Avoiding a Lukewarm Life part 2 – The Throne of God

In part 1 we showed how God said to the church of Laodicea that they are neither hot nor cold, they are lukewarm, and as a result he would vomit them out of his mouth. We discussed how God is disgusted by our lives when we choose the garbage of earth over Him. Now let us take time to focus on Heaven, and why it is so much better to follow God.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. – Revelation 3:19-21

God gives us these harsh words not to tear us down, but so we would be convicted and repent. And if we overcome, we will get to sit on the throne of God with God.

The Throne of God

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne – Revelation 4:2

John gets a glimpse of the throne of God and of God who sits on the throne. I cannot imagine how scared he must have been at the sheer awesome display of the throne room of God! I know Iwould freak out by it. Form a picture in our mind of what this scene must have looked like as we follow the apostle John.

And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. – Revelation 4:3-4

Jasper and sardius are both red gems. John sees a being, God, sitting on the throne and the only way he can describe him is to say he is like gems we have on earth, surrounded by an emerald rainbow. Around the throne there are 24 thrones where the elders sit, clothed in white robes and crowns of gold on their heads.

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. Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. – Revelation 4:5-6

While these twenty four elders are seated around the throne there is lightning and thunder flashing from the God’s throne. In front of the throne are seven lamps which are likely huge bonfires. These fires are not there for light, since if you are in the presence of God you do not need any light. And in front of this there is a sea, or an ocean, of glass like crystal.

And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and 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!”
– Revelation 4:6-8

Around the throne there are four creatures that are full of eyes, each with six wings, shouting day and night “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God almight!” This very instant these creatures are before the throne of Heaven shouting this. Creatures that if we would see them we would freak out! Imagine what would happen if one of these appeared right above you right now? But they are consumed with the presence of God because that is how Awesome God is!

Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “ You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” – Revelation 4:9-11

After the four beasts shout this the twenty four elders are so overwhelmed that they just bow to God, casting their crowns of gold to God singing their own song of praise. Do you think these elders are regretting being here? Are they grumbling feeling forced to do this? No, being in the presence of God has a way of making you not think about yourself because of the awesomeness of God.  And if you do think about yourself the only thought that occurs to you is how unclean you are!

When Daniel had a vision of the Lord he instantly fell weak and was speechless. When Jesus touched him telling him to speak is the only time he got the nerve up to speak, and what did he say?

My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength.  For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me. – Daniel 10:16-17

Isaiah had a very similar experience, when he saw a vision of the Lord he became aware of how unrighteous he was before a Holy and perfect God.

Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts. – Isaiah 6:5

So you are standing here before the throne of God, feeling exactly how little and wretched you are compared to God and there are these four creatures with wings singing praises to God, and then the twenty four elders bow to God singing their own song, all while flashes like lightning and sounds like thunder are pouring out of the throne of God. You have these seven massive lamp stands and all of this has an ocean of glass and crystal.  Is that an amazing vision or what?

You are not thinking big enough!

I guarantee that no matter what image you have in your mind right now, it is no where even close to as amazing as the real thing! God is that awesome, heaven is that awesome, and we get to be there. Not only be there, but be seated on the throne with God!

Is that a humbling thought or what? It is not our greatness that brings us that glory, but what Christ did. All of this, is available for those who overcome.

And to think, that you would rather focus on … on what? On tv? on a car? on a bigger house? On green pieces of paper that the government demands to take from you and you will spend your life working to get more of? Is it really worth it?

Is it any wonder why God wants to vomit you out of his mouth?

Or to vomit me out of his mouth?

The Apostle Paul was once stoned to death and dragged outside the city.  When the other apostles found him they all got up and Paul led the charge back into the city that just killed him (or nearly killed him)!  (Acts 14:19)  Why would Paul go back into a city where the people just executed him?  Because Paul knew that there is something worth living for besides this worthless life! It is possible that Paul had a vision of heaven (2 Corinthians 12) which would have fueled this further.  After you have seen the glory of God how can we focus on the things of this earth?

