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Shocking Throne Room Secrets

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  Shocking Throne Room  Secrets! Reverend Anthony R. Locke July 22 nd , 2012  www. FirstPresTucker  .org  at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker    Revelation 4:6b-11   Sermon Series in Revelation # 11   English Standard Version   6 And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”   9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. 1     There is one obvious theme that God wants all of us to learn and know about the heavenly experience. It’s all about God. We humans are not even mentioned anywhere in this chapter. Heaven is not about us. Heaven is about God’s glory, His power and His Sover  eign control over all things. That’s probably shocking for most seeker sensitive churches. =)  The display of light coming from the throne is so overwhelming that God passes the light through transparent gems. The throne itself is constructed with translucent stones like diamonds, crystals, sapphires and emeralds which serve to diffuse the light and protect the worshippers. We will see the Father in Heaven like we see Jesus today. Not through a glass darkly, but a glass brightly  —    I don’t think we will ever see God the Father directly.   John 4:24  God is spirit,   and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.   We see  Jesus  in the Word illumined by the Spirit. When we get to heaven we will see Jesus face to face. Heaven provides greater clarity. Heaven will provide more clarity for us to see the Father too. We don’t see the Father at all now, except through Jesus. In heaven we will see His glorious light and majesty. Colossians 1:15  Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.   John 1:18    No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side,   has made him known. The Son is our Elder Brother and friend. The Father remains transcendent and seated on the throne. There is a pool of separation between us and the Father. He is our  benevolent sovereign. He is our One Eternal God. We prostrate ourselves in worship before the Father. 1 Timothy 1:17  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible , the only God, be honor and   glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version.  2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.  So far in this chapter we have seen what I believe to be very powerful angels sitting on twenty four thrones surrounding Go d’s throne. I believe these are part of the entourage of God. God administers His unlimited power and sovereign will by delegating His authority over the Creation through the angelic host. Outside the circle of the twenty four elders are the collected trop hies of God’s grace.   Revelation 5:9  people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.   The Hubble Telescope was aimed toward the darkest and most empty part of the sky. And as they peered into the darkness of the universe they found billions of galaxies swirling around what we would label the edge of the universe. Yet there appears to be no edge, no end to the size and grandeur of God’s Creation.  And from this astronomically incalculably large Creation will be gathered around the throne  persons from every imaginable category. More persons than the sands of the sea, which is a number so big that numerals cease to be useful to describe or quantify this Heavenly crowd. Remember 1 Corinthians 2:9 .    No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived   what God has prepared for those who love him.   The throne of God will blow you away. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and   rumblings and peals of thunder. It will not be serene. It will shake your chest and bones!   My kids like a song off the Avengers movie sound track called  I am Alive.   It’s one of the most rockin’ songs I’ve ever heard. It is full of energy, passion and life. You will never feel more alive than when you stand before God’s throne. It’ s awful   in the Old English use of that word. So on the outer ring of the Heavenly Throne room is the people of God. Then a step closer is the twenty four elders. Then right next to the throne verse 6 And around the throne, on each side   of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:   Again we are talking about very powerful angels. These are the Cherubim of Ezekiel chapter one. King David said of them in Psalm 99:1 The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits   enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!   These four powerful angels cue the rest of the creation according to what they see and hear. They give their undivided attention to God on His throne. John only gives us a partial description of what these angelic creatures look like. And let me remind us that like poetry, a metaphor is not meant to be overly analyzed. There are no references within our experience of God’s Creation to approximate what these angels really look like. John speaks metaphors to help us get an image, not so we can paint the throne,  but to communicate the truth of it’s glory to our hearts and minds.   7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living   creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.   So there are four awesome angels that immediately encircle the throne of God the Father. One is like the king of beasts: the lion. Lions guard the entrance to the temple of the Forbidden City in China. Lions sit atop the columns at the harbor in Venice. Four lions guard the center of Trafalgar’s Square in London.  