REV2022-09 – How It All Ends – Do You Know How To Stay Connected To God To The Very End?
We’re in Revelation, how it all ends. We’re in our ninth part and it’s a question to each of you, do you know how to stay connected to God to the very end? I was thinking about what’s going on in Ukraine recently in that battle. If you’re reading about it, in one city they knew that the bombardment was coming so all the people thought the safest place to go in their 10, 15, 20 stories high apartment was into the basement. The people all went down into the basement in the bomb shelter when the missiles hit, they must’ve struck some very good places structurally because it collapsed the building. What they said is that by the time the rescuers were able, over the days, to dig down, it was too late for all the people that had been down there, but they had survived for a while.
There’s this thought of what to do when you’re trapped and the clock is running out, the air is running out. I thought we were the perfect ones. Do you know how to stay connected to God to the very end? If you were on a crashing airplane, what would you do? I had a friend that was on a crashing airplane. He was on a hijacked airplane and the airplane was commandeered off the coast of Ethiopia and taken off to an island in the Maldives. I forget what the name of it is, Comoros I think it’s called. They ran out of gas on the way and the hijacked plane crashed and about half the people on board survived, Andy, didn’t, but his wife did. They were missionary friends of the church Bonnie and I were serving at and the wife sent us this message. It was wonderful. She said I’ll never forget for the rest of my life the distinct sound of my husband’s seatbelt clicking. She said, as soon as the Hijacker said, I’m taking this plane and the pilot said we don’t have enough gas, we’re going to crash there was a distinct click of my husband’s seatbelt. She said he got up, sat on the arm of his chair, looked down this row, and started confronting all the people with the Gospel. When he got all done, he turned around to his wife and held up one finger, which she took to mean one of them trusted the Lord. He went further down the aisle, sat on an arm, and looked at those people. Then he turned and sat on the other arm, looking at those people. She said he had made it within a couple of rows of the very back of the plane when the wing hit the water and it started tumbling. His section of the airplane broke off and those people died. She said, but the last time when he turned, he flashed ten two times and then two fingers, he was on the 22nd person he led to the Lord.
I thought that’s a great illustration. We’re all on a crashing airplane. This world is headed toward the end, and we know the ending, it’s right there, how it all ends. We have a choice; either stay in our seat with a seatbelt fastened or unfasten it and start telling people how to stay connected to God to the very end until their last breath with whatever is going on. That’s what we’re going to learn today.
Remember we’re in a new section and this outline is very important. You’re going to see it every class and it’s going to be on the final exam, like this matching thing. We’re in the second section. We’ve gone from Christ’s Church on Earth and all of a sudden, we see them in Heaven, that’s chapter 4 and chapter 5. Then we’ll see them again in chapter 19.
If you like pictures, here it is in picture form. We’ve gone from the Church on Earth in chapters 1, 2, and 3 to now the Church is in Heaven and you see that Bema seat thing. That’s the judgment seat of Christ and that’s what is going to be our focus when we get there. These people that we’re talking about, as I’ve told you each time, were given the book of Revelation as their guide to how to live in an ever darkening world. A world that Jesus tells us is going to have more and more wars and rumors of wars and famines and pestilence. Jesus said that evil is going to abound so strongly that the love of most believers is going to grow cold. It’s not very positive. Jesus had a very negative view of the future if you want to be honest, and He’s the one that told us about it.
I haven’t had time because Bonnie and I are on the road too much, but I was teaching somewhere with a marker board, and I took a picture of it because I didn’t have time to make a slide. If you think about the book of Revelation, it’s like those Russian dolls where there’s a big doll and if you take the top off there’s a smaller doll inside. Then you take the top off that one and there’s a smaller one, the Matryoshka dolls all fit inside of each other. The book of Revelation is like the big doll, the encompassing, the covering one is chapter 1 that Jesus is God the Son, He’s the image of God, all the attributes. I already talked to you about all that, the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Judge.
Within that context comes chapters 2 and 3, which are that we are His Church and it’s all about how He wants us to live as the world gets darker and darker. Then the part everybody is so enamored with of Revelation, the map of the end of the world. The only thing we need to know about that is that Jesus is going to right all wrongs. We don’t have to be trying to figure out when each little part is going to happen. That was always negative. Do you remember even the Thessalonians were doing that? They thought when they saw Nero in their time doing what he was doing, they thought the Lord had returned and left them behind, like in the Left Behind series. Paul says, don’t worry about that. You’re not going to be left behind if you’re saved. What you worry about is whether you’re living how Jesus wants us to live in this ever darkening world.
