A Seven Sealed Scroll ~ A Revelation Journey

As we continue our visit to the Throne Room of God with the apostle John, a new object and a new individual are introduced to us in Revelation chapter 5. Both will become of utmost importance as we study in the coming days.

 

Seven Sealed Scroll of Revelation 5

 

Today we will focus our attention on the first four verses of Revelation 5. Before we read them, however, I want to offer you the download of Lisa’s drawing of the fifth chapter of Revelation so you can begin to visualize what is taking place in the chapter. If you have artistic predilections, you might just want to begin to draw out the events of each chapter of The Revelation for your own benefit.

In case you did not meet my friend Lisa in our study of chapter four, allow me to introduce her to you.

 

Introducing Lisa Cockerham

 

Now, for the download of chapter 5. If this is your first time downloading one of the drawings, please note that the download is FREE. You will get an error and be asked to enable a payment process. Ignore the error message and continue with the download process.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready to read Revelation 5:1-4 (ESV)?

 

1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”

3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it,

4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.

 

Let’s begin our study time by considering what we see in God’s hand. It is a SCROLL WRITTEN WITHIN AND ON THE BACK. It is also sealed with seven seals.

In antiquity there were no books. Instead there were scrolls made of papyrus or other materials. So, for there to be a scroll in heaven is not unusual. There are two unusual things about this particular scroll: it had writing on both sides and it was sealed with seven seals.

Usually a scroll only had writing on the inside, so for this scroll to be covered inside and out with writing likely meant that the author of the scroll had MUCH to say….almost more than could fit on a single scroll.

This heavenly scroll was sealed with seven seals. A seal was made by pressing something hard (often metal or wood) with a design or insignia into something softer (wax or clay). It was used much like a signature is used on a document today. Prominent citizens in antiquity often carried their own seal with them. Seals were used on things like contracts, accounts, deeds, and letters and indicated authority and authenticity.

The scroll in our study today had, not one, not two, but seven seals on it. Seven is the number of perfection or completion in Scripture, so this scroll was complete. This seven sealed document is most commonly believed to be the title deed to earth and its inhabitants.

As we move on in our study, we will find out exactly what was written in the scroll. For now, we know that it could only be opened by the appointed heir of God, and the search was on for that person. The Scripture tells us that no one was found in earth, heaven, or even under the earth (hell) who was the appointed heir. This lack of an heir to open the seals and read the scroll caused the apostle John to weep loudly…apparently the ultimate ugly cry!

What qualities would the heir need to possess in order to break the seals and read the scroll? If it were only perfection and holiness, then God would open it. So, obviously there is another quality that is required. We will examine this more next week. For now, let’s engage.

 

  • Was there anything in our study today that encouraged or challenged your faith?
  • The seven seals that we find on this scroll will be an integral part of our study in the coming weeks, so keep them in the back of your mind.
  • If you downloaded the drawing for Chapter 4, did you find it helpful in your study? Have you downloaded the Chapter 5 drawing yet?

What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What To Do?

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

When you have no answers….

When life does not make sense….

When your marriage is hanging by a thread and someone has the scissors close at hand…..

When there is far too much month left at the end of the money….

When you feel powerless to change….

What do you do? What do I do?

 

What do you do when you don't know what to do?

 

Hello friends! Today, I am offering you the words the Lord gave me for my newsletter subscribers this past Sunday. I pray they are a blessing to you. Don’t get my weekly newsletter? You can. Perhaps you have seen the pop-up box that appears occasionally when you visit my website. That little purple box is how you sign up for my newsletter. So, go over to the website and sign up.

Never has the Lord impressed upon me any clearer a subject for writing than the one for today. What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

I am convinced that the answer to each of the questions I posed above is the same one.

PRAY!

When you have no answers…….PRAY….because God has the answer.

When life does not make sense……PRAY…..because God sees the end from the beginning.

When your marriage is hanging by a thread…..PRAY….because God is for your marriage and He can heal it and restore it.

When there is far too much month left at the end of the money…..PRAY…..because God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and it ain’t nothing but a thang for Him to sell a few and provide for your needs.

