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In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Study the following passages as they relate to the counsel to Laodicea Rev. All prices at U. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open. See Rev. In vision, John saw twenty-four elders sitting around God's throne.
First, we may read each message against the historical background and within the setting in which it was originally written. In John's day the problems of specific congregations varied considerably. Second, we may read the letters within the context of Christian-church history from the early developments in the first century A.
In doing so we will note how each message meets the special problems of a particular period. Third, we may read Christ's words in the context of the spiritual needs of the worldwide church today. Every message applies to us. How does John describe Christ in the address to the church at Ephesus? Christ controls and shelters the church. The word rendered "to hold" in context denotes Christ's complete control over the entire church.
Christ does not hold the church against its will. He provides protection and security when His people maintain their union with Him. The vision of Christ in the midst of the lampstands symbolizes His presence and activity in and among the individual churches. Our Lord is not aloof from us, but meets with us in worship, in study, and in fellowship. He is with us in the hour of trial, as well as in the moment of triumph, and ministers His grace in accordance with our needs.
Christ watches over the church and its members. He looks with intense interest to see whether His people are in such a condition spiritually that they can advance His kingdom. He is present in every assembly of the church. He knows those whose hearts He can fill with the holy oil, that they may impart it to others. Those who faithfully carry forward the work of Christ, representing in word and deed the character of God, fulfill the Lord's purpose for them, and Christ takes pleasure in them.
For what did Christ commend the church at Ephesus? How were the same noble qualities demonstrated in the apostolic church of the first century? What special problem existed in the church of Ephesus and the church generally during the apostolic period?
The church at Ephesus symbolized the apostolic church, which was known for its hard work and patience. The early Christians strove tirelessly to purge the church of moral contamination and false doctrine. However, they tended to become dogmatic and intolerant. Their judgment became clouded and their feelings hardened. They lost that great love for the Lord and His gospel that had motivated them at the first. Christians became selfish.
But little by little a change came. The church lost her first love. She became selfish and ease-loving.
The spirit of worldliness was cherished. The enemy cast his spell upon those to whom God had given light for a world in darkness. Who were the Nicolaitanes? Why did the early Christians hate their deeds? The deeds of the Nicolaitanes were rejected by the apostolic church but tolerated in the later period represented by Pergamum. Some of the Christian writers in the postapostolic period identified the Nicolaitanes with the Christian Gnostics, who read Greek philosophical ideas into the Bible.
Whether or not that identification was true, the Scriptures reveal why their deeds were unacceptable to the Lord.
The Nicolaitanes practiced the sins of Balaam. Verses 14 and 15 of Revelation 2 identify the sins of Balaam with those of the Nicolaitanes.
Verse 15 may be translated: A study of those passages that speak of Balaam reveals that his sins were covetousness, hypocrisy, idolatry, and immorality. See Num. Are church members today guilty of the sins of the Nicolaitanes? Is it worldliness? Is it selfishness? Is it the love of self-esteem? Is it striving to be first? Is it the sin of sensuality that is intensely active?
Is it the sin of the Nicolaitanes, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness? Is it the misuse and abuse of great light and opportunities and privileges, making boasted claims to wisdom and religious' knowledge, while the life and character are inconsistent and immoral?
White, Review and Herald, June 7, But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which Christ so unsparingly condemned. What special promise to the overcomer was given to the apostolic church? What connection do you observe between the titles of Christ and the situation facing the church of Smyrna? Poverty, persecution, imprisonment, and martyrdom afflicted the Christian church in the period A.
For the most part, those who responded favorably to the gospel were economically poor and socially disadvantaged. Pagans pursued and persecuted them at will. But the most severe treatment came from Jewish circles. Many Christians had been converted from Judaism. What class of persons brought special trials for the church in the period represented by Smyrna?
Satan's church opposes Christ's. Its members are the children of disobedience. They are those who choose to sin, who labor to make void the holy law of God. It is Satan's work to mingle evil with good, and to remove the distinction between good and evil.
