Revelation Chapter #4
To me chapters #4 and 5 I find quite interesting and I hope that you will feel the same about them. Chapter #4 is a rather short one though having only 11 verses in it. This is the beginning of where the Church goes up to Heaven at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Chapters 6-18 covers the Great Tribulation in quite a bit of detail. Chapter 19 is about the ending of the Tribulation. Chapter 20 covers the 1,000 year reign of Christ upon the Earth while the Devil and His Angels (Demons) are locked away in Hell. Then the final two chapters of Revelation covers the rest of eternity. I hope that you will find this letter to you this evening to be of value to your understanding of the material.
There are three breakdowns within this chapter that I would like to talk with you about. This chapter starts with what many Theologians refer to as the ‘program of Christ,’ starting here with a scene in Heaven. In verses 1-3 is the material of the Throne of God. Verses 4-5 the subject matter is the 24 Elders then finally verses 6-11 discusses the four Living Creatures that surround the Throne of God. Lets now read these 11 verses then we can break them down for a better understanding. Remember, this Book was written by the Apostle John and he speaks of the things that he was shown and heard. “After this I looked and beheld a door open in Heaven. And the first Voice which I heard was as if it were a trumpet talking with me, which said, come up here and I will show you things which will be in the future.” “Then immediately I was in the Spirit and beheld a Throne which was set in Heaven and One sat on the Throne.” “He that sat on the Throne was like looking upon a Jasper and a Sardine Stone. And there was a rainbow round about the Throne, the color was like looking unto an Emerald.” “Round about the Throne were four and twenty Seats. Upon the Seats I saw 24 Elders sitting. They were clothed in White Raiment and upon their heads were Crowns of Gold.” “Then out of the Throne proceeded lightnings and thundering and voices. There were 7 Lamps of Fire burning before the Throne, which are the Seven Spirits of God.” (The 7 Arch Angels) “Before the Throne there was a Sea of Glass which was like unto Crystal. In the midst of the Throne and round about the Throne were 4 Beasts full of eyes in front and behind.” “The first Beast was like a Lion, the second Beast was like a Calf. The third Beast had the face of a man. The fourth Beast was like a flying Eagle.” “Each of the 4 Beasts had 6 wings about Him. Each of them were full of eyes within and they did not rest day or night. And they were saying holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which was, which is , and is to come.” ” And then the Beast gave glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the Throne, who lives for ever and ever.” “And the 24 Elders fell down before Him that sat on the Throne and worshiped Him that lives for ever and ever, and they cast down their Crowns before the Throne.” “Saying Thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power. For You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.”
Well friends that is it for the 11 verses of this chapter so now it is time to do a little bit more explaining to help in understanding. Think back to chapter #1 what John saw and how things happened to him. After the Lord had given John His message to the 7 Churches in Asia Minor do you remember how that Voice sounded like a Trumpet? Next think of the sight that John was shown, not just a stairway to Heaven but an open door to Heaven itself. Notice that John was then called up to Heaven ‘in the Spirit.’ This is because there is no flesh in Heaven. God the Father the Son, the Holy Spirit and all of the Angels are Spirits, not flesh. Do you remember how verse one starts off with “after this”? “After this” in the Greek language in which the Book of Revelation was written, ‘after this’ is “meta tauta”. The definition is “after these things.” It is used two times here, at the beginning of the verse and at the end of it. The Meta tauta that John was referring to is The Rapture. The Rapture is when Christ comes back to Earth with His Angels. At that time the dead in Christ will rise first then those who are still alive who were faithful to Him will depart this Earth in the twinkling (blink) of an eye and will go up into the clouds to be with Christ forever more. (1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17). The word Rapture is not something that you will find in the English Bible but in the original Greek in which it was written the word “harpazo” is used. When this word is used in the Greek it means “to be caught up, rapture, or snatched up.”
Now lets explain verse #2 and John’s words. “And I beheld a Throne that was set in Heaven and One sitting on the Throne.” In the Book of Psalms 11:4 it is written”The Lord is in His Holy Temple, the Lord’s Throne in Heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try the children of men.” In Psalms 110:1 it is written “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou down at My Right Hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” This Throne of which John speaks is the Throne of God The Father and it is The Lord Jesus His Son who sits at The Fathers Right Hand.
