In this episode, Kirk and Dan discuss some additional matters related to the interpretation of Revelation 4. How should we understand the phrase “after this” used twice in verse 1, and what are some of the theological debates / discussions surrounding this phrase? Second, we take a closer look at the twenty elders and the four living creatures. Who or what might they be, and what role do they serve in this passage? Next, we consider briefly the theme of worship across the book. Who do you worship — God or the beast? And lastly, we consider the theme of heaven as God’s very temple, and how this reaches its climax in chapters 21-22.
In verses 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19, and 2 Corinthians 6:16 Paul uses the Old Testament temple as a metaphor for believers. What this metaphor conveys is the comparison of our New Testament worship to that of the Old Testament. The Levitical law required sacrifices. However, now our worship demands a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), a sacrifice of our lives. The Old Testament worship was centered on locality and the temple building. However, now worship is in spirit and in truth and no longer based on such externals such as location and buildings (John 4:20-24). And finally, just as the Shekinah glory dwelt within the temple, now the same presence of God, the Holy Spirit, dwells within us (1 Corinthians 6:19). And just as the Shekinah glory was the visible presence of God at the temple or tabernacle, so the presence of God should be visible in our lives (i.e., “the fruit of the Spirit,” Gal 5:22-23).