Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day Message: What Makes a True Hero? Judges 16:22-31

Memorial Day Message: What Makes a True Hero? 

Judges 16:22-31

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 History of Memorial Day. Tomorrow is Memorial Day.  A day that has been set aside to remember those who have given their life in service to our country. The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than all other wars fought by the United States combined. So many were killed or died from the effects of the war, that it required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. The former home of General Robert E. Lee was taken by the federal government and turned into Arlington national cemetery.

By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.
Several different communities independently initiated the memorial gatherings. And some records show that one of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of formerly slaves in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865.

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.

By 1890 many Northern states held similar commemorative events and had made Decoration Day as it was called then, an official state holiday. The Southern states continued to honor the dead on separate days until after World War I.

Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. ... Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

Memorials in the Bible. The Bible speaks of many memorials of which here are two types. One is the type which you are participating in today. A service which honors the resurrection of Christ every Sunday or like Baptism or the Lord’s Supper to commemorate His life, death and resurrection. The other kind of is a memorial is a marker, stone, a statute or an engraved writing meant to commemorate great heroes and great events. These can be great monuments like the Statue of Sam Houston on I-45, the Washington, Lincoln, or Jefferson memorials in our nation’s capital or even a simple epithet on a tombstone in a cemetery.

We should honor the those who have passed on with our memorial services and with our memorial stones, because they link us to our past. God told Joshua and Joshua told the people in Joshua 4:20-22 20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. 21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? 22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.

Memorials are important, vital to the history and identity of any people. Today there are many powerful, influential and rich people, organizations and political parties who are trying to remake the United States into a socialist, godless country. It is not by accident they began a few years ago by tearing down memorials. They began with the memorials that had been erected to honor the confederate heroes, soldiers and battles. But they did not stop there, since we did nothing to stop them from destroying or removing statutes of Robert E. Lee, a man who had no slaves and was opposed to the institution of slavery, these nation remakers also destroyed ir defaced statues of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed the slaves. They have also demanded the removal of memorials to Martin Luther King because he preached non-violence and he dared to call upon God and quote the Bible. If we destroy the memorials, it is easy to then also destroy the truth and rewrite the history.

Memorials are more important today than they ever have been. It is vital that we do not forget those heroes who have given their life to give us our freedom. So today I want to talk about heroes. I want us to see that the honor that we pay to those who have died protecting our nation and our heritage is due to them because of the price they were willing to pay. I also wish us to understand that we as soldiers in the Lord’s army are also called upon to be willing to pay the price in our service to God as they were willing to do in their service to their country.

In Hebrews we read

Hebrews 11:32–40 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

What I want you to notice is one particular name in this list, the name Samson. Can you believe that Samson is in the Hall of Faith Heroes? That God considered the debaucherous, selfish, judge of Israel worthy of the memorial of Hebrews the 11th chapter?

If so then what made Samson a hero? Despite his failures in life, he wound up in God’s Hall of Heroes. I want us to look at Judges 16 and see why and to learn that the same things that ultimately made Samson a hero are the same things that God looks for in the lives of his heroes today.

Samson journey to God’s Hall of Heroes really begins after he has been captured and made into a beast of burden. He is captured, he is blinded and he is made to turn a millstone, grinding grain like a big dumb ox. Until we come to verse 23 in Judges 16

Samson’s Suffering Judges 16:23-25

Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us. And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

Samson Suffers

I want to start at the place where Samson became a hero and that wasn’t when he carried away the gates of a city, or killed a thousand with the jawbone of a donkey. No Samson became a hero after he was captured because of his weakness. It was at this point, the point of complete weakness, that he began to find his true strength.

He had been captured and bound with metal shackles, normally it would have been leather but his reputation was too great to allow the risk so the put iron bands on him.

His eyes were put out. This was usually done to captives of great importance. The greater their renown the more dangerous they were and the greater the humiliation they must be put to.
He was turned into an animal or a slave grinding out grain in the prison house.

The after a time the Philistines had a holiday to worship their God Dagon. Dagon was a fish God, since the Philistines were a sea-going people whose power was derived from trading in the Mediterranean. He was usually depicted as a being with the upper body of a man but a lower body of a great fish.

At the festival Samson was brought out to make sport of, to humiliate. The Bible is not specific but it would usually involve any activity that would seem the most humiliating to a once great enemy now reduced to a blind animal. People would taunt him with insults and challenges. He would be struck by thrown objects. They would match him against small weak opponents like children or dwarves or sic dog on him to torment him.

It was now here, at this point that Samson becomes a Hero, not earlier when he had great power, health and respect but now when he is blind, weak, humiliated and shamed. It was this terrible suffering that changed a foolish man into the hero recorded in God’s Hall of Fame.

True Heroes Suffer

I believe that part of being a true hero is having to deal with sorrow and suffering.

True heroes whether they be in the nation’s army or in the Lord’s army are men and women who have learned that victories are never easy and that they must endure suffering and hardship no matter the cost.

Heroes are Moms and Dad who sacrifice and go without so that their children will have what they need to grow up. Heroes are Missionaries who give up their homes and lives to go where God sends them. Heroes are pastors who despite opposition, poor wages, and poor attendance keep on preaching the word of God. Heroes are soldiers who after enduring enemy fire come home to endure fire from their own countrymen.

They all suffer but they do not walk away, they do not give up because they are heroes and true heroes do not quit!

