Revelation 4 is our reading today. It’s a powerful, insightful chapter about what is going on in heaven right this very moment. John was “in the Spirit” (vs 2) and taken into the throne room of heaven. It’s a mystical, spiritual experience, I would guess somewhat like what happened to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 when he is lifted up into the “third heaven,” the place most scholars think is the actual throne room of God. While there, he sees:
-God seated on his throne, in great glory and majesty (vs 3).
-24 thrones surround God and 24 elders are seated on these thrones (combination of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles?).
-seven lampstands and the seven spirits of God are in front of the throne, along with a shiny sea, sparkling like crystal (imagine the most beautiful ocean possible!).
-living beings surround the throne…you read vs 7ff and get a glimpse. John describes it better than I ever could. They must be magnificent angelic beings of God’s created order!
-these spiritual beings cry out and say (note they didn’t sing): “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, the one who alwys was, who is and who is still to come.” Over and over again, they say this. God’s character is “holy”–as we should be!! (I Peter 1:4: “Be holy as I am holy”).
-Vs 9: these living, spiritual beings give glory, honor and thanks to God, for all we have comes from him alone.
-Vs 10: They lay their crowns at his feet, their reward for faithfulness to God here on earth. There is a reward of “good works.” We are not saved by our good works but we are saved FOR good works. When we do good works, Biblically, there is a reward, a “crown”, given to us in heaven. Then, we cast these crowns at the feet of Jesus, for our ability even to do good works is ONLY because Jesus gives us the strength and ability to do so. All praise, honor and glory belongs to Him!!
-And these living beings constantly say these words too about God: “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created” (vs 11).
I read this chapter and simply say, “Wow.” It makes my worship seem puny. Here’s my prayer today. If you’d like, please join me in it: “Heavenly Father, give me a glimpse of heaven. Help me to worship you NOW here as is happening in heaven among your angels and saints, NOW! All glory, honor and power to you. You created everything. You are worthy of all my praise and worship. Make me holy in every area of my life, like you! I love you Father. May I live this day for you and you alone. It’s in your Son’s name, Jesus, I pray this prayer. Amen.”