When you feel powerless to change…..PRAY….because God can and will and does change hearts and lives. 

 

 

God is able according to Isaiah 40:21-26 and 28-31 (NIV).

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you from the beginning?

Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

 

Friend, I do not know what is going on in your life right now, nor do I know why God was adamant that I write on this topic of prayer today. What I do know is that PRAYER WORKS…PRAYER MOVES GOD TO CHANGE LIVES AND HEARTS. Praying according to the WILL AND WORD OF GOD is powerful. I know this one. I have seen God work over and over in hearts and lives in response to prayer.

So, dear one, pray. Pray big, bold prayers, but make sure that what you are praying lines up with Scripture and God’s will. That’s the key. If you do not know what to pray, hit your knees and begin with “Lord, help me. I need you.”  When you pray in sincerity, humility and with a heart that longs to be in the will of God, He will come running to help you. I promise.

The Loft Link-Up ~ Pot Luck

It is POT LUCK day at The Loft. Today is like a freebie day where you, as a lovely blogger, can link any post on any topic you like. Keep ’em clean and Jesus focused, folks! See you at The Loft.

 

THE

 

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

May 25 ~ Pot Luck

June 1 ~ Summer Vacation – where you goin’? whatcha gonna do? who you gonna take on vacay with you?

June 8 ~ Things that have Shaped My Faith

June 15 ~ NOTE: We are taking a one week summer break. No link-up today!

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is POT LUCK. Link up a post today…ANY CHRISTIAN LIVING POST. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

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Worship in Heaven ~ Revelation 4

Today we will complete our study of Revelation chapter 4. Have we exhausted every teaching possibility? Absolutely not, but we must move on after today. In our time in chapter 4, we have seen John called up to heaven. We have been given a glimpse of the throne of God. Today, we are privileged to witness the worship of God that goes on in heaven. What we see should inform and enliven our worship here on earth.

 

Worship in Heaven Revelation 4

 

Consider with me Revelation 4: 6b-11. Oh, by the way, you might want to have your drawing of Revelation 4 handy. It may help you visualize what you are reading. Don’t have the drawing? Go HERE to download and print it.

 

6b And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:

7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.

8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,

10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

 

 

It is important for us to remember that John likely had to grasp for words to describe much of what he saw. His descriptions of the four living creatures might cause us to think they are grotesque and frightening. In fact, I do not think John was frightened at all by them. Let’s break down his description and see what we discern.

The four living creatures are described as:

  • Living beings
  • Full of eyes in front and behind
  • Six wings on each
  • One creature was LIKE A LION
  • One creature was LIKE AN OX
  • One creature had THE FACE OF A MAN
  • One creature was LIKE AN EAGLE IN FLIGHT
  • They worship God and cause others in heaven to do the same

If you are a student of Scripture, you will recall two other places where similar creatures were described:

Isaiah 6:1-7 – Isaiah merely mentions the creatures, giving a cursory description of them to include wings, face, feet, and hands. The words they call out in worship are slightly different than the words heard by John.

Ezekiel 1 – Ezekiel’s description of these creatures, called cherubim, and their actions is very detailed, taking up the entirety of the first chapter. He does not mention that the creatures speak in his vision.

 

Are the creatures that Isaiah, Ezekiel and John reference the same? Did all three men see the same creatures, or cherubim, but give more or less detail depending on the occurrence? It is certainly possible that they did and there is precedent for this in Scripture. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were all close friends and disciples of Jesus, yet each of their accounts of His life and work differ a bit. Each told the story of Jesus from their personal perspective and out of their unique relationship with Him.

What we need to take away from this look at these heavenly creatures, these angels, is their function. Their sole purpose is to glorify God, and prompt others to do the same. They are part of the inner circle of God, along with the 24 elders, who worship God eternally.

Friends, heaven will be all about worship. We will not be cloud-potatoes in heaven. Among other things, we will be actively involved in the worship of our holy God, and the Lord, Jesus Christ. It will not be mindless, compulsory worship, but rather worship of the Redeemer that flows from the heart of the redeemed. The holiness of God will be front and center in heaven.

