Revelation #12 Revelation 4: 1- 11 The End Times Calls For Worship


Revelation #12 Revelation 4: 1- 11 The End Times Calls For Worship


Jesus’ messages to the churches are as applicable to us today as they were when the original congregations read them.  Ephesus is infected with a spirit of judgment. Smyrna is in danger of giving in. Pergamum is contaminated with a spirit of compromise. Thyatira tolerates false teachers. Sardis looks alive but it’s a false front, they’re dealing with hypocrisy. Philadelphia is doing well but the folks need to stay strong in the face of what is coming. The congregation at Laodicea is a do-nothing church, its problem is indifference. Jesus identifies the need in each congregation and invites them to consider the situation they find themselves in and make the necessary changes to live in fidelity to Christ.


That same invitation is extended to us today.  If you find that you are judgmental, in danger of giving up, have compromised your faith to fit in, got caught up following false teachers, recognized hypocrisy in your life, need to stay strong dealing with the struggles of life, or worst of all, you are living do-nothing discipleship, Jesus says let’s come to the table and figure out what to do before its too late to do anything.  Coming to the table is what the 7th habit of a disciple is all about, contemplation.  In contemplation, you deal with the deep things of the heart that need to be realigned with God’s will and God’s way. Everyone who overcomes is rewarded. Everyone who endures, staying faithful, is rewarded. I want to see you rewarded.  If you need help, please let me know, coaching is available.


In the message to Philadelphia Jesus spoke of the reward of being acknowledged in the very throne room of God; personally recognized before God and his holy angels, a seat at the table.  As we begin chapter 4, we are leaving Earth and entering that throne room.  What proceeds is for all the churches addressed by Jesus, and consequently for you and me.


Chapter 4 is an awe-inspiring chapter. Shock and awe more than you can comprehend. Your jaw drops, the majesty, the radiance, and the brilliance make your eyes squint, your heart races, and you forget to breathe.   There is a certain terror involved, one that instead of repelling you draws you in, but it is terror, nonetheless.  “Do not be afraid. Stand up and come in.”  You’re speechless, words fail you. You fall on your knees with hands lifted high, you go flat on your face in adoration, and you shout at the top of your lungs “Glory.” Lightening flashes, and sounds of bone-rattling thunder shake the ground you are standing on, indescribable, uncontainable, untamable, and unimaginable.  John writes:




Revelation 4:1-11 (MSG)


Then I looked, and, oh!—a door open into Heaven. The trumpet-voice, the first voice in my vision, called out, "Ascend and enter. I'll show you what happens next."


2 I was caught up at once in deep worship and, oh!—a Throne set in Heaven with One Seated on the Throne, suffused in gem hues of amber and flame with a nimbus of emerald. Twenty-four thrones circled the Throne, with Twenty-four Elders seated, white-robed, gold-crowned.  Lightning flash and thunder crash pulsed from the Throne. Seven fire-blazing torches fronted the Throne (these are the Sevenfold Spirit of God). Before the Throne it was like a clear crystal sea.

Prowling around the Throne were Four Animals, all eyes. Eyes to look ahead, eyes to look behind. The first Animal like a lion, the second like an ox, the third with a human face, the fourth like an eagle in flight. The Four Animals were winged, each with six wings. They were all eyes, seeing around and within. And they chanted night and day, never taking a break:


Holy, holy, holy,

Is God our Master, Sovereign-Strong,

The Was, The Is, The Coming.


9 Every time the Animals gave glory and honor and thanks to the One Seated on the Throne—the age-after-age Living One—the Twenty-four Elders would fall prostrate before the One Seated on the Throne. They worshiped the age-after-age Living One. They threw their crowns at the foot of the Throne, chanting,


11 Worthy, O Master! Yes, our God! Take the glory! the honor! the power!

You created it all;  It was created because you wanted it.


Welcome to the throne room of the living God.


The trumpet voice is Jesus inviting John to see what is coming. John is in deep worship, another vision, and worship is exactly what he is going to see. 


In blazing light in the middle is a throne and upon that throne sits someone John cannot describe, too brilliant are the reds and greens and oranges and whites emanating from the one seated.  There is a nimbus of emerald, a halo, or a rainbow, John can’t really tell but there is an emerald green light surrounding the throne.

The heavenly council is also seated upon thrones. They are the administrators of God’s will. Seated means they have the authority to carry out the commands of God, they are white robed which represents the righteousness of God. White clothing represents purity, holiness, and spiritual perfection.  Only those God declares to be worthy wear white, only those in white can stand in the presence of God. Their heads are adorned with golden crowns signifying power and majesty, they have status as kings and priests, authority to carry out God’s designs for creation. We’ve been given a glimpse, enough information to speculate that these elders are the divine council of Psalm 82:1, the heavenly counsel of Job 1:6-12, and the host of heaven of 1 Kings 22:19-23. 


