Sunday, January 1, 2023


Earlene Davis

Looking Into Heaven continued – Rev. 4 & 5

Remember we are privileged by John’s vision to look into heaven in these two chapters. The Lord tells John “I will shew thee things which must be hereafter,” after the Church age – 4:1. John beheld Christ taking His throne to reign in Vs. 2 & 3.

The first rank overcomers are present, described as kings and priests by the 24 elders and the 4 living creatures. In V. 4 we read, Round about The Throne of Christ were 24 seats (in the Greek text “thrones.” Elders ane full grown saints that sit on the 24 thrones, reigning conjointly with Christ. Twenty-four has to be a representative number, for chapter 5:9 tells us they are “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”

In Scripture the number 12 is the number of divine government. Here we have 2 times 12, showing the strengthened authority these saints will have with Christ. All of Christ’s body will reign with Him in some measure, but some will reign con-jointly that suffered with Christ, it is promised that they would also be glorified together with Him. Rom. 8:17 and II Tim. 2:12.

Some have thought and taught that these elders are the overcomers of the Old Testament because this number seems to be more associated with Israel. This cannot be for they are not all Israelites, they are out of all nations. 

Others teach that they are angelic beings, but angels are not redeemed. Chapter 5:8-9, the elders and living creatures are seen as one group and they sing, “For thou…hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”

The elders are not babes in Christ, but nature saints – Eph. 4:13-15, “speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things.” They are seen clothed in white regiment, which is the righteousness of Christ – Phil. 3:9. They also have crowns of gold on their heads. They didn’t let any  one take their crowns, they fully overcame and have the right to reign – Rev. 3:11 & 2:10.

V. 5 tells us what Christ will do when He sits upon His throne to rule. “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.” He will begin to Judge the world and those nations ruling in rebellion against Him. 

Thunder and lightning are announcements of a storm, and a storm is coming on this world. The voices coming out of the throne speaks of God’s people who will lend their voices to Him in agreement. Again we read of the 7-fold Spirit of God as we did in chapter 1:4. In Isa. 11:2-3 we are given a description of the 7-fold Spirit of God. Here in Rev. 4 & 5, He is seen as seven torches of fire burning. He is the “spirit of judgment, the spirit of burning” – Isa. 4:4. Behold that “day cometh, that shall burn as an oven” – Mal. 4:1.

The number 7 (the Biblical number of completion or fullness) tells us of the fulness of that consuming vengeance, as the Holy Spirit executes the will of the Godhead upon the enemies of God.

V. 6 speaks of the sea of glass before the throne and it corresponds with the laver of the tabernacle and the molten sea before Solomon’s temple. It speaks of the cleansing absolutely necessary to come into God’s presence – the laver of regeneration in Titus 3:5.

The translators made a poor choice in using the word beast for the 4 living ones. The R. V. gives “living creatures” and the original Greek text reads “living ones.” Four is another symbolic number. We know this by comparing scripture with scripture. Rev. 5:9 tells us they are from the four corners of the earth, so there has to be many more than four. 

Four is the biblical number of the world. These living ones are full of eyes before and behind. They have fulness of vision, seeing in every direction, having spiritual discernment. I Cor. 2:15, “He that is spiritual discerneth all things.”

The four descriptions of this company of believers are the characteristics of our Lord seen in them. Isn’t this wonderful? Some might ask where is Jesus Christ seen like this? The answer is in the 4-fold view of Christ in the four gospels. 

In Matthew, Christ is pictured as the King, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The lion is king of beasts and speaks of Christ as the ruler, as the King. He will reign on the throne of David. This characteristic of Christ is seen in saints that have learned to reign in life by Christ Jesus – Rom. 5:17. He gives them “lion” strength and courage. Prov. 28:1, “the righteous are bold as a lion.” 

In the gospel of Mark, Christ is seen as the Servant, who ministers and serves like the faithful ox. The Calf was an animal of sacrifice, a beast of burden, a work animal. We read in Acts 10:38 how Jesus went about doing good. This company of believers have learned Him by suffering, sacrifice and service. “The ox that treadeth out the corn…The labourer is worthy of his reward” – I Tim. 5:18.

In the book of Luke, Christ is seen as man. Often He referred to Himself as the Son of man. The living ones having a face as a man identifies them with humanity (they are not angels), they are redeemed humans. 

In John’s gospel, Christ is the heavenly One, like a flying eagle. He is the Son of God, the divine One. The eagle is swift and glorious. This also tells us something of these saints, Christ is their life. Gal. 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” 

They have been occupied with heavenly activities. Prov. 30:19, “The way of an eagle in the air is wonderful.” As we feed on the Word (Christ) we become like Him. II Cor. 3:18, “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” It is the work of the Holy Spirit, He does the changing. Oh, praise the Lord!

To be continued