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THE SECOND VISION.
Chapter 4-5 The Vision of Heaven - the Book with Seven Seals - and the Lamb.
The Vision Of Heaven.
‘After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven. And the first voice which I heard, a voice as of a trumpet speaking with me, one saying, “Come up here and I will show you the things that must happen hereafter”.’
‘After these things I saw’ - This was the next thing John saw chronologically but that does not mean that it followed what was in the previous vision chronologically in time. That must always be decided by the context. The phrase demonstrates the beginning of a totally new vision, confirmed by the statement of his being once again ‘in Spirit’ (Revelation 4:2). This vision begins the outworking of God’s purposes in history from John’s days onwards as is clear from what follows.
‘And behold a door opened in Heaven’. John realises that he is to be allowed to enter Heaven in vision (compare 2 Corinthians 12:4 where Paul also was carried up into Paradise).
‘And the first voice that I heard was one of a trumpet speaking to me, saying ‘Come up here and I will show you the things which must occur hereafter’. The description suggests that this is the same voice as he had heard in Revelation 1:10. But here there is no vision from the future. Having previously been carried forward to ‘the Lord’s day’ he is now back to his own day hearing the same Lord speaking to him and is to be allowed a vision of Heaven at the time of writing.
This raises the question as to how this relates to the first vision. The answer is that it is providing the context for what is to follow for the churches and for the world, leading up to His appearing in glory. His readers need to be aware of activities in Heaven, which will result in activities on earth, that will prepare for His coming. There is no suggestion that this vision is ‘on the Lord’s day’.
Some seek to relate it directly to the vision of the son of man coming with the clouds of Heaven into the presence of the ancient of days (Daniel 7:0), something fulfilled at the resurrection and ascension (Matthew 28:18; Acts 2:33; Acts 7:55-44.7.56; Ephesians 1:20-49.1.21), as though it was the same event. But this must be considered extremely doubtful. While both are visions of Heaven and must therefore be expected to have certain similarities, there are no similarities as to the events that take place and the description of God is very different. Furthermore in Daniel 7:0 the son of man comes out of suffering and into the presence of God to receive a kingdom, while here He is already ‘in the midst of the throne’ (Revelation 5:6) and about to control the destiny of the world with the aim of bringing things to their final conclusion. This scene therefore comes later than that in Daniel 7:0. God wants His people to know that what is about to come on them is part of that process. We must therefore view it as a separate occasion.
‘The things which must be hereafter’, that is, after that point in time. The coming events are to follow the time of John’s vision on the Isle of Patmos, which resulted in the letters to the seven churches. These are events which will ‘shortly happen’ following the revelation to the seven churches, and will be introductory to His coming. It will be an encouragement to John and his readers in the times of trouble ahead to recognise that what they are experiencing is part of the preparations for the end.
‘Immediately I was in Spirit and, behold, there was a throne set in Heaven, and one sitting on the throne.’
There is no suggestion this time that he is carried forward to the Lord’s day. Rather he is carried ‘upward’ into Heaven. And there he sees a throne set in Heaven. Whatever happens on earth, God is on His throne.
‘One sitting on the throne’. This is the description used throughout the book for God the Father (see Revelation 5:13; Revelation 6:16; Revelation 7:10). The Lord reigns! (1 Chronicles 16:31; Psalms 93:1; Psalms 96:10; Psalms 97:1; Psalms 99:1) That the throne was ‘set’ in Heaven does not mean set for a special purpose, for, unlike in Daniel, there is no suggestion that the other thrones are less than permanent. In a sense (from a literal point of view) the throne was set for all time
Throughout the Bible God is regularly depicted as being on a throne because He is sovereign over the universe. In 1 Kings 22:19 Micaiah declares, ‘I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of Heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left’. The point is that he does view the Lord in terms of a king on His throne with heavenly attendants.