2 Timothy 2:1-3 1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

A Flag of Rags

   In the final years of our imprisonment, the North Vietnamese moved us from small cells with one or two prisoners to large rooms with as many as 30-40 men to a room. We preferred this situation for the companionship and strength we could draw from our fellow prisoners. In addition to moving us to new quarters, out captors also let us receive packages and letters from home. Many men received word from their families for the first time in several years. The improved conditions were a result of public pressure put on the North Vietnamese by the American public.

   In our cell was one Navy officer, Lt. Commander Mike Christian. Over a period of time Mike had gathered bits and pieces of red and white cloth from various packages. Using a piece of bamboo he had fashioned into a needle, Mike sewed a United States flag on the inside of his shirt, one of the blue pajama tops we all wore.

   Every night in our cell, Mike would put his shirt on the wall, and we would say the pledge of allegiance. I know that the pledge of allegiance may not be the most important aspect of our day now, but I can tell you that at the time it was the most important aspect of our lives.

   This had been going on for some time until one of the guards came in as we were reciting our pledge. They ripped the flag off the wall and dragged Mike out. He was beaten for several hours and then thrown back into the cell.

   Later that night, as we were settling down to sleep on the concrete slabs that we our beds, I looked over to the spot where the guards had thrown Mike. There, under the solitary light bulb hanging from the ceiling, I saw Mike. Still bloody and his face swollen beyond recognition, Mike was gathering bits and pieces of cloth together. He was sewing a new American flag.     -- John McCain.

Transition: Suffering began to remake Samson but he was still not the hero worthy of Hebrew 11. The next step in that process takes place in vs. 26 of Judges 16

Samson’s Seeking  Judges 16:26-28

And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

Samson Seeks God

Samson is brought to rest upon the support pillars of the structure where this celebration was held. This was probably an ancient amphitheater. The pillars stood underneath the main beams which held up the structure of the roof or balcony.
Samson leans there and now humiliated, degraded and broken he begins to pray. Do you realize that he had never prayed before a battle before. He had always taken it for granted that his God-given strength would be there, but this time, for the first time he prays first.

Now He was at the end of his own strength, he turned to God acknowledging Him as his only hope and the true source of strength. “O Lord God, remember me I pray they and strengthen me I pray thee, only this once O God.”

Look closely at what Samson says. He calls out Lord, this is the word Adonay. It means my lord, my master. The word God is all in caps. This signifies the personal name of God. Samson calls out to Jehovah. He calls out not based upon his position as an Israelite nor his title of Judge but he calls out based upon a personal relationship with God, “O, Lord Jehovah”

True Heroes Seek God

Our suffering may not be as the same as Samson’s but in our own life’s circumstances just as hard to overcome.
Many people simply think that endurance alone will bring them to the other side of the suffering. Others simply seem to get used to it and accept it as their own lot in life. Others come to a place they can’t go on any longer and they quit.

Some quit their families, some quit the ministry, some quit the church and some even quit life.

How do you find the strength you need? If there is a lesson that can be learned from the life of Samson it is this lesson. In the midst of your suffering, in your sorrow, pain or weakness, turn to God’s for the strength, comfort and hope that you don’t have.
You must call out, you must repent, you must acknowledge Him as Lord and God.

Yes, this is done the first time at salvation, when we realize we are too weak to save ourselves from judgment and Hell, but it must be done over and over if we are to be strong enough overcome the suffering and hardships of this life.

Psalm 27:7-17 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Illustration: I Am One of Them

This is a cheerful world as I see it from my garden under the shadows of my vines. But if I were to ascend some high mountain and look out over the wide lands, you know very well what I should see: brigands on the highways, pirates on the sea, armies fighting, cities burning; in the amphitheaters men murdered to please applauding crowds; selfishness and cruelty and misery and despair under all roofs. It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are the Christians--and I am one of them. -  Cyprian, third-century martyr

Samson’s Strength Judges 16:29-31

And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.

Samson A True Hero

He wraps his arms around the pillars and the Bible says he bowed himself with all his strength.

He then prayed one more time, “Let me die with the Philistines.”
As the strength of God rushes back into his body, he leans against the pillars and they crack and then break. As the support is removed the building collapses.

The Bible makes this note about the final battle of Samson, “The dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”

Samson’s greatest victory was the one that cost him his life through sacrifice, a life which he had for the first time wholly given to God.

True Heroes Sacrifice

We have already seen that true heroes endure suffering. You cannot rise to success in any field without this, and in God’s service it is the foundation of greatness.

And in n God’s service, different from success in the world, there must be a seeking and a finding of God, and a losing of ourselves in order for God’s heroes, true heroes to be strong. Just as we see with Samson, and all the true heroes of the God’s Word. They all suffered, the all endure, they all sought and found God and his strength. This is the path and the Bible only has one path.
Finally, there is this necessary element in true service, true heroism for God, the willingness to lose your life in Him and for Him.

When this happens, then it will be true for us as it was for Samson, “In  dying to self we will do more for God than in our living for self.”

Romans 6:3-6, 11  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord

Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Have you asked God to let your old self die that your new self my serve Him? Do you understand what it is to be crucified with Christ? This is the reality of salvation but it is also the reality of service, of faithfulness and of strength. Have you died to self in order to live for God? There can be no true heroes in God’s eyes and service until we are willing to die to the person we were and be the child of God, Jesus died to make us.

