Church of the Good Shepherd

Heaven's Throne

We don't know what next year will bring.

Quick Google search of the phrase "don't know what next year will bring"

  • Weezer may call it quits
  • People are rebuilding from the fires in California
  • Lance Armstrong will have many things in life change...but will still ride his bike.

We don't know what next year will bring ... but we do know this.

The central revelation of the Bible is that there is a Throne in Heaven

And that Throne is Occupied by a Gracious Creator who deserves our worship.

1.  Tie into Laodicea

Letter to Laodicea

Revelation 3:20-21 -   Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Eat with Him - Worship at Meal Table

            * Lord's Supper

Knock on Door

            * A Door now Stands Open

            Greek - its been opened and remains open

2.  There is a Throne in Heaven

Bruce Metzger - Breaking the Code

"...the finite languages of earth are incapable of defining the infinite realities that John saw in heaven; hence he must use earthly analogies, but always with the understanding that the heavenly reality far surpasses the earthly symbol."

Tie in Ezek 1 / Isa 6

Jasper - Holiness

  • Translucent Jasper is a clear as crystal
  • When Polished, it sparkles and flashes
    • Revelation 21:10-11 -"... showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,  having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal."
  • Symbol of God's Holiness
    • Holy City Jerusalem (Rev 21:10)
    • Response of Song - Holy, Holy, Holy

Carnelian - Wrath

  • A stone that is deep, reddish color
  • Held in hand, looks like a fire is smoldering in it
  • Symbol of wrath

On the Throne = Holiness & Wrath

Around the Throne ... a Rainbow

Rainbow - Covenant Mercy

  • Emerald - Green is calming
  • Rainbow - Genesis 9:12ff
    • Covenant Faithfulness
    • Will not destroy the world again
    • Bow / Weapon now pointed back at heaven ... at God

Blazing Center is Holiness & Wrath

Surrounding it is a self-imposed circle of restraint, of covenant faithfulness

-          Same Theology as the rest of the NT, just said in different terms.

Romans 5:8-11 - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Thunder & Lighting // Mount Sinai

This is our Center

Worship = Living in response to and from this center - to & from the Living God

  • If there is no center, there is no orbit
  • Instead, we drift
  • We live erratic, off course lives

OT Struggles with Idolatry

Jeremiah 3:22-23 - "Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness." "Behold, we come to you, for you are the Lord our God. Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.

Jeremiah 17:12 - A glorious throne set on high from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.

"The throne of God - the fact of the throne and the fact of God enthroned - is the revelation of the Bile.  The Throne is the supreme revelation of Scripture." - Eugene Peterson Reversed Thunder.

3.  The Throne is Occupied

A.  God's Sovereignty - Lord & God

Tetragrammeton = 4 letters of Divine Name YHWH

Exodus 3:14 - God said to Moses, "I am who I am." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.' "

B.  OT & NT Context of God Reigning

- Songs to YHWH

- Creator

Jeremiah 18:1-6 - The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words." So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

Romans 9:19-21 - You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

C.  You Are Not On the Throne, Nor Is Any Other Created Thing

- Emperor  Domitian wanted the Title "Lord & God"

- Heart is an Idol Factor

"The human heart is a factory of idols...Everyone of us is, from his mother's womb, expert in. inventing idols." John Calvin

D.  Crystal Sea

Bronze Sea in Tabernacle & Temple

Exodus 25:31ff

2 Chronicles 4:2-6 - Then he made the sea of cast metal. It was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits high, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference. Under it were figures of gourds, for ten cubits, compassing the sea all around. The gourds were in two rows, cast with it when it was cast. It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The sea was set on them, and all their rear parts were inward. Its thickness was a handbreadth. And its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily. It held 3,000 baths. He also made ten basins in which to wash, and set five on the south side, and five on the north side. In these they were to rinse off what was used for the burnt offering, and the sea was for the priests to wash in.


  • You must be Broken
  • Can't do this alone
    • Even Jesus had to go to John
  • Romans 6 - death & rebirth

Romans 6:3-4 - Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

4.  Response of Worship

A.  Angels are Worship Leaders

Covered with Eyes- Watching = Truth

Wings= Ready for Action

Definition of Worship

            To give glory

            Weight, substance Worth

Imagine sitting Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA when the Chargers scored in OT yesterday and upset the Colts.

  • Tickets cost A LOT of money
  • Endure elements
  • Food and drinks
  • Bad Seats
    • Need a Sherpa to get your stuff to your seat
  • Some never sit down
  • Excitement, yelling, hands up

Bob Kauflin - worship based on accurate information

talk about my son, but have facts wrong, I'll loose interest

  • You obviously don't know him
  • Such praise is meaningless because it is based on distorted and inaccurate information.
  • You'd love him more if you actually knew him.

Love & Truth

Watchfulness & Action

B.  Elders Represent OT & NT Saints

- Invisible Church, from all time

C.  Casting Crowns = Objective Humility

Keller - Humility as blessed self forgetfulness

This is God ... nothing else matters

D.  Songs

Elf - singing songs to his dad

"You're my dad; I love you; I came from the North Pole to see you, dad!"


We don't know what 2009 will bring

Two Things Are Certain:

1)      There is a Throne

a.       Center-Point for universe

2)      The Throne is Occupied by a Gracious Creator who deserves our Worship


Do you need to approach the throne?

-          Baptism

Do you need to Shape Your Life to give this creator the worship He deserves?



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