1. Chapter 4 starts a whole new part of Revelation. In Chapter 1, if you remember, John was told that these were the things that “were”. In Chapter 2-3 he is told that these were the things that “are”. In this Chapter, he is told these will be the things “to come”. As we saw in the 3rd Chapter, the Church, or body of Christ has been raptured, we are with Him. What happens next is 7 years of time unparalleled ever before. The end is truly very near. Chapter 4-22 detail events that happen during a 7 year Great Tribulation. This chapter starts out with us being shown that John is taken to Heaven in this vision.
2. John begins to describe God’s glory as well as the Throne. The Throne itself is described as emerald, and this as well as the rest of the description ties right in to what Daniel saw in Daniel 7:9-10. John is describing His glory as Sardis, Jasper, and a rainbow about Him. What is interesting is that in the Old Testament, the high priest had 12 precious stones in his breastplate. The first was Jasper and the last was Sardis. This in turn not only shows Jesus as being the One high Priest, but what I find interesting, is in the use of the stones, it ties in with Him being the Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End. The First and the Last. The rainbow can be a descriptor John used or a sign of God’s glory as well as His mercy. Just as He gave mercy in that sign after the flood. But there is judgment brewing around the corner! We can see that in the description of the lightning, thundering, and voices. Another note is the seven lamps burning which are the seven spirits of God. This is the Holy Spirit, and as we know, 7 is a VERY important number in relation to God.
3. We also see a description of 24 elders on seats, wearing crowns, around the Throne of God. Many people have speculated who these might be. My answer is that they are not individuals, for if they were, Paul would have been wrong in Romans 2:11 as well as Peter in Acts 10:34 when both stated God is no respecter of persons. So who could these 24 be? The redeemed church of believers being shown as priests before God. Why 24? If you remember, the Levitical tribe is the tribe from which the priests came. King David divided this up into 24 sections. This lines up perfectly and with this scenario in Heaven and again reinforces a pre-tribulation rapture showing the Church with God before the Tribulation begins. The white raiment and crowns show our reward for staying true to him and being washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.
4. The next interesting picture is a description of 4 beasts full of eyes in front and behind. These would be angels, but there descriptions carry a message of Jesus in them. The first being described as a lion brings to mind Jesus as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. A lion is also known as the king of beasts, and Jesus is the King of Kings. The second one appears as a calf which symbolizes service, and Jesus was called a servant in the Gospel of Mark. The next is that of a man, and as we know, Jesus took on human flesh as well as being called Son of Man in the Gospel of Luke. The last beast is described as being like and eagle. An eagle is pictured as majestic and ruler of the skies. In the Gospel of John, he describes Jesus as the Creator of all things and the Son of God. This makes Him the ruler of all things in Heaven and below.
5. Final attention is brought in the worship given to God. The four beasts worship day and night and as they do, the 24 elders (the raptured church), fall down and worship Him as well as cast their crowns at His feet. In 1st Corinthians 3:8-15, we see that even we, the redeemed church will be judged according to our works. Rewards of fine jewels/crowns will be given but for those works which were not good, we will receive stubble, hay, and straw. Then guess what? Poof! Judged by fire. You’ll be left with only the rewards for your good works, the precious jewels, for the other will burn up. What is left will be either a handful or a truckload. The ball is in YOUR court as to which it will be. These rewards we have, will be the exact things pictured in verse 10 we cast at the Throne because only He is worthy.
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