Bible Study Revelation 4
Second Vision: ch. 4-16. Structured around the symbols:
Four part introduction of the second vision:
- ‘In the Spirit’ (see also 1:10; 17:3, 21:9)
- Someone (an angel: 17:3, 21:9; or a voice like a trumpet, 1:10, 4:1)
- ‘Come up’ (4:1, 17:1, 21:9)
- ‘I will show’ (4:1, 17:1, 21:9)
Throne Room: ch. 4-16 all happens in the throne room:
- Seven seals (God holds back His wrath)
- Seven trumpets (alarm: warning of the coming of God’s wrath)
- Seven bowls (God’s full wrath)
4:5 : lightnings, thunderings, voices: See 8:5 (7th seal), 11:19 (7th trumpet); 16:18 (7th bowl (all four times the same words!)
Ch. 15: Back to the throne room in heaven:
- Sea of glass (4:6 and 15:2)
- Harps (5:8 and 15:2)
- Bowls (5:8: prayers of the saints; and 15:7 : God’s wrath)
- 4:2 : Him seated on the throne; 16:17 : voice from the throne: it is done!
The Book of Revelation is beautifully built around the symbols. It truly is a work of art, just like the entire Bible. Do we see that enough? How much do we focus on enjoying the beauty of God’s Word? Or are we too much focused on ‘what is the application’?
The Throne Room in Heaven:
4:1 : open door: see 3:8
4:1 : Voice like a trumpet, “Come up here”: Exodus 19 and 20
4:1 : the first voice: ESV: the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, see 1:10
4:2 : In the Spirit: See Ezekiel
4:2 : throne in heaven: see 1:4, 3:21 çè throne of Satan (2:13)
Structure vs. 3-10:
Vs. 3: He Who sat ON the throne
Vs. 4: AROUND the throne
Vs. 5: FROM the throne => Centre
Vs. 6: BEFORE the throne
Vs 9-10: Him Who sits ON the throne
4:3 : He Who sat there : Psalm 11, 47, 93, 103, 1 Kings 22, Isaiah 6, Daniel 7: God
Jasper and Sardius
Exodus 24:9-10: like sapphire stone, like the very heavens in its clarity.
Jasper: clear as crystal
Sardius (from Sardis): deep red colour: sign of God’s fiery holiness.
Rainbow: not correct. IRIS: coloured circle. Here: like emerald: soft green
Stone colours describe God’s majesty.
4:4 : Twenty Four thrones, with twenty four elders:
Around the throne: as in a semi-circle, see 4:10
Who are the 24 elders?
- Elders: those who know the past, Deut. 32:7, eye witnesses.
- 12 Apostles as elders? eyewitnesses of His suffering (1 Peter 5:1) and majesty (2 Peter 1:16)
24 elders from OT and NT
1 Chronicles 24 (the priest divisions) or 1 Chronicles 25 (24 musicians with harps)
4:5 : lightnings, thunderings, voices: God descending on Mt Sinai. Ex. 19:16.
4:5 : seven lamps of fire: the seven Spirits of God: lampstand in the temple: omni-presence of God’s Spirit: He does not sleep.
4:6 : before the throne a sea of glass, like crystal:God’s holiness: Ezekiel 1:22, 26.
Sea as crystal: serenity, tranquil: Peace: Be still and know that I am God : Psalm 46!
Contrary to the wicked world: Isaiah 57:20-21 : But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
The sea of glass: reflecting the holiness of God, the distance: What does this teach us about our worship of God? (See also the praise of the four creatures: their words in vs. 8, and also Hebrews 12:18-24).
4:6 : in the midst and around the throne: four living creatures
Inner circle, within the circle of 24 elders.
See Ezekiel 1: God’s creation:
- Lion : the wild animals
- Ox (calf): the livestock: tamed animals
- Eagle: the birds
- Man: ruler over the creatures
six wings: see Isaiah 6.
Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1, Ezekiel 10 combined in these four creatures.
They do not rest, day or night
Contrast with 13:8, 12
See 13:15 in contrast with 4:8-11
We see how Satan uses science to make an image of his beast (Revelation 13) and gives is breath. However, it is only an image, and a false image. The real Creation praises God! How does this encourage us to again use science to praise and glorify God and take it away from this world, which uses it to glorify itself? How can we do this practically?
4:9-10: the twenty four elders fall down before Him
4:10 : Cast their crowns before the throne: Gen. 1:28
See Romans 1:22-23 : Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.