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Lesson: Revelation 4:1-11

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SCRIPTURE READING: Revelation 4:1-11

GOLDEN TEXT:  Revelation 4:11


1. Did the apostle John see a door standing open in heaven? (Revelation 4:1.) Who was it that was speaking to him and did his voice sound like a trumpet? (Revelation 1:1, 10-13.) Was John in the Spirit? (Revelation 4:2, 1:10.)

Note: John was in the Spirit or in vision and the things that he saw were in his mind. Jesus does not always sound like a trumpet. In a dream things do not appear as they really are. A lot of what John saw was symbolic and we have to look in other parts of the Bible to perceive the point that is being made.

2. Did John see a throne set in heaven and someone sitting on it? (Revelation 4:2.) Has any human ever gone to heaven except Jesus? (John 3:13.)

Note: The apostle Paul had a vision similar to Johnís vision in which he was caught up to the third heaven where Godís throne is (2 Corinthians 12:1-6.) John and Paul did not go to heaven because Jesus said: "No one has ascended to heaven" (John 3:13.) The visions that John and Paul had were in their minds.

3. Did Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel also have visions of the throne room of God? (Isaiah 6:1-13, Ezekiel 1 and 10, Daniel 7:9-10.)

Note: God inspired certain things to be recorded by some and not by others.

4. Usually when you see movies where something is going on in heaven, they portray everything as being white in color. Is the throne room of God sterile white in appearance? (Revelation 4:3.)

Note: Some commentaries say that Ďjasperí means "clear as crystal" which is probably diamonds and the Ďsardius stoneí which is blood red or fiery red in color is probably a ruby. Notice the rainbow around Godís throne has the appearance of an emerald which is green. The word Ďrainbowí is the Greek word Ďirisí and the iris in your eye is the circular band that goes around the center of the eye which is generally brown or blue. The rainbow around Godís throne is probably circular like a halo rather than what we may think of as being semicircular.

A rainbow is defined as: "an arc or circle that exhibits in concentric bands the colors of the spectrum and that is formed opposite the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays in raindrops, spray, or mist." At Godís throne, God is the light source and the rainbow is probably some kind of spiritual mist that is reflecting His light in which this rainbow has the predominant color of green.

5. What does God look like? (Ezekiel 1:24-28.) What does Jesus look like? (Revelation 1:13-16.)

6. How many thrones were around the throne of God and who sat upon these thrones? (Revelation 4:4.) Did they have crowns of gold upon their heads? (Same verse.)

Note: There were 24 angelic elders who sat on these 24 thrones. The word Ďelderí means older, senior and wiser. God did not create all of the angels at the same time so these 24 were probably the first ones he created and He made them His cabinet or advising counselors. They have crowns of gold which means that they have a certain rank of authority over other angels. The number 12 and multiples of 12 (24 is a multiple of 12) tend to suggest governmental divisions, for example, there were 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of whom Jesus said will sit upon 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28.) You would think that God would not need counselors but it appears that God likes to communicate with other beings and to hear their ideas. He obviously wants our ideas because He wants us to pray to Him.

The Aaronic High Priest in the Levitical system had a gold crown. The 24 elders could also be priests because as we will see in verses 10 and 11 they praise and worship God on a frequent basis.

7. Were there seven lamps of fire burning before the throne which are the seven Spirits of God? (Revelation 4:5) Were these seven lamps representative of the seven churches? (Revelation 1:20 and 3:1.)

Note: Notice the lightnings and thunderings mentioned here at Godís throne. If you have been outside when it is lightning and thundering you have found it to be an awesome experience. John was seeing an enormous amount of shear raw power concentrated here at Godís throne, which is the command center of the entire universe.

8. Was there a sea of glass like crystal before the throne of God? (Revelation 4:6.)

Note: How does crystal glass appear? It appears as a high quality glass, cut and faceted with prismatic effect on all light. Moses said that they saw under the feet of the God of Israel as it were a paved work of sapphire stone (Exodus 24:10.) The color of a sapphire stone is a deep purplish-blue. Perhaps this sea of glass has the appearance of something like cobblestones. This sea of glass would also be reflecting the brilliance of God, the green rainbow and the blueish colors of Godís throne.

9. Around the throne of God were there four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back? (Revelation 4:6.)

Note: Perhaps these eyes were decorations like the eyes on the plumage of a peacock when the tail feathers are spread apart.

10. Did the four living creatures have a face of a man, eagle, calf and a lion? (Revelation 4:7, Ezekiel 1:10.)

Note: Ezekiel saw these creatures from a different point of view than John did and he recorded that all four creatures had all four faces of a man, eagle, calf and a lion.

11. Did the four living creatures have six wings? (Revelation 4:8, Isaiah 6:1-3.)

Note: These angelic creatures are called seraphim by Isaiah and cherubs by Ezekiel and each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. In Ezekielís account in chapter 1, he only sees four wings (Verse 11), a wheel in a wheel (Verse 16) and he hears the noise of their wings (Verse 24). Why didnít he see the other two wings? He hear the two wings rotating making the noise and they were rotating so fast that what he saw was a wheel in a wheel. The inner wheel was where the wings attached to the shoulder and the outer wheel was the outside tips of the wings. Think of a humming bird and how fast the wings move and it appears that they donít have wings.

