Revelation Bible Study #4: The vision from the room with the throne ; chap 4

Revelation (Apocalypse) #4: The vision from the room with the throne ; Revelation 4

sermon Revelation 4 : Pierre Constant, 2022_10_05, AB Lausanne church

title : Revelation Bible Study #4: The vision from the room with the throne ; chap 4

The vision from the room with the throne

First part: God worshiped because he is the creator

“Worthy are you, our Lord and our God, [you the Holy One,] to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things and by your will they were created and ‘they exist.’ Revelation 4.11


These two chapters should be read together. Chapter 4 is actually the framework, while Chapter 5 presents the content of what will be presented later, from Chapters 6 to 19.

From here, opinions diverge between different ways of interpreting Revelation. We stop on what best accounts for the apocalyptic literary genre (not on an eschatological scheme).

Verses 1 and 2, the author begins here a “celestial journey” of which we find several parallels in apocalyptic literature. Normal observation of the text gives no hint that it is symbolically the rapture of the Church (as suggested in an eschatological diagram).

When John acts as a representative of the Church, this is sufficiently clear (cf. chapter 10).

    He who sits on the throne

John is carried into “a throne room,” similar to other royal rooms of the time, where everything is arranged to make people feel small, fragile, distant from whoever sits on the throne .

The 24 elders (Segond: “old men”), seated, dressed in white, golden crowns (all symbols of purity, authority, royalty).

It is probably an angelic order, a kind of angels whose number is symbolic, and whose role is to praise God, to declare his glory and his power.

What comes out of the throne: lightning, voices, thunders.
The throne is inaccessible (cf. Exodus 19).
In front of the throne: 7 burning lamps, which are the 7 spirits of God:
Holy Spirit ? (Isaiah 11.1,10 is often invoked) or 7 angelic beings, related to the 7 Churches (Revelation 1.4,20).

In front of the throne: a sea of ​​crystal; there again this sea indicates something Glorious and inaccessible.

The crystal sparkles, reflects light, sparkles and cuts (crystals are very sharp).
In the OT, the sea is danger Psa 107.1, chaos Gen 1.1: the Jews were not a seafaring people (like the Phoenicians or the Cretans). When Solomon imported stones, cedars, animals and so on by waterway, he hired the people of Hiram, king of Tyre, to do this.
This sea is not calm, like a mirrored lake in the evening, it is in motion, it separates, it makes the throne inaccessible!

This throne is therefore a royal throne, holy, inaccessible, divine!

    In the middle of the throne:
    4 living beings (or 4 animals) (reminiscent of thrones of the time, from which come out the heads of animals), allusion to the angels mentioned in Ezekiel 1 and 10 (cherubim) and Isaiah 6 (seraphim).

The eyes seem to realize that they know what is happening everywhere, they are watching.

The lion is often associated with the royal aspect, the calf or ox with strength, human beings with intelligence and eagles with protection (Exodus 19). The 6 wings resemble the seraphim (Isaiah 6.2)

All this description makes even more the royal dimension of the throne of God, his power, his intelligence.

The sanctity of the throne:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is and who is to come!” Revelation 4.8

The holiness of God is the very essence of God, which makes God God; not only the sacralization of God, but the very person of God, what we could call the glory of God.

Only quality of God repeated three times in the Bible and twice (Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4. 8).

The holiness of God indicates that God does not need us, that he is self-sufficient. If He created us, it is not to meet a need for companionship, to realize our full potential, to become even more divine. God is fully satisfied in Himself!

Whatever power and authority the 4 animals and 24 elders possess, that power and authority is derived from that of God.

The subject of their praise:

The very reason for these praises comes last, God is the Creator, the one who created the universe and who sustains it. Everything comes from God, everything owes its existence to God. No place to scroll!

The doctrine of creation is the very foundation of our accountability to God.

Key Bible Passages

Revelation 4 / KJV Bible

1. After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
3. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
6. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
7. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
8. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
10. 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,
11. 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.

Related Links / Notes

Revelation (Apocalypse) Bible Study

Study Notes are translated from the original French version prepared by Pierre Constant who has been Associate Professor of the New Testament at the Toronto Baptist Seminary since 2003. The orginal French notes are in “note” form, and are not a direct transcription of the video. The notes provided here follow that form, but are detailed enough to help provide a deep understanding of the texts in the book of revelation.

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