The day is approaching when there shall be a shifting of scenes in heaven and God shall prepare to execute all His purposes toward the earth. Thundering black clouds shall gather for His last judgment upon the earth, but even in the darkness of that day a bow in the cloud will be seen reflecting the glory of God in the storm and reminding that God has not forgotten His covenants. In that day the saints in heaven will contrast the perfect rest of heaven with the troubled waters of earth and will give great glory to Him.
1 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.
Revelation 4 Intro – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 4:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 4:2-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 4:4-7 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 4:7-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 4:9-11 – J. Vernon McGee
Revelation 4:1-11 – “A Throne was Set in Heaven”
The vision of the ascended Lord introduced the seven letters to the churches, so the visions of this and the next chapters introduce the seven seals. They resemble the frontispiece or illuminated capitals of the old missals. There is no form for the Divine Being. God is Spirit, and His glory can only be hinted at by appropriate imagery. His being should excite emotions in our spirit similar to those which these objects excite in our mind. The jasper with its transparent brilliance, the sardine or cornelian with its fiery red, the emerald with its refreshing beauty, are laid under contribution to describe what cannot be described. The throne bespeaks majestic authority and power. The worship of the elders reflects that of Israel and the Church, Revelation 21:12, 14; the thunder, God’s awful holiness; the seven lamps, the searching, cleansing purity of His Spirit; the glassy sea, the mystery of His ways; the four living creatures, the homage of creation.
Here is the song of creation, Revelation 4:11. Originally all things did the will of God, and if creation is now subject to vanity, some day it will be delivered into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, and God’s will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. Notice that the will of God brought all things into existence, and that that will guarantees their ultimate redemption. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Revelation 4:1—A door was opened in heaven.
You must remember that John was in the isle of Patmos, a lone, rocky, inhospitable prison, for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. And yet to him, under such circumstances—separated from all the loved ones of Ephesus; debarred from the worship of the Church; condemned to the companionship of uncongenial fellow-captives—were vouchsafed these visions. For him, also, a door was opened.
We are reminded of Jacob, exiled from his father’s house, who laid himself down in a desert place to sleep, and in whose dreams beheld a ladder which united earth with heaven, and at the top stood God.
Not to these only, but to many more, doors have been opened into heaven; when, so far as this world was concerned, it seemed as though their circumstances were altogether unlikely for such revelations. To prisoners and captives; to constant sufferers, bound by iron chains of pain to sick couches; to lonely pilgrims and wanderers; to women detained from the Lord’s house by the demands of home; to domestic servants, missing the blessed opportunities of the sanctuary—how often has the door been opened in heaven. And what has not Nature been to some of us! How often in a country glade, the first flower of spring, a bird’s warble, a gleam of light chequering the path, has been as a door opened in heaven!
There are conditions. You must know what it is to be in the Spirit; you must be pure in heart, and obedient in life; you must be willing to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Then, when God is all in all to us, when we live, move, and have our being in his favor, to us also will the door be opened. —Our Daily Homily
Revelation 4:8 – O blessed rest! when we “rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty”!—when we shall rest from sin, but not from worship—from suffering and sorrow, but not from joy! O blessed day! when I shall rest with God—when I shall rest in knowing, loving, rejoicing and praising! when my perfect soul and body shall together perfectly enjoy the most perfect God—when God, Who is love itself, shall perfectly love me, and rest in His love to me, and I shall rest in my love to Him—when He shall rejoice over me with joy, and joy over me with singing, and I shall rejoice in Him. (Baxter)