Window into the Throne Room (Revelation 4:1-10)

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1 Window into the Throne Room (Revelation 4:1-10) by Rev. Vince Finnegan John, Isaiah, and Ezekiel were all allowed to see a window into God s throne room (Revelation 4-6, Isaiah 6, and Ezekiel 1). Each glance inspires awe, humility, and wonder in the reader and compels the awe worthy response of worship. John says the following: Revelation 4:2-4 I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. John was in the spirit implies a state of spiritual exaltation best described as a trance or vision similar to what Peter experienced with the vision of the blanket and animals in Acts 10 and Paul being

2 caught up into the third heaven and earth. The words throne or thrones are used 48 times in Revelation from a total of 64 times in the New Testament. John is viewing the place of the absolute authority, dominion, sovereignty of Almighty God who was and is and is to come. The supreme authority overall belongs only to Yahweh. The rainbow is first seen after the flood recorded in Genesis 9: God gave it as a sign of His covenant not to destroy the earth by water again. So, the bow stands as a sign of God s integrity and faithfulness to keep His covenant. The rainbow over the throne signifies Yahweh s unparalleled, without comparison truthfulness and reliability. His authority is pure, righteous, unwavering, and absolute. Today, the rainbow is a symbol of homosexual pride. The president of the United States was recently on the cover of a prominent magazine with a rainbow hallo over his head. Could any picture be more sacrilegious and communicate more effectively the arrogant disrespect for our holy God? Although many believe that the 24 elders are humans, such as the 12 apostles and 12 heads of the Israel tribes, we have no biblical reason for such a conclusion. They are clearly spiritual beings who are in reverential subjection to God but also

3 with ruling regal authority. Thrones and crowns imply ruling authority; yet, they are obviously subordinate to and in harmony with God. Apparently, some hierarchy is in place in the spiritual realm. Their primary task is to worship God (Rev 4:4, 10; 5:5, 6, 8, 11, 14; 7:11, 13; 11:16; 14:3; 19:4). Revelation 4:5 And from the throne proceed flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; Lightning and thunder are awe-inspiring, and in this context, voices is to be understood in the same way. At Mount Sinai, God presented Himself in a similar fashion according to Exodus 19. The living creatures and the elders speak to John in his visions, but the seven spirits do not. They seem not to have individual personalities; rather, they are similar to the gift of holy spirit that each believer receives, comparable in that the spirit serves as a vehicle of communication and power of God. Revelation 4:6-8 Before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass like crystal; and in the center

4 and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come. Ezekiel 1:4-28, the only other occurrences of the four living creatures, provides more descriptive details. Ezekiel sees them from all sides and notes that each has all four images as part of them. John sees only one side of each. They are the closest living beings near God. Eyes before and eyes behind suggest they can always keep their eyes upon God while also seeing what is in front of them. They hold a spiritual perception and constant watchfulness. The eyes may also symbolize God s all seeing nature and His omnipresence.

5 The four living creatures stand for everything that is noblest, strongest, wisest, and swiftest in nature. Each of them has the pre-eminence in his particular sphere and world. The lion is supreme among beasts; the ox is supreme among cattle; the eagle is supreme among birds; and man is supreme among all creatures. The lion is the king of beasts, the noblest of them all. The laboring ox is the strongest of beasts. The eagle is the swiftest of all birds. Man is the smartness in all creation. Rest not day and night saying implies the most spiritual beings in existence, those ever in the presence of God, continually praise Him. They acknowledge three outstanding characteristics of God: 1) He is completely holy. No darkness, uncleanness, or sin is associated with the one who is holy, holy, holy. His holiness triumphs over all evil. 2) He is the Almighty (Genesis 17:1; 2Corinthians 6:16; Revelation 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22). 3) Who was and who is and who is to come (1:4, 8; 11:17; and 16:5).

6 Revelation 4:9-11 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created." The elders join in the worship. Their actions are ways of giving Him the chief place. The throwing down of their crowns expresses the truth that He alone reigns; all other sovereignty must yield to His. In heaven, God is worshipped unceasingly! Remember the Lord s Prayer - Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. When the day comes, everyone on earth will worship God unceasingly. We need not wait for the Kingdom to join in with the heavenly host and give glory, honor, and thanks to Almighty God.

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