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The Worthy One on the Throne, Part 1

August 17, 2021 Speaker: Noah Hartmetz Series: Revelation

Scripture: Revelation 4:1–6

Revelation 4–5 is a vision of God in His glory and on His throne

  • Other visions

    • Isaiah 6:1-7

    • Ezekiel 1:3-28

    • Daniel 7:9-14

  • Look at the world through the Bible

    • James Hamilton (Revelation: The Spirit Speaks to the Churches, 134): “We need to be able to look at the world, filter it through the whole Bible, and then describe the world that we have seen the way the Bible describes it. This is what it means to have a Biblical worldview. Too many Christians have a Hollywood worldview, or a Madison Avenue worldview… If that’s your worldview, or if you don’t recognize the difference between the worldview generated by the Bible and the worldview embraced by Washington D.C., you need to spend more time reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the Bible.”

Theme: God is the only one worthy of praise because of His glorious nature and powerful creation.

1A. (4:1-6a) Behold the One Seated on the Throne and His Magnificent Court

1B. (4:1-2a) Second Vision Introduced

2B. (4:2b-6a) The Throne

  • Two central features of vision: Place of Authority, Person of Authority (ID’d in vv. 8-11)

1C. (4:2b-3) One seated on the throne

2C. (4:4) Elders surrounding the throne

  • Representative Humans

  • *Angels

  • In the end, nothing revealed about their being or identity

3C. (4:5a) God’s awesome presence manifested from the throne

  • God’s Presence (Theophany)––Exod 19:16; Ezk 1:3; cf. Ps 18:13-15

4C. (4:5b) Holy Spirit’s full presence before the throne (Rev 1:4; Isa 11:2; Zech 4:1-10)

5C. (4:6a) A separating sea before the throne

2A. (4:6b-11) Praise to the One Seated on the Throne by His Magnificent Court

1B. (4:6b-8) The Four Living Creatures

1C. (4:6b-8a) Their appearance

  • Cf. Ezk 1:4-25 (MacArthur: “Divine war machine”); Isa 6:1-3

  • “Faces” = Represent different aspects of creation? Represent angelic beings who are used by God to execute His rule and will in all orders of creation? Reflect God’s glory?

  • Six wings → swiftness of movement → cf. Isa 6; Ezk 1 (4 wings)

  • Full of Eyes → complete vigilance, unlimited intelligence

2C. (4:8b) Their praise

  • “Holy” = utter and complete separation from unclean, evil, death (cf. role in judgment in 1 Sam 6:20; 2 Sam 6:9; Isa 6:5)

  • “Almighty” = utterly devoid of weakness (Isa 40:28; 46:10; Dan 4:35; Job 9:19; Ps 115:3)

  • Eternality = transcends time (Exod 3:14; Pss 90:2; 93:2; 102:24-27; Isa 57:15; Dan 4:34; 6:26; 12:7; Micah 5:2; Hab 1:12; 1 Tim 1:17; 6:15-16)

PRAISE to God for His essential nature–– Holiness (“Holy, holy, holy”), Power (“Lord God, the Almighty”), Eternality (“who was and is and is to come”).

  • Implication: Unceasing praise–– In one sense, the date of what John sees is irrelevant because this praise is always happening because God always is.

  • Implication: Be encouraged–– God is always this God and always worthy of praise. He never ceases to be worthy!

2B. (4:9-11) The Twenty-Four Elders

 1C. (4:9) Catalyst for praise to the One who lives forever

  • Acknowledgment of rightful possession of attributes

  • Deserving of gratitude

  • “One who lives forever and ever” repeated in Dan 4:34; 6:26; 12:7 → major theme of Daniel is universal scope of God’s dominion

2C. (4:10) Posture for praise to the One who lives forever

  • If these elders are angelic beings, there is no doubt about who is sovereign and who is a servant

3C. (4:11) Praise to the One who created all things

  • “Worthy to receive” → extols God’s perfections he possesses and displays

  • “Created,” “existed” → God has exclusive rights over creation

  • “Will” → creation was according to His intent and timing

PRAISE to the God who is worthy to receive praise because of His work of creation.

  • Implication: He has the right to judge His creation.

Evil, human rebellion, and nature’s groaning (Rom 8:19-23) is not uncontrolled and unrestrained.