Scripture Reading: Revelation 4:1-11
“After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.'” (Revelation 4:1,2)
The voice of Jesus summoned John and as John looked upward he saw a door standing open in heaven. The first thing he saw was the throne of God, which is in the very center of the universe. Notice the throne is not on earth; it is in heaven (v. 2). It stands in the Holy of Holies of the heavenly temple, just as the ark of the covenant stood in the Holy of Holies in the earthly temple.
Then John saw the one who was seated on the throne — God the Father (v. 3). Symbols are used to describe Him — precious stones which describe God’s pristine priestly purity and awesome justice. The rainbow is symbolic of God’s grace and mercy as the rainbow appeared to Noah as a sign of God’s grace. Flashes of lightning and peals of thunder must have reminded John of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.
Around God’s throne were twenty four thrones with twenty four elders sitting on them (v. 4). The number twenty four symbolizes the twelve tribes of Israel in the Old Testament and the twelve apostles in the New Testament. Together they represent the church of all ages. The seven lamps of fire (v. 5b) symbolize the ever-active and all-seeing Holy Spirit. The sea of glass (v. 6a) is a symbol for the laver of water that was used in the temple for ceremonial washings.
The four living creatures are angelic beings who are in the presence of God exalting Him continually (vs. 6b-9). The twenty four elders join in worship. They fall down before God and worship Him as they cast their crowns before the throne (vs. 10,11). Their kingly crowns are returned to God who gave them to the elders. Whatever glory they have, they give it back to the God of all creation.
Then the elders sang a song honoring the God of all creation — “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created” (v. 11).
Here is a glorious picture of the majesty and sovereignty of God. He is to be worshiped in praise and adoration. When we grasp His glory, we should fall down before Him in worship. And we should be greatly comforted to know that God is on His throne and He is in control of all things.
Lord God, I stand of awe of You. Thank You for this glorious picture of heaven. Thank You for allowing me to know what is going on in heaven right now. I am both humbled and comforted by this vision. I am deeply humbled because I know my sin and how unworthy I am. But I am greatly comforted to know that You, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, love me and accept me as Your child.
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