The Book of Revelations: Chapter Four
In Chapters two and three, we saw many representations of the church or body of Christ. These churches are not individuals, but a corporate body that represents the whole body of Christ. We must understand that the church has the ability in Christ to walk in eternal life or else Jesus couldn't have given us this hope. The body of Christ is the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus was the first one to walk in the power and authority of God. We follow Him today because our spirit connects with the Holy Spirit who shows us that He is the WAY (John 14:6). He is our foundation; the first born from the dead; the tried corner stone that took judgment and gave us righteousness as we are now one with Him (Isaiah 28:16-17).
On resurrection morning the covenant we had with death was disannulled, and the bondage of how we perceived hell or the place of the dead can now be loosed (Isaiah 28:18). In the day that the Holy Spirit reveals this truth, the spiritually deaf will hear the voice of God by the WORD, and the spiritually blind will see LIFE appear out of spiritual darkness and the grave (Isaiah 29:18).
The lie of all lies; the blindness of all blindness is to believe that we must experience death in the body to come into the presence of God. God is NOT glorified by us going through a bodily death. When we believe this we are saying that the cross didn't finish it all. No matter how we try to justify death, it is still associated with sorrow which is the power the grave. If death truly is the way to enter into the Holy of Holies, we would not have sorrow when people died. It would be a time of joy and celebration.
We are the evidence of the resurrection. Adam chose to reproduce by his flesh instead of by the Spirit of God. Today, we have the ability to understand that we are new creatures in Christ, the old man is past away and all things are new, and all things are of God (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
John says in Revelation 4:1 that he "looked." He came out of spiritual blindness and the darkness of the grave (Isaiah 29:18) and saw a door; Jesus Christ. I repeat... the grave is not the way to glorify God!
"I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: No man cometh unto the FATHER, but by me." (John 14:6)
The grave will take you into the presence of the Lord, but this is not the same as being an over-comer who sits down with the Father in His throne (Rev. 3:21). When John writes the words "door" and "opened in heaven," he is letting us know that while in his natural body he is at the entrance of the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve where taken out of (Genesis 3:24). John has not physically gone anywhere, but has been transformed into the spirit realm while on the earth.
John hears a trumpet talking which is symbolic of the voice of the Lord. "Talking with me" is the word "meta" meaning "in the midst of me." This is where the word "metamorphosis" comes from. John heard the voice of God within himself telling him to "come up hither." The Lord is not saying, "Come float up to a cloud in the sky," but He does want us to come into the spirit realm where God communes with His sons.
Verse 2: Right after the Lord tells John to "come up," he is immediately in the spirit. John didn't choose whether he wanted to "come up" or not. When God calls us, He doesn't ask our permission or how we feel about it. If we express our opinions or oppose Him in any way, it hinders us, not God. The call He has placed on our life will still be manifested in His perfect timing.
The door in heaven was opened because the cross Jesus hung on (the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) which carried sin was destroyed. The Spirit realm was opened to us because He became our sin and destroyed it ALL. Then, He went into the darkest place that exists, the grave, and set the captives free (Matthew 27:51-53).
"And behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne." The word "behold" cues us to stop and look at what is being written with spiritual understanding. We would interpret it as a mystery of God for our natural mind. Our natural mind thinks of "throne" and "heaven" as some place off in the sky or universe. Heaven is where God dwells (Psalms 123:1). Heaven is in us (I John 4:12).
Right after Jesus was crucified and resurrected, we were changed into the tabernacle of the living God. Before He went to the cross, Jesus told the disciples in John 14:2 that the Father's tabernacle had many mansions. The word "mansions" has been mistranslated with the King James Version causing people to have visions of big houses or estates. This is a spiritual word that was translated from the word "abode" or "dwelling place." Jesus was not talking about literal houses, but where the Father resides. The temple in Jerusalem was known as the house of God. When the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies he had entered into the highest realm of spiritual grandeur. This is where God would meet with the spirit of man represented by the High Priest. In turn, when the High Priest left the Holy of Holies and went into the other areas of the temple, he was to give to the people the love of God that he has received while in the inner court. Jesus became furious because the temple of God was supposed to be a house of prayer, but instead he saw it as a den for thieves (Matthew 21:13). It had become a place where there was life in the flesh but dead in the spirit: imagination, religion, or a mortuary. Jesus had to go to the cross to prepare the dwelling places that the natural mind of man created transforming the dead into resurrection life.
The word "prepare" is a verb, or action word. In order to prepare something the ingredients must be at hand. Jesus had "dead people" at hand that he had to prepare to be alive.