Christ would have a church that labors to separate the evil from the good, whose members will not willingly tolerate wrongdoing, but will expel it from the heart and life. Christianity was an illegal religion. During the period of Smyrna, Roman Emperors aided and abetted the persecution of Christians. What fierce persecution fulfilled the prediction of Revelation 2: The Diocletian persecution.
Begun by Diocletian in A. What promise of divine strength and support did Jesus promise to those opposed for their faith? What inspiring promises to the overcomer in Smryna also apply to us?
Where will I stand?
When the prophecies regarding the end of time are fulfilled and God's people are subjected to suffering similar to that endured by the early Christians, will I be on Christ's side? When facing a severe trial that seems to threaten my personal safety and security, will I find comfort in the recognition and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the "first and the last"?
WED DI. Christ comes to the church at Pergamum as the one having "the sharp sword with two edges. The sword of the Spirit becomes the sword of retribution for those who reject Christ's love, pervert His truth, and oppose His people. What specific problems does Christ mention in His message to the church in Pergamum?
Papal Rome was rising to power. Because the period represented by Pergamum was that of the developing Papacy A. Human theories and traditions took the place of Christian truth. The spirit of compromise and conformity was restrained for a time by the fierce persecutions which the church endured under paganism. But as persecution ceased, and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His apostles for the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers; and in place of the requirements of God, she substituted human The nominal conversion of Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century, caused great rejoicing; and the world, cloaked with a form of righteousness, walked into the church.
What promises to the overcomer in Pergamum also apply to us? How do I react to the temptation to compromise? Do I spend the greater part of my time fighting the good fight of faith or struggling with moral and spiritual compromise? What connection do you see between the title of Christ and the problems facing the church in Thyatira that Christ addresses?
What special commendation did Christ give to His people in the period represented by Thyatira? Some Christians were loyal to Christ throughout the period. Many Christians in various lands maintained their union with Christ and loyalty to the simple faith of His apostles.
For example, the early Christians in Britain, Scotland, and Ireland clung to the religion of the Bible. The Waldenses and the followers of Wycliffe and Huss were closer to apostolic Christianity than most of their contemporaries. The Bible regarded as the only rule of faith. They were surrounded by heathenism and in the lapse of ages were affected by its errors; but they continued to regard the Bible as the only rule of faith and adhered to many of its truths.
These Christians believed in the perpetuity of the law of God and observed the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Churches that held to this faith and practice existed in Central Africa and among the Armenians of Asia.
Who was Jezebel? As the daughter of a heathen king and a worshiper of Baal, she provided the motivation for Ahab's apostasy 1 Kings She was a persecutor of God's prophets and faithful people 1 Kings She was a harlot and a sorceress 2 Kings 9: Because of her evil life, God's curse was upon her 2 Kings 9: What organization during the Middle Ages possessed Jezebel's characteristics?
The medieval Papacy practiced idolatry. Veneration of the pope, of images and relics, of Sunday in place of the true Sabbath, of earthly priests as mediators in place of Christ, and of the elements in the Massall of this amounted to idolatry. Spiritual immorality resulted from the acceptance of teachings and practices that came from pagan religions. God's people were the victims of the Inquisition.
The Waldenses, Wycliffe and the Lollards, Huss and his followers, and Protestants in the sixteenth century were victims of papal persecution. How long will "Jezebel," her consorts, and her children have influence on earth? When will God deal with them? What special counsel does Christ give His people who are afflicted by "Jezebel"? What special promises are given to those who resist the deceptions of "Jezebel"?
What is the condition of my love for Christ and His truth? Check the appropriate boxes below: Growing stronger About the same Growing cold.
Growing weaker Do I enjoy the riches of Christ's righteousness within by the presence of the Holy Spirit? Circle the number below where you would place yourself: Study the counsel contained in the following passages as it relates to Christ's instruction to the first four churches: Wherever men, women, and children assemble for worship in the name of Jesus, the risen Lord is present and active in their midst. In anticipation of the dark hour of trial awaiting His followers, Christ approaches each fellowship and each individual with a special message.
