Introduction: Assume that you could design your home and your job in
any way that you like. How would you design them? No doubt the design
of your home, and the kind of work you do would reflect your
priorities in life. If I asked you, “How important is it to know
about the sanctuary in heaven,” what would you say? Some argue that
it is an obscure and technical issue that has little, if anything, to
do with our salvation. But, consider for a moment that it is God’s
home and that it reflects what He does. It must reflect God’s
priorities! I’ll tell you as a sneak preview, God’s priority is you!
Let’s plunge into a new series of lessons about the heavenly
sanctuary and what it means to us!

  1. Through the Door to the Throne

    1. Read Revelation 4:1. Does this remind you of a video game?
      You are in a special and unknown place, an open door is in
      front of you, and a disembodied voice says, “Come!”

      1. Is this a soft voice? (It says it was like a

      2. What does the open door suggest? (An invitation to

      3. What is interesting about the invitation? (It not
        only appeals to your curiosity about what is behind
        the door, but it says that if you enter, you will
        learn the future. Let’s go!)

    2. Read Revelation 4:2. What does it mean to be “in the
      Spirit,” and what does that have to do with going through
      the door? (John, the writer of Revelation, is telling us
      that this is no video game, God’s Spirit is directing his
      mind. He confirms that going through the door is part of a
      vision from God.)

      1. What does John see on the other side of the door? (A
        throne – and it is occupied.)

  2. God on His Throne

    1. Read Revelation 4:3. John says “someone” is sitting on the
      throne, and then describes what this “someone” looks like.
      Who is the likely candidate to be sitting on the throne in
      heaven? (God!)

      1. Why doesn’t John just say that?

      2. Why does John say that God looks like rocks? (Notice
        that John says “had the appearance of.” This does not
        mean that God looks like rocks.)

        1. What do we learn from John saying a “rainbow”
          resembles an “emerald?” (John’s point is that
          these stones have “flash.” They have a beauty
          that radiates from them. God has a beauty and
          glory that radiates from Him.)

    2. Read Revelation 4:4. Circling God’s throne are twenty-four
      other thrones. Who is on these thrones? (God’s counselors.
      God’s advisors. Twenty-four elders.)

      1. Aside from heaven, and God’s throne, what is this
        place that John is seeing? (It sounds like the
        headquarters of the universe.)

      2. Compare the description of the elders with the
        description of God? (They look “normal” to us, white
        clothes, gold crowns, and heads. They are identified
        as elders – something we would recognize!)

    3. Read Revelation 4:5. Think about this description. God’s
      throne rumbles, thunders and has bolts of electricity
      flash from it. What does this suggest? (God’s throne is a
      power source. If this were on earth, I would be afraid to
      come to close for fear of being killed by the power.)

      1. Notice that the Spirit of God is described as a
        blazing lamp. This is the same term used in
        Revelation 8:10 to describe a falling star. What does
        this suggest? (Again, power – power in the Holy

      2. Read Acts 2:3-4. Does the appearance of fire, when
        the Spirit of God comes to earth, surprise you? (No.
        The Holy Spirit has power, like the burning of a
        falling star!)

    4. Read Revelation 4:6. Does God have a good view from His
      throne? (The sea of glass! No wonder I like water views.)

    5. Read Revelation 4:7-8. What are we told about the identity
      of the person who sits on the throne in heaven? (The four
      creatures identify the person as God. It makes sense that
      John would be reluctant to identify God. Instead, he uses
      the identification of those who live in God’s presence.)

  3. Worship in the Throne Room

    1. Read Revelation 4:9-11. What specific reason do the four
      living creatures and the twenty-four elders give for
      praising God? (God is worthy because He created us and
      sustains us.)

      1. How does the theory of evolution impact this basis
        for giving glory to God?

      2. Read Revelation 14:6-7. What is the foundation of the
        “eternal gospel?” (God’s claim to be our Creator.
        There are some things that matter deeply, and one of
        them is giving glory to God as our Creator. This is
        foundational – which is no doubt the reason why Satan
        attacks on this very point.)

    2. Read Revelation 5:1-4. This is heaven! How can we lack
      worthy people? I thought everyone in heaven was worthy!

    3. Read Isaiah 11:1 & 10 and Revelation 5:5-6. Who is this?

    4. Read Revelation 5:7-9. Now we get a fuller picture about
      being worthy. Why is Jesus worthy and no one else is?
      (Because Jesus was slain for our sins. Because He
      “purchased” us from Satan and death.)

    5. Let’s go back a moment. Re-read Revelation 4:6 and
      Revelation 5:6. Where is Jesus? (He is standing on the
      throne of God.)

      1. What does this mean? (This identifies Jesus with God.
        This is further evidence of the Trinity.)

      2. Notice the last part of Revelation 5:6. What does
        this indicate about the Trinity and the Holy Spirit?
        (It links the Spirit with Jesus.)

        1. What do you think about the seven horns, seven
          eyes and seven spirits? (Read 1 Samuel 2:10 and
          Zechariah 4:1. Seven is the number of
          perfection. Horns symbolize kingly power, eyes
          symbolize sight or knowledge. Therefore, Jesus
          has perfect power, perfect knowledge and a
          perfect relationship with the Holy Spirit.)

    6. Read Revelation 5:11-12 and re-read Revelation 4:11. What
      two points form the basis for our worship of God? (He is
      our Creator and our Redeemer. The throne of God, the glory
      of God, is tied to those two beliefs.)

      1. How does the Sabbath fit into this idea? (The Sabbath
        memorializes Creation ( Genesis 2:2-3), and Jesus
        rested on the Sabbath at the cross ( Matthew 28:1-6.
        Thus, the Sabbath reflects the basis for worship at
        the throne of God!)

  4. Sanctuary Work

    1. Read Hebrews 8:1-2. Who is it who is at the center of the
      throne? (Jesus is there with God the Father.)

      1. What is Jesus doing there? (Serving as High Priest.)

    2. Read Hebrews 8:3-5. Recall that in Revelation 5:6 Jesus is
      in the throne room of heaven looking like a slain lamb.
      Why do you think Jesus is pictured as a slain lamb in the
      heavenly throne room? (The sanctuary on earth involved the
      sacrifice of lambs. These verses in Hebrews show us that
      the sanctuary on earth is important in teaching us about
      the sanctuary in heaven. It reflects what is going on in

    3. Read Hebrews 8:6. What is going on in heaven? (Jesus is
      ministering as our High Priest!)

    4. Recall that we started out thinking about how we would
      design our home and our job if we could. What priorities
      do God’s home and job reflect? (His work in heaven is to
      minister on our behalf! Since we just read that the
      sanctuary on earth is patterned after the one in heaven,
      even the design of God’s home reflects the story of
      redemption! Next week we will study the sanctuary on earth
      and see what else we can learn.)

    5. Friend, God’s claim to worship arises from being our
      Creator and Redeemer. Since God’s priorities are you, are
      you doing all that is within your power to stand with God
      on these issues?

  5. Next week: “Heaven” on Earth.