07 Revelation Holy, Holy, Holy

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Class 7 of 16 on the Book of Revelation, scheduled to be taught by Dale Wells at Palm Springs Church of Christ on February 18, 2009.

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07 Revelation Holy, Holy, Holy

  1. 1. Lesson 7 Holy, Holy, Holy! Amen! Hallelujah! – A Study of the Book of Revelation By Dale Wells Text: Rev 4
  2. 2. THE INVITATION TO THE THRONE ROOM <ul><li>Rev 4:1 WEB After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, &quot;Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Revelation 4:1-11:19 contains John's second vision. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first vision (1:9-3:22) focused on the Son of Man among the lampstands & his words to each of the churches. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;After these things&quot; does not mean &quot;these things occurred after those things,&quot; but &quot;this vision came after that vision&quot;. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. God once again steps into history to give eternal insight to his people <ul><li>God prepared Israel before he gave them the law at Sinai. </li></ul><ul><li>Then Yahweh called Moses to the top of the mountain. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exo 19:20 WEB Yahweh came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. Yahweh called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In a similar way, Jesus has prepared his people and now John is invited up into heaven, in order to receive the decrees of the Lord. </li></ul>
  4. 4. THE ONE ON THE THRONE <ul><li>Rev 4:2-3 WEB Immediately I was in the Spirit. Behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne that looked like a jasper stone and a sardius. There was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald to look at. </li></ul><ul><li>The initial focus of the vision is &quot;one sitting on the throne&quot;, who had an appearance that John describes in three images. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The first image is &quot;like a jasper stone&quot; <ul><li>“ Jasper&quot; is a clear stone. John intends us to think of diamond. </li></ul><ul><li>Who is on the throne? We get a clue in Revelation 21:11, where the new Jerusalem is described. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 21:10-11 WEB He … showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, as if it was a jasper stone, clear as crystal; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The glory of God and of the city are described in the same terms. John wants the reader to know that God is on the throne! </li></ul>
  6. 6. The second figure is &quot;like ... a sardius&quot; <ul><li>This blood red stone was named after the city of Sardis where it was mined. </li></ul><ul><li>It is equivalent to our ruby. </li></ul><ul><li>Its color signifies the judgment of the one on the throne. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The third figure is &quot;a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald …&quot; <ul><li>The rainbow signifies mercy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gen 9:13-16 WEB I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be for a sign of a covenant between me and the earth. … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Since then, the rainbow has signified God's mercy. </li></ul><ul><li>The color in Revelation 4 is emerald green, signifying peace. </li></ul>
  8. 8. These three stones were featured on the High Priest's breastplate <ul><li>Exo 28:15-21 WEB &quot;You shall make a breastplate of judgment … (17) You shall set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of ruby , topaz, and beryl shall be the first row; (18) and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald ; (19) and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; (20) and the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper : they shall be enclosed in gold in their settings. (21) The stones shall be according to the names of the children of Israel … </li></ul>
  9. 9. On the breastplate, these represented three of Israel's tribes <ul><li>Sardius (ruby) represented Reuben, Israel's eldest son by Leah, who was judged by his father for incest with his step-mother. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gen 49:3-4 WEB &quot;Reuben, you are my firstborn … (4) Boiling over as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed, then defiled it. He went up to my couch. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jasper (diamond) represented Benjamin, who was Jacob's favorite because he was the last child of Rachel. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gen 35:18 WEB It happened, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Benoni, but his father named him Benjamin. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emerald represented Judah, from whom Jesus came, bringing peace between God and man. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gen 49:10 WEB The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs. To him will the obedience of the peoples be. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. They are also three of the foundation stones of the heavenly city <ul><li>Rev 21:19-20 WEB The foundations of the city's wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper ; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald ; (20) the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius ; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The one on the throne receives worship from his heavenly entourage <ul><li>Rev 4:9-11 WEB When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever, and throw their crowns before the throne, saying, &quot;Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One, to receive the glory, the honor,and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!&quot; </li></ul>
  12. 12. The one on the throne is holding a sealed book in his right hand <ul><li>But no one anywhere is worthy to open the book. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 5:1-3 WEB I saw, in the right hand of him who sat on the throne, a book written inside and outside, sealed shut with seven seals. I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, &quot;Who is worthy to open the book, and to break its seals?&quot; No one in heaven above, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look in it. </li></ul>