Revelation 3. Letters to the churches in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Fellowship with the Lord Jesus takes place when you respond without reservation to His initiative and receive His Word completely into your life. Christ, the great physician, aware of the spiritual lethargy of His churches, sometimes uses firm language to awaken them. But He follows His rebuke with heartfelt appeals, promises, and encouragement.
We may respond to Christ's continued appeals by inviting Him into our hearts. His presence within brings victory and reward. No Time to Sleep Rev. An Open-Door Policy Rev.
All or Nothing Rev. The messages to the seven churches reveal that throughout history progressive spiritual decline among professed Christians has been followed by progressive spiritual advance. Ephesus represents the spiritually and doctrinally pure church. This was the church of Christ and the apostles. But even in the apostolic church there was a loss of first love.
The church of Smyrna was pure but persecuted. In the postapostolic period Satan sought to keep souls from Christ by destroying those who followed Him. The church of Pergamum allowed the perversion of doctrine and the relaxation of Christian standards.
The low point was the period of Thyatira. During the Middle Ages spiritual darkness and doctrinal error held sway. Sardis, the Reformation and post-Reformation church, like Pergamum, was generally speaking, a spiritually dead church, but with some members whose born-again relationship with the Lord rendered their works acceptable to Christ.
The church of Philadelphia, like Smyrna, was rebuked for nothing. In the period from the French Revolution until the beginning of the pre-Advent judgment in there was a revival of the sacrificial spirit of the church of Smyrna. The church of Laodicea is rebuked for its lack of spiritual warmth, but those members who receive the gift of Christ's right Last week's lesson directed attention to the fact that the seven churches of Revelation not only represent the historical development of the church but also represent the entire body of believers in every generation from the beginning of the Christian era until the close of time.
All seven messages applied to the universal Christian church in the first century, and all seven messages apply to the worldwide church today. Some Christians today have lost their first love Ephesus.
Some are faced with intolerance and persecution Smyrna. Some are tolerating error and apostasy Pergamum. Some are committing spiritual immorality by allowing themselves to be absorbed into the religious system symbolized as "Jezebel" Thyatira.
Some have lost that living faith that works by love Sardis. Some are working faithfully for Christ while at the same time trusting in His mediatorial and judgment ministry Philadelphia. Some are spiritually lukewarm, self-satisfied, and unaware that they are "wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked" Laodicea. We must take seriously all seven messages today. A special last-day message. The message to the church in Laodicea has a special application to the church in the last days.
The church of Laodicea was most like the contemporary church. What severe accusation is made against the church in Sardis? The church was listless, lifeless, and loveless.
It had form but lacked power. What is a dead church? What is a dead Christian? The members in the church of Sardis were reputed to be spiritually alive, but they lacked living faith.
Hence, their works were unacceptable to God. James had emphasized that living faith results in works acceptable to God. See James 2: James did not teach that works save us. He taught that our works attest the genuineness of our faith. When James wrote that "by works a man is justified" James 2: His message was that living faith, the faith essential for salvation, always results in good works.
The reason for that is obvious. Christ reigns in the heart of the person who has living faith Gal. And Christ lives out His life of love and service through that individual. The church of Sardis had become lazy and lethargic, exhibiting an alarming complacency, a spiritual death. Christ had ceased to live in the hearts of the members; their faith was a dead faith, and their works were dead works, which Christ could not accept.
What do the following texts indicate about the cause of spiritual death? The Greek verb translated "perfect" in Revelation 3: One of the most characteristic contexts in which the word is used in the New Testament is that which speaks of God's will being perfectly fulfilled in and by believers because they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Christ died "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" Rom. Paul prayed that the Thessalonians would "fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power" 2 Thess.
He wanted the Philippians to be "filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus Christ" Phil. They were spiritually "dead" verse 1. Hence, they lacked the inner power of the Holy Spirit to do works that God could accept. When Christ dwells within He performs through the believer works acceptable to God Gal. The Bible concept of perfection is Christlikeness Eph. How do we perform works that are perfect in God's sight? Perfect works are those that God accepts.
In 1 John 2: Such a person "is righteous, just as he is righteous" 1 John 3: Christ is living in his heart Rom. The problem with the members in Sardis was that they had lost the presence of Jesus in their hearts.
