Introduction: Do you remember what we discovered about the beginning
of all the famous prayers we have studied so far this quarter? They
started out with praise to God! In our last study of this quarter, we
look more closely at this idea of praise in prayer. Let’s dive in!

  1. Holy, Holy, Holy

    1. Read Revelation 4:1. Imagine you are John (the writer of
      Revelation) and this is you standing before an open door
      in heaven. Would the voice have to ask you twice to come
      through the door?

      1. How interested are you in the future? (John is
        offered a peek at the future. So, let’s go look with

    2. Read Revelation 4:2-3. What is the first thing John sees
      in the future?

      1. Who do you think this is? (God)

      2. When the text says that the rainbow resembled an
        emerald, what does that say to you? (An emerald has
        beautiful deep colors. I think we are being given an
        idea of the depth and clarity of the colors.)

      3. Notice that God is also described as looking like
        gems. What does this say to you? Ever heard of a
        “carnelian?” (According to Thayer’s, carnelian is a
        type of Sardius stone which is flesh-colored. We are
        being told that God radiates beauty.)

    3. Read Revelation 4:4-5. Who are these elders? What are they
      doing? Why do they wear white? (They have the white robe
      of Christ’s righteousness. Revelation 7:13-14. They seem
      to be helping God with His work. These elders are
      mentioned 12 times in Revelation. They are obviously
      important people in heaven.)

      1. Is God’s throne kind of a noisy place? (Matthew Henry
        suggests the lightening, rumbling and peals of
        thunder are God’s messages and directives being sent
        out over the universe. Can you imagine heavy duty
        electronic bursts going out over the universe from
        the throne?)

      2. We are familiar with the Holy Spirit, what are these
        “seven” spirits of God? (These seven spirits are also
        repeatedly referred to in Revelation. Revelation 5:6
        refers to Jesus having seven eyes “which are the
        seven spirits sent out into all the earth.” I believe
        this seven (the perfect number) refers to the perfect
        wisdom of Jesus being manifest in the Holy Spirit.)

      3. Do you recall the “seven lamps” (which are the seven
        spirits) being referred to elsewhere in the Bible?
        How about the Old Testament? (Interesting background
        is that this looks like the instructions that God
        gave Moses for the set up of the sanctuary in the
        wilderness in Numbers 8:1-3. The tabernacle
        (sanctuary) made in the wildnerness during the
        Egyptian exodus had seven lamps. If you review
        Hebrews 8:1-5 we discover that Jesus is in Heaven
        ministering as our Intercessor in the heavenly
        sanctuary after which the sanctuary in the wilderness
        was patterned! Thus, the picture in Revelation 4 may
        be of the place where Jesus is ministering for us!
        The seven spirits (at least) give light to what He is
        doing. This bolsters the idea they represent wisdom
        and understanding.)

        1. What does the Holy Spirit give us today? (Wisdom
          and understanding! John 14:26)

    4. Let’s read on. Revelation 4:6-8. If we are right that this
      is an expanded picture of Hebrews 8 – of the heavenly
      sanctuary, the place where Jesus is acting as our High
      Priest and our sacrificial Lamb – are the four creatures
      saying the right thing? What would you say about this
      event? (Praise God! How holy He is who had died on our
      behalf and lives to intercede ( Hebrews 7:25) before the
      Father for us!)

      1. How do you understand the language in Revelation 4:8
        “who was, and is, and is to come?”

        1. If this is a picture of Jesus interceding for
          us, how would these words fit? (Jesus was on
          earth with us. He died for our sins (“was”), was
          raised to life and intercedes for us in heaven
          (“is”) and He is coming again to take us to
          Heaven with Him (“is to come.”)

        2. If this is a picture of God the Father, how
          would these words fit? (He has always been and
          will always be. He is beyond time and space.)

          1. Does God deserve to have our prayers open
            with praises to Him? (Oh yes!)

      2. Do these “living creatures” have a boring job?

        1. Why do you think they have six wings and are
          covered with eyes? We get a cable TV station
          called “Speedvision.” Does that pretty much
          summarize these living creatures?

          1. If you say, “yes,” do you think they stay
            around the throne all the time? (I think
            these creatures are God’s ambassadors. The
            six wings symbolically show they have
            tremendous speed and the eyes symbolically
            show they have keen powers of observation.
            Their “job” is to represent the holiness
            of God to the universe. I can see them
            going out on missions on behalf of God to
            resolve issues in the universe.)

    5. Let’s read on. Read Revelation 4:9-11. Remember I asked
      you whether God deserves to have our prayers open with
      praise? What is the opinion of the 24 elders?

      1. What are the elders indicating when they “fall down”
        and “lay their crowns before the throne?” (These
        elders are important people. Their crowns are symbols
        of authority and status. Yet they lay all power and
        authority at the feet of God.)

        1. Why do they do that? (Verse 11: God is worthy!
          He created all things and by His life and death
          continue to give us life.)

        2. If you agree with the elders, how insidious is
          the theory of evolution? (If you don’t believe
          God is the Creator, you don’t believe. Our
          local paper has a slogan that applies here: “If
          you don’t get it, you don’t get it!)

  2. Victory in the Lamb

    1. Read Revelation 5:1-4. Who is holding these sealed scroll?
      (God on His throne.)

      1. Do you think the scroll has an important message or
        important information? (The indications so far are
        that it is important. It is held in God’s “right
        hand” and has seven seals – the number of

      2. What is the problem with this important information?
        (It cannot be opened or read!)

    2. Read Revelation 5:5-6. Who is the Lamb looking as if He
      had been slain who is also the Lion of Judah? (Jesus! We
      were right before about the sanctuary. Jesus, as a slain
      Lamb, enters the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf! This
      makes clear that God the Father is sitting on the throne
      and Jesus enters the Heavenly sanctuary.)

    3. Read Revelation 5:7-9. Why is Jesus worthy to open the
      scroll with the seven seals? (Verse 9: Because of His
      sacrifice for us.)

      1. Based on this, what would you guess is this special
        scroll with the seven seals? If only Jesus, because
        of His sacrifice, can open it, what does that
        suggest? (If you read on in Revelation through
        chapter 8, you will see that the removal of each seal
        represents another event in history. For example, the
        sixth seal is Jesus’ Second Coming ( Revelation 6:12-7:17). Jesus is the turning point in the history of
        mankind. He turned us from death to life. His perfect
        life and perfect sacrifice has now opened the way for
        the future triumph of good over evil.)

      2. Do you remember why we wanted to look through the
        door of Revelation 4:1? (We wanted to see the future.
        Jesus has now unlocked the future of righteousness.)

    4. Let’s jump forward in this song of praise and read
      Revelation 5:12-14. Are these people excited about Jesus’
      triumph over evil? Are they exciting about His opening the
      future for righteousness? Who ultimately praises Jesus?

    5. Friend, do you sing the praises of Jesus and the Father
      for what they have done to give you victory over sin and
      death? Every prayer, every worship service should reflect
      our praise and thankfulness for what God has done for us!
      May our prayers always reflect our praise to God.

  3. Next week: We start a new quarter of lessons in which we study
    “Bible Biographies.”