After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2 Immediately I was [a]in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a [b]rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. Revelation 4:1-4
John hears a voice like a trumpet. I believe John is representative of the body of Christ because he writes after these things I saw a door standing open and a voice that sounded like a trumpet, come up here. The things John refers to is the seven messages to the seven churches and those seven churches represent the church age. John being called to Heaven is representative of the bride of Christ being called home before the seven year tribulation begins. What John sees in Heaven is what we shall see when we are raptured and taken home. John is also told he will be shown what must take place after these things.
Theses things to take place are the judgments and events that will take place during the seven year tribulation. The seven year tribulation will be a time of God’s judgment on the earth and Jesus has come to save us from the wrath of Almighty God. This is why I truly believe the body of Christ will not go through the seven year tribulation. God’s plan is not that His bride would suffer His wrath. This is why Jesus took the wrath and punishment that we deserved.
John immediately finds himself in the spirit and in his vision he sees God on the throne. All that John sees is what we shall see someday when we stand before the Lord. On this earth we see things with our physical eyes and it keeps us from seeing things in God’s kingdom and the spiritual realm. But when God opens our eyes to see past the physical realm we are able to look into the spiritual realm.
John sees God in all His glory and it must have been something to behold. John was exiled to the island of Patmos and until this vision came he would have spent much of his time alone as he was sent there to die as an old man. But what a refreshing thing from the Lord as John received one of the greatest visions in scripture. He was given a glimpse into things to come and it has been written down for our benefit to be studied.
The rainbow that surrounds God’s throne represents God’s promises to us and His faithfulness to keep His promises. We must remember it was God who told Noah that the rainbow would be a symbol to humanity of God’s promise to not flood the earth again. The emerald, sardius, and jasper simply represent the beauty and majesty of who God is. God’s majesty and beauty is greater than we can even comprehend. Some day we shall see Him face to face.
Around the throne sit twenty four elders on twenty four thrones with twenty four crowns on their head. The twenty four elders represent both the saints of old and the bride of Christ under the new covenant. There were twelve tribes of Israel and twelve apostles. Twelve is representative of government in God’s kingdom and the number twenty four is representative of the saints that have come for all time up to this point. Some day we shall find our selves before the throne of God and be able to behold the majesty and beauty of all that He is.
The crowns represent victory and all those who have overcome and remained faithful to the Lord shall receive a crown of victory. We are called to abide and walk with the Lord all our days. Choosing to follow Jesus is not a one time decision, but is a daily decision to surrender all of our lives unto Him. God is in control of all things and no matter how difficult the times we face and how wicked things become on the earth we must simply keep our eyes fixed upon the Lord and bring all things before Him in prayer. Every battle belongs unto Him and He alone shall lead us to victory.