“A Horse with No Name”– But the Rider All Will Know! – Revelation 19 (Part Five)

Revelation 19:11 (Amplified Bible)

“I saw heaven opened,  and behold. a WHITE HORSE [appeared]!”

comingsoon

PALM SUNDAY is rapidly approaching and Christians all over the world will celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as played out in Matthew 21:1-11.

This moment was a joyous occasion: people gathered to cheer, threw down their robes in front of Jesus and the donkey He was riding, in show of honor.

“Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes

in the name of the Lord!”

It had to be a high point for the disciples with their time spent with Jesus.  No doubt, they had to be thinking,

 “This is it!  This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for.  The people are ready to make Jesus their King and we will reign and rule with Him!”

THE FIRST ENTRANCE –

Jesus rode into town as a suffering Savior, sent to redeem fallen man.  He rode in but carried a cross out.  He had a hero’s welcome, but died a criminals death.

But how many of you know that Jesus is going to ride again?  Not on a donkey as before, but on a White Horse with no name.

He will come in the clouds with glory as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords–not as “King for the day,” but as “King for all time and eternity.”

He’s coming on a WHITE HORSE, carrying a sword and a crown on His head and fire in His eyes.

The Next Time Jesus Rides…REVELATION 19:11-21 (NIV):

The scene portrayed in the following verses comes chronologically at the end of the Great Tribulation and the beginning of Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19:19).

The RAPTURE already has taken place and a great number of Tribulation saints (those who accept the Lord during the Tribulation) have gone to be with the Lord.

The Rider on the White Horse–

[11] I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.  [12] His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one but he himself knows.  [13] He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.  [14] The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.  [15] Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.  [16] On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

“KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”

[17] And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God,  [18] so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.”  [19] Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.  [20] But the best was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  [21] The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

HE WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT MANIFESTATION:

DEFINITION: manifestation= readily perceived by the senses and especially by sight; easily understood or recognized by the mind; obvious; making evident or certain by showing or displaying.

The next time JESUS rides, He comes in a different MANIFESTATION–Being a NEW REVELATION.  He’s going to be the same but He’s going to look different.  There will be no doubt about Who He is to all who see Him and know He is Lord.

Let me show you what I’m talking about by taking a look at the CONTRASTS; between JESUS’ FIRST RIDE on Palm Sunday, and “the next time” He rides:

The First Ride and The Next Time Ride Contrasts…

*In poverty, the son of a carpenter* – (poor by earthly standards) – the Son of the Living God.

*Simply Dressed* – the clothes of a “priestly robes, magnificent in splendor & beauty.  A robe dipped in blood, signifying that He gained His position and authority by the shedding of His own life’s blood.

*no crown* – a title with no crown…”on His head are many crowns”.  The only crown He would wear would be Multiple Crowns, signifying His ultimate Crown of Thorns being made authority over every king and kingdom.

*plain-looking* (Isaiah 53:2 (b)):

“…He has no form or comeliness, and no beauty that we should desire Him.”

The next time He rides…

“His eyes [blaze] like a flame of fire”; “on His head are many kingly crowns (diadems)”; that we should desire Him!

JESUS will look the part–everything a King should be and more!  POWERFUL is His appearance!

*eyes of compassion (forgiveness)* – Eyes like a blazing fire (judgment).

*riding on a lowly donkey* – Riding a magnificent White Horse.

*leader with a “rag-tag” following* – ULTIMATE LEADER–supreme; no army.  Surrounded by an average commander of the host of heaven’s men.

“My kingdom is not of this world” – “Mighty is His name”

THE NEXT TIME JESUS RIDES…

He’ll be everything the Jews always wanted Him to be, and more!  But this time…they’ll wish they never seen Him.

This MANIFESTATION, this look at JESUS is one that those in opposition to Him will look at and tremble.

The simple carpenter’s son is coming back…

And the next time He rides, He’ll be riding as “King of Kings, Lord of Lords.”  Every eye will see Him!  They’ll know in an instant, “HE IS THE LORD.”

One of these days, He’s going to ride again.  Will you be with Him, or left behind?

There’s Going to be NEW RULES

The next time around, JESUS is going to ACT DIFFERENT than before; a DIFFERENT WAY of doing things; CONTRASTS:

*came in humility as a servant* – Will come again with POWER & AUTHORITY.

He said things like, “He who would only be great must be a servant of all.”  

But the next time He rides, He will come “with a sharp sword coming out of His mouth”

*gave us all a chance* – This time…your chances will be all over.

“Today is the day of SALVATION”; “the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.”

BUT THE NEXT TIME Jesus rides onto the scene He’s going to mean business!

Some people have the false impression that God has gone soft on sin.  Those people are in for a rude awakening when the King comes riding on His white horse at the end of the age.

No more second chances granted.  

From the CROSS, the Son of God cried out, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  

BUT, this time when He comes, the time for forgiveness will be no more.

