The Fourth Chapter of Revelation
1 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 shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3 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.
This is the grandest celebration in the whole Bible. The Wedding Supper is just ahead and God reaches into His Church world and resurrects the dead. But even just as big and wonderful He raptures the saints that are still His body on the earth. Consider now how wonderful the Body of Christ is as it is His presence on earth. But now the battle is won, and the glory of all His glorified saints is worshipping all over the heavens.
Satan is cast out at the same time that His Bride and the prepared saints are caught up to be with Him. Satan has been the prince of the power of the air, but now we become the gathered multitude where old Satan has been cast out. Let’s live in this fourth chapter of Revelation.
Any view of this chapter that does not allow for the triumphant Rapture of the saints is woefully inadequate and an embarrassment to the truth. It is the grandest picture of the true church and the overcoming saints having been transformed from the lion’s mouth to the King’s throne. The blood-washed saints that were hated by the world had faced their persecutors the last time. Giving up the world, they had gained the grandest seats around the throne of the Father. This chapter is the beginning of the glory that has been promised to the saints since the opening of the Holy Bible. From seats around the throne to the city of the throne, the saints will never suffer shame again. They are His saints; they will take up positions as His elders until they march as His army, reign as Kings, and possess the city of the Bride.
Revelation chapter four moves us past the Church Age, where His saints are pilgrims and strangers on this earth. After the opening of chapter four, everything revealed in this book is future prophecy. The pilgrim saints become serving Elders that sit on lesser thrones and participate in the transaction of the redemption of this earth. Redemption in the Bible is always a judicial business incorporating cleansing, judgment, and the renewing and perfecting of that which sin has corrupted. The authorized Elders, Cherubim, and angels will serve the Lamb of God during this process. This chapter is the opening volley and the universe will be perfectly redeemed. From the rebellion in heaven, where Satan and his angels were cast to the earth, until Satan presented his false Christ and false spirit; every act of evil must be presented and judged at the bar of justice. It will be seven years of perfect redemption until the earth is fit for the King of Kings to rule and reign.
The great Jehovah God is seated on His throne in the celestial Heavens and is fully prepared for the Heavenly court. Over six thousand years have passed since a serpent possessed by Lucifer walked into the garden and deceived his perfect couple, Adam and Eve. From the venom of lies in the garden, sin has touched every offspring of Adam. The upheaval of the earth by the Noachic flood left its scars on a sin-cursed earth. There is not one element of the created world unspoiled by the flood of evil and it’s now time for redemption. The celestial city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants are the only untouched geography in the cosmos and the court will be held in its temple. David must have had a slight view of this seven-year session. “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” Psalms 48:1-3
The court proceeding that must go forth out of this city demands a Pre-Tribulation Rapture to transfer the saints from their graves or from the living on earth to fulfill their appointed place in the judgments. This earth is the Lord’s and He has appointed it to His saints to posses for eternity. It has been clearly stated that we shall judge this earth and our removal to this grand event is unquestionably guaranteed. The fight against the Rapture is a last-ditch battle from the devil to prevent us from our Heavenly task. The proceeding cannot begin until we arrive at our appointed seats before the throne.
“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 shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Revelation 4:1
4 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.
5 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.
6 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.
7 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.
There is no event on God’s calendar that demands a door opened into heaven from the earth’s advantage, but the Rapture. This great vision by John incorporates all the fine details that Scripture associates with the saints being caught up to meet the Lord in the air. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4:16-17
Before John sees the throne in heaven, he hears the voice of Jesus Christ “as it were of a trumpet” saying, “Come up hither.” The trumpet voice gave details to John making sure the church understands this further information as “hereafter” or following the letters to the seven churches. Nothing from this point in Revelation can be a historical event. This was clearly stated in the introduction of chapter one. “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” Revelation 1:19. All through chapter one, two, and three the whole vision and scene is the High Priestly appearance of Jesus Christ and His letters to His churches.
John is clearly caught up into the Heavens to view further proceedings that demand his presence. He is going to witness the glorified saints seated in positions of honor and dressed in attire that would be impossible on earth. Everything he sees and writes from this verse has no connection to the Church Age and its kingdom business, which the Scripture identifies as the spiritual kingdom “that cometh not with observation.” “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, 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.” Luke 17:20-21
“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
What John was about to witness demanded that a spiritual dimension temporarily overshadow him. This again proves that his vision was beyond the physically observable age of the church and was a prophetic view of future events. No man can stand before God’s throne or even view God’s throne until our bodies are glorified. “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.” 2 Corinthians 5:2. This vision given to John was for our future hope and demands the Rapture to fulfill its glory.
In the Spirit, John looks on the majestic throne or Almighty Jehovah, where our Heavenly Father is seated in His glory. The description given to us is limited by human language inadequate to reach to such heights of splendor. The glory was such that the writer could only compare it with the grandeur of rare jewels. There was a gleam of glory and overwhelming splendor making Him incomparable to earthly beauty. The dazzling colors of a rainbow were seen overshadowing the throne and its occupant. The throne itself was in sight like unto an emerald. No earthly wonder has ever been so described.