When is imperfection sin? Not all imperfection is counted by God to be sin. If all imperfection were treated by God as sin, Jesus could never have made the statement recorded in John The imperfect works of the people were not regarded as sin until they had received the light from Jesus.
Paul taught that "whatever does not proceed from faith is sin" Rom. Everything we do is imperfect, because we are fallen, imperfect human beings. But not everything we do is sin. Martin Luther was correct when He wrote: Louis, MO.: Concordia, , p. Christ makes up for imperfection. But He will not accept those who claim to have faith in Him, and yet are disloyal to His Father's commandment. We hear a great deal about faith, but we need to hear a great deal more about works. Many are deceiving their own souls by living an easygoing, accommodating, crossless religion.
But Jesus says, 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Two Builders. A genuine born-again Christian decided to build a house in the country for his growing family. He was not a builder by trade, but he did the best he could with his limited knowledge, trusting in God to help him. As you would expect, the house was imperfect. Ceilings, gutterings, and floors were not perfectly straight.
But because the house was a work of faith, the builder could not be regarded as sinning. The house was a genuine work of heart. Another man who was a building contractor deliberately put inferior materials into the foundations of a house. Later the foundations sank and the house developed large cracks in the walls. Did he sin? Two imperfect houses, two imperfect menone sinned, the other did not. Not all imperfection is sin. Why does God expect his last-day people to receive His gift of victory over sin?
There were some in Sardis whose works were acceptable to God Rev. They were allowing the Holy Spirit to live in their hearts. Christ's will is that everyone will copy these overcomers in Sardis: Names are not blotted out of the book See Dan. Victory in Christ. God says, 'He shall walk with Me in white, with unsullied garments, for he is worthy. Christ says of the overcomer, 'I will not blot out his name out of the book of life. Angels of God are weighing moral worth. They are watching the development of character in those now living, to see if their names can be retained in the book of life.
A probation is granted us in which to wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Who is doing this work? Who is separating from himself sin and selfishness? Who will stand in the time of trouble? Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation.
Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father's commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble. What is the source of the power to overcome sin? Christ must be all in all to us, He must dwell in the heart, His life must circulate through us as the blood circulates through the veins.
His Spirit must be a vitalizing power that will cause us to influence others to become Christlike and holy. In the letter to Philadelphia, what is meant by the open and shut door? Christ has absolute control over the royal household. John draws from the language of the prophet Isaiah to present Christ as the Messiah, who has the authority to admit individuals into or exclude them from the New Jerusalem.
No power can keep you from Christ if you choose Him. Those who are seeking to be faithful to God may be denied many of the privileges of the world; their way may be hedged up and their work hindered by the enemies of truth; but there is no power that can close the door of communication between God and their souls. What annual event in the ancient sanctuary was symbolized by the open and shut door? Were there doors between the two apartments of Solomon's Temple?
The Antitypical Shut and Open Doors. This door was not opened until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the holy place of the sanctuary in Then Jesus rose up and shut the door of the holy place, and opened the door into the most holy, and passed within the second veil, where He now stands by the ark, and where the faith of Israel now reaches.
When will the door of mercy finally close for unbelievers? What thrilling assurances does Christ give to the overcomer?
Why does Christ rebuke the Laodicean church so sternly? Does this message apply to us? God and him that serveth him not' God would do great things for His people if they would come out from the world and be separate. If they would submit to be led by Him, He would make them a praise in all the earth. Says the True Witness: Study the following passages as they relate to the counsel to Laodicea Rev.
Summarize the teaching of each passage: The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christ alone can give. The eyesalve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned.
What wonderful promises are given to the one who heeds the counsel to the church of Laodicea? Am I growing in my love relationship with Jesus? Check the appropriate box below: I find some evidence of Christian growth in my life. I continue about the same in my relationship with Christ. I am drifting away from Christ. Read again Revelation 2 and 3. See these comments on the counsel to Laodicea: Christ's Object Lessons, pp.
