REVELATION CHAPTER FOUR  


 

REVELATION CHAPTER FOUR

ORIENTATION TO JOHN'S VISION

John’s vision begins with images presented in an EARTHLY setting (Rev. 1:10-20).
The images he sees are SYMBOLS which represent various aspects of spiritual reality.
He first sees a SYMBOLIC representation of Jesus standing on the earth in the middle of seven golden lampstands, which represent seven specific churches that exist at the time of John’s vision. In turn, these seven churches represent the church in general from seven different perspectives as it will exist in the final generation before the second coming of Jesus. Jesus is holding in His hand seven stars which represent the seven messengers to those seven specific churches. When John completes the writing of the Book of The Revelation, he is to send a copy to each of the 7 churches (verse 1:11). The book will be carried by the seven messengers. That is all they are. The word angelos is used in this way 5 times in the New Testament (Mat. 11:10 and Mark 1:2; Luke 7:24, 27; 9:52; James 2:25). The only thing that militates against these angelos being simply messengers, is the fact that everywhere else in the book, the word is used for actual angelic beings. However, there seems to be no logical reason to address these letters to ANGELS. So I prefer to see these angelos as human messengers who bring the entire book to the respective churches, and who have the job to bring each church’s attention to their specific personal letters.
Although the personal pronoun, YOU, is in the singular throughout (with a few exceptions where it is plural), the context indicates that it is the CHURCH which is addressed, and not the messenger.
 
Some have suggested that the messengers to the churches are the respective pastors, and that each one, whether good or bad, is being addressed as the one responsible for getting each church straightened out with regard to their respective failures. The problem with this view is that there is no other place in scripture where this word is used for a pastor of a church.

REVELATION FOUR

Verse one

After John receives the messages to the seven churches, the vision shows him a door opened into heaven. The term, “after these things” occurs first here, and whether it is “after these things” or “after this,” it simply means that there is a progression in the vision. It does not automatically refer to any kind of chronological indicator. Rev. 4:1A; 7:1, 9; 15:5; 18:1 and 19:1
However, at Revelation 1:19, 4:1B, 9:12 and 20:3 it functions as a chronological indicator and does not refer to progression within the vision.

John is invited to “come up here” and is transported into a heavenly setting.  The reason for this is because heaven is the launching pad for most of the events about which John will be taught, from the inception of the 70th week of Daniel until the end of the Messiah’s earthly reign, and into eternity itself. Later, within the vision, he will be taken out of heaven into the wilderness (Rev. 17:1-3). And later still, he will be carried to a mountain top from where he could view the descent of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:9-10).

Most people who hold to the pretrib rapture theory believe that this invitation and John’s “visionary” ascent into heaven symbolizes the rapture.
John Walvoord explains this theory on page 103 of his commentary, THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST.
   “The invitation for John to ‘come up hither’ is so similar to that which the church anticipates at the rapture that many have connected the two expressions. It is clear from the context that this is not an explicit reference to the rapture of the church, as John was not actually translated; in fact he was still in his natural body on the island of Patmos. He was translated into scenes of heaven only temporarily. Though there is not authority for connecting the rapture with this expression, there does seem to be a typical representation of the order of events, namely, the church age first, then the rapture, then the church in heaven. Though the rapture is mentioned in letters to two of the churches (cf. 2:25; 3:11), the rapture as a doctrine is not a part of the prophetic foreview of the book of Revelation. This is in keeping with the fact that the book as a whole is not occupied primarily with God’s program for the church. Instead the primary objective is to portray the events leading up to and climaxing in the second coming of Christ and the prophetic kingdom and the eternal state which ultimately will follow.
   From a practical standpoint, however, the rapture may be viewed as having already occurred in the scheme of God before the events of chapter 4 and following chapters of Revelation unfold. The word church, so prominent in chapters 2 and 3, does not occur again until 22:16, though the church is undoubtedly in view as the wife of the Lamb in Revelation 19:7. She is not a participant in the scenes of the tribulation which form the major content of the book of Revelation. The familiar phrase, ‘what the Spirit saith unto the churches’ found in 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22 is significantly absent in 13:9.
   It seems that the church as the Body of Christ is out of the picture, and saints who come to know the Lord in this period are described as saved Israelites or saved Gentiles, never by terms which are characteristic of the church, the Body of Christ. Saints mentioned from this point on do not lose their racial background as is commonly done in referring to the church where Jew and Gentile are one in Christ. At the beginning of chapter 4, then, the church may be considered as in heaven and not related to events which will take place on the earth in preparation for Christ’s return in power and glory.”

However, the theory is easily refuted, for Walvoord admits, “It is clear from the context that this is not an explicit reference to the rapture of the church.”

See Topic: The Revelation 4:1 Rapture Theory and the church in Revelation

So then, John's perspective is from heaven, not because of a rapture idea at Rev. 4:1, but because the end-times program of God is launched from heaven, and that is the best perspective from which to "vision" the events. John is told that he will be shown the things that “must take place after these things.”

What John first sees are symbols set in a heavenly context. That is, these are things in his vision and not necessarily, ACTUAL things in heaven. Any changes in that heavenly scene are based on the future events symbolized in the vision. So then, the scene in heaven at Revelation 4 and 5 describes a symbolic situation within John's vision; a situation that does not change until the seals begin to be opened.

Furthermore, from this "vision" location in heaven, the "future" events are shown to him as it were on a movie screen and those beings who are in heaven, within the context of his vision, are observing them as well. The "future" visions begin in chapter 6 and when the 24 elders and the living creatures are mentioned again (Rev. 11:16-17 and 19:4) they are shown to be giving a response to the same thing that John is seeing.

The FUTURE events portrayed in the vision from this point forward, refer to events that occur during and after the 70th week of Daniel. That TIME FACTOR is the next major event in God’s prophetic time line for the history of the human race. In fact, except for the actual prophecy of the 70th week’s inception, the focus is always on the midpoint of the week. The one exception to that statement would be Revelation 6:2, which seems to me, MUST refer to the inception of the week, since verses 3-4 are most likely referring to the midpoint of the week.

