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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 4

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Trial and Persecution. Chapters 47. (John 16:33)


Chapters 4 – 7 begin with the First Coming and deal with the church being persecuted and tested in the world. Jesus says: “But be brave! I have defeated the world!” (John 16:33).

Chapter 4 relates to God and Creation. The central idea is that God’s throne [his authority, sovereignty, etc.] is the ABSOLUTE CENTER of the Universe, and that he IS IN CONTROL!

Verse 1


I had another vision. John is given a series of visions in this book. An open door in heaven. So that he can see how God looks at our entire Universe! Come up here. To the throne as it appears in the vision! Note that chapters 4 & 5 teach ONE MAIN LESSON – “Jehovah reigns; let the peoples tremble!”

Verses 3-6


God’s throne is the spiritual center of the universe. Words can only hint at his glory! Jasper. A diamond – white, brilliant – symbolic of holiness. Carnellan. A topaz – bloody red – symbolic of judgment and wrath. Rainbow. Symbolic of the storm ending! God’s promise through Christ (compare Romans 8:28). Twenty-four elders. Symbolic of God’s people in both the Old and New Testaments. They are dressed in white to show purity, and wear gold crowns to show victory over death (see Revelation 2:10). Lightning, sounds, thunder. Symbolic of God’s mighty power. Seven spirits of God. Seven is the Divine complete number. Symbolic of the Holy Spirit. A sea of glass. Symbolic of God’s purifying power (compare Revelation 7:14). Four living creatures. These are Cherubim (a special type of angel) – they symbolize the total creation (see Ezekiel 1:10; Romans 8:20-21). [The Cherubim were fifteen feet tall! See 1 Kings 6:23 ff.]

Verses 7-8


Angels everywhere have strength, offer service, have intelligence and are swift. See Psalms 103:20-21; Hebrews 1:14; Daniel 9:21; Luke 12:8; Luke 5:10. Lion. Symbolizes strength. Calf. Symbolizes service. Man. Symbolizes intelligence. Eagle. Symbolizes swiftness. Wings, eyes. Symbolize unceasing activity. [The central idea of the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures is to clearly show the importance of The Throne. They surround The Throne in praise and honor, always ready to carry out the will of God.]

Verses 9-11


In these verses, all Creation (symbolized by the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures) praise the Triune God – ELOHIM – on his Throne, and worship their Creator. The picture is one of continuing, ceaseless worship. The song (Revelation 4:11) praises God for Creation and for his will which gave existence and life to all things (compare Colossians 1:15-20).

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 4". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/revelation-4.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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