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Revelation 4:1-5
The Heavenly Throne of Christ!
By Brother Mike (8-9-19; 45 minutes)
   

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


INTRODUCTION   

In this study of Revelation 4:1-5, the apostle John first says in verses 1-2, 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. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the throne. With respect to these verses, we ask the questions, in John's vision, what was this door that opened for him in heaven, and whose voice was it that told John to come up into heaven through the door? Also, could the apostle John's going into heaven to see the throne of Christ be a picture of the rapture of the Church? The answers to these questions and more can be found is this study. 

Next, in John's vision, he says in verse 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. What, here, does the jasper and sardine stone symbolize? And, what two things does the rainbow round about Christ's throne symbolize? And, why does John say that the rainbow around the throne was in sight like unto an emerald? The answers to these questions and more can be found is this study.  

Now, John further says the following in verse 4 about Christ's throne: 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. Who, in this verse, are the 24 elders that sit around Christ's throne in heaven? And, why are they clothed in white raiment? And, what do the crowns of gold on their heads mean? The answers to these questions and more can be found is this study.  

Then, finally, John says in verse 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. What, here, do the lightnings, thunderings, and voices coming from Christ's throne represent? And, what do the seven Spirits of God before the throne represent? The answers to these questions and more can be found is this study.  

Now, may our Lord Jesus Christ, who rules and reigns from His throne in heaven, guide us into all truth, amen.  


Revelation 4:1
:  

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 .  

In this verse, we first read, After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven. The door that was opened in heaven, of course, is the Lord Jesus Christ as we read in John 10,  

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep .
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture .  

Thus, for the apostle John to get into heaven, he had to enter through Jesus Christ, which is a picture of how all the elect must get into heaven: they must go through Jesus Christ; that is, they must have come to believe that Jesus Christ paid for their sins on the cross through their spiritual birth into the family of God by the Holy Spirit. Once this spiritual salvation had taken place, the elect person was spiritually in heaven and could then begin to understand what the Holy Scriptures teach about the things which must be hereafter. 

Now, the voice that speaks to the apostle John is the same voice that John heard back in Revelation 1:10 where John said,  

Re 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet . . .    

This great voice which spoke behind him as of a trumpet we found to be the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ ( Revelation 1:10 ). Thus, we know that the voice which now says to John, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter, is the voice of Jesus Christ.  

But, when Jesus says, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter, it sounds like John is being raptured, and so many have wrongly concluded that this verse is a picture of the rapture of the elect of whom John represents: they say that this is the rapture of the church to heaven that will take place just before the Great Tribulation begins. Those who hold to this view are theologically known as Dispensational Premillennials, and it is probably the most common viewpoint in the churches of our day. Yet, we know that this viewpoint is wrong for many reasons of which I will now list a few. First, the rapture does not take place before the Great Tribulation, for, according to the Biblical Calendar with proofs , we have already gone through the Great Tribulation, which was completely spiritual, and the Bible teaches that the rapture will occur on the Last Day of this world (see When is the Rapture? ). Furthermore, there is nothing in this verse that requires it to be referring to the rapture of the church. The apostle John alone is the one who goes through the door into heaven, and he is said in verse 2 to be in the spirit. Thus, the context teaches that John went to heaven in his spirit alone, which is unlike how the believers will be raptured on the Last Day, for, then, they will be raptured with new incorruptible bodies, for we read in 1Corinthians 15, 

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed ,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed .  

And, again, we read in 1Thessalonians 4,  

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first [they rise incorruptible] :
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord .    

Therefore, and for many other reasons that we will not mention is this study, when our verse says, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter, it is not a picture of the rapture of the church as so many believe, but it is simply the apostle John going into heaven in his spirit to see things which must be hereafter. And, the things which must be hereafter must refer to things that would take place after the time of the apostle John. So, in the upcoming chapters of the book of Revelation, we should expect to learn about things that would take place after the 1st century AD.    


Revelation 4:2
:  

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

Here, John tells us that when he went into heaven, he was, literally, in the spirit. He was not in the flesh or in the body, but he was in his spirit. Therefore, he is not a picture of the rapture of believers because in the rapture, the believers will not just go into heaven in their spirits, but also in their new incorruptible bodies as we learned previously. 

