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Summary: In Revelation 4-5, John has a Vision of God the Father, our Powerful Creator, and Jesus the Son, our Loving Redeemer. Our response? To glorify God, and enjoy Him forever!

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CHAPTER 4: A HEAVENLY VISION OF GOD THE FATHER:

“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” (Rev. 4:1).

v.1 - John saw a door open in Heaven, and an angel said, “Come up here.”

- Some have interpreted this to represent the rapture of the church.

QUOTE BY JACK HAYFORD:

“The Spirit-Filled Life Bible does not embrace any conclusive point of view concerning these popularly discussed subjects. Rather, it seeks to help fellow Christians clearly understand one another’s viewpoints in order to assist dialogue and to dismiss bigotry. It is probably not reasonable for one Christian to be divided from another on the interpretation of things yet future, things of which neither can know the exact outcome until their actual occurrence.”

THREE MAIN VIEWS OF THE MILLENNIUM:

1) Premillennial View: All believers are “raptured” before the Great Tribulation. The Rapture and the Second Coming are separate events. The Tribulation and Millennium are literal 7-year and 1,000 year periods.” They see Israel and the Church as being separate programs or dispensations.

2) Postmillennial View: The Tribulation is age-long, not 7 years. The Millennium is a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ, realized through the church’s ministry of the kingdom of God. They see Israel and the Church as one people of God.

3) Amillennial View: The Book of Revelation is symbolic of God’s kingdom’s triumphing through the church. The Great Tribulation and the Millennium are not 7 year and 1,000 year periods, but are symbolic terms for the age-long struggle of evil against Christ’s rule. They see Israel and the Church as one people of God.

• I personally don’t believe that Revelation 4:1 represents the rapture of the church.

Here, John has a Vision of God the Father, declaring God’s POWER as our Creator:

REVELATION COMPARED WITH EZEKIEL:

“2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” (Rev. 4:2-3).

“26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord…” (Ezekiel 1:26-28).

v.3 - this is a SYMBOLIC picture – “He who sat there was like…”

Jasper (diamond) - symbol of purity or holiness

Sardius (red stone) - symbol of redemption (blood of Jesus)

Rainbow - covenant mercy (Gen. 9:13 – I set My rainbow in the cloud, and

it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth).

Emerald (green) - “to show the reviving and refreshing nature of the new covenant.” (Matthew Henry).

“4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal…” (Rev. 4:4-6a).

v.4 - around God’s throne = 24 elders seated and wearing white robes and gold crowns

- representative of all of God’s people from all generations:

“Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates… and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel… Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Rev. 21:12-14).

- 24 - 12 tribes of Israel (Old Covenant) - see Ez. 19:6 – kingdom of priests

- 12 disciples of Jesus (New Covenant) - see 1 Pet. 2:9 – royal priesthood

QUOTE: “The historic Christian teaching holds that national Israel was a type or a forerunner of the church, and that the church replaced Israel on the day of Pentecost… God has but one plan of salvation. There is also only one body of God. This body is made up of every born again individual from both the Old and New Testaments. God’s people were known in the Old Testament as “Israel.” The same people, in the New Testament, are known as “the church.” As a matter of Scriptural fact, these terms are used interchangeably: the church is referred to as “Israel” (Gal. 6:16), while the Old Testament remnant is referred to as “the church” (Acts 7:38).” (Amillennialism Today).

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