The seven blazing lamps represent the Holy Spirit, the original language can be translated as the sevenfold spirit.  The Holy Spirit standing before the throne signifies God’s omnipresence and all-encompassing power.  The Spirit is not confined to a specific location but permeates all of creation, by the Spirit, God is everywhere. The sevenfold spirit standing before the throne is imagery that conveys a sense of a deep connection and fellowship, before the throne the Spirit is not an attendant as the elders, but rather a beloved companion and confidant.


Romans 8:26-27

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.


In our Trinitarian understanding of Father, Son, and Spirit, your prayers have no intermediary.  When you pray you poetically stand before God.


Before the throne and Sevenfold Spirit is what looks like a sea of glass, crystal clear. John again is at a loss for words. What looks like a sea is the foundation upon which the throne resides.  It suggests that God’s rule and authority are grounded in purity and clarity.  That there are no waves on this sea speaks of the unyielding, unshakable foundation of God’s reign. We may also speculate that the sea’s translucency, being clear as crystal represents God’s openness and accessibility to those who seek His presence. From Judaism, we might see a prophetic word in the sea like glass in that Ezekiel foretells that the earthly sea is transformed as a sign of peace and harmony in the Messianic era (Ezekiel 47:8-12).


In and around the throne are four living creatures.  We can draw a parallel with Ezkiel's visions of the angels called cherubim.  The Cherubim serve as guardians.  It is a cherubim that blocks the way to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24).  Two cherubim decorated the ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:18-22). In a book not in your bible called Enoch, the cherubim are the guardians of the throne of God (Enoch 71:7). Here they are in the throne room of God. They move about the expanse of the throne room calling out:


“Holy, Holy, Holy  is the Lord god Almighty, who was, and is and is to come.”


This is a chorus of praise (Exodus 25:18-20, 37: 7-9, Pslam 80:1, Isaiah 6).  Later in the book the title Who Was, and Is and Is to Come changes, marking the

consummation of the kingdom, we will read it, the one who was and is, has arrived.  He is with us physically. 


The song goes on day and night, the recitation is reminiscent of morning and evening prayer. Psalm 113:3 “From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same the name of the Lord shall be praised.”    As the four living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks, the elders join in, leaving their seats and falling before the throne, laying their crowns before the throne; a sign of complete submission, a sign of being fully surrendered.  We can speculate that these elders have been around a long time, created sometime near the beginning, and they have seen, they know, they have been a part of God’s unfolding plan and they proclaim that God is worthy of worship because they know:


Worthy, O Master! Yes, our God! Take the glory! the honor! the power! You created it all; It was created because you wanted it (Rev 4:11 (MSG).


There is something hidden here.  “Worthy, O Master! Yes, our God!” In the original language [kurios kai theois ] this praise to God is a title that can be translated as Lord and God.  What is hidden is that this was the official title of the Roman Emperor Domitian. To call the one on the throne, Lord and God was a triumphant confession of who all loyalty was to be given.


Things on earth look bad.  Oppression, persecution, martyrdom for the redeemed on earth.  Things on Earth are heading from bad to worse.  But here we see that God is not unaware.    From the throne room, God reigns.  This is where it all happens.  The creation comes into being because God wanted it.  Humanity was created in the image of God because it was His good pleasure to make us so.  It is here that God’s plans for redeeming His creation are generated. 

From this scene, we know that God is in charge.  We know that God is worshipped. It is a call to believers.  Trust that God is in charge.  Even though the world seems like nothing but chaos, God is on the throne and His will is going to be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Things are rough, times intense, maybe even catastrophic but we have hope because our God reigns. From this scene, we know believers are to join in this unending praise and worship. From grateful hearts, we give God His due. 


The times coming will be bad, but the victory is secure. Don’t give up, don’t forsake the faith, do His will to the end.  Consider what awaits:


1). The right to eat of the tree of life in the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7).


2). Redemption from the second death, spiritual death (Revelation 2:11).


3). A new name that allows total access (Revelation 2:17).


4). Authority to rule with Christ (Revelation 2:26-27).


5). You will wear robes of white and your name will never be blotted from the book of life (Revelation 3:5).


6). You will be made a pillar with the marks that God possesses you, citizenship is the New Jerusalem, all coming with a more intimate knowledge of Jesus (Revelation 3:12).


7). You will be given a place at Jesus’ table (Revelation 3:21).


1 Corinthians 2:9

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.


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