SEE TOPIC: The 70 weeks of Daniel

The beginning of the 70th week of Daniel does not indicate an END of the church age, but simply the transition from the church as the priestly agent of God back to Israel as the priestly agent of God. This will take place DURING the 70th week rather than at its inception.
According to the PreWrath view of the rapture, which places the rapture at the 6th seal, the rapture will not occur until AFTER the oppressive reign of the beast has started and significantly affected the church on the earth (Mat. 24:9-29; 2 Thes. 1:6-10; 2 Thes. 2:3-4; Rev. 12:17).

SEE TOPIC: Pre Wrath and Dispensations

Verse 2a
The invitation to “come up here” does not really leave John with any choice in the matter.
It appears that the invitation comes from the same “voice” that initiated John’s vision back at chapter 1:10. “I was in spirit (vision mode) on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.”
Here and there are the only two places in the book of The Revelation where this image is seen; that is, “a voice like a trumpet.” Since at Revelation 1 that voice is identified as the voice of Jesus, it seems probable that it is Jesus who extends this invitation here as well. Furthermore, since this book is THE REVELATION of (that is FROM) Jesus Christ, it is consistent for Him to speak at this juncture.
However, He does not speak again in the book. The concluding words at the end of the book, at Revelation 22:10-16, are relayed by the angel and not spoken directly by Jesus (Rev. 21:9; 22:1, 6, 10, 16 and 20).


Immediately I was in the spirit: The Greek says, “in spirit” and it refers to an ethereal type environment that indicates this is a vision. He was not taken literally or physically to heaven, but only in VISION MODE did he COME TO BE in this heavenly setting.
The verb for “was” is ginomai as an aorist middle indicative and means to BECOME something that you were not before. Thus, the idea here, is that John suddenly found himself in an entirely different setting than before.

After John “arrives” at the symbolic heaven, he is once again shown various SYMBOLIC images that portray a heavenly setting and the beings who have a part to play in John’s vision.

Verses 2b-3, The vision and description of the Father
The first thing he saw was a throne and someone sitting on the throne.
“And behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.”
And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.”

We know this to be God the Father because at verse 5:5-8, the LAMB, which represents Jesus appears as a separate being from the One on the throne.
Concerning the description, most of what can be stated here is speculative.
1. Concerning the Jasper and the Sardius stones, Walvoord writes,
”Each tribe of Israel had a representative stone, and the high priest had stones representing each of the twelve tribes of Israel on his breast when he functioned in his priestly office before the altar. . . Significantly, the jasper and the sardine stone are the first and the last of these twelve stones (cf. Exodus 28:17-21).” THE REVELATION, page 104.
Whether this signifies representation of the ENTIRE nation of Israel, or represents God as THE FIRST AND THE LAST (Isaiah 44:6), or both, can only be surmised.
The jasper stone is mentioned only 7 times in Scripture and there is really nothing of significance that can be determined from those places (Ex. 28:20; 39:13; Ezek. 28:13; Rev. 4:3; 21:11, 18, 19).
The Sardius stone is mentioned only here and at Revelation 21:20, and likewise, we learn nothing of significance from those passages.

2. The rainbow speaks of God’s faithfulness as was established when it was first created.
Genesis 9:8-17. The promise to never again destroy the earth with a flood, is a promise to preserve the earth until the end of God’s redemptive plan, which will be consummated at the end of the Messiah’s 1000 year earthly reign. 2Peter 3:7, “But the present heavens and earth by the same word (His word) are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of non-worshipping men.”

3. For the emerald, there is no information that provides us with any significant meaning.
It occurs only here and at Ex. 28:17; 39:10; Ezek. 28:13; and Rev. 21:19. It’s placement in the lists of other stones is not consistent being listed 3rd, 9th, and 4th respectively. Speculation is pointless.


These images that John sees in his VISION are shown to him for a reason.
They represent either (1) what is in heaven right now as John is shown the heavenly scene; or (2) they represent SYMBOLICALLY certain aspects of God’s plan for the human race, and are NOT really what is there in the actual third heaven.

Concerning option (1): We know that in heaven right now there is –

1. God the Father:  Psalm 11:4; 102:19; Isaiah 66:1; (Heb. 12:22, “city of the living GOD”).

2. “Mount Zion; the city of the living God; the heavenly Jerusalem.” Hebrews 12:22.
This is probably where the dwellings that Jesus has prepared for us are located. John 14:1-3.

3.  Myriads of angels (Heb. 12:22).  It is probable that the angels would be portrayed in a human form since they have usually been seen that way throughout the Scriptures. If I start with a premise that the VISIONS of the cherubim are just symbolic to communicate to the prophet who sees them, specific things related to God’s plan, then in reality, all angels appear basically the same – in spirit or human form.
Angels are ANGELS. They do not need to be portrayed as other than their normal appearance, which would be as “spirits” (Heb. 1:14; 1Kings 22:19-21), or perhaps as men.
There are two ways that angels are manifested to the human race.
(A) A physical form resembling man. 
Gen. 18:1-2; 9:1; 32:24; Joshua 5:13; Dan. 10:5-6, 16, 18; Lk. 24:4; Heb. 13:2; Mark 16:5
(Comment on Luke 24:39: The disciples thought they were seeing the spirit of Jesus; a human spirit. Christ's comment is not concerning angels, but the immaterial part of "man.")

(B) A spirit form which is basically, invisible. Job 4:18; 1 Sam. 16;14-23; Jud. 9:23;
2 Kings 6:15-17. The unclean spirits and the seducing spirits.

Also, the word, cherub (cherubim – plural), when used outside a VISION format, seems to indicate an angel (Gen. 3:24; Ezekiel 28:14, 16), and probably with wings (Exodus 25:18-20 and 1 Kings 6:24 - two wings). And that is why in Ezekiel’s visions the angels are identified as cherubim. Concerning the Hebrew word, kerubh, no adequate origin or meaning has been found for it. It is best, therefore, to understand the term cherub (cherubim) as a specialized term for angels, probably because of the presence of wings.

