The Throne of God
Verse 1 – After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
After John is shown the “Church Age” he hears a loud voice telling him to “Come up here.” This voice like a trumpet is the same kind of voice the Bible says will rapture the church.
Just to put at ease those who say the word “rapture” is not in the Bible, they are correct. However, this is correct only to a point. Rapture is an English version of a word that appears in Latin translations. (Keep in mind that most of the New Testament was written in Greek which was then translated into Latin and then to English.) Several verses of the Bible in Latin translation, contain the word “Repere” or one of its derivations. It means to be “caught up,” “plucked up,” or “taken by force.”
Verse 2 – Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.
This expression, “I was in the Spirit, means that the Holy Spirit was giving John a vision. All prophecy comes from God through the Holy Spirit.
“One sat on the throne” – I think it’s odd that John doesn’t give any description of Him who sat on the throne, nor does he indicate who He is by name. Neither do Isaiah or Ezekiel attempt to describe the appearance of Deity, nor are there any intimations of that appearance given from which a picture or image could be formed. (I think this is so people can’t make an image or idol made with human hands and then it becomes idolatry.) I also believe it still holds true that we are not to make any image of things in the heavens so people don’t bow down to them. We bow before our King only, not an imitation.
Verse 3 – And He who sat there was like jasper and a sardius stone in appearance, and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.
John still does not describe His form, but His spender only.
Jasper and sardius (Carnelian stone) were the first and the last stones in the breastplate of the High Priest. They remind us that Jesus is our High Priest forever and ever.
Jasper is translucent like a diamond and represents the purity and holiness of Jesus. And sardius is fiery red like the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.
Notice the rainbow is a full rainbow around the throne. We only see half of the rainbow on earth, but in heaven it is a full circle.
Verse 4 – Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
The number twenty-four occurs six times in the Old Testament. In every case, it is associated with the priests of Israel. At one occasion, the entire nation of Israel was represented by twenty-four special priests. But if we wait until Chapter 5, verse 10, we will hear them speak and identify themselves: “And hath made us kings and priests to our God’ and we shall reign on the earth.” And 1 Peter in 2:9, explains the “crowns of gold,” as a “royal priesthood.”
Verse 5 – And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Thunderings and lightnings represent a significant event is approaching. The Tribulation Period is about to begin.
We learned in Chapter 1 verse 4 that there are seven Spirits of God, so these lamps are designed to be symbols of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 6 – Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.
In front of the throne was a beautiful crystal, glassy sea. Prophecy experts say the sea of glass is: (1) the Church because the sea is a Biblical symbol for the masses of humanity, (2) and the water of the word. Whatever it is, it indicates that all is calm in front of the throne of God. Nothings is present that would cause turbulence or unrest.
“Four living creatures” are living beings and are some type of angelic beings who possess characteristics of the seraphim and the cherubim. Their eyes indicate they can see all that is happening in every direction. They could be the highest and greatest of all heavenly beings.
Verse 7 – The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.
(Some versions of the Bible say the second creature is an ox, but three out of the five text I use say “calf.”)
The first creature was like a lion – Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The Lion is the king of the beast and Jesus is the King of Kings.
The second creature was like a calf – representing endurance, strength and perseverance, a beast that carries a burden (Jesus carried our sins).
The third was like a man – Jesus was fully human, representing intelligence and wisdom, that the operations of the government of God are conducted with intelligence and wisdom and power. Meaning, the divine administration is not the result of blind fate or chance, it is founded on clear knowledge of things on what is best to be done, on what will conduce the common good.
The fourth living being – No other bird is supposed to fly so high; none ascends with so much power; none is so majestic and grand in his ascent towards the sun as the eagle. Just as an eagle rules the skies, Jesus rules the heavens and reigns over all things.
Verse 8 – And the four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
The six wings are characteristic of the seraphim. They never stop singing and they never sleep. They are there to exalt the name of Jesus, the One who was, and is, and is to come!
Verse 9 – Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
Verse 10 – the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
Verse 11 – “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”
The twenty-four elders follow the lead of the four living beings. They worship the One on the throne by falling down and placing their crowns before the throne. They are totally submitted with His authority and power. This is a good lesson for all believers to follow.
We may not understand a great deal about His marvelous creation, but we understand it was brought into existence because Jesus wanted it to exist. And it continues to exist because it is His will.
We often forget what is taking place outside of our small world until we begin to focus on the bigger picture. I personally think that Christians would act more like “Christians” if they read this book more often. There are some things that are about to take place whether some believe it or not that no one will want to go through! God said it will happen, so it will come to pass.