  13. 13. When all despair of seeing what is in the book, the Lamb of God enters <ul><li>Rev 5:6-7 WEB I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. Then he came, and he took it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne. </li></ul>
  14. 14. When he takes the book, the universe erupts in praise <ul><li>Rev 5:11-13 WEB I saw, and I heard something like a voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousands of ten thousands, and thousands of thousands; (12) saying with a loud voice, &quot;Worthy is the Lamb who has been killed to receive the power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing!&quot; (13) I heard every created thing which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them, saying, &quot;To him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion, forever and ever! Amen!&quot; </li></ul>
  15. 15. As the Lamb opens the seals, God's judgments fall on the ungodly <ul><li>They try to hide from the one on the throne and from the Lamb. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 6:15-17 WEB The kings of the earth, the princes, the commanding officers, the rich, the strong, and every slave and free person, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains. They told the mountains and the rocks, &quot;Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of his wrath has come; and who is able to stand?&quot; </li></ul>
  16. 16. When the judgments are finished, the godly worship the one on the throne <ul><li>Rev 19:1-5 WEB After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, &quot;Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God: (2) for true and righteous are his judgments. … (4) The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying, &quot;Amen! Hallelujah!&quot; (5) A voice came forth from the throne, saying, &quot;Give praise to our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, the small and the great!&quot; </li></ul>
  17. 17. At the end of the book, the godly reside with the one on the throne <ul><li>Rev 21:2-4 WEB I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. (3) I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, &quot;Behold, God's dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (4) He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away.&quot; </li></ul>
  18. 18. By introducing the one on the throne, John tells us about God’s nature <ul><li>God is pure and precious (signified by the diamond-like jasper) </li></ul><ul><li>God is the source of judgment (signified by the red sardius stone) </li></ul><ul><li>God is also the source of mercy (signified by the emerald rainbow). </li></ul><ul><li>Which of these a man – or a nation – receives is going to depend on how he, or they, respond to the God who sits on the throne! </li></ul>
  19. 19. THE THRONE AS A SYMBOL OF GOD'S JUDGMENT <ul><li>The Old Testament is rich with references to God on the throne as the ruler of the universe who judges ungodly kings and kingdoms. </li></ul><ul><li>The best place to begin is one of the Psalms that emphasizes the rule of God. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Psa 47:8-9 WEB God reigns over the nations. God sits on his holy throne. (9) The princes of the peoples are gathered together … </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. &quot;God sits on his holy throne&quot; (v. 8) but the rulers await judgment (v. 9) <ul><li>Micaiah said God on his throne plotted Ahab's death </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1Ki 22:19-22 WEB Micaiah said, Therefore hear you the word of Yahweh: I saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. Yahweh said, Who shall entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? One said on this manner; and another said on that manner. There came forth a spirit, and stood before Yahweh, and said, I will entice him. Yahweh said to him, 'How?' He said, 'I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' He said, 'You shall entice him, and shall prevail also: go forth, and do so.' </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Uzziah began ruling Judah at the age of 16 and reigned for 52 years <ul><li>Twelve years before he died, he forced his way into the temple to offer incense. He became a leper. (2 Chr 26:16-21). </li></ul><ul><li>Isaiah saw a vision of God – as Uzziah's judge – on the throne. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Isa 6:1-3 WEB In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew. One called to another, and said, &quot;Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh of Hosts! The whole earth is full of his glory!&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Kings and kingdoms may come and go, but God sits on an eternal throne <ul><li>God judges kings & nations. </li></ul><ul><li>During the exile, Ezekiel had a vision of God on his throne. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eze 1:26-28 WEB Above the expanse that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and on the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man on it above. … As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>God is in control. </li></ul>
  23. 23. God IS and God RULES! <ul><li>Nebuchadnezzar learned that God rules. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan 4:24-25 WEB [T]his is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which is come on my lord the king: that you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field, and you shall be made to eat grass as oxen, and shall be wet with the dew of the sky, and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whoever he will. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When he accepted God's rule, he was restored </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan 4:34-35 WEB At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him who lives forever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or tell him, What do you? </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. THE THRONE AS THE SYMBOL OF GOD'S MERCY <ul><li>To God’s enemies his throne was the source of judgment. </li></ul><ul><li>To God's people, his throne was the mercy seat atop for the ark of the covenant inside the Most Holy Place. