Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

The Throne Room of God.
Rev 4:1-11

Introduction Stedman
During WW2 while serving in a civilian capacity this experienced happened. There were two of us from the mainland, and we were sent into these areas. One day, together with my partner, I was assigned to paint Admiral Nimitz's office, the Commander -in- Chief's headquarters of the Pacific. I remember with what awe I entered that office. I found myself surrounded with charts of the Pacific islands. It was impressive to me to realize that here the Admiral with his captains actually were planning the events of the war; that all the far-flung assaults of the United States Navy during the war were conceived and brought into existence in this very spot. I was impressed and awed to be permitted into that secluded area. But that pales in comparison with what John must have felt when he found himself in the control center of the universe!

Today we are looking into a text that takes us to the throne room of God. I want us to note: The Call to the Throne, The Centrality of the Throne, The Characters around the Throne, and The Celebration around the Throne.
 

1. Note the . . Call to the Throne. v 1-2 a
    1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."  2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven,. . . " NKJ

A. The . . Implications of the Call.

    1. The Call has Implications of . . Sequence.
        v 1 a After this I looked, and, behold,
        a.    After the church age.
        b.    Church mentioned 20 times but only once after Chapter 3. Rev 22:16

    2. The Call has Implications of . . Salutation.
        v 1 b " . . . a door was opened in heaven: "

    3. The Call has Implications of . . Speech. v 1 c
        ". . . and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; "

B. The . . Imperative of the Call.

    1. The Imperative . . Direction.
        v 1 d ". . . which said, Come up hither,

    2. The Imperative . . Description.
        v 1 e ". . . and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. . ."

C. The . . Immediacy of the Call.
    v 2 a And immediately I was in the spirit:

Illustration
During my work at Golden Gate Seminary I had a history professor named Dr. Carleton. He began the class by saying, "Every professor has some biases. I want you to know mine. 'First of all, I believe the Bible is the Word of God.'" When Dr. Carleton died, his sons shared in his funeral. One son, Bill, had been in the service in Germany. While there, his father came to visit him, and wanted to see Charlemagne's throne. As they arrived at the museum, the guard was locking the door. Bill went to him, and said, "do you see that man there, he's my dad, and he would love to see Charlemagne's throne." The guard said, "come on in." And he gave a personal tour.

Dr. Carleton stood near the throne of the great conqueror. When the guide saw the expression on his face, he asked, "Would you like to touch it?" Bill said he caressed it. Seeing such respect, the guide loosened the rope around the throne and nodded for Dr. Carleton to sit on it. Then his son, Bill, said, "There is another throne that my father has seen from a distance, and today he is standing in close reach of it." What a tremendous tribute for a son to pay to his dad.
 

Application Note the . . Call to the Throne.
 
 
 

2. Note the . . Centrality of the Throne. v 2 b - 3
    "and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone
in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. NKJ

A. The Centrality of . . Time at the Throne. v 2 b

    1. A Time for the . . Setting of the Throne.
        v 2 b ". . . and, behold, a throne was set in heaven,

    2. A Time for the . . Sovereignty on the Throne. v 2 c
        v 2 c ". . . and one sat on the throne.

B. The Centrality of .. Treasure at the Throne. v 3 a

    1. The . . Magnificence of the Central Treasure.
        v 3 a And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; "

    2. The . . Meaning of the Central Treasure. v 3 b
        ". . . and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

Rainbow: This is a symbol of hope or mercy. Green as the "living" color is the predominant characteristic of this rainbow. . . . It appears to represent living hope in the midst of judgment; it is hope based on the faithfulness of a covenant-making God.  (SUMMERS, p.130-1)

The significance, therefore, of the rainbow which encircled the throne is that this majestic God is also one of hope and mercy. (HOBBS, p.70)

For those who see the rainbow, there is certainty that the storm has already passed by the place on which they stand. (BARNH,p.91)

Application Note the . . Centrality of the Throne.
 