Isaiah says, ‘I saw the Lord, sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. And above him stood the ‘seraphim’ ( probably meaning ‘those who burn up’, therefore purifiers - see Revelation 4:6-66.4.7); each one had six wings, with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet and with two he flew, and one cried to another and said, “holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts. The whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:2 on).’ Again the Lord is depicted as a king on His throne, this time with fewer heavenly attendants, but in this case they are within the Temple for a special purpose, the purifying and commissioning of Isaiah for His task ahead. (Revelation 4:7-66.4.8 seem to equate the seraphim with the cherubim, see later on those verses).
Ezekiel 1:4-26.1.28 depicts four living creatures, the cherubim, each in the likeness of a man, each with four faces and four wings, two of the wings connecting with those of the other living creatures and two covering their bodies. The four faces are those of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle. Their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches, and they were accompanied by bright fire and lightning. (In Ezekiel 10:12 their whole body, and their backs and their hands and their wings, and the wheels, are full of eyes round about).
They were also accompanied by sets of wheels (called ‘the whirling wheels’ Ezekiel 10:13 - possibly with whirlwinds in mind) which went wherever the living creatures went. Over their heads as they flew, joined together by their wings, was the likeness of a firmament (beaten out plate), like the colour of awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads, which they were clearly bearing along. And above the firmament was the likeness of a throne as the appearance of a sapphire stone, and on the likeness of the throne was ‘the likeness of the appearance of a man on it above, and I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire within it round about, from the appearance of his loins and upwards. And from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him. As the appearance of the rainbow was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord’. This whole description is clearly based on the mercy seat above the ark of the covenant in the Tabernacle, confirming that that was seen as the throne of the invisible God, and in Ezekiel it is seen as a moving chariot bearing the Lord around.
There the Lord is depicted as on a transportable throne, borne by the cherubim (Revelation 10:1), with the aim of showing that He has deserted the Temple and is now with His people in the land of the Chaldeans.
Daniel says, ‘I watched until thrones were placed, and one who was ancient of days did sit, his clothing was white as snow and the hair of his head like pure wool. His throne was fiery flames and the wheels of it burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came out from before him, thousand thousands ministered to him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The judgment was set and the books were opened’. Interestingly Daniel also sees God’s throne as transportable (wheels of burning fire). Note also that there were either two or a number of other thrones ‘placed’. The other may have been awaiting the coming of the son of man. This seems the most probable as no other reason for the plural thrones is given, whereas his enthronement is described, or they may possibly be for the more important members of His court who are seen as sitting in judgment (Daniel 7:9).
A throne is also assumed (and specifically mentioned in Hebrews 12:2) in such passages as Hebrews 1:3, where the Lord Jesus is sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (compare Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33-44.2.35; Acts 7:56; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22). The stress in these cases is that Jesus is sat down (or stands) at the right hand of God, i.e. takes His place with the Father, receiving supreme authority. He is His ‘right hand man’ (Psalms 80:17).
It is clear from all this that God is seen as having a throne wherever He wills in order to reveal His sovereignty and to carry out His purposes. He is always accompanied by heavenly attendants, although of varying descriptions. When limited to only one kind they are there to perform a particular service. When His purpose is to carry out judgment He is attended by a considerable host, some of whom are possibly enthroned, as with minor kings to a Great King on earth. The passages depicting Jesus as at the right hand of God may be thought to suggest a permanent throne, but what they in fact declare in picture form is God’s permanent sovereignty and Jesus’ participation in that sovereignty. So the throne set in Heaven follows this pattern.
However, although the vision that John sees may appear to be of what seems physical, it is really, as with the other visions, a way of revealing spiritual truth. Thus for example, when in 2 Kings 6:17 Elisha’s servant sees horses and chariots of fire, this does not mean that in Heaven there are permanently horses and chariots. Rather he is being shown in terms that relate to his own day the power of God to save and deliver from the hands of men. In the same way John is having spiritual reality brought home to him in a way he can understand and appreciate, and pass on to others. In fact there is no physical throne like an earthly throne in Heaven for God is not physical. He is Spirit (as we also will be in our resurrection bodies - 1 Corinthians 15:42-46.15.45). It is put in earthly terms for our benefit. What there really is we cannot begin to conceive
‘And he who sat (on the throne) was to look on like a jasper stone (green) and a sardius (red), and there was a rainbow round about the throne, like an emerald (green) to look on.’
