Title: COME, LET US ADORE HIM!
Text: Revelation 4:1-11
Entering into true worship is one of the first activities a new Christian needs to learn as they begin their spiritual walk. Without it, the spiritual walk becomes mechanical and empty. True worship is the water that fills the often-empty cup. To worship means “to ascribe worth.” It means to use all that we are and all that we have to praise God for all that He is and does. Heaven is the place where worship is the supreme activity.
As chapter 4 opens, John is invited to “come up here.” He immediate was translated in the spirit to the doors of Heaven. He had all his senses. His ears heard, his eyes saw, his heart felt, and he had the capacity to weep and speak with the Lord of Heaven and Earth. What he saw, he was commanded to describe. What John saw had never been revealed before. You sense that he searches all that he has ever seen and known to describe what no one else has ever seen. We are so privileged to have a written copy of what he saw, for someday we shall all see it with our own eyes.
As the doors of Heaven open, we see God’s beings are there worshipping Him. What is described in these next two chapters will help us understand how to worship God ourselves. Open you heart for an awesome description of worship as it now happens in Heaven. Read Text.
1. What was visible to John as soon as he entered the doors of Heaven? (God Almighty on the throne.) Does this give you an idea of what is central in Heaven?
Insight: The first thing visible was a throne and Him who sat on the throne. John does not stop to describe the throne, for that is not important. What captivated his attention was Him who sat upon the throne. And what He saw was indescribable. We need that vision. It is reassuring to know that above all the strife and discord of this world and its governments that pervert justice, there is the dominion of God Almighty that whose display of royalty and authority that is supreme. The world is not without a ruler. It is not rolling from age to age like a ship without a pilot. It has a King whose eternal throne is established on high.
2. John says he was immediately in the spirit when he was summoned to come up to Heaven. Why is that…why did John have to be in the spirit? 1 Cor. 15:50; Ezek. 3:12-14
3. The key word in this chapter is “throne;” it is used 14 times in this chapter and 46 times in the Book of Revelation. Who is on the throne? (God the Father.) Is there any passage that describes Him coming off the throne? (No) Does this give you any security? Explain. (No matter how bad things get on earth, nothing moves God off the throne; He remains in control!) Rev. 3:21
4. Do you think there are human words to describe what God is like in His essence? So how does John approach this task? (By using comparisons with things he already knows: rainbow in the shape of a gem, jasper – a clear gem, sardius – red, robed in light.) Ps. 104:1-4
Insight: It’s significant that John describes God as a rainbow. It reminds us of God entering into covenant with man through Noah. His very aura reminds us of His gracious promise and that He keeps covenant. God’s visible majesty is displayed as a promise keeping character. This bow encircles the whole throne and embraces the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All have their glorious part in the salvation of man by His wonderful grace. Unlike rainbows today that appear after the storm, John has a vision of the rainbow being there before the great, final storm, to remind us God keeps His promise even when He judges.
5. Besides the rainbow, what else surrounds the throne? (24 elders) Who do you think they represent? (All God’s people through the ages. They are not angels because they give honor to God for redeeming them. They are not the patriarchs, Jews or apostles, for they are from every tongue and nation. They are elders in the sense they are the older ones brought back from the dead – the first glorified of all the company of the redeemed. They have had their resurrection and translation in advance of the final resurrection and they are crowned and officiating as priests in glory.)
Comment: Take note of the crowns on their heads; they won’t have them for very long. Rev. 4:10
6. From our study from the letters to the seven churches, we should be able to conclude what the white robes are symbolic of. What is it? Rev. 3:5
7. What do John’s words say to you when he reports he saw lightening and thunder proceeding from the throne? (Awesome power that can’t be contained; announcing the coming storm that is about to come upon the earth.)
8. Also before the throne are seven burning lamps. What do they represent? (The completeness of God’s church present in Heaven.) Rev. 1:20
Insight: Look at this awesome comparison between the Tabernacle of the Old Testament with the Heaven’s Sanctuary in the New Testament.
The Tabernacle Heaven’s Sanctuary
Holy of Holies The throne of God
7-branched candlestick Seven lamps of fire
Bronze laver (held water) Crystal sea
Cherubim over the mercy seat Four living creatures around the throne
Priests minister Elders minister
Brazen altar Altar (6:9)
Incense altar Incense altar (8:3)
Ark of the covenant Ark of the covenant (11:19)
But notice that in our eternal state, there will be no temple in Heaven. There’s no need for it, for we won’t have to go to a building to worship God…we will be in His very presence! Rev. 21:22
9. What do you think the four creatures that surround the throne represent? Compare the similarity of Ezekiel’s vision of the creatures: Ezek. 1:4-14 What does the fact that they are full of eyes tell you about these creatures? (This symbolizes their intense intelligence, looking backward into the things of the past, forward into the future, inward upon themselves – it seems they have unlimited penetration vision.)
Insight: In the vision of the four creatures is an imprint of the four Gospels: Matthew writes of Jesus as a King, thus the lion; Mark writes of Jesus as a servant, thus the calf; Luke writes of Jesus as the Son of Man, thus the man; and John writes of the deity of Christ as the Son of God, thus the eagle.
10. What does their song tell you about God? (God’s holiness is huge, for they repeat it 3 times.)
Insight: Personally, I think we have a hard time grasping God’s holiness. It’s totally foreign to our weak nature. The best I can come up with is Holman Bible Dictionary’s definition of it: “Set apart, spiritually pure, evoking adoration and reverence, evoking veneration and awe, being frightened beyond belief, filled with superhuman and potentially fatal power.
Insight: Notice these four creatures do not cease day or night to declare God’s holiness. They never rest in their fervency and the scope of their zeal…they perpetually express the holiness and glory of the Lord God Almighty!
11. As the 4 creatures worship God, what are the 24 elders doing? What does this say to you? (Any credit gained on earth that earned a reward in Heaven is the only true gift we can give to Him when we get there. All else has been stripped away. It is our only offering we can give to God in our eternal worship service.)
Insight: Worship is central to Heaven’s activities. Notice how many hymns of praise there are in this book alone: Rev. 4:8, 11; 5:9-13; 7:12-17; 11:15-18; 12:10-12; 15:3-4; 16:5-7; 18:2-8; 19:2-6.
The theme song of the 24 elders is “God the Creator.” The theme song of the 24 elders in chapter 5 is “God the Redeemer.” This gives us a beautiful insight as to how our worship needs to proceed: Acknowledging the Creator is the first step toward trusting the Redeemer! Col. 1:15-17