John, the apostle, wrote Revelation 4 & 5 after he described the seven churches.
The passage we are going to look at this time starts with a hint at the “rapture” of the church. The word Raptus in Latin means “caught up.” At the beginning of chapter 4, John is “Raptus” or caught up into heaven. One day we will be “caught up” to be with the Lord in heaven. In 1 Corinthians, Paul describes it in this way.
In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.1 Corinthians 15:52
Interestingly, the last time we see the church(es) on earth is at the end of chapter 3. Then suddenly in chapter 4 John is shown a door to heaven and the church is in heaven with God. Some people don’t believe in the rapture of the church and others don’t believe it in the order that I’m sharing in my writing. It’s very important that we approach Biblical end times with an element of humility understanding that our view of the future is clouded. Only God truly knows how this will all play out.
John sees a door stand open in chapter four. He sees amazing things happen around the throne of God. In Chapter five, we read that only Jesus is worthy to open the scroll and the seals. You will see the words “throne” and “worthy’ many times. God is on His throne and He is worthy of our worship!
Paul writes more about the actual event of the church being transported to heaven or Raptus in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
When John reaches heaven, there is a lot going on and a lot of it is brand new to his (and our) human eyes, so let’s break this up into “scenes” to help us digest it all.
The first “scene” or event that happens in chapter four is that John goes to heaven and sees these specific details. I’m sure that he was excited and fearful. We too can wonder what heaven is like.
First, there is a door standing open in heaven- John goes to heaven and sees and hears these things!
The first voice I heard said “come up here and I will show you what will take place after this.”
God Is On His Throne-A Description Of The Throne
John saw in his vision, someone sitting on a throne in front of him.
This person had an appearance of Jasper and Ruby(2 beautiful gems).
A rainbow encircled the throne, looking like an emerald.
Around this throne, were-
24 other thrones! 24 elders sat on the thrones(one on each seat)
Each one was dressed in white and had a gold crown on their head.
The throne that was mentioned first had flashes of lightning and rumblings and thunder. I heard that these flashes of lighting, rumblings and thunder represent Godly judgment.
In front of the main throne, 7 lamps were blazing. These are the 7 Spirits of God.
In front of this throne looked like a sea of glass, very clear like crystal.
The Four Living Creatures Never Stop
In the middle, around this main throne, there were 4 living creatures. They were covered with eyes, all around them, on the front AND back of their bodies
- 1st like a Lion
- 2nd like an Ox
- 3rd Face like a man
- 4th like a flying eagle
They ALL had 6 wings, covered with eyes (mentioned before) even under their wings! All the time, during the day and night, they NEVER stop saying:
“Holy holy holy
is the Lord God Almighty
who was and is and is to come”Revelation 4:8 NIV
When Living Creatures Worship- The 24 Elders Also Worship And Cast Their Crowns
Whenever these living creatures from scene 2 give glory, honor, and thanks to the one who sits on the throne (God, the Father) who is eternal (He lives forever), then the 24 elders from scene 1 ALSO fall before Him who is on His throne, the eternal God. They cast their crowns before Him and begin worshiping Him. I worship Him now, but someday will worship Him at His throne like this! They (the elders) say:
You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for You created all things,
and by Your will they were created
and have their being.Revelation 4:11 NIV
Do you understand this description of His throne? It is beautiful! John really saw an amazing vision describing creatures and elders as well. And they sang! The words that they sing are the holiness of God, they tell Him how worthy He is and give Him glory, honor and power. They recognized His purpose for creating us as well. It was His will and because He was pleased. He is pleased too when He hears our prayers! I have had the blessing to join a lot of churches in a lot of different kinds of worship over the years, but this is the ultimate worship service!
The Man Sitting On The Throne Holding A Scroll
Then John saw the man (God) who sat on the throne (from scene 1) holding a scroll in his Right Hand. The scroll had writing on both sides and was sealed with 7 seals.
Who Is Worthy To Break The Seals And Open The Scroll?