The rainbow ties in with Ezekiel 1:28, although there it is rainbow coloured. It may be seen as a reminder of God’s covenant made to Noah (Genesis 9:13-1.9.17) and thus that God remembers His covenants made with the world and His people. The stones were among those depicted in the High Priests breastplate, but only as two among many, and the same applies to these stones as adorning the foundations of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:19-66.21.20). It would appear therefore that John’s main aim is to depict what he saw in terms which described it physically. Compare ‘amber’ in Ezekiel 1:27. John makes no attempt to depict the likeness of God. He avoids the descriptions in Ezekiel and Daniel. What he saw he considered to be indescribable.
‘And round about the throne were twenty four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and on their heads crowns of gold.’
These thrones might tie in with Daniel’s description in Daniel 7:0, although Daniel only mentions them in passing. They are an indication that this is a particularly important occasion. All Heaven is participating in what is to happen. The description of ‘elders’ shows the respect in which these figures were held. Their authority is depicted by the fact that they alone sit on thrones. Compare Revelation 20:4 where thrones are given to those who sit in judgment. The elders are probably the ones referred to as ‘thrones’ in Colossians 1:16
In all ancient societies (e.g. Genesis 50:7; Numbers 22:7) older men were looked on as wise and to be respected. But the term elder was also an official one used of those who were given special overall authority, who were usually older men, but not necessarily so. In Exodus 24:1 Moses is assisted by seventy ‘elders’, and later every city had its own ruling body of ‘elders’. The influence of ‘the elders’ continued in the appointment of Saul and throughout the Monarchy, as representing the people (1 Samuel 8:4 on; 2 Samuel 5:3; 1 Kings 8:1; 1 Kings 8:3; 1 Kings 20:7; 1Ki 21:8 ; 2 Kings 10:1; 2 Kings 19:2; 2 Kings 23:1). Ezekiel had dealings with them in the captivity (Ezekiel 8:1; Ezekiel 14:1; Ezekiel 20:1). There were also ‘elders of the priests’ (Isaiah 37:2; Jeremiah 19:1).
In the time of Jesus ‘the elders’ were a respected group, separate from the priesthood and the Pharisees (Matthew 26:3), men of influence, heads of important lay families who were represented on the Sanhedrin, and who were seen as the people’s representatives (see Luke 19:47).
In the church the elders were a ruling body who looked after church affairs (Acts 11:30; Acts 14:23; Acts 15:2 and often; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5; James 5:14; 1 Peter 5:1). Peter himself claims to be an elder (1 Peter 5:1) as does John (2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1). Thus elders were figures of authority and maturity who ruled over affairs on behalf of others and represented the people, or the priests, or the church or whoever had selected them.
But who are these elders? They are figures of royal authority in Heaven, but they continually cast their crowns down before the throne showing their total submission to God (Revelation 4:10). Thus they recognise the total rightness of His judgments and His position. They are clothed with white clothing emphasising their purity and righteousness. The crowns of gold on their heads represent their royal authority under God. They are the only beings who wear crowns in the presence of God.
The number twenty four links them with the courses of priesthood established by David under divine inspiration (1 Chronicles 24:3-13.24.5; 1 Chronicles 24:7-13.24.19 with 1 Chronicles 28:11-13.28.13; 1 Chronicles 28:19). That there were ‘elders of the priests’ is confirmed in Isaiah 37:2; Jeremiah 19:1 - where they are distinguished from the elders of the people. The fact that they have a priestly role is confirmed by the fact that they sing praise to God (they are the only ones described as singing) (Revelation 5:9) and have golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of God’s people (‘saints’ in the New Testament is the name given to God’s people as a whole. See Acts 9:13; Acts 9:32; Acts 9:41; Acts 26:10; Romans 1:7; Romans 8:27; Romans 12:13; Romans 15:25-45.15.26; Romans 15:31; Romans 16:2; Romans 16:15; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 6:1-46.6.2; 1 Corinthians 14:33 and often throughout Paul’s letters; the regular introductions to Paul’s letters; Hebrews 6:10; Hebrews 13:24).