Let's read Ephesians 2:1-6,
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others, but God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,(by grace ye are save;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"
Jesus continued on in John 14:3 to say that because HE goes to prepare a place, which He will be responsible to come again and HE will take us to Himself to become one with Him. There is nothing here that says we are supposed to do anything to help Jesus such as confess a "sinner's prayer" or be a certain kind of Christian.
John 14:6 tells us that Jesus is the WAY, not a way maker; and HE is LIFE. Physical death is something we thought to be the means of coming to the Father, but Jesus has told us that He is the Way to the Father (John 14:6). The preparations were completed at Calvary. Before Calvary, Jesus said the "Son of man hath no where to lay His head," (Matthew 8:20). Jesus is today the King of kings; the head of the body of Christ. A king must have a throne to sit on. We are His throne which makes Heaven within us. This throne of God is our mind, our heart, and our spirit. Paul gives witness to this in what we just read in Ephesians 2.
Revelation 4:3 - The one that sat on the throne looked like jasper (multicolored), and a sardine (red) stone. Let's keep in mind that John is in the spirit on the Lord's Day seeing the finished work of Jesus Christ. The one sitting on the throne is the fullness of Christ. The stones are symbolic of the ephod worn by the High Priest on his chest in the Old Testament. The jasper stone was in the fourth row and the sardine stone was in the first row of the ephod (Exodus 39). Jesus is the first and the last; the beginning and the end. He is our High Priest. The red stone represents mankind; the multicolor stone represents all nations and tribes. Four is the number of the universe which incorporates all of creation.
The rainbow around the throne represents a covenant. This is another pointer connecting us to Old Testament scripture when God set a rainbow in the sky as He spoke to Noah saying in Genesis 9:11, "I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall ALL flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."
The word "about" in Rev.4:3 means as a circle or crown that doesn't end or begin. It is around the throne; the mind of Christ; our heart.
The word "insight" is John describing what he saw symbolically to be like an emerald which is a green stone. Green represents Life. The emerald stone found on the ephod of the High Priest represented the tribe of Judah. Jesus came from this tribe. He is our foundation or cornerstone; He is Life. Jesus said in Luke 23:31, "if they will do this to a green tree what will they do to the dry tree?" He was a life giving tree that was crucified. Religion is a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but has no life. Selah.
Verse 4: Around the throne were twenty-four seats. This is a number issue, not a literal 24 seats. Twelve is the number of the government of God. When we multiply it by two we get the number twenty-four. By multiplying by two, we have a double witness to what God is revealing about HIS power and HIS authority. The throne is your heart or spirit that God sits upon. This is all symbolism which goes beyond what your intellect can understand.
"For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But GOD hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and GOD hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;" (I Corinthians 1:19-27).
The word "elders" in Rev. 4:4 points us to leadership, over-comers, or first fruits. For some reading this verse, it may be speaking of the 12 Patriarchs of the Old Testament, and the 12 Disciples of the New Testament. For those seeing this book as the finished work of Jesus Christ, every generation has "called out ones" to be the representatives of the government of God for that generation to carry the seed of Christ into the next generation. This principle is established in the laws of nature to demonstrate spiritual truth (I Corinthians 15:44).
No one can walk the walk of God until He calls them. God chose the first fruits before the foundation of the world, and has put them in His time to be manifested. These are people that have heard God knock on their heart and have opened their ears to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying. Religion hates these people. Denominations may tolerate them if they comply with their doctrine.
These elders are clothed with the righteousness of God (white raiment), and have gold crowns on their heads which speak of the "mind of Christ." Their flesh may war with religion in the process of connecting to the body of Christ, but their hearts will be overcome with the love and grace of God. They will find His peace in the midst of religion.
Many of the elders of today are everyday people with no formal theological training. They may belong to a local church, but they have difficulty connecting with the members. They are people that can't get enough of reading their Bibles and praying for others. They believe in the finished work of Jesus Christ which gives them the responsibility to see all men as whole and complete in Christ by faith. They live life by faith in the NOW, not someday in the future.
They know the power and authority of the living word of God. They know they are the sons of God, the body of Jesus Christ with the purpose to do the Father's business. They know that life is not about them, but about HIM. Do you know any of these people? Maybe God has placed this calling on your life. If you have come this far in studying the book of Revelation, and you haven't gotten bored or burnt out, you may be one of the first fruits that our Heavenly Father desires to use in your generation. You will know by the witness of the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Don't look for a title or recognition from the local church or pastor, because it is God who chose you and ordained you for this time.
Verse 5: Out of the throne (me) came lightnings and thunderings and voices. This is the voice of God, one voice, being spoken through a corporate body of people. God is revealing Himself out of each of us. This company of people does not have religion, justification, or doctrinal issues when they speak because those things are not of God. They reflect God's nature and character as; grace, unconditional love, unconditional mercy, and forgiveness. God's will is to bring unity to the body of Christ with Jesus as the head so that Christ will be manifested in ALL.
