Thursday, November 24, 2011

John's beatific vision of God

Revelation 4
 ¶1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
 4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
 5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
 6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
 7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
 8 ¶ And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
 9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

    In Chapter 4 of Revelation we are ushered by John's vision to join in the Heavenly worship of God.  What Heavenly sights and sounds do we see and hear about?  There's the door, the voice as clear as trumpet, the Heavenly throne, the one who sits upon that throne, the precious stones, the emerald-like rainbow, 24 seats (also thrones), and 24 elders, powerful voices come from the throne accompanied by thunders and lightnings, seven lamps of fire burning, the crystal sea, and the four beasts.  With all that was going on it isn't a mystery how we may perhaps miss the forest for the trees.  God is worshiped.  Heaven is occupied with the worship of God.  If you took the time to read the Scriptures above (as you should), you would know that Heaven was just scaled back for us.  And what were they doing over there?  Worshiping God.  It is all about God.  Are we concerned about God's worship?  What are we about?  What are we occupied with?  There's a lot going on down here on Earth, you know.  Many things, people, and events can easily persuade us to give of ourselves over to them (our time, talents and treasures for instance), but there is only but one who is truly worthy.  We could say, now that we have the Bible in its entirety, that John saw what Isaiah and Ezekiel saw.  How wonderful it must have been to be there to see all this.  But we have a more sure word of prophecy.  God is so gracious to let us in on this.  We may not see the vision that John saw, but we can see it through the pages of Scripture, the sufficient Word.  What are we going to do about this Heavenly vision?  We can humbly join in the worship (as we should), or we can just go on living for ourselves.  Let's determine to remember that God is the center-piece of our lives, and let us worship Him personally first, with our families second, and then thirdly, from that heart attitude of surrender to God, corporately through our church.  Have a happy Thanksgiving!  Worship Him, and Him alone, for He alone is worthy.  Amen.

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