Then he (John) saw an angel speaking in a loud voice “Who Is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?”
No one though, could open the scroll! No one in heaven, or earth or under the earth could open or even look inside of the scroll
John wept and wept because no one was worthy or able to open the scroll or look inside it.
“Do Not Weep” Jesus Has Won! He Is Able to Open The Scroll And It’s Seals!
Next, one of the elders told John, “do not weep” See- the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David (Jesus Christ) has triumphed!!!! He has the victory, in other words, He won! He Is Able to open the scroll and its seven seals! Amazing!!!! Jesus Christ has won the victory and He is worthy!
But what victory has he won? He won the victory over sin and death. He lived a perfect, sinless life and died for the sins of every person in this mighty, massive worship service to pay the steep price of every sin of every person standing there. And because of that perfect act of love and sacrifice, He and He alone is worthy to open any and all scrolls and seals!
The Lamb Of God Worshiped
John then sees a Lamb who looked like it had been killed. This lamb was standing at the center of the throne with the 4 living creatures (from scene 2) and 24 Elders (from scenes 1 & 3) around the lamb. Do you remember how many times Jesus was referred to as the Lamb of God?
Here’s the picture where it comes from: In the Old Testament, when Abraham was about to slay Isaac, God provided a sacrificial lamb to take the place of Isaac. This part of the passage speaks about the Lamb of God! He was the sacrificial lamb, given by God to pay for our sins and give us a place in this wonderful experience/scene!
The Lamb had 7 Horns and 7 Eyes. These represent the 7 Spirits which God sent out throughout the earth.
Then the Lamb took the scroll from the one who sat on the throne(God).
When He (The Lamb) took the scroll, the 4 Creatures and 24 Elders fell down before (in front of) the Lamb! So, they worshiped the Lamb!
The Lamb Of God Loves Our Prayers. He is On His Throne Waiting To Hear From Us!
Each one of these 4 Creatures and 24 Elders, had a harp and they held golden bowls full of incense. These represent the Prayers of God’s People. Amazing, isn’t it? These prayers are so important to the Lamb of God (Jesus) that they even fell and worshiped holding these harps and golden bowls of incense (prayers). I feel very passionate about prayer. I am thinking about this right now as I sit writing this post. The Lamb of God LOVES our Prayers and it is because He loves Us!
Then they sang a New Song, using the harps they held:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign[b] on the earth.”
He Is Worthy Of Our Worship
Then John looked, he heard the voice of many angels! Thousands upon Thousands (1,000) and 10,000 x 10,000 (doing the math, that’s 100 MILLION angles)! These angels also stood around in a circle along with the 4 Creatures and the 24 Elders. Then they said in a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
Every Creature Worships Because God Is Worthy
The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Do you see by this verse that God is on His throne and worthy of our worship?
Much of what I posted today, is directly from Scripture so that you can see exactly what John’s Revelation says. I tried to organize the descriptions so that you may understand it better. Though we may not understand everything in this book, we can imagine and think about what it will look like. We can do our best to understand the symbolism that is used in Revelation. Understanding that the Lamb of God truly sacrificed His life for us and opened the scroll and the seals, is amazing. No one else can do this but Him! So how do we respond to this? We worship!
God Is On His Throne And He and The Lamb Are Worthy Of Our Worship
It is incredible to think about the worship that will occur in heaven someday! Every Single Creature someday will say “to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” This includes atheists, agnostics, all different beliefs and religions. They will recognize who He is and that He is the one who died for them! Someday, every knee will bow and confess that He is Lord! Philippians 2:10-11
Notice that the center of this experience is not the angels or the elders or these amazing creatures. The centerpiece of this experience is The Lamb. If you don’t know The Lamb, please reach out to me and let’s talk. I’d hate to think that even one of my readers has never been introduced to Him and might end up missing out on this incredible experience someday.
Only He is worthy!!!!! Only by His will and pleasure did He create all things!!!! God is on His throne and He is worthy of our worship!