“4 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings[a] and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal (Revelation 4:1-6a).”
Lucio and Octavio are brothers and shortly after the reading they tried to say that this part of the message is talking about God rescuing us from the current tribulation we are in. The word tribulation comes from John at the beginning of the letter. Many people were starting to believe this because it was a comfortable idea. There are warnings to the churches and then, Jesus Himself called people up to heaven. Their began to be all kinds of names for this idea, rapture, transport, ascent, etc. But, at the end of the day, I tried to put myself in John’s shoes. From spending time with the great apostle and understanding him, Paul and some of the other great ones, this was always the fear. When people take God’s Words out of context they can make it say whatever they want.
The advantage we have is obvious. Our current tribulation that we partner with John in as he explains at the beginning of the letter is our context. We are at a great advantage. We understand persecution is breaking out. It is about to get worse, but God wins. Context is everything. Eventually Lucio and Octavio realized John wasn’t talking about a rapture or an accent. It was just a common literary device. When we are called up to heaven and see things from God’s perspective we see Jesus. King Jesus is sitting on His throne. He is patiently waiting. There is a rainbow that is eternal. It circles the throne. All of the listeners there understand this symbolizes God’s promise to Noah to not destroy the earth again. This isn’t how He will end it. But, the judgement seat is how it ends.
To bow before the throne you must be connected to the 24 elders. John is humble and didn’t mention that he is in fact one of those elders. We all understood the meaning of the 24 elders because their were twelve tribes of Israel. Then when Jesus came the church was started by twelve apostles. Both Old Covenant and New Covenant need each other. God’s chosen people Israel brought us the law to tutor us and teach us that we are sinners. The twelve apostles teach us the Gospel of God’s grace to both the Jews and to the nations. The rainbow makes the covenant eternal and Jesus on throne is who we ultimately answer to.
To get through this time we are about to endure we must understand that Jesus isn’t going to come and rescue us, but we must hold onto this vision to understand that He will suffer and triumph with us. When you think about how much you and your wife have seen together, yet you struggle with your faith, but you both looked at Elizabeth who has seen much less, but looks intently and is inspired. What a special little girl. Maybe she will lead us all one day, you think as she sits comforted by the image of Jesus on the throne surrounded by a rainbow and 24 elders all bowing down to Him.
This Was Continued From:
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