THE NEXT TIME JESUS MOUNTS THE HORSE WITH “NO NAME”…

— HE’S GOING TO LOOK DIFFERENT & ACT DIFFERENT THAN HIS FIRST RIDE–

— SEE HIM WITH A DIFFERENT MANIFESTATION, DIFFERENT METHODS–

— THE WORLD WILL SEE A NEW REVELATION, NEW RULES–

Whose side are you on today?

The Rider Will Have a Different Mission the Next Time…

“He who will ride upon the white horse will come, and when He does, there will be NEW RESULTS.”  [See Footnote [i] }

NEW RESULTS: JESUS is going to LEAD DIFFERENT than the first ride–

When Jesus entered the scene the first time, He continually frustrated those who knew Him best and because they knew He had all the POWER–didn’t use it in the way they felt He should in overthrowing the Roman government and set up a new throne establishing a kingdom that would never end.

They didn’t understand His first mission and wanted Him to do ‘the next time ride’ at the first time He rode.  HE COULDN’T…HE WOULDN’T.

He was a man on a mission.

One that He and His Father had been planning since the foundation of the world.

Again, lets compare the differences of the FIRST RIDE and Jesus’ ride the next time:

*to redeem – His MISSION STATEMENT*  Isaiah says, “And He shall seek and to save that which is lost.”

The next ride, “The Son of Man comes to reign forever and ever…”  (Daniel 7:14; Luke 1:33).

*to die* – He died but death could not hold Him!

The next time…

“And the Ever-living One [I am living in the eternity of the eternities].  I died, but see, I am alive forevermore; and I possess the keys of death and Hades [the realm of the dead]”  (Revelation 1:18 AMP).

*to a CROSS – Gave up His glory* – To a kingdom, to the living He “humbled Himself on a cross”.

The next time… 

He shall reign forever and ever”; “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.”  

“He will reign on David’s throne and over His Kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” (Isaiah 9:7; Hebrews 1:8).

The first time He rode,  

*He rode alone–it was a solo act*  It was something only He could do.

The Next time He Rides…we’ll be riding with Him!  

The armies of heaven are following, riding on white horses, dressed in fine linen white and clean (Revelation 19:14).

THE FIRST TIME JESUS RODE, the disciples and those who were following Him, walked along behind Him.

The next time Jesus rides, we’ll be riding with Him as part of the army of heaven!

There’s only one way to enlist in that army…

#1.  Accepting the shed blood of the loving Savior.

You can’t PARTICIPATE in Jesus’ second MISSION while refusing to accept what He did on His first mission on Calvary’s Hill.

You can’t REIGN with Him if you don’t let your sins die with Him right now!

You won’t RIDE with Him in the future, if you haven’t bowed your knee to Him in the present.

ARE YOU READY TO RIDE?

JESUS is going to ride again with a…

DIFFERENT MANIFESTATION,

DIFFERENT METHODS,

DIFFERENT MISSION,

When He comes on a “WHITE HORSE” (with no name)…in the clouds.  The WORLD will see a NEW REVELATION of Jesus, with NEW RULES, and NEW RESULTS.

Rev 19.11 Rider on the White Horse David Miles 500W

So if this were your last opportunity, would you be ready to meet the Lord?

The KING IS COMING!  Which side will you be on the next time JESUS RIDES?

PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS:

PART SIX, the last in this series on The REVELATION TO JOHN–“Shall We Gather At The River”

 


FOOTNOTES and CREDITS:

“A Horse with No Name” was taken from the 1971 song written by David Bunnell and originally recorded by the band America. In no way do the lyrics of the song apply to this blog.

Footnote [i]: Wayde Wilson Sermon Notes March, 1999.

Photo Credits: Google Images.

“RAPTURE READY!” – Part Four of the REVELATION TO JOHN

Revelation 14:9-11 (NIV Bible):

[9] A third angel followed and said in a loud voice:  “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand,  [10] he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath.  He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.  [11] And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever.  There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”

Now I’m no great Bible Scholar, I haven’t studied at any Bible College or Seminary, and I make no claims to know all there is to know about the prophecies of REVELATION.  I intentionally skipped through the chapters (5-13), bypassing debate on the hidden prophetic gems, but encourage you to read and jot down your own notes and detective investigation.

That being said, I don’t believe that anyone, no matter how many degrees they may have earned from educational institutions, could say they fully understand it all either.

There are some things in God’s Word that He has not revealed with sufficient detail for us to know all about it.  We only need to know what He says will happen.

We need to know that no man can alter the plan of God.  And most of all, we need to know that we must be ready for the coming of the Lord can happen at any moment!

JESUS said in Luke 12:40,  “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour and a moment when you do not anticipate it”  (AMP).

THE MARK OF THE BEAST–Mark-Of-The-Beast-No-Man-Can-Buy-Or-Sell

One matter of prophecy that has always been a source of ‘head scratching’, a puzzlement is how much guesswork by everyone who takes the Bible literally the Mark of the Beast.

We all want to know, “What is that Mark”,  “When will it be given” and “How can I keep from receiving it, even by accident?”