But, now, John continues by saying, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. So, when John went to heaven in [his] spirit, he saw a throne in heaven, and one sat on that throne. The one who sat on the throne, of course, is the Lord Jesus Christ who after His ascension into heaven after His death and resurrection sat down on His throne at the right hand of God, and, in that He sat on the throne means that He began to rule over everything both in heaven and on earth. We read of Jesus taking His thrown in such verses as Hebrews 10 where we read, 

Heb 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God . . .  

And, again, we read in 1Peter 3,  

1Pe 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him

So, Jesus has been ruling over heaven and the earth ever since His ascension after the cross, but until May 21, 2011, God in His plan permitted Satan to rule over the world to one degree or another, but now ever since Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011, Satan has been dethroned and Christ is now ruling with a rod of iron, which means He is ruling with no more possibility of anyone becoming eternally saved. Yes, it is now Judgment Day, and although Satan has been permitted to continue for a season and time during Judgment Day (Daniel 7:12), He and all the unsaved will soon be destroyed on the relatively soon to come Last Day of Judgment Day that we are now in. 


Revelation 4:3
:  

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 .  

In this verse, we are told, And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone. The jasper stone was the last, and the sardine (also called sardius) stone was the first, of the 12 precious stones on the breastplate of the High Priest (Exodus 39:10-13). Each of these 12 precious stones represents one of the 12 tribes of Israel such that all 12 precious stones together represent all Israel. Yet, spiritually, the 12 precious stones represent all spiritual Israel who are all the elect, the eternal Church, and they are represented by precious stones to emphasize how precious or rare in the world they really are.  

But, why does God here mention only two of the 12 types of precious stones, namely jasper and sardine stones in one precious stone? Well, the number two in the two types of precious stones symbolizes the Church who are all the elect (see Bible Number 2 ), and these elect, symbolized by two types of stones, are in one precious stone, namely the Lord Jesus Christ who is symbolized by a stone in such other verses as 1Peter 2:6-8 where we read,  

4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious ,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ .  
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded .
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner ,   
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed

And, again, we see Jesus called a stone in Ephesians 2, 

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone . . .  

Thus, when our verse says that Christ who sat to rule was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone, it means He was to look upon like the Church, or we could say the elect, who are represented by the jasper and sardine stones, in the one precious stone who is Jesus Christ. And, this intimacy between the elect and Christ, all being in one stone, makes perfect sense since, spiritually, the elect are the body of Christ, which, for instance, can be seen in 1Corinthains 12:27 where God, through the apostle Paul, says to the elect of the Corinthian church,   

1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular .    

And, so, we see the great intimacy between Christ and His elect believers. 


But, now, our verse continues and says, and there was a rainbow round about the throne. Besides a rainbow appearing most magnificent and glorious in brilliance around Christ's throne in heaven, what does the rainbow represent? We find the answer to this question in Genesis 9 in what Yahweh said to Noah after the flood. We read, 

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations :
13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth .  
14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud :
15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh
16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth .
17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth .   

Thus, in these verses, we see that the rainbow is a symbol of the covenant or promise that Yahweh made with Noah and every living creature that when He sees the rainbow in the clouds, it will be a reminder to Him to never again cover the entire earth by flood waters to kill all living things due to their sinfulness. This doesn't mean that He would never bring local floods, as He obviously has, but it does mean that Yahweh would never again cover the whole earth all at once with a flood because of the sinfulness of human beings, and the rainbow is a symbol or sign of this covenant or promise made by Yahweh.  

Yet, besides the rainbow symbolizing the promise of Yahweh to Noah that He would never again destroy all living creatures by a flood of water, there is also a deeper spiritual meaning to the rainbow as well. You see, the flood of water in Noah's day typified the final spiritual flood of Judgment Day that began on May 21, 2011 by the removal of anymore possibility of eternal salvation, and that ends on the Last Day of Judgment Day when the Devil and all the billions of people who were not eternally saved by May 21, 2011, will be cast into the Lake of Fire to be destroyed forever. Furthermore, Noah and the seven others who were in the ark typified us, the elect, who will be saved from the flood of Judgment Day that began on May 21, 2011. So, the covenant or promise made with Noah typifies the covenant or promise that Yahweh makes with us, the elect, that, after he saves us from all of Judgment Day, He will never again destroy the people of the new earth in heaven by a flood of judgment. Indeed, in the new earth that will be created on the Last Day of Judgment Day that we are now in, Yahweh will never again destroy all the people therein. And, we know why this is: it is because there will never again be a reason for God to destroy the people due to their sins because all of us in the new earth will be sinless as we will receive new incorruptible and sinless bodies on the Last Day of this world before we ever enter the new earth.     

