Previously, in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation, we were given the letters that Jesus dictated to John, which apply to the seven Christian mindsets in this last generation. We were told what pleases Him in us as Christians, and we were told what, frankly, disgusts Him. Now we will move onto the prophetic portion of the book; this is the portion that will tell us what we need to be looking for that will be shortly coming to pass. Are you a watchman? Or will you let the coming of Antichrist, and the coming of Christ overtake you as a thief in the night?
(Rev 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.
John looked up and saw this door open in heaven and this means that his spiritual eyes are being opened to many things that Jesus is going to show him, and he in turn would share these things with us. Jesus called John up to heaven in the spirit for John to be shown the events of the end times.
(Rev 4:2) And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
As soon as he heard this voice, he was transformed into his spiritual body, because flesh cannot possibly enter into heaven as heaven is not contained within the third dimension. Once he got there, John observed God’s throne, and He was sitting on it.
(Rev 4:3) 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.
In the breastplate of the High Priest in old Israel, each of the twelve tribes had its own stone (Exo 28:15-21). The first of the stones was Sardius (a red stone) for Reuben, and the last was Jasper (a green stone) for Benjamin. However, there are two things going on here: this person that John was looking at was Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, so these stones that John is mentioning represent the first and the last. However, possibly more interesting is the fact that the last stone was mentioned first and the first stone was mentioned last.
(Mat 20:16) So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
What this verse means is that those who were the last to stand for God, and last to stand for satan, in satan’s rebellion, were the first to be born in the flesh. And the first to stand for God, and the first to stand for satan are living in this last generation (those who didn’t really take a stand were simply spread through out the generations, but especially in this last one). Those who were the first to stand for God in the rebellion are the 7000 predestinated elect in the end times, and it is these who receive the deepest understanding of God’s Word. This mentioning of the Sardius and Jasper stones is to point out that there are a lot of deeper truths to be taken out of this book of Revelation, and it is to say that the one on the throne here is Jesus Himself, the Firstfruit.
The light that emanates out from Christ, as He is on this throne, is light of all colors. This light is often described as a rainbow of color, and this light is the truth of God that can be blinding and goes out in all directions.
(Rev 4:4) 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.
In biblical numerics, the number 24 represents the priesthood. These elders are 24 of God’s elect that have been given a special role. Elders always signify those with the deepest understanding of God’s truth, and have nothing to do with age. The most popular educated guess as to the identity of these 24 elders is the 12 Israelite Patriarchs and the 12 Apostles. One thing is for sure, we will know soon enough. God’s elect will serve in the Millennium, among other roles, as kings and priests under Jesus, and these would be the highest seats in this nobility.
These 24 elders are wearing white clothing that is made up of their righteous acts on earth (Revelation 19:7-8), and that is washed clean with Jesus’ blood. And of course they have crowns on their heads representing this kingly role under Christ.
(Rev 4:5) 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.
This is a throne of authority, and the seven lamps represent the 7000 predestinated elect as well as the angels of the seven churches. These seven Spirits of God are also represented by power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing.
(Rev 5:12) Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
(Rev 4:6) 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.
This sea of glass is the mass of those people who overcame the beast during the tribulation and were made pure by being tried by fire–glass represents purity.
These four beasts are the zoa who replaced Lucifer, after his rebellion against God, in guarding the mercy seat. They are the cherubim who do not have free will, as they are predestinated to follow and serve only God. These many eyes that they have mean that they have full understanding of the mysteries of God, and it is most likely that they have the ability to travel and see anywhere in time, hence eyes before and behind. And of course, these beasts are always vigilant.
(Rev 4:7) 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.
These four animals are the animals that represent the four tribes that were the protectors of the camp of Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt. The lion represents the tribe of Judah, which had a large part in the later establishment of Germany; the calf represents the tribe of Ephraim, which later established Britain; the man represents the tribe of Reuben, which later France; and the eagle represents the tribe of Dan, which later established Denmark. This protection extends to these zoa which, as we said earlier, are to protect the throne of God.
(Rev 4:8) 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.
The zoa have 6 wings because these wings represent the protection of God, and the number 6 represents man, which is because, as we are told in Ezekiel 1:4-11, they have the likeness of a man. They are full of eyes and they never rested from watching over God’s throne or praising Him.
(Rev 4:9) And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
(Rev 4:10) 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,
(Rev 4:11) 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.
These 24 elders are humbling themselves before God and giving Him praise themselves. They may be some of the wisest of God’s children, but their wisdom is like foolishness to God, and they are wise enough to know this and know who it is that really has all the power and authority and wisdom.
This chapter has set the tone for the rest of the book of Revelation. It lets us know that we will need to use our spiritual eyes to truly be able to see what we are being told about the things that will be happening very soon on earth. It also reminds us who is in authority always, and that although the world may seem to be chaotic or evil at times, this will not last forever, and it is all according to God’s plan, and it has a significant purpose that, ultimately, all will come to understand.
As you read these chapters, pray for wisdom from God to truly understand and get a feel for what we are being told.