There is a great passage of Scripture that most of us have all read many times.  I get a thrill reading it every time: The Book of First Thessalonians, Chapter 4.  Every time the image crosses my thoughts, I silently pray,

“Lord, help me to be ready when this day comes!”

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NIV):

According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Of course we all refer to the fulfillment of this prophecy as the “RAPTURE of the Church”–“The Blessed Hope.”

Although the word “Rapture” is never found in Scripture, but the event describes a “catching away” or “caught up” and that’s what “Rapture” means.

THREE MAJOR SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT OF THE COMING“TRIBULATION”–

I am not going into explaining all the details in this POST, but I will give you a list that most are familiar with:

#1.  PRE-TRIBULATION BELIEVERS:  The RAPTURE or “catching away” of the Church must take place BEFORE the Antichrist is revealed.

#2.  MID-TRIBULATION BELIEVERS:  “Rapture” won’t come until midway point of the Tribulation period.

#3.  Those who don’t believe in the RAPTURE at all.  They are convinced that believers will continue on through the Tribulation, and those who survive will just walk into the New Jerusalem joining all who have died in the past.

What do I believe?

My decision is believing that the “Rapture” must take place before the Antichrist can rise to power; before the beginning of the Tribulation.  In all my Bible studies, I’ve never seen one time where the Church (BELIEVERS) is subject to God’s judgment and wrath as it is poured out in the earth.

I could give you a lot of bible verses to support my position on the “Rapture,” but my point in this study is NOT to convince you of my point of view.  My point is that JESUS is coming soon and we need to see the SIGNS of His coming and make ourselves ready.

If you want one bible passage that points to the “Pre-Trib” Rapture, this is one of them. 

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (Amplified):

[7] For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, [but it is] restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way.  [8] And then the lawless one (the antichrist)  will be revealed and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and bring him to an end by His appearing at His coming. [Isa. 11:4]  [9] The coming  [of the lawless one, the antichrist] is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of [pretended] miracles and signs and delusive marvels–[all of them lying wonders–  [10] And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved.  [11] Therefore God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false,  [12] In order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe in [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely on] the Truth, but [instead] took pleasure in unrighteousness.”

The Antichrist will rise to POWER after the RAPTURE of the church–

He cannot be revealed as the Antichrist while the church is here; for we have the power of prayer, the anointing of the Holy Spirit. the power to bind him in the earth and…to limit his power through the Blood of Jesus Christ.

So it is impossible for the devil to take control of this world completely until that POWER (indwelling Holy Spirit) that limits him is removed.  Only then can he rise and become the world’s greatest dictator.

The Antichrist’s Rising…

__7219440After the Antichrist rises to power, one of the things he does is to implement a method of complete control over every man, woman and child on the face of the earth.

His whole purpose is to force every living person to worship and serve him, he’ll use the MARK to track them and control their every move.

Revelation 13:16-18 (AMP):

[16] Also he compels all [alike], both small and great, both the rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked with an inscription [stamped] on their right hands or on their foreheads,  [17] So that no one will have power to buy or sell unless he bears the stamp (mark, inscription),  [that is] the name of the beast or the number of his name.  [18] Here is [room for] discernment [a call for the wisdom of interpretation].  Let anyone who has intelligence (penetration and insight enough) calculate the number of the beast, for it is a human number [the number of a certain man]; his number is 666.

Now, if you believe that the RAPTURE of the church must come before the Tribulation begins when the Antichrist is revealed, then you don’t have to worry about the Mark of the Beast.  The MARK isn’t even given till halfway into the Tribulation when we will be in heaven.

If you want to believe the RAPTURE will come at the halfway point, or that there will be no RAPTURE at all, I can understand your concern of the Mark of the Beast and why you might worry.

I can tell you this.  If you are truly BORN AGAIN, your heart is right with God, and you are washed in the Blood of the Lamb and you are staying faithful to call of God on your life, then you can never take the MARK, not even by accident.  So don’t be concerned about what the world is doing that might look like it’s creating a way for the Mark of the Beast can be given.

Everything you see, pointing toward the day when the “MARK” will be given, is nothing more than God’s hand, working in the minds of men, bringing the technology and the methods by which the Antichrist is able to fulfill the plan of God–the Antichrist and Satan’s downfall and defeat.

There’s More Than One Sign…

There was an article that I read recently that impressed upon me just how close we are in coming to the RAPTURE; of the church and the revealing of the Antichrist during the Tribulation.  I want to share part of the article for you to see one way that this MARK of the Beast could be given.  [See Footnote [i] for reference]

Some Swedish workers can now enter their building without a key, make purchases at the office cafe with a sans card–with a chip implanted in their hand, the BBC reports.

Epicenter, a new Swedish office block, is offering employees a miniscule RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip, providing various access.

Not all are accepting it, but its been offered to some 400 workers…”We already interact with technology all the time.  Today it’s a bit messy–we need pin codes and passwords.  Wouldn’t it be easy to just touch with your hand?  That’s really intuitive.”

