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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - January 1

  • 2013 Jan 01
  • COMMENTS

The Awesome Scene around the Throne

And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.
-Revelation 4:5, emphasis added

The writers of Scripture, seeking to describe the indescribable, have portrayed the presence of God as an unbelievable display of power filled with thunder and lightning, blinding light, and a sparkling, dazzling array of colors and rainbows. That very thought of Him should make you want to burst forth in worship exclaiming: Give unto the Lord the glory due His name: Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29:2)!

Worship of God flows when we heed His holiness. In his visions, Ezekiel saw what Moses saw at Mount Sinai (Ezekiel 1-Ezekiel 2); when God came down to give the law, thunder and lightning accompanied Him (Exodus 19:16; see also Hebrews 12:18-23 . God's voice was so powerful that it frightened them; they thought that they were going to disintegrate! God told them, "I am so holy and you are so unholy that if even your animals get near Me, kill them." His theme of all the Old Testament legislation was thus: "Stay away from Me; you are unholy!"

Worship of God is unceasingly offered in His presence: Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back (Revelation 4:6). This verse hearkens back to Ezekiel and what he saw. The "four living creatures" seem to be a hybrid of the cherubim (living ones) of Ezekiel and the seraphim (burning ones) of Isaiah. In verse 7, below, they are the living-burning ones with four faces. Note that even though Scripture writers usually used terms that no human fully understands, they always did so with a view of magnifying the Lord.

Worship of God is to reflect Jesus' attributes of kingship, servanthood, humanity, and deity: The first living creature was like a lion [royalty], the second living creature like a calf [servanthood], the third living creature had a face like a man [image of God], and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle [divinity] (Revelation 4:7). True worship will always reflect God's attributes.

When God came down and expressed himself in an image, what did He look like? Jesus Christ. He looked like us because we are created in the image of God. In the Old Testament there are four prophecies of Christ called the Branch Prophecies. Jesus was prophesied to be: King-the Root of David (Isaiah 11:1; My Servant-denoted by the calf (Zechariah 3:8; my perfect man (Zechariah 6:12); and God-the eagle (Isaiah 4:2).

The New Testament begins with the four Gospels which have corresponding themes: Matthew-the Perfect King; Mark-the Perfect Servant; Luke-the Perfect Man; and John-the Divine One, God in human flesh.

These "four living creatures" in 4:7 seem to be connected with the whole revelation of God, and thus reflect His attributes. As a child of the King, what attributes of His life do you reflect?

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