What is our fourth chapter about? How to stay connected to God. It’s our greatest need. Not just at the end of the world, today. That’s what this chapter is all about. It starts, if you go to chapter 4 of the book of Revelation, in verse 1. I’ll go to chapter 4 and get there with you in verse 1. “After these things I looked.” Isn’t that interesting? I’m going to talk about this, Lord willing on Monday, but isn’t it interesting that John presents the book of Revelation as if it’s a continuous event? It’s almost like a movie script. It’s all these cues, look up, look over there. What he says is after all this stuff, Jesus visiting me on the island of Patmos and talking to me, “I looked, and behold, a door standing open in Heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you the things which must take place after this.'” Must. Remember yesterday, I ended with Jeremiah 1:12, God is watching over His word to perform it. I love this. Must take place. Everything God said is going to happen is going to happen. Must take place.
What I wrote, remember what you’re looking at, this is my journal, and I’ve typed it up for you. Heaven is a real place existing at this moment. That was my observation. That was my application to my life because I need to remember that. I am so prone to think about this place, the Earth, and all of its problems. “After these things,” verse 1, which summarizes the words and events of chapters 1, 2, and 3, a new scene unfolds before John’s eyes. It’s just as real as those early churches of 2 and 3 with the throne of God that towers over everything happening to John and Patmos. It was just as real, but John needed to be reminded of that. I need to be reminded of that. You need to be reminded that right now, with all the things going on. Wondering if you’re going to have enough money for that and whether or not you’re going to be able to have enough strength for this. All of your fears and trepidations about your mission, experience, exposure, whatever that thing is that’s coming. Then the summer, and then after the summer, and then your boyfriend or girlfriend or parents, or maybe they’re splitting up or someone’s dying of cancer or whatever. We have all this stuff. That’s our whole world and the Lord says, oh, wait a minute, towering over all that is my throne. How Jesus describes His Father on the throne is huge. That’s the message. Heaven is real right now and God’s throne is there.
Number two, look at verse 2. “Immediately I was in the Spirit; behold, a throne set in Heaven, and One sat on the throne.” Wow. Who’s on the throne? We talk about Jesus seated at the right hand of the throne, the majesty on high. When you see God you’re seeing Jesus, but when you don’t see God sitting on the throne it’s God the Father because He is a spirit and God doesn’t have a body. Theologically He is noncorporeal, He is a spirit, He is an infinite spirit. He is also the present Spirit. He’s not localized, but when He’s manifested in a visible form walking around talking to people, most often it’s Jesus.
I’m sure I heard Mark Strout. I love coming in for his class. There are a lot of discussions about whether Genesis 18 is the whole Trinity. When Abraham has three visitors who are talking, saying what are we going to do about Sodom. There are times that it is possible there are theophanies not just Christophanies. Christophany is when Jesus shows up in the Old Testament, as the angel of the Lord. A theophany would be when God has some kind of a form. I’m not teaching Old Testament theology, but what Jesus wanted them and us to see is that God is seated on the throne, and all is well, and all is calm. Just like it says in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus references this over and over when He’s talking to people who are worrying about what they’re going to eat the next day. He said, why are you all troubled when your Father who is in Heaven is seated on the throne? We’re going to come back to that.
Look at the throne passages. This is the book of Revelation and in chapter 1 the throne is mentioned once, chapter 2 twice, chapter 3 twice, and chapter 4 is off the charts. For people that repeatedly read the Bible, you start seeing things like this. If you want to know about the throne of God, it’s throne, throne, and throne all the way through the chapter. For people that are looking for the key chapter on any topic, it becomes the most important chapter. Then chapter 5, there are only five references, chapter 6 has 1, and chapter 7 is back up to seven references. 8 has one reference, not at all in chapter 9. 9 is a horrible chapter. It’s about when Apollyon the destroyer and his demon monsters get set loose. Chapter 10 has no references to the throne, and 11 has one, 12 has one, and 13. You see them going on through, and then it gets heavy when we get near the ending.
