Speaker 1:0:01Do you know you're load the turtle. The turtle is one of my favorites, although this one had, this one has some other stories in it as well. I'm just going to read just a little bit so that you can get a hint about how accurately, um, Dr Seuss has, um, has, uh, identified the way, um, our world uses authority. Are you ready? So on the island, on the far away island of solemn Assan, Yertle, the turtle was king of the pond, a nice little pond. It was clean, it was neat. The water was warm and there was plenty to eat. The turtles had everything turtles might need and they were all happy, quite happy indeed. They were until Yertle, the king of them all decided the kingdom he ruled was too small. I'm ruler that said Yertle of all that I see. But I don't see enough.
Speaker 1:1:03If you ever run into somebody that's kind of like that, I'm in charge of everything. I see. I just needed to be in charge of more, I hate to say this, it's kind of a baby boomer thing and I'm not just poking fingers. A baby boomers, cause I'm a boomer too. So here you go. That's the trouble with me with this stone for a throne. I looked down on my pond, but I cannot look down on the places beyond this throne that I sit on is too, too low down. It ought to be higher. He said with a frown. If I could sit, hi, how much greater I'd be, what a king. I'd be ruler of all I could see.
Speaker 1:1:45And so do you see this? So he's not now on a little rock, but he's stacking turtles. So let me tell you the story here. So Yertle, the turtle king lifted his hand and Yertle, the turtle king gave a command and he ordered nine turtles to swim to his throne. And using these turtles, he built a new throne. He made each turtle stand on one another's back and he piled them up all in a nine turtle stack. I know that sounds really comfortable to you, doesn't it? And of course for me, I start wondering how the turtles get on top of the other turtles and how they do that, knowing what turtles do. But nonetheless, and then your little climbed. He sat down on the pile. What a wonderful view I could see most of a mile. All mine. Oh, the things I now rule, I'm king of a cow and King of a mule and King of a house. And beyond that I'm king of a blueberry Bush and a cat. I'm Yertle the turtle. Oh marvelous me for I am the ruler of all that. I see. That is a very human way to look at power and authority, isn't it? If I could just play king of the hill long enough, I could be in charge. But what's the problem with King of the hill?
Speaker 1:3:07Well, sooner or later the one on top is going to get tired of defending or um, what I've experienced is somebody stronger is going to come along and play king of the hill better or two or three might gang up and say, no, we're going to form an oligarchy. There's, there's my $5 word of the day for you. Last week we dealt with revelation chapter four and remember what was the revelation? Chapter four is in the center of Heaven is a throne but not like a human thrown that gets vacated every once in a while and then people squabble over it. There's a throne in heaven that's revelation four and it is occupied at the time and not just occupied by a ruler who exerts authority the way that humans do, but occupied by God who does it today. Today we're talking, I'm going to go back into revelation for just a little bit.
Speaker 1:4:06Revelation five and we'll talk about how God rules from that throne today. Okay. Are we ready? We'll just dive in on the wrong page already. This is from the second half of verse six in the center and around the throne. Notice the throne is in the center of everything. Everything. The throne locates everything around it. They don't say over by the four living creatures, they say the four living creatures over by the throne. That's the center point of Heaven. Each was covered with eyes front and back. And the first of these living things was like a lion. And the second was like an ox. And the third had a human face and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. And each of these living beings had six wings. This is a pretty marvelous picture or a strange picture, right? And their beings, we're covered all over with eyes inside it out day and night, night and day, they kept on saying, holy, Holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, the one who always was who is and who is always to come.
Speaker 1:5:19Now remember we're in the book of revelation and it uses symbols and things to heighten the vision. So if something's all covered with eyes, we might go, ew, that's kind of gross. It would be kind of strange. We're almost in a monster movie now, right? If you've got critters all covered with eyes, but how do you know it's Elian? If it's all covered with eyes, wouldn't what you have is a picture of come and see. It's okay to look. Because then back in Isaiah, when we read it yesterday, they were covering their eyes, the same creatures we're covering, their eyes don't look, don't look, it's dangerous luck. Something has happened. It's safe to look now. But as we do this, that was the first ring of concentric worship. Now, outside of that, and whenever the living beings would give glory and honor, and thanks to those one sitting on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, the 24 elders fall down and worship the ones sitting on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever. That's in case you didn't read it, just the the line before there. But there's this emphasis on who god is and how powerful and how long this lasting is. And they lay down their crowns before the throne and say, you are worthy. Oh Lord our God to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things. And they exist because you created what you pleased.