What will the “MARK” be?

— Will  it be a CHIP implanted either voluntarily or forcibly?

— Will it be a STAMP of invisible ink on the hand or the forehead?

— Will it be some other technology we haven’t even seen yet?

— Will it be a DNA reader that tracks your DNA by simply touching a screen?

— Will it be a GPS that tracks your location?

—  A satellite that can read the magnetic strips on a credit card, or some new invention?

I believe that the “MARK of the Beast” will be a literal mark, but I also believe that people will take it willingly if that day should come for you.

You will take it willingly because you will know the difference between life and death and…you won’t want to die!  You will willingly take that “MARK” to live in this world but when you take it, you will forfeit your inheritance–your promised eternal life–choosing to die.

“WHY WORRY ABOUT THE MARK OF THE BEAST IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO?”

Here’s the point of this particular blog-study I’m revealing to you:

You can accept JESUS as LORD right where you are when the RAPTURE comes and go to be with Him and all of us who are ready before the Antichrist is revealed.  You won’t be here on earth for the Mark of the Beast.  You’ll be in Heaven, having the time of your life, praising the Lord Almighty and enjoying all His benefits.

It’s Your Choice…

You can choose to reject Jesus and face the day where you will have to take that MARK, being eternally lost.  Or, you choose to accept JESUS now and live for Him, never seeing that MARK, nor will you ever die spiritually.  Jesus will give you eternal life.

Are you ready for the Rapture?  Will you come to Jesus?

The questions are far more important than “What will the Mark of the Beast be?

sbanner

 


 

Footnotes, Photo and Bible Reference Credits:

Footnote [i] – USA TODAY story Feb. 2, 2014 by Neal Colgrass Newser staff.

Photos:  GOOGLE IMAGES, Mark of The Beast images

Bible Credits:  Verses quoted from the New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP).

The Door Is Opened With A Glimpse of Heaven – Part Three

The TEXT for PART THREE:  Read Revelation 4:1-11

“AN OPEN DOOR” – Revelation 3:20:

JESUS speaking,  [20]  “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.”

The conversation continues, but with John speaking – Revelation 4:1:

AFTER THIS I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven!  And the first voice which I had heard addressing me like [the calling of] a war trumpet said,  “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place in the future.” (Amplified)

ENTERING THE THRONE ROOM –

Picture-Of-GOD-On-Throne-In-Heaven-Bible-Verse-Revelation-4-2-3-HD-Wallpaper-1024x656

 

Understanding Spiritual Things…

People today have an unprecedented longing to understand spiritual things by going to “mediums” or spiritualists and paying thousands of dollars in attempting to touch the supernatural.

Despite all these claims of going to heaven and the Lord, the person returning with a message from “God” are in contrast with REVELATION 4 and the rest of the Scriptures depicting the THRONE OF GOD.

To claim that someone has gone to see “God” in His highest heaven is not only wrong, unscriptural–NO ONE has seen God at anytime, even those who saw the THRONE ROOM.  They didn’t see GOD in His full glory!

That said, I do believe people can have visions and dreams that should be tested purely with Scripture and not with our own reasoning, or logic, but solely based on the Word of God.

CHAPTER 4 Looking Through the OPEN DOOR…

Past What Was Said In the Letters to the Churches:

The Apostle John’s writing style spins the story ever wider and wider until you get a full picture of what he sees.  He does this throughout his Epistles, and Gospel, and now in this letter of Prophecy as well.  It is so the reader, you and I, can have no disagreement who JESUS is in the midst of our own lives.

THE PURPOSE OF REVELATION…as we find ourselves drawing closer to JESUS…we’re not afraid of the images and symbolism portrayed on the pages in the upcoming chapters.  Sure, the events are unnerving at times, even scary, but “the FEAR of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; Psalm 111:10). 

Drawing near to JESUS during our study is the objective, NOT CLOSER to what you want, but closer to who He is!

REVELATION 4 & 5 

In chapters 4 and 5 are found the greatest descriptions of HEAVEN in the whole Bible.  G.K. Beale, one commentator’s scholarly opinion said,

“The main point of chapters 4-5 is God’s punitive and redemptive purpose for the world beginning to be accomplished through the death and resurrection of Christ, through whose reign God’s purpose for creation will be consummately executed and divine glory accomplished.  The pastoral purpose is to assure suffering Christians that God and Jesus are sovereign and that the events that the Christians are facing are part of a sovereign plan that will culminate in their redemption and the vindication of their persecution.”  [See Footnote [i] ]

Our First Glimpse Into the THRONE ROOM – Revelation 4:1:

The Lord specifically commanded John “to come up here,” which refers to heaven.  This is in contrast to the “so-called” visions that people have had today in being transported to heaven.  Scripture clearly teaches, only two human beings have been to heaven while here on earth, the Apostles John and Paul in the third heaven and live to continue their life on earth.

Some may see this “coming up” to refer to THE RAPTURE of the church, however, this verse doesn’t describe the church ascending to heaven in resurrected glorification, but John going to heaven to receive glorification.

Who IS on the THRONE?

John plainly tells us who’s ON THE THRONE–

What is going on around the throne–

What comes from the throne–

What stands before the throne–

Who is in the center and around the throne and…

What is directed toward the throne.

Verse 4:2 Amplified Bible:

At once I came under the [Holy] Spirit’s power, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne! [Ezek. 1:26 for reference].

Four times in the Book of REVELATION, John says he was “in the Spirit” [1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10].

“AT ONCE I CAME UNDER THE [HOLY] SPIRIT…” means, he was immediately transported from where he was to where he finds himself, at the THRONE in heaven.

This means he stood face to face right in the middle of the throne room, right where our Lord and Savior dwells and someone is sitting on it.

THRONE=Rule and Authority

The THRONE is a symbol of God’s sovereign rule and authority [Psalm 11:4; 103:10 and Isaiah 66:1].  

The use of the THRONE here, emphasizes that although God’s realm is separate from the earthly, He is nevertheless in control over earth’s affairs.  Regardless of the circumstances of how rampant evil seems to run causing God’s people to suffer, they can know that His hand controls everything for their good and His glory.

The Picture Revealed in REVELATION 4:3 NIV:

“And the one who sat there had the appearance of JASPER and CARNELIAN.  A RAINBOW, resembling an EMERALD, encircled the throne.”

GOD SITTING on His throne is in contrast to the posture of REST displayed by Christ (Hebrews 1:3; 10:12; 12:2)–the act of Jesus sitting initiates, while the work of redemption has accomplished judgement and is about to take place.

GEMSTONES and the RAINBOW Significance–

“JASPER”

"CLEAR" JASPER/QUARTZ
“CLEAR” JASPER/QUARTZ

John’s description of He Who is sitting on the throne–as being as brilliant as GEMSTONES–JASPER as clear, because Jasper is used first in the list.  

This is KEY in understanding the importance, because JASPER stone is used in Revelation 21:11 describing the latter-day city as the GLORY OF GOD–JASPER STONE, shining like crystal and reflecting the “unapproachable light”; hence the GLORY surrounding God Himself with light.                (1 Timothy 6:16; Psalm 104:2)

“SARDIS” or “CARNELIAN”

SARDIS, from which the city got its name, is a fiery-ruby red color.  The gemstone expresses the shining beauty of God’s glory, and it may also symbolize God’s blazing wrath about to be poured out on the sinful rebellious world (Chapters 6-19). 

“A RAINBOW”

The RAINBOW is significant and demonstrates God’s serious in showing His mercy, despite the fact the great judgment is rapidly approaching.  This MERCY is undeserved and unmerited on His part, but shows further, how serious He is for us.

The PRECIOUS STONES surrounding the THRONE with the RAINBOW is the initial hint; not only that this vision eventually will issue a NEW CREATION, but it already portrays the beginning of the new creation in heaven: Precious Stone in Revelation 21:10-11, 18-23.  All are part of a depiction, “A RAINBOW” in the first revelation in Genesis of a new creation that emerged after the Noahic flood.

24 THRONES – Revelation 4:4

“Twenty-four other thrones surrounded the throne, and seated on these thrones were twenty-four elders, arrayed in white clothing, with crowns of gold upon their heads.”

WHO ARE THE “ELDERS”?

They are 12 Tribes from Israel in the Old Testament and 12 Apostles in the New Testament.

In this VISION, collectively, probably represents… ALL the REDEEMED of God for ALL time (both before and after Jesus’ death and resurrection).

They represent all those–both Jews and Gentiles–who are now part of God’s family.  The TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS shows all the redeemed of the Lord worshipping Him.

The fact they were clothed in WHITE is also symbolic:  Symbolizes Christ’s given righteousness to believers at SALVATION.

Also, the number 24 in Scripture is used to speak of completion and representation.

REVELATION 4:5 (NIV):

“From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.”

SCRIPTURE and the phrasing in it, without a doubt, identifies God as the source of the later judgments to take place.  This means those who suffer for their FAITH can be rest assured, that those who deal out the punishment here on earth, God has not forgotten them.  He will surely JUDGE them with fire (19:20; 20:9-10; 21:8). 

In Revelation, LIGHTNING and THUNDER are connected with significant events in heaven.  They remind us of the lightning and thunder at Mount Sinai, where God gave the people His Law (Exodus 19:16).

Also, His POWER and MAJESTY are reflected (Psalm 77:18).

The “seven spirits” = another name for the Holy Spirit.

REVELATION 4:6 (NIV):  

At the FRONT of the THRONE–

“Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.”

At the front of the throne is where John finds himself.  A front row seat with no one blocking the view.

The “SEA” is metaphorical since there is no Sea in heaven.

John saw at the base of the THRONE was a vast pavement of glass, shinning brilliantly like sparkling crystal.

