Summary: Week 12 in a Wednesday evening study through the book of Revelation
“When We All Get To Heaven”
Date: August 28, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: Revelation 4:4-11
Since we did not have any music tonight let me begin by reading this Hymn (#514)
Chapters 4-5, the church is in heaven and these chapters describe what is taking place there.
“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 old on their heads.”
This verse has caused great controversy over time.
The word elder is word “presbuteros”; from where we get the word “Presbyterian” Some say there will only be 24 Presbyterians in heaven. Don’t laugh that may be 5 more than there are Baptists.
Remember throne represents ruler ship and authority.
Some say this is a joint representation of Israel & the church. Some say they represent the 12 tribes of Israel & the 12 disciples. I do not believe this to be so.
Remember we have completed the church age; the church has been taken out of the world at the rapture. Israel has not been raptured they must go through the tribulation. The only Jews that will not go through the tribulation are those who have trusted Jesus as Savior. (See last week’s notes.)
These sitting on the throne, their white garments and their crowns all seem to indicate that they represent the redeemed. These are not the redeemed that come out of the tribulation, which is still to come.
Only one group will be complete and glorified at this point- the church.
Here the elders represent the church, which sings the song of redemption in chapter 5:8-10.
They are the over comers who have received their crowns after the Bema Seat Judgment.
I preached on this one Sunday morning. This is different than the Great White Throne Judgment where those who have died with out Christ will be judged for their sins and eternal damnation will be their punishment.
At the Bema Seat Judgment the Christian’s works will be judged
“ And from the throne proceeded lightening, thundering and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the Spirits of God”
Lightening and thunder always precede a storm.
John MacArthur says; “This is not the fury of nature, but the firestorm of righteous fury about to come from an awesome, powerful God upon a sinful world.
“Seven Spirits of God”- we have already recognized as the Holy Spirit (Rev 1:4)
“And before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal”
This speaks of its appearance not the material. John does not have the words to describe the actual scene, so he says it is like.
Rev 21:1 tells us there is no sea in heaven
This refers to the crystal pavement that serves as the floor of God’s throne and stretches out like a great glistening sea.
This sea represents the holiness & righteousness of God
“Four Living Creatures”
The Greek word here is “zoa” from which we get our word zoo. It doesn’t mean wild beast.
These are angels or cherubim, which are frequently referred to in the O.T. in connection with God’s presence, power and holiness. Not quite described the same as other references such as Ezekiel 1:5-10 and Isaiah 6:2-3
“Full of eyes in front and back”
This speaks of their alertness and awareness
This verse identifies the living creatures. They are compared by John as earthly creatures
The first “Like a lion.”
This symbolizes strength & power.
The second “Like a calf/ox”
This image demonstrates that these beings render humble service to God.
The third “a face like a man”
This shows they are rational beings.
The forth “Like a flying eagle”
These created beings fulfill their service to God with swiftness of eagle’s wings.
This does correspond to the seraphim of Isaiah 6:2
Speaking the same message “Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty,
“who was and is and is to come.”
They are here speaking of Christ.
Remember Jesus gave us this characteristic of Himself in Revelation 1:8
This is the first great worship scene in heaven.
It says here they.
“Cast down their crowns”
This is a sign of praise and adoration and a continual act of worship.
Aware that God alone is responsible for their rewards they have received, they rid themselves of all honor & cast their crowns/ rewards at the feet of the King on the throne, Jesus.
Why do they do this?
HE IS THE REASON THEY HAVE MADE IT THAT FAR.
What is heaven going to be like: something that can’t be described