Conclusion: Two Lives

Ronald Reagan Veteran’s Day 1985
President Ronald Reagan made these remarks at Veteran's Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1985
"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country in wars far away.  The imagination plays a trick.  We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise.  We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray-haired. But most of them were boys when they died, they gave up two lives -- the one they were living and the one they would have lived.  When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for their county, for us. All we can do is remember." - Ronald Wilson Reagan Remarks at Veteran's Day ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Virginia, November 11, 1985

The true servant of God, the true soldier in the army of the Lord, the true hero must also give up two lives, the one you once lived and the future one that now belongs to God. As Paul wrote, I beseech ye, therefore brethren by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice.  Are you willing to be a true hero for the Lord? Perhaps it could start today, as you seek God.

Memorials are important, vital to the history and identity of any people. Today there are many powerful, influential, rich people, organizations and political parties who are trying to remake the United States into a socialist, godless nation. It is not by accident they began a few years ago by tearing down memorials. - Pastor Kris Minefee

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Epistle of Jesus #4: The Throne Room Part 2 Revelation 5

The Epistle of Jesus #4: The Throne Room Part 2

Revelation 5

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 Outline of the Book found in Rev 1:19

Write the things which thou hast seen (Ch.1),

 and the things which are (Ch 2-3 conditions in Churches),

and the things which shall be hereafter (Chapter 4-21, the future)



Chapter 1 is the vision of Jesus standing with His Churches and holding His pastors in His Hands.

Chapter 2 and 3 are the letters to the Seven Churches in Asia, Ephesus to Laodicea.

Chapter 4 and 5 are the opening scenes of the throne room of heaven, those on the throne and surrounding the throne. Chapter 4 our focus is on the One who sits on the throne and the praise of heaven is given to God the Father, the Creator of the Universe.

Now in Chapter 5

Our focus and the praise will shift from the one who sits upon the throne to the one who stands before the throne, The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Lamb of God.

Chapter five begins with a book.

 The Seven Sealed Scroll – Revelation 5:1-4

1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

John Sees The Book

John sees in the right hand of God the Father, a book. This of course is a scroll since bound books did not yet exist. This scroll is the title deed to all of creation and to all creatures within. It is sealed with seven seals as wills of this time were often sealed with seven seals.

We have an example of a sealed title deed and will in Jeremiah 32:9-10 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver. And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.

 No one but the rightful heir had the right to break those seals. Those seven seals which also signify the completion and finish of God’s plan for the ages. A plan that had been in place since before time began. The plan that would provide the solution to man’s sin and redemption as well as the redemption of all the universe, which had been tainted by that sin.  

As John watches this scene playing out before him, he hears a strong angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book,

No man was even able to look upon this book, the title deed of heaven and earth. The seals of the scroll cannot be broken, because no man is found.

Can you sense the drama, the choreography, staging of this critical scene before us? Following the worship and praise to God the Father, He holds out a seven sealed scroll and all of heaven turns their eyes upon it. Then as we look upon this scroll realizing it is so  important that God the Father holds it before us in his right hand.

Then this mighty angel calls out, “Who is worthy to open this book?” It is a challenge for a champion to step forward and by his strength, power and righteousness to claim the right to open the scroll and claim the title deed to the universe.

But as heaven holds its breath, no one steps forward, no man is found, who is worthy to claim the right. All of heaven is looking in anticipation of the champion but no man can come forward. No man has the right, the power or the strength to take that scroll from the right hand of God.

When John sees this, he is devastated and begins to openly weep. All creature is looking for a champion and there is not a man living or dead, in heaven or in earth who is worthy.


Then in his great sorrow at such a terrible, unanswered, unfulfilled need, John hears one of he elders say, “Do not weep. Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah! And John lifts his eyes back toward the throne and there is no mere man, but the One who is the God-man and He comes forward as if it were, stepping into a spotlight and all our attention is now focused on Him.

The Sovereign Sacrifice – Revelation 5:6-7

6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

John Sees Jesus

Jesus, only is worthy to open the scroll. This scroll, that no ordinary man, no matter how great could open or even look upon, is the will, or testament of God the Father. It give to His Son the right to claim as his own, all of fallen creation. The next few verses tell us why of all who could not step forward and meet the challenge, Jesus is worthy.

First, He Is Worthy By His Title.

He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

The reference to Genesis 49:8–10, 8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.
9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Jacob whose name had been changed by God to Israel, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit prophetically gave the scepter, a kings badge of office, to Judah and made Judah the tribe of the kings. Jesus is the final fulfillment of that prophecy.

The elder also calls Jesus, The Root of David, which means that the greatest King of Israel, David and all of David’s line came into existence through Jesus. Humanly speaking from the physical DNA side, Jesus came from David, but on the God side, the supernatural side, David had come by plan, purpose and protection of Jesus, the Son of God. The Messiah could be both David’s Lord and David’s son, because the Messiah was both God and man.

Jesus is also Worthy By Position. 

Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb

Jesus stands before the throne of God, in the place of honor, in center of the four living creatures, and in the center of the elders so that all of the throne room and all of heaven must focus on Jesus. This the place of greatest honor and only Jesus could stand in that position.

Jesus is also Worthy By His Sacrifice. Revelation 5:6 …stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.  

 This vision of the Lamb, with its throat cut and the wound still showing, is not meant to be beautiful, but it is powerful when we understand what is symbolizes.

When this day does come for all of God’s children, we will not see a lamb but instead will see Jesus in all his glory, but now for the churches under persecution, Jesus is seen in a way that only His own will understand.  He is the slain lamb of God, sacrificed for our sin, but he is also the Lion of Judah coming in all his power. John sees seven horns and seven eyes, this is the number of perfection and it symbolizes perfect power in the seven horns and perfect wisdom in the seven eyes, and perfect never absent, presence in the seven Spirits in all the earth.

These attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence are the attributes of that only God can possess and so in this symbol we see Jesus, the Lamb God, is very God of very God, God who took on human flesh to come and dwell on the earth.

Jesus alone was worthy to open the book and claim the title-deed of heaven and earth, because only Jesus died for the guilt of mankind, only Jesus suffered in our place, only Jesus rose again. Only Jesus laid down his life and then, proving He truly was God the Son, took that life back in His own great power.

Finally, Jesus is shown as worthy By His Action 

Revelation 5: 7  And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. Jesus steps to the throne and takes from the hand of God, the scroll, claiming the title to all of creation and the right to be the Eternal King of Heaven and Earth.

No one questions His right to take the scroll from the hand of God.

John’s Pain Turns to Praise.

Can you imagine the feeling John must have had, the depths of his despair then soaring to the heights of praise? No man was found and all must have seemed wasted and empty. All the sacrifice, all the persecution, all the loss of family and friend, all the hope empty, but then, “Behold, the Lion.” Decades ago, John had been at the Jordan river when he heard John the Baptist say, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Then he looked where the Baptist was pointing and he sees the man Jesus.

Now he hears Behold the Lion and he looks and perhaps now expects to see the Lord Jesus as a man, standing in power and glory, but when he looks he does not see a man nor does he see a lion, but instead he sees a lamb slain.

Slain but living, wounded as unto death, but now standing before the throne with seven horns and seven eyes. This could not have been what He was expecting but it was exactly who he thought it would be. This is Jesus, God the Son slain for the sin of mankind, but now alive and possessing all power and all wisdom as symbolized by the seven horns and seven eyes.

John knows who this is, just as the church he is writing to, knows who this is, just as you and I know who this is. This is Jesus. Jesus who was, and is and is coming again. Jesus, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. The Romans wouldn’t recognize him and a lost world won’t be able to see Him but John, the churches and the children of God, will know their Lord, Savior and King.


Thomas from hopelessness to worship. My Lord and My God.

John 20:26-29 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

The Savior’s Songs - Revelation 5:8-14

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

John Sees The Singers

The Elder’s Song. In the Elder’s song, we experience the spectrum of Christian devotion, service and worship.

First there is praise and prayer are united as the elders sing their new song, They take up their harps and they pour out their golden vials of perfume. This is praise and prayer combined in their praise to the Savior. And if the worship service in the throne room of heaven specifically tells us that the elders, offer praise and prayer to the Lord, then that should inspire us to make sure our own worship here does the same.

Every worship service should combine prayer and praise. The elders, who represent us, sing, “You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals for you were slain and you have redeemed us to God by thy shed blood.  Jesus is worthy of our offerings of praise and prayer, because his dying for us purchased our redemption.

A Song of Worship. Now think with me for a moment about this song, sung by the elders. It is first of all, a song of worship. The word worship means to ascribe worth. And in the song, they proclaim Jesus as worthy.

A Song of Good News. The song they sing is a Gospel song! “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us by Thy blood.” It contains the good news of Jesus dying in our place and shedding His blood. Modern Christianity may not like to talk about the blood, but in heaven they fill their song with the good news, because they know there is Power In the Blood.

A Song of Missions. The song they sing is a song about God’s grace to all the world. The elders sing that they have been redeemed “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” So this is also a song about fulfilling the Great Commission, by going into all the world and preaching the Gospel to every creature.

Perhaps John that back to his own book when he wrote in John 3: 16-17 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Now that is something to sing about.

And that is something to send missionaries out into this world that God loves so that they can hear that good news and one day sing their own song of praise in glory.

I like the way the great commission is stated in Mark 16:15, it is direct and it is compelling by the force of its command 15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Go everywhere and preach to everyone. And then one day, they all will be singing in heaven because God’s children went, and the Lord’s church sent, and kindred, peoples, tongues and nations heard and believed.

Finally, It is a Song of Thanksgiving. It is also hymn of thanksgiving for who we are in Christ “a kingdom of priests.” Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we have been made a kingdom of priests and in that new role we will rule with Him for all eternity. How can you thank Him for that except to join in this heavenly choir of the redeemed and sing, in your perfect redeemed voice before the throne.

The Worship Service of the Ages. Throne Room Praise and Worship Concert.

Now to get the full picture of this scene before us, at least as full as we can from our earthly perspective, lets back up to chapter 4 again and look at the songs that are being sung and how they are being sung.

The 1st Song Rev 4:8-9 Four Living Creatures Sing of God’s Holiness

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever.

And then the concert builds and strengthens for new we have the …

2nd Song Rev 4:10-11 Now the 24 Elders Sing of God’s Power

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Then the praise rises louder and more powerful again for now in the…

3rd Song Rev 5:8-10 the 4 Living Creatures and the 24 Elders Join to Sing. Worhipping the Lamb who has Redeemed them.  

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;   And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

But the concert is not finished, oh no, for now comes the sound of the…

4th Song in Revelation 5:11-12. Many angel, the living creatures and the elders. sing “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.”

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

When John says he heard many angels, he looks up and somehow by the power of the Holy Spirit he knows how many are praising the Lamb and he gives us the number, 10,000 x 10,000 and thousands of thousands. That means that now in this praise service for the Lord Jesus Christ, the voices of over 100 million angels join in worship, because the Lamb is worthy.

And you may think well what can top that? 100 million angels and all the host of heaven should lift us in praise higher than we have ever been lifted, higher than we can imagine, but no, it is not high enough for our Lord. For then in the..

