The Throne of God – Rev. 4
When reading Revelations 4, it very easy to just get lost and confused and just have no idea what you just read. I’m going to try my best to help you make sense of this chapter.
In verse 1 it says, “After this”. John is looking up and saw a door open in heaven and he was told to come up and God will show him what will take place “after this”.The “after this” is referring to the Churches. Jesus just got done giving John 7 letters to the 7 churches. These 7 churches, I explained in my last message are the 7 churches in John’s day, but also they reflect the entire church during the Church Age. “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” After What? After the Church Age.
The Church was given a job to preach the Gospel to the whole world and to teach new believers to follow Jesus faithfully. It’s called the great commission. Once this job is complete, it’s safe to say that the Church Age is complete. God gives the church a job and a time period to make it happen. He gives each church a different version of the holy spirit. In verse 5 it talks about the 7 spirits of God. This would explain why Holy Spirit Gifts, like Speaking in Tongues is no longer happening like it was in the 1st-century church, nor the healing gift, raising the death by to life, Paul did that a few times. Each version of the Holy Spirit came with its own set of gifts if gave out to the church for the given time period of History, as the Holy Spirit saw fit.
The 24 Elders it’s talking about are the 12 Elders of the 12 tribs of Israel and the 12 Apostles of the Church. So you got the leadership of the Jews and Christians seated on smaller thrones ruling with the Almighty God, but also worshipping God as the Almighty Lord and King of Heaven and Earth.
When it comes to the 4 living creatures. This has also made me wonder what they are here for. Why did God create these creatures and what do they represent? This is an example of a spot in the bible that we are given information about, but it’s information that is hidden away. I will tell you what I think about these creatures. Each creature reflects something different, maybe about God himself. You got a lion, a calf, Man’s face, and a flying eagle.
Calf – This could be related to Leviticus 9:3
“And tell the Israelites: Take a male goat for a sin offering; a calf and a lamb, male yearlings without blemish, for a burnt offering;”
Man’s Face – Most likely reflecting People. All the work God has done to redeem people.
Lion – This personally makes me think about God being a Lion that protects his people. It also makes me remember the Bible calls the Devil a Lion.
Flying Eagle – Isaiah 40:31 “but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”
Maybe, God is telling the Story of Salvation using the four living creatures. The Devil (lion) deserved Adam and Eve (Man’s face) and sin entered into the world, so Jesus (calf) came and paid the price that man could not pay. Then those who accepted the message of the Gospel and follow God will face many hardships, but they will succeed through and overcome (flying eagle).
So at the start of this chapter, it says that John was told to “come up here” into heaven “after this” the church age. People actually think the rapture is Pre-Tribulation based on this one verse. I personally don’t hold to this view because of other verses, we will go deeper into the rapture another time.