Saturday, January 31, 2015

Revelation 4- The Throne Room January 15, 2015

SLIDE 1This beautiful Crown sits atop the Christmas tree at my home church. Our matron's class bought the beads and the pattern and I was given the honor of constructing it. Last week I promised to talk about Crown that Christians can earn. Our theme tonight is Crowns are for casting.
What do you miss when you miss church?
Sunday I returned for the first time in 2 week to my home church. You know what I missed the most? Of course the fellowship of Christian believers, but even more the joint Worship with piano and guitars and raising holy hands in our sanctuary. At home I listened to Praise CD's but to join with others and harmonize the hymns of old was such a joy to me. It was compelling to read of the continuous worship going on in heaven right now.
Let us Pray
SLIDE 2 Revelation 4
·        Worshipping in the Throne Room of Heaven
o   Colors of the Throne
o   24 Elders
o   Four Beasts
·        5 Crowns
Crowns are for casting.
Why do you want to go to heaven?
Is it to avoid going to hell or be united with loved ones gone before? Or do you long to worship the One who sits on the Throne? Unbelievers will share their comments about how boring it would be to sit on clouds and play harps all day. Ladies we are going to be so overwhelmed with the visions and the glory of God in heaven that we will spend all our time singing and praising the one who sits on the throne. 0, to join the heavenly choir worshiping our LORD, the Creator, Redeemer and King.
SLIDE 3 Please open your bibles to Revelation 4 and stand as we read aloud vv. l-2.
John shares Revelation 4:1After this l looked and behold a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said "Come up here and I will show you what must take place after this." 2 At once I was in the Spirit and behold a throne stood in heaven with one seated on the throne.
SLIDE 4 Imagine an invitation from Jesus Christ himself calling you up to visit Heaven, the dwelling place of Almighty God. The open door was a revealing of the continuous celebration by those in the throne room.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
Rev 4:3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.
I am rereading one pastor's account of his ninety minutes in heaven.
Ladies it will be so glorious and bright, we will have to shield our eyes when we first arrive. Remember Moses as he came down from Mt. Sinai. His face was glowing.
SLIDE 5 Since no one has seen God, John describes him as things he knows. The colors of earthy stones used on the priests' breastplate: Jasper (described as a clear stone such as a diamond, pure without blemish) Carnelian red as blood, and Emerald green for new life. In heaven's glory there will be colors we have never seen and it defies description.
4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty­four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
Crowns are for casting
SLIDE 6 Digital art by Pat Marvenko Smith, purchased from her site Revelation  This artist rendition gives us her interpretation of the throne room. To me it is highly likely. From chapter 4 the four creatures and the 24 elders spend all their time worshipping the LORD.
From commentaries I have studied, I do not believe these 24 elders could be angels. No Scripture supports angels ever sitting in the presence of God. From Daniel we know angels are God's holy messengers. They do not wear crowns.
Last week chapter 3 God promises 21    The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
Psalm 8 says God is mindful of man and v.5 For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.
Sister, we have wonderful promises in God's WORD. Read with me.
SLIDE 7 Ephesians  2:4-74But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved   us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ---by grace you have been saved---6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable  riches of his grace  in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ladies that is worth shouting about! Our choir sings, “It's shouting time in Heaven another sinner once lost is found.”  We truly have much to shout about.
SLIDE 8 Looking again at the artist's interpretation here's my thoughts the 24 Elders
1.     The number "twenty-four" is significant. In 1Chronicles 24 King David divided the Levitical priesthood into 24 orders. Each order rotated priestly functions at the tabernacle and at the temple, from Sabbath to Sabbath. In so doing, each order represented the entire priestly tribe and the nation of Israel before God. Thus, the number "twenty-four" came to be representative of a larger, complete group. Thus, the "twenty-four elders" could be a phrase which denotes more than two dozen specific persons.
2.     The elders had "crowns" (ste-pha-nous) on their heads. These are crowns gained by achievement and victory. Looking back at our lessons in Revelation believers in the churches were promised crowns
Rev. 2:10 Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Rev.3:11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
3.       The term "elder" (presbuteros) is never used of angels in the Bible. The word itself denotes maturity and growth.  Since angels do not age. Inthe epistles, believers in this church age are promised crowns for specific accomplishments:  Holy angels do not wear crowns, but believers can and will wear them. We will return to this on my last point. Dr. Tim LaHaye
4.      One commentary suggests the 24 are the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles.
What do you think?
SLIDE 9 Crowns are for casting. Revelation 4: The Throne in Heaven
Notice the activity emanating 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, (imagine what that would be like in heaven) and before  the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God,6and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, (like crystal.) We will study in Chapter 21 when heaven comes down to earth there will be no sea.)
And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:
SLIDE 1 0 Here are some thoughts on the 4 living creatures
7the first  living creature like a lion, (a lion of jungle protector, Christ is the Lion of Judah and Jesus was born a King): the second living creature like an ox, (a beast of burden, Mark describes Christ as a Servant, Paul says in Philippians 2: 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.) the third living creature with the face of a man,   (this could show Christ's humanity; in Luke Christ is the Son of Man) and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. (This could represent the Holy Spirit. John writes of the Deity of Christ in his gospel.)
SLIDE 11 Amy Van Gerpen shares her understanding in this chart from Copyright © 2015. In Genesis God created every living thing.
Type of creature
Likeness of living creature
Wild beasts (Genesis 2:19)
Domesticated (Genesis 2:19)
Birds (Genesis 2:19)
2 Chronicles 16:19 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. The wings reminds of the Seraphim from Isaiah vision in chapter 6: 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"
SLIDE128And the four living creatures,  each of them with six wings, are full  of eyes  all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy,  holy,  holy,  is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" 9And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and everl
SLIDE 13 10 the twenty- four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the   throne, saying,11 " Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. 11Amen and amen
SLIDE 14Crowns are for casting Paul wrote of the following crowns:
·        The Imperishable Crown: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self­ control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
·        The Crown of Rejoicing: 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 ''For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? KJV Is it not you? {the church in Thessalonica) 20 For you are our glory  and joy.
·        Crown of Righteousness: 2 Timothy 4:8Henceforth there is laid upfor me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
Not righteousness of our own but through the shed blood of Christ at Calvary.
James wrote of the "crown of life" (James 1:12). Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Ladies we know that no one cannot earn salvation, but believers can earn crowns (rewards). A song we used to sing "Will there be any stars any stars in my crown ...
Will you have any crowns to place at His feet? Crowns are for casting
Peter wrote of the unfading crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Paul called the Philippians in the church his joy and crown. Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
Alistair Begg beautifully states our relationship to God at different times.
o      In the past, He deals with us as a sinner.
o      Once we accept His gift of eternal life-In the present, He deals with us as sons
o      But in heaven, Christ, judges us for our service to His kingdom.
Just a note to keep up from being prideful...
SLIDE 16 Matthew 25:31-46  Sheep and the Goats
2 Corinthians 5: 1 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, (the Bema) so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Christians works; Not Salvation
Revelation 20 Names not in the Book will appear before Father God Almighty at the Great White Throne of Judgment; Not for Christians.
 Praise God, Christ redeemed us with His blood so we are not judged for our sins.
Remember dear friends: We do not work for Salvation; we work from Salvation-our position in Christ. Salvation is given freely to us when we accept Christ and make Him Lord of our Life. Jesus paid the cost and redeemed us from every sin with His precious blood. Will you bring anything worthy to place at the foot of His throne?
SLIDE 17-Will you choose to serve God and earn crowns to cast before the Throne?

Let’s stand and sing verse 4 of  the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.