4. New Testament saints who have died since the resurrection of Christ, and whose spirits are now face to face with the Lord (2Cor. 5:5).  These are described at Hebrews 12:23 as “a festal gathering and assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven.”

5. Old Testament saints, who are called “the spirits of just men made complete” at Hebrews 12:23.
At Hebrews 12:40 these Old Testament saints were not to be “made complete” apart from us, that is BEFORE the actual sacrifice for sins was accomplished by Jesus on the cross, and SALVATION REALITY was made available through His resurrection.
These were taken to the third heaven when Jesus ascended there after His resurrection.  (Eph. 4:8-10; Luke 23:43; 2Cor. 12:4)

6. The Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 12:24): He is portrayed as a Lamb, but He is not really a lamb. So it should be obvious that this is simply a SYMBOL within the scope of John’s vision.

If we were to look into heaven right now and see the actual inhabitants, outside the context of John’s SYMBOLIC vision, we would see The Father, Jesus, angels, and the souls of saints, both OT and NT. We would NOT see the symbols that John was shown for they are exclusive to his vision, just like the symbols shown to Isaiah and Ezekiel were exclusive to their visions.

Concerning option (2), when we get to the vision of John, we need to understand the symbols as they relate to what God is communicating and not to the way that things ACTUALLY are there.
Evidence for this perspective is as follows:

1. The 24 elders REPRESENT something, and it is not angels. Angels are represented by being mentioned separately. It is most likely that the elders represent PEOPLE; the souls of the saints who are in heaven, both OT and NT who reside in the presence of Jesus.
Only 24 are mentioned, because it is intended as a SYMBOL. Otherwise, ALL THE MYRIADS of souls would be shown to John. But of course, they are not.
The symbol then, speaks of God’s redemptive plan for the human race as accomplished “to date” (in reference to John) – Old Testament and New Testament saints in heaven.
Even when one or more of the elders speak, this does not violate the symbolic meaning, for they have a function within the sphere of the VISION.

See Article: The 24 Elders

2. Jesus is portrayed as a LAMB with 7 eyes and 7 horns. Jesus is NOT a lamb, and if we were to see into heaven right now, we would see HIM in His resurrection body; we would not see a Lamb. This is obviously a SYMBOL to portray certain aspects about the person and work of Jesus. In like manner, the vision shown to John at chapter 1:12-18 and elsewhere, is simply SYMBOLIC and not the way Jesus would be actually seen.

The purpose then, for these various symbols is not to portray what is ACTUALLY in heaven, but rather, certain aspects of God’s plan for the human race.  That is why the cherubim shown to Ezekiel are so similar, and yet so different; they are portraying a DIFFERENT aspect of God’s plan concerning Israel.

Verse 4, The Twenty-four Elders
The 24 elders of that heavenly scene represent a group that is in heaven, WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE VISION. 
In addition to what has been observed above and in the article THE 24 ELDERS, we should note the three factors that are stated about these elders.
1. They are sitting on thrones: This probably represents the fact that the saints will reign with Christ.
A. Believers will reign in life through Christ. Rom. 5:17

B. Those purchased during the church age will reign upon the earth.
Probably the millennium is in view. Rev. 5:10. And Old Testament and New Testament saints have been joined into one spiritual body IN CHRIST. Ephesians 2:11-22.


C. Saints will judge (govern, administrate affairs) the world.
This too is a reference to the millennial reign of Christ. 1 Cor. 6:2

     
1. All saints will have a "position" or "status" of reigning.
      2. But the specifics of function are based on one's good works in time.

D. Saints will also judge (govern, administrate affairs) angels. 1Cor. 6:3
This probably refers to activity AFTER the millennial kingdom.

2. They are clothed in white garments: This probably has reference to the imputation of divine righteousness that is received at the moment that a person trusts in the Messianic promise. All who are saved have God’s righteousness credited to them.

3. They are wearing gold crowns: This could have reference to the victory of overcoming the world through faith in Christ. Or it could have further reference to their authority as co-reigning with Christ.
These symbols are not standardized as can be seen from comparing with Rev. 9:7 and 14:14.

Verse 5, THE THRONE
John sees three things about the throne.
He sees flashes of lightning and thunder. The combination of lightning and thunder is seen three other times in the book of The Revelation. We learn at Exodus 19:9-18, that the thunder and lightning speaks of God’s presence. It thus refers to the authority of His viewpoint and policy, and that includes righteousness and justice. In the 4 occurrences in the book of The Revelation, the focus is on God’s presence in the expression of His wrath through administering divine judgment.

1. The first occurrence here at verse 5 focuses primarily on God’s presence. Judgment does not come into view until the other 3 occurrences, but indirectly, it sets the tone for the content of the vision that will be shown to John.
2. Rev. 8:5: This is in preparation for the 7 trumpets of divine judgment to be blown.
The fire from the altar speaks of divine justice expressed in answer to the prayers of the saints.
The earthquake occurs as well to indicate that the judgment will be administered UPON the earth.
3. Rev. 11:19: This is in preparation for the outpouring of God’s FINAL wrath and judgment upon the earth. The earthquake once again, indicates an earthly focus, and the hail speaks of judgment coming FROM God.
4. Rev. 16:18: This is in reference to the LAST of the bowl judgments and remains consistent with the symbolism that points to divine wrath and judgment.

John also sees seven lamps of fire, which are the 7 Spirits of God: These are clearly identified as representing the presence of God the Holy Spirit as seen already at verses 1:4-5. There we are told the source of the information that John will be shown. It is from God the Father (“the One who is and who was and who is to come”). It is from the Holy Spirit (“and from the 7 spirits who are before His throne”). It is from God the Son (“and from Jesus Christ”).
Of course there are not SEVEN Spirits of God. There is only ONE Holy Spirit, Who as a member of the Godhead is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son. But, as with both the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit has a unique “function” within the Godhead as God relates to the human race.