Now, let’s engage. Don’t forget that every comment you leave will be an entry into the monthly giveaway.

  • Did something in today’s lesson encourage or challenge your faith?
  • What is worship to you? When you hear the word ‘worship’, what comes to your mind first?
  • In heaven there will be nothing to hinder our worship…no sin, no sorrow, no aggrevations….nothing. What is the greatest hindrance you experience to your worship?

 

Join me next week as we move into Revelation 5. Thank you for your presence here.

Meet My Friend, Jan Morton

I am blessed, blessed to have many wonderful friends. Older, younger, married, single, moms, and grandmoms. I have a beautiful rainbow collection of friends, both IRL (in real life) and on the WWW. Today, I am tickled pink to have the opportunity to introduce you to one of them.

Jan Morton, aka Gran Jan, is a friend I met about 7 or 8 years ago. She is a Georgia girl, although she is the south-Georgia variety, while I plant my feet in north Georgia. Jan is a mom, sister, daughter, Gran Jan to some adorable grands, pastor’s wife, gardener, cook, friend, and beautiful, beautiful soul. Jan will soon wear one more label, but more on that later.

 

Jan Morton

Recently, Jan posted on her blog about a God-ordained opportunity she had last year to share her story on television. I was so taken with the whole thing that I asked her permission to introduce her to you, my faithful readers, and link to the television program where she shared.

You will be hearing more about Jan in the coming months because……………………..

Jan and I have co-authored a new Bible study that will be in stores on August 1st. It is called Tasting Grace and is based on my Tasting Grace mentoring in the kitchen ministry. Jan began a similar ministry in her church and called it Taste & See, and when she posted about it on her blog, I was completely smitten.

I will be sharing more about Tasting Grace, the book, in the coming days, but for now, I want you to meet my friend, Jan Morton. Here is just a snippet from the entire testimony that Jan gave on Life Today. The link to the entire interview is below.

 

 

Please introduce yourself to Jan in the comments. Click the link below to be taken to Jan’s blog where you can see her entire testimony on Life Today.

Jan’s Appearance on Life Today

 

 

 

The Loft Link-Up ~ Spiritual Gifts

Today’s topic will offer us some insight into our very own selves. God created each of us with at least one spiritual gift.

In Romans 12:6, Paul tells us that we have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. He echoes this message in 1 Corinthians 7:7 when he says, “each of you has your own gift from God”.

In 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11 (ESV), Paul offers the classic passage on spiritual gifts. Let’s read it:

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.

You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.   

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit 

and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;

and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,

to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,  

to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.                             

                            

Do you know what spiritual gifting(s) God created within you? If not, here is a link to a quick spiritual gift assessment that you may download, print, and take so you can know your spiritual gift. There is also a link to a list of the spiritual gifts and a tool that you can use to discover where and how you might use your gift. It is only when we are operating out of our giftings that we can be most effective for the kingdom of Jesus.

SPIRITUAL GIFT ASSESSMENT TOOL

I would love for you to leave me a comment telling me what spiritual gift(s) God gave to you, and how you are using it to serve the kingdom.

 

If you have a blog post related to our topic of Spiritual gifts, please link it at the bottom of my post using our linky. Thanks for stopping in!

 

 

THE

 

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

May 18 ~ Spiritual gifts

May 25 ~ Pot Luck

June 1 ~ Summer Vacation

June 8 ~ Things that have Shaped My Faith

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is SPIRITUAL GIFTS. Link up a post today. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

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The Throne Room of God ~ A Revelation Journey

Today we are back in Revelation chapter four, and we are studying about the throne of God. This is powerful stuff, y’all.

The Throne Room of God

When my small group and I studied the book of The Revelation for a solid 18 months, we used material from Precept Ministries as our guide. As part of the Precept study of The Revelation we were asked to do something that left us all ragged and gasping for air. Some of us more ragged others! We were asked to draw the events of each chapter of The Revelation (4-22).

Let me assure you, I was not happy about this assignment, for I am not an artist. I can barely write my name and stick figures are a huge challenge for me. Nonetheless, I gave it a whirl, and I admit that the drawing exercise helped cement the events of each chapter in my mind. My stupendous lack of artistic ability will cause me to need to do a lot of apologizing in heaven for the mess I made of the events and people of Revelation, however!!