In the letters to the seven churches, Christ is pictured as one coming to His people with counsel, consolation, and commendation in order to prepare them for His kingdom.
Revelation 4. Worship in Heaven. SA Ff PM. The recognition of and response to God's holiness in adoration, praise, and thanksgiving constitutes acceptable worship. Without a proper knowledge of the holiness of God and an awareness of His love and care for His created beings it is impossible for us to offer Him our service. Our sovereign God is enthroned in heaven. He is holy, just, and eternal. He is worthy of our love, gratitude, adoration, and worship.
His throne is secure. We can trust Him. God Upon His Throne Rev. The Twenty-four Elders Rev. The Four Living Creatures Rev. Adoration for the Creator Rev. Eight days later he died.
The British nation honored him with a grave in Westminster Abbey. In the opinion of many musicians, Handel's Messiah is the finest composition of music that ever was heard. How spiritually edifying the performance of Messiah can be!
Worship in heaven. The most impressive music on this earth will never be as moving as the worship we will be privileged to witness and enjoy in heaven. It is common knowledge that Handel's inspiration for composing Messiah came, in part, from the worship scenes depicted in Revelation.
Night and day the heavenly hosts proclaim God's glory in the universe. But the sweetest, most uplifting, and awe-inspiring praise will be heard when the great controversy between Christ and Satan is ended. Then God will have completely and decisively vindicated Himself through the perfecting of His character in the lives of the redeemed. Revelation 4 and 5 a unit. While the controversy with evil continues Revelation 4 and 5 depict different aspects of the same scene.
The setting of chapter 5 is the throne room of heaven described in chapter 4. Together the two chapters provide the introduction and setting for the prophecy of the seven seals. Having written the letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor, John directs attention to the impending crisis on a global scale.
Based on their specific conditions and particular circumstances, the churches received from the risen Lord messages of counsel and commendation. All were given the challenge to be true to the Lord during the great conflict awaiting them.
Where was the door that John saw opened and through which he looked? Not, 'into heaven,' as if John were on the outside looking in. Inasmuch as, looking within, he beheld the throne of God, this must have been a door opening upon the throne room of the universe. John is taken up in vision to a door within heaven. Through the open door he beholds the holiness of God's presence in a glorious scene of worship.
Compare John's vision of God with the visions received by other Bible prophets: The curtains of the innermost sanctuary were drawn aside, and a throne high and lifted up, towering as it were to the very heavens, was revealed to his gaze. An indescribable glory emanated from a personage on the throne, and His train filled the temple, as His glory will fmally fill the earth.
Cherubim were on either side of the mercy-seat, as guards round the great king, and they glowed with the glory that enshrouded them from the presence of God. As their songs of praise resounded in deep, earnest notes of adoration, the pillars of the gate trembled, as if shaken by an earthquake.
Heaven is closely connected to earth. The world is not without a ruler. The program of coming events is in the hands of the Lord. The Majesty of heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of His church, in His own charge.
The scenes of worship in Revelation were disclosed to John for the comfort and encouragement of the church. How should I seek communion with God and fellowship with His people? We are at the mercy of the enemy when we neglect to commune with God.
In public worship we draw strength from hearing God's Word, singing hymns of praise, presenting our tithes and offerings, and making intercession for one another. In vision, John saw twenty-four elders sitting around God's throne. They were dressed in white garments and wore crowns of gold.
Here and elsewhere throughout the book they are pictured falling down before God in adoration and praise Rev. Twice we find an elder talking to John Rev.
Night and day they offer God continual worship. What is the significance of the white garments worn by the twentyfour elders? Why are the twenty-four elders wearing golden crowns? What do crowns symbolize? Revelation chapter 4 uses the number 24 symbolically. The entire scene is a symbolic representation of reality. It cannot be concluded that there are a literal 24 elders in heaven. The number points us to the function of the elders.
Just as there were 24 divisions of priests who served in the ancient sanctuary, so the work of the elders is to assist Christ, our high priest, in His heavenly ministry.
