Revelation Chapter 4

September 18, 2014

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on Revelation. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

If you hold to the futurist view the rapture takes place at this time because the “church” is not mentioned again until Chapter 19.

The rapture is when Jesus returns to remove the church from the earth.

Rapture is a term in which refers to the “being caught up” discussed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NIV)
13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 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. 16 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. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

And in 1 Corinthians 15:50-54:

1 Corinthians 15:50-54 (NIV)
50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

Believers who have died will have their bodies resurrected and, along with believers who are still living, will meet the Lord in the air.

The rapture is a different event than the Second Coming which we will read about in Revelation 19:11-16. The second coming is when Jesus returns to defeat the enemy, destroy evil, and establish His millennial kingdom.

When the rapture occurs is heavily debated, pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation or post-tribulation. When it takes place is not as important as the fact that it will take place.

Revelation 4:1-11 (NIV)
1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 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. 6 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. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” 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.”

Revelation 4:1-2

In the first two verses of this chapter we are moved from earth to heaven. The scene changes from Jesus standing among the churches to the throne room with the Father sitting on His eternal throne.

When John says he was “in the Spirit” he means that the Holy Spirit was giving him a vision.

Revelation 4:3-11

There, on a throne, with an amazing display of colors and activity is God. Around Him are four angelic beings who praise Him day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

We get other pictures of the throne room from Ezekiel and Isaiah.

Ezekiel 1:4-14 (NIV)
4 I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north–an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, 5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had the hands of a man. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and their wings touched one another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved. 10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out upward; each had two wings, one touching the wing of another creature on either side, and two wings covering its body. 12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. 14 The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.

Isaiah 6:1-4 (NIV)
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

Just beyond this inner circle are the twenty-four elders, who are also involved in worship as they lay their crowns before the throne saying, “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 24 elders most likely represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles as a representation of the redeemed of God for all time. All of the redeemed of all time are involved in worshiping the Lord!

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