How would our lives be different if we had such a vision of heaven? How would our lives be different if we just believed what the Bible said about heaven so we did not need our own vision?

YHWH: The Name of the Lord

YHWH: The Name of the Lord
By Matt

One constant in the language of the Old Testament that makes it different from the New Testament is that we notice that “LORD” is in all capital letters. Some may wonder why this is. In the original Hebrew language, LORD is translated YHWH, God’s name. From this we get the anglicization “Jehovah.” As the O.T. writers penned the Word inspired by God Himself, they used many compound Hebrew names for God. These names reflect God’s character– His faithfulness, His unchangeableness, His truth. Let us explore some of these. This article is written based off a list of names for God in the Old Testament found in the MacArthur Study Bible.

Jehovah
“The LORD,” Genesis 2:4-6

“This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.”
The original Hebrew here for “LORD” is “Yehovah,” which stresses God’s self-existence and eternality. The Lord has always existed, in the past, in the present, and in the future. Isaiah 46:9-10 says, “‘Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”‘” God is self-existent– He created the end and the beginning themselves! We see God’s eternality affirmed again in Deuteronomy 33:27: “‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…'”. The Lord is eternal– He is everlasting, forever!

Jehovah-Jireh
“The LORD Will Provide”, Genesis 22:14

“And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.'”
Jehovah-Jireh: the LORD will provide. When we start to panic over not having enough of something– like not having enough money, time, patience, energy, or other things– how often we forget that God is the God who provides for our every need. And indeed, God has provided for us. He has provided the resources we need to preach His Word to a lost and dying world. He has provided our necessities, as Jesus affirmed in Matthew 6:32, when He assured us that the Father knows what we need. And perhaps the most hard-hitting provision of all was prophesied by Abraham on that mountain– that the Lord would provide His one and only Son to suffer and die on a cross to take away our sin and shame.

Jehovah-Maccaddeshem
“The LORD Your Sanctifier”, Exodus 31:12-13

“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.”‘”
The Sabbath is spoken of here as a sign between God and His people, Israel. God had set Israel apart from other nations. They were always different, from the time that Abraham left his homeland in Ur. When we give our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, He sets us apart from the world, just like He did His people in the Old Testament. The apostle John wrote: “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) We are separate from the world as believers– we are in the world, but not of the world. God has set us apart for good works, which He prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

Jehovah-Nissi
“The LORD Our Banner”, Exodus 17:14-15

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.’ And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner; for he said, ‘Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.'”
John MacArthur says regarding this, “By titling the altar with this designation for the Lord, Yahweh-Nissi, Moses declared the Lord Himself to be the standard for His people.” The Amalekites were a corrupt people who did not worship the one true God. On the other hand, God declared His standard throughout the Old Testament, calling His people to holy living and to honor Him. The Lord is our banner– He is our standard. It is His flag that we carry with us and display to the people we meet. If we’re living a fruitful Christian life, other people will notice it in us– they’ll see our banner flying high.

Jehovah-Tsidkenu
“The Lord Our Righteousness,” Jeremiah 23:6

“‘In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.'”
Jesus Himself is our righteousness– for only God gives us righteousness. The Bible tells us that there is none righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). How can we become righteous? There is only one way, and that way is by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting His atoning sacrifice for us at Calvary. Without Him, we can never be righteous. Our righteousness as believers is not our own– it comes only from the one true Lord God.

Dealing with Discouragement

Definition of Discouragement – To deprive of confidence or hope.
Discouragement also means – Depressed, Despirited, Pessimistic.
Psalm 25:4-5 – Our Hope is in the Lord, we cannot lose our hope.
Psalm 42:11 – Why be downcast; praise God.

Being Discouraged Angers God
Numbers 32:9-11 – Discouragment angers God.

God promises not to leave us
Deuteronomy 31:8 – God PROMISES not to leave or forsake us.

Discouragment And Depression Are Not Natural
Joshua 1:9 – God commands us not to be discouraged.

Since God commands us not to be discouraged, is it a sin to be depressed?