The twenty four elders continually worship God (Revelation 4:10) and sing of what He has done for His people, who parallel on earth what these represent in Heaven (Revelation 5:9-66.5.10). Thus they are a royal priesthood who in Heaven represent God’s people on earth. They wear crowns because they represent those who are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), those who will one day share the throne of Christ.
On earth Israel were intended to be a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6), indicating that they had a ministry to the nations to minister for them and seek to bring them to God. Apart from their sacrificial duties one of the responsibilities of the priests was to teach the Law (Leviticus 10:11; Ezra 7:10; Malachi 2:7). This task then became the church’s whom Peter declared to be a holy priesthood, and indeed a royal priesthood, who were to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Christ Jesus (1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9). Thus they too are a kingdom of priests (Revelation 1:6).
So while in the number ‘twenty four’ we may secondarily see a connection between the twenty four elders and the twelve tribes of Israel, headed by their patriarchs, combined with the twelve apostles (Revelation 21:12-66.21.14 - but notice that the two sets of twelve are distinguished there, not combined), it is not the main idea. The main stress is on the fact that the elders are a heavenly royal priesthood, although as with the church, they are interceding and worshipping priests, not sacrificing priests, for they recognise that the one sacrifice has been made once for all (Revelation 5:9). In that sense they represent the church of Christ and the saints of the Old Testament before God (for Old Testament ‘saints’ see 1 Samuel 2:9; 2 Chronicles 6:41; Psalms 16:3; Psalms 30:4 and often; Proverbs 2:8; Daniel 7:18-27.7.27; Matthew 27:52).
The popular view that they are the church is based on hope (and a doubtful text in AV), rather than exegesis. This is evident from the fact that:
· The elders refer to the church in the third person (Revelation 5:9-66.5.10). (This later changed to the first person ‘us’ in later manuscripts, as reflected in AV, because of the erroneous application to the church).
· An individual elder speaks to John (Revelation 5:5; Revelation 7:13). They are thus seen as individuals. But it is noteworthy that when the church is to be spoken of it is an elder and not an angel who speaks (Revelation 7:13).
· The majority of the church is still on earth.
· The resurrection has not yet taken place, therefore the righteous are still in ‘conscious soul sleep’ and not resurrected in Heaven (Revelation 5:9-66.5.11). While this is conscious bliss it is never shown in Scripture to be ‘bodily’.
But the elders are representatives of the church before God, and the fact that the highest beings in Heaven apart from the Godhead (the only ones to have thrones and crowns) are seen as acting on behalf of the church, and bringing them and their prayers to attention before God, was intended to act as an encouragement to the church on earth in the time of tribulation to come.
As each church has its angel who watches over it and represents it before the Father, as demonstrated by the angels of the seven churches (and as angels represent and watch over little children who believe in Christ - Matthew 18:10), so the church of Old and New Testament believers are watched over by the twenty four elders, whose specific task concerns the universal church. But they too are servants of God and must not therefore be venerated directly (Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:9).
‘And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.’
These are the seven angels of the Presence (see on Revelation 1:4). They are ‘before the throne’ showing that they are servants, and like ‘burning fire’, demonstrating their holiness (compare the cherubim in Ezekiel 1:13). Nothing is said of their activities for they are waiting for their appointed holy task, allocated to them by the Lamb, which will be revealed shortly. They are there ready and waiting to serve. Their linking with the lightnings and thunder and voices confirm that something awesome is about to happen.
‘And before the throne as it were a glassy sea, like crystal.’
Compare the ‘firmament’ carried by the cherubim which bore the throne of God in Ezekiel 1:22 which also was of crystal. This sea is based on the molten sea in the Temple of Solomon (1 Kings 7:23-11.7.39; 2 Chronicles 4:2-14.4.10). There it was a large bronze sea of over 16,000 gallons capacity (nearly 73,000 litres) mounted on twelve bronze oxen, and was for the priests to wash in (2 Chronicles 4:6). While the water would be as clean as they could get it, it would be fairly murky (we tend to forget they had no pure water supply on hand), and was for the removal of ‘earthiness’.
