Summary: The heavenly progressive sequence in the Revelation of Jesus Christ is studied for its significance
The Thundering Throne-Room of God
While lightning is spectacular and draws us to wonder at the great power of God in the heavenlies, the ground shaking, ear rattling effect of thunder is the real attention getter, as the power of a fierce and furious thunderstorm passes by, when the majestic might of God Himself seems to fill the landscape. So it was, as indicated in the book of Job 36:26-37:5 the first in time book written in the Bible, and will be again when He unveils His end times program at the end of this age in the last book written, the book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ chapter four opens a door into heaven for the Apostle John to experience The Thundering Throne-room of God, as all of heaven’s glory is brought before him:
‘And immediately I was in the Spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto and emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats; and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices’ (Revelation 4:2-5a)
The Scripture continues for the remainder of the chapter describing the rest of the heavenly throne room scene including those who are present worshipping God in this grand and glorious opening chapter of ‘The things which must be hereafter’(Revelation 1:19).
However, the focus of this message is the underlined phrase above which is found three other times in the course of the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. This heavenly sequence serves to indicate the progressive and chronological nature of this final book of Scripture!
These occurrences will also show the increasing activity of God and His Day of the Lord Wrath/Judgment upon the entire world in order that He might purify His people, the Jews, and punish the rest of those who have openly rebelled against Him and continually refuse to repent!
In chapters five, six and seven much has taken place in the unfolding drama of end time events. Chapter five is coupled to chapter four continuing the throne room scene emphasizing the worthiness of the Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, to take the book which contains God’s Day of the Lord Wrath/Judgment, and to open the seals which are on the outside of the book/scroll.
The Seven Seals are opened sequentially conditioning the earth for God’s Wrath with the last three seals focusing upon His wrath:
1. The martyrs in Seal Five inquire of His wrath
2. The signs given in Seal Six indicate His wrath is impending, or about to occur
3. Then Seal Seven initiates His wrath after silence overwhelms heaven for thirty minutes… And then, the first Trumpet Judgment occurs, but not before the sequence we are studying is mentioned.
The Passing of the Torch takes place when the saints are raptured and the 144 Thousand Jews are sealed between the sixth and seventh seal, but, the key point in all of that has transpired in Revelation 4-7 to this point in time is what is ALLOWED by God vs. what is AUTHORED by God!
What is the wrath of Satan and just what is the wrath of God? Well, the wrath of God has just been given a hefty introduction through the Fifth and Sixth Seal with the statement in verse seventeen of chapter six: ‘For the great day of His Wrath is come’ showing that we are on the threshold of the most prophesied event in the Old Testament, the Day of the Lord! Therefore, after the ‘Passing of the Torch’ from the saints to the 144 Thousand, the time has come for God to do His strange work of judgment!
And so, the source of lightnings and thunderings and voices (lit. sounds) is the throne of God, and at this point in time, nothing has been done by God to effectively bring His Wrath/Judgment upon the earth. But, the next occurrence in 8:5, there is a significant change.
The preceding verses in chapter eight show that we are still in the throne room of God and at this point He is about to intervene with His Wrath/Judgment upon the earth through the agency of His angel: ‘And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth; And there were voices and thunderings, and lightnings, and an EARTHQUAKE.’
At this point in God’s program of end time events His Wrath/Judgment has begun. Not only does this sequence of events appear in heaven but now the effect is experienced on earth by the addition of an earthquake. This throne room sequence marks the beginning of The Seven Trumpet Judgments which is the Initiation of God’s Wrath/Judgment on earth.