5th Song Revelation 5:13 All Creatures of Heaven and Earth sing

Blessing, Honor, Glory and Power to God and the Lamb. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Now all of heaven and all of earth joins together to worship God the Father and Jesus, God the Son. They cry out, “Blessing and honor and glory and power to the Father and to the Son.”


Maybe the writer of the 150th Psalms in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit caught a glimpse of this heavenly scene and the wrote this Psalms of Ascending Praise.

Psalms 150 1 Praise ye the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary:
praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts:
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet:
praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance:
praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals:
praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Walking With Christ: Lesson 6 The Woman brought before Christ, the Adulteress.

Walking With Christ: Lesson 6 The Woman brought before Christ, the Adulteress


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          Year of Obscurity            Year of Popularity               Year of Opposition     ____________________|______________________|_____________________


(1,2) AD25 (3) (4) Apr AD26 (5,6) AD 26 (7) Mar AD27 (8) Apr AD 27 (9) AD 28                              

   1.  John The Baptist preaches as forerunner Mark 1:1-8

      2.   Jesus is Baptized by John  Matt 3:13-17, Jesus begins public ministry

        3.   Jesus in the wilderness tempted by Satan

          4.  Temple Cleansing, 1st Passover John 2:13, Nicodemus John 3:1

            5.  The woman at the well John 4

             6.   John cast in prison Luke 3:19-20, End of Year of Obscurity

               7.   John beheaded by Herod for his wife Mark 6:17-29

                  8.   Second Passover John 5:1

                      9.  Feast of Tabernacles John 7 / the Adulterous Woman John 8:3-11


Map of Lesson


Parallel Passages

  Story only found in John's account of the Gospel.

Lesson: John 8:3-11



Jesus has now been preaching publicly for about 3 years.  Opposition from the recognized religious leaders of that day has been growing steadily.  At every opportunity when Jesus was in Jerusalem teaching they would try to debate him. One the day previous to John 8, Jesus had called out in the Temple at the height of the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7:37–38, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” This was a obvious declaration of himself as a prophet sent from God, in the same vein as Moses and many would see Him as “the prophet, that Moses foretold and the Messiah.

Such a declaration meant the Pharisees must act more decisively. The story of John 8 is their first attempt to try and trap him. They tried to present a problem or a situation in which Jesus would "hang Himself."  The lesson for today was just such a situation.  The woman should die according to Jewish law, but no Jew or Jewish authority had authority under Roman law to pronounce capital punishment. For the Pharisees it was a "win-win" outcome.  If Jesus said she shouldn't be killed, they would accuse him of rejecting the scripture.  If He condemned her to death then they would go to the Romans and accuse Jesus of plotting a rebellion. No matter what he did this looked like a trap that even Jesus couldn’t get out of.


Understanding the Text:


John 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

What is suspicious or wrong about the woman being brought in by herself? 

If she was caught “in the act” where was the man?  The man may have been the bait in this trap for he was not accused or brought.


John 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

Why do you think Jesus did not answer but wrote upon the ground? 

Perhaps to pray or think about his answer or to defuse the situation.


John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

 What did Jesus’ answer reveal about His heart toward sinners? What did it reveal about his heart toward the law? 

 The answer shows an understanding of all being condemned by sin, this one just happened to be adultery.  Yet He did not reject the penalty for the sin.


Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.


John 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

 Why did the accusers leave?  And what was interesting about the order in which they left?

 They were convicted by their own conscience. The older ones realized through their experiences what was happening. The young tend to be more zealous and self-righteous.


John 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

 What do we see in Jesus by His personally talking to this woman? 

 He did not reject her, the sinner, because of her sin.


John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

 What does vs. 11 reveal about who Jesus truly was? 

 Jesus, as sinless and as God, was the only one who could condemn her. It also reveals His love and willingness to forgive.



 What can I learn by Jesus waiting before answering the Pharisees? 

 Many times, my answers need to thought over and prayed over.  The quickest answer is not always the most beneficial.


Where does the burden, the source of sin always lie?

 Sin is always a personal matter between myself and the Lord.  Just as we saw in these men.  Sin can be seen in others but they will not accept my judgement until they are convicted in their own hearts of sin.  This is the work of the Holy Spirit.

 John 16:7–11 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;  Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.


Using Jesus as our example, how should we act and talk with sinners about salvation.

 There must be compassion as well as conviction. There is the offer of forgiveness but at the same time the warning of punishment cannot be ignored. Both sides of salvation or condemnation must be viewed.

 In talking to others about Jesus, should I ignore their sin or the penalty for that sin?  On the other hand can I ignore the sinner because of the severity or type of the sin? 

 I must fully see both the sin and their sin.  Neither can be allowed to overshadow my responsibility to share the Gospel.


Who is the only one who can forgive sin?  Who must the lost be brought to? 

 Jesus is the only one who can give forgiveness. The focus must be upon Him and who He is. 


Was this woman saved?  Should Jesus have pushed for a profession? 

 We don't know if she was saved.  There is not enough given here to make a judgement. Jesus let the woman go, as he did the blind man he had healed without even telling him his name. Jesus was content and trusted His Father, to time to plant the seed and wait for the harvest.


Review Questions


What event occurred at Jesus baptism that has never been seen before or since?

Why did Nicodemus come by night?

Why was Jesus led into the wilderness?

What is a possible reason the woman of Sychar came so late to draw water?

What was living water?

What are some practical lessons I can learn from John 4?

