In our study of Revelation chapter four, we get John's account of his look at heaven through the open door which is Yeshua Messiah. This chapter begins the transition from Yeshua the Intercessor (which he has been since his ascension back into heaven) to Yeshua the Judge.
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After these things, I looked; and there before me was a door standing open in heaven; and the voice like a trumpet which I had heard speaking with me before said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things."
John tells us of a "door standing open" which looks into heaven. We notice that John tells us that it is "a" door and not many doors. That should remind us that the only way to see heaven is through Yeshua Messiah. Although it is popular in the world today to say that there are many ways to heaven, the simple fact of the matter is that it can only happen through Yeshua Messiah. The voice tells John that he will show him "what must happen after these things". We are transitioning from the instructions and pleas to the church to the end times events.
Instantly I was in the Spirit, and there before me in heaven stood a throne, and on the throne Someone was sitting. The One sitting there gleamed like diamonds and rubies, and a rainbow shining like emerald encircled the throne.
John was "in the Spirit" which is the only way that we enter into heaven. The first thing he saw was a throne which represents royalty and the one on the throne was as precious as jewels. The throne was encircled by a promise which is the rainbow. The rainbow was given to all men after the Great Flood as a symbol of the promise from God that he would not destroy the earth again with water. Now, it is fitting that John's first look into heaven reveals the fulfillment of the precious promise to be with the King Of Kings. That promise is for all who are willing to go through that open door that is Yeshua Messiah.
Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on the thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white clothing and wearing gold crowns on their heads.
John continues to describe the scene of the throne in heaven. The twenty-four elders are the twelve leaders of the tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles. They are dressed in white as a symbol of purity and the crown is a symbol of victory.
From the throne came forth lightnings, voices and thunderings; and before the throne were seven flaming torches, which are the sevenfold Spirit of God.
The description here is of power coming from the throne and it matches the description found in Exodus 20 where God was moving towards his people. At that time, the people fled from the presence of God because they were not prepared and this reminds us that the purpose of this book is to get the believer prepared for the coming presence of God. Have you ever just sat and watched a thunderstorm? You can just feel the power in it and this is probably what John felt as he looked at the throne. We know that the number seven symbolizes holiness and completeness and here we see that the complete spirit of God is around the throne.
In front of the throne was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living beings covered with eyes in front and behind. The first living being was like a lion, the second living being was like an ox, the third living being had a face that looked human, and the fourth living being was like a flying eagle.
John now sees four living creatures covered in eyes. These creatures are also described in the book of Ezekiel from his vision. We do not get much information about these creatures except that they continually praise God. These beings share a picture of God as the lion speaks of glory, the ox speaks of power, the face of a man speaks of intelligence, and the flying eagle speaks of the supernatural.
Each of the four living beings had six wings and was covered with eyes inside and out; and day and night they never stop saying, "Holy, holy, holy is ADONAI, God of heaven's armies the One who was, who is and who is coming!"
John now tells us how the creatures praise God. They are covered with eyes which symbolizes seeing everything. It brings to mind the fact that they see all of the glory of God and their reaction is to continually say how holy God is. For us, if we reflect on all that God is and has done, then we too may have the same reaction and see just how holy God is.
And whenever the living beings give glory, honor and thanks to the One sitting on the throne, to the One who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before the One sitting on the throne, who lives forever and ever, and worship him. They throw their crowns in front of the throne and say, "You are worthy, ADONAI Eloheinu, to have glory, honor and power, because you created all things yes, because of your will they were created and came into being!"
When the living creatures worship, the elders get involved as well. They worship the creator with their mouths and cast their crowns before the throne. This is a pattern that we too shall follow when we get to heaven.