) displaying both His wrath and mercy on our behalf. As the recipients of His mercy, we know that we have escaped eternal punishment, we have become members of God’s family, we have become joint heirs with Christ, and headed for an eternity with our Lord, the One who loved us so much He gave His life for us!

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Qa

Our God Is On The Throne… Of This We Have NO Doubt!

SIH HALTAL ICONRevelation 4:2 KJV
(2) And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3SH

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “and one sat on the throne”

SIH TOTT ICONRevelation 4:2 KJV

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 

 

 

In this vision, John sees “a throne was set in heaven”.  As he continues to look, he then sees “one sat on the throne”.

Folks, a very wonderful truth is set before us this morning… in this vision given to John, our God is pictured as one that sits upon a heavenly throne.  In other words, God is revealed to John as the Supreme, Absolute, Ruler over all!  He is the One sitting on heaven’s throne, exercising authority and overwhelming power over all the events of history and the events that are yet to take place.

Think about what this means for us on a very practical level.  Because our God is the Sovereign over all His creation we can know assuredly HE IS IN CONTROL.

When we see the condition of the world around us, and the various occurrences of evil that take place… the acts of abuse, persecution, and injustice at every hand; the natural disasters that bring havoc upon great groups of men; and our own personal afflictions and trials; … we can rest assured that He isn’t surprised, nor ignorant of these events, but is causing or allowing them for His purposes.

As hard as this may be to understand, by faith, the people of God know that this is so.   Probably the best example of this principle is found in Acts 2:22-24…

“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”

(see also: Acts 3:18, 4:28, 13:26-28, etc)

 

The very opposition, abuse and crucifixion of Christ was part of God’s “determinate counsel”.  In other words, it was a part of God’s plan for mankind which He decreed before the world began. Stop and think about it, if God had not allowed the sinful abuse and crucifixion of Christ to be a part of His plans for mankind, we would not, and could not, be saved.

Folks, no matter how difficult the trial that we may face today, no matter how bleak things may appear, we can know, with absolute certainty, what is taking place is a part of the Lord’s wonderful plan for us.  It is coming to pass for our good and His glory, and He will be with us every step of the way comforting us and interceding for us based upon our every need…

 

Romans 8:26-28 KJV
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of   the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Qa

Revelation 4:1-5 “The Throne Of God In Heaven”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

The Letter To Laodicea…

 

Revelation 4:1-5 KJV

(1)  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

(2)  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

(3)  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

(4)  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

(5)  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

Chapter 4 begins a new section in the book of Revelation… “Jesus Christ In The Midst Of Heaven”.  Prior to this section, our attention was placed upon earth and the Lord in the midst of His assemblies, communing with them and instructing them.

In chapters 4 and 5, we will have our attention switched to the great worship taking place in heaven.  This worship will be pointed toward Christ and the Father.

A very brief outline of this section of Scripture:

Vision Of Heaven 4:1-5:14

  1. Worship Before The Throne  (4:1-11)
  2. The Throne Of God (vs 1-5)
  3. The Four Beast’s Worship Of God (vs 6-11)
  4. The Scroll And The Lamb (5:1-7)
  5. Worship Of The Lamb (5:8-14)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 4: –

(1)  After this I looked, 

Following John’s receipt of the vision of Christ’s messages to His seven local assemblies, he begins to receive a new vision from God.

and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: 

John sees a door that leads to heaven beginning to open.  This helps us to understand that this vision is about to reveal activities taking place in heaven.  Just like an open door allows us to see into another room, this open door will allow John to see heaven and heavenly activity taking place.

 

and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;

As the vision begins, John hears a voice speaking to him. By implication, this voice appears to be coming from heaven.  John describes the voice as being like a trumpet.  In other words, it was a loud, clear, easily understood voice.  This voice is probably the voice of an angel that will be showing John the greatness of heavenly worship..

A trumpet was used in Bible times to call an assembly to worship.  This is perhaps also a part of the reason why this voice was described as being like a trumpet. It was inviting John to approach and view a scene of great heavenly worship taking place.

 

which said, Come up hither,

John is now invited to “come up hither”.  In other words, this voice is inviting John to, through receipt of this vision, enter into heaven and view its worship.

(Please remember, John’s spirit and body are physically located on the isle of Patmos, and throughout this vision, both will continue to reside on this island.  He was not literally, physically taken into heaven.  He was allowed to view heaven by means of this vision, and in that sense would “come up hither” to heaven)

 

and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

As his vision continued, he would be shown things that would take place from this point forward.  In other words, he would see events that would take place from the time he received this vision through the eternal reign of Christ on the New Heavens and New Earth.

The previous section of our study revealed to John what was taking place slightly before and during his time (the seven local assemblies and their condition before the Lord [Revelation 1:19, 2:-3:]).  Now, he will gradually begin to see what will take place in his future and the future of the world which will culminate in Christ’s second coming and His eternal rule.

 

(2)  And immediately I was in the spirit: 

John was now “in the spirit”, in other words, he was surrounded by the Holy Spirit’s power as the Spirit intervened in the life of John (Rev 1:10).  This allowed him to receive this vision as also the prior ones.  This was a common phrase used to describe the Spirit’s intervention in a Christian’s life allowing him to serve the Lord in great ways (Rom 8:9, Gal 5:16, 25 etc), including the receipt of visions (Ezek 37:1, 17:3, 21:10),

This is not teaching us that John’s spirit left his body and ascended to heaven.  Based upon a proper understanding of the Biblical phrase “in the spirit”, there is no reason to believe this is speaking of John’s human spirit within him.  Also, please note “spirit” in most translations is capitalized helping us to understand that we are talking about the Holy Spirit of God, not John’s human spirit. (See NKJV, ESV, ASV, ERV, ISV etc.)