The mention of SEVEN SPIRITS is probably a reference to what was shown to Isaiah at Isaiah 11:2, where there are SEVEN factors listed to indicate the function of the Holy Spirit in His ministry to the humanity of Jesus during the years of His life here on earth.
There are 7 factors mentioned here that describe the Holy Spirit with emphasis on His ministry to the humanity of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry. The focus is on how the Spirit ministers to the soul through knowledge and the reflection of divine integrity in the life of Christ - and by application, in the life of the believer.
A. The Spirit of Yahweh: This identifies the Divine personality of the Holy Spirit as the title has indicated in its earlier uses throughout the Old Testament.
See Topic: THE HOLY SPIRIT: His person and character

 
B. The Spirit of wisdom and understanding.
    1. Wisdom: this is the word, chokmAh. This is the APPLICATION of knowledge and
        understanding in making decisions about any and every situation in life. Expression
        of wisdom makes the believer an efficient representative of God while here on earth.
        Understanding comes from knowledge. And wisdom comes from understanding. Prov. 2:6,
        "For Yahweh gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding."
        (tebhunAh here, for "understanding" is a synonym for biynAh).
    2. Understanding: This is the word, biynAh. This refers to comprehension of truth that
        goes beyond the simple academic knowledge of facts. At Ephesians 3:18-19, the
        goal of spiritual growth is to "comprehend . . . what is the breadth and length and
        height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge."
        UNDERSTANDING is a functional knowledge of what the plan of God is all about;
        the real issues between light and darkness that comes FROM knowledge (facts;
        points of truth). Understanding is the basis for having WISDOM.

C. The Spirit of counsel and strength.
    1. Counsel: This is the word, ātsAh. It refers to advice or guiding wisdom.
        a. The provision from wisdom: Proverbs 8:14 compared with verses 1:25, 30.
        b. Psalm 73:21-24
        c. The nature of Divine counsel - Isaiah 28:29
        d. Counsel refers to the DIVINE VIEWPOINT concerning everything in life.
        e. Compare with human viewpoint: Proverbs 19:21 and Job 38:2
        f. Counsel is the divine viewpoint advice that comes from understanding and wisdom.


    2. Strength: This is the word, gebhurAh. It refers to INNER strength of character.
        It indicates nobility of character and integrity. This is what is produced in the soul of the
        believer through success in spiritual growth. This is the presence of beneficent love that
        INFLUENCES the soul for the application of divine truth in opposition to the influence of
        the sin nature.
See Topic:  BENEFICENT LOVE

D. The Spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahweh.
    1. Knowledge: This is the word, daath. This refers to the factual details of God's character and
        plan. These truths are learned from the Bible only. Knowledge must be volitionally accepted
        and believed, in order for the truths of knowledge to produce UNDERSTANDING and
        WISDOM and eventually CHARACTER STRENGTH.
    2. Fear of Yahweh: This refers to the attitude of humility that recognizes that the authority,
        viewpoint and policy of God has total jurisdiction of the universe and my life. Basic humility
        toward God (The fear of the Lord) is the basis for seeking and accepting the knowledge of
        God (Prov. 1:7).
        "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge," (daath).
        Continued humility toward God is then the basis for APPLICATION of knowledge in order
        to express understanding and wisdom for the avoidance of sin (Prov. 16:6; Ps. 119:11).
     See Topic:  THE FEAR OF THE LORD

Verse 6a
And before the throne there was, as it were a sea of glass like crystal.
The sea of glass is BEFORE the throne. It is empty. The elders and the creatures are positioned around and in the center of the throne, but they are not ON the sea of glass. They are not BEFORE the throne.
In fact, there is nothing ON the sea of glass; there is nothing BEFORE the throne UNTIL Revelation 7:9. There, John is shown the raptured saints as “a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing BEFORE the throne and BEFORE the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.”

The next time John is shown the sea of glass is at Revelation 15:2.
“And I saw as it were, a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had come off victorious from the beast and from his image and from the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.”

These raptured saints who are holding harps, are shown to John earlier at chapter 14:2, as HARPISTS.
1. And I heard a sound from heaven: the word is phonA, and means simply - A SOUND. This word occurs 4 times in this verse and should be rendered SOUND each time. The sound is FROM HEAVEN which clearly contrasts it with the scene on
Mt. Zion, which is on the earth.
There is no contextual basis for interpreting the 144,000 as being in heaven. There is a clear contrast between the 144,000 “on
Mount Zion,” ON THE EARTH, and the “sound from heaven.”
In order to identify the harpists, we must appeal to the two other places where this symbol is seen.
   A. At Revelation 5:8, the 24 elders are shown to John as “each one having a harp.” I have already
        identified the elders as a symbolic representation of the saints from all previous ages. They are
        seen as holding harps because the focus is on their service status as eternal servants of God.
   B. At Revelation 15:2, John sees the saints “standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of gold.”
        Since they are standing ON the sea of glass, that means they are standing BEFORE the throne.
        And the harpists of Rev. 14:2 are also located BEFORE the throne.

The conclusion is that the harpists shown to John at Revelation 14:2 must be identified as the raptured saints who are in heaven, and who sing a new song FOR the 144,000 new Jewish converts who are on the earth.
The fact that the Revelation 7:9 saints are holding palm branches, while the Revelation 15:2 saints are holding harps does not mean they are different groups.
At Revelation 7:9, the focus is on the initial arrival of the raptured saints, and the palm branches represent the inception of their royal inheritance.
At Revelation 15:2 and 14:2, the harps are mentioned because the focus is on service activity subsequent to their arrival.


To summarize:  
John hears harpists in heaven playing on their harps. In order to identify these harpists we need more information.
From Revelation 14:3, we learn FOUR things about the harpists.
(1) They are BEFORE THE THRONE 
(2) before the 4 living creatures
(3) before the 24 elders
(4) and they sang a new song.

