Revelation 4:1-2 (part 4)
A TIME SEQUENCE V.1 After this
A TRUTH SEEN I looked, and, behold,
A TRESHOLD SECURED a door was opened in heaven
A TRUMPET SOUND and the first voice which I heard was
as it were of a trumpet talking with me
A TRIUMPHANT SUBPOENA which said, Come up hither, and I
will show you things which must be hereafter
A TRANSPORTING SPIRIT V.2 And immediately I was in the Spirit
THE REVELATION V.2-3
A THRONE SET and, behold, a throne was set in heaven,
and one sat on the throne.
God’s throne is referred to twelve times in Revelation 4 and another five times in Revelation 5. With the variety of symbolic terminology we see the limitations of our finite minds can pigeonhole us into confusion as to what is being said in Revelation.
The glory of God’s throne is indescribable, inexpressible and indefinable. This is the reason for figurative language. Abstract and allegorical relationships are difficult to confine into the limitations of our inadequate frame of reference. Our definitions are all caged into the confines of our finite understanding. The book of Revelation explodes with metaphorical language to thrust us through Heavens open door to see our living God on His throne.
God’s unutterable majesty is being laid open to our eyes of faith to enlighten the eyes of our understanding.
John MacArthur writes, “John was taken out of the familiar dimension of space and time and into the heaven of God’s presence in the Spirit’s power”
This throne is not a piece of furniture, but a symbol of God’s sovereign rule and authority. In the tests of life our triumph is secured in always seeing God in His throne controlling all.
THE TEST V.1-3
OUR ASSURANCE V.1
OUR RELIANCE In the LORD put I my trust:
In impossible situations we discover our Lord’s incredible solutions. There is never a shortage of unbearable, intolerable
circumstances for each of us. As soon as one problem appears to be easing a storm of unexpected predicament’s can drop around our lives in sonic severity.
OUR RELUCTANCE How say ye to my soul,
We’re not just in the face of a personal disaster. This is more then a family catastrophe. We are on the threshold of a national and world crisis.
OUR RESOLVE Flee as a bird to your mountain?
Are we going to run? Are we going to stand? Or are we going to step forward and advance with Spirit filled resolve? Is the opposition we face too strong to resist?
OUR ADVERSARY V.2
THEY’RE ALERT For, lo, the wicked bend their bow,
There is nothing comfortable about feeling like you’re standing with you’re hands tied behind you’re back in front of a firing line.
THEY’RE ACCURATE they make ready their arrow upon the string
THEY’RE ADEPT that they may secretly shoot at the upright
They have their sites fixed on us and there is not a chance in their minds that they are going to miss. Total annihilation is the goal.
OUR ACTIONS V.3
DON’T FALL APART WHEN THINGS FALL APART
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
I think back to Psalms 9 and feel the gloom of what appears to be everything detonating accumulatively.
Psalms 9:6-10 O you enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and you have destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.
But the LORD shall endure forever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.
And he shall judge the world in righteousness; he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
And they that know Your name will put their trust in You: for You, LORD, have not forsaken them that seek You.
One of the beauties of the Psalms is David always repeats the reality of God’s throne when the tentacles of chaos surround his life.
Our God is sitting all seeing, all knowing, and all-powerful. He is sovereign, supreme and secure with His plans and purposes. He’s calling us to His throne in every circumstance to trust in Him that we would pray for His presence to be rested in. He asks us to step out in faith for His wonders to be enacted in every situation and condition.
THE TRIUMPH V.4-7
OUR CONFIDENCE V.4
GOD’S SUPREMACY The LORD is in his holy temple,
Abraham asked the question to Jesus and the two angelic visitors when pleading over Sodom and Gomorrah.
Gen.18:25 Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
The answer of course is obvious but we almost have to rehearse this to ourselves regularly as the voices of deception rage on in our ears that everything is caving.
GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY the LORD’s throne is in heaven:
Psalms 89:14–15 Justice and judgment are the habitation of God’s throne: mercy and truth shall go before God’s face. Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Your countenance.
GOD’S SCRUTINY his eyes behold, his eyelids try,
the children of men.
There is a constant challenge of really feeling that the Lord’s eyes are on us for good no matter what appearances may seem to be saying. The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good.
OUR CHASTENING V.5-6
GOD’S SEARCH V.5 The LORD tries the righteous:
We may feel like others are getting away with murder while we are being beat up at every turn but we’re to be looking not at the visible but the invisible.
Psalms 102:19-28 For God looks down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;
He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.
GOD’S SEVERITY but the wicked and him that loves
violence his soul hates.
Infinite love and infinite hatred is a difficult combo to explain but that is what we have revealed in these phrases.
GOD’S SNARES Upon the wicked he shall rain snares,
fire and brimstone, and an horrible
tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
When God determines that enough is enough. When the cup of wrath is full there is a spill over. This has happened in Biblical history at junctures of point where the foundations of society were under siege. God would spill over from this cup of accumulated wrath.
But now He has poured it all out on Jesus for our sins so we can turn to Christ for mercy and grace. To reject what Jesus has done for us is to find ourselves face to face with “an horrible tempest” which is again going to be unleashed in the final pages of time. This is what is seen from the throne in Revelation not the spill over but the emptying of the cup.
OUR COMMUNION V.7
GOD’S SATISFACTION For the righteous LORD loves
righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
“Other refuge have I none, Hangs my helpless soul on thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on thee is stayed, All my help from thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head With the shadow of thy wing.”
Psalms 103:19 “The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom rules over all.”
John Phillips writes “It was the sight of this throne that filled Lucifer with such unholy ambition. It was the sight of this throne, high and lifted up, that led to Isaiah’s consecration to the cause of God. This is the throne that fills John’s vision in Revelation 4 and 5. Seventeen times in those two short chapters he mentions it. It is the sight of this throne, so stable and sure, which enables the aged apostle to walk calmly through the devastating scenes which follow in the Apocalypse.”
Isa. 66:1-2 the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
The tabernacle, the temple and even our various Church buildings and religious gathering spots do not contain God. The vastness of God is the figurative expression of God’s throne. The throne is not a piece of cool furniture. The throne is a manifestation of God’s glorious sovereignty.
John MacArther writes: God’s sovereign rule is fixed, permanent, and unshakable. A vision of God’s immovable throne reveals He is in permanent, unchanging, and in complete control of the universe. That is a comforting realization in light of the horror and trauma of the end-time events about to be revealed Rev. 6–19
HIS HARDNESS V.3 And he that sat was to look upon like a Jasper
HIS HOLINESS and a sardine stone:
HIS HONESTY and there was a rainbow round about the
throne, in sight like unto an emerald.