Revelation Chapter Four
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.
door was opened in heaven We have a very similar occurrence with Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1), where he had visions of the Glory of the Lord.
Following the visions of God, Ezekiel received a prophetic message for the children of Israel (Ezekiel 2:3), as John here receives a prophetic message for the New
Testament Israel, which is the church
(Galatians 3:26-29) (Galatians 6:16) (Romans 2:28-29) (Acts 7:38).
trumpet Voice of Jesus (Revelation 1:10) (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
come up hither John was caught up to the third heavens
(2 Corinthians 12:1-4). Many identify this with the rapture of the church, as the word "church" does not occur again until (Revelation 22:16). This goes along with the theology that the church will not go through the tribulation. This study will show the tribulation has everything to do with the church, as judgement must begin at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). It is a time when the corporate, or local churches throughout the world become completely apostate. The true believers will be spiritually protected through the tribulation period. The tribulation is divided into two parts. The first part will be a time of spiritual famine of hearing the Word of God (Amos 8:11-12). During the second part, the true believers will be witnessing the true Gospel outside of the local congregations, or corporate churches, bringing multitudes to salvation right up to the moment the Lord Returns when the actual catching up will occur, following immediately with severe judgement upon the earth.
note: This is a point in the study that differs from what many teach. I stated in the beginning of this study that I studied most Theologies,
and that I would provide multiple views. I will not claim they are wrong, nor will I claim to be right in these grey areas, as many Christians have had differences of
opinions on this topic. I do have to back up why I believe this view to be the most accurate. So I will briefly explain a common error I believe that many Christians fall
into, as I did as well.
The first is having a carnal interpretation of scripture. If you read through the Gospels, almost everything Jesus said was misinterpreted due to carnal reasoning. For example, Nicodemus thought he had to enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born again
(John 3:3-8). Nicodemus was obviously thinking carnally, and in fact the Lord rebukes him for not understanding (John 3:9-10). Being a “master of Israel”, he had to know the many scriptures in the Old Testament that taught this truth would be fulfilled in Jesus (Ezekiel 11:19)
(Ezekiel 36:26) (Psalms 51:10) (Jeremiah 32:39).
In another example, Jesus loses many of his disciples due to carnal interpretations of his word (John 6:66). In John chapter 6, He states that unless you eat His flesh, and drink His blood, you have no life in you
(John 6:53). What? Cannibalism? What kind of teaching is this? They clearly missed the Spiritual implications the Lord was speaking of.
I can go on and on here, but remember that the major rejection of Jesus was due to carnal interpretations of Messiahs first coming. Most were looking for Jesus to set up a physical kingdom, and He even states clearly that was not His intention (John 18:36). Have no doubt that His Kingdom is Spiritual, and He seeks those who worship in Spirit and in truth
One more thing to point out is about the church going through the tribulation. If interpreted spiritually, most people will not even be aware of the tribulation, except true believers. Which was the case before the flood, which Jesus eludes to while speaking of the tribulation
(Matthew 24:37-39). Yes, many physical signs will be evident, but the true tribulation is when God’s word is falling upon deaf ears and the physical churches are run by Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). This will be discussed in detail as we continue on.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
in the spirit At the time of the rapture, believers are immediately changed into their eternal resurrected bodies. This is the second resurrection
(1 Corinthians 15:51-53) (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The first resurrection occurs at salvation, our regeneration or Born Again experience, when God gives us a new eternal soul (John 3:3-6) (Revelation 20:6). Here John said to be in the spirit.
throne A vision of Almighty God upon His throne. The visions presented of the Glory of the Lord are seen through a glass darkly as we are still restricted by our carnality (1 Corinthians 13:12-13).
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.
Revelation Chapter 4 is very similar to Ezekiel Chapter 1. Read and compare with (Isaiah 6:1-8).
jasper (Ezekiel 1:26-27)
rainbow (Ezekiel 1:28)
For more scripture describing the Goory of the Lord, see Ezekiel Chapter 10.
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.
Vision of the church ruling and reigning with Christ, which for the believer, is present at the moment of salvation (Ephesians 2:6) (Revelation 5:10) (Revelation 20:6)
four and twenty A number derived by the fullness of believers of all time, built upon 12 tribes and 12 apostles.
elders The word always applicable to the church under the Old Covenant (Numbers 11:24-25), as well as the New Covenant (1 Timothy 5:17) (Titus 1:5).
clothed in white raiment That is, clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
crowns of gold Crowns denote position of royalty (Revelation 1:6) and righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8). Attributes of Jesus Christ that He imputes upon His children, as He is our Crown (Isaiah 28:5-6). Without Jesus, the only crown we would deserve is a crown of thorns.
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.
lightnings and thunderings identify with God's righteous judgements (Revelation 8:5) (Revelation 11:19) (Revelation 16:28), displaying His Omnipotent authority (Exodus 19:16) (Exodus 20:18-21).
voices plural (Ezekiel 1:24) (Revelation 1:15) (Revelation 19:5-6)
seven lamps seven spirits of God (Revelation 1:4) (Revelation 1:20)
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.
sea of glass This possibly represents the purity of the Gospel that proceeds out of the throne of God (Revelation 22:1) or a representation of the refined
believers. Sometimes in scripture, sand refers to believers as descendants of Abraham (Genesis 22:17), also Jacob (Genesis 32:12) in number. Believers are spiritual
descendants of Abraham (Galatians 3:29).
In (Revelation 15:2), we see the sea of glass mingled with fire, which would identify with the believers hell experience, which is imputed unto them through Christ's atonement work. The refining work of Christ applied to sand "believers", would result in a "sea of glass like unto a crystal." (Isaiah 48:10)
four beasts or "four living creatures" (Ezekiel 10:20)
There is somewhat of a mystery to these living creatures. We do know that they are ministers of God about the throne. They have attributes of Jesus, however we know they are not, as they are created "creatures." The attributes will be discussed in the following verses.
Another possible representation shows Jesus as the Universal Creator (Colossians 1:15-19) as evident by their being four in number. see Numbers in Revelation.
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 following have to do with the representations of Jesus, and appears to fit well with the theme of the individual four Gospels of Christ.
Lion Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5) (Genesis 49:9), which identifies with the theme of the Gospel of Matthew, that focusses upon Christ's Royalty, Christ the King.
calf Jesus, the sacrifice/servant (Revelation 5:6) (Hebrews 9:19-20) (Hebrews 9:23). The theme of the Gospel of Mark focusses upon Christ as a servant.
Man Jesus incarnate (Daniel 7:13) (Luke 19:10) (Hebrews 2:14-16). The Gospel of Luke focusses upon Christ in His humanity.
Eagle Jesus as protector and gentle provider of His people (Exodus 19:4) (Deuteronomy 32:11) (Revelation 12:14). The Gospel of John which differs much from the other three, focusses primarily upon His Deity, revealing Jesus as Almighty God (John 1:1).
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.
Holy, holy, holy As in Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit (Isaiah 6:3).
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
Universal praises to the Lord Jesus as in (Revelation 5:13-14).
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,
cast their crowns The elders rightfully give honor to whom honor is due, as they acknowledge that their righteousness was only made possible by He who sits upon the throne, and not obtained by any of their own doing. All praises, honor, and glory is due only to Jesus our Lord and Savior.
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.
thou hast created Jesus the creator (Genesis 1:1) (John 1:3)
(Ephesians 3:9-10) (Colossians 1:15-19)
for thy pleasure The simple answer to the biggest question of all time. You were created for God's pleasure (2 Timothy 1:9).