How do you worship in "spirit and in truth."

How is Jesus' treatment of the adulterous woman an example of loving the sinner but hating the sin?

What was the danger posed by any answer Jesus gave to the Pharisees concerning this woman?

Why were the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes so opposed to Jesus?

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Epistle of Jesus #3: The Throne Room of Heaven Part 1 - Revelation 4

The Epistle of Jesus #3: The Throne Room of Heaven Part 1

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Joke about Heaven: An 85 year old couple, having been married almost 60 years, had died in a car crash. The last 10 years of life the wife had been real concerned about their health and they ate only low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie healthy meals by the sweet wife’s constant supervision and not a little bit of nagging.       

      When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite and Jacuzzi.

      As they "oohed and aahed" the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.     

      "It's free," Peter replied, "this is Heaven."

      Next they went out back to survey the championship golf course that the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges everyday and each week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on earth.      

      The old man asked, "what are the green fees?"     

      Peter's reply, "This is heaven, you play for free."     

      Next they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the world laid out.     

      "How much to eat?" asked the old man.     

      "Don't you understand yet? This is heaven, it is free!" Peter replied with some exasperation.     

      "Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?" the old man asked timidly.     

      Peter lectured, "That's the best can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven."     

      With that the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and shrieking wildly.     

      Peter and his wife both tried to calm him down, asking him what was wrong. The old man looked at his wife and said, "This is all your fault. If it weren't for all them bran muffins and rice cakes, I could have been here ten years ago!"

The church at the time of John’s book of Revelation was at a time of crises. The sign miracles like tongues, word of wisdom, word of knowledge were finished or fading. There had been no new word from God, revelation and no more apostles’ writings in over a generation. The Pagan Roman empire and the Jewish religious authorities were arresting and killing the leaders of the churches. And now John, the last apostle, has been arrested, tortured and now exiled to the island prison of Patmos, by a Domitian, the Roman Emperor who called himself, Lord God Almighty and demands that all worship him. He expects John to die far removed from the new sect called Christians that he inspires and leads. 

In the midst of this dark, seemingly hopeless, sin filled night, a light, in the form of a letter, arrives by a messenger sent from John. John, now near 100 years old writes and says “I have seen the Lord. He told me to write you this letter and to tell you He is coming back!” The Book of Revelation, the Apocalypse, the Epistle of Jesus was written because Jesus knew his people needed hope and as we read it today, it still has that purpose and that power. To give us hope no matter what is happening, Jesus is coming back!

And now John has been given this vision and the mission to record the scene and send it to the seven churches and finally even to us. So listen as John takes us up with him into the throne room of heaven and remember this vision, remember this place, remember this event because when our world grows dark and our way seems hopeless one day we will stand in heaven’s throne room and see the glory of God seated upon His throne.

Let’s look at Revelation 4 as our focus, like John’s is drawn to the throne and the One who is seated upon it. First notice 

The Throne of Heaven - Revelation 4:1-2

1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

God Summons John

John was summoned by God into the throne room of heaven. And when he heard that summons his spirit went. God called and John went. He says in Revelation 4:2 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

The throne room of heaven is what John sees as he is summoned up from the earth in his vision. Everything in chapters 4 and 5 takes place in the throne room and everything centers on and draws our focus to the throne and especially to the One who sits on the throne. Our eyes and hearts cannot help but be drawn to the glory of the One who sits there. He is God the Father, the Creator, the only true Almighty God. He is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, holy, just and righteous.

God’s glory has been glimpsed and recorded before by Moses in Exodus 33:21-23 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.  

by Isaiah in Isaiah 6: 1- 3 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

and by Ezekiel in Ezekiel 1:26-28 26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. 28 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 the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

And now in John’s vision here the actual holiest of holies we see the Glory of God revealed as it has never been seen before. In all the Bible, this is the ultimate vision of God and it will not be superseded until we all stand one day, like John in that throne room as we enter eternity.

Summoned In the Rapture

Many see in Revelation 4:1 a symbol for the rapture of the saints. John says, “a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet..; which said, Come up.” The rapture of course is the taking away, the taking up of God’s people from the earth. When God issues that summons, even death itself will not be able to hold us back. When God calls his children home, we will all go home.

Now I know that Revelation 4:1 isn’t definitive in its proof of a pretribulational rapture, but it sure come close. A pretribulational rapture means that God’s people will be taken up before the tribulation of chapters 6 – 19 begins. So even though Revelation 4:1 can’t be used as a proof text but it sure fits the timeline, so very, very nicely.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

And while we are here, let me make this point about the view points concerning the rapture. I and most Baptists are pretribulational in the interpretation of the rapture, but there are many good, conscientious, Bible believing, Bible scholars and preachers who are midtribulationalists, meaning the they see the rapture taking place in the middle of the tribulation at the 3 ½ year mark of the 7 year time of Jacobs trouble. They like to call it the  pre-wrath tribulation. And there are some who even believe in a posttribulationist view, that the Christians alive when the tribulation starts will have to go through the entire 7 year time of the most horrific, world-wide suffering that has ever been recorded or even imagined. I really don’t think they are right as I can’t see how they church fits into the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” as the tribulation is called in the Old Testament. But they can believe that and still be okay, not as okay as me, cause I’ve get it right, but they can be okay. What we all must believe is that the Jesus is coming back and this time He will be the lion not just the lamb.

Just as John told those early suffering Christians, we need to believe, “Jesus is coming, in power, glory and victory. And He will reign over all the earth!”

