Revelation  4:1-11   (CLICK HERE FOR BIBLE VERSES)

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Revelation 4:1-11.  As usual, I encourage you to read the passage yourself first and see what you can glean with the Holy Spirit’s help, then read the GAME sharing below.  Let’s go!

Revelation 4:1 (NIV) 
 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

On verse 1:  After receiving messages from Jesus for seven churches in Asia (chapters 2-3), John, still in a posture of prayer, sees in front of him a door open to heaven.  The same trumpet-like voice he heard before – Jesus’ voice – invites him to come up to the door and He will show John “what must take place after this”.  In other words, Jesus is about to show John things that will happen in the future.

Revelation 4:2-3 (NIV) 
 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.

On verses 2-3:  The moment Jesus speaks those words in verse 1, John “at once was in the Spirit” (v2), that is, he is so deeply impacted by God’s presence.  John sees a throne in heaven, encircled by an emerald shaped rainbow, with Someone sitting on it.  That Someone is God.  John describes God as having the appearance of jasper (which according to some scholars was a clear gem back in John’s day) and carnelian (which is a red gem).  To John, God looks like a brilliant colourful gem.

Revelation 4:4 (NIV) 
 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.

On verse 4:  These remaining verses of chapter 4 describe what is happening around Jesus who sits on the throne.  In verse 4, John sees 24 elders, adorned with gold crowns and dressed in white, surrounding Jesus.  Various interpretations have been given regarding who these 24 elders are.  Some scholars think the 24 elders are the 12 patriarchs of Israel (i.e. Jacob’s 12 sons), representing believers in the Old Testament, and the 12 apostles, representing believers in the New Testament.  Other scholars think the 24 elders represent the entire church as a whole.  Whoever they are, as we will see in verses 9-11, these elders are worshipers, as they can be seen falling down before Jesus, laying their crowns before Him and worshiping Him.

What can we learn from this?  No matter how much honour, power or glory you receive, remember to lay it all back down at Jesus’ feet, knowing that in the end it’s all for Him.  Jesus is worthy of all honour, power and glory.

Revelation 4:5 (NIV) 
 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.

On verse 5:  Lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder flash from the throne.  John also sees before the throne “the seven spirits of God”, represented by seven blazing lamps (v5).  These seven spirits are first mentioned in Revelation 1:4 and together probably symbolize the Holy Spirit.  These seven blazing lamps apparently help to light the area in front of the throne so that John can see the throne more clearly.

What can we learn from this?  If we want to see Jesus enthroned in His glory and majesty, we need the Holy Spirit to go before us and light the way.  There is no revelation about God without the Holy Spirit of God.

Revelation 4:6-8 (NIV) 
 Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.
 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.
 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

On verse 6-8:  John sees near the throne in the centre four living creatures, each with wings.  The first looks like a lion, the second like an ox, the third like a man, and the fourth like an eagle.  According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, one interpretation (though I personally think it’s a little too far fetched) is that the four living creatures represent Christ as revealed in the four Gospels: He is the lion of Judah in Matthew, the hard-working servant (represented by the ox) in Mark, “the incarnate human Jesus” in Luke, and the Son of God in John (represented by the eagle).  Whoever they are, what intrigues me about these four living creatures is how they are “covered with eyes” (v6).

In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah sees a vision of God’s throne in heaven.  His vision is similar to John’s in that they both see a throne and around the throne are impressive winged creatures who sing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty”.  A big difference however is that while in Isaiah’s vision the winged angels around the throne are all covering their faces as if they do not dare to look at God, in John’s vision the living creatures around the throne are “covered with eyes all around, even under their wings” (v8).  This suggests to me that because of Jesus and how He paid for our sins at the cross, when we get to heaven we can have a full, unencumbered view of God.  Because of Jesus, we don’t need to cover our faces and eyes in shame anymore.  We can stand before God eyes wide open and enjoy the fullness of His presence without fear.

Revelation 4:9-11 (NIV) 
 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever,
10  the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11  “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

On verses 9-11:  The four living creatures worship Jesus on the throne (v9), and the 24 elders join in the worship by laying down their crowns and singing of how worthy Jesus is (v10).  What can we learn from this?

1.  As awesome as the living creatures are, they exist not to worship their own awesomeness, but to give Jesus worship.  I believe you are an awesome creature yourself and you were made to give Jesus worship too.  The reason we have breath in our lungs is because we were made to worship Jesus.

2.  Notice that the elders call Jesus “our Lord and God”.  Jesus is not just an extraordinary man, but He is God.

3.  Jesus is described as the One who “created all things”.  Jesus is the Creator and it is by His will that all things were created and have their being.  That means that it is by God’s will that you were created and have life today.  You are not an accident or a mistake.  God created you as an act of His perfect will.

Lord Jesus, I worship You as God, Creator, King, and the One who is worthy of all praise, honour and glory.  Holy Spirit please continue to show me more of how great and awesome Jesus is.  Just like the living creatures and the 24 elders, may I live to worship You.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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