To those that do not have ears to hear the voice of God, it will sound like lightning and thunder. I live in Florida in an area that is known as the lightning capital of the world. When nature mixes barometric pressure, salty sea moisture, high heat index, and sea breezes all together…POW…we get lightning and thunder bolts like the Fourth of July fireworks. The news media in our area frequently report on people getting zapped by lightning.
Nature gives us patterns as shadow and type of the power when the voice of God is spoken in each of us. It is not just one person that God is speaking out of. This is the corporate body of Christ, the church, as a whole body speaking in unity with only the voice of God. The last feast of God in the Old Testament is the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Oneness which God is manifesting today throughout the world.
As we continuing in verse 5: "And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." In Zechariah Chapter 4 and Isaiah Chapter 11, we can read about the seven Spirits of God. John is writing what has been given to him in Revelation, but prophets before him were also given the same revelation which they documented in accordance to the way they perceived it.
The number seven is symbolic of perfection, not a literal number of 7 spirits. There is only one Holy Spirit in the corporate body of Christ revealing the revelation of Jesus Christ. Through this knowledge opens the door to understanding the mystery of God: "Christ in you, the hope of glory:" (Colossians 1:27).
Verse 6: "Before the throne there was a sea of glass like crystal:" A sea describes a large body of water. With John writing about glass, he is pointing us to seashores that surround and incorporate water. We make glass out of the sand of the bottom of the sea. Crystal is the description of a high quality of glass. Crystal glass is transparent, but when light goes through it, there is a prism of many facets of color as a rainbow that changes the image of what we see. We become covenant minded.
Abraham had a covenant with God in Genesis 15-22. There were three realms of people that God talked about: the dust, the sand, and the star people. Dust and sand are where we get glass. Dust is not separate from sand, but a smaller particle. Both are of the earth. Stars however are made of light. This is all a picture of the Tabernacle in the wilderness where God resided with the children of Israel. His house had 3 courts: outer (dust), middle (sand), and inner (star).
Jesus said in Matthew 7:14, "Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." He wasn't talking about separation of believers and non-believers because Jesus died for all mankind. He was referring to those that would be of the star company and those that would be of the sea of glass likened to crystal. This includes mankind individually and corporately as one body.
The seven spirits of God, the perfection of God in us, gives us the ability to be the eyes of God in ruler ship and government. God looks through our humanity and sees us as crystal. This is how those in leadership must see mankind in order to do the Father's business. When God sees mankind, He sees Himself. We are all lively stones, but many of us are likened to an onyx or black stone. Darkness or ignorance of God's way still surrounding us. However, when light comes in the midst of darkness, no matter how small the light is, the darkness disappears and only light remains. It may not be a very powerful or energized light, but it will still remove darkness. "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." (Matthew 6:22).
If you see mankind the way Jesus showed us, even though we have two eyes, we interpret what we see with one mind; the mind of Christ. "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."(Matthew 5:14-16). When dust and sand go through refining, glass is formed. This represents a step further in growth; however, even though glass reflects light, it is not the light itself. It takes the star company who see the way God sees from a heavenly (faith) position to shine in darkness and provide light for others. These are people who know they are sons of God, and point others to their sonship in Christ. Just as the Star of David (mercy) led the wise men (those who were seeking) to see the true "Way to Life" in this realm here and now.
Verses 6-9 talk about four beasts in the midst and round about the throne. John is not writing about literal creatures or monsters. He is using symbolism to direct us to other scriptures. The number four is not speaking of separate identities, but the universal understanding of these beasts becoming one. It speaks of completeness. The word "beast" is speaking of natural man. "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not;" (2 Peter 2:12).
In Ezekiel Chapter one the prophet talks about four living creatures. Please read this chapter to connect with what John is writing about. Ezekiel talks about these creatures again in Chapter 10.
Ezekiel and Revelation run parallel with the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), depicting Jesus Christ's redemption of mankind. These four-faced beasts speak of the complete Godman in His entirety. The face of the lion is Jesus; the lion of the tribe of Judah found in Matthew's writings. The face of the calf (ox) connects us to the gospel of Mark depicts Jesus as the servant; the beast of burden. The face of a man is found with Luke's writing revealing Jesus as the Son of man/Son of God; the perfect man. The face of an Eagle directs us to the Gospel of John. This gospel is different from the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). Eagles are known to be able to fly at incredible heights, yet still see minute detail on the earth. John lets us know in the first verse of this gospel that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men:" (John 1:1-4).
