After these things (Rev. 4)

Bro. Michael Jacob

Rev. 4:1 "After This I looked and, behold a door was opened in heaven and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me: which said, come up hither and I will show thee THINGS WHICH MUST BE HERE AFTER"

After this' - John writes. After chapter 2 and 3 - the chapters which completely describe the church period, that is, the present dispensation, (which started on the day of Pentecost will end at the secret coming of the Lord, which could be at any time now because HIS COMING IS VERY NEAR and IMMINENT) John says "I looked".Where are you looking dearly beloved? The nephew of Abraham, Lot looked at the beautiful Sodom at went to dwell there whereas Abraham, the father of the faithful, Was looking for a city whose builder and maker was God". Look not unto the world or the things of the world, look unto Jesus, "the author and finisher of our faith". The Scripture says,  He comes for those who are eagerly looking and waiting for His Coming! PRAISE THE LORD.

"BEHOLD a door was opened in heaven" - The skies are going to rend very soon, the heavenly portals will open, a brilliant light will flash from east to west, and a trumpet will sound, "I heard as it were of a trumpet talking with me. which said. Come up hither", and all the dead in Christ  and we who are alive in Christ will be caught upto meet the Lord in the mid-air. (Thes 4: 16, 17)-A talking trumpet? - It is the voice of the Lord, the same voice which cried from outside the grave of Lazarus, "Lazarus come forth" (John 11:43), will cry out" come up hither" and the dead in Christ (from the days of Pentecost till that beautiful day when our Lord will shout "come up here") the dead dry bones and dust will be quickened and taken up before the Living Savior and those who are alive in Christ will be translated and meet the Lord in mid air.

Here then, in the book of revelation (Rev 4: 1) is the RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. The apostle John here in the book stands as a REPRESENTATIVE of the whole CHURCH. As Apostle John was caught up into the presence of God very soon we also will be caught up to be with Him forever and ever.

Actually the word rapture comes from the Latin word "repere" which means "caught up". But the Greek word which is used in I Thess. 4:: 17 is "harpozo" which is as "caught up". The same word is found in Acts 8:39 where Philip was caught away by the Holy Spirit and in II Corinthians 12:2,4 when Paul was caught up into the third heaven. PRAISE THE LORD. Can you claim the word "harpaze" as yours? That is will you participate in it?

John writes, the first voice, which I heard the apostle is referring here to the Glorious Vision of the Lord Jesus Christ which he saw in the Isle of Patmos on the day of the Lord, " I was in the spirit on the Lord's day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet" (Rev 1:19). This is the voice of our Lord and to hear that call one must be in the spirit "Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).

J.C.M. Dawson points out that from Rev. 4 onwards to the end of Rev.19, God is not once addressed "Father" by which He is known to the church. Therefore, it is clear that judgment is about to be melted out. Prior to that, the church will be removed into the presence of the Lord!

This is the wonderful coming event - the "harpazo" (the rapture). There are 774 747 words in the King James version of the Bible, but a great word among these is the word "Maranatha" used but once in scripture (I Corinthians 16:22). It literally means "the Lord is coming" HALLELUJAH!

John was told, "I will show thee things which must be hereafter" -Whatever man plans, whatever the evil forces may plan, the things which God has planned must come to pass! Heaven and earth may pass away, but my word will not pass away.

Straightway John was in the spirit and he was taken up to the THRONE ROOM "and immediately I was in the spirit; and behold a throne was set in heaven and One sat on the throne" Rev. 4:2. - There is a throne and that throne is a set throne! The Earthly thrones may be toppled but the heavenly throne is a fixed throne - His kingdom endureth forever and ever! The word "throne" is used 45 times in the book of Revelation. In fact, in chapters 4 and 5, which introduce us to the throne room, this word 'throne' is used 17 times. This is highly significant since the word 'throne' is used only 15 times in the rest of the New Testament.

