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.
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
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.
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.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
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,
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.
A complete change of scenes takes place at the beginning of the 4th chapter of revelation. John looked into the heaven and saw an open door. In contrast, always bigger getting, gigantic telescopes in observatories provided for the Big Bang believing astronomers unending images of distant galaxies, and all readers who themselves have viewed with their naked eye on a clear night the stars, captured a sense of eternity through the infinity of open space; yet many scientific observers deny the existence of the God who sits on his heavenly throne.
A hearer of the word of God relies on the eternal creator and does research on the heaven reports of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah. God does nothing without revealing it to his prophets (Amos 3, 7). What an awe-inspiring feeling John must have get, to be lifted up in the spirit to the throne of God. An incredible transparency and colour variety in the form of gems and a rainbow opened for the visionary who beheld tremendous sounds.
The promise of Jesus for his twelve disciples to rule with him, was symbolically fulfilled with the twenty-four elders and their thrones. Nor should God’s covenant with the twelve tribes of Israel been forgotten, because the description of heaven is full of symbolism of the tabernacle, which is a shadow of heavenly things (Hebrews 8, 5).
The sea of glass can be also seen in the brazen laver that was made from the mirrors of the women during the time in the wilderness. Later, Solomon put the big molten sea on the backs of twelve bronze oxen, building the temple in Jerusalem. A jasper stone and a sardius was also put on the breast of Aaron and the succeeding high priests.
The vision of the four beasts occurred also almost 700 years ago, at the beginning of the Book of Ezekiel. The lion, bull, son of man, and eagle, and the colours purple, scarlet, white, and blue are types and shadows in the Old Testament for the four Gospels in which the nature of Jesus is described as a king, servant, perfect man, and son of God.
The four beasts with six wings can be compared with the seraphims in Isaiah 6 which had everywhere eyes. This is a sign for me that nothing is hidden in the spiritual world. Although with Lucifer fell one of the archangels, a wonderful show opens up for what is central for us in heaven:
The Trinity of God is expressed by the four living beings which give the glory and honour, and thanksgiving, by calling again and again: Holy – Holy – Holy, Lord – God – Almighty, who was – and who is – and who is to come.
A key to come here on earth in the presence of God is worship, thanksgiving, and prayer.
The twenty-four elders who sat around the throne were so overwhelmed by the changed, spiritual atmosphere that they fell on their knees, laid down their crowns, and also worshipped. This is not only the past, but happens now, time and again.
He, who does not feel like it, is given the free will to act like a third of the angels (demons – stars fallen down to earth) to extol a disgusting goat-pentagram-baphomet-image by vicariously worshipping a human idol. Jesus taught that we can not honour God, if we take honour from each other, but exactly this is what is happening again and again. Superstar, Supertalent, Top Model, Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe, Bambi, Cross of Merit, Nobel Prize, and honours of people wherever you look.
When men called Jesus a good master, the son of man pointed out on earth that no one is good except God. The biggest temptation for Jesus was to worship Satan in order to receive all the earthly kingdoms, that the chief master of the lie offered to him.
So who is worthy? This mysterious question will be raised several times in the next chapter. Whoever the twenty-four elders – sitting on chairs like judges around the throne of God – are, they witness and appraise in an awesome way the truth that God alone is worthy to take all the glory and all the honour and all power – in contrast to earthly government statements such as “we have the power” or “yes we can”.
The day and night praised Creator God is definitely not guilty to bring the proof that he has created all things.
The words of Paul in Romans 1, 20 reflect in conclusion: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.