Revelation 4

Vs. 1, “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”  We now move into a section of Revelation that will speak to the things that will happen in the future.  It’s a pretty humbling and awesome glimpse into the events that will happen in heaven.  Reminiscent of the prophets before (Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) John language and vision is similar.  John is transported immediately to the throne in heaven (vs. 2).  Contrary to great detail of other prophetic pictures of a God in His throne room, John actually doesn’t elaborate too much.  This actually adds to the mystery and reminder that God is not impressed by earthly grandeur.  Question: Who are the twenty-four elders?  We are not given specific detail, but their purpose is clear; worshipping God.  Some say angels, some say a mixture of Old & New Testament believers, others think it could be the twenty-four priests over the course of time (I Chronicles 24:4).  These elders represent us, much like congress represents their people in their state.  Question: What about the four living creatures?  Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1) also gives us his version of what these creatures looked like.  They are beyond human description, yet John does his best to explain them.  The fact they have eyes all over their body denotes that nothing is hidden from them.  Their purpose we see here is to proclaim the holiness of God.  The twenty-four elders response of falling down before the Lord reminds all of us that He alone is worthy of praise (vs. 10-11).

Regarding application…How Great is Our GodVs. 8, “Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”  God deserves our worship and praise.  Notice, how the twenty-four elders lay their crowns at His feet.  All that we have and all that we are must be laid down before the Lord.  God isn’t just great because He is the creator of the universe.  God is worthy of our worship because of the lamb that was slain for us.  God created us in His image with mind, will and emotion.  We have the ability to grasp the great love and sacrifice He Himself gave for us.  Now the onus is upon each of us to respond to our great God.  How will you respond?  Will you lay down your crowns?

Ezekiel 43

Vs. 4, The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east.”  Question: What is the glory of God?  In Hebrew, the glory = kabod, which is a verb used to describe the weight or worthiness of something.  We can’t help but be excited by this vision of redemption in God’s glory returning!  Because earlier in Ezekiel 10, we sadly saw the departure of God’s spirit.  Notice the direction of the glory of God comes from the east.  The sun rises in the east an sets in the west…and in Matthew 24, we are told Jesus will come from the east!  We then get to see part of the purpose of why the temple is built and how it will be used with the altar.  This ceremony depicted with blood and sacrifice does not make the altar any more holy.  It is the Lord who resides and blesses over our sacrifices.  The apostle Paul reminds us that we are living sacrifices in Romans 12.

Regarding application…We are God’s Temple.  Vs. 5, Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”  Don’t get too confused by all these visions.  For us who live today, this is a wonderful reminder that we too bring sacrifices to the temple of the Lord (Ephesians 2).  Question: What kind of offerings can we bring to God’s temple?  Fortunately for us, we do not have to be a perfect in our standing before God to be acceptable.  Jesus died so that we might become the righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21).  Brothers and sisters, it is an amazing concept to know that God resides in us today.  That we do not have to travel thousands of miles to a temple in Jerusalem (not even built yet) to have communion with God.  It was his blood that makes your sins that were as red as scarlet now as white as snow (Isaiah 1).  God looks at the heart He is changing, not at our imperfect sins that we struggle with.  Turn your heart today to the Lord and let His glory shine in your life!