BOOK

WORD  

NUMBER OF TIMES USED

New Testament 

Throne    

60

Revelation only 

Throne    

45

Revelation Chap. 4 & 5

Throne    

17

 

"God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His Holiness" Psalm 47:8. Also Psalm 103:19 says "The Lord hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all".

".......behold  a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne"(Rev.4:2) Praise the Lord!  There is a fixed throne in heaven and that throne is occupied. It is not occupied by many; but by One. "The Lord your God is one Lord".  All though the scripture speaks of Trinity, it is never three Gods, but one God. The scripture speaks of compound unity, as it is known as 1x1x1= 1 and Not as 1+1+1= 3, wrongly understood and is interpreted. "This is the first and great commandment" Math; 22:37, 38, Mark 12:29, 30, "Hear 0 Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord: Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength". Deut. 6:4. In the Hebrew the order is, hear, O Israel, Jehovah our Elohim, Jehovah One"  The Jews repeat it today thus, "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one" and the whole congregation repeat the word "One" for several minutes, "SHEM A Israel, JEHOVAH, ELOHENU, JEHOVAH, ECHAD" (Deut 6:4).  Here is the doctrine of Trinity, "JEHOVAH, EOLOHENU, JEHOVAH" which means, '-LORD OUR GOD, LORD", that is, the "Father, Son and the Holy Ghost" are one.  "And there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit,and  the water and the blood and these three agree in one" (I John 5:7,8).

The word "Echad" is used for one. In the Hebrew there are two words used for the number "One" - Yacheed and Echad. Yachedd means absolute unity (ref. Gen.22:2,12,16; Zech. 12:10, Pro. 4:3: Judg 11:34, Psalms 22:20, 25:16, 35:17, 68:6, Jer. 6.26, Amos 8:10). It occurs only 12 times in the Old Testament. But this is not mean absolute unity but a compound unity. (Ref:-Gen 1:5,2:11,21,24etc.)

"One sat on the throne" - The throne is occupied by the Almighty God - It is the Father's throne, and the son's throne and the place from which the Holy Ghost emerges! Praise the Lord! (Ref. Rev 5:6; 6:16; 4:5)

"And he that sat was to look upon like a Jasper and a sardine stone" (Rev 4:3). John could only describe the person of God in the language understood by us- he compares the one as to the two precious stones - Jasper and Sardius. Jasper is a precious stone of many colours, the commonest being yellow. In other words it speaks of His Divinity,Yellow being the color of Gold and Gold is a type of Divine nature Sardius Hebrew Word 'Odem" or 'Adam' or "Edom' which means red. In other words, the divinity took upon himself the form of a human being the Last Adam, to die for you and for me, and that now that he is waiting to receive and me.

"And there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald" Rev4:3 - After the great flood, God made a covenant with Noah "I will establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood - ...... And God said, This is the token of the covenant .....I do set my bow in the cloud "Gen 9:11 - 17. The Rainbow was the sign of the Noahtic covenant and is shows that he will not destroy all flesh of the earth by flood. Noah and his family found favor in the eyes of the Lord. They found grace and mercy from the Lord".

In the Heaven, there is a rainbow round about the throne. The earthly rainbow is only a Semi Circle in shape but the heavenly rainbow is a complete circular one. Praise the Lord!  We experience the grace and mercy of the Lord. It is true but in heaven we will know the full meaning of Grace and mercy "For we know in part.... But when that which is perfect is come,...Then shall I know" l Cor(13:9-12).

The earthly rainbow is composed of many colors but the heavenly rainbow about the throne of God is Emerald in Color. Emerald is a sea Green color. Glory to God! Who can measure the depth of love, mercy and Grace of God? There is no end to His mercy and His grace! Oh! My beloved I want to be with you. Amen.

24 Elders

"And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty Elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowned of Gold Rev: 4:14.

