Chapter 4

We will see in this chapter the door opened to Heaven and that John is transported into the realm of Heaven. John will see things that he will not understand and things that he will. He will see the Throne of God and of Christ. John will see seats and elders along with four angels and will also see that all worship, power, glory and honor is due to the One that sits on the Throne. This chapter will require us to think about the elders that are mentioned and determine who they represent. As for this, there are several views, and we will attempt to reveal them all. May God grant us open minds and hearts as we are guided by the Holy Spirit through this chapter in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 4:1 After these things 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, saying, Come up here, and I will show you what must occur after these things.

John starts chapter 4 with the same words that he used in Revelation 1:19, Met-ah-tow-tah, and ends the verse with the same word.

Jesus had told John in Revelation 1:19: Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

John wrote the things that he had seen as recorded in chapter 1 and, the things that were happening at the time of the writing in chapters 2 and 3. Now he says After these things which give us the signal that everything we will see from here to the end of the book is future.

Next, he looks and a door was opened in Heaven. In Revelation 4:1a we see that John is taken up into Heaven at this point so that he can continue to write all the things that he will see and hear.

This is the first glimpse of Heaven that we get in the book of Revelation and this is the first door that is revealed to us as being future and “opening”.

The first two times the word door was used in Revelation is in chapter 3 verse 8 and chapter 3 verse 20 in the letters to the Churches. The first open door is to the Church at Philadelphia, and the second time we see Jesus standing at the door of the Church in Laodicea. Keep this in mind, and then look at the next time we see Heaven opened in like manner as a door.

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Revelation 19:12 And His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head many crowns. And He had a name written, one that no one knew except Himself.

Revelation 19:13 And He had been clothed in a garment dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

Revelation 19:14 And the armies in Heaven followed Him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

At the first opening of the door John goes up into Heaven and at the second opening Jesus Christ comes down with a multitude of people clothed in fine linen.

So the question is, who are the multitude dressed in fine linen? First let’s figure out who they are not!

To understand this, consider the following passages:

Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

Revelation 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

Revelation 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, (those about to be killed as they were) that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

These are possibly Old Testament saints in addition to the saints killed during the tribulation.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

These are the tribulation saints.

Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

These are waiting for the judgment called the White Throne Judgment.

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The multitude killed in the tribulation are shown as under the altar and as ruling and reigning with Christ for a thousand years, which starts at the end of the tribulation period.

In the Old Testament we read in the book of Daniel:

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

We further see in the New Testament in the book of John the following:

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; (second half of the first resurrection) and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (the Great White Throne Judgment).

As we can see these are separate resurrections.

Luke 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.

Luke 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

Luke 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

This is the second half of the first resurrection and it happens at the beginning of the Millennial period after the Great Tribulation.

The Old Testament saints are resurrected to eternal glory and the rest are resurrected at the end of the Millennium. They are judged out of the books of works and sent to an eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.

So I move the previous question, who are the ones riding on the white horses dressed in fine linen, white and clean?

Put together with the twenty four elders of Revelation 4:4, which are representative of the Church, and are shown to be in Heaven at the very first vision of Heaven, we can only conclude that there is no other explanation for who the people of Revelation 19:11are. They are the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ (believers) who were promised removal in the following scriptures.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

These Christians were promised not to suffer the wrath of God during the tribulation period, but removed from that time. The Greek word “ek-ex”, means removal out of the period of time of the tribulation.

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:

1Thessalonians 4:17 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.

1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1Corinthians 15:52 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.

Now let us take a little side trip into Bible history and we will call this a parenthesis.

In the book of Genesis 5:21-24 in the Old Testament we find Enoch. Do we remember what happened to him, and what happened to the entire world ‘after these things’?

Genesis 5:21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:

Genesis 5:22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

Genesis 5:23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

The following chapters in Genesis, 6 and 7 the ‘after these things’ happened, judgment! Noah and family were removed from the earth and transported in a ship (ark) so that God could judge the earth.

Now let us move on to Genesis 19. Who do we find listed in this chapter? LOT! We see the angels removing Lot and family from Sodom before the judgment from God. Lot pleaded to be allowed to go to the small city of Zoar. The angel agrees to let Lot go there, and now look at the words of Genesis 19:22. This is absolutely fascinating, Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither.

No judgment could come upon Sodom until God’s people were removed out of that city. Does this sound familiar? Are we getting the connection to Revelation yet?

Think about the city of Jericho in the Old Testament book of Joshua 6. The city was not burned until Rahab and her family were removed from the ruins of the city.