Apart from their priestly duties in the sanctuary, what other function was performed by the Israelite priests? The ancient Israelite priests were assistant judges. In like manner the heavenly elders assist Christ in His work of judgment. How did the twenty-four elders get to heaven? Redeemed human beings in heaven. The crowns worn by the 24 elders represent the spiritual victory they already have received.
The white garments they wear symbolize the righteousness of Christ given to believers. Christ brought into our hearts by the Holy Spirit is our righteousness Rom. The white robes represent Christ within.
Seated before the throne of God in heaven are redeemed human beings who have received the ultimate spiritual victory through Christ who is their righteousness. Raised with Jesus. When Jesus died on the Cross "the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many" Matt.
These resurrected saints were not left on this earth to die a second time. They were taken to heaven with Jesus as the firstfruits of His sacrifice. These saints in heaven are not the disembodied souls of the dead. They are redeemed human beings who were raised from the dead. Just as Aaron and subsequent high priests were assisted by twentyfour divisions of Levitical priests, so Christ is assisted in heaven by human beings functioning as priests.
They offer up to Christ "the prayers of saints" Rev. Christ is our one mediator 1 Tim. He presents the prayers of His people before the heavenly throne Rev. But He is assisted by redeemed human beings who have already been translated to heaven. The Revelation 4 scene takes place in heaven before the second coming of Jesus. Messages go into the earth after the 24 elders have assembled around the throne of God.
The scene in Revelation 4 occurs before the seals of the little book in God's hand are broken, and before the special messages contained in those seals are sent into the earth. Why is it encouraging to know that Christ, our mediator and judge, is assisted in heaven by redeemed human beings?
Who else is symbolically represented as present in heaven? In Lesson 1 it was explained that there is only one Holy Spirit.
See the comment on Rev. He is symbolized as "the seven Spirits of God" because the oil in the candlestick of the sanctuary was directed into seven branches. The seven-branched candlestick represented Christ's people around the world. The Holy Spirit does a perfect work for them as He dwells in their hearts and works Christ's will through them. Describe the "beasts," or "living creatures" that John saw before the throne of God in heaven.
The Greek word for "beast" used in this passage means also "living thing or being, living creature. How do we know that the four living creatures are beings who exercise special authority in heaven? How do we know that the living creatures are distinct from the main body of the angels? What similarities do you see between the four living creatures of Revelation and those described by Ezekiel? Ezekiel's living creatures each had four faces, but they were the same faces that John saw.
Ezekiel saw the living creatures guided by the Spirit Eze. Although they were supporting the throne of God Eze. The "wheel within a wheel" v. The four wheels represent God's control of earthly events by means of the living creatures. How reassuring it is to know that our personal lives and the complicated interplay of forces operating within societies and between nations are under the direct supervision of the Lord upon His throne!
Who are represented by the living creatures seen in vision by John and Ezekiel?
The similarity of Ezekiel's living creatures with John's, and the fact that in both cases they are in close proximity to the throne of God justifies the conclusion that the living creatures of Revelation chapter 4 are cherubim angels. In the same way that there were special golden cherubim placed They function as commanders, who pass on to the other angels the orders given by the Lord Himself.
If the living creatures are angels, how could they sing the song recorded in Rev. The Revised Standard Version presents the song of verse 9 in the third person for "by thy blood didst ransom men for God".
Textual scholars have concluded that, since the textual evidence for the first person in verse 9 is somewhat divided, it probably should read in the third person as does verse Possibly the heavenly chorus is antiphonal, the 24 elders singing verse 9 in the first person and the living creatures responding with verse 10 in the third person.
At all events, the evidence from Ezekiel is sufficientthe living creatures are heavenly cherubim. The forms chosen for this prophetic presentation were doubtless designed to symbolize heavenly messengers in their plenitude of offices, capabilities, and adaptabilities. What Old Testament type illustrated the cherubim before the throne of God?
Angels guard and direct your way. As we have seen, the angels before the throne of God are directly involved in the affairs of this earth. Their commands come from Christ Himself, who shares the throne with the Father Hebrews 8: The cherubim before the throne pass on Christ's commands to the angelic hosts. The Bible describes all of the angels as "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" Hebrews 1: They care for you and protect you from the forces of evil.
