THE THRONE CHAPTER
Revelation 4:2-11 (NKJV)
2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.
7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:
“Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
11 “You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
Things look different from a Heavenly perspective. Ill. That is true in every area of life. Everyone wants to go to heaven, and this moment, we shall take a look based on the Word of God.
Here in the verses above, we see a scene that will take us into Heaven itself and will allow us to look into the things that are going on there. John was caught up spiritually into Heaven in verse 1, let’s join him there and learn of our future home, Heaven and the Throne of God.
Here we see a scene that defies description. The symbolism here is beyond us as common mortals. When Jesus describes a vine, we can relate to that. When He talks of Bread, we can grasp that. Water, wind and other things He talked of are easily understood.
But, here we are confronted with an emerald rainbow that makes a complete circle. With strange people and animals. We have entered the realm of the unfamiliar, beyond the physical realm and into the spiritual and supernatural. To understand it, we will have to rely on the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Let’s look today at the Throne Chapter.
I. v.2-3 THE SOVEREIGN ON THE THRONE
A. The glory of seeing God on His throne in Heaven.
B. There are three facts revealed about God:
1. v.2 The Stability Of God – His Government – Ill. Throne set. Nothing or no one can overturn God – Psa. 47:8; Psa. 45:6
2. v.2 The Symbolism Of God – His Glory and Magnificence – John tries to do the impossible!
a. Jasper Stone – Hard, inflexible, clear, unchangeable, firm. Describes the Lord’s government.
(Ill. The Lord’s fixed physical laws – Gravity, thermodynamics, etc.) His moral laws are just as stable. (Ill. He will rule with a rod of iron – Psa. 2:9)
b. Sardius Stone – Blood red, flashing and fiery – Speaks of the holiness of God. Ill. The fires on Israels altar was never to go out! This perpetual fire was to remind Israel of the wickedness of their sins. God is HOLY and as long as there is sin in the universe, His anger will burn against it! Ill. He is not some doting old man or some cosmic Santa Clause. He is holy, holy, holy. He is God Almighty!
c. Ill. The Human side – This seems pretty tough! But, it is a picture of one who will judge the world. Ill. The Priests breastplate – Ex. 28:17, 20. The first and last stones mentioned were these two. It reminds us that yes, there will be judgment, but it will be administered by one who has walked among us, there is human side to the judgment! (He judges, but with compassion – Ill. Near the heart!)
3. v.3 The Serenity Of God – His Grace – Ill. OT (Noah) rainbow. Right now, we only see half the bow, then we shall see it all (full circle) – 1 Cor. 13:12. We will see it right then. (Ill. All Overcomers – Trials of faith and struggles).
II. v.4 THE SAINTS AROUND THE THRONE
Ill. 24 elders. they are symbolic of all the redeemed of the ages.
A. A Promise Fulfilled – 2 Tim. 2:12
B. A Position Finalized – (Ill. Spiritually Seated – Eph. 2:10) (Ill. we will literally be here in Heaven someday!; THIS IS US! Yes!!!!)
1. White Raiment – Purity and Righteousness. Only when we are clothed in His righteousness do we merit a place in Heaven.
2. Crowns Of Gold – Judgment seat is past! Crowns represents reward for service in His Kingdom on earth.
III. v.5-11 THE SONGS BEFORE THE THRONE
A. v.5a – A picture of approaching judgment. (Ill. Thunder, lightning, tornado)
B. v.5b Seven Lamps – Holy Spirit in all of His Completeness. No longer the Comforter, but an instrument of judgment!
C. v.6a Sea of Glass – Finality, God’s judgment is final. No more appeals, it is over. (Ill. Natural sea – changes and fluctuates – this sea of glass cannot change.) (Ill. Laver (Meaning – Spiritual Cleansing) – The time for repentance and cleansing is past, God’s judgment is fixed and unchangeable).
D. v.6-8 The Four Beasts – (4 = world – seasons, compass)
These beasts represent all created life. Lion = wild; Calf = domesticated; man = intelligent; Eagle = birds. (Ill. each represents a different side of the Lord – 4 Gospels – Lion = Matthew; Calf = Mark; Man = Luke; Eagle = John.)
Ill. To be near Him is to be like Him! (Ill. Wings speak of swiftness in service!) Ill. All creation is quick to praise Him and glorify the Lord! A Picture of unceasing praise to the Lord!
E. v.9-11 The Celebration – When the beasts glorify the Lord, the church begins to worship. Heaven will throb with the praise of Jesus. (Note: Every time the 24 elders appear in the Revelation, they are falling on their faces and praising God!)
Let’s do two things now on earth:
1. Begin to praise Him now so we will be ready there in Heaven.
2. Earn many crowns to be able to cast them at His feet.
Worship is “worth-ship”.
JESUS CHRIST, the Lamb of God, alone is worthy to receive our praise!