Prophecy 53 – Vision Two, Things Hereafter, Revelation 4:6-11

We ended our last study with the sea of glass and what it symbolizes.

  1. The values and preciousness of God’s presence.
  2. The omniscience of God.
  3. The spectacular purity of God.

Today we want to pick up our study with the four living creatures who surround the throne of God.  We will look at some things said about them.

  1. Their position. It would appear that they are presented as the closest beings to God.
  • They are the angelic beings who are posted in the middle and of each side of the throne.
  • They are the guardians of God’s throne and of His Holy presence (Revelation 4:6; 5:6; 14:3).
  1. Consider their description:
  • They are ALWAYS found near the throne of God (Revelation 4:6; 5:6; 14:3).
  • They have six wings and are full of eyes (Revelation 4:8).
  • Their function has to do with the holiness and wrath of God (Revelation 6:1, 7; 15:7).
  • They declare the holiness of God day and night and never cease to declare His holiness (Revelation 4:8).

We might ask who are these beings who are so privileged?

  • They are living beings, no doubt angels.
  • They are privileged to be in God’s presence day and night.
  • They are privileged to declare His majestic holiness.
  • They never have to leave God’s presence, not even for a moment.
  • Who would be so honored as to have this glorious privilege?
  • They are no doubt beings who were created for this purpose.
  • They seem to be the same beings as the cherubim seen in Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 10:1-22).
  • They also seem similar to the seraphim seen in Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6:1-3).
  • John chooses certain animals on earth to describe certain characteristics that he sees.

Note what they might symbolize.

+One being was like a lion:  This symbolizes supremacy.

+One being was like an ox (calf):  this symbolizes strength.

+One being was like a man: this symbolizes intelligence.

+One being was like an eagle:  this symbolizes swiftness.

Note their function:  to glorify and honor God day and night.  The living creatures show us two things about God that we should be interested in.  Why?  Because they help us understand the statement in Hebrews 11:6 that “God Is.”

  • First, they show us the supremacy, strength, intelligence and swiftness of God.  They stand for all that “God is.”
  • Second, they show us that all of nature owes worship to God, both animals and man.
  • Further, they picture ALL the beings of nature standing before God and praising Him.
  • All the world, both animal and man, are represented in the four living beings as they worship God day and night, crying out to Him, “…Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which WAS and IS, and IS TO COME  (Revelation 4:8, KJV).

ALL THE WORLD IS TO PRAISE GOD FOR HIS HOLINESS:

         “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16, KJV).

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance” (I Peter 1:14, KJV).                                                                                                   

Let’s stop for a moment and think about the effect of what Peter is saying and how it should affect our thinking and our lives by focusing on obedience.

The phrase “obedient children” means “children of obedience.” That is, believers are to be so obedient to God that obedience becomes the basic trait of their lives.

However, in CONTRAST to being CHILDREN OF OBEDIENCE is the phrase “FASHIONING YOURSELVES ACCORDING TO THE FORMER LUSTS.”  This is a sharp contrast.  It pictures us as CHILDREN OF LUSTS.  That is, we USED TO BE so given over to our own desires, to doing our own thing, that we could be CALLED children of lusts.

You probably would agree that this is not a pretty picture of how we used to be prior to salvation.

  • But that is exactly what a person is WITHOUT CHRIST!
  • He is a person who lives like he wants to.
  • He does what He wants to do instead of what God says to do.
  • He obeys himself and his own desires, not God and His Word.
  • Consequently, he can be called a child of lusts.

What kind of lusts or desires are being talked about?  All kinds lusts or desires.  There are the lusts and desires for…

*money                     *possessions                     *property

*sex                            *food                                  *position

*popularity               *recognition                      *clothing

*authority                 *housing

NOTE:  Man must have the necessities of life.  God made him to desire these things.  But when we begin to desire and lust and crave these things it becomes wrong (I John 2:15-16).  Our focus and concentration in life becomes the lust of these things, getting more and more of them and gratifying our flesh.  The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes will enslave and consume us.  This is a fact of human nature that is too often ignored and neglected.  Note why:  because of man’s ignorance.

Unsaved man is ignorant of God.   Unsaved man cannot understand God (Romans 1:19-20), not personally, not in a close relationship that fellowships and communes with God day by day.  The problem is that when unsaved man thinks of God,  he thinks of some misty Being or Force who is far away outer space someplace, too far removed for us to relate to Him in a personal way.
Therefore, man feels that he is free to do his own thing and to go his own way through life.  And before man knows it, lust has gripped his life.  Whatever it is that excites him or gives him purpose in this world, that thing enslaves man.  The result is either obsession or emptiness.  The person is either controlled and dominated by his lust or else left in despair and discouragement because his lust does not satisfy him. 

