Revelation 4

In Chapter 1 of the Revelation, John wrote down what he had seen when the Lord appeared to him among the seven lampstands, which forms the First Section of the Revelation. In Chapters 2 and 3, John wrote the Letters to the Seven Churches concerning what is now, which forms the Second Section of the Revelation. The events that are describe in the Seven Letters are the same events that we are experiencing today. In this way, we are still living through the events that are described as what is now. In this chapter, John is shown what must take place after this, meaning after the events described in the Letters to the Seven Churches.

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Rev. 4:1

When John was caught up to Heaven, he was taken in the spirit to the Throne of God where he saw the Father seated on the throne surrounded by the Twenty-Four Elders and the Four Living Creatures, and the Spirit of God in front of the throne.

At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their head. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. Rev. 4:2-6

In John’s account, the appearance of the Father was like that of jasper and ruby, the Spirit of God appeared as seven burning lamps,[1] and the Four Living Creatures had the faces of a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle.

The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” Rev. 4:7-8

As John was looking, whenever the Four Living Creatures gave glory to the Father, the Twenty-Four Elders bowed down before the Lord.

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Rev. 4:9-11

Not mentioned in the above account is the Son of God, which tells us that John was being shown events prior to the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven. Having been given the above reference point, John next saw a scroll in the right hand of the Father who sat on the throne, as described in the following chapter.

Footnotes:

[1] When the Spirit of God is described as seven burning lamps, it corresponds with how the Holy Spirit was similarly revealed to Zechariah as a golden lampstand with seven lamps on it.

Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep. He asked me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” He answered, “Do you not know what these are?” “No, my lord,” I replied. So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zech. 4:1-6

The seven-fold nature of the Holy Spirit is also described in the following verse found in Isaiah.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord. Is. 11:2

Revelation Chapter 3
Revelation Chapter 5

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