Speaker 1:6:46You have the throne, the four living creatures they worshiped. And then once they worshiped the 24 elders, and remember what we talked about, the 24 elders, right? Did that you have 12 tribes, a Biz real and the Old Testament and 12 apostles. How many is that? That's 24 that's the whole people of God represented right there. And they're starting to worship within heaven.
Speaker 1:7:09And then I saw scroll and the right hand of the one who was sitting on the throne and there was writing on the inside and the outside of the scroll and it was sealed with seven seals and I saw a strong angel who shouted with a loud voice who is worthy to break the seals of the scroll and open it, but no one on heaven and earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it. And I wept bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it.
Speaker 1:7:40it's a little spot here about human ability to do everything. We sort of get to, we are not Yertle the turtle. We don't stack people on top of us and me. And it doesn't make us more able to do things that weren't when our ability, we might get some more stuff done, but, but this scroll, there's something about the scroll that's outside of our reach.
Speaker 1:8:03Something outside the revelation of God that we just don't get on our own. We actually need help. You can't get there on your own.
Speaker 1:8:13And I wept bitterly. Fizz. Norman is there and one of the 24 elders said to me, stop weeping. Stop it. So, so he's taken his eye off the throne. He's looking at the elder and he says the lion of the tribe of Judah, the air to David's throne, who has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals. And then I saw a lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered. Now who is that? There's The Sunday school answer, right? Jesus. How do we know that that's Jesus?
Speaker 1:8:53Just take a wild guess at it. The sacrifice. Here's the sacrifice. So when you see a lamb, but, but, but just a second, wasn't the elder just saying the lion of the tribe of Judah from genesis 29, the one who's coming out, if you want to go to second address, it really gives you a, um, a very good description of the lion, of the tribe of Judah and why that's it. He's looking for the lion of the tribe of Judah, the, the, the air to David's throne. And he turns and he sees a lamb. So remember symbolic language, right? We were looking for something and our understanding is getting turned on its ear just a little bit. It's okay, you'll make it through. But God is here working in this. And then I saw lamb and it looked as if it had been slaughtered. That's Jesus.
Speaker 1:9:46But it is now standing between the throne. This, I have to apologize, my translation is not very good here. The Greek is unclear whether he's between the throne or in the center of the throne, right? So if it's unclear, what do you get to do? Do you have to, you have to make a decision or do you get to stand in the tension of it? If something's unclear in the Bible, you don't get to make the decision. Why do you not get to make the decision? Because the scroll has to be open to us by the lamb of God who is worthy to open it. And you sit there and read it and you go, well, it seems to be saying, um, it seems to be saying this, but then it says over here, this other thing, which is it? Well, which is it? Yes.
Speaker 1:10:35You get to sit in the tension. And by the way, you sit in places where you don't know things all the time, don't you? Isn't there some place in your life that you're confused all the time? Well, this is just another one of those spots. You're used to sitting in places of confusion or as I would say, tension between the things. So if, if the lamb is sitting between us and the throne, that means one thing. Do you want to know what it means? It means an ancient Roman Catholic word. Pontiff pontiff that's a fabulous word, meaning bridge builder, the one that spans the gap between us and God. The problem with pontiff is that the very first person that wielded the term Pontifex maximus is the Roman emperor at the time, and he's essentially making a nine turtle stack so he can see higher. But here's the thing, a pontiff bridges the gap between us and this.
Speaker 1:11:44And so if he starts to open that scroll and starts to pour out the knowledge that's in heaven for us, that's something that we couldn't get to on our own. And he's doing it for us. So he's giving us information we didn't have access to. By the way, have you ever had somebody just opened the scriptures up for you and you go, I just totally did not get that until that moment. That's what's going on. The Holy Spirit pulling out that wisdom from God that Jesus has the authority to give us also standing in the gap. If it means he's between us and the throne. The difference between Isaiah six where I woe is me. I'm a man of unclean lips in a world of unclean lips. And Jesus is sitting here in this tech thing, come up, come and see, come and see. He is worthy. He is worthy. I'm, I'm bitter. So the world has changed in there. How has that changed the sacrifice of Jesus made it so that we can enter into the throne room without being worried about the results. Now, how's he do that? That's the cross. Now I want to make sure that we get to this spot where we understand that the cross actually is somebody else paying a price we couldn't pay so that we can be blessed in such a way that we couldn't earn.