At Rev. 15:2, we learn that these harpists are standing on the sea of glass. The sea of glass is located BEFORE THE THRONE.
At Rev. 4:6, the sea of glass was empty.
“and before the throne {there was,} as it were, a sea of glass like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.”
At Rev. 7:9, This AREA before the throne is filled with the raptured saints. If they are standing BEFORE THE THRONE, they are standing ON THE SEA OF GLASS.
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and {all} tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches {were} in their hands.” 
The harpists that John sees in his vision at Rev. 15:2-4 and at 14:2-3, represent the raptured body of Christ in heaven. And both passages tell us that they sang a song. At verses 15:2-3, they sang the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. This refers to ONE song, not two. It is the song of praise reflecting the combination of both Old Testament saints and church age saints.
As at Revelation 7:9ff, the group viewed is restricted to those who were martyred under the persecution of the beast during the great tribulation. This does not exclude believers of all ages who were resurrected at the rapture, but here we have a specific FOCUS to emphasize the time frame for the rapture. The emphasis is on those who were delivered from the great tribulation as at 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7.

“For after all it is {only} just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and {to give} relief to you who are afflicted (in tribulation) and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.” 

Paul’s language anticipates the POSSIBILITY that the affliction that they were going through at that time, could easily escalate into the tribulation that Jesus taught about at Matthew 24:9-29.
Accordingly, if Jesus were to return within that time frame, then the Thessalonian saints, as well as Paul himself, would be raptured and be gathered into the clouds of the sky for a meeting with the Lord (1Thes. 4:17). After that they will be gathered into their heavenly “homes” (John 14:1-3), and “forever be with the Lord.”

The presence of the raptured saints gathered into heaven is symbolically portrayed by the saints gathered ONTO the sea of glass, which is located BEFORE the throne. From there, their initial expression of service to God will be to play on the harps and sing a new song for the new Jewish converts to learn.  The reason no harps are seen at Revelation 7:9 is because the intent there is to focus on their ARRIVAL. At Revelation 14:2 and 15:2, the focus is on some aspect of service subsequent to their arrival.


Verses 6b-9
THE FOUR LIVING CREATURES
What is the significance of the FOUR living creatures?
The 4-living creatures like the 24 elders, should be seen as symbols of some aspect of God’s plan and not as portraying actual “beings” that reside in heaven.
The meaning can be found in their appearance. Revelation 4:7
“And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.”

What then is the significance of these symbols shown to John?
John understood. He did not need to question about the significance of the four living creatures and their unique appearance with four faces. He knew they represented the nation of Israel.
The 4-living creatures represent the nation of Israel and the fact that God’s plan for humanity revolves around that nation, which is uniquely valuable in God’s sight (Deut. 32:10; Zech. 2:8).
This is the significance of the FOUR FACES that are displayed upon the creatures. They represent the nation of Israel. There is no Biblical statement to this effect, but through some simple comparisons a reasonable theory can be proposed.

The four faces relate to the 4 standards for the orderly arrangement of the nation of Israel as it was organized after departing Egypt. The Keil and Delitzsch commentary at Numbers 2:2ff explains,

Neither the Mosaic law, nor the Old Testament generally, gives us any intimation as to the form or character of the standard (degel). According to rabbinical tradition, the standard of Judah bore the figure of a lion, that of Reuben the likeness of a man or of a man’s head, that of Ephraim the figure of an ox, and that of Dan the figure of an eagle; so that the four living creatures united in the cherubic forms described by Ezekiel were represented upon these four standards.

But we are not limited to rabbinical tradition. We can also glean some hints from Scripture that strongly suggest how the 4 face images relate to the 4 banners of Israel’s camping arrangement.

For the details please see the article: THE FOUR BANNERS OF ISRAEL

COMPARISON of Ezekiel’s vision with John’s:
When Ezekiel is shown the symbolic cherubim, they appear different because there is a different significance. For Ezekiel, Israel was still a functional nation with a job to do. The cherubim on the wheels, moving in various directions communicates the purpose of Israel as the evangelistic agent to the world.
As with John, Ezekiel does not need to question what these four faces mean. It would have been clear to him that they indicated the four banners of Israel and as such symbolized the nation of Israel as a whole.
The Southern kingdom of Judah is currently under the 4th cycle of discipline, but if they do not recover, the 5th cycle will be implemented in 7 years, and the nation will temporarily cease to be God’s representative on the earth. The Northern kingdom had already been disciplined in like manner and the two will soon be joined in captivity in the kingdom of Chaldea.
 See Topic: Israel, 5 cycles of discipline

The date of this first vision is 593 BCE. The fifth cycle will be implemented in 586 BCE and last for 70 years. In Ezekiel chapter 10, the 4 cherubim are shown to depart from the temple,  along with the Spirit of God. This shows that God has temporarily turned away from the nation during the Babylonian captivity, which will last for 70 years. During that time of national discipline, the nation will not function as God’s evangelistic agent.

In John’s vision, the cherubim are shown without the wheels and without the rapid movement in various directions. This communicates the fact that the nation is currently under discipline from God, having been temporarily set aside with the destruction of the city and temple in 70 AD. But God still has a major role for the nation of Israel. In fact, His plan will revolve around that nation until the end of Messiah’s earthly kingdom. Accordingly, John is shown the four living creatures as representatives of the nation of Israel.
John does not question who the living creatures are or what the meaning of the 4 faces is, for he understands it based on his knowledge of the Old Testament.


COMPARISON with Isaiah’s vision shows us that t
he seraphim of Isaiah 6:1-7 ALSO had 6 wings.
This is a VISION and the images are to be understood as symbolic rather than actual creatures.
The word seraphim occurs only in Isaiah 6 and is simply a term used by Isaiah to indicate the appearance of the cherubim he saw. The noun, sAraph, means a burning one. This indicates the intense light that was involved with the appearance.
It is possible that this vision shows the same symbolic creatures as were shown to John at Revelation 4:6-8. Accordingly, the details about the 4 creatures that John sees can be reasonably applied to these seraphim that Isaiah sees. There is no way to know why the faces of these seraphim are not described, but if they do appear as in John’s vision, then the significance would be to portray the nation of Israel. This is reasonable since Isaiah’s ministry is directed to the nation while it is still in active service to God as His evangelistic agent to the world.