Think about the angel of death that went through Egypt and killed all of the first born of Egypt. God would not let that happen until all of the Israelites were protected by the blood of the Passover Lamb on the door posts and lintels. All of the above were removed or protected before the judgments began.

Now, let us return to the main points.

This can only be interpreted as the Church being caught up at the beginning of the tribulation period and coming down as the army of God at the end of the tribulation period, reference Revelation 19:11.

Now, how do I know that the twenty four elders of Revelation 4:4 are in fact representative of the Church of Jesus Christ?

Let us consider the following thoughts about the 24 elders:

1. They are not angels as they are seen singing in the presence of the angels in Revelation 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

2. They are not the saints from a time before Christ because they are pictured with Stephanos crowns which are victors’ crowns. To have this crown a person must have known conflict, sin, pardon, and victory.

3. They are not the tribulation saints for those saints are resurrected and rewarded in Revelation 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

Revelation 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

4. They are not a combined Israel and the Church. Scripture indicates that Israel’s resurrection is to be connected with the second advent of Messiah as we saw in the Old Testament book of Daniel.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.,

And in

Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead,

And again in

John 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

5. The elders are pictured surrounding the throne and their position suggests that they represent the Church. The Church has been promised this very position.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.,

And in

Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

6. The white raiment of the elders suggests that they represent the Church. It is clear that white raiment represents righteousness that has been imputed to the believer, as in the Old Testament book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 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.

It was promised to those in Sardis in the chapter 3 of Revelation that they would be robed in white.

Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

7. The worship from the elders suggests that they represent the Church.

Worship is given to God because of His creation.

Revelation 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,

Revelation 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.

Worship is given to God because of His redemption.

Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Worship is given to God because of His judgment.

Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

Revelation 19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

Worship is given to God because of His reigning.

Revelation 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

Revelation 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

8. The intimate knowledge of the program of God suggests that the elders represent the Church.

Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.,

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

These passages show us that the elders have been taken into God’s confidence concerning His program which is the ultimate fulfillment of that promised by our Lord to His disciples.

John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

We will now look at the order of the resurrections. For a complete discussion on this subject go to the Question and Answer link on the Home page.

The Lord Jesus Christ, the first fruits.

1Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1Corinthians 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Church saints at the rapture.

1Thesslonians 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:

1Thessalonians 4:17 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.

1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1Corinthians 15:52 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.

Tribulation period saints together with Old Testament saints.

Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And at that time Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation; until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

The unsaved dead are mentioned in this same passage in Revelation along with the following verses.

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And now on to Chapter 4 verse 1. Revelation 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.

The sound was not a trumpet, but was a commanding voice, and John’s attention was immediately drawn to see who was talking to him. We mentioned before the symbolic language used in the book of Revelation, and it can be identified with words like and as. Here we see the voice John heard was as it were of a trumpet meaning symbolic language. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) uses the word like.

The voice tells John to come up hither, meaning come up here through the door that I have opened in Heaven, so that I can show you the things that are yet coming (the Greek word met-a- tow-tah) after these things.

John is now transported to the realm of Heaven where he will see the first visions of the heavenly arena.

Revelation 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

Instantly John was transported, in the realm of spirit into Heaven, and the first thing that he sees is a throne set there and someone sitting on the throne. What a marvelous sight when we shall behold Him.

Question, has this type of thing ever happened before? Yes there has. In some respects, a striking resemblance between this and the visions of that Old Testament Prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Isaiah 6:2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

And again in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.

Ezekiel 1:27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.

Ezekiel 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

As those prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel were about to enter into their office they were solemnly inaugurated by being permitted to have a vision of the Almighty. In like manner so was John inaugurated to the office of making known future things. (Taken from Dr. Barnes.)

Who is sitting on the throne that John sees?

Psalms 110:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Jesus would be at God’s right hand.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Revelation 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.

Some believe that this is none other than God the Father sitting on the throne of Heaven, while others believe that it is Jesus Christ the Son.

I believe that it is the Father because of what we find in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Revelation 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Here we find God the Father handing the scroll (book) to God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 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.

Here we see he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone. The sardine stone would represent the tribe of Reuben and carried the meaning of “behold a son”. The jasper stone would represent Benjamin and carried the meaning of “son of my right hand”.

On the breast plate of the high priest there was 4 rows of stones with each row containing 3 stones. The stones represented the 12 tribes of Israel. The first stone was for Reuben who was the first born and the last stone was for Benjamin the last born.