Here it is replaced by crystal-like glass, which is a symbol of unearthiness, holiness and purity. The washing for priests, like all Old Testament washings, removed the earthiness that was preparatory to waiting on God for cleansing. (Every mention of washing with water in the Pentateuch is followed by the phrase ‘and shall not be clean until the evening’, thus it was preparatory not finally effective). Now in Heaven there is no more earthiness, all is pure, and therefore no sea for washing is required. Instead the crystal sea reflects the holiness and purity of God and of the redeemed. That is why the sea is now crystallised, a reminder of what is and what was.
The glassy sea is mentioned again in Revelation 15:2 where it is mingled with fire and those who have gained victory over the Beast gather there, holding harps of God, made pure through tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14). At this point they sing ‘the song of Moses (Deuteronomy 31:30; Deuteronomy 32:44), the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb’ which is based on a number of Old Testament scriptures including Deuteronomy 32:3-5.32.4, and stresses that He is true, righteous and uniquely holy. This is also what the sea symbolises.
‘And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. And the first creature was like a lion, the second creature like a calf, the third creature had a face as of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them having six wings, are full of eyes round about and within. And they never rest day or night saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, which was and which is and which is to come.’
This is clearly a combination of the living creatures (cherubim) in Ezekiel 1:10 with the seraphim in Isaiah 6:0.
Full of eyes before and behind, without and within, reflects Ezekiel 1:18; Ezekiel 10:12. The likenesses of lion, calf, man and eagle parallel man, lion, ox and eagle, although in Ezekiel each living creature had all four faces whereas here each has only one of the faces (the difference confirms that they are symbolic only). The six wings parallel Isaiah 6:2 (in Ezekiel they have four wings) and the cry of ‘holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty’ parallels the cry in Isaiah 6:3. They are thus cherubim and seraphim.
That these in some way represent creation is suggested by a number of factors.
· 1). There are four of them. Four is the number of the whole earth. It was the number of rivers that flowed round the known world in Eden (Genesis 2:10-1.2.14). It is therefore representative of north, south, east and west. It was the number of empires that led up to the end time in Daniel 2:0. It is the number of ‘world’ empires that summed up world history in Daniel 7:0. It is the number of chariots that represent the four spirits of Heaven and roam the whole earth (Zechariah 6:1-38.6.8). It is the number of horsemen who ride out to devastate the earth in Revelation 6:1-66.6.4. There are four ‘corners’ of the earth (again probably north, south, east and west) (Revelation 7:1; Revelation 20:8), and four winds from the four quarters of Heaven (Jeremiah 49:36; Ezekiel 37:9; Daniel 7:2).
· 2). They represent all creation - man, wild beast, domestic animal and birds as represented in their likenesses and faces.
· 3). Their ‘song’ is only of God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come, and they say the ‘Amen’ to the universal song of all created beings (Revelation 5:13-66.5.14).
Their history is significant. They first appear to guard the way to the tree of life after the fall of man (Genesis 3:24). This demonstrates their responsibility for protecting creation from permanent control by fallen man, and for the preservation of God’s holy purposes. Man can no longer enter the place where God reveals Himself.
They are then represented on the ark of the covenant where a golden cherub is at each end of the mercy seat which is upon the ark, and their wings cover the mercy seat, which is the throne of God. The cherubim are also represented on the curtains in the Tabernacle, and especially on the veil that guards the way from the holy place into the Holy of Holies (Exodus 26:1; Exodus 26:31-2.26.35). Again they are seen as preservers of God’s holiness, and the means of preventing men from unholy folly.
God speaks to Moses from above the mercy seat from between the cherubim (Numbers 7:89) and is in fact seen as ‘dwelling between the cherubim’ (1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 13:6). Solomon in his Temple also places two large cherubim in the Holy of Holies under which the ark will rest (2 Chronicles 3:10; 2 Chronicles 5:7).
