Part 3 – The Presence of God
The past week we concluded our series entitled "Behold", where we wanted to see God as he is revealed in scripture. This week we found ourselves in Revelation 4, or the Throne Room of Heaven.
The Apostle John ascended into heaven, whether physically or spiritually we do not know, God does. (2 cor. 12:2-3) But John is invited to step into the presence of God through a Door, and considering the symbolic nature of Revelation, it would be fitting to relate the door to Jesus himself (John 10:9).
This invitation through a door is symbolic of the exclusive nature of the Gospel. That entrance into the presence of God is exclusively through Jesus Christ, there is no other way.
John then sees one seated on a Throne, and the throne is an ancient symbol of Royalty, Power, and Dominion. And it's the one seated on the throne that is the center of the Book. The LORD himself is the author, sustainer, and finisher of salvation and history. We ought to remember that the one on the Throne is the central figure of Revelation, all other creatures are in supporting roles.
Around the throne there were 3 things that John saw.
I think that these 24 elders symbolize the whole of God's people, both old covenant and new covenant saints. And we get a hint as to why that is in Revelation 21.
12 Tribes of Israel- Rev. 21:12
12 Apostles - Rev. 21:14
It's noteworthy to see that all of God's people worship the one on the Throne. He is their delight.
Sea of glass
This is also what we saw in Ezekiel 1, but is described as an "expanse". But we see this reference as something that resembles water. And it is recalled again in Revelation 15:2, where the image used is recalling the Parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh and his army.
Which was the great foreshadowing event of Jesus overcoming all evil through his burial and resurrection.
We covered these creatures when they were present in the vision of Ezekiel.
Each of these living creatures represent the best in all creation, and although we may admire and be fascinated by capabilities, skills, and strengths that God has endowed animals or fellow human beings with, HOW MUCH MORE AWESOME IS GOD HIMSELF?!
From Revelation 4, and the scene around the throne we drew practical applications.
To Step into the Presence of God results in Humility NOT HUMILIATION.
All of which come from a place where one person is trying to gain power or influence over another, BUT OUR GOD HAS POWER, AUTHORITY, DOMINION FOREVER AND EVER, so he doesn't need to degrade in order to validate or prove his perfect-ness or Glory.