12. Did the four living creatures praise God? (Revelation 4:8, Isaiah 6:1-3.) What happens when the four living creatures praise God ? (Revelation 4:9-11.)

Note: When the four living creatures praise God then the 24 elders begin praising God. They are probably singing and it is probably done in counterpoint with different melodies in beautiful harmony, similar perhaps to Handelís Messiah.

In Conclusion: Johnís vision of God and His throne is awesome. Praise God.



Scriptures


Scripture Reading:   

(Revelation 4 NKJV) After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." {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."


Golden Text:   

(Revelation 4:11 NKJV) "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."


1.) (Revelation 1:1 NKJV) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants; things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

(Revelation 1:10-13 NKJV) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, {11} saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." {12} Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, {13} and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

2.) (2 Corinthians 12:1-6 NKJV) It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: {2} I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago; whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows; such a one was caught up to the third heaven. {3} And I know such a man; whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows; {4} how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. {5} Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. {6} For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.

(John 3:13 NKJV) "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

3.) (Isaiah 6 NKJV) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. {2} Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. {3} And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" {4} And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. {5} So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts." {6} Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. {7} And he touched my mouth with it, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged." {8} Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." {9} And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' {10} "Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed." {11} Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And He answered: "Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, The houses are without a man, The land is utterly desolate, {12} The LORD has removed men far away, And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. {13} But yet a tenth will be in it, And will return and be for consuming, As a terebinth tree or as an oak, Whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump."

(Ezekiel 1 NKJV) Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. {2} On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity, {3} the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was upon him there. {4} Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. {5} Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. {6} Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. {7} Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves' feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze. {8} The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. {9} Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward. {10} As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. {11} Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies. {12} And each one went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went. {13} As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning. {14} And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning. {15} Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold, a wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces. {16} The appearance of the wheels and their workings was like the color of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. The appearance of their workings was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel. {17} When they moved, they went toward any one of four directions; they did not turn aside when they went. {18} As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were full of eyes, all around the four of them. {19} When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. {20} Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, because there the spirit went; and the wheels were lifted together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. {21} When those went, these went; when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. {22} The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads. {23} And under the firmament their wings spread out straight, one toward another. Each one had two which covered one side, and each one had two which covered the other side of the body. {24} When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. {25} A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings. {26} And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. {27} Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. {28} Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.

(Ezekiel 10 NKJV) And I looked, and there in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubim, there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne. {2} Then He spoke to the man clothed with linen, and said, "Go in among the wheels, under the cherub, fill your hands with coals of fire from among the cherubim, and scatter them over the city." And he went in as I watched. {3} Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the temple when the man went in, and the cloud filled the inner court. {4} Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and paused over the threshold of the temple; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory. {5} And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard even in the outer court, like the voice of Almighty God when He speaks. {6} Then it happened, when He commanded the man clothed in linen, saying, "Take fire from among the wheels, from among the cherubim," that he went in and stood beside the wheels. {7} And the cherub stretched out his hand from among the cherubim to the fire that was among the cherubim, and took some of it and put it into the hands of the man clothed with linen, who took it and went out. {8} The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man's hand under their wings. {9} And when I looked, there were four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel by one cherub and another wheel by each other cherub; the wheels appeared to have the color of a beryl stone. {10} As for their appearance, all four looked alike; as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel. {11} When they went, they went toward any of their four directions; they did not turn aside when they went, but followed in the direction the head was facing. They did not turn aside when they went. {12} And their whole body, with their back, their hands, their wings, and the wheels that the four had, were full of eyes all around. {13} As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing, "Wheel." {14} Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. {15} And the cherubim were lifted up. This was the living creature I saw by the River Chebar. {16} When the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them; and when the cherubim lifted their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also did not turn from beside them. {17} When the cherubim stood still, the wheels stood still, and when one was lifted up, the other lifted itself up, for the spirit of the living creature was in them. {18} Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. {19} And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord's house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. {20} This is the living creature I saw under the God of Israel by the River Chebar, and I knew they were cherubim. {21} Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings. {22} And the likeness of their faces was the same as the faces which I had seen by the River Chebar, their appearance and their persons. They each went straight forward.

(Daniel 7:9-10 NKJV) "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; {10} A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.

4.)

5.) (Ezekiel 1:24-28 NKJV) When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. {25} A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings. {26} And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. {27} Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. {28} Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.

(Revelation 1:13-16 NKJV) and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. {14} His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; {15} His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; {16} He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

6.)

7.) (Revelation 1:20 NKJV) "The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

(Revelation 3:1 NKJV) "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

8.) (Exodus 24:10 NKJV) and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.

9.)

10.) (Ezra 1:10 NKJV) thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles.

11.) . (Isaiah 6:1-3 NKJV) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. {2} Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. {3} And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!"

12.) (Isaiah 6:1-3 NKJV) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. {2} Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. {3} And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!"