While my drawings were pitiful, such was not the case for all in my group. In fact, my friend, Lisa Cockerham, wowed us with her drawings. We spent a goodly amount of time ooo-ing and ahh-ing over what her colored pencils produced. So, when I was praying about what to offer you as a downloadable printable for each chapter of The Revelation (4-22), the Lord prompted me to ask Lisa if she would be willing for me to offer her drawings to you. I was over-the-moon happy when she said ‘YES!’.

Y’all, Lisa’s drawings of each chapter will help you visualize what is going on as you study. I think you will find them to be incredibly valuable in your personal journey through The Revelation. As we get started in Revelation 4, I want to go ahead and give you the drawing for this chapter so you can download, print, and have it handy as you study.

First, let me introduce you to Lisa.

 

Introducing Lisa Cockerham

 

 

Now, for the printable.  (There are several steps in the download process. You may receive an error message at one point telling you that you must enable a payment source in order to download. Ignore the message and continue following the prompts. The download is free and you do not need a payment source.)

~~~~~~

Today, we are back with John on Patmos as he is being called up to heaven. Let’s refresh our memories of what Revelation 4:1-6 (ESV) tells us. Have your printable close by as you read so you begin to get a visual on what is going on in chapter 4.

1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first 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 there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

 

3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.

 

4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.

 

5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.

 

6a and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

 

 

In one moment John was on Patmos, minding his own business. In the next he was in the Spirit in heaven with the very throne of God right smack in front of him. Makes me dizzy to think of it.

Four times in The Revelation John tells us that he was ‘in the Spirit’.

  • Revelation 1:10
  • Revelation 4:2
  • Revelation 17:3
  • Revelation 21:10

 

Each time John is ‘in the Spirit’, what comes next is an unveiling, or a revelation. Here is where you have a homework assignment. Read each verse referenced above to discover what was unveiled, or revealed, each time John was ‘in the Spirit’. Come back here and share what you found. It doesn’t matter if others have already shared their answer. I want to hear what you found and your thoughts about it.

 

 

As we lift our faces from the floor of Heaven’s Throne Room, we see God’s Throne. Let’s take a minute and list the descriptors:

  • A person on The Throne who had the appearance of jasper and ruby
  • A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircling The Throne
  • 24 other thrones surrounding The Throne with 24 elders seated on them
  • From The Throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder
  • In front of The Throne were 7 blazing lamps, representing the seven Spirits of God
  • Before The Throne was a sea of glass, like crystal

 

Any one of these descriptors is enough to nearly send me over the edge, but take them all together and we are served up a picture that should shut our mouths and send us to our knees.

Let’s ponder this description for a moment.

The word ‘throne’ is used seven times in our focal verses. Jesus opens the 4th chapter with a picture of God on His throne being worshipped. I do not believe this to be accidental. Jesus knew the devastation that will come on the earth as the end approaches. I believe He wanted to make certain believers across the ages know and understand, to the very marrow of our bones, that GOD IS ON HIS THRONE. No matter how bad things get, God never leaves His throne. He is in absolute control of what happens, and He is working it all out toward an end that will be glorious for Christ-followers. Hold onto that, friends. It has the power to get you through difficult days.

The pictures we see in Revelation 4 tell us of God’s presence, God’s purity and holiness, and the worship of God that goes on in heaven. May I offer a few thoughts about two of the descriptors:

A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircling the throne. Note that this rainbow was a complete circle signifying the perfection and completeness that heaven will offer. God’s judgment is coming, but the rainbow is a reminder of God’s covenant of mercy with Noah and the earth. You and I are accustomed to seeing rainbows after a storm. This rainbow is evident before the storm of the last days, signifying God’s care and mercy on followers of Christ.

24 other thrones surrounding The Throne with 24 elders seated on them. There are different thoughts about who these elders are, and what they represent. My personal opinion is that these represent the 12 tribes plus the 12 apostles, signifying the presence of believers in heaven that reach from pre-cross until Jesus returns.

