Revelation Episode 4

Beth's Notes

 Praise To The Lord The Almighty
Paul tells us in Colossians 1:15-23:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.  

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.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 6 Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.  In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”   

PRAYER -  Open our eyes that we might see wonderful truths in Your Law Oh Lord. Make it come alive Oh Lord! Make it come alive!  

The person who finds in the Scriptures the revelation of our great God, and who bows before Him now - in this merciful day of His grace - is wise indeed, Amen? Also, since the mind has a habit of reflecting and returning to what it has learned - it is commendable and profitable for us to meditate on God’s Word, His will, His ways and His character. Remember, what the heart knows, it knows and will most assuredly walk in it. The one who takes to heart God’s Word and manifests it in ever increasing measure, will be blessed in all he does. This is particularly true for us in Revelation as God promises it in Revelation 1:3:
3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. 

Immediately after the letter to the churches, John is taken in the Spirit through the open door of Jesus to the throne in Heaven. This marks the beginning of a new section (the last and the largest section of Revelation) of “what will take place later”. Remember what Jesus told John to record in Revelation 1:19:
19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.” 

The open door reminds me of the Prophet Isaiah’s words reminiscent of Jesus in Isaiah 22:21-24:
21 I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 23 I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will be a seat of honor for the house of his father. 24 All the glory of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots--all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars. 

In Revelation four, God begins to unfold to John the details of the future.  These future events include the tribulation leading up to the second coming of Christ, the actual Second Coming of Christ itself, the aftermath, the millennial kingdom, the New Jerusalem, and the new heaven and the new earth. Interestingly, the greatest bulk of scripture in Revelation after Chapter Four is dedicated to describing the tribulation period. Our loving Father desires for everyone to be well warned about these coming future events. We disregard them to our own harm. We will also discover that in the second coming of Christ in Chapter 19, Christ is as much the central feature in Revelation as His first coming was in the Gospels.

While there have been many interpretations of the Book of Revelation suggested, the only views which seems to provide a coherent understanding are those which consider the book, starting with Chapter Four, as referring to future end time events. All other interpretations seems to get lost in a maze of conflicting thoughts and opinions.  Remember our God is a God of order and He does not seek to confuse us or to veil His Truth, rather reveal it to all people. And He expects His children to be good students of His Word so that we will not be taken unaware. It is His desire for us to be able to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” through the power of the Holy Spirit.      

While the events that are portrayed in this futuristic section are not necessarily all in chronological order, they are all future events. As such, they present a more graphic picture of the future, given in more detail, than is found in any other part of the Scriptures. Such a revelation is a fitting climax to all the Biblical prophecies relating to human history, which are properly centered in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The Bible is all about Jesus – He is the Word made flesh. If the events anticipated by our Lord’s promise to show us what will “soon take place” are indeed valid prophecy (which I believe to be true), they should be regarded as a prediction of events that will occur at the end of the age. God always brings to pass what He says.

The invitation to John in a trumpet voice to “come up here” is so similar to that which the church anticipates at the rapture that many, including myself, have connected the two expressions. It is clear from the context in Scripture that this passage is not an explicit reference to the rapture as John was translated into scenes of heaven only temporarily yet this sequence does seem to typify the order of events – the church age first, then the rapture, then the church in heaven. However, the primary objective is to portray events leading up to and climaxing in the second coming of Jesus and the prophetic kingdom and eternal state that will ultimately follow.

From a practical standpoint, however, the rapture may be viewed as having already occurred before the events of Chapter Four and following unfold. The word “church” which is ever so prominent in Chapters Two and Three does not occur again until Revelation 22:16:
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 

Albeit the Church is undoubtedly in view as the wife of the Lamb in Revelation 19:7:
7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 

The Church is thankfully not mentioned as a participant in the tribulation that forms the major content of Revelation as prior stated. The terms used for those saved during the tribulation are described as saved Israelites or saved Gentiles. At the beginning of Chapter Four, then, we may consider the Church as being in Heaven (Praise Jesus!).