 Quote: The Uppertaker

Added to this quote I used last week. “The primitive church thought more about the Second coming of Jesus Christ than about death or about heaven. The early Christians were looking not for a cleft in the ground called a grave but for a cleavage in the sky called Glory. There were watching not for the undertaker but for the uppertaker.” - Alexander MacLaren

And that should be us not looking for the undertaker but for the uppertaker. That’s how we should live every minute of every day, looking for Jesus our uppertaker.


Now our focus changes from John being caught up into heaven to the scene that opens before him as he passes through the portal and steps into the heavenly throne room.

 The Throne of God - Revelation 4:3–7

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

God Seated On His Throne

The key word in this chapter and chapter 5 is throne; it is used fourteen times. In fact, this is a key word in the entire book, appearing forty-six times. Here we see the throne for the first time and in John’s vision the throne is a place of the glory, judgment and mercy of God the Father.

The One seated upon the throne is God the Father. John sees God in His glory and describes what he sees as light seen through jewels. What John is seeing is not seeing the  gem stone but the color of the light as it would shine through that gem.

Psalm 104:1-3 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen

These jeweled hues of light symbolize the glory and attributes of God the Father.

A Throne of Holiness - Jasper is a clear stone so this color speaks of God’s purity, His holiness;

A Throne of Judgment - sardine is red like a blood red ruby and it speaks of God’s wrath and judgment.

A Throne of Mercy - The color of light refracting though an emerald is green and that is a color associated with grace and mercy.

A Place of Mercy and Grace - John also sees an emerald-colored rainbow, that completely surrounds the throne, not an arc but a full halo, I imagine it would be like a sunburst, caused by the light of God’s glory. The rainbow that was the sign of God’s covenant back in Genesis 9:11–17, after the flood, is now a full rainbow shows God’s complete and finished mercy and grace to those who are His own.

This mercy and grace is also seen in the 24 elders who sit around the throne of God. These 24 are representative of all of God’s people Old Testament and New Testament who have found His grace. There were 12 tribes in the OT and 12 apostles in the New and so this number represents all the saved, all the believers, all of God’s children of all time.

These 24 are clothed in white raiment symbolizing their holiness imparted to them through grace and they wear golden crowns which symbolize rewards for their service which was empowered in God’s grace.

Victor’s Crowns - These crowns that the elder are wearing are “victor’s crowns, crowns of life” as we first heard promised in Revelation 2:10 …be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

The word crown is the Greek word στέφανος, stephanos, where we get our words for the names Stephen and Stephani, a crown. It comes from a word that means to twine or wreathe. So, these crowns are not the ones that a king or queen would wear but instead these are the crowns that athletes would wear after winning a race, these are the crowns of champions, the champions of Jesus Christ, the overcomers, the victors, the believers.

The Throne Room also shows us a Time of Judgment and Wrath: Then John sees and hears lightning, thunder and voices emanating from the throne. He also sees seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which he identifies as the seven Spirits of God, which is symbol for the full and complete power of the Holy Spirit. All these symbols show that not only is this a throne of glory and grace but it is also a throne of judgment and wrath. Lighting is the fire from heaven that God unleashes upon the prophets of Baal and thunder is always a warning of a storm that is coming. Here the Holy Spirit is not seen as a dove like He was at Jesus baptism, but now as seven burning fires, showing full and complete judgement.

The Throne Room is also a Place of Eternal Cleansing: John now in his vision sees a sea of glass like crystal. This sea was once symbolized by the brazen laver or basin in the tabernacle and in the Temple. It represents cleansing for all who have come to be in the throne room.

The Throne Room Shows us the Godhead, The Trinity

The Father is on the Throne.

The seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which he identifies as the seven Spirits of God, the full and complete power of the Holy Spirit

Then John also sees four living creatures, these creatures were created to sing praise for all eternity to the father, Son and Spirit. The KJV calls them beasts, but they are not wild animals but creations of God.

Revelation 4:6-7 …in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

These living creatures have four faces and we have seen them before if we read Ezekiel’s vision of the wheel in a wheel in Ezekiel 1:10-14 10  As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. 11  Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. 12  And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went. 13  As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14  And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.

Isaiah’s Vision: The Seraphim in Isaiah 6:2 called them the seraphims, “Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

There are differences between these visions, but I think that is due to the perspective of Ezekiel, Isaiah and John. I also believe John sees much more because he has seen an experienced the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. So he is allowed to see more, because he would understand more.

Firstly, the Seraphim are symbols of God as the creator of all living creatures but in more detail we can see that are symbols of the Son of God in his roles as the King who was also the Servant and the God who was also Man. The four faces of the lion, the man, the ox and the eagle, show Jesus as the King symbolized by the lion, Jesus as the servant symbolized by the ox, Jesus as God symbolized by the eagle and Jesus as man in the face of the man on the seraphim.

Our Seat In The Throne Room

As I think about this scene taking place in John’s vision, this incredible, glorious representation of what the throne room of heaven will be like and all the amazing, unbelievable things we see, I can’t help but think of the most amazing thing, that we are also represented there.

We see the blinding radiance of God on His throne, we are awed of his holiness, we are swept away by His mercy but so thankful that we will not experience His terrible wrath. We see Our Father and Creator seated on the throne, the symbol of His authority and power. We see the living creatures, surrounding the throne but then wonder of wonders, we also see these 24 who are also seated in seats before the throne, seats of honor next to the throne of God Himself reserved for the children of God. It truly will be amazing, that those seats are reserved for us, the children of God. And yet it shouldn’t surprise us because who else would the Father want beside him but his own children.