REVELATION 4:7 (Amplified Bible):

Four Living Creatures
Four Living Creatures

“The first living creature (being) was like a LION, the second living creature was an OX, the third living creature had the face of a MAN, and the fourth living creature [was] like a flying EAGLE.”

The descriptions view the four CHERUBIM (“four creatures”) in relation to the created world–

THE LION= Strength.

THE OX= Domestic animals.

MAN= The height of creation.

THE EAGLE= Flying creatures.

Symbolically…the LION represents strength; the OX, is service; the MAN, reason and the EAGLE, speed.

REVELATION 4:8 (NIV): 

The FOUR LIVING CREATURES never stopped saying…

“Holy, holy, holy–

is the Lord God Almighty,

who was, and is, and is to come.”

The repetition of holy, holy, represents God’s attitudes.  And it’s at the core of who God is… is His HOLINESS!

HOLINESS is the essence of Who God is–

The theme of God’s holiness, as been displayed in Revelation 4, and is the PRAISE for God’s HOLINESS specifically demonstrated through His JUDGMENT.

Being HOLY, God hates sin and pours out His wrath on it.

The Lord Almighty…

The three words above is a distinction of who He is.  It shows His…POWER, STRENGTH, HIS UNCHANGING CHARACTER, HIS CONQUERING POWER.

Because God IS ALMIGHTY, He effortlessly does whatever His Holy Will purposes to do.

— WHO ALWAYS… was described that He was before time…

— WHO IS…describing that He exists outside of time and out of our understanding.

— WHO IS…still to come; describes the reference to the fact that He is coming again for His people.

GOD IS TO BE GLORIFIED – Revelation 4:9-11 (NIV):

[9] Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and Who lives for ever and ever, [10] the twenty-four elders fall down before Him Who sits on the throne, and worship Him Who lives for ever and ever.  They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

[11] “You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for You created all things,

and by Your will they were created and have their being.”

These hymns direct us to the main point of the VISION and the whole of Chapter 4: God is to be GLORIFIED because of His Holiness and Sovereignty.

The bowing down of the elders is significant by the manner in the way they addressed the One on the throne.  And that is significant for us, because they understand that it was not them worshipping them, but the One Who deserved the worship.

The TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS specifically represent the purpose of the redeemed humanity, which is to PRAISE and GLORIFY God, and this purpose is actually carried out not only by them in heaven, but also by the true community of FAITH on earth.

The BASIS OF FAITH is two-fold:  

One, God’s creation is based solely on His will and proceeds from it–and two, God’s POWER is revealed through creation, as demonstrated by the PRAISING recognition of His created beings.

The verses signify once again, depicting ALL that is going to happen in the coming future, and that He is absolutely HOLY; we can WORSHIP Him because He knows all that is going to happen.  As He is under control, we can worship Him in the “right now” as the result of knowing this.

In this case then, express who you are, to Who He is and allow Who He is to radiate who you are.  He created everything for His divine pleasures and that includes you reading this.

This glimpse of HEAVEN should remind all of us today, that ultimately, everything in this life is fleeting away.  But, in pursuit, we come to know that life is everlasting.

*Part Four to follow next week in Revelation Chapter 14:  “Rapture Ready”


 Footnotes, Credits, and Photos:

Footnote [i] – Exposition of Revelation (MP3 Series) by G. K. Beale at http://www.monergism.com

Photo Credits:  “JASPER” the revelation painting journals wordpress.com/; Revelation 4:2-3 God’s Throne Room courtesy of http://www.neverthirsty.org. ; Four Living Creatures, Google IMAGES.

Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Opportunities Knocking At Your Door – Part Two

PART TWO in the series in THE REVELATION TO JOHN — Chapter 3:

TRIVIA QUIZ:

Grab a church friend, your spouse, a bible study partner and each one take out a piece of paper writing down your answers.

FIRST QUESTION:  HOW MANY DOORS are there in your church’s sanctuary?  

Just take a wild guess and write the number down.  You can get the actual count later.

Second, how many doors are there in the entire church?  Put down a number.

Okay, exchange your papers with the person who took the same quiz.  Just kidding–you can mark your own.  Now how did you come up with your answer?

I’ve been told people, who get bored during their pastor’s message, count just about anything & everything–how many doors?; how many chairs?; how many lights?; you name it.  I’ve often myself, looked up at the wood-planked ceiling where I usually sit,  staring at what looks like the face of Jesus embedded in the grain patterns.  I think you get the idea.

My PURPOSE for the “trivia quiz”–was only that you be aware of what’s around you–the OPPORTUNITIES already granted to us by Jesus; yet we fail to follow through by not being aware of any doors at all.

DID YOU KNOW THAT A LOT OF DOORS ARE MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE?

Both the Old and New Testament mention “doors”–often with different meanings.

DOOR=INTIMACY

REVELATION 3:20:

“Here I am! I stand at the DOOR and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with Me.”

We usually apply this passage in an evangelistic sense. and yet it was written to a church of believers.