Concerning the rapture, Scripture attests to it in the following verses:
1 Corinthians 15:51-53:
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 

The dead in Christ will rise first, and then the living will be instantaneously transformed. The trumpet, as in the Old Testament, signaled the appearance of God.  It is the last trumpet blast for the church because this appearance of God shall never end for them – Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:
13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words. 

If believers die prior to the Rapture their souls go straight to heaven to be with Jesus while their bodies are “asleep” in the earth. When the Rapture comes the dead in Christ will rise first and be reunited with their souls and those still alive will be caught up together with them in the air. These are encouraging words my friends!  We have a glorious future with our Lord Jesus. Notice that we will meet Jesus in the clouds whereas at the Second Coming of Christ to earth His feet will be on the Mount of Olives. He will stand on the very place from which He ascended. The Prophet Zechariah tells us in Zechariah 14:4:

4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are among the best-attested facts of history. Since Christians know these events occurred, they can be just as  certain, Paul states, that the souls of believers who have died will return with Christ – and be reunited with their bodies - when He comes for His living saints. The prophecy of the Rapture is as certain to be fulfilled as the prophecies of Christ’s death and resurrection. Another Scriptural reference for the Rapture is found in Revelation 3:10:
10 “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” 

At the Rapture, Christ comes for His own and the translation of all Christians occur and are taken to His Father’s house. The Rapture is imminent – it could happen at any moment and there are no signs for the Rapture as it will come unexpectedly therefore our Lord tells us we are wise to remain in a readied state and be prepared. That’s what He was telling the Churches in Chapters Two and Three of Revelation. The Rapture is for Believers in Christ only.  It will be a time of joy in heaven prior to the Great Tribulation coming to the earth.  There is no mention of Satan at the Rapture.  It will catch him unawares (as sadly it will many others). There will be the judgment seat of Christ - the fire that will test the quality of each man’s work. This is not a judgment of salvation rather a judgment of works. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15:
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 

Apart from the righteousness of Christ, all people of all nations of the earth stand guilty before a Holy God. Jude 1:20-25:
20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. 24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. 

We would do well to remember that victory over apostacy is only found in Jesus Christ!  He is the One who will “keep” believers. He causes us to stand because He is faithful and able to cause us to stand. Christ will present believers to His Father without fault and with great joy—a joy both for Himself and for them. Here is the greatest theme of victory to be sounded, the highest note of praise and adoration possible, and the greatest assurance for the redeemed. Our Lord will certainly not lose one of His own. 

Next, we see in Revelation 4:2-3 John’s description of the throne in heaven and the One sitting on it. He is in the Spirit but his location has now changed. Though his body is on Patmos, His Spirit experientially is taken up to heaven in the presence of God and is privy to seeing these glorious visions. Visions that would cause us all to fall down as dead men in the flesh.  

The first object that appears to his startled eyes is a throne in heaven with One sitting upon it. The primary impression on John is one of color as he describes the presence of the One in terms of the beautiful colors of precious stones. Without the reference to other portions of Scripture these verses would be obscure excepting the general expression of the glory of God. It is important to note that this throne is in heaven and stands apart and far removed from any earthly throne or petty struggles of earthly government. God is Sovereign  He is in control of all things. Here is a picture of the universe being subject to the dominion of an omnipotent God.

The precious stones included seem to have meaning. The jasper is described as being clear like crystal which may be what today we call a diamond; the carnelian or the sardius is a beautiful red like a ruby. Yet, the significance goes far beyond merely their color. These stones had a relationship to the tribes of Israel. Each tribe of Israel had a designated stone. And the high priest had these twelve stones on the breastplate of his garments when he stood before the altar, symbolically bringing them before the Lord. This symbolized that he represented all twelve tribes before the throne of God. Significantly, the jasper and the carnelian are the first and last of these twelve stones – the jasper representing Reuben (the firstborn) and the carnelian representing Benjamin (the youngest of Jacob’s twelve sons). In other words these two stones represented the first and the last and therefore may be regarded as including all the other stones in between - the whole of God’s covenanted people.

