Humans are no strangers to threats to security and stability in 2023. Perspectives may differ, but the following are some of the most recognized challenges being faced today.
— Climate change is a major threat to our planet and has already resulted in extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and widespread ecosystem damage.
— Global Health: The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vulnerable we are to global health crises.
— Political tensions and instability are on the rise around the world, with conflicts and crises in many regions.
— Persistent income inequality that leads to a lack of trust in government and other institutions. Many people may feel that these institutions are captured by elites who do not have their interests at heart.
— While technology has the potential to improve our lives in countless ways, it also poses risks, such as cyber-attacks, data breaches, and the potential for artificial intelligence to be misused.
The vision given to John in Revelation recognizes the vulnerability of the church. The devil and those who serve him use their power to oppress, persecute, and worse.
“Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath
because he knows that his time is short!” (Revelation 12:12)
Revelation provides a true insight into history as we view things from a heavenly perspective.
An Open Door
Chapters 4 and 5 offer a glimpse through an open door into heaven.
After this I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open! 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.”
At once I was in the Spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne! (Revelation 4.1-2).
One of God’s universal principles was revealed to Amos the prophet.
Surely the Lord God does nothing
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3.7)
God gave John visions to reveal his plans to people who follow his guidance.
It is important to notice the word “throne” in Revelation. It is used 40 times in the book and symbolizes the absolute sovereignty of God.
People may suffer from troubling events, like the ones mentioned in the introduction, but God’s people can recognize that he is the Ultimate Sovereign over all.
John didn’t see God, but he was granted a vision of God’s glory.
And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald (Revelation 4.3).
The Psalm writer declared this about God’s glory.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
wrapped in light as with a garment. (Psalm 104.1-2)
Paul used similar language in recognition of God’s character.
It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:16)
There are many reasons to be troubled in the world, but our Savior and Lord has ultimate authority and power over all.
John was given a snapshot of heavenly beings and their worship of God
Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads.
Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning and rumblings and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne burn seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God,
And in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.
Around the throne, and on each side of the throne [the heavenly host] Day and night without ceasing sing,
“Holy, holy, holy,
the Lord God the Almighty,
who was and is and is to come.” (Revelation 4.4-5, 6 and 8)
The image of heavenly beings giving God his rightful worship should inspire us and comfort us at the same time.
If those who see God face to face give him this kind of worship, should we not give him our best?
Concerning the troubled times in which we live, should we not be assured knowing that God is completely and utterly in control?
Let’s remember what Jesus said, “I have said this to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution, but take courage: I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33).
I interview Rudy Ross on this passage in today’s YouTube video. Rudy has insights into the throne room you will want to hear. The video is on the Bob Spradling channel.