” Listen, and I will tell you a secret. We shall not all die, but suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, every one of us will be changed as the trumpet sounds! The trumpet will sound and the dead shall be raised beyond the reach of corruption, and we who are still alive shall suddenly be utterly changed. For this perishable nature of ours must be wrapped in imperishability, these bodies which are mortal must be wrapped in immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53) (Phillips Translation)
Before we begin our study of this pillar of Revelation, let’s listen to a discussion on the end times by Dr. Ron Rhodes. A bio of Dr. Rhodes is provided, as follows:
Bible Prophecy, The Rapture (1 2)
Dr. Ron Rhodes
Bible Prophecy, The Rapture ( 2 2)
Dr. Ron Rhodes
Revelation 4, “At a glance”
Revelation 4 Living Bible (TLB) (Paraphrase)
1 Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before, which sounded like a mighty trumpet blast, spoke to me and said, “Come up here and I will show you what must happen in the future!”
2 And instantly I was in spirit there in heaven and saw—oh, the glory of it!—a throne and someone sitting on it! 3 Great bursts of light flashed forth from him as from a glittering diamond or from a shining ruby, and a rainbow glowing like an emerald encircled his throne. 4 Twenty-four smaller thrones surrounded his, with twenty-four Elders sitting on them; all were clothed in white, with golden crowns upon their heads. 5 Lightning and thunder issued from the throne, and there were voices in the thunder. Directly in front of his throne were seven lighted lamps representing the sevenfold Spirit of God. 6 Spread out before it was a shiny crystal sea. Four Living Beings, dotted front and back with eyes, stood at the throne’s four sides. 7 The first of these Living Beings was in the form of a lion; the second looked like an ox; the third had the face of a man; and the fourth, the form of an eagle, with wings spread out as though in flight. 8 Each of these Living Beings had six wings, and the central sections of their wings were covered with eyes. Day after day and night after night they kept on saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty—the one who was, and is, and is to come.”
9 And when the Living Beings gave glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four Elders fell down before him and worshiped him, the Eternal Living One, and cast their crowns before the throne, singing, 11 “O Lord, you are worthy to receive the glory and the honor and the power, for you have created all things. They were created and called into being by your act of will.”
“Step By Step Through The Book Of Revelation.” Key pillars of “The Revelation Of Jesus Christ” will be discussed.
References: SSB (Scofield Study Bible); Scofield’s Reference Notes (SRN); MAC (MacArthur Study Bible).
Revelation 4, “In detail”
Revelation 4 New American Standard Bible (NASB). In this chapter we see, “Things Future:” “The things that are to take place.”
The Opening Of The Seven-Sealed Scroll will be seen in Rev 4-6; 8:1.
In Chapter 4, we will see the following three events:
The scene in heaven before the breaking of the seals (vs 1-3).
Enthroned elders around the throne (vs 4-5).
The four living creatures and twenty-four elders worship the Creator (vs 6-11).
Scene in Heaven
1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”
vs 1. Come up here
(SRN) This call seems clearly to indicate the fulfilment of 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17. The word “church” does not again occur in the Revelation till all is fulfilled.
(SSB) Beginning with 4:1, the viewpoint of John is from heaven. As the word “church” does not appear again in Rev until 22:16, the catching up of John from earth to heaven has been taken to be a symbolic representation of the translation of the Church as occurring before the events of the tribulation described in chs 6-19.
2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.
vs 4. elders
(SSB) These elders represent the Church. The word “elder” has church significance (1 Tim 5:17; Tit 1:5). Crowns throughout the N.T. are exclusively presented as rewards for the faithful in the Church. These elders sit on thrones which are associated with the central judgment throne of God (vv 2-4; cp 1 Cor 6:2-3; 2 Tim 2:12). The appearance of those elders, already glorified, crowned, and enthroned before the opening of the sealed book of judgment (ch 5) and before the end-time judgment are loosed upon the world (chs 6-18), reaffirms that the Church is not to be subjected to the judicial wrath and judgments of that time (compare Jn 5:24; Rom 5:9; 1 Thes 1:10; 5:1-11; Rv 3:10).
The Throne and Worship of the Creator
5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. 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 something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. 7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”
Verse 6, 7, 8 (SRN)
beasts/living creatures (6, 7, 8)
living creatures. (See Scofield “Ezekiel 1:5”).
(Ez 1:4-5) 4 As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. 5 Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. (SRN)
The “living creatures” are identical with the Cherubim. The subject is somewhat obscure, but from the position of the Cherubim at the gate of Eden, upon the cover of the ark of the covenant, and in Revelation 4, it is clearly gathered that they have to do with vindication of the holiness of God as against the presumptuous pride of sinful man who, despite his sin, would “put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life” (Gen 3:22-24). (SRN)
Verse 8 (SRN)
God Almighty Jehovah of hosts. Isaiah 6:3 (SRN)
Isa 6:3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”
9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,
Verse 9 (SRN)
living creatures. (See Scofield “Ezekiel 1:5”)
10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Vs 10. Cast their crowns.
MAC. Aware that God alone is responsible for the rewards they have received, they divest themselves of all honor, and cast it at the feet of their King.
11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
Vs 11. You created all thighs.
MAC. It is the “Creator God” who set out to redeem His creation.
To close this pillar of study, let’s enter a time of worship through a song that talks about the throne, and the Lamb, Jesus, who will occupy that throne. As much as we desire a greater knowledge of God’s Holy Word, let’s also desire a greater degree of intimacy of relationship with God, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
John 4:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
“To Him Who Sits On The Throne, And Unto The Lamb”
Terry Mac Almon
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