THE ILLUSTRATION:  The willingness of Jesus to pursue believers who have grown cold in their relationship with Him.  The imagery is Jesus knocking at the DOOR of a church–maybe your church–waiting for the church to reopen that DOOR so that a vital relationship can be re-established.

Another type of door mentioned in Scripture.

DOOR=SALVATION

JOHN 10:9:

“I am the DOOR; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live).  He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture.”

JESUS was teaching the remarkable TRUTH for all to see:  He is the only way to SALVATION.  Inside that DOOR, that GATE, there is safety and everything we need.

There’s a THIRD type of door to mention.

DOOR=OPPORTUNITY

I was reading a prayer request from a gentleman who was unemployed.  The bank creditor was making demands, and almost simultaneously, been turned down after a seemingly good employer interview.  He explained: “I won’t give up knocking on the doors, but I’m tired of waiting in the hallway of opportunity.”

The apostle Paul says in a letter to the church at Colossae:

“Pray for us, too, that God may open a DOOR for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains”  (Colossians 4:3).

The DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY refers to the way that God gives opportunities, even when we are waiting in the hallway. Opportunities to preach the gospel; how He prepares willing ears to listen and eager hearts to receive it.

THE SIXTH OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES–Philadelphia – Revelation 3:7-8:

Other than its geographical location, this particular church is more than just a gateway to the East or a fertile valley, but also an “open door of opportunity”–spiritually speaking.

*NOTE:  [Be sure to READ Revelation 3:7-13].

In Philadelphia, there was a small bunch of Christians faithful to the task.  Neither large in number, powerful or influential, but they were significant to Christ Jesus, Who takes the time to write them a letter.

CHRIST=THE LETTER

Jesus introduces Himself with terms which are relevant to the audience:

1.  He says He is Holy–

HOLY=morally perfect without flaw or blemish.

HOLINESS is an important attribute of God.

HE IS TRUE=the One behind everything, the One Who is wholly trustworthy and reliable.

JESUS holds the KEY OF DAVID= ___

This is an interesting description in which I found reference to the Old Covenant–Isaiah 22:

THE PROPHET ISAIAH in this story, condemns the city of Jerusalem.  

The people had just been DELIVERED from their enemies camped outside the city; but they showed no gratitude in the divine rescue.  The charge lain before them, they were self-sufficient, trusting in their own efforts.

He then turns to Shebna, the chief steward of Jerusalem, who was guilty of a similar sin as the city residents itself.  He was guilty of seeing himself as indispensable, a “STRONG MAN” (Amplified Bible); a “MIGHTY MAN” (Verse 17, NIV translation).  He apparently paraded himself through the streets in a mighty chariot and prepared for himself a splendid grave.  As a result of his unfaithful service, he was replaced by Eliakim.

The Significance of the IMAGE portrayed…

The CHIEF STEWARD of the city held the KEYS!

KEYS OF DAVID= This was the MASTER KEY, not only to the city, but to the palace.

He was second only to his king and controlled who could come and go–who had access to the king and who didn’t have access.

He was the one who opened the DOORS and shut the other DOORS  (Isaiah 22:20-23).

The IMAGE Continues in REVELATION 3:7-8:

An Open Opportunity
An Open Opportunity

[7]  “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:  These are the words of Him Who is holy and true, Who holds the KEY OF DAVID.  What He opens, no one can shut; and what He shuts, no one can open.”

[8]  “I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an OPEN DOOR that no one can shut.  I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept My word and have not denied My name.”

*[I capitalized words for emphasis to this blog.]

2.  JESUS is here claiming to be the NEW ELIAKIM–the One Who holds the PALACE KEY, not an earthly door, though, it was heaven’s DOOR.

Christ Jesus opens and closes the DOOR and allows people to enter the kingdom–He is in control of the OPPORTUNITIES which we have and no OPPORTUNITY is not appointed but by Him!

The Church’s Position-

Philadelphia was a BLESSED city, living in the “Land of Opportunity,”  BUT…why were they so BLESSED?  Wouldn’t you want to know why a church in your community was so BLESSED?  And yet, Christians tend to be more interested why a church in the town is so UN-BLESSED!

Revelation 3:8 NIV:

“I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.  I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

The NIV translation here is a bit wrong in my opinion.  The Greek reads like this:

“I know your works.  Behold I have set before you a door that is open, and no one is able to shut it because you have little power; have kept My word and have not denied My name.”  *[See Footnote [ii] ]*

JESUS gives us THREE REASONS for Taking OPPORTUNITIES:

1. WEAKNESS –

This was a small church without prestige in the surrounding community.  If you are attending a small church or have attended a small church, you might get the idea here.

It regularly got beaten up by the local Jews (the RELIGIOUS ) who condemned them.  Their doctrine sure didn’t agree with theirs.  But because it was weak, they RELIED ON GOD; they knew whose work it was and didn’t try to seize His authority.

Perhaps a lesson for all of us fiercely independent people.

2. WORDLY –

No, I didn’t forget the “L” between the “R” and the “D”.  Yes it is a word and if it isn’t, it should be.

