Journey to the Center of the Universe
January 2, 2022
This past year has been a year of chaos, instability and frustration. Let me show you something that will bless you if you hold on to it. John’s world was a time of great instability, persecution and pain for Christians. In Revelation, as John was imprisoned on the Island of Patmos, Jesus appeared to him to give him hope. In Revelation 1-3, Jesus cleaned up His church. He took them to the woodshed.
What John sees next is a door standing open. Going through the door will carry John into the realm of the spirit, where he can see angels, spirits and God Himself. John is about to experience something incredible. There is more to this world than what I see.
When John goes through the door, he is transported to heaven’s throne room; the center of all that exists. That’s what John needed in his most desperate hour; a new perspective. John needed to know that there is a throne in heaven above every human government; even above the Roman Empire.
3 Responses to the drama that unfolds in Revelation 4-5:
- Revelation 4:3, the colors of the first and last stones on the High Priests breast plate. Each of the stones on the breastplate represented the tribes of Israel. God’s people were always meant to reflect the character and nature of God.
- Revelation 4:3, the rainbow is green in color. God is about to bring judgment, yet green is a symbol of hope and mercy. Ultimately, God will bring a new earth (green.)
- Revelation 4:5, thunder, lightening and peals of thunder should remind the reader of Mount Sinai. In Exodus, God came down on the mountain and it shook as if the earth could not bear the weight of the Lord. Here, the throne does not come down, John has gone up to it. Yet he sees the same God that Moses saw.
- Revelation 4:6, the sea of glass is possibly a symbol of the nations standing still (in submission) before the throne of God. Often the nations are described like the raging sea; but here God has stilled them as easily as he stilled a storm.
- Revelation 4:7, describes four living “beings” around the throne. Ancient emperors carved animals into their thrones that stuck out.
- Revelation 4:8, he “is to come.” That is, he always will be. God’s glory does not dim over time.
In Revelation 5, a scroll is revealed that contains seven seals. In John’s day a sealed scroll would represent an official document. This is the official document of heaven; it is the plan of God to judge the wicked and bring the righteous to victory. But no one is found worthy to open the scroll and carry out the judgments of God and the redemption of mankind. SO John weeps.
John is told to look, the lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered and is worthy to open the seals. But in Revelation 5:6, when he looks he does not see a lion bight a lamb who looks to have been slain. A lamb bearing scars takes the scroll to carry forward the plan of God.
Of all the symbols to represent the government of heaven, a lamb? Britain chose a lion; Russia a Bear; America the Eagle. But Heaven is represented by the mighty Lamb of God.
- He is a Slain Lamb.
- He is a worthy lamb.
- He is a powerful lamb.
When God is Center, some things Get Really Clear:
1. God’s Throne Clarifies:
- Revelation 5:9, Jesus alone is worthy. Hei s what life is about. He is not just the hope of the world, he is the center of existence. When you were born, you felt like you were the center. But here we discover the true center of all that exists; it’s Jesus!
- Revelation 5:10, Jesus gives his people purpose. In Christ, we “reign” (serve Him), we are “priests” (we walk in communion with God) and we “worship” (focus our lives on Him.)
2. God’s Throne Clarifies:
- See: https://time.com/5484261/george-hw-bush-pen-pal-filipino-boy/
- Revelation 5:8, the 24 elders are holding the bowls full of incense that “are the prayers of the saints.” This should remind everyone of the incense altar in the temple, where the prayers rise to heaven. Now John sees the other side of heaven; the prayers have made it!
- Revelation is a picture of things to come; judgment, disaster, the second coming. But God is not so focused on what is to come that he is immune or ignores the current plea’s from us on earth.
3. God’s Throne Clarifies:
Notice Revelation 5:9 gives us the three tenses of Salvation:
- Past: Saved from penalty of sin. (Justification)
- Present: Being saved from the power sin. (Sanctification)
- Future: We will be saved from the presence of sin. (Glorification)