Revelation 4: 1-11, John’s vision of Christ and His throne.
After these, “metatauta”, in Greek, throw back to Revelation 1, 2, and 3. Revelation 1 was John’s vision of the glorious Risen Christ, Revelation 2 and 3 was John’s letters to the 7 churches of Asia Minor (Turkey). Revelation 4 was John’s vision of Christ’s and His throne. Revelation 4 and 5 corresponds to the rapture of the church to heaven. Rev 6 to 19 corresponds to the 7-year tribulation on earth. Rev 20 corresponds to the millennial kingdom. Revelation 21 to 22 corresponds to the eternal state, the new heaven, and the new earth.
V 1, After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this”.
After these things, John saw an open door in heaven. Rev 3:20, The trumpet is the shofar, the ram horn. Christ invited John to come up through the open door.
Christ’s coming in the rapture will be preceded by a shofar blow. 1 Thess 4:16- 17, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”. The words “caught up” is harpaso in Greek, raptuse in Latin, and rapture in English. Rev 4:1 begins and ends “after this” or “metatuata”.
VV 2-4, 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones, I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
John was Immediately raptured to heaven in the Spirit. John saw Jesus sitting on His throne in heaven. John described Jesus as jasper, a clear diamond-like gemstone, and sardius, a red-colored gemstone, surrounded by a rainbow with the color of emerald, a green-colored gemstone. Christ’s throne was surrounded by 24 smaller thrones occupied by 24 elders, each dressed in a white robe and each wearing golden a crown.
Christ’s throne was surrounded by a rainbow, s symbol of grace. Christ’s throne is a throne of grace. Genesis 9:16, “The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
The 24 elders represent the 12 apostles and the 12 patriarchs. The church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and Christ is the chief cornerstone, Ephesians 2:20, “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone’’.
V 5, And from the throne proceeded lightning, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Lightning, thunders, and voices, speak of God’s judgments. He is a God of love and judgment. The seven lamps of fire or menorah speak of the 7 churches. The seven Spirits of God speaks of the sevenfold ministry of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 11:2-3, “The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD, and He will delight in the fear of the Lord”.
V V 6-8, 6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
A crystal-clear sea of glass surrounds the throne. The 4 living creatures with eyes in front and back, had 360 degrees, perfect vision. Ezekiel in his vision of God described 4 living creatures very similar to that of John. Ezekiel 1 10-12: “As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies. And each one went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went”.
The 4 living creatures were cherubim. They had the face of a lion, an ox, a man, and a flying eagle. The 4 faces speak of the 4 gospels. Lion represents the gospel of Matthew. Ox represents the gospel of Mark. Man represents the gospel of Luke. Eagle represents the gospel of John. They worshiped God 24/7 saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come”. God is Holy and righteous, perfect and pure, immutable, unchangeable, and eternal.
VV 9-11, 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:11 ‘’You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
As the 4 living creatures worship and sang to God, the 24 elders cast their crowns on the ground, worshiped, and declared the glory, honor, and power of God. The New Testament speaks of 5 kinds of crowns, the crown of rejoicing, the crown of life, the imperishable crown, the crown of righteousness, and the crown of glory.
Crown of rejoicing. 1 Thess 1:29, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?”
Crown of life, Rev 2:10, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life”. James 1:12, ‘’Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him”.
Imperishable crown, 1 Cor 9:25, “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown”.
Crown of righteousness, 2 Tim 4:8, “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing”.
Crown of glory, 2 Pet 5:4, “and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away”.