WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – Jesus lifted John into heaven to show him many things, which he describes in Revelation 4-22. The first thing Christ showed him was the very central fact of all existence:
“There was a throne in heaven and someone was seated on it” (Rev 4: 2).
The most descriptive words John could find for the majestic Being on the throne were the brilliance of priceless jewels, blinding flashes of lightening, and the deafening roar of thunder (Rev 4:3-5). The Lord Jesus is immediately to the Father’s right on His own throne: “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3). And the Holy Spirit stands in front (Rev 1:4).
The throne of God is surrounded by a vast number of His creatures:
- The closest were four huge, magnificent, and almost indescribable “living creatures.” They’re continually praising God: “Day and night they never stop, saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty’” and giving “glory, honor, and thanks to the One seated on the throne.” (Rev 4:6-9).
- In a wider arc “around the throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones sat 24 elders dressed in white clothes, with golden crowns on their heads” (Rev 4:4). These elders aren’t further identified but may be of the highest order of angels. Their joy is to “fall down before the one seated on the throne and worship … They cast their crowns before the throne and say, ‘Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created’” (Rev 4:10-11).
- In an even wider circle “I looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands. They said with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’” (Rev 5:11-12).
- And beyond the multiplied millions of angels “I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say, ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Rev 5:13).
The importance to God of us catching this vision is indicated by John drawing our attention to the throne of God 80 times in this book. Many scenes are similar to the one above (see Rev 7:9-12 and many others). Always, we are reminded of God’s absolute, unequaled, and rightful authority over all things and all creatures, including us.
WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – Jesus had John describe all this in writing so that you and I would adjust our current lives on earth to the eternal realities of heaven (Rev 1:3; 2:19). And the Father himself told us how: “A voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.’” (Rev 19:5).
We shall do that in heaven one day along with the living creatures, the elders, the angels, and all the redeemed. Why wait, dear ones? This is an experience of heaven we don’t have to postpone. Let us bow before his unseen throne now, submitting our lives to his eternal authority and praising Him for all to hear – both in heaven and on earth!