Chapter 4: The Throne of God in Heaven

The Throne of God in Heaven-- The Book of Revelation, Chapter 4

 

This chapter begins a new phase in the Book of Revelation. The church plays a prominent role in the first three chapters (the church is mentioned over 18 times). However, after chapter 3, the church is not referred to again until chapter 22, verse 16.

In chapter 4, John the Apostle is called up to Heaven and reports to the reader what he sees and hears. Although not mentioned explicitly, John’s call up to heaven by a voice sounding like a trumpet, parallels events in I Thessalonians 4:13-18, John represents a picture of the rapture. In the rapture, the church is “caught up” to the presence of Christ with a shout from Christ and the call of God’s trumpet.

Chapter 4 presents the reader with a description of the throne of God and events taking place in Heaven. This begins a chain of events leading to the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who John in Revelation 19 pictures as a conquering king.

Chapter 5 continues from 4, and takes the reader to the throne itself and the opening of a scroll with seven seals. The opening of this scroll puts events into motion leading to the return of Christ in chapter 19.

Verse Notes:

 

Rev. 4:2-- the throne in Heaven-- God reigning on His throne in Heaven is a regular scene throughout the Old Testament (example: Psalm 47:8).

Rev. 4:3-- jasper…carnelian…emerald-- Since God dwells in an unapproachable light (I Tim. 6:16), he is described here in terms of the brilliance and beauty of precious stones.

Rev. 4:4-- twenty-four elders that surround the throne-- Most conservative Bible scholars believe this is representative of all the Christians that will be in Heaven (so this would include you and me!). Many believe that the number 24 represents the 12 tribes of the Israelites plus the 12 apostles of Jesus.

Rev. 4:5-- flashes of lightning, rumbles of thunder-- This probably represents the awesome power and strength of Almighty God.

Rev. 4:6-- the four living creatures-- These are the high-ranking order of angels whose job is to guard the throne of God and lead in the constant worship of Him.

Rev. 4:7-- The prophet, Ezekiel, saw a similar vision of the four living creatures in Heaven as recorded in his OT book, Ezekiel 1: 6-10.

Rev. 4:10-- they lay their crowns down-- This refers to the crowns we Christians (again, that includes you and me) will receive someday as a reward for our works. We will not keep them forever, instead we will cast them down at the throne of God as our acknowledgement that He alone is worthy of all praise and worship. The Christian music group, Casting Crowns, takes their name from this verse of Scripture.

Rev. 4:11-- for you created all things-- This is an acknowledgement of Gen 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.”

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