Text: Revelation 4:1-11
Date: 01/21/17 File name: Revelation_12.wpd
Theme: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.
As we arrive at the 4th chapter of the Book of Revelation, let’s take a moment to consider where we have been and where we are going.
The Revelation of Christ Jesus given to the Apostle John is made up of four visions.
The first vison is recorded in Revelation 1:9-3:22.
John is commanded to write about what you have seen, what is happening now, and what will take place in the future.
“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”
(Revelation 1:19, NIV84).
What the Apostle has seen is recorded in Revelation 1:10-16.
It is the glorified Christ — radiant in his resurrected body, and returned to the splendor that was his before the incarnation, and reigning with the Father.
He describes himself as “the First and the Last,” as “the Living One,” as the one who “was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” (Revelation 1:17–18, NIV84).
The things that are now are the events concerning the Seven Churches to whom the risen Christ gives very specific messages.
We are reminded that our Savior — who is Head of his body, the church — is fully aware of the situation each and every New Testament Church finds itself in.
Our Savior knows this congregation, and he knows each and every Christian in this congregation.
He knows our joys, and he knows our struggles.
And he gives precious promises to him who overcomes — which is every confessing Christian, past, present, and future.
Chapter four begins the second vision, and marks one of the major turning points in the Book of Revelation.
It concerns world events that will take place later.
This second vision runs all the way through the end of chapter sixteen and is the bulk of the book.
A believer’s eschatological view will determine how one interprets the last three of Christ’s visions in the Book of Revelation.
(Eschatology is the branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world, and Christ’s Second Coming).
In your bulletin is an insert that briefly describes how each of the four major end-times views interprets some of the events we’re going to begin looking at.
I will be including these from time to time as we go through this book.
Because of the differences of opinion shared even among Baptists over the order of events regarding the end times, Baptists have rightly refused to make eschatology a test of orthodoxy and fellowship.
But even though various viewpoints about the future are held, all Christians believe three basic convictions about the course of human culture and the end of the world: 1st, that God is at work in history and that it will culminate in his eternal kingdom; 2nd, that Jesus will return, believers will be resurrected, and Christ will establish his kingdom; and 3rd, that we will share in our Lord’s eternal glory and live with him forever.
As one who holds-to a Futurist end-times view, I believe that everything from Revelation 4:1 to the end of the book has yet to take place.
We are still living in the Church Age, and the events that will take place later, have yet to take place.
And when they do — WATCH OUT!
Let’s look at the events that are taking place in Heaven.
I. THE PERSON UPON THE THRONE
1. chapter four begins with an invitation for the Apostle John to ascend into Heaven
“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.” (Revelation 4:1, NIV84)
2. John hears a voice calling Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things
John is going to receive an insider’s view of heaven, and a bird’s-eye-view of the end of the world
1) in chapters four and five, he is going to glimpse what is taking place in Heaven
2) in chapters six and seven, he is given a vision of the wrath of God unleashed upon a rebellious world
3) these are things that must take place ... they are predetermined by God and part of his divine plan
3. this second vision begins with an extraordinary experience — the Apostle sees a throne with someone sitting on it
a. he sees God on His throne
1) John was not the first to catch a glimpse of Heaven
a) in a dream, Jacob saw a stairway reaching to heaven from where God addressed him, and Jacob exclaimed, “This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven” (Gen.
b) the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel were allowed to see God’s celestial throne (Isa.
c) Paul the Apostle was also was taken up to the third heaven in a vision, and he writes that “he heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell” (2 Cor.