How can we question that something is about to transpire that the ages of human pain has longed to behold? Ten thousand gods have imitated God the Father and have tried to possess His kingdom. They have all have faded into defeat. The last of those gods are soon to disappear. His presence settles the God-questions of the rebellious multitudes. The proceedings that will issue from His throne will not leave any questions or doubts. His glorious presence became the backdrop of the rest of this great masterpiece of literature. Every scene from this point forward must be understood as the acts and transactions of Him, His Son, His Holy Spirit, and His appointed elders and angels. He is sovereign God and all glory and honor must flow from His throne.
“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. 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.” Revelation 4:4-6
8 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.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
All three of these verses begin with references to the throne of God and He that is seated in His majesty, “And round about the throne…,” “And out of the throne…,” “And before the throne.” That is breathtaking language. First, “…round about the throne…” was the saints of God that have been promoted to elders. No more pilgrims and strangers traveling through a weary land, but exalted, glorified, and seated “… round about the throne …” The judgment seat of Christ has occurred and His saints have been promoted to their lofty positions. They are seated after a lifetime of pilgrimage and sorrows. They are clothed in sparkling-white raiment, which is the righteousness of the glorified elders. They are crowned with crowns of gold and this is just the first day of eternity for all of them.
“And out of the throne…” describes the person of His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a divine member of the Godhead and He is described as preceding “…out of the throne…” Our divine God is indescribable and this reflection of His Spirit reveals the intimacy that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit represent. The Spirit is here revealed in the totality of His office, and great spiritual activities are manifest. The Holy Spirit is grace in redemption, but He will be fire in judgment. “Seven lamps of fire” are the evidence of the coming refining of this earth until “righteousness covers the earth as the waters cover the sea.”
The great Cherubim of God, called the four beasts, are truly a multitude that is the keepers of righteousness in the earth. They always move in the wake of the Holy Spirit and defend everything and everyone that is pure in God’s kingdom. Because the saints have become elders around the throne and because the Holy Spirit has moved His epicenter back to the throne, the Cherubim are present in Heaven for the beginning of earth’s redemption. Four is the earthly number and this host will be deeply involved in the process to refine and redeem this universe. They will shortly be dispatched back to this earth for the coming redemption.
“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 4:7-8
These two verses unite the four living creatures (a multitude) of the Book of Revelation with the same four living creatures of Ezekiel. Their appearance in Ezekiel is similar to the unidentified objects that you hear and read about in today’s paranormal world. This earth is soon to be conscious of incredible Heavenly activities and these living creatures, Cherubim, will defend holiness on a scale unknown in the church dispensation. Their appearance as a lion, a calf, a man, and a flying eagle reflects the united intelligence with the strength and mobility that will define these activities. This earth will understand this activity as God-appointed action and judgment.
They have great speed, as light, great ability to discern right and wrong as “eyes within,” and they rest not day or night. Their constant action and declarations will be for the glory of God. Their glory throughout the earth will be to declare God’s glory and will powerfully make the earth aware of the Heavenly Father on His throne directing the proceedings on the earth. Of course, to begin with, this will start in Heaven and then proceed to the earth as the seals are opened in chapter six and forward to chapter nineteen. The entire chapters of four and five are a prelude of celebration before the beginning of the sorrows that the inhabitants of this earth will be subject to endure.
“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
10 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,
11 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.
A great time of worship and adoration of the Heavenly Father must precede the events that are developing. Nothing in God’s universe and no action on the part of our Creator ever proceeds until worship has reached its crescendo. No truth fills the Bible that is greater in reach than to learn that no one can ever become a great prayer warrior until first they are great in worship. These Heavenly events of which the Book of Revelation is a grand part is literally flooded with worship to our great sovereign God. The Cherubim have rocked the Heavens with “Holy, Holy, Holy” adding, “Lord God Almighty which liveth forever.” Now the multitudes represented as twenty-four elders join the Heavenly worship. This is the first time in human history that glorified saints, elders, have been privileged to sing together with angels.
There are songs they sing without us and songs we will soon sing together with them. There are also songs we sing without them, but in this case we are joined together. As the redeemed elders, worship becomes so majestic that these glorified elders begin to cast their crowns at His feet before the throne. This is ultimate praise when all our rewards shall seem as nothing before the face of Him who sits on this throne.
Our frailty of flesh forbids that we understand the beauty of this coming time of Heavenly worship. The state of our new bodies and the breathe of our minds and emotional being will allow us to worship as it was intended when God created man. There will be no glory in Heaven that exceeds this beauty of Heavenly worship. His presence will fill the redeemed with blessings that cannot be described.
In chapter five we will see the forfeited death of this earth that Adam allowed the devil to steal. Chapter four is the prelude to the viewing of this great title deed of His earth that will soon be free of all offense. The twenty-four elders are a multitude from both the First and Second Testament saints. This is the first time in the Holy Bible that the twelve tribes are united with the twelve apostles in a prophetic number to represent the espoused Bride. When we view the Bride’s city, New Jerusalem, we will see the twenty-four elders again. The twelve gates of this city are named after the twelve tribes and the twelve foundations are named after the twelve apostles. “And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Revelation 21:12-14 “Come up hither” is the call of the Rapture and this call could ring out at any moment. Be prepared with your wedding garment at any hour!