Verse 8
1. Six wings: The significance of these 3 pairs of wings can be found at Isaiah 6:2.
   A. with two he covered his face: This speaks of humility; the attitude that recognizes
        that the authority and policy of God has jurisdiction over all of God’s creation.
   B. with two he covered his feet: Feet usually speak of service, and this would further amplify
       humility. Service to God is the ultimate purpose for which God created angels and humanity.
       All of God’s creatures must wait upon Him and depend upon Him for service activity.
       However, since the feet are COVERED, it could very well refer to the fact that the nation at the
       present time is under the 4th cycle of discipline from God and that the 5th cycle and dispersion is
       imminent. The covering of the feet could easily indicate the cessation of service to God.
   C. with two he flew: This refers to the actual FUNCTION of God’s angels as they carry out His
       purpose within the universe. Psalm 103:20-21
       1. Verse 20, perform His word, obeying His voice.
       2. Verse 21, serve Him, doing His will


2. Full of eyes around and within: This usually speaks of knowledge, and would indicate that these symbolic servants of God are privy to the divine design of the universe and aware of God’s plan for the future; especially in regard to the nation of Israel.
3. Day and night: This does not refer to a literal “day and night” for there is no day or night in the heavenly setting. Nor does it mean “non-stop” activity. It is an idiom to indicate consistent or habitual activity. It communicates their attitude of humility and their function of serving God through both praise and action.
4. Holy, Holy, Holy: The triple praise echoes the Isaiah vision. The adjective is hagios, and means, special and unique. The quality of that uniqueness depends on context. In this case, of course, the praise is directed to the most unique entity in the universe, God the Father.
The TRIPLE expression, although directed to the Father, speaks of the Godhead in its entirety as the triune entity of Father, Son and Spirit. All three members of the Godhead are clearly represented in John’s vision.
Here, in this symbolic heavenly setting, all three are represented.
(1) The Father, through the one who sits on the throne at verses 4:2-3.
(2) The Holy Spirit, through the seven lamps of fire at verse 5.
(3) The Son, through the Lamb at verses 5:5-6.
And after the vision, when John writes to the seven churches, he indicates the source of the vision to be the three members of the Godhead. Verse 1:4-5.
(1) The Father: From “Him who is and who was and who is to come.”
(2) The Holy Spirit: “and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne.”
(3) The Son: “and from Jesus Christ.”

5. The Lord God: The Greek is kurios (Lord) ho (the) theos (God).
This expression occurs 11 times in the New Testament. Luke 1:32; 1:68; Acts 3:22
Rev. 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; 18:8; 21:22; and 22:5.
The Greek, kurios, speaks of divine sovereign authority.
The Greek, theos, indicates “a” or in this case THE divine entity of the universe.

6. The Almighty: This is the Greek pantokrator, and it means all powerful.
This word is used in the LXX to translate el shaddai, which means the all powerful provider.
See Topic: GOD ALMIGHTY

The next triune construction establishes the eternity of the Godhead. Psalm 90:2
”From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
7. Who was: This is a reference to eternity past. God’s divinity and authority as existed forever.
8. Who is: God is STILL in control; His sovereignty still rules over all despite the advances of evil.
9. And who is to come: God’s plan will be completed in the future according to His sovereign authority. He will let evil advance to a point only. And then in His perfect timing (1 Timothy 6:15, "which He {the Father} will bring about at His own time.") and according to His perfect wisdom, He will “come” and manifest the presence of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and bring to an end the influence and system of darkness.
This construction is used to identify The Father at verse 1:4.
And at verse 1:8, the Father speaks, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God. “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

It is used also at verse 16:5 with just the “was” and “is” factors. That is because in the context, He has already COME and is in the process of pouring out His just wrath upon Satan and the system of darkness.
”Righteous (just) are You, Who is and who was, O Holy One, because You judged these things.”
This is prophesied at Isaiah 40:10. “Behold, the Lord Yahweh will come with might, with His Arm ruling for Him.” This is probably referring to the Father, and “His Arm” refers to the Messiah.
It is also possible that Hab. 3:3 should be understood this way. “God (the Father) comes from Teman, and the Holy One (the Messiah) from Mount Paran.”
We should also probably see the Father as the one in view at Psalm 96:13 and 98:9.
“He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness.”
And at Micah 1:3. “Behold, the Lord is coming forth from His place. He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth.”
Perhaps the Father is in view even at Hebrews 10:37. “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.”

When speaking of Jesus, there is a different construction that is used.
At verse 1:17 and 18, He says, “I am the first and the last, and the living one; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.”
And at verse 2:8, “The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life.”
But at verse 22:12-13, Jesus says (through the teaching angel), “Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
At Isaiah 48:12, the Messiah speaks. “I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.”
Through this we see the distinction between the Father and the Son, but we also see the unique unity and equality within the Godhead. For at Isaiah 44:6 we find, “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel (reference to the Father), And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts (reference to the Messiah); I am the first and I am the last. And there is no God besides me.”

See Topic: THE GODHEAD

Verse 9, further insight into the nature of the praise offered by the four living creatures
1. And when: That is at this SPECIFIC time, within the vision, that the four living creatures express their praise, the 24 elders will also express praise as is described in verses 10-11.
This is a one-time situation. Even though the four creatures are HABITUALLY praising God, John is seeing this only ONE time within the context of his vision. And the actions of the 24 elders are likewise a one-time occurrence to portray the humility and grace orientation of the saints.

2. The praise of the living creatures is amplified by three words.
   A. glory: The word is doxa, and refers to those expressions or actions that bring specific attention to the supernatural character of God and His works. The focus is on His essence.
Thus, to glorify God means to do something that brings attention to WHO God is and what He has done for His creatures in the universe.
The word is also used for angels and man and various other things to indicate an integral essence or nature.

   B. honor: The word is timā. This is a VALUE word. The proclamation recognizes that God is to be honored and respected as the One MOST worthy of such value and respect.
The verb, timao, is used at John 5:23, “In order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”
It is the word used in, “honor your father and mother,” to indicate great respect and that great value is placed upon them.