What is our Father on the throne like? For just a minute, look at Matthew 5, because I want you to see in the Sermon on the Mount how Jesus describes the One seated on the throne. Our Father is the One seated on the throne, starting in verse 16. Jesus says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Good, we’re supposed to glorify Him. Number two, He says in verse 34, “But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by Heaven, for it is” what does verse 34 say Heaven is? God’s throne. People wonder what Heaven is like. Heaven is God’s throne. It’s where our Father is seated. That’s what we’re going to study today. It’s amazing. Look at verse 45, “that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.” What does He do from His throne? He makes His Son to rise on the evil and the good.
Did you know that the scriptures tell us in Colossians 1, that God through Jesus Christ holds the universe together? There is a lot that nuclear physicists and theoretical astrophysicists and all the people at MIT and Caltech and all the great thinkers of the world still have not solved. We know that charges repel, right? You remember that from high school chemistry. How do atoms stay together when they have charged particles at the nucleus? If they repel, why don’t they repel? Because Colossians 1 says that by Him, all things hold together. What happens when God stops holding everything together? Oh, that’s 2 Peter chapter 3. It says the whole universe dissolves. It melts. That’s actually what it says. Peter says the universe melts with a fervent heat. God, who through Christ created the world in Genesis, in Revelation between chapters 20 and 21 is 2 Peter 3, the events. He uncreates the universe and it just dissolves.
Heaven is His throne. Look at verse 48. It says, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” Wow. We learned about Him in verse 16, that we’re supposed to glorify Him and He’s seated and His throne is Heaven. He’s perfect. If you keep going in chapter 6 verse 1 it says, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in Heaven.” Do you know what that’s implying? He’s watching everything we do. Wow.
Keep going to verse 4. “Your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” This is the one Joseph knew about when he told Potiphar’s wife, I can’t do that because God is watching. Joseph had a very practical understanding of the scriptures. Look at verse 6 of Matthew 6, “when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is,” He’s not just seeing and watching. Look, what it says, He “is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” This Father is amazing.
It gets even better in verse 8 of chapter 6. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” He is a really good Father. There’s that song, You’re a good Father, that’s who You are. That’s who You are. Yeah, boy, that’s a nice song, but the truth of the scriptures is something that we should think about. That who’s seated on that throne.
I love the second point. Our Father knows each hop of every bird. It’s fun to sit on park benches or benches anywhere and watch the birds. They’re very nervous. They’re flittery looking in every direction, and they don’t stand still very much unless they have found something and they’re pecking on it. Look at what it says in Matthew chapter 10 about birds. Starting in verse 29, or I’ll start in 28 since I underlined it. “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both the soul and body in Hell.” That’s a whammo verse, but verse 29. “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground.”
Now that’s interesting. That’s one of those Greek parts of the texts it’s called a variant. That means the Western manuscripts have one spelling and Eastern manuscripts have another, and I’m sure you have a whole class on that. It could fall to the ground like the birds are doing in Mexico City because the pollution is so bad, and their little lungs breathe too much of it and it kills them, and they fall to the ground. It could be death. The majority of the way the word is used is not dropped out of the air and dies, it’s hops. They jump up a little bit and they land again, and they jump up a little bit and land again. Interestingly, they don’t walk. They hop, many of them. Every hop apart from your Father’s will. They don’t hop unless God continues to give them life. Look what He says, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Jesus was big on revealing the Father. That’s the whole purpose of the book of Revelation. Remember we started way back on day one saying that the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God the Father gave to God the Son to give to John to give to the churches. Why? Because the more you know about Christ, Jesus said if you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the One on the throne. Look at the last line up there. Jesus tells us, well He doesn’t just tell us. Look at chapter 6 verse 9 of Matthew.
There are 73 Greek words in this passage starting in verse 9. “In this manner, therefore, pray.” By the way, you can look up in your Logos that is imperative. It isn’t a suggestion. Jesus said, this is the way I want you to pray and I’m not saying you have five options. You’re walking down the line at lunch and if you don’t like French you’ll take Thousand Island. No, this is the manner. He doesn’t say the words you’re supposed to quote. He said this is the manner. This is the way; this is the pattern you’re supposed to pray. Then He said this is how to approach our Father and He gives that beautiful prayer, which starts with “Our Father, which art in Heaven.” Wow.