 

and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

As John receives the vision from the Lord, the first thing that attracts his attention is the throne of God with God seated upon it.

The throne was looked upon as a seat of authority.  When one sat upon the throne, it was an outward declaration of the great authority that they held.  In this case, we will see in the following verses, it is God who is sitting upon this throne clearly revealing that He is the ultimate Authority Holder over all of His creation.

 

(3)  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: 

God is now described as appearing like a “jasper and sardine stone”.

The jasper stone was a clear stone found in multiple colors (Rev 21:11,18-19).  Its clearness is a picture of the great holiness and justice of God.  Upon him is no filth nor imperfections. He makes no mistakes nor is He unfair or unjust.  He is the sinless God who is perfectly just and holy.

The sardine stone was a blood red stone.  It points to shed blood which, in turn, reminds us of a two-fold truth about God.  Firstly, it reminds us of the shedding of the blood of lost mankind as they face His wrath for their sins. Secondly it reminds us of His great grace and mercy shown in the shed blood of Christ for His people.

In both, we have seen His great justice and holiness.  As a holy and just God, He cannot allow sin to go unpunished.  Therefore, either the sinner must be punished, or a substitute must be punished (Christ on the cross).

 

and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

Here the Lord’s faithfulness (rainbow) and role as Life-giver (emerald) comes into view.

Of course, the rainbow is a constant reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness.  The rainbow was placed in the clouds to remind us of His faithfulness to the promise He gave to Noah.  Likewise, the color of an emerald, green, reminds us of new life.

When we are told that John saw “a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald”, he seems to be describing a rainbow that is made up of varying shades of green.  What a wonderful picture for us all to try to imagine.  A throne surrounded by a beautiful rainbow filled with many shades of green!

 

(4)  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats:

John now notices that surrounding the throne of God are 24 “seats”.

It is important for us to notice that the word “seats” comes from the very same Greek word as “throne”.  In other words, John saw 24 smaller thrones surrounding the throne of God.  This helps us to understand that whoever is sitting in these seats (thrones) are holders of authority.  Implied is that their authority is delegated authority coming from the greater authority of God.

 

and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

24 elders are sitting on these thrones.

They are described as clothed in white raiment picturing righteousness that clothes them.  This can also be a picture of the white robes warn by the priests.

They also have crowns of gold upon their heads.  The Greek word for crown here is a word that is used to describe rewards given to those who are victorious.  One of the great rewards believers are promised is to share in Christ’s authority.  This involves the authority to judge, gain victory, and to reign with Him (1 Corinthians 6:2, Revelation 5:10, 19:14, 20:4-6, 22:5 etc).    The gold on the crowns reminds us that this reward of authority originates, is delegated by, and perpetuated by, God Himself.  It is all because of Him!

Who are these elders?  These elders represent all of those who are saved by God’s grace from both OT and NT time frames who have died and whose spirits are now in heaven with God (Rev 5:8-10).  It represents the redeemed as those who share an eternal citizenship and inheritance with Christ as members of the Lord’s nation and family.  They are given the white robes as believer priests and the gold crowns of victors and ruling authorities.    They are like the 12 tribes of Israel (symbolic of God’s OT followers) added to the 12 apostles (symbolic of God’s NT followers.)    They are believers of all ages who possess Christ’s righteousness and receive great blessings and rewards for their faithfulness throughout eternity.  They are surrounding the throne of Christ, enjoying communion and citizenship with Him (as priests), recognizing His authority and sharing in that authority (as victorious rulers).

These 24 elders represent God’s redeemed and their POSITION as the eternally blessed of God.

 

(5)  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: 

John’s attention returns to the throne of God where he sees God’s greatness on display.  John sees lightning and hears thunderings and loud voices (like trumpets), all three of these are used as pictures of the greatness of God’s presence in the Old Testament.

Some examples include His presence upon Mt Sinai at the giving of His law and as He led the Israelites through the Red Sea (Exo 19:16, 20:18, Psa 77:18).  Also in Revelation, His presence during times of wrath upon the earth is symbolized by these in Revelation (8:5, 11:19, 16:18)

 

and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Not only did the 24 elders upon thrones surround the throne of God, but also standing in front of the throne of God were seven burning lamps (implied: they are lamps containing olive oil which represents the Holy Spirit throughout the Scriptures).

Here, we are told that the lamps represent the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit (the seven Spirits of God) in the lives of God’s people.  Their arrangement in front of the throne helps us to understand that these ministries of the Spirit are performed at the bidding of God the Father.  This is much like servants who would approach the throne of a king awaiting the King to speak and give them His instructions.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

Although Christ not specifically mentioned in this section of our study, we can learn much about Him when we recognize He is equal with God (John 5:18, John 10:30).  The same attributes of the Father are shared by the Son.  These include His great authority, sinlessness, justice and grace.  Not only that but also He is the source of all life, being Creator of the Universe and Redeemer of His people.

What a wonderful Savior who is an equal person of the Godhead.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Our study brings to mind the preeminence of our God.  As John saw the heavenly throne of God, he saw a grand display of the greatness of God.  Folks, we serve a great Lord.  He is a Lord who cannot be described through mere words, nor through the symbolism found in the book of Revelation.  Although we see Him as a great Lord who far surpasses everyone and everything around us, we must always remember this is but a glimpse of His true supremacy.  When we enter into eternity with Him, it is only then that we will begin to see Him as He is…

1 John 3:2 KJV – “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

May we always think upon His greatness and allow those thoughts to motivate us to trust Him in the fearful times, obeying Him during times of persecution and love Him no matter what our lot in life.  He is the Supreme Almighty God, in whom we have the privilege to love and serve.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

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