Prophecy – 51 – Vision Two, Things Hereafter – Rev. 4:1-5:14

If you have been engaged with us in the study of prophecy, we are excited as we begin part 51, the second vision, a new vision.

  • The Lord Jesus gives us exciting things He wants to bless us with, things we need to understand about the future.
  • Remember that we are studying the Revelation of Jesus.  It’s all about Him [Jesus Christ and future events].
  • This information was given to Christ by God the Father (Revelation 1:1).
  • The information was to be shown [given] to God’s servants (v. 1).  The information was given to the Apostle John by divine revelation [through the ministry of the Holy Spirit who is our teacher, I Corinthians 2:6-16].
  • Understand there are some things God wants us to understand, things we could not know or understand on our own.
  • This means that God cares for us, He loves us enough to reveal some things to us about the future that we need to understand.

FACT:  THINK ABOUT IT!  God cares so much about us that He has given us a whole book of events to study, learn about and understand.  However, there are limits; God reveals about the future ONLY that which is appropriate for our understanding.  Remember, God is omniscient, He knows the beginning to the end.

We are not omniscient and consequently could not begin to handle all that God knows and accomplishes every day.

In our study, we will wrestle with God’s revelation about the events of the future that God wants us to know.  The events we will study in Revelation lie out in the future and concern the end of the world.

Let’s recap a little:  There are four things said about the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

  1. The Revelation was given by Christ Himself (Revelation 4: 1).
  2. The Revelation concerns things that MUST SHORTLY TAKE PLACE (V. 1).
  3. The Revelation was given to John (v. 1-2).
  4. The Revelation blesses the man who reads, hears, and obeys the message (v. 3).

NOTE:  The Revelation was given by Jesus Christ HimselfJesus Christ is the Author of Revelation.  The Revelation was given to Jesus by God the Father.  When Jesus was here on earth He said the following:

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32).

NOTE:  When Jesus ascended to heaven, God the Father apparently revealed these things to Christ.  Why is this significant?  Because what we will be learning did not come from man, but from God Himself.  How wonderful is that!!!!!!!

Further, consider that what we will be learning is something that God the Father wants us to know. Therefore, He gave them to His Son and His Son will now reveal some of the things to us.

Over the centuries there have been many false prophets and teachers, soothsayers, astrologers, and religionists of the world.  Think of the thousands and thousands of false things they have said and written about God and the future, claiming to have some revelation from Him.

How wonderful is this:  We have God’s Word, the Bible, which is God’s eternal truth.  We have a book we can really trust because man had nothing to do with writing it.

I have many things to say and to judge of you:  but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him” (John 8:26, emphasis added, KJV). 

“For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12:49 emphasis added, KJV).

“Henceforth I call you NOT SERVANTS; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have CALLED YOU FRIENDS; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have MADE KNOW UNTO YOU” (John 15:15, emphasis added, KJV).

“For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have BELIEVED THAT THOU DIDST SEND ME” (John 17:8, emphasis added, KJV).

NOTE:  There are some things that every true Christian MUST believe about the Word of God.  Let’s think about this!

“Knowing this first, that NO PROPHECY OF THE SCRIPTURE is of any private interpretation.  For the PROPHECY came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were MOVED BY THE HOLY GHOST [HOLY SPIRIT],” (2 Peter 1:20-21, emphasis added, KJV).

“ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF God and IS PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect [spiritually mature], thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, emphasis added, KJV).

“But without FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to please Him:  for he that cometh to God MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS, AND THAT HE IS A REWARDER OF THEM that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6, emphasis added, KJV).

“For GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD [men], that He gave his ONLY begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him SHOULD NOT perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE” (John 3:16, emphasis added, KJV).

“For by GRACE ARE YE SAVED through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast. For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ORDAINED that we should walk [live] in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10, emphasis added, KJV).

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9-10, 13; emphasis added, KJV).

END TIME REVELATION (1:1)

The Revelation concerns things that must shortly take place.

In the new vision or second great vision given to the Apostle John, the Lord’s personal message to the individual churches is now over (Revelation 2-3).  He has told them who He is, pointed out their failures, and warned and counseled them to correct their failures.  He has also given them several promises of heaven if they will only OVERCOME, repent and live by faith.

— Know two things

  1. It is now time for the churches to see the FUTURE EVENTS that are coming upon the earth.
  2. It is time for the churches to know that JESUS CHRIST IS COMING BACK TO EARTH.  He is going to end the world and establish the kingdom of God forever and ever in a new heavens and new earth.  Remember the brief outline of the Revelation given by John.

“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” (Revelation 1:19).

  • “The things which thou has seen” (the vision of the glorified Christ).
  • “The things which are” (the churches upon earth, their state and condition and the Lord’s personal message to them).
  • “The things which shall be hereafter” (the future events that are to happen at the end of the world and throughout eternity).

The present passage, Revelation 4:1-11, begins the future events.  “The things which shall be hereafter” are now revealed.  And notice how much more God reveals to us, nineteen awesome chapters.  An enormous amount of detail is revealed about coming events (chapters 4-22).

IN THIS VISION two great things are seen:

  • FIRST, the throne of God is seen.
  • SECOND, God Himself is seen holding a book which contains the destiny of the world in the end times.

+The book is sealed, however, and no one is found worthy to open and reveal the contents of the book.

+This discourages John.  But just as John despairs, One steps forward who is worthy to open the book.

+That Person is the Lamb of God, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the earth, Jesus Christ Himself.

Now let us explore the present passage a little further.  John is transported into heaven and the very first thing that he sees is the throne of God.  He sees God SEATED upon His great throne.

Note 6 things:

  1. John is given the vision (Revelation 4:1-2).
  2. The One on the throne (v. 2-3).
  3. The twenty-four elders (v. 4).
  4. The awesomeness of the throne (v. 5-6)
  5. The four living-creatures who surround the throne of God (v. 6-9).
  6. The function of the elders (v. 10-11).

Notice now Revelation 4:1-2 there are five quick things that happened to John.

  1. He saw a door opened in heaven. What he was about to see was COMING FROM HEAVEN, FROM GOD HIMSELF.  The future events were not of his own imagination.  They were to be of God, of the very Word of God Himself.

NOTE:  This means as we get into the deeper things we can trust the events written down in Revelation.  They will happen as recorded.  Why?  Because as we saw earlier they were to be of God, of the very Word of God Himself.

  1. There are three doors mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

First, there is the OPEN DOOR FOR EVANGELISM AND MISSIONS (Matthews 28:18-20), the door which God opens to the churches for bearing witness to the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is the opportunity that God opens for them to carry the gospel

  • to their neighbors,
  • to their communities,
  • to their cities,
  • to their states,
  • to other countries
  • to the world, and
  • to the uttermost part of the earth.

“I know thy works:  behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and has not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8, emphasis added, KJV).

“But ye shall RECEIVE POWER, after that the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) is come upon you: and ye SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH” (Acts 1:8, emphasis added, KJV).

Second, there is the door of the human heart. When believers are obedient and carry the message of the gospel to the world as God has directed it is then up to the individual person to open the door of his or her heart and receive the gospel.  Every person has a door that has to be opened before Christ.  If the individual opens his or her heart, Christ will then enter that life through the door of his or her heart.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I WILL come in to him, and WILL sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20, emphasis added, KJV).

 In our next study, we will continue to look at the doors two and three.

As we close today, let me ask you the most important question ever posed to you.  Have you ever opened your heart to the Gospel message?  If not please listen to it (John 3:16).

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