The day David brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, he led Israel in worship with a psalm of thanksgiving, exhorting them to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness" 1 Chron. For what do the living creatures and the 24 elders praise God?
Without ceasing they extol God's greatness by declaring His holiness, power, and eternity. Holiness is the chief attribute of God.
When the prophet Isaiah was given a vision of God, he saw the celestial beings seraphim in the temple in heaven proclaiming, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory" Isa. John beholds a similar scene in vision. The four living creatures surrounding God's throne in reverential awe say, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is and is to come" Rev.
The holiness of God instills within us a profound sense of awe, a deep reverence for His majestic presence.
In addition to the glorious manifestation of the divine presence in heaven, God's holiness is revealed in the wrath He displays toward sin. Read Revelation Two reactions to God's presence.
What makes the difference between those who experience awe in the light of God's holiness and those who are filled with terror? In the book of Hebrews we are admonished to offer our worship to God with reverence and fear for He is a "consuming fire" Heb.
Should God fully manifest His holiness, we could be instantly destroyed by the sheer power of His presence. Awe, respect, and reverence for God's holiness and power result from a love relationship with Him.
Some are preparing for rejection. In view the coining crisis, what counsel does the apostle Peter offer us? God's holiness makes me feel check the appropriate box: Complete this open-ended sentence: God is worthy of my love and worship because. Read "Worldliness in the Church" in Testimonies, vol. Study Romans 12 and Hebrews 12 in connection with the message of Revelation 4. In our lesson this week we focused attention on John's throne-room vision recorded in Revelation 4.
We saw that the purpose of the vision was to strengthen believers by encouraging them to exercise faith in the wisdom, power, and holiness of God. Revelation 5. The Lamb Before the Throne. Jesus is your mediator and judge in the heavenly sanctuary.
His death and resurrection make possible forgiveness, cleansing, and eternal life for those who trust Him as Lord and Saviour. The scroll that the Lamb takes from the hand of the Father is a book of destiny declaring God's verdict. God's judgments will be vindicated before the heavenly universe.
No Cause for Weeping Rev. The Lion and the Lamb Rev. Rejoicing in Heaven Rev. Most of us have become accustomed to hearing the news and weather reports. Before deciding on what clothes to wear to work, many listen to these reports. Some carefully study political and economic trends in order to make sound business investments. Important decisions are made every day on the basis of information gleaned from the newspapers, radio, and television, not to mention the many consultation services that are available.
For the most part, the news on the basis of which we make most of our decisions has only temporary value. The weather changes daily. Political events and economic trends may have a longer impact, but they are soon forgotten. Few would be willing to pay the full price for yesterday's newspaper. The older the newspaper, the less interest we have in it. Unlike some things, news does not improve with age.
God's Word is different. With each passing day its message becomes increasingly important. As the world moves closer to its final destination, the need to read the Scriptures becomes more urgent.
Because we know neither the day nor the hour when we may take our last breath, it is extremely important that we understand what is ahead of us and how we can best prepare for eternity. Revelation chapter 5 adds some vital aspects to the scene portrayed in chapter 4.
Together these two chapters depict the setting in which the seven seals are broken as the prelude to the second coming of Jesus. After describing the awesome scene of worship in heaven, John directs our attention to the scroll with seven seals in the right hand of God. A message of unparalleled significance is contained in the scroll, which is sealed to secure its secrecy.
With a loud voice a strong angel exclaims, " 'Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals? This is no ordinary scroll or book.
Its contents have to do with the destiny of the world and its people. As long as the scroll is sealed, however, the divine verdict remains a mystery. When is the seventh seal broken, making possible the opening and reading of the scroll in the hand of the Father?
The little book in the hand of the Father is a scroll sealed with seven seals. Such a scroll sealed on the outside cannot be unrolled and read until all seven seals are broken. The contents of the scroll cannot be known until the seventh seal is broken. The contents of the scroll are not the same as the contents of the seals.
