Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Unveiled: Week 4

Sunset 2-1

Write the things which will take place after these things....Revelation 1:19

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things." Revelation 4:1

Our finite and limited minds can't explain His infinite glory and holiness. Words fail us as we see Him as He really is and and the only words we can come up with to describe His glory and supremacy seemed veiled and insignificant.  Lord, You are all powerful from everlasting to everlasting, You created all things by your perfect and sovereign will and You reign. You hold all things together and by your will all things were created. Thank you for your sustaining power which is perfected in weakness. Lord, take away all my fears as I surrender to your will. Strengthen my faith and forgive me for my unbelief. Help me to believe. Fight the battle on my behalf as I continue to trust  you. For you are all powerful, all knowing from everlasting and to everlasting. What you have purposed comes to pass and what you have spoken will be fulfilled. I turn over this time to You. Take us where you desire for us to go. To you be the glory, honor and praise.

Read Revelation 4:1
  • Chapter 4, opens up with these words, "After these things". After what things? In chapters 1-3 the churches are mentioned 21 times. After Revelation 3:22 the churches are never referred to again in the book of Revelation. 
  • I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, like a sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things."
    • Again after what things? Remember the purpose of Revelation. It is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. It is, in essence, something that was once hidden now being revealed. The veil is being taken away as the time is ushered in. 
Revelation 4:2 states, "Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 
  • The words "Come up here," and, "Immediately I was in the Spirit." are not veiled references to the Rapture of the church, but a command for John to be temporarily transported to heaven "in the Spirit" - MacArthur Bible Commentary.  But I do believe the wording does remind me of some verses in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. 
    • Read 1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 5:9. Compare these verses to Revelation 3:10.
      • Write down what you learn from these three passages. 
    • Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
      • In verse 13, what was Paul reminding the believers? What was he telling them not to do?
      • What is Paul describing to the brethren? If the Kingdom of Heaven is coming down, which it is, then why are the brethren going up? Did you notice in verse 16, how the sound is described? In verse 17 what happens and what is Paul telling them to do? "to comfort one another."
      • I mentioned the first week of our study, that the Old Testament Prophets saw 1 vision that contained 2 comings. Because of this, some of the prophecies seemed to contradict one another. For instance, you had a reigning King and a Suffering Servant. We know looking back, these visions contained two comings. I personally believe we need to study God's Word in the same way looking forward to future fulfillment of Christ's second coming and His Kingdom being established on earth. I want to again mention, I lean toward a more literal interpretation of Revelation and my reason being,  if Christ's first coming was literally fulfilled then I have no reason to believe that His second coming will be any different.  Because this book is an unveiling of Jesus at His second coming, until these events start to take place they will be shrouded in mystery, but as the time draws near, these pictures and shadows will begin to take a more concrete form. 
      • Read Acts:1:6-12
        • What were Jesus disciples asking Him? What was His response to their question? What did He tell them to do, specifically what did He tell them to do while they were waiting for the times and the seasons to be fulfilled (to be witnesses). How did He depart and How will He return?
        • We are right now to be His witnesses. This study is to get our focus on Him and His purposes and to encourage us to live our life with an eternal perspective with our eyes fixed on Him. His Majesty, glory and supremacy. 

Read Revelation 4:1-11 and mark every reference to the word throne and the word "like". 
  • How many times is the word throne mentioned in Revelation 4? Heaven is God-Centered. Worship revolves around the Creator and Sustainer of all things. 
  • Describe what is taking place in these verses. What do you think the rainbow represents? Genesis 9:8-19. God displayed His mercy in the midst of judgement by sparing Noah and his descendants from the wrath that was coming upon the earth because of the extreme wickedness. God provides Noah, his family and two of every living creature a dwelling, a holy sanctuary in the midst of total devastation and the earth's annihilation. God then establishes a Covenant with Noah and all descendants and living creatures, to never again destroy the earth by a flood. The rainbow was the sign of the Covenant. 
  • In Revelation 4:1-11, what do you learn from marking the word like. Our finite and limited minds can't explain His infinite glory and holiness. Words fail us as we see Him as He really is and and the only words we can come up with to describe His glory and supremacy seemed veiled and insignificant.
  • What were the four living creatures proclaiming? Describe their appearance.
    • Read Isaiah 6:1-8: What was Isaiah's response to God's infinite Holiness? How should our response model Isaiah's. How did the angel respond to Isaiah's confession. What did God tell Him to do?
    • God is infinitely holy. Our best efforts on our best days are like a polluted garment before an infinitely holy God. We only stand before an infinitely Holy God based on Jesus' performance for us. The only thing we contribute to our salvation is the sin that makes Jesus' death necessary. 
    • The Book of Ezekiel opens up giving us a little more detail about the 4 living creatures. Read Ezekiel chapter 1 and discuss what you learn about these powerful creatures. 
End your time thanking God for His revelation and asking Him to continue to pour out His wisdom and revelation as you begin to read the Bible not just for answers to all your questions but to see Him and grow in your love for Him through the reading of His Word.

Again, please overlook all errors. I'm speed writing and have no time to proof-read. I'm also dyslexic and catch many errors when finally getting around to proof-reading which is rarely ever. I did catch where I wrote right instead of write:). For those of you who are coming back week after week, thank you for being so gracious. 

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