Revelation 4

Revelation 4Revelation 1:19 gives an inspired outline of The Revelation: “the things seen” (chapter 1), “the things which are” (chapters 2-3, the letters to the seven churches), and “the things which shall be hereafter,” which will be revealed next in chapters 4-22. Chapters 4 and 5 go together, giving us a brief glimpse into heaven. In his vision, John is told to “come up here” in an out-of-body experience and see what must take place, so what we’ll read in the balance of this book is the sovereign plan of God. Further, what’s revealed in the vision will be filled with symbols, challenging our understanding at times, but we’ll begin to see something of the glory and majesty of God as we read along.

Let me illustrate with the first image John sees in heaven, One seated on a throne, with “the appearance of jasper and carnelian” with “… a rainbow, resembling an emerald…” (4:3). These stones were prominent in the Old Testament, in the high priest’s breastplate of twelve stones, each representing one of the 12 sons of Jacob. The ones mentioned, jasper, carnelian, and emerald (4:3) represented Reuben, Benjamin, and Judah respectively. Each of these names had a meaning, which when put together have meaning for us: Reuben means “Behold My Son,” Benjamin means “Son of my right hand,” and Judah means “Praise and Worship” [Him].

Next, there is the image of something like a sea of glass with four living creatures (4:7) very much like the creatures described centuries before by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:10). The faces might represent the attributes of God in this way: a lion represents strength and majesty, an ox represents patience and faithful labor, a man represents reasoning intelligence, and an eagle, sovereignty. Next, (v.8), the wings might represent omnipresence and the eyes all around suggests omniscience. There are two things taking place that we might notice: worship and honor. Worship is taking place through praising God and honor through the crowns that are placed before the throne

(v.10). One thing further to note in Revelation 4: there are 14 doxologies in The Revelation; two of them are in this chapter, at verse 8 and verse 11.

Leave a Reply

By commenting, you agree to our Code of Conduct.