The jasper stone came in varied colors and could be striped or spotted but the sardine stone was most often blood red. Some commentators have tried to connect the diamond with the jasper as some of the jasper family of stones could be like crystal. Although the crystal ones were usually rather opaque and not clear, but it would seem that there must have been some jasper that was very clear so as to be used in the New Jerusalem.

Revelation 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; ,

This would represent the purity of God. The meaning here is that there was a great brilliance and brightness that illuminated from the throne.

We continue looking at the scene.

Revelation 4:3 and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

This was originally placed in the heavens so that God would remember, or be mindful of the covenant He had made with Noah and all flesh, not to destroy the earth by a flood again.

Genesis 9:11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

Genesis 9:12 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:

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.

Genesis 9:14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

Genesis 9:15 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.

Genesis 9:16 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.

This bow speaks of the unfailing faithfulness of God.

The rainbows that we see here on earth seem to stop where it hits the earth at both ends, but this is not the case if viewed from the air. The bow is circular; it is a ring, a circle without end signifying the everlasting covenant that God has made.

Revelation 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.

Please refer to the earlier discussion of the 24 elders, white raiment and crowns of gold.

Revelation 4:5a And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices:

This is expressive of the majesty and glory of Him that sat upon the throne. We are at once reminded by this representation of the sublime scene that occurred at Sinai in the Old Testament book of Exodus.

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.

We can compare this with other passages in the book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 1:13 In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. Taken fron the NASB version.

Ezekiel 1:24 I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings. Taken fron the NASB version.

These depictions are during the time that Ezekiel saw Heaven opened. He was permitted to look in, and he saw visions of God. We have the presence of Almighty God pictured here with great sounds, lightning, thundering, flashes and thick clouds, all depicting the majesty and power of God.

Revelation 4:5b And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God This was taken from the NASB version.

Next we have seven Spirits of God, depicted as seven lamps of fire before the throne. We have talked about this before and we are led to believe that this is depicting the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Rev 4:6a and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; This was taken from the NASB version.

Now it gets interesting!

In the temple there was a brass sea where the priests would wash themselves before ministering in the temple. Here in Heaven we find something like a sea of glass. Notice the word like. It wasn’t a sea of glass, but was like a sea of glass in character or appearance.

This reminds me that there will be no one in Heaven that has not had their garments washed in the blood of Christ, no one there that will not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh.

The following is taken from Dr. Gill’s view on the sea of glass.

“By which is meant, not heaven, nor the souls of the blessed there, nor the multitude of the holy angels, nor the first converts to Christianity at Jerusalem; for those that got the victory over the beast are said to stand upon this sea, Revelation 15:2, which these senses, especially the three last, will by no means admit of.

Some by it understand the world, which may be compared to a “sea”, for the multitude of people in it, as many waters in this book signify people and nations, Revelation 17:15; and to a sea of glass, which is brittle, for the frailty and transitoriness of the world, of the fashion of it, and of men and things in it; and to the clear “crystal”, because all things in it are open and manifest to the omniscient eye of God; but the world, and men of it, used not to be compared to a still and quiet sea, as this is, but to one disturbed and troubled by winds and tempests, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, Isaiah 57:20.

Others think the ordinance of baptism is designed, of which the Red Sea, through which the Israelites passed under the cloud, was an emblem; and which may be compared to a “sea of glass”, for its transparency, it clearly expressing the sufferings, burial, and resurrection of Christ; and to crystal, for its purity; and to all this for its cleansing nature, as it leads unto the blood of Christ; and its being before the throne may denote its being the way of entrance into the Gospel church.

Others think the blood of Christ is meant, in allusion to the brazen sea in the tabernacle, which was made of the looking glasses the women brought, and for the priests to wash in, before they entered on business, Exodus 30:18, and to the molten sea in the temple, which was for the same purpose, 1Kings 7:23.