Speaker 1:13:11But lots of people use, um, uh, Hebrews verse in here, the Jesus forever lives in the Kingdom of God in, in the throne room. He's always there to make intercession for us. And I've covered this a little bit over the last few months. That is, that is exactly what the verse says, that he forever lives in the throne room to make intercession for making intercession for us. But the power is not on the intercession. That's a one time once and for all thing because it's because the sacrifice was accepted. Jesus is forever in the throne room as proof positive that the cross worked. He's not up there all the time. Go on. I know you forgave him the last 30 seconds ago, but it's time to forgive him again cause they blew it again. That is not the weight of that scripture. The weight of that scripture is is that his presence guarantees in the throne room that the sacrifice was accepted and now we can come, come and see, come and see.
Speaker 1:14:18However the Greek might say that he turned back and in the center of the throne was a lamb that was slain. How that's different doesn't it? Between building a bridge for us or that he is literally in the center of the will of God and the character of God is this lamb who was slain. That's Jesus. If you want to know what the will of God is, you go look at Jesus and he shows you what the will of God us. That's what the center of that means. Does is do you understand the distinction between those two that if he's in the center of the throne, well how can he and God be on the throne at the same time? They're the same. That's what that means. Okay, so I'm going to go back to my text now and read a little bit. Okay? Are you ready? But I have to go through this so that you understand what's going on between or at the center of the throne. At the four living beings, among the 24 elders, he had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the seven, the full spirit of God. Now remember not a birth defect, but seven is the number of perfection and horns is power and eyes his sight. So he sees everything and he's got perfect power
Speaker 1:15:46so he can sit and they have the sevenfold spirit of God, the complete spirit of God that was sent out to every part of the earth. He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living beings in the 24 elders fell down before the lamb. Each one, she's fine. She's fine.
Speaker 1:16:11It's all right. It's all good. Look, we're hoping for life and that's a symbol of life, is it not? Yes. Perfect.
Speaker 1:16:24And each one held a harp and they help bowls filled with incense, which are prayers of God's people. And they sang a new song of these words, but of course they sang a new song. This is a new creation
Speaker 1:16:39that we're seeing that this new creation of God is being seen. But now instead of the four living creatures worshiping, and then the 24 elders, it's all of them. And they sing this thing, you are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it for you were slaughtered and your blood was ransomed. People has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have caused them to become a kingdom of priests for our God, and they will reign on the earth forever. Now there's some exodus language in there. And if you want to, you can do the Bible study that what he's actually saying is the very same thing he said to the Israelites and the Pharaoh, that these will be a nation of priests to me. And this is the final outcome of that. And then I looked again and I heard the voices of a thousand and a millions of angels around the throne and the living beings and the elders, and they sang a mighty chorus.
Speaker 1:17:39Do you see this sudden now the concentric ring of praise moves out worthy is the lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. And then I heard every creature in heaven on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and they sang blessing and honor and glory and to belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the lamb forever and ever. And the four living being said, amen. What's the translation I've given you for? Amen. As long as we're in the book of revelation, that that's the way it is. So I want you to see this worship going on in these concentric rings. And as we do this, as we study this, I want to point out that this is, this is a very practical sort of thing as well because this, if we continue to think and center on the throne of God, we will become able to see things on earth as they are in heaven. There's more going on than meets the eye on earth as it is in heaven. But these five things, this is it. This is my, this is my whole point. So these are the five things I want you to get.
Speaker 1:18:56Number one, the power of the throne is not wielded power, but sacrifice and love. Does that make sense? If Jesus is at the throne and he's centered in the heart of God, the center of the power of the throne is not by the way, the power that just speaks things into existence, but sacrifice at the center of the throne was the lamb who was slain. Now here's the point about that. That really matters to us. Have any of you ever hurt and felt completely alone in that suffering? Nobody gets it. Now I know you all have because all of you at some point in time have had the flu and when you had the flu and you thought, Oh God, just make this and I'm so alone. Nobody's ever gone through anything this horrible before that. Am I wrong? That's what the flu does, but there's worse things than the flew out there if you've ever felt utterly alone in your suffering. I want to say it this way.