Twenty-four is the number associated with the heavenly government and worship. In the old Testament the priesthood was divided into 24 orders or courses (I Chron 24: 3- 19). There were 24 priests specially chosen out of a number of 24,000 (IChron 23:4-5). We must know that both Moses and David ordered all things connected with the tabernacle and temple worship by direct revelation from God, and as a copy of things in the heavens."Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God" Heb 8:5, "And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit" I Chron. 28:12,19. Therefore, these 24 elders were present round about the throne even at the time the Lord gave the pattern of the heavenly worship to Moses and David. Therefore, these 24 Elders must be a special class of Angelic beings like the four living creatures, only created to praise the Lord!!

Those who regard the 24 Elders representing the redeemed children of men do so on the authority of Rev 5:9, but it is now known that the ancient and true reading of  Rev 5:9 was different. That reading is given in the Revised Version thus:- "And they sing a new song saying, worthy art thou to take the book and to open the seals thereof; for Thou wast slain and didst purchase unto God men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priest; and they reign upon the earth". Thus the ancient and true reading takes away all ground for making these elders redeemed men. They are a special class of ANGELIC LEADERS of the heavenly worship.

If we accept the 24 Elders as redeemed men, we should accept the four - living creatures also as redeemed saints, refer Rev.5:8, "And when had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the lamb.... And sung a new song". How could you include the four living creatures among the redeemed saints?

Rev 4:5 "And out of the throne proceeded lightning and thundering and voices and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God at the promulgation of the law at Sinai (Exod 19) lightening and thunder from the Mount filled the people with fear. The same together with the sound of voices now issued out of the throne.

During the present church period, the throne of God is one of grace (heb 4:16). But after the rapture of the church the Throne will become a Throne of judgement. The lightning voices and thunders are a warning to a guilty world of impending judgement.

Before the throne, burned seven lamps of fire. Fire represents the Holy Ghost. On the day of Pentecost fire fell upon the disciples and they were filled by the Holy Spirit. Fire is of an illuminating and enlightening quality Eph 1:17, 18; Fire is of warming and heating quality; Fire will burn any combustible matter. Fire is often ascending quality; Fire is of a melting and softening quality; Fire is of quickening quality; Fire is of a piercing and penetrating quality; Fire transforms all materials into it's own nature or sets them on fire. These are the characteristics of the blessed Holy Spirit who proceeds from the throne. Hallelujah!  The Father, Son and the Spirit-One God occupied on the throne!

SEA OF GLASS

"And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal" Rev 4:6.

The sea is usually a symbol of restlessness and unceasing motion. But no winds ruffle this sea because this is sea of glass like unto crystal.

The word of God is compared to Glass. II Corinthians 3:19;James 1: 23.

Glass is a medium that represents persons and things unto the sight of our external eyes . The word of God is the medium which represents Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Glass brings such things that are far, near to us. The wonderful word of God brings things that are afar off, very near to our vision. A true Glass shows unto a man his own natural face. So the word of God shows what man is, how wretched blind and naked. A glass is used by some to dress themselves if anything wanting they soon perceive it. The word of God is absolutely needful for all of us to look into who would dress and deck themselves with the ornaments of grace. Praise the Lord!

"A sea of Glass like unto crystal before the throne"- This is a special place for a class of people who will purify themselves by the word of God and die as martyrs at the hands of Antichrist!  But look now-no one is standing on the sea of Glass. That means, the Tribulations have not started yet! It is about to start with the Lamb of God's approval.

FOUR LIVING CREATURES

"And in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind" Rev 4:6

Beginning at the 6th verse of Revelation 4 there is a detailed description of  "The Four beasts". Literally, it should be translated as "Living creatures" rather than "beasts" The translators called them "beasts" probably because of Ezekiel. (Ezekiel  - 1 ).   The word "Cherub" is used 27 times in the Old Testament and the word   "Cherubim" (plural of "cherub") 65 times in the Old Testament.