While there is so much more we could discuss in these few verses, I think this is a good time to wrap our discussion up. Next week we will move on to the remaining verses in Revelation 4.

Let’s engage! Don’t forget that every comment you leave on the blog gains you an entry into my May giveaway. So, comment often!

Also, remember that I have a private Facebook page where I link all of these posts, making it fairly easy to find them if you need to go back and read one. I would be happy to add you to that page. Simply send me an email (info@leahadams.org) and ask to be added.

  • What questions do you have about the first 6 verses of Revelation 4?
  • Did anything we studied today challenge or strengthen your faith?
  • If you have varying opinions on any part of our focal verses, please offer them.

 

 

The Loft Link-Up – Mothers

Today at The Loft our topic is “Mothers”. Having just celebrated Mother’s Day, this is a topic that should resonate in the hearts of many.

It has been almost 18 months since my Mother went to be with Jesus. I miss her every day. As I pondered on today’s topic, I decided to share with you a few lessons that I learned from my Mom.

 

 

Lessons from My Mother

 

LESSON ONE: LIVE GENEROUSLY

My Mother lived generously. She was the kind of mom whose singular focus was her family. She and my Daddy were always in attendance at anything my sister and I were part of….ballet recitals, football games, band concerts, and more. She was equally generous toward her friends, sending a bazillion greeting cards for birthdays, to those who had lost loved ones, and those experiencing illness. Anytime there was a death of a close friend or church member, Mother would be one of the first to show up with a casserole or salad.

LESSON TWO: LOVE GENEROUSLY

From the time I was six years old, my Mother stayed home and cared for her family. She was a wonderful cook and always prepared delicious meals for us. She was also an amazing seamstress, making beautifully tailored dresses, pants, coats and tops for my sister and me. Mother loved my Daddy in an amazing way. Daddy was stricken with polio at the age of 16 and walked on crutches the rest of his life. To the outside world, he was handicapped, although those who knew him would likely not have placed that label on him. After he died, my Mother told me that she was certain God placed her on earth to be Daddy’s helper. She assumed that role with honor and love. She loved her sisters and brothers, her Sunday school and Bible study classes, and her weekly lunch ladies. Most of all, she loved Jesus.

LESSON THREE: ALWAYS ACT LIKE A LADY

Mother was a lady….a true Southern lady. She got up each morning, showered, put makeup on, and dressed….every day until dementia took the Mother I knew. She interacted with others with kindness and gentleness, even when she disagreed with them. She never used curse words or told crude jokes. Mother loved to laugh, but was never obnoxious with her laughter. She was never rude or unkind.

I was extremely blessed with a wonderful, godly, caring, giving Mother. I can only hope to be half the woman she was.

I hope you will link your post on the topic of Mothers with us today. You will find the linky tool at the bottom of my post.

THE

 

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

May 11 ~ Mothers

May 18 ~ Spiritual gifts

May 25 ~ Pot Luck

June 1 ~ Summer Vacation

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it it time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is MOTHERS. Link up a funny post today. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

Now it is time to linkup!

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Our Revelation Journey ~ Chapter 4 ~ An Open Door in Heaven

WELCOME!

If you have been studying The Revelation with us since the first of the year, you have a working knowledge of the first three chapters of the book of The Revelation. In those chapters, we witnessed John’s vision of Jesus. We heard God tell John to write down what he sees and hears. Jesus asks John to take down seven letters that will be sent to seven churches in Asia Minor. I hope you were able to follow along in that study. It is a rich study that should serve to challenge our heart and increase your faith in Christ.

If you would like to review any of those teachings, please scroll down to the area on the right side of my website where it says, “Categories”. Click on the ‘select category’ box. A drop-down box will appear. Scroll down and click on ‘Revelation study’. This will bring up all the posts that I have offered in this series. Feel free to peruse them at your leisure. If you are reading today’s post via email and would like to review past teachings in this series, please click HERE to be taken to my website, then follow the preceding instructions.  

I think now is a good time for me to offer a few disclaimers about our study of The Revelation. These were put forth in the first post that I wrote in January, and I want to remind you of them again.

 

No one on this earth understands everything about The Revelation.

I am not a biblical scholar. I do not have all the answers that will be posed in this journey. I am willing to be taught.

