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smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 8:13 AM

REVELATION CHAPTER 4

Well, I have time to get us started at any rate...I googled NKJV, but this might be the older King James Version, not sure which I got! Whichever it is, it seems pretty easy to read, so I'll stick with it. If you feel the need to offer some other rendering, go ahead and post it as well! Here it is:

Revelation chapter 4

1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

oldschoolgal
Oldschoolgal  (Level: 160.0 - Posts: 45)
Tue, 3rd Feb '09 8:29 AM

After reading this chapter, I felt it was a chapter of worship of God, the Almighty creator. The beasts around the throne continually worship him. They are said to be spiritual beings and have not known the joy of being redeemed from their sins. How much more should we, who have known this, be willing to worship Him also. They say Heaven will be a time of worship and thankfulness for being there!

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 11:36 PM

Nice way to start off the chapter Linda! I like your approach! We are taking a similar approach in my Bible study at Church, (sometimes at any rate ) we sometimes deviate from our usual intellectual talk regarding the Bible, and talk about what struck us or what the chapter means for me. Worship does seem to be important part of this chapter, and a great way to get conversation started on the chapter. Does anyone here think they can come up with an adequate definition of "worship"? One that I know of written by Evelyn Underhill (which isn't from the Wiki page) is just that worship is, "the response of the creature to the Eternal". Very broad definition! One that would seem to include a very broad sprectrum of activities not normally considered as worship. Here's the Wiki definition: "Worship usually refers to acts of religious devotion typically directed to one or more deities."

Using that definition as a starting point, does anyone here think that the behavior of athiests/agnostics or others who claim to not believe in a "real" god/diety actually engage in behavior that seems very similar? I know we aren't a bunch of philosophers in here, but thought I would give this discussion a try. Before I get started, the following discussion we had in the philosophy group should give you the info you need to understand my future remarks, a direct quote that I just copy and pasted:

"Implicit or explicit in some philosophy, or perhaps in "worldviews" is the concept of the Ideal Person. What does the ideal person look like? Who should you try to become? You might liken this to the concept of the "role model". In Nietzsche it might be his "superman" or "overman", in Christianity it would be Jesus, maybe in rap music (hypothetically speaking) it would be someone who is "hypermasculine". (Here's a link to that last comment to put it into context http://www.thenewblackmagazine.com/view.aspx?index=537 ) I know what my ideal person looks like in general, what type of characteristics in my mind the "ideal person" has, my only task is to assimilate it to the real world and perhaps to various roles within that world. The details, sometimes, are a little harder to work out. This seems like a very relevant area within philosophy/theology (whatever). My questions are two-fold: 1) What does your ideal person look like, what qualities, characteristics, etc. and 2) Do you think that knowing what kind of person someone would like to be, or tries to emulate, can "tell you" something about that person, about "some" of their basic views on life? Quite frankly I've only heard this particular topic brought up in the realm of philosophy once, once or twice in the context of theology, so I hope in my ignorance I'm not making a complete (oops!) of myself....It's just always been an interesting topic to me".

I don't know that this link will work, but you are free to look over the thread for further info, but I'm not sure that you can access it w/o being a member of the Philosophy group, hard to say, I've never tried this before: http://www.sploofus.com/groups.sp?gp=forum&post=124161&groupID=65

I have a tendency to think that whatever your concept of the ideal person is, that when you center your life around that "concept" you actually engage in behavior at time that might be described as "worship". We might not have people fashioning idols of these idealized "people" or concepts in many, (or in some cases, perhaps we do!) fashioning them into wooden or stone engraved images, but I personally think that it should count as "worship" all the same. What do you guys think about it? I have to wonder if maybe when "god" gets destroyed, if it is maybe inevitable so to speak that several others of human fashioning won't just pop up to take their place. I hope you are following me, if not, ask me to clarify.

The part that stuck out for me was in verse two when it says, "And immediately I was in the spirit". I had to stop and wonder what exactly this meant! I mean what was he in before, not in the spirit??

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Wed, 4th Feb '09 11:39 PM

I'm going to ignore my misspellings in the previous post, but one thing I did want to correct was I meant to say, "I have to wonder if maybe when *one* "god" gets destroyed", another one just doesn't pop up to take it's place.

oldschoolgal
Oldschoolgal  (Level: 160.0 - Posts: 45)
Thu, 5th Feb '09 12:47 AM

My commentary said "in the spirit" meant he saw a vision.....


I've never thought about who the ideal person would be, but I know it would be Christ. We should all strive to be Christlike. I think an important adjective would be "KIND." I'm not too concerned about someone's looks, but kindness and compassion are very important.

oldschoolgal
Oldschoolgal  (Level: 160.0 - Posts: 45)
Thu, 5th Feb '09 12:47 AM

My commentary said "in the spirit" meant he saw a vision.....


I've never thought about who the ideal person would be, but I know it would be Christ. We should all strive to be Christlike. I think an important adjective would be "KIND." I'm not too concerned about someone's looks, but kindness and compassion are very important.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 5th Feb '09 10:06 PM

If it meant that he saw a vision, that would confuse me even more! I thought he was already "seeing" so to speak a vision! What does it mean when you are in the middle of a vision and immediately you are "in the spirit", which means you immediately begin (again I guess, lol) to see a vision?

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 5th Feb '09 10:20 PM

That almost seems redundant.....

