The Throne Room of God
John, having delivered Jesus’ message to the churches, is brought deeper into the vision. He sees an open door in Heaven. Note that John doesn’t speak of these things as if they are fantasy. It is a vision, but visions of a real place, albeit a spiritual one.
Be careful to understand that the book of Revelation is largely symbolical (it conveys meaning using symbols), but the symbols almost always connect with real people, places, and things. Back to Revelation.
Upon being invited “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this,” John enters the door and the very throne room of God. He sees a throne, and One on the throne (God). The description that follows is a magnificent throne room that could be unmatched by any earthly king.
Interestingly, the one on the throne is never directly described. Only his “appearance” (vs. 3). Even in the very presence of Jehovah, there are no human words to describe Jehovah himself.
In front of the throne: The seven lamps which are the Seven Spirits of God. See the connection to the golden lampstand in the tabernacle (read Exodus 25:31-40; 37:17-24).
Around the throne: 24 elders who are righteous rulers together with 4 living creatures. The creatures are mighty, have the swiftness of flight, and see everything (there is a connection to Ezekiel 1 here).
Coming from the throne: lightnings, thundering, voices. Go read Exodus 19:9-24; 20:18-21. John sees something similar to what caused the people of Israel to plead with Moses to go before the presence of God so they would not have to witness this.
The creatures praise the One on the Throne night and day saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. Who was and is and is to come.” Whenever the creatures praise God, the elders fall down, cast their crowns down, and worship the one on the throne. They are great, they are righteous, they are mighty, but they are nothing compared to God.
Lesson: If this communicates to humanity the awesomeness of God’s presence, how significant is it for the Hebrew writer to state, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”
Next week: The Symbols and Numbers of Revelation.