That’s where our worship is to be pointed. Look what it says in verse 3, we’re back to Revelation now. Revelation 4 and verse 3. “And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” Every time worship is portrayed in the Bible it always has three elements. We’re going into Revelation 4, which is the worship scene of Heaven. It’s what God wants. It’s what God’s totally in charge of. It’s how He wants it and that’s how it’s done. It’s very important.
Whenever God talks about worship there are three perspectives always presented. If you read the scriptures closely, all three elements have to be right, or the worship is wrong. That should be sobering, especially for all of you that are going into worship ministries. It’s very interesting how we talk so lightly about worship. People talk about how many different ways we can worship when actually God says if you don’t follow the directions I’ve given you, your worship is wrong. No matter how nice it sounds, no matter how popular it is, and no matter how much the audience responds to it. See, that’s very important to know. It’s serious.
Remember what Jesus said? If you’re on your way to bring a gift of worship to God and you realize that there is someone in the whole world that you are out of sorts with, you have a broken relationship with, something unsettled. You have the old fashioned word ought against anyone. You’re out of sorts with your parents, your husband, wife, children, and employer. If you are out of sorts, leave your gift. Don’t offer it. Go get right with them. Then come back and offer. Do you know what would happen? We wouldn’t have a lot of worship crews on Sunday morning up there tuning up. Did you realize that? God says I can’t accept that from you.
Do you know what I love to watch? I love to watch all these different groups that are leading us in worship. All the people that are playing the instruments. I like to see whether or not they’re participating. It’s wonderful to see a drummer. The synaptic firestorm in a drummer’s brain must be amazing because they’re doing so many different things at once. They’re moving every part of themselves at once doing all that. When you see one that’s not only doing all that, but they’re singing along. They’re not just doing their skill; they’re offering their personal worship. They’re offering their skill to the Lord, but they’re doubling it. They’re singing. It’s the same with those guitarists and everybody else, and the pianists.
During COVID we watched a lot of the mega services that had online services. I forget the guy, The Harvest, Greg Laurie’s band. I love to watch the camera going between all of them. Or Matt Chandler’s band, or whoever, it’s interesting. Do you know what was fascinating? I don’t know if they put a bulletin out, but it was rare to see a musician, even when there were 15 of them, that wasn’t participating, singing along with the music. The person offering the worship has to be right with God. The offering that they’re bringing has to be right with God. You say, what is that? Look at the verse at the bottom (John 4:24). “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” there are two ways of applying that; energized by the Spirit or, zealously in the Spirit, engaged. It could be filled, which is very true, but also passionate and not half-hearted and happenstance and ho-hum. You have to worship God in the spirit, but boy, the other half in truth.
Did you know, there are a lot of lyrics in a lot of worship songs that aren’t true? They’re pretty and people write them, publish them, and earn great royalties on them, but they’re not true. That’s why we have to be very careful. We have to all be like Acts 17:11 says the church at Berea was. We all have to be like the Bereans, even if Paul the apostle is speaking, who went home and checked what he taught them against the scriptures. It’s good to even check lyrics against the scripture because the offering they’re bringing has to be true.
The last thing is the One they’re giving that offering to. Do you know what’s interesting? It’s very possible for worship leaders to offer their worship to the audience. They’re totally engaged with how much they can get the audience worked up instead of thinking, is this acceptable in Your sight of Lord? Am I acceptable in your sight, oh Lord? I want to stop offering until I know there’s no unconfessed, unforsaken sin, et cetera, et cetera. Where our worship is pointed is what Revelation 4 is all about.
Then look at what happens when the worship is offered. It starts in verse 6. “Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.” Boy, would that be distracting to see those things. “The first creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man and the fourth living creature was like a flying Eagle.”
What are we talking about here? Of course, we know they’re cherubim. We find them in the Old Testament, we find them even on the standards that were the tribal standards because when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, they were very orderly. They marched in groupings of three tribes, three tribes, three tribes, three tribes, and they each had a standard. Each of them came behind one of the four cherubim standards. The cherubim were featured. They were on the curtains. They were over the Ark of the Covenant.