   C. thanks: The word is eucharistia. This is a HUMILITY and GRACE word. It recognizes that God is the source of everything good and wonderful in the universe. This proclamation is an expression of humility that knows, accepts and thanks God for all that He has done. God alone is worthy to receive such high recognition by all the creatures in the universe.

3. Two descriptions are repeated which clearly identifies the recipient of this praise as God the Father.
   A. To Him who sits on the throne (verse 2): this re-states the sovereignty of the Father.
   B. to Him who lives forever and ever: This restates the eternal existence of the Father.

Verse 10
The praise actions of the 24 elders

1. They will fall down before Him who sits on the throne: This is the characteristic posture for worship in the oriental cultures. And that is the cultural context for John as he is shown this vision. It indicates humility and reverence to the one in authority. Of course, in the human realm, such overt behavior does not necessarily show the genuine attitude of the soul. Therefore in this case, we have more than just this act of prostration. We have the additional act of casting the crowns before the throne, and we have the verbal praise cited in verse 11.

2. They will worship Him: Worship is the expression of devotion that recognizes the character of the one who is worshipped. It is a summary word for what can be shown in a large variety of manners.
In this case, we have three things that the elders do to indicate their true devotion to God.
They prostrate themselves before Him; they cast the crowns at His feet, and they verbalize their praise.
 “Him who lives forever and ever” continues to focus on the eternity of the Godhead.
The future tense of “worship” and “cast” (at verse 11), does not indicate the continuous routine of these actions. The actions are not CONTINUOUS. They occur only within the context of this vision, and only this one time.

3. and they will cast their crowns before the throne.
The elders don’t continually, pick up their crowns and throw them down over and over and over again.
As suggested earlier, this is a one-time action to indicate the humility and grace orientation of the saints.
If we recognize that the crowns represent the royal ruling status of the body of Christ as per Revelation 1:6 and 5:10, then casting them before the throne, that is AT THE FEET of the Most High God, shows a humility recognition of God as the source and the provider and the sustainer of all the blessings that they have been given.
 
Verse 11, The content of their praise
This proclamation will be made in view of things that have happened as a result of the progress of God’s plan in the past, and in anticipation of progress in the future.
Receiving glory and honor  is something that OTHERS express toward God. However, POWER, refers to something that God TAKES upon Himself and wields according to His own purpose and timing.
1. Worthy are you: The adjective is axios. It indicates meritorious recognition. God has demonstrated himself to be “deserving” of all the praise and glory that he receives from His creation. He has done this if for no other reason than the fact that he is indeed the CREATOR of the entire universe.
And of course, once the creature recognizes that God is the Creator, it is a simple step in logic to recognize that He did it FOR a reason. Technically, the creature does not even need to know that reason. It is enough to know and comprehend the fact that He did it because He WANTED to.
2. Our Lord and our God: As always, the Greek, kurios, speaks of divine authority. God is sovereign.
And theos, speaks of divine status or existence. There is only one God.
1 Corinthians 8:6, “For us there is only one God and Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him.”
Isaiah 46:9, “For I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is no one like Me.”
Isaiah 45:5, “I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God.”
3. To receive glory: doxa, as shown before, refers to a recognition of the supernatural character of God and His works. The focus is on His essence. Thus, to glorify God means to do something that brings attention to WHO God is and what He has done for His creatures in the universe.
4. and honor: As at verse 9, The word is timā. This is a VALUE word. God is worthy to receive the GREATEST honor and reverence above anything and everything else in the universe.

5. and power: This word is dunamis. Power refers to divine ability to execute justice and righteousness. NOTICE, that as with glory and honor, this is something that is to be RECEIVED. However, creatures do not GIVE God His power. The idea of RECEIVING power refers to the FUTURE administration of His power to carry out the final judgments against the evil of the darkness system and to reign in the universe with absolute and total sovereignty.
The praise of the elders and the living creatures at Revelation 7:12, repeats this acknowledgement of worthiness as “to our God forever and ever.”
At Revelation 5:12, the angels express a similar proclamation of praise, but with several additional attributes. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

And then at verse 5:13, John hears ALL OF CREATION proclaiming praise to both the Father and the Lamb, “blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

THE EXPRESSION OF GOD'S POWER
At the present time, by the will of His sovereignty, God has allowed evil to exist and thrive – even, at times in direct opposition to His divine power. His intent is to let evil “run its course” and then be exposed as totally empty and worthless, and then be judged once and for all – for all eternity. Psalm 92:7, “When the wicked sprouted up like grass, and all who did iniquity flourished, it was so that they might be destroyed forevermore.”
So, at the present time, God’s power is being held in check until His perfect timing and wisdom determines that the final administration of justice is to be executed.
This will BEGIN when the 7 trumpet judgments are completed. Revelation 10:5-7.
Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.”

Concerning the phrase, “delay no longer,” some like to think that this refers to TIME in general. But the context indicates that there will no longer be any delay for the final administration of God’s judgment. What has been administrated prior to this point, via the 6 trumpet judgments, were only preliminary to the final judgment as represented by the 7 bowls.
Thus, at Revelation 11:17, after the sounding of the SEVENTH trumpet, the 24 elders acknowledge, “You have taken your great power and have begun to reign.”
The phrase, “have taken,” indicates that the administration of His power has been delayed until this point in time. It is a perfect active indicative of the verb, lambano. The significance of the perfect tense is that the action of the verb has been completed and the results of that action continue on indefinitely.
In historical reality, the indicator that the reign of the beast and 70th week are over will be the duration of the 1260 days from the inception of the beast’s reign and the beginning of the ministry of the two witnesses.
After the two witnesses complete their 1260-day testimony, they will be killed by the beast; their bodies will lie in the street for 3 ½ days, and they will then be raised up and taken up into the sky.
At that moment there will be a great earthquake that kills 7 thousand people, and their will be a positive expression of faith by many of the survivors. Revelation 11:7-13.