Further, the names Reuben and Benjamin have a significance. Reuben means “behold a son” while Benjamin means “son of my right hand”. In both cases these terms appear to have double meanings – the first is the fact that though Christ is the representative of Israel, He is also the Son of God. Like Reuben, He is the first begotten Son. And like Benjamin, Christ is also the “Son of my right hand” in relation to God the Father.  The One on the throne is therefore God in relation to the nation of Israel.  MacArthur sees this as symbolic of the fact that though the tribulation will be a terrible time of wrath and judgment for all people including the Jewish people, God’s covenant relationship with Israel will remain intact. The throne’s overall appearance was one of great beauty and color, enhanced by a rainbow, resembling an emerald, which encircled the throne. The green color of the emerald added further beauty to the scene. 

It is hard to imagine that this is where our citizenship is, Amen?  Paul tells us in Philippians 3:17-4:1:
17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. 1 Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! 

This gives us an amazing sense of the glories of heaven. The treasures of most men are perishing – earthly, cankered, corroded and moth-eaten. If our treasures are in this world rather than the next we will discover in due time they are merely vanities at best. God desires for us to build, plant and store up for ourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. He knows all too well that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also. Our earthly joys ebb and flow, blossom and quickly wither yet our heavenly joys are abiding and no one can take them from us. Our sufficiency and joy must come from our Lord Jesus. God is a very satisfying portion and we will never outgive Him. The world may fill a man but never satisfy him – it simply keeps him wanting more. God is the true paradise of all pleasure, a living ever-flowing fountain of pure joy and the original pattern of all perfection. C. S. Lewis writes:
“Most of us find it very difficult to want ‘Heaven’ at all – except in so far as ‘Heaven’ means meeting again our friends who have died. One reason for this difficulty is that we have not been trained: our whole education tends to fix our minds on this world. Another reason is that when the real want for Heaven is present in us, we do not recognize it. Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.”   
Paul tells us in Colossians 3:1-4:
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 

We are not merely citizens of this world trying to get to heaven but we are citizens of heaven making our way through this world, Amen? Believers’ lives should be dominated by the pattern of heaven, bringing heavenly direction to our earthly duties. Thomas Moore writes:
“Take all the pleasures of all the spheres, and multiply each through endless years; one minute of heaven is worth them all.”   

The next sight John describes in Revelation 4:4 are the twenty-four thrones surrounding God’s throne upon which twenty-four elders were seated, all garbed in white with golden crowns on their heads. The crowns were similar to those given victors in Greek games, in contrast with the crown of a sovereign ruler. The crowns seem to indicate that the elders had been judged and rewarded. Only the church, which is raptured before Chapter Four, is properly complete in heaven and eligible for reward at the judgment seat of Christ. The crowns of gold on the heads of the twenty-four elders would be fitting at this point and would seem to confirm the idea that these may be representative of the church in glory. Indeed, there has been much speculation over who these saints in heaven are surrounding God’s throne. At the very least, we can know they are a representative group taken from the parallel of the Old Testament where the priesthood was represented by twenty-four orders of priests. Under King David and King Solomon’s rule, there were actually thousand’s of priests but they could not, of course, minister at the same time.  Accordingly, they were divided into twenty-four orders, each of which was represented by a priest.

