Message begins at 28:08
On Earth as It is In Heaven.
Revelation 4:1-11 and Selected Verses
November 15, 2020
Be Careful What You Ask For, You Might Get It
For much of 2020, we have prayed and prayed this way: "thy kingdom come. Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven."
I want to suggest to you this morning that God is indeed answering our request; just not according to our wills. And according to the Book of Revelation, we are getting exactly what we are praying for. Jesus, himself, tells us as much in how HE arranged the Book of Revelation.
John, he said in Revelation 1:19, write down:
(1) What you have seen (Rev 1; Jesus as Prophet; Priest; and King)
(2) What is now (Rev 2-3; Letters to the Churches)
(3) And what will be (Rev 4-22; Victory of God and His People After Many Dangers Toils and Snares that take place in Rev 4-21).
As a result, the vision of heaven in Revelation 4 was designed to anchor us in "overcoming" what unfolds in the rest of the book.
So Here's What You Are Praying For When You Pray for God's Kingdom to Come:
1. A Physical Manifestation of Light Lovers and Darkness Lovers
Those who Love Light More Than Darkness (Rev 4:1-6a)
4 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 ruby. A rainbow that shone like 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. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
(a) “with someone sitting on it” [v2] – Not in a hurry to leave; permanent;
(b) – “had the appearance of jaspar and ruby” [v3] – Jaspar is a diamond – pure and set apart; Ruby/Carnelian – Red – colors of righteousness and judgment – cross;
(c) “a rainbow that shined” [v4] – Noah/Covenant of Grace/Grace surrounds the throne of God;
(d) “dressed in white and had a crown of gold” – No crown wears in heaven w/o cross bearers on earth
Why This Is Important
Vision of Heaven becomes the basis for overcoming what follows; it denotes a sure victory
Those who Love Darkness More Than Light (Rev 12:3-4)
“Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to earth.”
Textual Elements –
(a) “sign appeared in heaven” (v3) – heaven = abode of God; this sign, though, also happened in the abode of God;
(b) “flung them to earth” (v4) – now the imagery moves from the heavens to the earth.
Why This Is Important
There was rebellion in heaven; there is rebellion on earth. It is part of "thy kingdom coming."
2. A Physical Manifestation of a War Between Two Kingdoms
The Kingdom of God’s Gospel and Covenant People (Rev 4:6b-10a)
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 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.” 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
Textual Elements –
(1) What the creatures do: Holy, Holy, Holy day and night;
(2) Who these creatures are – Lion/Matthew; Ox/Mark; Man/Luke; Eagle/John;
(3) What the elders do – fall down before him; casting crowns;
(4) Who the Elders Are – 12 Tribes of the Old Covenant/Twelve Disciples of the New
Why This is Important
What’s true of heaven is also true on earth: a heavenly kingdom incarnated; It’s flesh and blood
The Kingdom of the Devil and the Revived Roman Empire Ruled by the Anti-Christ (Rev 13:2-3)
2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion.The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast
(a) The Images – Dragon – Devil/Babylon; Leopard – Greece; Bear – Medes and Persians; Lion – Roman Empire; Beast – Anti-Christ figure that has non-human power.
(b) The essence – all these kingdoms combined to be what is known as the Roman Empire; Nero was the Anti-Christ (or exact opposite); a future Nero is coming to lead a One World Government that is the Revival of the Roman Empire.
(c) And people will submit and worship that false king and kingdom.
Why This Is Important
The Devil’s kingdom is flesh and blood also; it’s real; it’s deep state; and it’s going to take over the known world in a revival of the Roman Empire. But not you, people of God. And what's shocking is you are praying for this because it has to happen.
3. A Physical Manifestation of a Spiritual Mark
Worshippers of Jesus (Rev 4: 10-11):
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.”
(a) Humility That Comes From Love of Truthfulness;
(b) A Casting of Crowns;
(c) That Produces Patience, Perseverance, Assurance and Victory
Worshipers of the Dragon/Beast (Rev 13:5-8)
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world
(a) Love of power so you can define your own truth;
(b) Hostility that produces blasphemy
Marks are Qualities. Think Peter and Judas. Similar outward signs. Different inner marks.
4. A Physical Manifestation of a People Awaiting a Sure Victory and a People Raging Against a Sure Defeat
Future of Jesus and His People (Rev 22:4)
“They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads"
Future of Satan and His People (Rev 20:9-10)
“But the fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into a lake of burning sulfer.”