Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The One Sitting on the Throne

"After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.' At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne." (Revelation 4:1-3 - New International Version)

Chapters four and five of Revelation are designed as a pause. John is given a view of heaven. This prepares him and us for the terrible events which begin in chapter 6.

In studying this books, we must try to keep a divine perspective. To look at things only from a worldly viewpoint leads to despair. But when we approach things from a heavenly viewpoint we can see the final victory.

So let us slowly and reverently enter into God's Throne Room; where an eternal worship service is ever in progress.

Jesus invites John into heaven so that those things which must happen may be revealed to him. Notice, Jesus says that these things MUST happen. They are part of God's plan; they are designed to give God the final glory and victory; these things have been prophesied.

John's description of what he saw is full of symbolism and understatement. He did not intend to give us a complete picture of what he saw, but only an impression of it. We must be careful not to read into his words more than is appropriate.

The first sight that John sees as he enters into heaven is the throne of God. His description of God is subdued. He says that God was like a jasper and carnelian.

It is not as easy as we might wish to determine exactly to what precious stones John is referring. Later in Revelation, John refers to the crystal clear jasper (Revelation 21:11). This
leads to the possibility that he is referring to a diamond. The carnelian is a red stone.

It would seem then that John saw God as being a source of many colors and intensities of light with a strong element of red among these colors. Beyond that it is difficult to go. Two other Scriptures are worth considering in relation to this: Psalm 104:2 and I Timothy 6:16.

The Psalmist says that God uses light as a cloak to cover Himself. In Timothy, we are told that God dwells in light. So God clothes Himself in light.

The last part of verse three tells us that around the throne was a rainbow like an emerald, which is green. So it seems that this rainbow surrounding God's throne was of different shades of green.

The rainbow is a sign of God's covenant with Noah not to destroy the earth. This is an important promise when we begin to read of the coming destruction during the Tribulation. The covenant between God and Noah is found in Genesis 9:11-17.


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