Jerusalem’s Temple Mount was accessed through the Lion’s Gate which was one of seven operating gates of the old city during the life of Christ. This angel bristles with absolute strength. He carries himself with a dominant swagger which is noble and powerful. This angel is portrayed as the King of Beasts. The second angelic creature is like the Charging Bull outside Wall Street. Standing 11 feet tall and measuring 16 feet long, the oversize sculpture depicts a bull, the symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity, leaning back on its haunches and with its head lowered, its nostrils flare, and its wickedly long, sharp horns are ready to gore; it’s an angry, dangerous beast. That’s a Wikipedia description of the seven thousand pound bull that America put outside our financial district in Manhattan, New York. God put one next to His throne! Third is an angel with the face of a man. The most intelligent creature God made is mankind. So John compares this third angel to that of a man. And the fourth creature is like the swiftest creature that John has seen: an eagle. So the most ferocious, strongest, smartest and fastest creatures in the Creation occupy the immediate space around God’s throne. Oh my goodness!  Verse 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around   and within. Have you ever said that your mom has eyes in the back of her head? Nothing happens that mom doesn’t know about.  That ’ s what John is saying. Not literally lots of eyes. Well, nothing happens on the throne that escapes the attention of these four angelic creatures. They are always ready to perform the commands of the Father. His will is their command. They are always in motion showing their readiness to execute God’s will.  Obviously, this is the Holy of Holies not made with hands. Nothing of the creation touches down on this spot. They are always in flight and covering their feet lest they should touch the throne. These angels never rest. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 3:8  that we worked night and day, laboring and   toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.   John uses the same Greek phrase, night and day , that the Apostle Paul used. Meaning? These angels are busy with the Father’s will, and when they are not transferring God’s commands to the twenty four elders, they are worshipping saying “ Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God   Almighty, who was and is and is to come! ”     This is the scene Isaiah described Isaiah 6:3   And they were calling to one another: “Holy,   holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory .”     This is pure worship. Worship is about God. We shou ld focus on God the Father’s never changing person, His immutable attributes and character. Much of the worship in our churches today fails to meet this Heavenly standard. One praise song comes to mind out of Psalm 146 and Psalm 104 called  I will Sing Unto The  Lord As Long As I Live .  I will sing unto the Lord As long as I live, I will sing praise to my God,  While I have my being My meditation of him Shall be sweet, I will be glad, I will be glad in the  Lord.   While that’s scripture, it’s only the introduction to the meaty doctrinal  verses which follow and detail why God is worthy of our praise and worship. If we only sing introductory verses, we might  be singing scripture, but we make the primary subject ourselves  and God occupies second place. Do a self test during lunch today or later this week. The Bible says to make our boast in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:31   Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” If   you were telling an unconverted person the great reasons to worship God, if you were making your boast i n God, how much of God’s person and perfection could you describe?  King David says that he will bow down and worship, but then he details God’s glory. THAT’S WHAT’S MISSING FROM the Evangelical church in the 21 st  Century. We talk about our desire to worship, and skip the grandeur details of God’s glory.  We label God glorious, but we can ’ t explain it so we only sing about our desire to worship. In Luke 1:46   Mary said: “ My soul glorifies the Lord ” and then she proceeds to list God’s   amazing attributes and actions of salvation. We need to go back to Sunday School and learn about God. The people of God are not mentioned once in chapter four. Our appetites, our musical tastes, our worship preferences and styles are not important. God is important. We would do well to worship with that same perspective today. These four living angelic creatures then lead the heavenly worship. Verse 9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who   lives forever and ever, The heavenly experience rotates between different activities. Our activity isn’t mono - chromatic. There’s variety. Verse   9  And whenever means that when the reoccurring worship moment arrives, we call that the first day of the week, then the four top Creatures of the Creation lead the rest of the Creation in songs of worship about God. 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him   who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne    No creature reserves any glory for themselves. Any honor or praise that we have received from God we reflect back to God as He is the source of our glory. When I was younger I imagined a pile of golden crowns laying at the foot of the throne. I no longer imagine that particular detail. My whole family grew up with that visual imagery. My dad even named his company Crown  because he wanted to offer his greatest career achievement in  praise to God. We will all think this way when we see the throne room. Verse 11. We learn the heavenly lyrics: “ Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory   and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.   And the whole Creation sings praise to God. This is the primary reason the Psalmist offers for why we should worship God. The created should worship the Creator. Are you already worshipping God night and day? Is your soul in tune with God? Are you living your life for His glory? God the Father loves you so much. May we commit to know the Father through daily fellowship with Jesus by His Spirit and the Word. Amen.
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