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Summary: As we read the book of Revelation, sometimes we wonder if God is just talking over our heads. Some of the symbolism is difficult to understand, but if we study carefully it is amazing what we can learn. What we will learn today should transform your praye

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Magnifying God’s Majesty

Revelation 4:5b-8

Part II

Purpose: To extol God’s glory.

Aim: I want the listener to gain a deeper sense of reverence for God.

INTRODUCTION: The Reader’s Digest told the story of young Matthew, age 4, who was eating an apple in the back seat of the family car. “Daddy,” said Matthew, “why is my apple turning brown?” His father gave this explanation: “Because once you eat the skin off of an apple, the meat of the apple comes in contact with oxygen molecules in the air. The oxygen causes oxidation, which thus changes the molecular structure on the surface of the apple so that light is reflected off of the apple differently so that it appears to have darker color.” There was a long silence from the back seat, and then Matthew said softly, “Daddy, are you talking to me?”

As we read the book of Revelation, sometimes we wonder if God is just talking over our heads. Some of the symbolism is difficult to understand, but if we study carefully it is amazing what we can learn.

What we will learn today should transform your prayer life. I’ll explain why in a few minutes.

When John was taken into heaven his attention was captivated by FIVE different things. Last week we saw:

REVIEW:

1:1-20 I. John’s Vision of the Past “the things which you have seen”

2:1-5:14 II. Christ’s Vision of the Present “the things which are”

2:1-3:22 A. The testimony of the church on earth

4:1-5:14 B. The throne of God in heaven

4:1-11 1. God’s unchallenged authority

Vs.1-3,5a a. The sovereign One

Vs.1 (1) God’s will is inevitable “what must take place”

Vs.2a (2) God’s rule is fixed “a throne was standing”

Vs.2b (3) God’s work is finished “One sitting on the throne”

Vs.3a (4) God’s nature is holy “like a jasper stone”

Vs.3b (5) God’s judgment is right “sardius in appearance”

Vs.3c (6) God’s promises are certain “a rainbow around the throne”

Vs.5a (7) God’s presence is powerful “flashes of lightening … thunder”

LESSON:

➽Vs.5b b. The Holy Spirit “seven lamps of fire”

This refers to the “the seven Spirits who are before His throne” in chapter one verse four. The key to understanding that this refers to the Holy Spirit is in Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the Lord will [1] rest on Him, The spirit of [2] wisdom and [3] understanding, The spirit of [4] counsel and [5[ strength, The spirit of [6] knowledge and the[7] fear of the Lord. (NAU)

This is very similar to a vision that Ezekiel had in Ezekiel 1:13 In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. (NAU)

Notice that the Holy Spirit is between us and the throne. The Holy Spirit is a magnifying glass that allows us to see God in His fullness.

The primary responsibility of the Holy Spirit is to magnify God. 1 Corinthians 2:10-12 10 For to us God revealed them [i.e. the gospel] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, (NAU) Be careful of churches that put more emphasis on the Holy Spirit than they do Jesus Christ.

Vs.6a c. The sea of glass “a sea of glass like crystal”

Compare what we see here to Revelation 15:2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. (NAU)

“It is well known that ancient monarchs created something similar in front of their thrones, -- an area paved in a way to indicate the separation between the king and his subjects. It emphasized their majesty and greatness over all. Perhaps the primary point of the sea of glass before the throne of God is to picture the holiness, majesty, and purity of God Himself, and that He is separate from His creation. The transparency or clearness of that sea of glass might emphasize God’s penetrating gaze into all things that take place on earth.”

Then John also saw:

➽Vs.6b-8 d. Four special creatures

➽Vs.6b-8a (1) What are these creatures? “four living creatures”

These creatures may be the same as those in, Ezekiel 1:4-10 4 As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. 5 Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. 6 Each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, 9 their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward. 10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle. (NAU)

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