Summary: This is a mid-week Bible Study on Rev 4, showing some of the sight and sounds of glory as the believer anticipates heaven.
Studies in Revelation
In and Around Heaven
Text: Revelation 4:2-11
Introduction: Following the rapture in 4:1 John makes it very clear where he is now located – vs 2 – “in heaven,” and that is where we are in this book for the next two chapters. These are exciting verses because they give us a glimpse of what lies ahead for us. The environment of heaven is strange to us, but that is where we are going, but thanks to Revelation we have something of a travel guide before we arrive. We feel somewhat out of our depth here for there is little to which we can relate. Its like being in a strange country, where language, customs, and architecture are enough like our own to be recognised, yet sufficiently different and strange to make us feel somewhat alien.
In chapter 4 we discover eight clear features of heaven, but all eight centre on the first: God’s throne. Let’s consider each of these features in turn as we look in and around heaven:
I. The Seat – vs. 2
A. The centerpiece of heaven is God’s throne.
1. The throne is referred to nine times in the first six verses of chapter 4, and 17 altogether times in chapters 4 & 5.
a. It is the focal point of heaven – everything revolves around the throne.
b. Peruse these chapters and you will constantly run into phrases like:
(i) “…on the throne…” (vs 2)
(ii) “…about the throne…” (vs 3)
(iii) “…out of the throne…” (vs 5)
(iv) “…before the throne…” (vs 5)
(vi) “…in the midst of the throne…” (vs 6)
(vii) “…upon the throne…” (5:7)
2. This divine seat of sovereignty is firmly set in place.
a. Stable. Secure. Fixed. Established. Permanent. Immovable. Enduring. Eternal.
b. The Psalmist said, "Thy throne O God is forever and ever." (Psalm 45:6)
c. This throne is the highest seat of absolute sovereignty.
B. Now as the chapter unfolds we begin to get a better picture of the throne, and the entire goings on around about it.
II. The Saviour
A. John says, “one sat on the throne”
1. John sees that this throne is not vacant, but occupied.
a. Someone is enthroned upon it and that “Someone” is God Himself.
b. Now get a grip on this …. John actually saw God sitting upon His throne.
c. The word "sat," describes the position of a king who is actually reigning.
(i) For example, if a politician is seated, he is said to be in office. If an elected official is put out of office, he is said to be unseated.
(ii) John sees God seated, He is actively exercising the duties of His executive office, administering over the affairs of all His creation.
2. The message is clear to John: No matter what may happen on earth. God is still on His throne in Heaven. God is still in control.
B. Now, the one John sees has to be Jesus.
1. Why do we say that?
2. Because Jesus is the only member of the Godhead with a body.
a. Jesus taught us that, “God is a Spirit”, and “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” (John 6:46) and John 1:18 says, that “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”