Tuesday, September 9, 2014
The Throne Of God
“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 hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.” (Revelation 4:1)
After the vision of the Lord among the candlesticks and being given the messages to the seven churches, John saw another vision, of a door being opened into heaven. He heard a voice that sounded almost like a trumpet that invited him to come up into heaven because there were three things he wanted to show him that would occur in the future. He is talking about three separate periods of history yet to come. The first is the seven year tribulation period, and most of the book will be devoted to that period. Second will be Christ’s one thousand year millennial reign. Finally the Earth will be destroyed and a new earth established that will last for eternity.
“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 an emerald.” (Revelation 4:2-3)
John is quite specific that this was a vision, not a physical experience. He saw a vision of the throne of heaven, surrounded by a green colored rainbow. Physically the occupant of the throne appeared like a polished jasper or sardine stone.
“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: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” (Revelation 4:4-5)
Arranged around the throne like judges in public hearing around the main judge are twenty four elders in special seats. Each of these elders wear a gold crown and a white robe. The throne gave off sparks like flashes of lightening accompanies by sounds like thunder. In front of the throne are the seven lamps representing the seven Spirits or angels of the seven different churches referred to in Revelation 1:20.
Matthew 19:28 tells us that twelve of those elders are the twelve apostles. “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” the other twelve appear to be Old Testament saints.
“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. ” (Revelation 4:6-8)
In front of the throne is a lake like glass, as clear and pure as crystal. Roaming around the throne like the lions many emperors kept are four beasts, each having eyes all over to see what is happening. One beast resembles a lion and another a calf while the third is like a man ant the fourth is like and eagle. Each one has six wings. The description is much like Ezekiel’s description in Ezekiel 1:5-12. “Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass.
And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.” They may or may not be the same creatures, as the descriptions vary somewhat.
“And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:9-11)
When the beasts glorify God, all the elders around him place their crowns before him in gestures of submission and love declaring that as the creator who made everything to please himself is the rightful ruler.