God sought to give John, his servant, a disclosure concerning Jesus Christ of things, which must shortly come to pass. God sent his angel to reveal these events to John. John testified about what he saw: God’s word and the testimony about Jesus Christ. Moreover, blessed is the one who reads, as well as those who hear the words of this prophecy and pay attention to what is written in it because the time is near.
Dear James, May 2011
Concerning what was revealed to John at the time he was on the Isle of Patmos, it might be a good idea were one to date that happening. This is important to the understanding of chapter four.
The events were scheduled to commence shortly. That was 2 000 years ago therefore, of the events could be history. Actually, one can consider the events being in a continuous present awareness in the same way as one would say, the cost of living is forever rising. The only difference is there is a cut-off time for those of Revelation 4.
At the time of John writing the seven letters they were, to a degree, in good standing towards God. This is obvious from the Ephesians’ letter. You may recall Paul’s farewell greetings, that day on the beach, on his way to Jerusalem. He warned them, Act 20:29-, “I am conscious that after I am gone, evil wolves will come in among you, doing damage to the flock. And from among yourselves will come men who will give wrong teaching, turning away the disciples after them. So keep watch… And now, I give you into the care of God and the word of his grace, which is able to make you strong and to give you your heritage among all the saints.”
God honoured that prayer in that John had to remind them. His writing them must have been before Paul writing Timothy, 2Ti 1:15-, “You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord be merciful to the family of Onesiphorus. He often took care of my needs and wasn’t ashamed that I was a prisoner. When he arrived in Rome, he searched hard for me and found me. May the Lord grant that Onesiphorus finds mercy when that day comes. You know very well that he did everything possible to help me in Ephesus.” Safe to say that John’s writing must have been before the death of Paul and, of course, the destruction of Jerusalem, say 55AD. It was on a Sunday that John received the revelations, Rev 1:10, “On the Lord’s day, the Spirit took control of me. I heard a loud voice behind me that sounded like a trumpet,”
From what John, saw after entering the opened door, it is obvious that John was ‘taken back in time’. The One sitting on the throne must have been God, even the Father. John saw the 24 member heavenly Council seated in front of God’s throne. Jesus referred to this Council, Mat 5:20-, “…because I tell you, unless your righteousness greatly exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom from heaven! …I say to you, anyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be subject to punishment. And whoever says to his brother ‘Raka!’ will be subject to the Council. And whoever says ‘You fool!’ will be subject to hell fire.”
In modern terms, one could say John noticed the throne room’s ‘monitor and speaker system’ fitted underneath the throne. The seven flaming torches John saw symbolised the presence of the Holy Spirit and the seven flaming torches, the seven gifts.
John attempts to describe heaven’s ‘IT computer-system’, Rev 4:6-, “In front of the throne was something like a sea of glass as clear as crystal. In the center of the throne and on each side of the throne were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion,
the second living creature was like an ox, the third living creature had a face like a human, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and were full of eyes inside and out. Without stopping day or night they were saying,
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming.’ Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the 24 leaders bow in front of the one who sits on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever. They place their crowns in front of the throne and say, ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory, honor, and power, because you created all things; they came into existence and were created because of your will’.”
The system is ‘programmed’ to, repeatedly, at intervals, give glory to the God. Not only is it ‘a wireless system’ it works on impulses from its ‘user’s mind’. It has a UPS.
I, in turn, attempted a visual of these four ‘units’ complete with monitors on each of the wings. I, too, was not successful; am in need of a talented person as was Moses in the time of preparing the Tent in the wilderness.
Noteworthy, Jesus is nowhere to be seen is spite of Mar 16:19, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of the God.” In addition, Heb 10:12, “Christ offered only one sacrifice for sins, and that sacrifice is good for all time. Then He sat down at the right side of the God. And now Christ waits there for his enemies to be put under his power.”
Jesus, not being there and the Holy Spirit being there signify that the Ascension had not happened and the Holy Spirit had not been given. Remarkable, it was a Sunday. We know Jesus rose from Death Saturday evening, the beginning of the Jewish Sunday. That particular Sunday was the day that that season’s first sheave of the barley harvest was a wave offering unto God. Not until then were they to eat of the harvest. Chapter 5 not only supplies the answer it brings to mind Jesus’ saying concerning the Spirit they would receive after He had been glorified, Joh 7:38-. Then only would believers be able eat of their ‘heavenly Bread’.