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 show thee things which must be hereafter.
The apostle John is taken up into Heaven and is shown things which MUST take place. This chapter then is teaching us prophetic things that God has planned and they will come to pass.
The Church is mentioned 19 times in the first three chapters of Revelation but from now on it is not seen again until chapter 19 verse 14 being the end of the Tribulation period as it returns to reign on the earth with her Lord. (cf Rev 5:10). This includes the tribulation saints that have laid their lives down rather than take the Mark of the Beast or worship him. (cf Rev 20:4).
John sees a door – (John 10:9) and hears a trumpet – (1 Thess 4:16). It is this and the previous point made that many see where the Rapture will take place. We are not appointed unto wrath!
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in Heaven, and One sat on the Throne.
The word “sat” is indicative that the work is complete for God reigns over all.
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.
The word Throne is used 45 times in the Book of Revelation compared with only 15 other times in the rest of the New Testament.
Jasper is a white stone and the sardine is a fiery red stone. These are seen as God’s two basic characteristics of His Glory and His Grace.
The Jasper is the first and the Sardine the last stone on the breastplate worn by the High Priest denoting the 12 Tribes of Israel. So in Jacob’s first son Reuben – ‘Behold a son’ and Benjamin his last – ‘Son of my right hand’ we see God’s plan through His own Son in that we see Messiah’s incarnation, ‘Behold a Son’ – denoting His Humanity and ‘Son of My right hand’ – denoting His Deity.
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.
The Greek here refers to these chosen 24 elders (Probably from both the Old and New Testament periods) wearing Stephanos (martyr) crowns of gold. So these chosen 24 were once martyrs but are now honoured for all eternity.
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.
The number seven denotes completion and so it refers to the sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit – 1. Restraining. 2. Convicting. 3. Regenerating. 4. Sealing. 5. Baptizing. 6. Indwelling. 7. Filling.
The sevens within scripture show us much of God’s work as he completes what He started.
The lighting and thunder reminds us of Mount Sinai when God gave His Law to mankind and now He is about to judge them during the Tribulation Period for breaking His Laws.
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.
The imagery here is beyond our imagination, we are being given just a hint of the awesome glory of God’s Throne Room. Solomon had made a molten sea of brass supported on the backs of 12 oxen of brass (1 Kings 7:23) for God’s earthy Tabernacle but the Heavenly Throne room is superior.
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.
The Lion shows us Messiah as King as portrayed in Matthew, the Calf shows us Christ’s servant nature as in Mark. The man depicts the humanity of Yeshua as seen in Luke’s Gospel account and the Eagle shows us Jesus’ deity as revealed in the Gospel of John.
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.
These 4 creatures resemble the Cherubim of Ezekiel 1:5-10; 10:14, 20 and also the Seraphim described in Isaiah 6:2-3. These are intelligent creatures and could be a new order never revealed before. There will be many wonderful surprises for the saints whom He loves and died for.
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,
In these two verses we see adoration, worship and praise, love, humility, thanksgiving and awe before the One who sits on the Throne.
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.
The 24 Elders’ song celebrates the act of creation and the Lord God as the Creator of all things.
Date : 30/11/-0001