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exo 25:17-22 WEB You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. … You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark … There I will meet with you, and I will tell you from above the mercy seat … all that I command you for the children of Israel. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. God's throne was a reminder of his presence, protection & provision <ul><li>All of this reinforces the imagery that began with the first vision of the high priest, among the lampstands. The lampstands were in the holy place; the ark of the Testimony was in the holy of holies. </li></ul><ul><li>Hebrews also draws on the imagery of the tabernacle & high priest. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heb 8:1-5 WEB Now in the things which we are saying, the main point is this. We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. … </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Hebrews says Jesus is the high priest of the true tabernacle <ul><li>He goes on to say that the earthly tabernacle (sanctuary) is &quot;a copy and shadow of the heavenly things&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Later he comes back to this same idea that the tabernacle and its components were copies of the heavenly reality. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heb 9:23-26 WEB It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ hasn't entered into holy places made with hands, which are representations of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy place year by year with blood not his own, or else he must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the end of the ages, he has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. The earthly tabernacle was a copy of what Moses saw <ul><li>John describes in Revelation 4 what Moses saw on Sinai. The tabernacle is the image we should see when we read the description of God's throne. </li></ul><ul><li>And what an appropriate image! </li></ul><ul><li>The tabernacle was God's tent – among Israel’s tents – a reminder of his presence with his people in the desert en route to their promised land. </li></ul><ul><li>Inside that tent was God's mercy seat – his throne in Israel's camp. </li></ul>
  28. 28. And what is the story of the Book of Revelation? <ul><li>Isn't it the story of God's people en route to promised land? </li></ul><ul><li>The overcomers are on their way to the new Jerusalem of Revelation 21-22. And God, himself, is right there with his people, on his throne! </li></ul><ul><li>For God's enemies, his throne is the throne of judgment; for his people, it is the throne of mercy. </li></ul><ul><li>God IS and God RULES! </li></ul>
  29. 29. THE REST OF THE THRONE SCENE <ul><ul><li>Rev 4:4-5 WEB Around the throne were twenty-four thrones. On the thrones were twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white garments, with crowns of gold on their heads. Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders. There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Who are these 24 elders on 24 thrones? <ul><li>In Rev 2 & 3, Jesus made promises to overcomers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 3:21 WEB He who overcomes, I will give to him to sit down with me on my throne </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 3:5 WEB He who overcomes will be arrayed in white garments ... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 2:10 WEB … Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These 24 elders are sitting on thrones, they are dressed in white & they are wearing crowns. So, they are &quot;faithful&quot; or &quot;overcomers&quot;. </li></ul>
  31. 31. The word for &quot;crown&quot; is the Greek stephanos , not diademnos <ul><li>The stephanos was the victory crown which was given as a prize, like a medal or a plaque would be given today, to commemorate some success achieved or service rendered. </li></ul><ul><li>The diademnos , on the other hand, was the ruler's crown. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to notice that these individuals who are sitting on thrones are wearing the prize that they have received. They are not wearing the crowns of kings, but those of victors. </li></ul>
  32. 32. From these points, it appears that the 24 elders represent the redeemed <ul><li>Why 24? Why not 12? Remember 12 is the number of God's people. </li></ul><ul><li>24 results from adding the 12 patriarchs or tribes of the Old Testament to the 12 apostles of the New Testament. </li></ul><ul><li>24 represents the redeemed under both covenants. </li></ul>
  33. 33. &quot;Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders&quot; <ul><li>In Exodus 19, God showed his power on Sinai: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exo 19:16-18 WEB It happened on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of an exceedingly loud trumpet; and all the people who were in the camp trembled. Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the lower part of the mountain. Mount Sinai, the whole of it, smoked, because Yahweh descended on it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. This &quot;shock and awe campaign&quot; beat any before or since <ul><li>It was designed to impress on Israel the glory of God! </li></ul><ul><li>Later in the Book of Revelation, these figures are going to be used when God executes his judgments on the ungodly. For example, when God instructs his angel to execute his judgment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 8:5 WEB The angel took the censer, and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake. </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. The figures of thunder, lightning & earthquake depict God's judgment <ul><li>Rev 11:19 WEB God's temple that is in heaven was opened, … Lightnings, sounds, thunders, an earthquake, and great hail followed. </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 16:18 WEB There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth ... </li></ul><ul><li>This combination of figures – thunder, lightning, rumblings and earthquakes – are symbols in the Book of Revelation for God's glory which is seen in his judgment of the ungodly. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Isaiah says God will judge the world, including the &quot;kings of the earth&quot; <ul><li>God will be glorified, either by the obedience of the nations, or by their destruction. