Revelation 4 in Bible Prophecy

Revelation 4 in Bible Prophecy “Enter Into The Throne of God in Heaven”

Revelation 4:1-11

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.
4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
4:3 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.
4:4 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.
4:5 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.
4:6 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.
4:7 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.
4:8 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.
4:9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
4:10 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,
4:11 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.

 

Chapter 4 begins somewhere after the first century
John wrote the book of Revelation sometime between 90-95 A.D. Therefore we know chapter 4 starts sometime after the first century. In verse 1 the words “after this” or “after these things (NASB)” begins the third part of what John saw “in the Spirit.”

An Awesome Picture of the throne of God
Verse 1 sets the stage with a door opening in heaven and a voice as a trumpet telling John “come up here and I will show you things which must be hereafter.” John’s spirit is immediately in heaven. He sees God sitting on the throne. A rainbow surrounds the throne. Twenty-four elders sit around the throne. The elders wear white garments and crowns of gold are on their heads. Lightening and sounds of thunder come from the throne. Lamps of fire burn before the throne. The lamps are more than lamps, they are the seven Spirits of God. Isaiah 11:2 describes the influences of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear. Before the throne is a sea of glass. Four beasts with eyes in front and behind are around the throne. Ezekiel 1:4-28 describes a similar description of the four beasts. The first beast is a lion, the second a calf (bull in Ezekiel 1:10), the third has a face as a man, and the fourth is a flying eagle. The beasts each have six wings and they sing “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” The twenty-four elders worship God and cast their crowns before the throne. The elders proclaim “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.”

What is the significance of the door in heaven?
John sees a door standing open in heaven. What is the significance of the door? This is John’s entrance into the heavenly realm. Ezekiel, in his vision of the throne of God, saw the heavens open (Ezekiel 1:1). Stephen before his death saw “the heavens opened and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God” in Acts 7:55-56. Heaven is again opened in Revelation 19:11 when Jesus Christ returns to earth to judge the wicked.

John hears the trumpet sound for the second time
John hears the voice of a trumpet in Revelation 4:1. This is the second time he hears a trumpet sound. In Revelation 1:10, John hears sound of a trumpet at the start of his vision. Trumpets are sounded later to start each of the seven trumpet judgments in chapters 8 and 9. Trumpets sound at the “Day of the Lord” in Joel 2:1, Joel 2:15, Zephaniah 1:16 and Zechariah 9:14. The trumpet sounds at the rapture in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and at His second coming in Matthew 24:31.

Is this the Rapture of the church?
Some say the rapture of the church occurs in verse 1. John ascends to heaven with a trumpet, the door of heaven opens and he sees the throne of God. Verse 1 does not speak about the saints or their gathering up together to meet Christ in the air. The only one who sees heaven is the apostle John. To say verse 1 is the rapture of the church is to read more into scripture than what it clearly says.

Who are the 24 Elders?
Now the questions arises, “Who are the twenty-four elders around the throne of God?” Let’s start with an understanding of the number 24 in scripture? In 1 Chronicles 24 the offices of the priesthood are 24 in number, all of which were descendants of Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar. In Revelation 21, John describes the New Jerusalem with 12 gates named after the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. He also describes the 12 foundation stones named for the 12 apostles. The 24 elders likely consist of either 24 priests from the tribe of Levi or 24 men consisting of the 12 sons of Jacob and the 12 apostles, all of which are Jews. The word “elder” means pertaining to age and a term of rank or office among the Jews. The elders wear white garments, golden crowns and cast their crown before the throne of God in verse 10. Do the 24 elders represent the millions of saints? The saints will wear white garments (Revelation 19:14) and receive crowns (1 Peter 5:4, 2 Timothy 4:8). A better understanding is to say the elders are the elders and the saints are the saints. In Revelation 19:1-6, just prior to the marriage of the Lamb, a great multitude praises God singing “Hallelujah.” The elders sing “Amen Hallelujah” and the great multitude sings “Hallelujah.” Is this great multitude the saints? If so if distinction is made between the elders and the saints.

Written by Tim Brown

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