Speaker 1:20:06The throne understands human suffering, which helps explain why the followers of the lamb can't avoid suffering. If we're going to follow Jesus, just remember what happened to Jesus. He suffered. If we're going to follow and become like him, it's likely that there's some suffering on the way and I want to make sure that you read the surgeon general's warning on the book right there. There's likely to be a little suffering along the way because at the center of the throne is a lamb bearing the marks of slaughter. Just as an aside, I remember a cattleman that I I know quite well. You just, he likes cows, right? And so people are like, cows don't really like sheep. And he would always say sheep. They like die because you'll look at them wrong. There's so there's so fragile,
Speaker 1:21:04As US sooner we, our lives are fragile and ways that we can never imagine. Number two, at the center of this throne, His grace, you are welcome to come in and sit at the throne and be with God. The people of God are invited in to worship with all of heaven. Now you might run into somebody who goes, yeah, but cheap grace is cheap. Grace was not cheap. It costs something. It cost a cost that was so high you couldn't pay it and God knew you couldn't pad and then God paid it for you in the person of Jesus. Grace is not cheap and it didn't ever come cheap. It was dearly Bot. You have been bought at a price. That's the second thing. Third thing, are we ready? We're moving through this. We work from victory, not towards it.
Speaker 1:22:07And that's a bit of a fine point there. But the battle has been won. Jesus on the cross says it's finished and that sacrifice bought us at a price. We run from that victory towards the eventual revealing of the victory, not so that it can be one. It has been one. The end result is not up for grabs. There is a lord, he's on the throne and he's paid the price and the battle's won. Now might not look like that, but that's actual reality. We hope to see that on earth as it is in heaven.
Speaker 2:22:49Number four.
Speaker 1:22:53Now this is a bit of a fine point. I wanna make sure you get it. The fullness of life is the way of the lamb. And the reason it's a full fine point is this. I have met a lot of people sort of trapped in sin one way or the other. And I gotta tell you, they almost always do this. And this is something I've said multiple times here, but they, I've had people come into my office and say, oh, pastor Dave, I've done the most horrible thing. Please. If I tell you what it is, don't stop being my friend
Speaker 1:23:27and no matter how many times I hear it, it's basically one or three or four versions of the same thing. They've sin and it just sort of collapsed their life into into them worrying about things, only worrying and never being con. Never thinking that they can live beyond that moment and they become a cardboard cutout of a human that just worries about this thing. They're almost a black and white printout. They've just lost their depth and their joy and everything. That's what sin does in our lives, but the depths of life and grace that at a price and that we're, we've already been bought. They do this thing, Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full. He doesn't want you to be a cardboard cutout. You are three dimensional. You better people need to be wearing this special goggles at the movie theater to see the life and joy in you and it's just on the screen and, and they give them to be doing this in the theater right when it moves because that's what actual life is like.
Speaker 1:24:29And he came to give it to you and live it in the fall and as three dimensional and it's end man is exciting that each one of you is different for me and I'm different from you and that's the way life and the spirit is. It is very colored verigated different, not cardboard cutout laser printer mounted on cardboard stuff. The fifth one, this is that, I'm going to call it close with this history ends at the worshiping feet at worshiping the feet at the lamb. So the end of everything ends right there where Jesus is and, and you might say, but we get crowds right, crown him with many crowns. The problem is, is that we live in this world and we have sin in our lives and sometimes we need a little carrot to earn some, earn some things and keep us on the right path. And I, if I do this and I'm going to get a crown of life, but the problem is, is that's an earthly thing. And the things we think of on earth are important. When we get to have, and we go, Oh man, I worked really hard at something and it wasn't valuable at all. And we see him and we'd take off our crowns and we cast him at his feet and say, you are worthy, not us. Thank you God.
Speaker 1:25:49And the concentric circles of praise come out and they just do this thing where the four living creatures and the elders praise and then the tens of millions of angels start praising. And then everything on earth and under the earth and in the sea and in the air praises him
Speaker 1:26:09can join into that praise. Just along the way. I need to make sure you know that it's not your responsibility to give God all the praise he deserves. He's getting praise. It's your job to enter in and give him praise with the others. You don't. It's not your burden to give him all of it. Just join and give him what you can. That's our job, but all of history is moving that spot. We're in concentric circles. They do this, and if we don't get this right, none of the rest of the book of revelation we'll make any whatsoever. This is the fulcrum of the book of revelation versus chapters four and five there's a throne and on that throne, the way the throne rules is as a lamb who was slaughtered in grace and peace and life to you,
Speaker 2:27:03there's my deep breath. Let's pray.
Speaker 1:27:10Oh Lord our Lord. How majestic is your name and all the earth.
Speaker 1:27:17Oh Lord, our Lord. How majestic is your name and all the earth. As we think about that, Lord, help us recognize the need to come to your throne, but not just a need, but a welcome. Come and see. Come and see that we are welcome to worship you and your precious name. Archie's. Amen.