The point is this:  God is not far off and removed from man.  God has revealed Himself in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, man is to look at Jesus Christ [John 3:16] and see God, and he is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Man is to obey God; he is to obey God so much that he will become a child of obedience.

  • As Christians, the world and its lusts are no longer to control our lives.
  • The Lord Jesus Christ is to dominate our lives by the believer focusing on him daily (Colossians 3:1-4).
  • We are to focus and concentrate upon Him and the glorious grace and salvation that He has brought to Believers and and know that He will complete His revelation.

All the world is to praise God for His holiness.

“Holy God” (El-Qados).  There is a fascinating truth about the use of the word of the world “holy” in Scripture.  To make the superlative in English, we add “-est” to a word (or the word “most”), such as “holiest.”  In Hebrew, however, the superlative may be expressed by saying something three times.

It is, therefore, interesting that when the angels exalted God, they didn’t say, “Eternal, eternal, eternal,” or “Faithful, faithful, faithful,” or Wise, wise, wise,” or Mighty, mighty, mighty,” or “Loving, loving, loving” or even “Gracious, gracious, gracious.”  They said, “…Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3).  This demonstrates that God’s holiness is the crown of all that He is.

When properly understood, this will transform our lives and revolutionize the quality of our worship. 

  • In fact, why did God “choose us” [in Christ] before the foundation of the world?  (Ephesians 1:4).
  • It is that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).
  • We then live HOLY because He is holy  (I Peter 1:15, 16; Leviticus 11:44, 45; 19:2; 20:7, 26). 
  • Nothing characterizes the Christian more than holiness of life.

(A Hebrew Word for the Day, Dr. J.D. Watson, page25).

Holy (hagios) means to be righteous, pure, sinless, and godly; to be perfect, complete, and fulfilled in every possible sense; to be separated and entirely different from all other beings and things.  The believer is to be holy, that is…

righteous, pure, sinless, and godly,

perfect, complete, and fulfilled, and

separated, entirely different from all who live worldly lives.

There are three reasons why believers are to live holy lives.

  1. God is holy (I Peter 1:15-16).                                      
  2. God has called believers to be holy in all of life.  God’s purpose in saving the believer is to have a people who will be just like Him and who can live with Him eternally. 
  • But to live with Him eternally, we must be like Him; we must be holy.
  • Therefore, we must first be “in Christ” and that comes only through acceptance of God’s Son as our personal Savior (John 3:16).
  • During our life time here on earth we must live holy, pure, righteous, and godly lives.  We must be under the control of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).   If we live under the control of the Holy Spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
  • We must live by faith, diligently seeking God by believing that “He is”(Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 8).
  • We must be separated from the world and set apart unto Him; we must not love the world and the things of the world (I John 2:15-16).  Why? Because the things of the world are passing away.  But we must love God who is eternal.  It is a choice, to love God who is eternal or love the world and the things of the world which are passing away (temporary).

“Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy” (Psalm 99:9, KJV).    

“And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3, KJV).

“Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?  for thou ONLY art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments Are made manifest” (Revelation 15:4, KJV).

“For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore BE HOLY, or I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45, KJV).

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1 :16, emphasis added, KJV).

  1. God does not want His people corruptible and dying with the world. God wants His people living holy lives and living with Him eternally. It is a fact that the true Christian has no choice but to live a holy life because it is a command of God.  Do not forget that to carry out God’s commands is proof that you love the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God!  (John 14:15).

REVIEW AND APPLICATION

  1. The four living creatures are what kind of beings?
  1. Where are they always found?                                                               
  1. What is probably their function?                                                                                                       
  1. What do they declare about God?
  1. They seem to be like what other beings found in Ezekiel and Isaiah?
  1. What two things do they show us about God?
  1. According to I Peter 1:14-16 what kind of life is the true believer supposed to live?
  1. Name four of the eleven listed things that people lust for.
  1. What is all the world supposed to praise God for.

CHALLENGE:

  1. Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? (see John 3:16; Romans 3:23; 6:23; Romans 10:9-13).
  2. Have you accepted that to do so is a personal choice that no one can make for you?
  3. If you claim to be a Christian, has your life changed since making a profession?  If not, why not?
  4. Have you truly repented of your sins when you recognize that you have violated some portion of the Word of God?
  5. Are you purifying your life, see I John 3:3?
  6. Are you being obedient to Colossians 3:1-4?

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