December 5, 2022
The world believes that it is self-sufficient, but God's Word tells us that there is a God in heaven who is seated on His throne and sovereign over all. It is by His will, and through His Son, that the future events of the world will unfold.
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"
1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings 1 4:5 Or voices, or sounds and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
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,
“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 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
As we work our way through Jesus' Revelation to John, we begin the third section of the book with a stunning new vision in Revelation 4-5. Revelation 1:19 works as an outline of the book for us, and Revelation 4 begins to show us the things "that are to take place after this."
With this section of Scripture, we begin to see what God has ordained for the future of our present reality and all that will be accomplished by the coming Day of the Lord after the church age ends. Before the tribulation starts and we see these future events begin to unfold, there is first an interlude in Revelation 4-5 where we see a vivid picture and description of the Trinity. In these two chapters, we receive direct descriptions of how each figure of the Godhead appears to John.
Father: He is seated on a throne in heaven and has "the appearance of jasper and carnelian." (Revelation 4:3) Around His throne is a rainbow with the appearance of an emerald.
Son: He is a Lamb standing that looks "as though it had been slain." The Lamb appears "with seven horns and with seven eyes." (Revelation 5:6)
Holy Spirit: He resembles seven torches of fire that burn before the throne (Revelation 4:5).
After seeing God for who He really is, there is only one right response, and that is to worship. After the Godhead is revealed to John, we see one of the most incredible pictures of worship in the Bible. We see literally "myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands" of angels worshiping around the throne. (Revelation 5:11)
When studying Revelation, one of my great take-aways is the worthiness of God to be worshiped. In His great love for us, we can approach His throne of grace with confidence and can consider Jesus our friend. But let us not forget the reverence that He deserves as a holy and just God. Revelation gives me strength to remain steadfast today, because we are graciously reminded that our God is sovereign over ALL of history, and He is worthy to be praised!
1. How do these descriptions of each part of the Trinity affect your view of God? Which do you find most striking?
2. What characteristics of God lead you to worship Him most often? What decisions can you make today to better see Him for who He is?
3. We should find strength, hope, and peace today by reminding ourselves that God is sovereign over all history. Sometimes it is easier to believe that God is sovereign over the past than it is to find peace in His sovereignty over the present and the future. Where in your life are you clinging more to self-sufficiency than God's sovereignty?