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Isa 24:21-23 WEB It shall happen in that day, that Yahweh will punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth on the earth. They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison; and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for Yahweh of Hosts will reign on Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; and before his elders shall be glory . </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. John sees seven lamps before the throne <ul><li>The background of this figure also comes from the tabernacle. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exo 27:20-21 WEB &quot;You shall command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually. In the tent of meeting, outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before Yahweh: it shall be a statute forever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel. </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. These are not the same lamps as in Revelation 1 <ul><li>There, they were &quot;lampstands&quot; (Gk luchnos ). Here, they are&quot;lamps&quot; (Gk lampos ). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why the difference? The key may be the location. The tabernacle was a copy of the throne scene; the lampstands of Rev. 1 are in the tabernacle; the lamps of Rev. 4 are in heaven. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The church (lampstands) stands in the same relationship to the throne scene as the menorah in tabernacle. Both are reminders of God's presence and work in the world. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some suggest that the lamps are angels. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They rely on the role of angels: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heb 1:14 WEB Aren't they all ministering spirits, sent out to do service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since Rev. 4 has God on the throne & Rev. 5 has Christ as the Lamb & the fact that this letter is from &quot;God, … the seven Spirits … before his throne; and from Jesus Christ&quot; (Rev 1:4-5), it seems likely that the lamps are the Holy Spirit. </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. FOUR LIVING CREATURES AND THE SEA OF GLASS <ul><li>Rev 4:6-8 WEB Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal. In the midst of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around about and within. They have no rest day and night, saying, &quot;Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come!&quot; </li></ul>
  40. 40. This scene is similar to one described by Ezekiel <ul><li>Eze 1:5-10 WEB Out of the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. This was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. Every one had four faces … As for … their faces, they had the face of a man; and … the face of a lion ... and … the face of an ox … also the face of an eagle. </li></ul><ul><li>Eze 10:20-21 WEB This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river Chebar; and I knew that they were cherubim. Every one had four faces, and every one four wings … </li></ul>
  41. 41. Both mention four creatures, but there are differences <ul><li>Ezekiel describes four living creatures, each having four faces and four wings </li></ul><ul><li>John describes four living creatures, each with a different face and each having six wings. </li></ul><ul><li>But the faces are the same: lion, ox, man and eagle. </li></ul><ul><li>Why the differences? There is no collusion. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When two witnesses describe the same scene, they invariably differ in the way they describe some of the details. That is the case here. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One easy way to understand the difference is that Ezekiel sees each of the living creatures from all sides, and that he therefore knows that each living creature has four faces. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John may have only seen the four living creatures from one angle, in which case, he would only see the face that was facing him. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The difference is a small matter, since the faces are the same. </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. What is the significance of the four living creatures and their faces? <ul><li>The living creatures depict the standards of Israel camped around the tabernacle in the desert (Num 2:1-31) </li></ul><ul><li>Each tribe had its banner and each triad (group of three tribes) had its standard. </li></ul><ul><li>Jewish tradition says that the tribal banners corresponded in color to the twelve stones in the breastplate of the high priest (Exo 28:15-21) and that the standard of each triad was depicted by one of these four images. </li></ul>
  43. 43. The lion was the standard of Judah <ul><li>That would be easy to see from Jacob's blessing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gen 49:9 WEB Judah is a lion's cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he crouched as a lion, As a lioness. Who will rouse him up? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>When Israel camped in the desert, Judah camped east of the tabernacle and was joined by the tribes of Issachar and Zebulun, to form the first triad. </li></ul>
  44. 44. The ox was the standard of Ephraim <ul><li>The tribe of Ephraim camped to the west of the tabernacle and was joined by the tribes of Benjamin and Manasseh, forming the second triad. </li></ul>
  45. 45. The man was the standard of Reuben <ul><li>The tribe of Reuben camped to the south of the tabernacle and was joined by the tribes of Gad and Simeon, forming the third triad. </li></ul>
  46. 46. The eagle had become the standard of Dan <ul><li>The standard had originally been the serpent. </li></ul><ul><li>Jewish tradition holds that this identification with a serpent was changed by Ahiezer, the leader of the Tribe of Dan during the Exodus (Num 2:25), to an eagle with a serpent in its mouth as their tribal ensign. </li></ul><ul><li>The tribe of Dan camped to the north of the tabernacle and was joined by the tribes of Asher and Naphthali, forming the fourth triad. </li></ul>
  47. 47. This is the same order in which Ezekiel describes the faces <ul><li>Eze 1:10 WEB As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four had also the face of an eagle. </li></ul>