These elders surrounded the throne in a circle conveying equal nearness to God - there is equality among the saints. The condition of glorified saints in heaven is that of nearness to Christ, clear vision of His glory, constant access to His court, and familiar fellowship with His person.   Saints presently on earth should imitate the saints in heaven in their nearness to our Lord. May Christ be the object of our thoughts and the center of our lives as we fix our eyes on Him the Author and Perfecter of our faith.  John Piper writes:

“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night.  For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.”
Sadly, many do not desire heaven at all – particularly those to whom much has been given.  Some of us need to get our “wanters” fixed, Amen?  Believe me, we want what He wants not necessarily what we think we want or would choose. We can trust Him with our lives. He knows us because He created us. He only gives what is best for our lives albeit that can often arrive in extraordinarily difficult packaging.  
In verse five John writes of the awe-inspiring scene in keeping with the majesty of the throne and the dignity of the twenty-four elders. It is an   
impressive scene of heaven which was enhanced by flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder. Thunder is mentioned eight times in Revelation. The sights and sounds he recorded are prophetic of the righteous judgment of God upon a sinful world as well as a call to mind of a similar display of God’s majesty at the giving of the Law to Moses. Here these manifestations are a fitting preliminary to the sobering and awful judgments that are to follow in the great tribulation as God deals with the earth in righteousness. We see the correlation in Exodus 19:16-19:
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, 19 and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. 

Regarding this scene the writer of Hebrews writes in Hebrews 12:18-21:
18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” 

John also saw seven lamps which were blazing. These seven lamps were said to be the seven spirits of God. They are best understood as a visible representation of the Holy Spirit, symbolizing the perfection and completeness of His activities. John told us in Revelation 1:4:
4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne. 

Ordinarily, the Holy Spirit is not humanly visible unless embodied in some way. When the Spirit descended on Christ at His baptism it was in the form of a dove resting on Jesus. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit was made visible by tongues of fire which appeared. The seven torches of fire, therefore, are the means by which John is informed of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

With God the Father seated on the throne and the Holy Spirit represented by the seven lamps, the stage was then set for the revelation of Christ Himself as the slain Lamb which appears in Revelation Chapter 5.

John next adds in Revelation 4:6-8 the sea of glass and the four living creatures thus adding to the brilliance of the description he is presenting to us of the throne of God. It also alludes to God’s omnipotence and sovereignty as well as His holiness and majesty. The sea reflected all the brilliant colors of the entire heavenly scene. Other than the description of the sea as clear as crystal, John gives us no further explanation of its meaning. John expects his readers to draw conclusions from similar scenes in Scripture. There could possibly be an analogy or comparison here to the sea of brass in the Old Testament tabernacle or to the sea in the temple – both were washstands used for the ceremonial cleansing of the priests and contained water that was used for various ceremonial rites. This also may represent typically the sanctifying power of the cleansing Word of God. Yet, we cannot be certain about the interpretation of the sea of glass.

John is occupied at this point with the incredible four living creatures he saw. The term translated “creatures” is quite inadequate as the Greek word “zoon” means “living ones”. The Greek word for creature” is an entirely different word “therion”, used in Revelation 13 to speak of the beast coming out of the sea. The living creatures were full of eyes and each of them had six wings.  
Many interpretations and speculations  have been given for the four living creatures. Just as the Holy Spirit was seen symbolically in the seven lamps, probably the four living creatures symbolically represent the attributes of God including His omniscience and omnipresence. This is indicated by the creatures being full of eyes—with the four animals bringing out other attributes of God: the lion indicating His majesty and omnipotence; the ox, typical of His faithful labor and patience; man, indicating His intelligence; and the eagle, the greatest bird, representing His supreme sovereignty. Another possible view is that they represent Christ as revealed in the four Gospels: in Matthew, the lion of the tribe of Judah; in Mark, the ox as the servant of Yahweh; in Luke, the incarnate human Jesus; and in John, the eagle as the divine Son of God. Another alternative is that the four living creatures are angels or cherubim, who extol the attributes of God. The fact that the living creatures have six wings as do the seraphim of Isaiah 6:2-3 adds weight to the interpretation that they are angels. The living creatures emphasizes the holiness and eternality of God. Their presence in this heavenly scene does much to add to the overall impression of the majesty, holiness, sovereignty, and eternity of God particularly in that day and night they cry out the doxology in Revelation 4:8:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” 

