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Revelation Chapter 4


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. 

 

Trumpet

Trumpet

Trumpet 

 

Of course a door opening can mean a new beginning or just simply something is about to happen. And there is the word trumpet used here. What is a trumpet used for and what does it mean? So many things. A trumpet is used to announce the presence of God. KJV Exodus 19:19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. It is also used to gather the people. KJV Numbers 10:2 Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. To announce or warn of a war. KJV Numbers 10:9 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. And among other events, the trumpet is used to announce the day of the Lord. KJV Joel 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; In verse one it seems as if the word trumpet was used to simply add an emphasis to the opening of the door to let the reader know that an announcement was about to take place. One that is standing next to John tells him to come over and look at things that are to happen in the future. At this point it could mean at any time after John receives this vision. There is no indication in this letter when these things are to happen. 

2. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

We have already seen in Chapter 1 that to be in the Spirit of the Lord is to bring hope and happiness to all those that believe. Seeing the throne of God may be one of the most inspiring events to ever take place. To imagine what John may have actually seen is one thing. To realize that at one point we may be standing there witnessing the same event or the same sight first hand, is living faith.

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.

Rainbow

Rainbow

Rainbow (Bow)

There are some qualifying descriptions to indicate who is sitting on the throne. The rainbow is the key word here. KJV Genesis 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. It was God’s rainbow that was set in the coulds after he flood. The same rainbow that is around the throne in Heaven.

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.

In all the Bible there is no other number like that of twenty and four. I am sure there are entire chapters written about the number twenty and four. And the Spiritual significance it has in reference to understanding the future and what it holds. The number twenty and four is used almost exclusively in the book of Revelation. And is used only in reference to the elders. The only other time twenty and four is mentioned in the Bible is in reference to the total number of fingers and toes on giants. So if there is anything that can be read into the number twenty and four, it is not mentioned in the Bible. Or for the time being it is being hidden from our view.

We have already seen what the white raiment and the crowns represent. They are the glory, honor and righteousness of Christ. These are symbols given the these twenty four men that God has chosen to sit before Him.

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.

Lightening

Lightening

Lightning

Just like an approaching storm, lightning announces the fact that something is about to happen. And like a summer rain, the news could be good to one and a disaster to another. That is one meaning for the word lightning in the Bible.

KJV Exodus 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. KJV Exodus 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

There is one more significant application for the word lightning. That is to announce the coming of the Son of man.

KJV Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. KJV Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: This is of course the announcement that the book of Revelation is written for. There are few occurrences as significant as the second coming of Christ. This coming will be marked by signs that we will with no doubt notice. The faithful will see the signs and understand them. These lightnings only introduce the beginning of the sequence of events that will unfold.

Thunder

The word thunder plays along with the lightening. They do of course mirror one another. Each plays a role in an announcement. Thunder is of course a product of lightning. There is a bit more of a tendency for the word thunder to lean upon an indication of the word of God. KJV 2 Samuel 22:14 The Lord thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. KJV Psalms 29:3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. There is one line in the Bible that does show that some people will miss the signs that others will hear so clearly. KJV John 12:29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.

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.

We have to first put this text back into context. Here these symbols are referring to the area around the throne of God. John is seeing this sight for the first time, but still has divine guidance to assure us that what is written is in keeping with the rest of the Bible. But here we need to ask if this may be a parable or simply a detailed description of what John is seeing.

Sea

Sea

Sea

To look at the word “sea” in the Bible one will find that this word is used to describe a number of terms and scenes. The first instance that sea is used is in the creation story. KJV Genesis 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. We are reminded here that God is the creator. Many other verses tell us of God’s power and control of the seas.

One more reference to the word sea is in a promise given to Abraham. KJV Genesis 32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. Although the word “sand” would be the noun more or less refereed to as the symbol used to illustrate the numbers that the people of God are to reach, “sea” is in a close proximity to it and could be linked to God’s promise with additional evidence.

The text in Revelation 4:6 does seem to refer to the text in KJV 1 Kings 7:23 And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. The only problem with this is if you go back and put 1 Kings 7:23 into context, you will find in verse 1 that the sea mentioned here is in fact built in King Solomon’s house and not the stone temple.

And there are the verses that put the word sea in reference to the evil people in this world. KJV Jude 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

None of these thus far help explain the existence of a sea in before the throne of God in Heaven. So it may be thought that this vision from John is simply a description of what is before his eyes. But the Bible does have one more example where the word “sea” is used. This contains an unexpected term and meaning for the word “sea”, unlike any used in the human language.

KJV Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. KJV Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Twice the Bible refers to the knowledge of God as the waters of the sea. In addition to these two verses we find one more that also points us to other verses, and Jesus Himself. KJV Zechariah 14:8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. Could this also be referring to the living waters at the well that Jesus taught at? In that story we see that the woman at the well, no matter what her past may have been, became a teacher of God.

