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 Onesat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was[a] like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns[b] of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.[c] Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the[d] seven Spirits of God.
6 Before the throne there was[e] a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures 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. 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,[f]
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
It is incredible that after the message to the seven churches that John hears a voice like a trumpet speaking to him telling him to come up here. He is about to be shown what must take place shortly. There will come a time when the bride of Christ is called home and the judgement of God will begin upon the earth. As long as the church is upon the earth we are living during the time of God’s grace. But when the church age has come to an end then a time of God’s judgement shall begin on the earth because of the wickedness of humanity. The Lord is righteous and holy and because of this He will have to judge the wickedness of humanity.
John is in the Spirit when he receives this vision from the Lord. The vision that John saw of God’s throne is an awesome thing. John is taken to the very throne of God where he sees God the Father sitting upon the throne of eternity. Around the Father is the twenty-four elders who are representative of the nation of Israel and the body of Christ in that there were twelve tribes of Israel and twelve original apostles. In God’s kingdom the number twelve stands for the number of government. These twenty four elders represent all of God’s people.
The seven Spirits of God represent the Holy Spirit in that the number seven represents completeness or fullness. God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all part of the Godhead. They are all distinct, but they are one together. They work in perfect harmony with one another and have no beginning and no end.
The four living creatures are a representation of God’s creation in His image. When we examine these four creatures we will see that they all point to Jesus Christ. The symbol of the Lion can be found in the gospel of Matthew as Matthew wrote His gospel to reveal Jesus as the lion of the tribe of Judah who was the promised messiah. The symbol of the calf can be found in the gospel of Mark in which Mark was inspired to write his gospel to reveal Jesus as the ultimate servant who was always at work doing the will of the Father. The face like a man is found represented in the gospel of Luke in which Luke traces Jesus genealogy all the way back to Adam showing that Jesus was indeed fully God and fully man. And the flying eagle is found in the gospel of John in which John reveals Jesus as the one who can see all things. Eagles fly high above and see all things below them. During Jesus ministry John through his accounts of the Lord reveals that through everything Jesus taught He revealed the deep things of God’s kingdom. These four living creatures point to Jesus Christ.
The vision John sees is truly awesome. He sees all those in Heaven around the Lord giving Him glory. Someday when our time has come to an end on this earth we will spend our lives in eternity worshiping and getting lost in the Lord’s presence. We shall see Him face to face and it will be greater than we can even understand or imagine. Until that time let us hold fast to the faith we have in Jesus Christ and abide in the Lord daily. Let us be a generation of people who simply seek the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in our lives. The hour grows short and the return of the Lord is very soon.