  48. 48. Can there be any doubt about the message of the throne scene? <ul><li>If you were looking at Israel's camp from the south, you would see the face of a man. To the right (east) you would see the face of a lion. To the left (west) you would see the face of an ox. Finally, to the north you would see the face of an eagle. </li></ul><ul><li>The heavenly scene is designed to make the reader think of God's people, being cared for by God in a hostile environment, while they are on the road to promised land. </li></ul>
  49. 49. What about the sea of glass? <ul><li>John saw &quot;a sea of glass&quot; before the throne; Ezekiel saw something similar above it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eze 1:22 WEB Over the head of the living creature there was … an expanse, like … crystal to look on, stretched forth over their heads above. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Earth's ceiling is heaven's floor. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The imagery comes from Sinai </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exo 24:9-10 WEB Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. (10) They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was like a paved work of sapphire stone, like the skies for clearness. </li></ul></ul>
  50. 50. It may also be the basin in the tabernacle & temple called the sea <ul><li>1Ki 7:23-25 WEB He made the molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and its height was five cubits; and a line of thirty cubits encircled it. (24) Under its brim around there were buds which encircled it, for ten cubits, encircling the sea : the buds were in two rows, cast when it was cast. (25) It stood on twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; and the sea was set on them above, and all their hinder parts were inward. </li></ul>
  51. 51. Other features of the tabernacle & temple are seen in Revelation <ul><li>The lamps – corresponding to the Menorah. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 4:5 WEB … There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The altar of sacrifice – i.e. the bronze altar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 6:9 WEB When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The altar of incense – i.e. the golden altar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 8:3 WEB Another angel came and stood over the altar , having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The ark of the covenant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 11:19 WEB God's temple that is in heaven was opened, and the ark of the Lord's covenant was seen in his temple … </li></ul></ul>
  52. 52. This particular sea will be seen again in the Book of Revelation <ul><li>Here it separates man & God; there the faithful have crossed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev 15:2-3 WEB I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who overcame the beast, his image, and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass , having harps of God. They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, &quot;Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations. </li></ul></ul>
  53. 53. There the overcomers sing the &quot;song of Moses ... and … of the Lamb&quot; <ul><li>The Song of Moses comes from Exodus 15. </li></ul><ul><li>Israel's perspective was different on the two shores of the Red Sea. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On the west, with Pharaoh's army bearing down, they despaired of life. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On the east, after God had delivered them and disposed of their enemies, they sang with joy. Their song was the song of Moses. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>That is the picture John wants his readers to see. </li></ul>
  54. 54. John pictures the overcomers singing a song of deliverance <ul><li>The NIV captures the idea of Revelation 15:2 best when it says the overcomers were standing &quot;beside&quot; the sea. </li></ul><ul><li>To have the overcomers standing by the sea and singing songs of deliverance indicates that God's enemy has been overthrown and God's people have been rescued. </li></ul><ul><li>But why the song of the Lamb? These are not two songs, but one. The song of Moses is the song of the Lamb. John shows that his focus is on the redeemed of both covenants. </li></ul>
  55. 55. Later, still, John says <ul><li>Rev 21:1 WEB I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more . </li></ul><ul><li>In Rev 4, the sea separates the overcomers from God. </li></ul><ul><li>In Rev 15 the overcomers have crossed over and are singing songs of deliverance. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, in the new Jerusalem, there is no more sea. What had once separated them from God has been removed and there is nothing to separate them from God any longer. </li></ul>
  56. 56. HEAVEN'S WORSHIP <ul><li>Rev 4:9-11 WEB When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever, and throw their crowns before the throne, saying, &quot;Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One, to receive the glory, the honor,and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!&quot; </li></ul>
  57. 57. The four living creatures lead the heavenly entourage in glorifying God <ul><li>These are the creatures of Ezekiel. They are also the seraphs of Isaiah: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Isa 6:1-3 WEB In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew. One called to another, and said, &quot;Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh of Hosts! The whole earth is full of his glory!&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Isaiah doesn't describe their faces because they were covered in the presence of God. But they were singing a song similar to the one in Revelation 4, &quot;Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty …&quot; They are &quot;heaven's choir,&quot; singing praises to God. </li></ul>
  58. 58. The living creatures sing &quot;Holy, Holy, Holy&quot; <ul><li>When they sing, the twenty-four elders take off their crowns and fall before the throne. They sing their song – &quot;Worthy Art Thou!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>At this point, they're only singing verse one – about God being worthy. </li></ul><ul><li>In the next chapter, they'll add a verse about the Lamb being worthy. </li></ul>

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