 
 

3. Note the . . Characters around the Throne. v 4 - 7
    4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 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. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. NKJ

A. The Elders. v 4
    1. Their . . Chairs. v 4 a
        4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting,

    2. Their . . Clothes. v 4 b
        ". . . clothed in white robes;. . . "

    3. Their . . Crowns. v 4 c
        ". . . and they had crowns of gold on their heads."

B. The Elements. v 5 a - 5 b

    1. Lightening and Thunder. v 5 a
        5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings,

    2. Voices. v 5 b
        ". . . and voices.. . . "

C. The Emblems. v 5 c - 6 a

    1. The Lamps. v 5 c ". . . Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne,"

    2. The Logo. V 5 d ". . . which are the seven Spirits of God."

    3. The Glass. v 6 a "Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal."
        a.    Glass interpreted: People, Word of God, and judgment. At this time judgment seems best.

D. The Eagle and other Creatures. v 6 b - 7

    1. Their Inspection. v 6 b
        "And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of
        eyes in front and in back.

2. Their Images. v 7
    The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.
 

J Vernon McGee says on page 931
*"The First Living Creature Was like a Lion," and the first Gospel represents the Lord Jesus as the King. He was born a King.. . . Remember that God said that the tribe of Judah was like a lion.

** The Second Living Creature like a calf: This is the beast of burden, the servant animal domesticated. In the Gospel of Mark, Christ is presented as the Servant.

*** The Third Living Creature had a face as a man." The third Gospel, the Gospel of Luke, presents the Lord Jesus as the Son of Man.

**** The Fourth Living Creature was like a flying eagle." He communicates the deity of Christ
as seen in the Gospel of John.

The lion represents wild beasts, the calf represents domesticated beasts, the eagle
represents bird, and man is the head of all creation.
 
 
 

4. Note the..  Celebration around the Throne. Vs 8 -11
    8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created." NKJV

A. Praise by the Eagle and other Creatures. v 8 - 9
    8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:  "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,

    1. Their Involvement. v 8 a
        8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes round and within. NKJV
        a.    Six Wings
        Isa 6:2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. NKJV

If this can be related to Isaiah 6:2 then we know that one pair of wings suggests:

        *    Reverence ("with twain he covered his face")
        *    Another pair connotes humility ("with twain he covered his feet"),
        *    The third pair shows speed to do God's bidding ("with twain he did fly"). (HOB, p.72)

    2. Their Initiative. v 8 b
        ". . . And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come! NKJV

Illustration Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, Standard Publishing
In the fifth and sixth centuries there was an order of monks in Eastern Europe called "the sleepless ones." They sang the Divine Office in relays, thus assuring a continuous, nonstop service of praise to God. They were reflecting in a small way what happens in Heaven.

The book of Revelation pictures twenty-four elders and four heavenly creatures singing night and day without stopping, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." They don't do it in relays. They never have to rest. Their song never ceases. Someday "we'll join the everlasting song!" ­ .

    3. Their Influence. v 9 - 10
        9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: NKJV

B. Celebration of Praise by the Elders. v 10-11
    10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11 "You are worthy, O Lord,To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created." NKJV

    1. Their Conduct. v 10 a
        10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever,, , , "NKJ

    2. Their Crowns. v 10 b
        ". . . and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: NKJ

    3. Their Consensus. v 11
        11 "You are worthy, O Lord,To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created." NKJV

Illustration Stedman
Eugene Peterson, a powerful communicator in our day, has said that true worship does
five things to you:

        1.    It centers things for you: You see God as the center of everything. Your ego is no longer
                center.  You stop living for yourself but for him.
        2.    And it gathers: It includes others with you. You become part of a family, a congregation.
        3.    It crosses lines of exclusion.
        4.    And it reveals: things you never saw before you now begin to understand.
                The familiar patterns of life take on new vistas.
        5.    And it makes you sing:
Illustration
During the baseball play-offs the TV cameras zoomed in on Orel Herschiser this legend in the making. They caught Orel in the dugout between innings singing softly to himself. Unable to make out the tune, the announcers merely commented that Orel's record certainly gave him something to sing about.

Johnny Carson replayed that tape on the "Tonight Show" a few days later when Orel appeared. Johnny asked him what song he had been singing during the game and if Orel would sing it again right then and there. The audience roared its approval over Orel's embarrassed reluctance.

So on national TV, Orel softly sang the tune TV crews had barely caught on tape:

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen."

Orel Herschiser was simply doing what Christians do--praising God for everything that he'd achieved. Paul urges the Colossians, "Whatever you do...do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (3:17). Not only at church, but also in the in-between moments, thank God for your gifts and talents--he gave them to you. --Edited from Still More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice.