The Revelation Of Jesus Christ – Chapter 4
We have already looked at:
I. Things Which Thou Hast Seen – Rev 1
II. Things Which Are – The Church Age – Rev 2-3
We now turn to the main portion of the Book of Revelation:
III. Things Which Are To Come – Rev 4-22
A. The Throne Of God – Rev 4
Rev 4:1 (NASB) “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 here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.”
1. Behold, A Door Open In Heaven – Rev 4:1 – (John 10:1-9)
John 10:1-9 (NASB) Truly, truly, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spoke Jesus to them: but they understood not what things they were which he spoke to them. Then said Jesus to them again, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
a. Fourth Time a Door is Mentioned
The first time was in the letter to the church in Philadelphia:
Rev 3:8 (NASB) I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.
(1) Revelation 3:8
The second time it was in the letter to the church of Laodicea:
Rev 3:20 (NASB) Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
(2) Revelation 3:20 (twice)
b. Door is already open
The saved have an open door –the lost have a closed door because they never opened their heart to the Savor. The door John sees is here is open – Behold – a door opened in heaven.
2. The first voice which I heard – Rev 4:1
a. Like a trumpet
b. Speaking with me
(2) I will show you
(a.) Things which must take place – (1 Corinthians 15:51-54)
1 Co 15:51-54 (NASB) Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.
Rev 4:2 (NASB) “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.”
3. Immediately in the Spirit – Rev. 4:2 – (Rev. 1:10)
Rev 1:10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet,”
Paul writes about one who was caught up into heaven when he says:
2Co 12:2-4 (NASB) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows--was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.
But here is what John sees:
a. Behold –
(1) A throne
(a) In Heaven
(b) One seated on it
Rev 4:3 “And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.”
4. He was sitting – Rev. 4:3
a. Whose appearance was like
Jasper is said to be "crystal-clear" diamond like; therefore, it is best to identify this stone as a diamond. All the shining, flashing facets of the glory of God are compared to a diamond, brilliantly refracting all the colors of the spectrum.
A sardius, from which the city of Sardis got its name, is a fiery, blood-red ruby. It too expresses the shining beauty of God's glory, and may also symbolize God's blazing wrath, about to be poured out on the sinful, rebellious world.
The sardius and the jasper were the first and last stones on the high priest's breastplate (Ex. 28:17-20; "ruby," "jasper"), representing the firstborn (Reuben) and lastborn (Benjamin) of the twelve sons of Jacob. It may be that those stones depict God's covenant relationship with Israel; His wrath and judgment will not abolish that relationship.
5. The throne – Rev. 4:3-11
The key word of Chapter 4 is the word Throne. It appears 11 times in the 11 verses of this chapter. God’s throne is mentioned in association with judgment and power – authority.
a. Around the throne – 3-4
Rev 4:3-4 (NASB) “And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.”
(1) Rainbow - 3
The rainbow was given as a token of God’s covenant between himself and the earth in Gen. 9:13-15:
Gen 9:13-15 (NASB) “I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth."It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
The emerald (green) rainbow about the throne reminds us that even as God begins to judge from His throne His covenant promises are still intact.
(2) Twenty-four thrones – 4
(a) Twenty-four Elders
-1 Clothed in white – Rev. 3:5
Jesus made a promise to the church of Sardis that if they overcame that they would be clothed in white garments.
Rev 3:5 (NASB) 'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
-2 Crowns of gold
Rev 4:5 (NASB) “Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;”
b. Out of the throne – 5 – (Exodus 19:16)
Exo 19:16 (NASB) So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.
(a) Flashes of lighting
(a) Peals of thunder
(b) Sounds (voices)
c. Before the throne – 5-11
(1) Seven lamps of fire – 5
(a) Seven Spirits of God – (Isaiah 11:2)
We have referred to this a couple times already in the study – if you look up Isaiah 11:2 you will find seven characteristics of the Holy Spirit.
Rev 4:6-8 (NASB) “and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME."
(2) Sea of glass – 6
(a) Like crystal
Here there is no water – it is sea of glass like crystal.
d. In the center and around the throne – 6-8
(1) Four living creatures – 6-9 – (Ezekiel 1:5-11)
These creatures are not animals but they are living created beings. They are not human beings…. if you think I am describing someone you know I am not. There are probably more creatures in God’s kingdom then we could ever imagine. Here we are given a glimpse of some of them.
In Ezekiel chapter one – four living creatures are also mentioned. I don’t believe that the creatures in Revelation and Ezekiel are the same creatures because there are so many differences between the two.
The Ezekiel passage says:
Eze 1:5-11 (NASB) “Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. Each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf's hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward. As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.
In Revelation we find that the creatures are:
(a) Full of eyes – v. 6
(b) Differences – v. 7
1st – like a lion
2nd – like a calf
3rd – a face like a man
4th – like flying eagle
(c) Similarities – v. 8 – (Isaiah 6:1-3)
-1 Six wings
-2 Full of eyes
-3 Praising God Day and Night
Isa 6:1-3 (NASB) In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory."
(2) The Praise – v. 8-11
"HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME."
(a) Threefold “Holy” – v. 8
(b) To The Lord God – The Almighty
-1 Who Was
-2 Who Is
-3 Who Is To Come
Rev 4:9 (NASB) “And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,”
(c) The Living Creatures – v. 9
-1 Give glory
-2 Give honor
-3 Give praise
To Him who sits on the throne
To Him who lives forever and ever
Rev 4:10-11 (NASB) “the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
(d) The 24 Elders – v. 10-11
-1 Will fall down – v. 10
To Him who sits on the throne
-2 Will worship – v. 10
Him who lives forever and ever
-3 Will cast their crowns – v. 10
Before the throne
-4 Will say – v. 11
Worthy are You
Our Lord God
To receive glory
To receive honor
To receive power
Because You created all things
Because by Your will they existed
Because by Your will they were created
There are no songs of evolution in the heavens only songs of God’s creation.