Repeating a word three times for emphasis is common in Scripture. The seraphs also proclaimed that His glory fills the earth much as His robe filled the temple in Isaiah’s description. By contrast the people of Judah were unholy though they were supposed to be a holy people set apart for God’s glory.
Lastly, we see the scene of the twenty-four elders prostrating themselves and worship whenever the living creatures periodically give special glory  and honor and thanksgiving to the Lord.  In their worship they cast their victors’ crowns before the throne, declaring He is worthy of glory, honor and power as He created all things according to His good and pleasing and perfect will. 
This closing scene of Chapter Four brings out several important truths. It is evident that the living ones are designed to give glory to God sitting upon His throne. The emphasis of their praise is on the divine attributes and worthiness of God. The elders recognize not only the attributes, but also the works of God that reveal His attributes. By casting their crowns before the throne they testify that if it had not been for God’s grace, salvation, and goodness, they could not have had victory over sin and death. Here the creature honors, and is subject to, his Creator.
The world today does not give such honor to the Lord God – though people continue to benefit from His goodness and live in the universe He created - they tend to neglect the worship of God.  This purpose of God - particularly as related to the Son of God - is also spelled out in Philippians 2:9-11:
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

To be sure, someday all people will recognize the exalted name of Jesus – whether redeemed in heaven or lost in hell. Revelation Four seems to anticipate this future day by revealing an intimate glimpse of heaven where all created beings join in a symphony of praise and honor and worship to Almighty God. All creatures owe their very existence to Him as their Creator. Chapter Four is a fitting introduction to what follows in the next chapter, where the glory of Christ as the Lamb that is slain and as our Redeemer is an added reason for praise  
Lastly. there is a war going on – an all-out evil and brutal quest – for our souls. If Satan cannot keep us from being saved he will seek to keep us from being used. He vies for our attention by getting us to pander the desires of our flesh, distracting us from His best for our lives and ultimately causing us to waste them. The enemy keeps us from being used by countless distractions and our own fleshly desires. Popularity, praise, riches, success, entertainment and comfort are not our King, Jesus is.  While these things are not bad in and of themselves, they are not to be our God - or what we find ourself living for. We need to recognize the enemies attacks and battle them with the Truth of God’s Word – remember he appears innocent yet he is anything but and he is both a cruel and vicious foe. Speak life over yourself and declare victory as we have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son He loves in Whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins. We fight our battles from victory. 1 Samuel 12:24 states:
24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 

“God’s love for us is higher and deeper and broader and longer than anyone can imagine. He loves us with an everlasting love and He rejoices over us with singing. He leads us with cords of kindness and we rest secure between His all-sufficient shoulders, finding repose in His shadow.  His eye is ever on us for our good and His glory never one surpassing the other. His way is the best way even though oftentimes extraordinarily, breath takingly difficult. In love, He meets our needs - not necessarily our wants - as He is always in the process of conforming us into the image of His Son AND He uses everything in our life towards that end as Jesus was to be the first among many brothers. This is taking hold of life that is truly life. How are we to respond to this great love? The psalmist rightly proclaims: 25 ‘Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.’ Psalms 73:25-26 (NIV).” 
“The most dangerous mistake that our souls are capable of is, to take the creature for God, and earth for heaven.” Richard Baxter
“He is our great Hallelujah! He is the healer of our bodies. He is the holder of our future. He is the handcrafter of our souls. He is the helper of our present troubles. He is the handler of our deepest fears. He is the hero of all our battles. He is the Hallelujah we can always exclaim. We rest knowing He is watching over us. All is well with a soul led by the Shepherd.” Cleere Cherry Reaves

These are Beth’s personal notes, due to this fact sources are not often stated.

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