The seals represent the events and messages that precede the opening of the scroll. The breaking of the first six seals thus indicates events or conditions within historical time which are preparatory to the opening of the book in judgment; these seals represent the steps or means by which God through Christ prepares the way in history for the opening and reading of the great will or book of destiny at the judgment in the eschatological consummation.
The seventh seal fitly represents the silence which accompanies that opening of the will. Ann Arbor Publishers, , pp. What is the significance of the "silence" in heaven spoken of in Revelation 8: The sixth seal describes the second coming of Christ Rev. Not until after Christ comes and the wicked are slain by the glory of His appearance is the seventh seal broken.
Then there is silence in heaven for about "half an hour" Rev. When Jesus is coming to destroy His earthly enemies, He "does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, round about him a mighty tempest" Ps. The silence does not come until the wicked have been put to death, the righteous dead have been raised, and the righteous living are caught up with them. The silence is the great calm after the storm. It is a symbol of the great joy of the Lord, His heavenly hosts, and His redeemed people as The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord will give" Isa.
When are God's faithful people finally rewarded? The final verdict of the heavenly court is contained in the scroll in the Father's hand Rev. Those who are given eternal life are those who are clothed in white robes.
They have their names retained in the book of life during the pre-advent judgment Rev. Daniel saw books of record opened in the judgment, including the book of life Dan. John's vision is complementary. He does not see the books of record. He is shown in the Father's hand the book of destiny, which is the verdict of the heavenly court after the books of record have been examined and the book of life edited.
The destiny of the wicked is recorded in the same scroll. Thus the Jewish leaders made their choice. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open.
In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. John tells us that the angel found no one who was worthy to break the seals and unroll the scroll of destiny. When John saw no one meet the challenge of the strong angel, how did he respond?
Why did he respond that way? The promise given to John "Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter," Rev. Failure to find one to open the scroll would postpone indefinitely the disclosure of God's decision regarding the saved and the lost. Without a divine verdict, no one could be saved.
If the scroll could not be opened, there could be no salvation for anyone. What comforting reassurance was John given? Christ's victory on the cross renders possible our victory, enables Him to break the seals and reveal the eternal verdict of salvation for His people.
His victory also renders it possible for Him to destroy Satan and his followers. The scroll in the Father's hand is vitally important to earth's inhabitants because it announces who is saved and why, and who is lost and why. What other evidence are we given that Christ's victory on the cross makes possible the spiritual victory of His believing people?
What other result follows from Christ's victory on Calvary? Why have a pre-Advent judgment if God has known all along who will be saved and who lost? The Father holds the book of destiny in His hands. The book contains the future for life or death of every human soul. If God already knows who will be lost and who will be saved, why have the pre-Advent court session as described in Daniel 7: Note that God foresees each soul's response to His grace, but He does not predetermine it: The pre-Advent court session is for the benefit of the unfallen universe.
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At the same time, children do not come with a owner's manual, which informs their parents everything they need to do to take care of them and how to solve any problem that may Even experienced parents are sometimes amazed by the actions, words or attitudes of their children.
As important as the preparation for marriage is, it is also important that those who hope to become parents are prepared for this great responsibility. Mark " v " for true or " F " for false: What a great responsibility and opportunity these parents had! Three of them would be parents of prophets and leaders in Israel, one of their children would be the forerunner of the promised Messiah, and one of the children However, even if our children are not destined to be biblical prophets, we must prepare for this radical change in our life.
White, the Adventist Home, p. Assinale a alternativa correta: Evidently not all marry. After all, Jesus, our greatest example, never married, as well as many other characters of the bible However, many people get married and therefore the Bible is not silent about marriage, which is certainly one of the greatest modifiers in life.
The first social organization mentioned in the Bible is marriage. For God, marriage is so important that the same words he said to Adam and eva in Eden about marriage appear in other three parts of the scriptures. These Texts reveal that once a person marries, the most important relationship in his life must be between her and her spouse, even more than between her and her parents. One of the reasons why the marriage between a man and a woman is so important to God is that he typifies the relationship that exists between his son, Jesus, and the church, his bride EF 5: When building a house, you must stop and consider the cost Compare With LC A house is built with bricks and mortar, wood and iron, wires and glass.