In verse #3 John said “and He that sat upon the Throne was like looking upon a Jasper and a Sardine Stone and there was a rainbow round about The Throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” Our attention is directed to “He who is upon The Throne.” What John was seeing is believed to be the Triune (Trinity) God. The Three Persons which are the Trinity of God. The oneness of God are distinguished or ‘shown’ to us in the following Scriptures. In verses 2 and 5 shows shows us God The Holy Spirit. In verse #3 God The Father. In chapter 5 verse #5 is God The Son. What we are being shown here by John is the Trinity upon the Throne. John was not able to distinguish the Form of a person only the magnificent brilliance and brightness that was like unto light upon precious stones. Just for information’s sake, the Greek word for rainbow is ‘iris’ which means ‘halo’.
Verse #4 is where John spoke to us of the 24 Elders that sat around God’s Throne. In Greek the word Elder is Presbuteros, this word when translated into English is Presbyterian. It is the Elders who are responsible for the leaders and the overseers of Christ’s Church. The leadership of every congregation of The Lord’s Church are given a very serious requirement, to keep the Bride of Christ (The Church) pure for the return (Second Advent/coming) of the Groom/Christ. When a congregation errs and falls away from the teachings of Christ it is the duty of the leadership to correct the way of ‘the flock’. If they do not do so the blood of the lost will be laid upon those leaders who failed at their main job that they had been given. Here are just a few Scriptures you might wish to look up to help you understand. Titus 1:5, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 6:3, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 1:12 and I Peter 5:4.
When you get to verse #5 you read about lightning and thunder and voices coming from the Throne of God. If you have ever lived in what we here in the U.S. refer to as Tornado Alley you should be very well familiar with these signs of a bad storm getting ready to descend upon you. With much thundering and lightning (and I personally have been hit by that and it hurts, a lot) you know you need to take shelter or you could die in the storm. Do you see the correlation? All people of the Earth need to seek the shelter of The Lord Jesus Christ, as quickly as possible as there is a storm coming that no one can survive. The wrath of God is coming for all who have rejected The Lamb of God The Father, His Son, Jesus Christ. The Great Tribulation is coming to God’s Footstool, the Earth whether we want it to or not. When we each (and we will) stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ we will all stand or fall according to our faith and our love for Jesus Christ. The deeds that we have done will help prove the purity of our heart whether they were good or evil.
Now, lets get to verses 6-11. First lets discuss the 4 Living Creatures first mentioned in Revelation 4:6. But first lets touch on the “Sea of Glass” that is before the Throne of God. In the Book of Matthew 5:8 and Hebrews 12:14 you will see that the Sea represents the Righteousness and Holiness of God. The emphasis at this time is no longer on mercy, it is on judgement. This peaceful beautiful Sea represents the place of rest to which the Lord’s Church has come. After the Rapture the Lord’s Bride, The Church is no longer the victim of the rages and the storms that this world has to offer.
The four Beasts in verse 6 are four living creatures. The Greek word used here is Zoa, the English translation is Zoo. Yet the emphasis here is not upon the bestial but on the fact that they are living creatures. If you would please read Isaiah 6:2-3 and Ezekiel 1:5-10 and 10:20. As you can now see, these Creatures do sound a bit familiar, don’t they? In the Gospel of John he communicated to us the Deity of Jesus The Christ who is above all living things. If you will notice the 4 Creatures also represent the animal world. The Lion represents the worlds beasts. The Calf (Ox) represents the domesticated beasts. The Eagle represents the King of Birds. The Man is the head of all creation and the Lord is the Head of all of them.
There are two passages I will close with this evening from this Book that I hope you will consider. First is found at 1:8 where The Lord say plainly “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, Saith The Lord, which is , and which was and which is to come, The All Mighty.” The last passage is Rev 4:11 “You are worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power. For You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.” You see my friends, the world was created by God, for God, and it is His to do with as He wishes. But, God is fair, God is truthful, He can not lie. It is by His grace and love that He set forth a guidebook for all of His children to live by, it is called The Bible. The Lord gave all of mankind a free will. The Lord is a jealous God who wants to be loved and worshiped. But, He wants us to do these things of our won free will, because we want to, not because we have to.
If we love God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and live our lives the way He asks us to do then we do not have to fear the trials of this world. We need not fear a man who can only kill the body but we should fear the Devil who can kill both the body and the Soul, if we let Him. If we hold fast to the love and the promises of God the Evil One can not harm us and eternity with the Lord our God awaits each and everyone of us.