CHAPTER 4 - Verses 1-11

Verse 1: “And it came about, after these things, and I looked and behold a door was opened in the heavens; and the first voice which I heard was as the sound of a trumpet speaking to me. It said, ‘come up here and I will show you what will be afterwards.’”

Many scholars, applying incorrect methodology of interpretation, tie the rapture/blessed hope to this verse. In this verse, John receives an invitation to go up into the heavens to see things from God’s perspective; and to have something revealed to him (‘opened’ up).

This is specifically to John, and it is a dangerous practice to interpret and apply this to all believers. In this chapter (as with chapter 5) you don’t see a massive body of people from every nation, tribe and tongue – because they are not there yet! All you see are G-d, John, twentyfour elders, angels and the living creatures.

Trumpet’: (see 1v10) The silver trumpet was probably the trumpet that John heard here – an announcement of what was going to take place.

‘Afterward’ – after this age. This is speaking about a transition.

Verse 2: “And in a moment I was in the Spirit; and behold a throne appeared in the heavens. And One who sat upon the throne.”

Revelation’s purpose is to tell us what must take place for the throne of G-d, in the heavens, to come and be established on Earth, in the Holy City of Jerusalem. When that throne comes to Earth it inaugurates the Kingdom of G-d.

Throne appeared in the heavens’: We should not expect justice in this age. Believers are the only force for justice and righteousness in the here and now.

God the Father is the One sitting on the throne in this verse. Initially, Yeshua is depicted as being near the throne, on the right of the throne, in the midst of the throne, and then, later, He is the One who is on the throne. These descriptions give us an idea of a transition taking place. In Daniel 7v14 we see that all the authority, glory and power, that belonged to G-d the Father, will
be inherited by God the Son.

Verse 3: “And the One who is sitting, His appearance was as the appearance of a (Jasper) green and red stone. And a rainbow was around the throne and its appearance was as emerald.” 

Green is synonymous with life, red with the means of life -redemption/shedding of blood.

Verse 4: “And around the throne were twenty-four thrones. And upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, and they were clothed in white garments and golden crowns were upon their heads.”

‘White garments’ depict purity; an outcome of redemption. Purity and authority work together.

Verse 5: “And from the throne went forth lightening, thunder and sounds. And seven torches of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of G-d.”

In Exodus 20v18, at Mt Sinai, these ‘lightening, thunder and sounds’ were seen. Fifty days after Passover, G-d had brought the Children of Israel here. The people had been warned to prepare themselves, but when G-d spoke and began to move toward them they panicked because they weren’t adequately prepared. The Children of Israel failed that day.

In much the same way, we see this same imagery repeated here. G-d is bringing His rule, throne, and Presence into this world. Will we be prepared for this, or will we fail like Israel did at Mt. Sinai?

Verse 6: “And before the throne was a sea of glass like ice and in the midst of the throne and around the throne were four living creatures that had eyes before them and after them.”

The number four has to do with the world. (North, South, East and West) God is going to bring about a transition in all of the world.

They had eyes in front of them and behind them. Eyes have to do with intelligence or knowledge. They know everything. G-d will bring this transition about with perfect knowledge.

Verse 7:  “And the likeness of the first creature was as a lion, and the second as an ox, and the face of the third creature like the face of man, and the likeness of the fourth as a flying eagle.”

These creatures are also mentioned in Ezekiel 1v4-24. When a lion is mentioned, it speaks of glory. An ox, power. Man speaks of intelligence/wisdom and an eagle of that which is supernatural.

These living creatures reveal very important characteristics of God to us. Majestic, glorious, powerful, all knowing and supernatural – His ability is without limitation.

Verse 8: “And to each one of the four creatures there were six wings. And around them and before them they were full of eyes. And they were never silent. Day and night they said: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts. Who was, and is and is coming.’”

These creatures (although not necessarily seraphim) are alluded to in Isaiah 6v2-4. The seraphim were angels who also had six wings. These seraphim say almost exactly the same thing as the living creatures. G-d’s world is going to become holy – by the fact that He is coming into it.

Verse 9: “And each time these living creatures gave glory and honour and thanksgiving to the One who sat upon the throne, and lives forever,”

Verse 10: “The twenty-four elders fell upon their faces before the One who sits upon the throne. And they worshipped the One who lives forever and ever. They laid their crowns before the throne and say:”

Elders are given the position of eldership because of a testimony (1 Timothy 3v1-7) Here they demonstrate how we should respond to worship.

Verse 11: “You are worthy our L-rd to take honour and glory and power, for You have created all things. And all things according to Your will they were made.”

They called Him L-rd, He was the Ruler of their lives.

*Chapter 4 ends with worship (the chief characteristic of the Kingdom of God).


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