These are four depictions of Christ with four depictions of us. The four different gospels describe our natural differences that come into wholeness as Christ is all, and in All (Colossians 3:11). Again, the number 4 does not limit us to only four ways of seeing Christ, but that Christ can be seen universally in all mankind.
Verse 8: These four beasts each had six wings. Four beasts times six wings each gives us the number twenty-four taking us back to verse 4 with the 24 elders speaking of the government of God. The number six is the number of man. God is speaking of humanity that has the nature and character of Him. The word "wings" is symbolic of more than just our physical hands. They are used for commuting from one place to another. They are also used for sheltering, covering, and healing. When the wings of a bird are clipped, it is for the purpose of limiting the bird's natural abilities. Our God-given ability is to be a son of God since Jesus is the first-born of many sons. The 24 elders are symbolic of these sons. They are not monster-like beasts with 7 eyes and weird faces flying around ready to devour us.
God is revealing Himself in each of us. God is not external but internal and is working in us 24/7 for His character and nature to be manifested. It is Christ IN US the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27), and it is with this revelation that we are able to fulfill the law of Christ in bearing one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2).
These beasts (creatures, elders) are full of eyes WITHIN. They are people being the sons of God by living life in seeing others through the eyes, or Spirit, of God. They have the vision of God which comes from the mercy seat or throne of God found in the Holy of Holies. Day and night, their life is manifesting that God is Holy; God is Lord; God is
Almighty, yesterday, today, and forever. God is ALL and in ALL.
The word "come" in verse 8 is the Greek word "erchomai" found in the Strong's as number 2064. It means "appearing."
When we think of the word "come" we want to look for something externally, but the word "appear" allows us to look within ourselves for Christ. Paul said, "It is not I that lives but the Christ that lives WITHIN ME," (Galatians 2:20). John the Baptist tells us, "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30).
Verse 9: When we look at others we must see the Christ in them. However, to do so we must first see the Christ in ourselves. You can't give away what you don't realize you have in your heart to give to others. These beasts are giving glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the throne that lives forever and ever. Where is the throne of God? It is within you; your heart or inner most being. It is in the same location as the Kingdom of God which Jesus told us in Luke 17:21.
Verse 10: We have been talking about beasts, and then John takes us back to the twenty-four elders. The four beast and the 24 elders are symbolic of the government of God; the mature in Christ. Today, we are a new creature in Christ and all things are of God (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). "It was God (not me) who commanded the light (His identity) to shine out of darkness (ignorance), hath shined in our hearts (His throne), to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face (4 beasts) of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels (flesh), that the Excellency of the power (eyes of the Holy Spirit) may be of God, and not of us" (2 Corinthians 4:6-7). "Always bearing in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the Life (resurrection) ALSO of Jesus might be made MANIFESTED IN OUR BODY. For we which live are always (already) delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the Life (resurrection) also of Jesus might be made manifest (evidence through) in our mortal (natural) flesh" (2 Corinthians 4:10-11).
This is not a "some day when I get to heaven" experience as the church tries to teach. Proverbs 25:2 tells us, "it is the glory of God to conceal the word and the honor of kings is to search out the word." The word is within you, but it takes studying to show yourself approved unto God, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Studying the scripture unto God allows the Holy Spirit to be the teacher and witness to the word in us.
Jesus replied when asked why he talked in parables "unto you (those with a teachable spirit manifesting the love of God) it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God but into them that are without (teachers of scripture, but without love) all these things are done in parables" (Mark 4:11). We can never be in the image of God until we find out what His nature is. It isn't possible for us to BE unconditional LOVE full of mercy and forgiveness to humanity when we are being taught that God is going to throw people in hell and torment them forever.
People that are mature in Christ as sons of God worship Him by knowing that God is All in All. Proverbs 17:6 says, "children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father." I Corinthians 1:7 tell us, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory:" The crown and glory the 24 elders are casting before the throne is their identity as a son of God belonging to the Father.
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for EVERY MAN. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:9-10).
The word "worship" in Rev 4:10 is an unconditional love we have for God because He is God. He first gave His identity (unconditional love) to us (John 3:16) that when we acknowledge His identity (love) in us, we can then give it back to Him. We know Him as Father with the identity of being love because we are His son. The crown given to Him is His nature and character we have manifested giving Him the honor and recognition. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth" (John 4:24).
"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30). "The Father judges no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:" (John5:22). These crowns that we give back to God are the mind of Christ. When we come to this kind of worship to the Father, we will give back all ruler ship that He gave us.
I Corinthians 15:22-28: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he (Christ in us) must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is accepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
There is therefore NOW no condemnation. Now is a complete circuit of LIGHT formed; the true circle of LIFE.