You say, wow, what is all that for? Look at this. It says the first one had a face like a lion. Well, it says he was like a lion, but in the Old Testament, it says that they had a face like a lion. Satan was a cherubim, is a cherubim, he’s just a bad one. We know what Satan looks like. He doesn’t wear red tights or has a pointed tail. He has four faces; the first face is like a lion, the second face is like an ox, the third face is like a man, and the last face is like an eagle.
These four faced creatures, four of them, are always flying around the throne of God. If you think about it, I call it a theocentric orbit. Gods in the middle and they’re always rotating Him. Like the satellites that do our communication have geocentric orbits. They stay at 22,000, what is it, 22,300 or 22,600 miles away from the Earth so that three of them can triangulate and never lose the signal because those three satellites are in geosynchronous orbits. The cherubim are in theo, as in God, synchronous orbits.
At any given moment if you, and someday we’ll be standing there and you can check this out, If you’re standing at God’s throne and look this way, you’ll see one of the four cherubim faces. If you look that way, you’ll see the second face, a lion, you’ll see an ox, you see a man, you’ll see an eagle. That’s the four Gospels, right? You’ve already studied this. In Matthew, He’s the king. That’s the lion, it’s a picture of royalty. Mark, He’s a servant, that’s the ox. That’s the picture of a servant. Luke, He’s the perfect man, that’s the man. What does John talk about? Christ is God in human flesh, He’s like an Eagle. They used to say that eagles flew closest to God, they were the highest-flying thing. Even the throne is hearkening back to the Old Testament, to the marching of the tribes, and everything in the tabernacle. It’s pointing to the future, that Christ will forever be our perfect King, Son of Man, the One who was a suffering servant, who is God the Son. Oh, it’s amazing.
Verse 8, “the four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night.” They say the only attribute of God that’s emphasized, the highest emphasis it can get, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” What I wrote is what happens when we worship? Most of our lives are dominated by the physical world; our health, the weather, our family, our car, and our job. The Holy Scriptures each of us hold were designed to transport our minds away from our physically dominated world that is easiest for us to see and feel and transport our minds to the spiritually dominated world. My body only works in this physical world. It just wants to stay here as long as possible and it’s very interested and curious and wants to be a part of everything in the physical world. However, inside my body lives my eternal infinite spirit given to me by God.
Remember what Paul said about the tension? For I desire to depart and to be with Christ, but it is better for me to stay with you. You need to have someone in the body teaching you. Paul’s spirit was so matured and strengthened and longed after Christ. This world was not his home, and he wasn’t just passing through, he couldn’t wait to get there. Most of us aren’t quite there yet. We’re dominated by this world. That’s why you see what I have on the last part of that slide, Colossians 3:1 is a choice. What does Colossians 3:1 say? Set your affections on things above not on things on the Earth. Even though our body wants to be living for this place, our desires are supposed to be chosen by us to be set on things above.
What’s going on around the throne? Let’s go to Ezekiel 1. Everything that’s described in Revelation isn’t new. I’ve said that so many times. It’s all hearkening. It’s to make us go back and to see the wonder of the inspiration and what God has done in His word. Look at what the throne of God is like in Ezekiel chapter 1 verse 4. “I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.” A lot of people have trouble with this.
I was at a shop in Galilee once waiting in line for something. I’d live in Israel if I could afford it. I just love being over there, living around all the Bible stuff. Bonnie and I were there, and I was at the shop and I was listening to two Jews talk and they were, praise the Lord, talking in English. They study the Old Testament and one of them says what is chapter 1 of Ezekiel about? I thought, I could understand and I don’t even know Hebrew. I could hear and they started talking about it. They said, what is all that stuff? Sounds like a lot of us, wondering.
Look at verse 5, “from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves’ feet.” This is weird stuff. It sounds, I don’t know, like Disney or something. It’s strange. All of a sudden it makes sense when you realize that they’re talking about the cherubim.
Verse 10, for the likenesses of faces each had the face of a man, the face of a lion, the face of an ox, and the face of an eagle. There we go. We’ve got those four. It’s all sinking in. Number one, when you see God’s throne, always around it is this raging fire and these sparkling ones that are covered with eyes, and they glitter and they’re almost effervescent. They’re like when you’re on a cruise boat looking out the back and the phytoplankton is lighting up in the wake. You don’t have to be in a cruise boat by the way. If you go into tribal work, it works in other parts of the world, but you see this effervescence, sparkling light. That’s what Heaven’s like.
