Chapter 37



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(Rev 4:1-5)  After this I looked, and, behold [1], a door was opened in heaven [the door of the “true” tabernacle]: and the first voice [Jesus Christ: Rev 1:10] which I heard was as it were of a trumpet [Gk: (through the idea of quaking or reverberation] talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit; and, behold, a throne was set in heaven [2] [the ark of the covenant], and one sat on the throne. (Rev 4:3)  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow [the symbol and sign of the covenant of peace: Gen 9:8-17] round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald [3,4]. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting [perhaps representing the twelve tribes of the O.T., and the twelve apostles of the N.T.], clothed in white raiment [which symbolizes (sinless) purity]; and they had on their heads crowns of gold [by this we know the “rapture” or “ first resurrection” has already taken place for the rewards have been given].

1.       The Living Bible: Chapters 4 and 5 are a glimpse into Christ’s glory. Here we see into the throne room of heaven. God is orchestrating all the events that John will record. The world is not spinning out of control; the God of creation will carry out his plans as Christ initiates the final battle with the forces of evil. John shows us heaven before showing us earth so we will not be frightened by future events.

2.       (2 Cor 12:2-4)  I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise [Gk: an Eden (place of future happiness)], and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

3.       The Living Bible: (Rev 4:3) “Great bursts of light flashed forth from him as from a glittering diamond, or from a shining ruby, and a rainbow glowing like an emerald encircled his throne.”

4.       Matthew Henry’s Commentary: he [God] is not described by any human features, so as to be represented by an image, but only by his transcendent brightness. This jasper is a transparent stone, which yet offers the eye a variety of the most vivid colours [like a diamond], signifying the glorious perfections of God; the sardine-stone is red, signifying the justice of God, that essential attribute of which he never divests himself in favour of any, but gloriously exerts it in the government of the world, and especially of the church, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Rev 4:5-8)  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices [evoking God’s power and majesty, and symbolizing pending judgment]: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass [Gk: transparent] like unto crystal [Gk: ice] [please note that there is no container for the sea of glass] [1,2]: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion [majesty and power], and the second beast like a calf [Gk: a young bullock (bull)] [endurance], and the third beast had a face as a man [intelligence], and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle [sovereignty]. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within [3]: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy [ascribed to the holy trinity], Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come [4].

1.       (1 Ki 7:23)  And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

a.       molten = Heb: to pour out (trans. or intrans.); by impl. to melt or cast as metal; by extens. to place firmly, to stiffen or grow hard:--cast, cleave fast, be (as) firm, grow, be hard, lay out, molten, overflow, pour (out), run out, set down, stedfast.

2.       Commentary: God provided King Solomon an expanded version of the brazen laver of the Tabernacle, newly described in the Temple as “a molten sea” (1 Kin 7:23). In the original Hebrew text, “molten” means to stiffen or grow hard: firm. The understanding of this definition, taken with the transparency of “glass” and in conjunction with the modifying Greek text definition for “crystal” meaning ice, connotes simply, clear cold stillness, quite the opposite from our God who is a consuming fire. Viewed from a heavenly perspective, the “sea of glass like unto crystal” may represent the wholeness of all the sin having been washed from the Saints by the water of the Word (Eph 5:26), which is the symbolic function of the brazen laver, here held immobile, inactive, and transparent to God from beginning to end; a fixed translucent frozen immaterial mass of evil, detained and encompassed solely by the container of time.

3.        The Pulpit Commentary: “four beasts full of eyes before and behind” Each one, moreover, is full of eyes before and behind – the symbol of the keen penetration of perfected intelligence. Surely we have, in these unusual forms, representations of the highest advance of creaturely existence; in which the several features of knowledge, excellence, and strength, which are here severed, are there joined in one. They worship before the throne. Worship and work mark the highest orders of created beings as well as the lower. The eyes denote never-resting activity. We may therefore believe that the living beings are symbolical of all creation fulfilling its proper office – waiting upon God, fulfilling his will, and setting forth his glory.

4.       The Pulpit commentary: “which was, and is, and is to come” This phrase is no doubt intended to attribute to God the quality of eternal existence. But it may also symbolize three aspects or departments of God’s dealing with mankind: the creation, which has been affected by the Father; the redemption, which is now occurring by the intercession of the Son; and the final perfect sanctification by the Holy Ghost.

(Rev 4:9-11)  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

1.       Matthew Henry’s Commentary: We have considered the sights that the apostle saw in heaven: now let us observe the songs that he heard, for there is in heaven not only that to be seen which will highly please a sanctified eye, but there is that to be heard which will greatly delight a sanctified ear. We have the ground and reason of their adoration, which is threefold: - 1. He is the Creator of all things, the first cause; and none but the Creator of all things should be adored; no made thing can be the object of religious worship. 2. He is the preserver of all things, and his preservation is a continual creation; they are created still by the sustaining power of God. All beings but God are dependent upon the will and power of God, and no dependent being must be set up as an object of worship. It is the part of the best dependent beings to be worshippers, not to be worshipped. 3. He is the final cause of all things: For thy pleasure they are and were created.

2.       The Living Bible: The point of this chapter is summed up in this verse: all beings in heaven and earth will praise and honor God because he is the Creator and Sustainer of everything.


(Phil 2:5-11)  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.



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