Summary: In depth thoughts on 24 elders and 4 beasts in Chapter 4.
The fourth chapter begins with John being called up to see a vision from God. If you notice, the third chapter ends with a wonderful promise from Christ that whomever overcomes, they will be able to sit with Christ and God at his throne. Then, verse one of chapter four says that Heaven was opened. God knew that before John could understand the vision he was getting ready to show him, he had to be in the Spirit. We know this because verse 2 says that immediately, John was in the Spirit. This is what confuses me about most interpretations of this chapter. For some reason, people think they can read this carnally, and get the true meaning! If John had to be in the Spirit to see it, don’t you think that we should as well? Many will say, “you spiritualize it too much.” How can this be though when Romans 8:6 says, To be carnally minded is death? No where in the bible does it say to be less spiritual, just less carnal. If you read on, Paul wrote, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. So once again, it is a prerequisite to be in the Spirit, or you will miss the vision of God.
There is a lot of confusion on what this heaven is. In order to get that, you have to see the things that are there. As soon as John got in the Spirit, he saw a throne. There was no denying it. It was evident that it was a throne. What do we know about the throne. One sat on it. Everyone will agree that this is God sitting on the throne. Look back into the Old testament. We know that God’s throne was represented in the holy of holies, by the mercy seat on top of the ark of the covenant. There was only one person that was allowed to enter into the presence of the throne of God, and that was the high priest. In the new testament, the throne room is accessible to all who come God’s way. The bible says in Hebrews 4:16, Let us now therefore come boldly unto the THRONE of grace. Before Christ, it was covered, but by Christ it was unveiled. A revelation is the revealing of something that was at one time covered. This is not the heaven that is prepared for the saints of God, but this is the heavenly place that Paul wrote of in Ephesians 2:6! That heavenly place is the kingdom of God. The bible says in Luke 17:20, 21, that the kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. God and his throne are in his kingdom! Where is that? In his people. 2 Corinthians 6:16 says, for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will DWELL IN THEM. Ephesians 2:21 says, In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God.
Just to add on to that, the bible says in Psalms 97:2, Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. When you think of a throne, you think of judgment. Where is judgment taking place? 1 Peter 4:17 says, For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God. When the gospel was preached in the power to my soul, judgment set up and I stood before the throne of the almighty God. And I didn’t have to go far for that to happen, just to the house of God. The born again believers are that house.