It doesn’t stop there. Verse 13, “As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth… the fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning.” God’s throne is not like sitting in here hour after hour of lectures here. You’ll be overstimulated when you’re there. You’ll be looking all around, you can’t take it all in. You’re looking and these creatures are flying around and there’s lightning going and there’s like a furnace, the fire, and then the smoke. It’s just unbelievable.
Then there is this verse, 18. “As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were full of eyes, all around the four of them.” Do you know what’s happening? We’re getting to the edge of what a human can describe. Ezekiel is seeing something, and he doesn’t know what it is. He’s busily obeying God and writing it down and he’s just trying to put words to it. Verse 19, “When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.” What is going on? That’s what it looks like around God’s throne.
Look at verse 22, which says “The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads.” Imagine in Heaven, things that are so little and hard to get on Earth are giant. Do you realize that the gates going into Heaven are made of one pearl? That means the gates are 1200-mile-high pearl. How big was the oyster? Do you know what I mean? Can you imagine in Heaven the walls are 1500 miles high, but the gate is at least 1200 miles high? I’m going to wait till we get to Heaven because there’s something to think about. Why did God pick pearls for the gates? There has to be a reason.
Then look at verse 24. Here’s the last thing around the throne, the sounds of mighty water and sparkling like burning fire. “I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty…A voice came” verse 25 “from the firmament,” verse 26 “the likeness of a throne,” and verse 27 from “His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber…all around within it…His waist and downward…brightness.” The brightness of fire. Any worship we offer arrives.
To get it closer to us, what I just read for some of you was old hat because you’ve read it so many times. For some of you, it was brand new and for some of you, you don’t even care because remember, I know that all seven types of Christians are out there. I know that out here there are some Sardis people, dead as a doornail and this doesn’t impress me stuff. Then there are some Philadelphians. You’re ready to unbuckle your seatbelt and you want to go crash some plane and tell everybody about Christ. We have everything in between, but wherever you are in the spectrum of Christianity, this is what we’re all going to see and it’s going to be amazing.
I will add one more thing that Daniel adds, Daniel 7. That’s the next book, Ezekiel, Daniel. He tells us something that since I read this, it’s fascinated me starting in verse 9. “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow. And the hair of His head was like pure wool.” This sounds just like Revelation 1. Did you notice that? “His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire.” Look at verse 10. “A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him.” The Ancient of Days is seated on the throne and at His feet are steps and out from the steps flows a river of fire. Wow. It came forth from Him.
What does Hebrews say? Our God is a consuming what? Fire. When I read through the Bible, remember I told you I read through it once a month and looked for something every time. The first time was looking for all the names and titles and descriptions of God. Do you know what one of them is in Isaiah? He is the everlasting burning. What Daniel sees right here is that this fiery river is coming out in front of His throne and a thousand thousands minister to Him. A thousand times a thousand is a million. Millions of angels are moving around, like bees in a beehive, and they’re ministering to Him while 10,000 times 10,000 are standing.
I did an Excel chart and if you just take the normal space it takes to stand and be able to fall on your face and get back up you can make a square footage for that. Then multiply that out for millions and hundreds of millions. Being a Michigander, if this is the state of Michigan, the throne of God would take up one-half of the lower peninsula if you made a big circle and made enough room for all those people to be getting on their faces. We only have the angels; we don’t even have us in there yet because we’re in the inner circle because there are those 24 thrones. What do we see in Heaven? We see a throne, a river of fire, a sea of glass, these living ones that are flying around, the 24 elders that are sitting, and these countless angels that Daniel’s talking about. It’s awesome.
Think about this, 2 Corinthians 5:10, for we must all appear before that throne. If you look at the words that are inspired, “For me must all appear.” Greek word phanerōthēnai, which exactly means this: there’s nothing we can hide, everyone’s going to see what we really were, whether or not we lived for Christ, and to what degree. “For we must all appear.” The word is hekastos, one by one. We come one by one, and everyone sees what we really were in front of that amazing throne. Paul built his ministry around it, that’s the high place of Corinth. This is the bema seat that Paul talks about. That’s where Seneca’s brother Gallio sat and intervened when they were trying to hurt Paul. That actual place is there and when you go to the life of Paul in Greece you go and see that. That’s the word, we must all appear before the bema of Christ.