The Scriptures will be my primary text for this study, however, I will refer to commentaries and lexicons in my posts.

I will offer my opinions on the texts based on my own personal study. I encourage you to do the same.

I will not tolerate snarky, condescending, or ugly comments. They will be deleted. There are many interpretations of The Revelation and we can agree to disagree on certain points.

 

Now, with that taken care of, let’s move into Revelation 4 (ESV). Today, we will begin with only the first five verses. I will offer a bit of teaching, then we will finish looking at these verses next time we are together.

 

1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first 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 there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.

4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.

5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.

 

An Open Door in Heaven

 

Every time I read this passage I am not sure whether to fall on my face or stand transfixed at what surely left John slack-jawed.

The chapter opens with the words, “after this.” After what?

After John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.

After he heard a loud voice like a trumpet.

After He saw the vision of the resurrected Christ.

After John probably needed to change his underwear when Jesus spoke to Him.

After Jesus gave John the letters to the seven churches and John wrote all of it down.

 

After this…..as if all of that was not enough to make John want to pinch himself to make sure he was awake….John sees an open door in heaven and hears the same voice he heard at first (chapter 1) commanding him to ‘come up here’. The voice promises to show John ‘what must take place after this’. ‘This’ being all the events of chapters one through three.

Put yourself in John’s sandals. The man is 90 years old. It is a wonder he didn’t have a heart attack when he heard that first voice and saw Jesus in chapter 1. Now, he is being summoned to heaven. Lord, have mercy!!

Okay, let’s stop there for today. Use your imagination and share your thoughts about what all of this was like for John. Remember, every time you leave a comment on one of my blog posts, you are entered into that the giveaway for that month.

The Shredder

As I prayed about what to share with you today, my thoughts turned to a bit of work I did last weekend. About once a month, I sit down in the floor of my home office and spend time shredding bills and other documents that are too sensitive for just tossing into the regular garbage. Saturday was the day I did that, and it offered a vivid object lesson that I want to share with you.

You see, I had already spent time earlier in the day with Jesus. Part of that sweet time is spent in prayer….praying for others, as well as myself. Recently, my prayer list seems especially heavy with hurting hearts and lives. Cancer and other life threatening diagnoses, marriages ripped apart, upcoming medical tests, financial difficulties, confusion, anxiety and so much more. It seems that life shreds lives and hearts at a faster and more vicious rate than ever before. Dreams and hearts torn to shreds, unrecognizable and without hope of ever experiencing the normal of their previous life.

 

The Shredder

 

 

A verse came to mind as I thought about the viciousness of life here on this fallen, spinning orb.

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Psalm 56:8 (ESV)

God sees the pain that each person experiences. He not only sees it, He experiences it. His heart is moved by it so much so that He collects our tears and places them in a bottle. Imagine it! He also records them in His book. He is intimately involved in what is going on with you and me, as believers in Jesus. There is more good news.

 

Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV)

God not only sees and knows our pain and heartache, He is abundantly able to do something with it and about it. Nothing is too hard for Him! Your situation is not the ONE DISASTER that God cannot take and make beauty from its ashes. God is able to work in every single prayer need on my prayer list, and to do it to perfection. But…..we must……

 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

When life runs you and me through the shredder, we must trust God in all things. We must trust that He knew about the trials and allowed them for a reason. We must trust that He is walking with us through them, and has a plan that is for our good. We must not allow our eyes to focus on the trial, but rather on Jesus. If we try to understand our trials from a human perspective, we will be toast! God’s ways often do not make sense from a human perspective. Here is a formula for finding peace in the midst of a shredding.

 

Eyes on Jesus + heart trusting in God = Peace in the midst of life’s shredder

Friends, I hope these words that I have tapped out this morning offer you a bit of perspective and hope. As with most everything the Lord gives me to write, these words are as much, or more, for me as they are for you. Are you in the middle of a shredding season? Would you be willing to leave a comment letting me know about it? I would be happy to pray for you.