The psalmists transfer the idea from the Tabernacle and speak of God Himself as in reality dwelling between the cherubim as the Shepherd of Israel and as the reigning Lord (Psalms 80:1; Psalms 99:1). In Psalms 99:0 this is directly connected with the holiness of God (v. 3). In Isaiah 37:16 Hezekiah also prays to the God who dwells between the cherubim.
In Ezekiel 1:10 God is seen as travelling in a chariot which was made up of a throne placed on a firmament (flattened out surface) borne by four living creatures, or cherubim. Thus the cherubim are seen as the close attendants of God. But here we learn of their resemblances to the four living things in creation, the beasts, domestic animals, birds and man, suggesting their responsibilities for these.
In Isaiah 6:0 we read rather of the seraphim (burning ones) whose cry is holy, holy, holy, and who are purgers of sin through God’s method of provision. Revelation 4:0 links these with the cherubim. Thus once again we see the cherubim as concerned with the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. We note especially that both cherubim and seraphim use a pair of wings to cover themselves before a holy God (Isaiah 6:2; Ezekiel 1:11).
So the cherubim are constant companions of God in His service, preservers of God’s holiness, preventers of the approach of sin towards God, and purgers of sin (but only through sacrifice - they use the coals of the altar) in one who is allowed to see God. This is partially apparent here in Revelation 4:0. Here they cry ‘holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty’, and their whole concern is for ‘the one who was, and is and is to come’.
Here ‘the One Who was ’ is the most prominent as coming first (compare Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:8 where the concentration was on ‘the One Who is’). They watch over creation, as represented by four living creatures, lion, calf, eagle and man. Thus the heavenly living creatures are concerned with all earthly living creatures. They worship the Lamb (Revelation 5:8) and say ‘Amen’ when the whole of creation praises Him (Revelation 5:14) for they recognise He is their God, and the God of creation. The fact that they are covered with eyes may suggest that nothing is hidden from them in their service for God (compare Zechariah 4:10).
It need hardly be said that we are not to take the representations of the living creatures literally (any more than we are to take anything in this chapter literally for it is representing spiritual ideas by ‘earthly’ pictures). This is demonstrated both by the differing descriptions of the faces, and the differing number of wings, as compared with Old Testament representations. They represent ideas, not facts, the idea of God’s concern for the holiness of creation.
The living creatures ‘stand in the midst of the throne and around the throne’. Apart from the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne they are the nearest to the One Who sits on the throne. They do not share the throne as the Lamb does, for their position is qualified by ‘around the throne’. The idea would appear to be that they are stationed, as it were, at each corner of the throne platform.
‘And when the living creatures will give glory and honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives for ever and ever (unto the ages of the ages), the four and twenty elders will fall down before him who sits on the throne and will worship him who lives for ever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and our God, to receive the honour and the glory and the power, for you created all things, and because of your will they came into existence (‘they were’) and were created”.’
The living creatures, as the close servants of God, lead the praise. They continually give glory and honour and thanks to Him Who is seated on the throne, the One Who created all things, the One Who reigns. (The ‘continually’ comes from the use of the future tense, which here means ‘whenever they do it then ----’ , the writer’s way of rendering the Hebrew ‘imperfect’).
Then the elders make their reply. They, of course, are aware that the living creatures represent the whole of creation, and they cast their crowns before God and speak of God’s whole creation. All things came into existence through His will, He created them in accordance with His will. Thus is He worthy to receive the worship of all creation through the living creatures. It is the fact that He is the Lord of Creation that gives Him the right to do what is about to be done, the releasing of creation from its dreadful bondage (Romans 8:19-45.8.25). It came into being by His will, and it is His. Now He will restore it fully. (The song is fourfold as befits a song celebrating creation, compare Revelation 5:13).
Notice the stress on the fact that He is the One Who lives for ever and ever and that He is the One Who sits on the throne. From everlasting to everlasting He is God. As the living creatures had earlier said, He is the One Who was and Who is and Who is to come, the Almighty God. He is the One Who created all things, He is the One Who is sovereign over all things, He is the One Who will bring all things into subjection to Himself, and in recognition of this the elders fling their crowns at His feet in submission and worship Him, on behalf of His people whom they represent. This leads on to the next action.
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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 4". "Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany