Attention!
StudyLight.org has pledged to build one church a year in Uganda. Help us double that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Revelation 4

Verses 1-11

  1. Intro:
    1. Don’t be a Spectator, but a Participator today! {Grab a pew bible!}
      1. Let’s pray God, “Primes our hearts, & Prepares our minds!”
    2. We delve into Part III - [Part 1] Things which you have seen! [2] Which are! [3] Will take place!
    3. Here’s our 1st glimpse of heaven! - {It’s like we are able to snoop into a John’s personal diary, & read about his maiden voyage to heaven!}
    4. The next two chapters we’ll be focusing on Worship!!!
      1. 1st - Worship of God the Father! (ch.4)
      2. 2nd - Worship of the Redeemer (Jesus)! (ch.5)
        1. Both chapters will help us on How to Worship God, & give Him the Glory He deserves!
        2. Both are for our Instruction & our Imitation!
    5. Heaven is a place for Worship! - All God’s people will Worship for all Eternity! …Maybe we should get in practice now?
    6. We talk often about Witnessing & Working, but not enough about “true spiritual Worship”!
    7. Worship is: to ascribe “Worth”! - Rev.4:11; 5:12 “worthy” (flashlight)
    8. Worship means: “To use all that we are & have, to Praise God for all that He is & does!”(w.w.)
    9. Worship is also Wonder! (Thomas Carlyle said, “Wonder is the basis of worship”)
    10. Wonder is a priceless ingredient in the life of any thinking person!
      1. Today we like everything explained! - We neglect to admit there are things that cannot be explained!
    11. We are no longer struck by the wonder & mystery of God!
    12. We have descriptions & definitions for everything theological.
    13. “We know our bibles so well, we study, we dissect every nook & cranny, we’ve listened to 100’s of sermons(live & memorex), read books, outlined the bible, analyzed it thru precepts…what is there to wonder about?”
    14. We’ve forgotten to Wonder & have an imagination!
    15. Tests show that a child’s creativity(which includes imagination & wonder) diminishes by 90% between the ages of 5 & 7!”
      1. When an adult gets to be forty, he has about 2 % of the creativity he had when he was 5 yrs. old!
    16. We need to exercise our minds, allow them to stretch & enlarge our vision!
      1. Elihu said, “Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him”(Job 36:26)
      2. Zophar said to Job “"Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?(Job 11:7)
      3. Paul said, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Rom. 11:33)
    17. Read - “Screwtape” (Pg.49 Real Worship)
  2. THE INVITATION (1)
    1. After these things/After this” - The word church will not appear til 22:1.
    2. Open Door” - Note close door in last verses!
    3. Come up here” - Many see this as a symbolic representation of the church raptured before the trib.
      1. One day we’ll see the same door fly open, the trump will sound, & we’re out-a-here! {dog whistle}
      2. Meanwhile we can take advantage of the open doors of worship we can enjoy down here!
  3. WORSHIP OF THE ONE “ON THE THRONE”! (2,3a)
    1. The 1st focal point wasn’t the gold under his feet,but the One on the throne.
    2. Throne is a key word in Rev. used 46 times. But just in this chapter 14 x’s!
      1. Remember, no matter what takes place on earth…God is still on the Throne!
    3. This is God the Father. The Son will appear in 5:6. Spirit mentioned in 4:6.
    4. Obviously no human words can describe what God is like in essence!
      1. John tries comparisons:
      2. Jasper Stone - The gems of scripture are hard to be dogmatic about! (many stones have diff. colors)
        1. It’s a clear gem. {Rev.21:11 “Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.}
        2. It’s most likely like our Diamond, not our cheap modern jasper.
      3. Sardis Stone - Its root means red! (blood red color) (it is our red carnelian) {mined in Sardis/hence the name}
      4. The Lord is robed in light!
        1. Ps.104:1,2 “Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment
        2. 1 Tim. 6:16 “ the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.”
        3. 1 Jn.1:5 “ God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
  4. WORSHIP “AROUND THE THRONE”! (3b)
    1. A RAINBOW (3b)
    2. A complete circle. There is only one rainbow mentioned in scripture in (Gen.9:13,14,16)
      1. Gods benevolent promise/covenant w/man seems to be ever around him!!!
      2. Ezek. saw it also, 1:28 “…Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.”
    3. Judgment is about to fall, but His rainbow of mercy is ever before Him! Hab.3:2
    4. Usually a rainbow appears after a storm - here before the storm!
    5. We need not fear the coming storm (Rev.3:10; 1 Thes.1:10; 5:1-10).
    6. ELDERS (4)
    7. The rainbow seemed to be around the throne vert., while these heavenly beings were around horiz.
    8. They’re Not Angels! {Angels are never crowned/stephanos/victors crown} Also, we never see them enthroned!
    9. 24?” - Some see as the 24 courses of priests in the O.T. (1 Chron. 24:3-18).
      1. Others bel. they represent 12 tribes of Is. & 12 Apostles (the completion of Gods people/Jews & Gentiles) - Mt.19:28.
    10. LIVING CREATURES (6,7)
    11. They resemble the Cherubim like Ez.saw - Ez.1:4-14/only 4 wing; 10:20-22.
    12. They resemble the Seraphim in their Praise! - Is.6:1-3
    13. These creatures could represent all of God’s creation praising their creator!
      1. Gen.9:8-17 - Read! {see the faces in 9:10 “Noah/face of man; Birds/flying eagle; Cattle/calf; Beast/lion}
  5. WORSHIP “OUT OF THE THRONE”! (5a)
    1. STORM SIGNALS
    2. Lightening & thunder let us know the storms-a-comin!
    3. Our world doesn’t like to think of God as a God of judgment - They prefer to look at the Rainbow around the throne & ignore the Lightening & Thunder out of the throne!
      1. We see this combo in God(grace & mercy) at the cross!
      2. ie.…”God manifested his love for sinners & his wrath against sin!”
  6. WORSHIP “BEFORE THE THRONE”! (5b,6a)
    1. LAMPS (5b)
    2. 7 lamps = 7 Sp. of God! (Is.11:2)
    3. SEA OF GLASS (6a)
    4. Poss. the bronze lavor? - Was used for cleansing the priests/hands & feet.
      1. So it’s possible this Laver in heaven is symbolic of Christs cleansing.
    5. Read Heb.9:23,24; 8:1,2. {note similarities!}
      EARTHLY TEMPLE HEAVENLY TEMPLE
      [1] Holy of Holies. The Throne of God
      [2] 7 branched candlestick. 7 lamps of fire before the throne.
      [3] Bronze Laver Sea of Glass.
      [4] Cherubim over Mercy seat. 4 Living Creatures around the throne.
      [5] Priests Elders (are a kingdom of priests)
      [6] Brazen Alter Altar in Rev.6:9-11
      [7] Incense Alter Incense Altar Rev.8:3-5
      [8] Ark of the Cov. Ark of the Cov. Rev.11:19
  7. PRAISE TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE! (9-11)
    1. The book of Rev. is filled with Praise! (try to find the 10 times!)
    2. Whenever the Living Creatures Glorified God, the Elders would fall down & Praise Him.
      1. Worship should be contagious! - When our worship team gives God Glory, Honor, & Thanks, the saints at Murrieta should fall into Worship also! {a natural progression}
    3. This hymn focuses on God the Creator(Father). Next week on God the Redeemer(Son) [5:9-13]. {Then both together in 5:13!}
    4. Man plunged creation into sin, so that God’s Good creation( “& it was good”), is now God’s Groaning creation; but because of the cross one day will be God’s Glorious creation!
  8. End:
    1. Today we here alot about Environmentalism {Our pres. just yesterday give more financial aid for the Everglades in Florida!}
      1. The real answer to the “Ecological” problem is: today man neglects to Worship the God of Creation!
      2. The problem isn’t financial, nor legal, but Spiritual!
      3. They’re worshiping the creation rather than the Creator!
      4. I think we should take care of God’s back yard! - We came from its very soil - we are dependent on its air!
      5. He sent Adam(man) to “tend(to work it) & to keep it(to be a keeper, guard, to watch, protect it)”
      6. Man was given dominion over it …(not vice-versa)
    2. (vs.11) “You are worthy - You created - Your will!” {Lord, your the boss!}
    3. The Living Creatures then could represent all God’s creation Praising their creator; & The Elders representing God’s people Worshiping Him!
      1. Lord, help me to Wonder again as a child! - Deliver me from routine Worship(business as usual)! - Let my Worship be Ever New! Ever Fresh! Ever More!”
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Revelation 4". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/revelation-4.html. 2017.