We have finished walking through Church History as it relates to the Seven Churches that Christ Jesus spoke of in the first three chapters of Revelation. We know that one day, we will come to the end of what is known as Church History, and we need to know what is up ahead on that journey.
John is called up to Heaven so that he might see what will happen next.
There is so much richness in these verses and require an in-depth study of History – and this is where having knowledge of Jewish History helps us to understand what we are reading. The Hebrew language is like “picture-words,” but we have to understand what those picture words mean. From this point, I will be using the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), as my reference for the Scriptures. It is always wise to review Scriptures through different translations for clarity at times.
Now we will follow John and walk through the door standing open into Heaven:
Worship with a Heavenly View: Revelation 4
After these things, I looked; and there before me was a door standing open in heaven; and the voice like a trumpet which I had heard speaking with me before said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things.” Instantly I was in the Spirit, and there before me in heaven stood a throne, and on the throne Someone was sitting. The One sitting there gleamed like diamonds and rubies, and a rainbow shining like emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on the thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white clothing and wearing gold crowns on their heads. From the throne came forth lightnings, voices and thunderings; and before the throne were seven flaming torches, which are the sevenfold Spirit of God. In front of the throne was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living beings covered with eyes in front and behind. The first living being was like a lion, the second living being was like an ox, the third living being had a face that looked human, and the fourth living being was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living beings had six wings and was covered with eyes inside and out; and day and night they never stop saying, “Holy, holy, holy is Adonai, God of heaven’s armies
the One who was, who is and who is coming!”
And whenever the living beings give glory, honor and thanks to the One sitting on the throne, to the One who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before the One sitting on the throne, who lives forever and ever, and worship him. They throw their crowns in front of the throne and say,
“You are worthy, Adonai Eloheinu,
to have glory, honor and power,
because you created all things —
yes, because of your will they were created
and came into being!”
This is the first vision that John is shown. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like being called to an open door to Heaven to show me what must still come. But here we are, with John, escorting us through the door of Heaven. In no way will we get the full benefit of what was shown to John, but with a little imagination, we can begin to realize what a glorious scene we are looking at.
It is clear that the 24 elders sitting on the 24 thrones represents the 12 Tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles of Christ Jesus. Men just like us, worshipping the One upon the Throne.
We see once again the term, “Sevenfold Spirit,” which represents the Holy Spirit. We read about this in Revelation 1:4.
What about the four living creatures? Once again Hebrews is a picture language and its good to go into Hebrew for answers. There are many great websites out there for Jewish History and my favorite one is http://www.chabad.org. Right now, I am reading through the Torah with Rashi Commentary and also doing a three-year study by Rambam on Laws. A lot of information, but I love to research.
From my research, many agreed that the four animals represent the attributes of God. I am in agreement. The lion is a symbol of Divine majesty. The ox represents strength and serving. The face of a human represents intelligence and purpose. And the flying eagle represents swiftness in discovering evil and executing judgment. (Resources from Chabad.Org and Ironside)
But what stands out the most to me in this vision – is worship! The freedom of worship! No one questioning what worship is but everyone focused upon the One on the Throne. Adonai of God’s Armies! Speaking out, “holy, holy, holy.” Nothing surrounding us but Glory – no evil present. Just worship.
I honestly believe that is why we need to understand worship better and not get caught up on all the man-made rules, but realize that we are having “dress-rehearsals” here on earth to prepare us for what is up ahead – Worship in Heaven.
One day, the Church Era will come to an end and we need to know what is up ahead. It is important to remember what Christ Jesus spoke to the Seven Churches and get back to our first love and the basics of the Gospel. We are being given time to get back on track. So what better way than discovering what worship in Heaven will be like.
Heavenly Father, I’m getting excited once again about what will heaven be like? What will I do? What will I not do? Oh Papa! Help my heart to align with yours. Help me to stay focused upon heavenly things. Help me to keep my focus upon you and the glory that is up ahead right around the bend. I love you, Lord. I ask this in Christ Jesus’ name, amen.
Well all this talking reminded me of a beautiful song that I heard awhile back and still listen to it often. I pray that you will enjoy it.
Exodus 28:17-20 – the High Priest’s Breastplate. Note the stones are first and last spoken of here
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
I Chronicles 24