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April 10, 2021 2:00 am
The above title is more than just a play on words. Although there will be many activities going on in heaven, worship is one of the few things that we can do "down here" on earth that we will also do "up there" in heaven. That means that one of the ways you can get closer to heaven is to engage in biblical worship right now. Let's tag along with John for his extended tour of heaven.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
I just want you to notice not only what John sees. But notice what he doesn't see John doesn't say anything about working to be sitting around bored forever on clouds 24 seven doesn't say anything about seeing Peter at the pearly gates of heaven welcoming us in just I saw a door open in heaven. And behold, you remember the children's song heaven is a wonderful place maybe sacred in Sunday school or vacation Bible school what one thing that song is really elaborate on is why heaven is a wonderful place would be nice to get some specifics on what makes heaven so wonderful well today here and connect with Skip weekend division Skip Heitzig does just that. As we explore what the Bible reveals about heaven and why it's so great hence why we would want to go there will get started with our study adjustable first this update from the connect with Skip resource or so how is your stress level on a scale of 1 to 10 stresses that the robber of peace and joy skip. I think with appointed observation. If you don't live with the nature of faith, you can adrift in a sea of anxiety and most people in the world they don't have anything to anchor that no real grand scheme or purpose in life to help you live with an anchor of faith so you can learn to lean into God in times of anxiety sending you three powerful resources height six. New booklet overcoming an anxious mind is teaching us of any uncertainty on CD plus is over were succeeding. This bundle is our thanks when you get $35 or more today to help expand the Bible teaching outreach of skintight safe Jesus as Savior brings peace with God Jesus as Lord. Call now to request these three encouraging resources when you get 819 to 1888, or give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer your Bibles to Revelation chapter 4. Is your marketplace will joy Skip Heitzig seizures of experience. It was quite extraordinary. Compared to heaven. It almost seems Monday while back I had real privilege of going to the White House in Washington DC where few of us were invited to meet with the president over issues regarding faith-based organizations and how they interface with the government while you just can't imagine how cool was to stand in the White House goes from the green room they call it to the red room to the East room this big huge meeting room where the president would come in that huge portrait of the George Washington is their famous portrait and just taking it all and I was there with Jim Dobson. Actually, Cato and several others. So I look out the windows of the White House from the inside and I'm taken wow this is cool okay not that was cool were about to read again John's tour of God's house and he sorta says the equivalent when he says behold that's like kind of the Bible. Everything wow couple of times he says behold as he checks out God sitting upon his throne. Now, as we work our way through some more. These verses this morning. I just want you to notice not only what John sees. But notice what he doesn't see John doesn't say anything about working to be sin around bored forever on clouds 24 seven.
He doesn't say anything about seeing Peter at the pearly gates of heaven welcoming us in just I saw a door open in heaven.
And behold, by the way, I heard this little joke about a cat who died and went to heaven. We just tell it.
Cat died, went to heaven. Peter was there. The pearly gates and Peter said you know you been such a good cat. All of these years anything you want, you name it, it's yours. The cat said will you know what I've lived with a poor family my whole life. It's been tough and I can only sleep on the hard wooden floors and Peter interrupted since say no more. Instantly, a pair of fluffy satin pillow for that little Sleep on in heaven. So he was very excited. Few days later six little mice died in a tragic accident. They went to heaven. Peter was there at the pearly gates welcoming the mice and they haven't said a anything you want here you been good little mice. Whatever you want is yours and so this one little spokes mouse said to Peter, you know, Peter. We had a tough our whole lives. We had always run run run dogs chases Chases women with brooms chases to be really nice in heaven if we could have rollerskates so Peter said say no more of these cute little tiny rollerskates were outfitted for all these little mice about a week went by and Peter decided on a checkup on the cat so Peter goes a cat sleeping on that nice little soft alone gently wakes the cat up and says hey how you doing you happy here. The cats at Peter big stretch. I've never been happier in my life and those Meals on Wheels that he is sending over there.
The vast okay so I decided that's going to be my new answer for our their animals in heaven is God did how far you want to take this thing on John in Revelation chapter 4 and five. John describes the ultimate adventure we've seen so far as he saw and he looked that throne set in heaven, and one who sat on the throne this brilliant light show of resplendent display of God's God's magnificence and brilliance, Randy Alcorn, who was written a number of things about heaven wrote this, Satan labors to give people an inaccurate view of heaven.
Our enemies slanders three things God's person, God's people, and God's place.
Some of his favorite lies concern heaven that actually makes sense.
I would say that Satan has a vested interest in the lying to people about heaven because if you remember heaven used to be his hang out his days.
He was forcibly evicted from heaven and it must drive him nuts as he realizes our future home was his ex home so he tells all sorts of misconceptions about what happens going to be like. That's why it's always good to look at what the Bible says in John chapter 4 and five. Tell us what John saw in heaven now today we continue we look at verses 1 to 3 last time of John chapter 4. Now we turn our focus from the throne, and the one who sat on the throne to what's around the throne what the inhabitants of heaven are doing, we find the main thing they are doing is they're worshiping.
So it's safe to say in heaven. One of the things are going to do is worship is not the only thing you can do by the way, there are more. The Bible says shall be given tasks to do, you will administrate in the kingdom.
Major going to help rule and reign with Christ. But one of the things you and I will do is worship. In fact, I'll put it this way. One of the few things you can do right now that you will do forever in heaven is to worship God. You see, there will be any evangelization in heaven right you have any crusades in heaven. You will be personally witnessing to anybody in heaven you will be feeding the poor in heaven.
You will be discipling people in heaven but you will be worshiping in heaven.
That's something we can do right now so how did they do it and how do they do it in heaven.
How could our worship now closely reflect that which goes on in heaven. Pretty exciting to even think about that.
This last week we had a sister in our fellowship go to heaven. She was on her deathbed, she was quite ill for a couple of years and Saturday night. She was tuning into our broadcasts. It would always listen at home and she heard last week's description with John saw in heaven and it's so captivated her the next morning she wanted to hear it again so she got up and was listening to the live broadcast about heaven and her family was around her talking and she could think to quiet and eventually she cried out to God.
God deliver me from this body while she was taken to heaven.
The place we were describing the place she could only imagine in her mind's eye. Today she's enjoying that very place and the comfort of heaven the comfort of those thoughts to her and her family was indescribable today what we want to look at as we continue his two things basically the occupants the prominent occupants in heaven. The other ones that John sees as he looks around the throne and then the occupation.
What is their primary occupation is received in heaven. So let's look at the others that are in heaven.
John is definitely not alone. Verse four around the throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones I saw 24 elders sitting close in white robes and they had crowns of gold on their heads. Who are these 24 elders.
Some suggest their angels. I don't believe that angels are never called elders in the Bible.
Others suggest these represent the 24 priests in the Old Testament member.
There were 24 courses in the priesthood that were administered throughout the entire year for the temple worship. Again, I don't think that it they were never called elders either. I think it's best to see the 24 elders as representing the whole church and here's why.
Eight times in the New Testament believers are said to rule and reign with Christ in eternity to rule with him to reign with him and hear these 24 elders are sitting on thrones.
Helping administrate so as there were 24 priests that represented the whole nation.
These 24 elders represent the whole church. I think it's pretty definitive as you go down into chapter 5 in verse nine of chapter 5, you listen to the song they sing and they say, for you have redeemed us by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Only the church can sing those words. They have to be the church singing that the 24 elders representing the body of believers in heaven. I believe at least then look at verse five. There's more and from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.
What on earth is that does that mean there are seven holy spirits know it doesn't we know from Ephesians and from Corinthians.
There is one body and one spirit or not. Seven this is simply apocalyptic symbolism and notice the John ties the seven spirits of God.
The seven lamps burning, or if you know the temple or tabernacle, the sevenfold lampstand called the menorah so as the seven lamps are the sevenfold lampstand. The seven spirits of God.
I believe represent the sevenfold working of the one Holy Spirit. There's a text for that in Isaiah chapter 11 verse two it mentions the spirit of the Lord. That's one the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding the spirit of counsel and power. The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, the sevenfold description of what the single Holy Spirit does. And there's more. Verse six before the throne there was a sea of glass like Crystal and in the midst of the throne and around the throne, were four living creatures get this full of eyes in front and in back is that while or what the first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature at the face of a man, the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within, and they do not rest day or night, saying holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. The term living creatures is a bit misleading when you think of a living creature.
You might think of an animal.
I member used to read a book to my son Nate when he was going up to where the wild things are met. But when I hear the term living creature. That's what my mind goes to those wild things.
The Greek term is so alive and it simply means a living thing in living thing and it at as you read this vision of John.
It's almost identical to what Ezekiel saw in Ezekiel 1 and 10 and he described them as cherubim cherubim. These are the four cherubim like Ezekiel around the throne of God. These are a special classification of angelic being. They guard the glory of God. They help administer judgment on the year.
Frankly, I can't wait to see these four cherubim does the description.
It's sort of hard for me to get my mind around them.
Ezekiel even says they were mobile. They had wheels, and there were eyes on the wheels.
