Summary: God has limited His revealing of Heaven to us, but He has shown us an event of grand importance. He shows us a time when 4 Living Beings initiate God being worshiped by the casting down of the crowns we have won in our service of Him
THE SCENE AROUND THE THRONE
John is permitted to look into heaven to view of the throne of God, and observe the future worship celebrated there. A door (tura) or opening was made into heaven, through which John is lifted up to see what is beyond our present world. He sees the throne of God, and the resplendent glory of Him who sits on the throne. He sees the lightnings flashing around the throne, and hears the thunders rolling. He sees the Spirit of God ablaze, and the rainbow that encompasses God’s throne.
Let us go forward and investigate what our blessed Savior thought so important to show us here on earth about heaven. He gave us this vision of “The Scene Around The Throne” so we could be filled with anticipation and be prepared for the impact of Heaven’s Sovereign.
Let us look at God’s living beings and hear the songs of the worshipers so that we too might prepare ourselves for our Lord’s final victory and the glory worship that is to come. Yes, while we face the trials and tribulations of earth, God would have us look forward to heaven.
I. FOUR LIVING BEINGS, 6b-8a.
II. ADORATION OF A HOLY GOD, 8b-10.
III. WORTHY TO RECEIVE, 11.
We pick up the stunning vision again in verse 6. “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 throne of God will be more amazing and beautiful than any sight in all of earth! Before John lies an expansive crystal appearing sea. It was completely void of darkness, shadows, and flaws. In the center and encircling the throne are four living beings (zôa- living ones, not beasts. We get our word zoology from this word).
John is fascinated by these personal guardians, attendants, and worshiper around the throne. It is not important that we understand all the category of angels, but these are those that are closest to God, nearer than the 24 elders and obviously far more impressive to John. We can safely say due to their proximity to the throne that theses are the most important beings ever created (Leon Morris, Revelation, 90).
These living ones are full of eyes. The eyes which move within every portion of the beings indicating incomprehensibly amazing ability to see and watch. They are all-seeing taking in God and everything else.
[These being ha do not appear to be the Cherubim of Ezekiel 10:2, 6, 14, 20. Though have similar faces, Cherubim have four faces each, theses have one. They have four wings, these six (4:8). Cherubim were inter-connected by wheels and a chariot, these appear separate. Though they have six wings they do not appear to be Seraphim (Isa. 6:2) either. They have features of Cherubim and Seraphim without being either. For additional info on Cherubim see Gen. 3:24; Ex 25:18; 1 Kg 6:25ff; Ps.80:1; 99:1; Isa 37:16. ]
Verse 7 describes the beings. 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.
Many interpretation have been given of these four living beings. The follow is as sound as any. They are like the lion, the mightiest of beasts, the king (or leader) of the jungle indicates majesty and power. The ox or calf or bull is the strongest domesticated animal, typical of faithful labor and patience. The greatest bird, the eagle represents supreme sovereignty and supremacy. One was like a man, indicating intelligence. The four beings “suggest whatever is noblest, strongest, wisest and swiftest in animated Nature” (Swete, 71), or the created order.
Verse 8 continues the description of these mighty beings. 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,
Again John speaks of their amazing fulness of eyes indicating their ceaseless vigilance and intense intelligence. They have supernatural penetration and discernment. Their praise of God for His past, present, and future may indicate they can see each of these dimensions of time. Their six wings indicate more than swiftness of movement. The wings may well indicate an ability to travel inter-dimensionally. (Only this ability would allow them to be in the center of the throne, 4:6, or space already occupied by the throne). As they are in God’s presence they have no need to rest from unceasing praise. Though our knowledge is insufficient, we can truthfully say what amazing beings surround the throne of Almighty God.
II. ADORATION OF A HOLY GOD, 8b-10.