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 5th Feb '09 10:40 PM

As to the "ideal person" conversation I tried to start, lol, I'm surprised it doesn't come up more often in Church. I really do feel that these idealized conceptions of who one "should" be really are the competing "gods" in today's world, and I'm surprised there's not more of an attempt among Christians to find them and identify them.....Let me give you an idea as to how it works. I've been thinking about this and to me it seems to have something to do with the goal setting process. There is of course what you are, and then there is who you strive to be. If this is the case, that these would be our "modern" forms of gods, then humans are faced with a dilemma: either quit setting goals or center their life around something higher than themselves, i.e. an idealized conception of who one should be, or a "living" God like Christians do. You can really tell alot about a person if you can find out what idealized conception somebody's life is centered around.

To me it's just as important to find out who you are as it is to find out who you aren't!! That seemed a little easier to do in the Old Testament where um they gave names to these "gods" and created statues and rules and ethics (which the type of "modern" gods I was talking about all have). All you had to do to find out who you weren't was just learn a little. "Oh, that god wants me to sacrifice children....and leave meat at their feet at night! We don't do that, because the real God is a living God who doesn't eat meat and cares about children".....yada, yada, yada, now these idealized conceptions hold sway over people and it isn't explicit, so we really have no idea what we are dealing with....

Yeah, for Christians the ideal person would be Jesus, and of course you can find out alot about him/her from any systematic theology textbook. God is, "Beautiful, Perfect, Omnipotent, Wise", etc. Of course to me, an intelligent approach to religion is implied in it's theology. If God is all-knowing, and I am supposed to try as best I can to be like him, then doesn't it follow that I should attempt to become as all-knowing as he/she is within limits, even if I will never succeed in this lifetime? I personally kind of feel that this implies something like an intellectual approach to the matter......

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 12:46 AM

LOL, guess I killed conversation on this chapter, , this is just some of the things that were going through my mind, if you have others please leave them here....change subjects even.

oldschoolgal
Oldschoolgal  (Level: 160.0 - Posts: 45)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 9:32 AM

Who do you think the 24 elders were? some say they were the 12 sons of tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles. That seems to make sense.

smokydevil
Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 5:22 PM

I don't know! To be honest, I'd never even thought of it before.....just spent some time googling it to hear what others had to say, and here's some opinions on the issue:

1) The 12 Patriarchs + The 12 Apostles
2) They represent the Church
3) They are the people who were resurrected after Jesus died on the Cross in the Book of Matthew (Matthew 27:50-53)
4) Angels
5) The represent believers throughout the centuries

I imagine there are more views than just this, one I didn't include because it involved aliens and complicated math, but you get the idea. I really don't have an opinion on this yet. What are your thoughts on the issue?

oldschoolgal
Oldschoolgal  (Level: 160.0 - Posts: 45)
Sat, 7th Feb '09 9:28 PM

I definitely don't think they would be angels because the Bible says 24 elders. These wouldn't be angels. I go with No. 1 choice

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 1:06 PM

I agree.

Also, I've always believed that when John says he was immediately in the spirit, that means something different from the first being in the spirit. I think the first time meant that the Holy Spirit came over him and revealed these things. My thinking was THIS "immediately in the spirit" means he left his physical body behind and went up to see through the door.



jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 1:28 PM

Very much enjoyed reading what you wrote, Jeremy.

My personal definition of worship is somewhat based on the outer gate/inner gate praise/worship in the Old Testament at the temple. Our modern church music service is loosely based on that too.

The outer gate is praise, acknowledging who God is, his attributes, and His Fathership of us, with a bit more shallow expression of thanks to God. The music is faster, more exuberant. It tells other people about our love for God, His love for us, and how wonderful He is in all things - an attempt to bring people in and spark in them a desire to know more about God.

The inner gate changes to worship, slower music, words of thanks and repentance and personal experience. The worship is more quietly emotional, more deeply emotional, a deeper appreciation of God. And the worship is all about our personal relationship with God through Jesus. Worship is one-on-One with the Father and our focus and thoughts are all on Him.

To me, worship is the desire to "put on" the robes, to climb into God's lap and look in His eyes as an adoring child looks in the eyes of Daddy - a Daddy who is 100% there for the child. Worship is all-encompassing.

To me, worship is a total giving of one's self to God and acknowledging Him in all parts of my life and being.

As such, worship to me is much more than something I do in a church building. I worship God when I sing Jesus Loves Me to my grandson or talk about trees and grass and leaves and all of nature that I believe God created. I worship God when I'm giving the best of myself to help others.

I agree that worship has a lot to do with role model - who we want to be like.

In some of the churches where I have worshipped, they encourage us to read books about the martyrs and about great people of faith, to help strengthen our faith.

I love that in the British marriage vows, they say "I worship you with my body." It's personal and one-on-one.

Of course I love that vow (which I've never heard at a wedding here in the states) because I believe marriage and even sex are the holy picture of our relationship with God - our oneness with Him. We can only be "one" with our spouse in certain ways, but the picture of me being totally inside of God's heart and Jesus totally inside my heart is one of the most comforting worshipful feelings to me.

oldschoolgal
Oldschoolgal  (Level: 160.0 - Posts: 45)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 8:25 PM

Your explanation was beautiful. Thank you so much!

bookworm483554
Bookworm483554  (Level: 174.8 - Posts: 25)
Sun, 8th Feb '09 11:17 PM

thank you Jank: I echo the previous post. That was beautifully expressed and eloquently explained. So few people think of sex in marriage as a picture of worship but I too believe that is what it is meant to be.


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