Could this sea in Heaven be a symbol of the knowledge of God? One more symbol of the reason Jesus came to this world? To teach this world about the love of God.

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.

Four

The first word we see that jumps out is the number four. The number four is used to represent many things in the Bible. Among them is found in the creation story. The lights of the Heaven were given to the earth on the forth day. The number four was also extensively used in the design of the temple in Exodus.

One of the strangest collections of fours in the Bible is found in the book of Ezekiel. KJV Ezekiel 1:14. And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. 15. Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. 16. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. 17. When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.

One of references to the number 4 in Ezekiel is the 4 wheels. Notice that one wheel is upon the earth. That would leave 3 in Heaven. Is this the indication that the number 4 is a representation of the connection between God and man? A connection between Heaven and earth?

There is another use of the number four showing a connection between man and God. KJV Daniel 3:25. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Could the number four be representing a connection between man and God?

Six

Next we have the number six. We have all hear about how the number six represents man. This may be true to a point, but there are few verses that support that theory. The number six is not even associated in a verse with the creation of man. The number six rather, tends to point towards a preparation.

The number six is mentioned time and again in association with the Sabbath. KJV Exodus 20:11. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. KJV Exodus 31:17. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. KJV Leviticus 25:3. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;

The Lord seems to be using the word six to denote preparations through out the Bible. KJV Deuteronomy 16:8. Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work therein. KJV Joshua 6:3. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. KJV Mark 9:2. And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

Wings

And then there are two words that among all of the nouns used in the Bible help to illustrate the incredible powers of God in both

wings

wings

patients and concern for His creations. The first word we see here is wing. Time and time again God uses this word to illustrate His concern for His people. The protection He is willing to provide and the gifts we should accept. KJV Exodus 19:4. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. KJV Psalms 17:8. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, KJV Psalms 63:7. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. KJV Matthew 23:37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Is that enough to see that the Lord has an affection for the winged creatures and how they protect their young? Is this simply a natural instinct developed over generations? Or is this rather a sign passed onto us by the winged creatures to assure us of he love of the Father? KJV Luke 12:6. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

The next word we see, surprisingly is as simple a noun as the word wing. The next word we will look at is eye. Like the wing, the word eye is so taken for granted these days. We never think about how lucky we are to see. So lucky to know good from evil. So lucky to know the truth about this world and where we are headed. Let us take a look at how God uses this simple word, eye, to give us hope.

Eye

Eye

Eyes

At creation it was the eyes of man that caused the fall to sin. The fall to self. KJV Genesis 3:5. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. It was the need to see things other then what God was offering that lead to the fall. But the eyes mentioned in Revelation 4:8 are not the eyes of man kind, but the eyes of those before the throne of God.

KJV Genesis 6:8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. KJV Psalms 17:8. Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, KJV Psalms 19:8. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. KJV Psalms 26:3. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth. KJV Psalms 146:8. The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous: KJV Proverbs 5:21. For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.

In these last days understanding will increase and knowledge will be held out to all those that seek the Lord. KJV Isaiah 32:3. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. KJV Isaiah 35:5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Even those that we think, will never listen, will be given a chance to see all that we can see.

KJV 2 Kings 6:17. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

Now what would you suppose the Lord of the universe to surround His throne with? Wise men and philosophers. Clever men filled with advise? Or do you think the Lord would choose those that would best represent and support the hope He has for man kind? The creatures around the throne of God represent the guidence and protection that God offers us. And also hints at the chosen method that God delivers His gifts to the saints of this earth.

9. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

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.

Are these beasts that John is describing possibly a reflection of us and how we are to become agents of God, delivering His message to this world? Are we in one form or another the eyes and wings of God? Through worshipping God and relying on Him to open our eyes and the eyes of those around us, are we represented by beasts in front of the throne of God?

© COPYRIGHT 2006 BY DENNIS HERMAN

THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED FOR FREE DISTRIBUTION ONLY. ANY OTHER USE IS PROHIBITED. OTHER STUDIES, PRINTED COPIES AND INFORMATION PERTAINING TO COPYRIGHT PRIVILEGES MAY BE OBTAINED BY CONTACTING THE E-MAIL ADDRESS DHerman@Ez1Realty.net. FREE COPIES SHARED WITH OTHERS MUST CONTAIN THE CREDITS AND COPYRIGHT INFORMATION SHOWN.

 

2 Responses to “Revelation Chapter 4”

  1. Ed margraf said

    Check Isaiah 11:2 for the seven spirits.

    Like

    • adventbiblestudy said

      I think the chapter pretty well explains what the seven spirits are. This study is not designed to provide answers, only points to possibilities for definitions to symbols. The process of determining which symbol relates to the chapter requires a study on context. The prophecy and chapter supplying the fulfillment must be the same context. Just one of those little things God put in His Word and is completely consistent on it. Most people like looking for proof texts with no regard to context. They have no idea how dangerous that type of study is. Proof texts studies may have led more people away from Jesus than any other deception.

      Like

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