What will it be to dwell above?
And with the Lord of Glory reign
Since the blest knowledge of His love
So brightens all this dreary plain.
These words capture the thoughts that we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ often ponder when we allow ourselves the opportunity to meditate on things beyond this life.
Recent books and movies have attempted to show a perception of heaven that is appealing, but fanciful and far less meaningful than what God Himself as revealed to us in His Word.
In this life, we enjoy fellowship with other believers. We enjoy the thoughts of God’s love and His abundant grace toward us. The privilege of prayer and worship really does brighten all of this dreary plain.
But how has God described His church as witness bearers of heavenly realm?
The Witness of God’s Church
In Revelation Chapters 1-3 we have the witness of the church on earth. Some of it good, much of it bad. The church is seen as partly true and zealous of God’s Word and still many local testimonies are described as divided by heresies, pride and neglect of God’s Word.
On the other hand, Revelation ch 4 presents us with the witness of the church in heaven. There she is free of those things which so cloud the earthly testimony. There are elements there that, if we meditate upon them here, can bring fresh light to our sepia-toned testimony here.
The following meditations may help us to consider something of the place that His Church occupies before the Lord.
A rainbow:A Place of Promise
24 elders: A Place of Praise
Lightnings and thunderings and voices: A Place of Proclamation
Seven lamps of fire – the seven spirits of God (compare Isa 11:2): A Place of Power
Four beasts full of eyes before and behind, six wings full of eyes: A Place of Perception
- A lion: An aggressive hunter; searching for the lost souls of men
- A calf: A dependent sacrificial animal; Accounted for the slaughter all day long
- A man: An Intelligent understanding of God; A new creation in the image of God
- A flying eagle: A heavenly being; Able to soar above man’s depravity and carnage.
What His Church Declares:
They take up the praise of the cherubim and declare The Eternal God, His incarnation and His coming Kingdom;
They give glory and honor and thanks to the one who sat on the throne;
They cast down their crowns in humble submission;
They declare Him as the Creator of all and declare the restored relationship of creation to the Creator.
In contrast, our redeemed souls are still burdened by the decaying flesh of our temporal existence. That flesh desires its own glory and honor through the exercise of self will; That flesh clings to its crowns of pride and self assertion; That flesh refuses to serve the creator more than the creation.
We can overcome the flesh when we willing to be let God’s Spirit fill us, control us and transform us into worshiping, witnessing souls.
Then we will be in the place that our Lord has designed us for, His New Creation, as pictured in Revelation 4