The Throne in Heaven
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, ESV)
Revelation Chapters 4 and 5 deliver us an image of God. Imagine attempting to describe the indescribable! That is John’s task. He paints a picture of a throne in heaven surrounded by an iridescent glow made up of all the colors of the rainbow because of the One who is found sitting there. Flashes of lightning and thunder roll from within. Before the throne are seven torches representing the Holy Spirit. 24 elders representing all believers sit on thrones around the central throne and four living creatures are on the four sides of the throne representing God’s creation.There is a transparent floor before the thrones that signify the spiritual separation between heaven and creation. The message is clear. God is magnificently real and all creation and all true believers worship and magnify Him at all times, not because God requires it so much as they cannot help but worship, such is the awesomeness of God. I am reminded that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10, ESV). I cannot imagine how terrifying this sight must have been for John.
The Scroll and the Lamb
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.(Revelation 5:1, ESV)
But there is a problem in paradise. An angel appears on the scene (not describe except he’s called “a mighty angel”) who is holding a scroll that is sealed with seven seals and no one on earth or in heaven is found to be holy enough to open the seals. John realizes that this is a serious issue and he begins to cry in despair. Then, an elder directs his attention to a lamb that had appeared to have been slain with seven horns and seven eyes (again, the Holy Spirit). This lamb (Jesus) takes the scroll and all the creatures and all the elders then worship Him.
These two initial prophetic vision sets the stage for what follows. Once again we readers must not lose our focus on what is truly important. In our faith and faith-directed works and prayers, we worship God continually, participating in this incredible scene that John paints in our our dim language. Remember, the creatures and the elders represent all creation and all believers. But none of us is holy nor is anyone in heaven holy enough to perform the work that must be accomplished. Only Jesus is holy and worthy enough because He, too is God and worthy of our worship and adoration.
These two scenes simply (?) drive home what we learned in the first three chapters of Revelation: we must remain faithful and live out lives of worship in which we realize the incarnational reality of ourvery existence.
- Revelation 1-3: The Introduction (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 3: Hope in Jesus (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- What is the meaning of the lyrics of Johnny Cash’s song ‘The Man comes around’? (jesusinthecoffeehouse.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 6: The First Six Seals (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)