John writes to Gauis in 3rd John and says, “I have no great joy than to know that my children walk in truth.” That is a sentiment that every parent understands. There is no greater joy, no greater sense of pride than in your children’s achievements, their good works. We have that sentiment in our hearts because it comes from our heavenly Father. When we get heaven we will have a seat beside the throne of our Father, because part of his glory in that throne room will be us, His children.

Ephesians 1:12-14 12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Our faith, our trust, our redemption and the life of service that follows our salvation are those things which bring praise to God’s glory. We are God’s trophies of grace the throne room of heaven is His mantle place where those trophies will sit right beside Him, surrounding the throne shining in and being a part of His glory.

Are you ready for that? Wouldn’t it be terrible to miss this? To not experience such an event. Oh, I could tell you about how eternally horrific Hell is going to be, but can you imagine missing heaven and not seeing this event not in a vision but in person, not recorded in the Bible but in real time, not virtually, but literally, not through the eyes of faith but through the eyes of our newly resurrected, sinless, perfect body. And you know what, you won’t need any corrective lenses to behold this glorious day, though you may wish for some heavenly sunglasses because, Child of God, it is going to be bright. Its okay to get excited, this is our day. The day we see God our Father, what a reunion that will be.


The final aspect of the Throne Room I want us to see is the most beautiful because this is also

The Throne of Praise and Worship: Revelation 4:8–11

 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

God’s Songs Of Praise

In Revelation 4:8 we hear the first of 20 hymns and songs of praise that are sung in the book of Revelation. In chapters 4 and 5 we have the first 5 hymns, sung to the Father as Creator and to the Son as Redeemer.

Jesus had John witness this and then send it to the persecuted churches of John’s time. This worship scene foretold in Revelation 4 and 5 meant that their own pain would be changed into praise.

The hymns or doxologies are sung like a concert, a concert that is so vast it will fill all of creation. The praise begins with the 4 Seraphim singing Holy, Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty. Notice what the Bible says about their praise, it is not just a song to God, but the giving of glory and honor and thanks to God.

When they finish, then the 24 elders, that represent us the children of God fall down before God and their song breaks forth. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for you have created all things and for thy pleasure they exist and were created.”

This concert of heaven begins in the 24 mouths of the four living creatures and then is taken up and amplified by the 24 elders around the throne. In chapter 5 it will be sung by both the elders and the living creatures and then by thousands and thousands of angels and finally by all of creation, All of heaven and earth lifting their voices in pure joyous, glorious, beautiful, perfect praise. (There will not be a missed note in all that vast univeral choir)

Illustration: Trip to Hear Messiah.

I know I’ve shared this story before but the first time I went to a performance of the Messiah one day with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Symphony. LeeOra and I were from a small mining town in Arizona and had never heard attended a symphony.  We had no idea what to expect, our collegd choir director told us to dress like we were going to church and that was about it. We got there and were enjoying the music and the singing. Then the symphony came to the movement called the Hallelujah Concert. And as the orchestra plays and the singers on the stage begin to sing, “For the Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” It very beautiful but then I see people start to stand up, at first I thought the concert was over and they were leaving, like people do during the credits of a movie. (I had been to a few movies before) All over the concert hall people are standing up but they aren’t leaving no they are singing along with the choir and lead singers on the stage. Oh goodness, no one told me it was a sing along. Luckily the words were pretty straitforward, it was pretty easy to remember, Hallelujah.

This standing was a tradition, legend says, started by the King of England when Handel first presented the symphony in London. When the King heard he stood in respect to the risen Lord. When the King stands then all those in attendance also had to stand. From that day on anytime the Messiah is performed and the Hallelujah chorus begins everyone stands and many times join in the singing. That first time we heard it, over 3000 people stood and began to sing. I had never been in a place able to hold 3000 people and I had never heard 3000 people sing praises to my Lord and Savior. Well quite literally, the hairs on my neck and arm stood up, my skin prickled and my tears began to fall. And as best we could we joined in the singing, Hallelujah. Hallelujah, Hallelujah! I remember thinking that was probably a very small sense of what this concert in the throne room of heaven will be would be like one day.

One day God’s children will fall down before the throne of God and will sing with the host of heaven, praising the One upon the throne and it will be the most beautiful concert that has ever been performed. All the music that has ever been played, all the symphonies that have ever been performed, every opera that has ever been sung will sound like the nursery rhymes in comparison.

And as we sing the song of the ages to God our creator, we will take our victor’s crowns and reverently and joyfully place them at the foot of the throne. Our crowns and praise are the only things worthy to be given to God, he praise or our lips and the service of our life laid at His feet. There is no other offering worthy of our God, just ourselves, and just our praise.


Because I’m His child, because I’ve accepted God’s gift of grace, through Jesus Christ sacrifice on the cross, because one day God will call all his family home, I’m going to be there. I’m going to hear that song. I’m going to be a part of that choir. I’m going to hear the Serphim start their song and then on cue, I’ll fall to my knees and praise my Creator. Then I will place my own victor’s crown, the sum total of my life’s work for my God and Savior, at the foot of the throne. There it will join the crowns of all the redeemed of all eternity cast at the feet of Him who is worthy.

Revelation 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Wouldn’t it be tragic to miss such a day? It would be eternally, the most regretful thing that could ever happen to a soul created by God, but who missed the summons of God to “Come up here” and hear, “I will show you great things.”

Don’t miss it, the invitation is open, the door is open and God, the Son and we the children of God are saying Come.