Ultimate Reality: God’s Life, Throne and Person

1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a Throne set in heaven, and One sat on the Throne. (Rev. 4:1-2)

I was in the Spirit – the realm of supernatural life and power. John shares that he was temporarily experiencing a new realm of life as he was engulfed by God’s Spirit. There will be times when we will be engulfed in the Spirit in God’s service now and will be forever in the resurrection. John is in the realm where God’s truths are powerfully felt and where they come alive in his understanding. He is in a realm where truth awakens love in his heart. He feels the power of the Spirit on his body. He experiences the anointing of the Spirit, where everything moves us to God and fills us with the exhilaration of love. Living in the Spirit is essential to unlocking this reality.

A Throne set in heaven – this acknowledges the finality and certainty of the Father’s plans. A set Throne is not a temporary one. There is a Throne which guarantees that God’s plans will come to pass. There is a plan that is sure and our destiny cannot be stopped. To see this, gives us full assurance that we cannot lose. The focus of John’s vision was God’s Throne, which he referred to 40 times in Revelation.

One sat on the Throne – John sees a real Person on the Throne with fiery emotions and a vast intellect. He has all power. A real Person is at the governmental center of the universe. He is so watchful and so thoughtful as He thinks about us, watches, and cares about us. What goes on in your heart affects His heart. He feels your pain and is planning good things for you. We are not alone; we will live together with Him. The Eternal City is a place where all are God-centered.

Beauty of God: What God Looks Like, Feels like and Acts Like (REV. 4:3)

3 He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. (Rev. 4:3)

Like a jasper stone (crystal) – He has radiant translucent splendor (Rev. 21:11, 18-19). The Enthroned God dwells in transcendent beauty. The Father has purposefully veiled His beauty in obscurity. The idea is that He will unveil it to us progressively. This is what God looks like.

Like a sardius stone (deep red gem) – He has fiery desire in redemption and judgment (Rev. 21:10). The sardius speaks of what God feels like in His burning passion.

The appearance of an emerald rainbow focuses on God’s covenant mercies covering all the activity of His Throne. The emerald rainbow speaks of how God acts in tender mercy. The rainbow is first seen in Gen. 9:13-16. We cry, “the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever.”

13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth…16 I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant… (Gen. 9:13-16)

Beauty of God’s Partner: Enthroned, Robed and Crowned (REV. 4:4)

4 Around the Throne were 24 thrones, and on the thrones I saw 24 elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. (Rev. 4:4)

God’s Throne is adorned by the honor and dignity of the saints around Him. John saw God’s desire for full partnership with His people. The saints will sit on thrones (Rev.2:28; 3:21; Mt. 19:28; Lk. 22:30). In this, we see the dignity and honor of His people.

The elders are enthroned with God’s authority.

The elders are clothed in white robes – undefiled priestly garments of worship (Rev. 3:4-5, 18)

The elders are wearing gold crowns (Rev. 2:10; 3:11).

God and His People in Unity: Manifestation of Power (REV. 4:5A).

5 From the Throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. (Rev. 4:5a)

God’s Throne is adorned by the atmosphere around Him. Out of the Father’s being and Throne proceeds much glorious and terrifying activity.

Lightning – release of Divine energy and splendor (Rev. 4:5; 8:5; 11:19; 16: 18)

Thunderings – Divine messages with power (Rev. 4:5; 8:5; 11:19; 16:18)

Voices (sounds, noises) – Divine music with mystery (Rev. 4:5; 8:5; 11:19; 16: 18)

Other facets of the activity of God’s Throne that touch the earth in the Book of Revelation are earthquakes (Rev. 8:5; 11:19; 16:18) and hail (Rev. 11:19; 16:18).

At Mt. Sinai, the Israelites saw and heard thunder, lightning, a thick cloud, a loud trumpet and an earthquake (Ex. 19:16-18). These appear in each of the Theophanies in Scripture, including Acts 2.

16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. (Ex. 19:16-18)

The Spirit’s Fire: On the Throne, The Seraphim and the Saints (4:5B-7; 15:2)

5  Seven lamps (torches) of fire were burning before the Throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6

Before the Throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the Throne, and around the Throne, were four living creatures (seraphim) full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. (Rev. 4:5b-7)

2 I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast (Antichrist)…standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. (Rev. 15:2)

God’s Throne adorned by the manifestation of His fire before His Throne showing us the highest expression of the Holy Spirit (Rev. 1:4; 3:1; 5:6). Seven lamps of fire were burning torches of Holy Spirit fire (hovering over the sea?).

Sea of glass like crystal (Rev. 22:1) that is covered with flaming fire and shows forth God’s splendor. The saints will be gathered in heaven just before the Rapture. They will stand on sea of glass mingled with fire (Rev. 15:2). I believe this to be the gathering place in the Eternal City to appear before God.

Ezekiel saw Jesus’ Throne with a rainbow as it sat on a sapphire crystal surface.

22 The likeness of the firmament above the…living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal…26 above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a Throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the Throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man (Jesus) high above it…28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. (Ezek. 1:22-28)

Seraphim or the “fiery ones” are the attendants around God’s Throne. The word seraphim means the “burning ones.” They show forth four faces of God’s beauty in redemption. They are a picture of those fully alive in the life of God or of life in the Spirit. God’s Throne is adorned by the seraphim around Him.

The Foundational Song in the Heavenly Symphony

8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8)

To be Holy means “to be totally separate from” something.

To be pure is to be totally separated from everything sinful.

To be transcendent is to be totally separated from everything common. In other words, God is infinitely superior to everything created. He is “wholly other than” or transcendent in His beauty.

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