What is it? It’s the moment when we receive the things we did with our body, according to what we have done, whether good or bad. Boy that bothers people. Bad? I thought my sins were gone. It isn’t the word bad for sin. It’s a different word. It’s the word phaulon, not kakos, it’s phaulon. Phaulon means good for nothing. Another way it’s translated is for a swirl of steam, like in the morning where our cabin is. Whenever it’s cold here on Schroon Lake and the sun comes down and the light touches the water, you’ll get a little wisp of steam that will move. That’s the word phaulon. It means it’s something that appears for a little while and it’s gone. You can’t grab it. You can’t hold it. It’s just gone. It’s also the word for what we call dust devils. When the wind blows down the street and it picks up little bits of trash or a leaf or dust or dirt, and you see this tornadic kind of little swirl, and then it’s gone. You can’t get them. God says everything we do in life once He erases the record of our sin either comes out good, eternal, going to last forever, or good for nothing. That’s going to be what’s revealed in front of His throne.
Philippians 3:3 adds one more thing to this. Paul said this, Philippians 3:3, “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Did you catch that? Born again Christians have circumcised hearts. We get a new heart so that we can worship God. What I wrote is true believers are worshipers, we’re all worshipers. In Revelation 4 and 5 we see a future picture of all of us, true worshipers worshiping at the highest level.
The next thing I saw here is Revelation 4:8 tells us exactly how God wants to be worshiped and verses 9 and 10 talk about His holiness. You’re going to be reading that this week. Verse 11, it’s completely focused on God.
Let’s go back to where we started. Okay. Hey, we have four minutes, everybody ready? I’m going to do a field trip. Is everybody ready? Everybody stand with me, please and we’re going to quote the Lord’s prayer. Are you ready? All of you know it by heart. Since I just described for you the throne, I want you to think about how we’re going to be standing around that thing with all those creatures and all that lightning and everything else. You’re going to be looking up at the Lord and this is how He wants us while we’re on Earth to focus on Him. Okay. You can say the Lord’s prayer out loud with your eyes open or closed or whatever, but think of Him.
Here we go. Let’s say it together. “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” What? “Amen.” You may be seated.
Guess what? Look at this and I’m going to go through this fast. Jesus told us exactly what our seven greatest needs would be while we go through life in that Lord’s prayer. Number one, I need God to focus me. How often do you think about the throne of God and Him sitting there? Not very often if you’re normal. What’s the first phrase of the Lord’s prayer? “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.” Hallow it, to hallow something means you respond because it impacts you so much. God says I want to impact your life.
I need You to control me, Your kingdom come. I need You to lead me. I want Your will to be done in my life. I don’t want to do my own thing. I need You to supply me, give me this day. Why is that so important? I want to see God’s hand supplying me with what I need so I can serve Him. I need You to cleanse me, “forgive us our trespasses.” In verse 14, after the Lord’s prayer is done, He said, if you won’t forgive people that harm you, I won’t forgive you. Boy, that’s a sobering verse, but I’m not covering Matthew and I don’t have to tell you the implications of it. I need God to protect me, especially when we get to next week. We have no idea the power and malignity of these demonic creatures. I need God’s protection. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Do you know how the Lord’s prayer ends? “For thine is the kingdom of power and the glory forever.” Do you what that is saying? For thine is everything. What I need to do is be emptied of living for me, and I want to serve You humbly.
I’ve told you, and I haven’t shown you one of these lately, that I always write an application prayer. After going through this is another example. I wrote this: Lord, You’re watching my life. You’re recording every part. You know what I’m feeling or what I’m feeding on. Stir my hunger for Your word. See the asking God to do something based on His word. You’re setting open doors of ministry before me. Help me to go through them and serve You with all my heart. Fear surrounds me as the world crumbles. Help me believe You and fear not. As I see what You’ve planned for this world, help me to live for what’s eternal. I want to hear more and more about what You say and respond to Your Spirit.
Check Out All The Sermons In The Series
You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, Revelation Taught In 2022 here.
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