Thus, the rainbow around Christ's throne in heaven not only symbolizes that Christ will never again destroy all the people on earth by flooding it with water, but it also symbolizes that Christ will never destroy all the elect in the new earth because of their sins, for they will have no sin, as the covenant or promise to them in Christ Jesus is that their sins are forgiven, and they will be made sinless on the Last Day to never again sin for all eternity in the new heaven and earth that will never ever be covered by a flood of God's judgment. What a wonderful sign or symbol that the rainbow really is!

Now, finally, after our verse says that [there was] a rainbow round about the throne, we are told that this rainbow round about the throne was in sight like unto an emerald. Why an emerald? Besides painting the picture of a most beautiful, magnificent and glorious throne, like the jasper and sardine stones, an emerald was one of the 12 precious stones on the breastplate of the High Priest that represented Israel, and, spiritually, represents spiritual Israel, the elect. Thus, the emerald points to the elect, which leads us to ask, how can the elect be associated with a rainbow and the throne of Christ in heaven? And, in response, we can see how the elect are associated with the rainbow in that the rainbow, as we previously learned, represents the covenant or promise that God made with the elect that He will not ever bring a flood of judgment upon them to destroy them in the new earth because He has spiritually saved them from their sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which will also result in their being saved from their sinful bodies by giving them new incorruptible and sinless bodes on the Last Day fit to live in the new earth forevermore. Furthermore, we can see how the elect are not only associated with the rainbow around the throne, but also the throne in that they were all seated to rule with Him in the heavenlies when they were first saved. As we read in Ephesians 2,   

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; )
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus .  

Thus, we have seen how the elect, pictured by an emerald, are intimately associated with both the rainbow around the throne and, also, the throne itself. 


Revelation 4:4
:  

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

Here, we learn that not only a rainbow was round about Christ's throne in heaven, but round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting. The four and twenty seats round about the throne, and the four and twenty elders sitting round are 24 seats in which 24 elders sit or rule with Christ in heaven. Since the number 24 is equivalent to 12+12, and the number 12 in the Bible is symbolic of the fullness of whatever is in view (see Bible Number 12) , the 12+12 seats and the 12+12 elders represent the fullness of seats and the fullness of elders two times over. 

Yet, who are these fullness of elders two times over that sit with Christ in heaven? Well, if we remember that the elect are the ones who had spiritually sat down with Christ in heaven when they were first spiritually saved on earth, then the fullness of elders who sit with Christ round about His throne in heaven must be all those elect who have left this world to be with the Lord, but who continue to sit and rule with Christ from His throne in heaven. Remember what we read in Ephesians 2,  

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; )
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus . . .  

So, when the elect were first saved on earth they were spiritually seated on thrones to rule with Christ in heavenly places, but when they left their bodies on this earth to be with the Lord, they became elders in heaven who continued to sit on thrones round about the thrown of Christ. Thus, the fullness of elders who are seated on thrones round about the throne of Christ in heaven are the fullness of all the elect who have left this earth, and who are in heaven ruling with Christ. 

But, then, why are all the fullness of the elect in heaven symbolized by 12 elders two times over; that is, 12+12=24 elders? Well, because the first 12 represents the fullness of the Old Testament elect while the second 12 represents the fullness of the New Testament elect. Thus, the 24 elders seated on 24 thrones round about the throne of Christ in heaven, symbolize the fullness of all the elect both from the Old Testament and New Testament times.  

But, next, our verse says that these 24 elders, who symbolize the fullness of all the elect in heaven, were clothed in white raiment. As we learned back in Revelation 3:5 , the color white symbolizes holiness or purity, and raiment, which can be translated as garments, represents that which covers the nakedness, or we could say, the sins of the elect. Therefore, to be clothed in white raiment or garments is to be clothed in a holy or pure covering for sins, which covering can only be the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who paid for our sins and covers us with His garments of salvation and righteousness. As we read in Isaiah 61,   

Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels .

Now, finally, our verse says of all the elect in heaven who rule with Christ, and they had on their heads, crowns of gold. These crowns of gold on the heads of the elect let us know that the elect in heaven are kings that rule with Christ. Remember what we read in Revelation 3,  

Re 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen .  

That is, when the elect were eternally saved on earth in Christ Jesus, they were spiritually made kings, and when they leave their bodies on this earth to be present with the Lord in heaven, they continue to rule and reign as kings with Him as they become elders and kings who are seated on thrones round about the throne of Christ in heaven. 