And then within the context of John’s symbolic vision, the 7th trumpet will sound announcing the end of the beast’s reign and the beginning of Christ’s reign. Verse 11:15,
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

Technically, the beast’s authority and influence will still be felt for 30 more days until the battle of Armageddon. What we have is a transitional period of 30 days. The beast’s FORMAL or OFFICIAL reign is over and Christ has laid claim to rulership over the world. But before He can actually establish His absolute reign on the earth, he must remove the beast and the effects of his reign (the abomination in the temple). and then cleanse the earth of all unbelievers.

However, Christ will not establish his reign on the earth until an additional 45 days after the battle of Armageddon. Daniel 12:11
(1) the beast’s reign will be 1260 days, but the abomination is not removed until 30 days after his reign comes to an end.
(2) The blessing upon the survivors is not fully realized until 45 days after the abomination is removed. During that 45 days, the unbelievers will be removed from the earth so that the Messiah’s earthly kingdom will begin with only believers as its citizenry.
     (A) The separation of the unbelievers is described at Matthew 25:31-46.
     (B) The separation of the Jews is described at Ezekiel 34:17-24

 Continuing at Revelation 11:11, the phrase, “begun to reign,” is an aorist active indicative, used to indicate the INCEPTION of the action in view.  Up until this point, the beast has been ruling as Revelation 13:5 indicates, “and authority to act for 42 months was given to him.”
Daniel 7:25-26, “times and law . . . will be given into his hands for a time, times, and half a time (3 ½ years), but the court will sit and his dominion will be taken away.”

The removal of the beast’s dominion will occur at the end of the 70th week; the end of the 3 ½ years; the 1260 days, which constitute the 2nd half of the week. This is determined from Revelation 8:13 through 9:21 and 11:1-15.
At Revelation 8:13, John is told that there are 3 woes yet to come from the 3 remaining trumpets.
Trumpet #5 is the first woe and is described at Revelation 9:1-12a.
Trumpet #6 is the second woe and is described at Revelation 9:12b-21.
Trumpet #7 does not describe any kind of woe in and of itself. It serves as an announcement of several things that can now be accomplished within the perfect timing of God’s plan, as indicated at verse 11:18. “Your wrath came . . . and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

The REWARD aspect of God’s timetable will be accomplished sometime prior to the Lord’s descent to the earth at Armageddon. Revelation 19 indicates that the saints are rewarded in anticipation of sharing in Christ’s kingdom, and THEN, He descends to the earth to destroy His enemies at Armageddon.

Included in this period of “it is time for” will be the 3rd woe, which is introduced at Revelation 11:18 by the statement, “Your wrath came.”  . . . and the time came to destroy those who destroy the earth.” This refers to the final stage of God’s end-times judgment. It is anticipated by Revelation 11:19, “And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.”
As already seen in connection with verse 5, these images within the context of John’s vision speak of divine judgment.
 
The third woe is described by the symbolism portrayed in the 7 bowl judgments of Revelation 15-16.
After Revelation 11:19, the vision provides John with an amplification of what will occur from the midpoint of the 70th week to the battle of Armageddon, when God will “destroy those who destroy the earth.” Chapters 12-14 are parenthetical for this purpose. These chapters tell WHO and HOW the destroyers destroy the earth. That is, they tell us WHY they deserve the judgment that is about to come upon them.

It is like the “movie” shifts to a different scene for awhile. Then, after Revelation 14:20, the vision picks up once again from verse 11:19 in order to continue with the purpose mentioned at the end of verse 11:18, “It is time to destroy those who destroy the earth.” This will be accomplished by the final outpouring of God’s wrath.

At Revelation 15:1, John tells us about the next sign he sees in heaven. It seems that verse one is just John’s summary of what he saw. The details are provided beginning at verse 2. As the vision unfolds, John is shown the 7 angels coming out of the temple and is shown the living creature giving the angels the 7 bowls. He is not shown them two times. At verse one he is just telling us that the next sign he saw was of the 7 angels who had the plagues of the final wrath of God and then he gives us the details. In other words, verse one is written IN VIEW of verses 5-8. The 7 angels are given 7 bowls that symbolically portray the last judgments which will culminate in Armageddon.

John is shown the throne room again with the sea of glass, on which the raptured saints are located. The 4 living creatures are still there, and probably the other symbols are present as well. The Father is sitting on the throne and the 24 elders are seated on their thrones. The Lamb is not mentioned because His presence there is not pertinent to the context of this part of the vision. The next time the Lamb is mentioned is at Revelation 19:6-10 in connection with the marriage supper. And the next time He is actually SEEN in the vision is at Revelation 19:11ff when He descends out of heaven to the earth at the battle of Armageddon.

Revelation 15:5-8 prepares for the administration of that final wrath as John is shown the 7 angels coming OUT OF the temple, and sees one of the living creatures give to them the 7 bowls “full of the wrath of God.”

I return now to verse 4:11 and the praise content of the 24 elders.

6. for you created all things:  The Father is said to be the creator. He is the originator of the Godhead’s plan to resolve the issues of light vs. darkness. We know however, that the actual WORK of creation was accomplished by the second member of the Godhead, THE WORD. John 1:3, 10; Col. 1:18

7. And because of your will: reference again to the SOVEREIGNTY of God.
8. They existed: This is the word, eimi, as an imperfect indicative, to indicate conceptual existence.
All things were conceived of in the mind and wisdom of God.
9. And were created: A restatement to stress the difference between the conceptual existence of all things and the physical existence of all things.

The FACT of divine creatorship qualifies God to possess absolute authority over the universe and to determine the proper viewpoint and policy for the function of the universe. It likewise qualifies Him to enforce His policy through the administration of His justice by expressing His absolute POWER.
Thus, basically, You are worthy to receive power (and to subsequently wield that power) BECAUSE you are indeed the creator and absolute authority in and over the universe.

John’s vision in this particular SCENE continues into chapter 5 as he is shown the sealed book that is subsequently given to the Lamb who is the only one qualified to open the book. The SCENE is still in heaven and does not change until the Lamb begins to open the seven seals.

 
 
 

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