09.3 Revelation – Is To Come

Is To Come

In our lesson today we see God’s power and perfection, but we also see God in His Eternity.  God alone has no beginning and no end.  Everything else, the heavens and the earth and everything in them was created.  Everything physical, living or elements, great or small, was created.  Everything spiritual, other than God, was created, including the angels in all their different forms.  Sound was created.  Light as we know it was created.  Everything except God.

We often will praise God for His consistency.  God is the same yesterday and today.  He is unchanging.  He does not begin better because He is and always has been perfect.  He does not become less.  He doesn’t gain might or power or authority nor does it ever diminish.

We see this in the descriptions of heaven referenced throughout the bible.  Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, John, Stephen, Moses, all see the same thing.  None have words to fully describe it, although each tries with comparisons and allegories to things and sounds in this world.

But I found it interesting that the words that are spoken about this in heaven that we find in both Revelation 1:8 and in Revelation 4:8 are NOT, “the one who was and is and will be”.  While that would be consistent with how we sometimes view God, that is not how God is viewed by Himself or in His house.  That description would be of a flat God.  A two dimensional God.  A God without feature or movement.  A God without a crescendo or climax in His relationship with mankind.

Instead, in those verses God is described as “the one who was and is and is to come.”  Did you catch the difference?  God and all of heaven is looking forward in anticipation a great and glorious day.  The glimpses of heaven the great prophets are given are not simple of another day in heaven like every other day, they are of a day of glory when God comes to judge and collect His people out of the world.

As you live in relationship with God, are you simply putting in your time?  Going through the motions?  Treating each day as just another day?  Or, like someone with front row tickets and a backstage pass to the greatest event of all eternity, are you living with excitement and anticipation?  Are you decked out in your team colors for the event?  Do you study His word so you can sing along with every verse?  And, most importantly, do you know with whom you are supposed to share that extra ticket that God has placed in your pocket?

If God and all of Heaven are looking forward to this day, shouldn’t we be as well?  They pyrotechnics alone sound pretty amazing!

My Answers:

5.
lightening thunder,  rainbow, shine, clarity like crystal – God’s power and perfection

6.
thunder, lightning, loud trumpet blast, lapis lazuli under his feet, God seated on a throne, winged beings flying , singing Holy, Holy Holy, smoke/cloud, living creatures, gems on the throne, flying creatures, throne of lapis, figure like that of a man glowing like full of fire with brilliant light, the appearance of rainbow

7.
a.
The first voice like a trumpet (Jesus), At once I was in the Spirit (H/S), the one who sat there (on the throne) (God the Father)

b.
The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father to remind us of everything  Jesus has said.

09.2 Revelation – A Great Gift

A Great Gift

Do you remember a time of giving someone a really great gift?  Maybe it was when you were younger and giving a gift to your mom or dad.  Maybe it was a special birthday present for a friend or loved one.

For me, the thought goes back to May Day flowers for my mom.  I would have been about 6 or 7 years old and we made flowers in school for our moms.  They were simple pieces of paper, cut and curled and colored in a simple construction paper cone with a construction paper handle stapled on the top.

I remember the care in making them and getting them home in my backpack.  I remember that year the 1st of May was on a Saturday, so I kept them hid and stayed quiet about them.  I remember the anticipation and giggling as I sneaked out the back door and around to the front of the house, carefully hanging the “bouquet of flowers” from the doorknob.  The moment I rang the bell and then raced back around the house, flying back in, closing the door and diving on to the couch, to nonchalantly yell out, “Mom, there is a delivery at the door.”  I remember the way my mom went to the door and the joy I felt when her faced lit up at the gift.  The way she displayed them throughout the day.

I also remember years later seeing them in a storage box, where she had held on to the memory of that day.

I did not have the money or means to get a fancy gift.  I could only craft something out of materials that were given to me.  But the joy we both shared in the giving was the the true gift.

This is, to me, the meaning behind the robes and crowns of the elders.  They are/were human beings who lived a life of faith to God.  They had no ability to earn a white robe or a crown.  These were materials given to them.  But throughout their life they crafted them into something of joy.  The joy is not in the pride.  The joy is not in the possession.  The joy is in the giving of the gift itself.

We have nothing God lacks.  We have nothing God needs.  But God has given us materials: bodies, time, talents, materials, a voice, a mind, a heart and soul, relationships, eyes to see, His holy word, a Spirit alive within us.  Like a great parent, He loves the moment of seeing our gift of what we craft out of those materials and sharing in that joy with us, not once, but over and over and over again throughout eternity.

My Answers:

3.
God, the appearance of jasper and ruby, a rainbow shone like an emerald encircled the throne, from the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, sitting behind a sea of glass, clear as crystal.  Demonstrates God’s majesty

4.
a.
24 elders, the saints who had died for faith in God

b.
A crown that will last forever, a crown of righteousness awarded by the Lord the righteous judge, a crown of glory that will never fade away from the Chief Shepherd, the crown of life that the Lord has promised to the blessed one who perseveres under trial and stands the test