Revelation 4:5
:  

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 .   

In this verse, the lightnings, thunderings, and voices represent the awesome and terrible glory of God Himself. We see something similar, for instance, when the glory of God came down upon Mount Sinai in Exodus 19:16 where we read,  

Ex 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 were in the camp trembled .   

Also, we see that the lightnings, thunderings, and voices represent the awesome and terrible glory of God as He comes in judgment in such verses as Revelation 8:5 where we will begin to learn that He brings judgment upon all the churches of the earth beginning on May 21, 1988. It reads, 

Re 8:5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake .  

And, we see that the glory of God comes in judgment in Revelation 11 where we read, 

Re 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail .  

And, again, in Revelation 16 where we read,  

Re 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great .   

Thus, the lightnings and thunderings and voices that proceeded out from Christ's throne in heaven symbolize His great, awesome, and terrible glory.  

But, now, the last part of our verse reads, and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. So, we don't have to wonder just what the seven lamps of fire symbolize, for we are told that they symbolize the seven Spirits of God. Nevertheless, we are still left to discover what the seven Spirits of God symbolize. Yet, we know what the seven Spirits of God is because we already discovered this in Revelation 1:4 and Revelation 3:1 . The seven Spirits of God symbolize the Holy Spirit. Since the number 7 symbolizes the complete perfection of whatever is in view (see Bible Number 7 ), the seven Spirits of God symbolize the complete perfection of the Spirits of God, which can only be the Holy Spirit as only He is the completely perfect in every way Spirit of God, for He is God who is infinitely perfect by nature (see God is a Trinity ).     


SUMMARY & CONCLUSION  

In this study of Revelation 4:1-5, the apostle John first said in verses 1-2, 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. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the throne. Then, we asked the questions with respect to these verses, what was the door that opened for him in heaven, and whose voice was it that told John to come up into heaven through the door? The answer to both questions, we learned, is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the door into heaven, and His voice is the voice that John heard which told him to come up into heaven. Furthermore, we asked the question, could the apostle John's going into heaven to see the throne of Christ be a picture of the rapture of the Church? And, we concluded, that it could not because when John went to heaven, we were told, he was immediately in the spirit. That is, he was in his own spirit when he went into heaven. If he was a picture of the rapture, he would have not only gone to heaven in his spirit, but also in his new incorruptible and sinless body. But, here, he goes to heaven only in the spirit, his own spirit; therefore, John cannot be a picture of the rapture of the Church.   

Next, in his vision, John said in verse 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. And, with respect to this verse, we asked, what does the jasper and sardine stone symbolize? And, what two things does the rainbow round about Christ's throne symbolize? And, why does John say that the rainbow around the throne was in sight like unto an emerald? In response, we found that the jasper and sardine stone symbolize the Church, or the elect, and they are in one stone, who is Jesus Christ. Also, we found that the rainbow round about Christ's throne symbolizes both the promise or covenant to humankind in general that Yahweh will never again destroy them by a worldwide flood, but also that He will not ever destroy the elect in the new earth to come on the Last Day, for in the new earth, the elect will be sinless due to Jesus Christ having died and rose from the dead for their sins. And, last, in this verse, we found that the rainbow around Christ's throne was in sight like unto an emerald in that the emerald symbolizes the elect. So, this verse is saying that the rainbow around Christ's throne was like unto the elect because the rainbow symbolizes the promise to the elect that they will never be destroyed in the new earth to come. 

Now, John further said the following in verse 4 about Christ's throne: 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. And, with respect to this verse, we asked the questions, who are the 24 elders that sit around Christ's throne in heaven? And, why are they clothed in white raiment? And, what do the crowns of gold on their heads mean? In response, we found that the 24, or 12+12, elders represent the fullness of the elect from Old Testament times and the fullness of the elect from New Testament times who have passed away from this world, but who now rule and reign with Christ in heaven. They are wearing white raiment or garments because their sins have been covered, or paid for, by the holy and pure Christ. And, they are wearing crowns of gold to reveal that they are kings who rule with Christ. 

Then, finally, John said in verse 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. Here, we found that the lightnings and thunderings and voices represent the awesome and terrible glory of God coming from Christ's throne, and the seven Spirits of God represent the Holy Spirit who is before Christ's throne.  


Now, may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .

3:7-13
3:14-22  
4:1-5
4:6-11 
5:1-7
5:8-14

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