I just cannot wait to check this out will there's more look at chapter 5 verse six and seven and I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne number. He saw the throne of God. That's the throne in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures in the midst of the elders to the Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth and of the Lamb is Christ we find that imagery throughout the book, and the Lamb is called Christ. He's the hero of the book. He's the hero of the story because in this chapter he is said to take the scroll the title deed of the earth to bring full redemption to the earth to rule and reign forever and so here's the church along with the angelic hosts the four living creatures, worshiping and looking at Christ in heaven seeing him in his glory, which is exactly what Jesus prayed for in John chapter 17. He said father I want those that you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory which you have given me for the creation of the world. So were looking around and were sing a lot more in heaven than just a throne in one sitting on. There's even more than that data. Verse 11 of chapter 5 and I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, the elders, the number of them was 10,000×10,000, and thousands of thousands, this is heaven filled with the angelic host.
There's a lot of angels.
There's a lot of angels. 17 Old Testament books and 17 New Testament books all mention angels hundred and three times in the Old Testament. Another 165 times in the New Testament, angels are mentioned there prominent. There are round, they ministered to us. The Bible says, and there will be in heaven worshiping with us huge choir how many are there a lot units I want to do the math for 5000 times and got up hundred million angels. Did you know there was a theologian in them. The 1200s name Albertus Magnus who came up he thought with the precise number of angels. He wrote he said there are precisely 399,920,004 Angel how he ever came up with that number. I do not know we don't know how many there are. This construction simply means innumerable Greek it's more a day's Maury Doan, Kai Kelly days scoria down translated myriads upon myriads upon thousands upon thousands this innumerable house to get the picture is the throne, there's the Landers four cherubim these while looking creatures with life in and around them.
24 elders representing the church. As far as the eye can see the angelic host John saw. Now let's let's turn from the occupants in heaven to the occupation the primary occupation is worship know it is funny whenever you bring this up to people you say is they asked what we could be doing have if you say will be worshiping and have typically the responses is that all that sounds kind of boring. It sounds like one long church service. That's how we think about it that this is why people resort to saying these things at funerals I noted. Right now he's up in heaven playing golf, golf, or I know right now she's hiking in some mountain in heaven or some earthly activity. We always confine heaven to earthbound activities as if there could be nothing better than golf or hiking or baking or whatever. We have to come up with something they like doing here on earth. As I read through Revelation 4 and five I get this idea that Johnny isn't bored up there is like is put in some going to great we just worshiping all the time. In fact, the theme that I keep getting from Revelation 4 and five is there's nothing more fascinating than God himself. He is taken by this. This is shock and awe for John so let's just consider the kind of worship going on in heaven and see how that interfaces with us now because the name of this message is what on earth is going on and have an answer worship so let's see how our worship interfaces with that of heaven. When you notice first of all, the proper response in worship that is in heaven look at chapter 5 verse eight now when he that is the Lamb. When he had taken the scroll, there's a definite action going on.
The Lamb is taking the title deed to the earth which will implied full redemption through a series of judgment in his second coming. When you taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, and they sang a new song, sing so it's when they saw the Lamb take the scroll there worship was a response to what he did and here's the principle I want to make worship must be intellectual now hear me follow me worship must be intellectual. It's what you see or know God to be or do. That causes a response to God. Worship is the human response or the human reaction to a divine action. They knew what that meant when he took the scroll and now here is the intelligent response they worship the Lord is he worship involves the mind, we must think about what God has done who God is to response one person who wrote a lot of heaven said this at times throughout the day as I work in my office.
I find myself on my knees thanking God for his goodness. When I eat a meal with my wife when I talk with a friend or if I take my dog out for a walk.
I worship God for his goodness.
The world is full of praise and prompters heaven will overflow with one of the great privileges we have right now is the ability to practice something to a lot of worship. It's a rare opportunity to give God praise in the midst of hard times tragedy and disappointment after open heaven there will be anything which makes life in this world. The ideal time and place to perfect what will do in heaven will we be directing Zephyr today but we want to remind you stay in touch with pastor Skip use social media. You can like them on Facebook follow him on Twitter read into your Instagram feed that's at Skip Heitzig HEI T CIG you can find quick links to the social media accounts. When you visit them online and connectwithskip.com now for a copy of today's message.
What on earth is going on in heaven by Skip just call 1-800-922-1888 would be happy to send you an audio CD for just six dollars plus shipping or one on obtaining the entire series from the edge of eternity. All 17 messages for only $39 plus shipping. Thanks for tuning in today come back next time. Weekend division for further preview of our future home is pastor Skip includes the message.
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