by Philip Layton
The revelation given to John as a prophecy for us to take to heart
- John is told he would be shown what must take place ‘after this’ (v 1). After what?
- Is John being told about things that are yet to come?
- It’s not often we’re given such a vivid glimpse into Heaven; how does reading this chapter make you feel?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Have you thought much about Heaven lately? What it will be like? What you will be doing, once there? The apostle John was given a vision. The sights, the sounds, the impressions. Mind-boggling! Then he became focused on one thing alone: the ‘throne’ – and the One sitting on the throne.
The opening three chapters of Revelation present Christ among his churches, symbolised by the seven golden lampstands. In this second vision, we begin a new section. John is lifted ‘in the Spirit’ from the isle of Patmos to the realities of Heaven. He does not see all of Heaven, for he is not given a complete description of everything there. But he soon sees that everything centres around the throne, for the throne of God is the centre of the universe. It is the immovable point of reference for everything else. Just as the ancient navigators steered their ships by the North Star, so Christians must orient their lives by the sovereignty of God – represented by the throne, the centre of authority for our lives.
The four living creatures are by the throne, as well as the 24 elders and a myriad of angels. Day and night, they all say:
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come’ (v 8).
Continual praise! And to think, one day we will be there! But until then, let us give praise now to our Lord as we join together in saying the closing verse (v 11) aloud – as our united act of worship today:
‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’
Arch of Titus photo: Steerpike (Creative Commons)