The church members were CONSUMED by the WORD.  Keeping God’s WORD  meant that they knew God’s Word and… we could likely conclude, therefore, they spent time studying God’s Word.

Are we “WORDLY” or are we “WORLDLY” in our focus?

3. WAVERING-not –

Here was a church, who no matter what they were faced with, refused to give up on their FAITH.  The ridicule, the peer pressure, the opposition, persecution did not make them WAVER.

They were FAITHFUL while waiting in the hallway praising God to the end.

The 3 W’s — WEAK, WORDLY and WAVERING NOT…

These THREE WORDS were the reasons given for the open door–the OPPORTUNITY to preach the gospel to their neighbors, their friends, to people passing through the city–or even waiting in the same hallways.

DIFFICULTIES & OPPORTUNITIES:

We can be surrounded by trial, bother, inconvenience, pain…and may in fact, be surrounded by many opportunities.

Christ recognized that often OPPORTUNITY & OPPOSITION go hand in hand and gave the church in Philadelphia…

4 specific words, PROMISES of COMFORT: 

1.  PROMISE TO HUMBLE THEIR ENEMIES.

How do you HUMBLE anyone, much less your enemies?

[9]  “I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars–I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”

JESUS promised the believers that not only would He humble their opposition, but He would open their eyes to the TRUTH!

Now there was an OPEN DOOR of OPPORTUNITY!

God isn’t pleased by outward rituals but PLEASED by inward attitudes.

2.  PROMISE TO KEEP THEM FROM THE HOUR OF MAXIMUM TRIALS.

[10]  “Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance [have held fast the lesson of My patience with the expectant endurance that I give you], I also will keep you [safe] from the hour of trial  (testing) which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth”  (Amplified Bible).

A couple of things to take note here.  The coming TRIBULATION period is going to be GLOBAL in nature–come on the whole world.

Also, to TEST those who live on earth; not just talking about Christians in the church here.

This phrase is repeated several times through the Book and refers to believers and unbelievers alike.

3.  THE PROMISE OF STRENGTH AND SECURITY.

[11]  “I am coming soon.  Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  [12]  Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from My God; and I will also write in him My new name.” 

new-jerusalem2
THE NEW JERUSALEM

 (See Revelation 21-22)

 The Two Great Pillars of the City…

The Jerusalem temple was destroyed in 70 AD where TWO GREAT PILLARS stood.  One of the pillars was called Jachin (which means “established, permanent”), and the other Boaz (“strength”).  with that in mind, another PROMISE is given.

Christ PROMISES the believers, the “overcomers” in verse 12, by using the image of the “pillars” that He will set His believers up in such a SECURE fashion that can never be removed.

“Never again will he leave it”  

Jesus was simply saying, no matter what’s going on around you…what’s in the news headlines, when you labor for Me, you will reach a place where you will not have to leave ever again.  It is a picture of SECURITY, PERMANENCE and STRENGTH.

4.  THE PROMISE OF A “NEW NAME”

I often wondered in growing up as a child, why my parents couldn’t come up with a better name for their first child, other than the name MELVIN.  I was teased almost every day, even as a teenager.  The comedian, Jerry Lewis would use the name on the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis TV show every week:  “MEL-V-I-N!” .  Someone must have protested to the show’s writers, for on one occasion, Mr. Lewis said that there was a U.S. Navy Ship with the name: USS MELVIN.  I would then make use that information as a “come back” when teased later.

Christ promises a NEW NAME which is represented by our character.  If… we OVERCOME, we will be given three names:

1.  The NAME of God shows we will be godly.

This is the PURPOSE of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our lives.

2.  The NAME of The City of God.

The last 2 Chapters in Revelation–the New Jerusalem being the bride being prepared for her husband, JESUS.  This new name speaks of the loving intimacy Christ has for His FAITHFUL.

3.  Given a NEW NAME that no one knows.

Names in the Bible symbolize one’s CHARACTER or role.

Before JESUS was born in Bethlehem, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him that Mary would have a son, who was to be called “JESUS”.  Why?  “Because He will save His people from their sins.”

When we get to heaven, each one of us will have a new ministry, a new area of service, and come with a NEW NAME symbolic of this new ministry.

PROMISES THAT ARE AVAILABLE IF…

The promises listed in this study were available to the church in Philadelphia and also available to us–IF…we are FAITHFUL; taking the opportunities JESUS sets before us in the meantime.

Perhaps JESUS has an OPEN DOOR for you right now.  Do you have the FAITH in Him to step through it?

[13}  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

[PART THREE TO FOLLOW – “Entering the Throne Room”]

 


 Photo Credits:

Photo – Heaven Images 123rf.com/stock-photo/heaven.

NEW JERUSALEM IMAGE:  Google Search – New Jerusalem images.

Bible Translations:

NIV (New International Version); AMP (Amplified Version).

Footnotes:

[i] – The Little Church that Tried @ Ray Stedman.org.

[ii] – Bible Hub – Rev. 3:8; INTERLINEAR.