Christ’s blood is the fountain opened to wash in for sin, and may be compared to a sea for its abundant efficacy in cleansing from all sin; and it is this which makes way to the throne, and to him that sits on it; and is a special privilege enjoyed by those who come to Mount Zion, or into a Gospel Church state; there is always this laver to wash their garments in, and make them white: though this sea, being of glass, seems not so much designed to wash in; and therefore rather I think by it is meant the Gospel, compared to a “sea” for the deep things of God and mysteries of grace which are in it; to a sea of “glass”, because in it is beheld, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, of his person, office, and righteousness, as well as many other wondrous things; and to one like “crystal”, for the clearness, perspicuity, and evidence of the truths contained in it; and to a, fixed, still; and quiet sea, because it is the Gospel of peace, love, grace, and mercy, and brings peace, joy, and tranquility to troubled minds, when the law works wrath: but here are no tossing, foaming, raging waves of wrath, and fury, but all smooth, stable, solid, tranquil, and quiet. And this is said to be before the throne, where the rainbow of the covenant is, of which the Gospel is a transcript; and where the four and twenty elders, or members of churches be, for their delight and comfort; and where the seven spirits of God are, to furnish men with gifts to preach it; and where the four living creatures, or ministers of the word, have their place, who officiate in it.”

Above taken from Dr. Gill.

Take note that people are standing on the sea of glass.

Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

Revelation 4:6b and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

Revelation 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.

Now we look at the four living creatures or living ones. What do you see here?

  • The attributes of God?
  • The lion equaling royalty?
  • The ox depicting strength?
  • The man depicting humanity?
  • The eagle depicting swiftness?

The four gospels?

  • Christ as the King in Matthew?
  • Christ as the Servant in Mark?
  • Christ as the Son of Man in Luke?
  • Christ as the Son of God in John?

The answer could incorporate all of these and more. It has been said that the 12 tribes of Israel that camped around the tabernacle in the wilderness were represented by animals. One animal for each set of 3 tribes. Lion, Ox, Man, Eagle, but remember the language in the scripture before us, like is symbolic, it wasn’t a lion but like a lion, not an ox, but like an ox,

Perhaps it could symbolize all of God’s people?

With this I leave you to figure out what is meant by these figures because I do not know.

Notice the following scriptures.

Ezekiel 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.

We do know that these four living creatures are Cherubim, that seems pretty clear. The scripture says that they were full of eyes which could depict the omniscience of God, all knowing and all seeing.

Revelation 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.

To fully appreciate the meaning of the praise for and to God from the four living creatures the Greek translations of Lord God Almighty are included below.

G2962 LORD

'Lord' in greek

kurios; from 'authority' in greek kuros (authority); lord, master: – lord (10), Lord (626), Lord of lords (2), Lord’s (12), lords (1), master (38), master’s (3), masters (8), masters’ (1), owner (6), owners (1), sir (11), sirs (1).

G2316 GOD

'God' in greek

theos; of unc. or.; God, a god: – divinely (1), God (1267), god (6), God’s (27), God-fearing (1), godly (2), godly *(1), gods (8), Lord (1).

G3841 ALMIGHTY

'almighty' in greek

pantokrator; from G3956 and G2902; almighty: – Almighty (10).

Revelation 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,

Revelation 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,

Revelation 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.

One thing that I glean from these verses is that the living ones seem to be the worship leaders of Heaven. They are constantly praising God in the sight and hearing of everyone around the throne.

Now look at Revelation 4:11 again 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 else do you see here?

God created man in His own image, Adam then Eve. They both disobeyed and fell and were removed from the paradise that God made just for them. Then we had the flood and eight souls were saved from the world wide destruction. After the flood Noah’s son Shem became the father of Eber. Abraham was a descendant of Eber and Abraham was first called a Hebrew in the Old Testament book of Genesis.

Genesis 14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

God chose Abraham and his descendants threw Isaac, his son, to be a peculiar people, God’s people. If they would follow after His ways given to them in the Ten Commandments (found in Exodus chapter 20) He would bless them. They were to be a witness to all peoples of the world for the true and living God, the Holy One of Israel.

We were created, Adam and Eve first, then the special call to the Hebrew people and then to the Gentiles to give God glory, honor and praise. This gives pleasure to God and only He is deserving of our worship. Compare this with Isaiah 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

The Strong’s Concordance translates the Greek this way:

G2307 Pleasure

'thelema' in greek

thelema

thel’-ay-mah

From the prolonged form of G2309; a determination (properly the thing), that is, (actively) choice (specifically purpose, decree; abstractly volition) or (passively) inclination: – desire, pleasure, will.

This should answer every question of:

  • What is the purpose of life?
  • What am I here for?
  • Why was I borne?
  • Why did God create me?

God created us with a mind that could reason and know Him. He created us with a body that could function in keeping the garden, hands that could grasp things, ears to hear God (pre incarnate Christ) speaking, eyes that could see (the pre incarnate Christ) God, a mouth that could communicate with God, a will that we could freely choose to obey our Creator and emotions so that we could experience the joy of being one with our God.