Saturday, July 23, 2016
Revelation 4:1-3 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.
As the Apostles John is taken by the Spirit of God into this incredible place, the four underlined phrases in the text tells us four things about God's Eternal presence. Heaven is undoubtedly God-centered. This vision of John, stretching for two chapters, confirms just how God-centered of a place that Heaven is and will be. Please note the four truths of God's eternal presence revealed in these four verses:
1. Unendingly Holy. The very first thing that John experiences in this vision of the Heavenly throneroom is the sound of a trumpet. The sound of a trumpet in the Bible is often associated with God's revelation of Himself. We see this for example in His touching down atop Mount Sinai in Exodus 19, when He revealed the Law of God to Moses and Israel. At the end of Hebrews 12 we read of that same scene from Exodus 19, wherein the the mountain shook at the sound of the loud trumpet-call of God's voice. The sights and sounds were so terrifying that the Hebrews, gathered around the base of Mount Sinai, begged Moses to speak to them, rather than God. No doubt, God is unendingly Holy - whether revealed on earth or in Heaven.
2. Unquestionably Sovereign. God is not only Holy, but Sovereign. To be Sovereign simply means that God is in comprehensive control of all places at all times. Again we are reminded of previous visions and revelations of God in scripture. Isaiah, the prophet, saw God seated upon a throne. Ezekiel, another prophet of Israel, saw God seated upon the throne with shining wheels. Daniel, the prophet thrown into a lions' den, sees God as the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7. No matter what time we look at in redemptive history in the Bible, God is on His throne. As Psalm 47:8 records - "God reigneth over the Heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness."
3. Undeniably Precious. John sees in this vision a set of precious stones in the description of God's glory recorded in this chapter. The use of precious stones in the Bible points to the goodness, the eternal value of God. He is the Good God, worthy of our worship. 1 Peter 2:7 reminds us that this Lord, Jesus Christ, is precious to those who believe. The presence of these stones in John's vision hearken back to the precious stones worn by the High Priest as he represented the nation of Israel before the Holy presence of God. God is so good as to provide for us Representation. He has done so in the Person of the Eternal High Priest - Jesus Christ - who is called the chief, precious cornerstone (please compare 1 Peter 2:7).
4. Unfathomably Faithful. The final detail we will focus on today is the rainbow situated around the throne. Why a rainbow? If you will recall what God revealed to Noah back in Genesis 9:12-16 - He revealed to Noah a Rainbow. That Rainbow was a sign that God would never destroy the world with a flood of watery wrath. Likewise, all who by grace through faith trust in Christ as Savior, Lord and Treasure, personally experience the faithfulness of this unendingly holy, unquestionably Sovereign and undeniably precious God. Believers in Jesus Christ has the promise that when they approach the throne - the blood of Christ shed for them will protect them from the coming wrath of God on this world (please compare 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 2 Peter 3). He not only is faithful to our future, but also our present. God has promised to never leave nor forsake His people.