The meaning of the word "Cherubim" is uncertain. However cherubim are a special class of ANGELIC BEING - they have 6 wings and eyes before and behind.Their feet are "straight feet" and the sole of their feet is like the sole of calf's foot and they sparkle like bumished brass (Ezek 1:7). They have the hands of men under their wings (Ezek. 1:8). Their wings are joined together (Ezek 1:9, 11). They are like the burning coals of fire, like lamps. The light (or fire) go up and down in them and out of fire go flashes like lighting and is likened to a flash of lightning (Ezek 1:14). The noises of their wings are like the noise of great waters (Ezek 1:24).

THE FIRST BEAST LION - (KING OF THE WILD ANIMAL)

"And one of the elders saith unto me, weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals there of". Now let us look at the characteristics of lion, taking comparison with our Lord Jesus, the lion, of the tribe of Judah

i) Lion is a kingly beast. Jesus is the King of kings.

ii) Lion is a majestic creature. Jesus is full of majesty I Corinth 1:24, "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the Power of God, and the wisdom of God".

iii) Lion is very strong - Jesus is mighty to save, Isa.9:6 "... .For unto us a child is born .. -. .the mighty God".

iv) Lion is very fierce strong in its nature - fearless and terrible creature, especially when provoked by enemy, our Lord Jesus is consuming fire.

v) Lion's voice is a terrible voice. Our Lord Jesus roars like a lion as we read Joel 3:16, "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel".

vi) Lion is very sharp-sighted creature. Nothing could be hidden from the eyes of our Lord Jesus.

vii) None can take the prey from a hungry Lion. No one can pluck us from His hands. Amen! Hallelujah!

II. CALF (or OX) FACE. (KING OF THE DOMESTIC ANIMALS)

(i) Calf (or ox) is a domestic animal, a symbol service. The Son of man Came not to be ministered unto but to minister.

(ii) The ox is accustomed to yoke. Jesus did the work of God willingly, with much delight. He said, "Not my will let Thy will be done".

(iii) The ox is a patient creature labors hard, and carries heavy burdens. Jesus labored hard and never complained.

(iv) The ox is a faithful animal. Jesus was faithful in all respects.

(v) The ox is a very useful creature, especially in plowing the field. Jesus work on the cross was the most useful finished work for the redemption of all human beings. He shall save his people from their sins. He is doing plowing work now, plowing the stony hearts and changing them into fleshy hearts.

(vi) Another significance of ox is recorded in Deut. 22:10, "Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together". An ox will do work willingly, subjecting to the will of its master where as an ass is an unwilling animal, which will do in its own way. If God has to use us, we must be like an ox but not as an ass.

(vii) The flag of Ephraim had the symbol of the ox. Ephraim means 'doubly fruitful'. If we have to bear fruits unto the Lord, we must possess the character of an ox, serve the Lord willingly and gladly and according to his will and plan. Praise the Lord!

III FACE AS A MAN: (CROWN OF GOD'S CREATION)

(i) What is man? In Hebrews language four different words are used for 'man"

1. Ahadahm         - man
2. Ish                    - man having pre-eminence.
3. Enosh               - Very weak man.
4, Gehever            - Mighty man.

(ii) Further, songs of Solomon reveals the portrait of man. S.O.S. 5:10, Says,"My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand". Our Lord Jesus is white and ruddy. His countenance was like the sun. 'Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors"

(iii) Songs of Solomon 5:11, "His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy and black as raven".  This verse explains, our beloved's head is like fine gold. Jesus is the "Head of the church" Gold indicates Divinity."For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col: 2:9). Black hair indicates our Beloved Jesus is everlasting and eternal.

(iv) S.O.S  5:12, "His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk and fitly set". The dove is always looking at the partner. The eyes of the Lord are always upon us. In Psalms 34:15 we read, "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry". Hallelujah! Holy Spirit is compared to a dove. When Jesus took baptism and came out of the water the heaven and earth met together as we read in Mark 1:10, "And straightway coming up out of water, He saw the heavens open, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him"'. It was a marvelous scene.

(v) S.O.S 5:13, "His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers; His lips like Lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh". His lips are like Lilies, Lilly is a white flower, a symbol of purity. The people marveled at His teachings while he was on the earth as we read in Luke 4:22, "And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which procedeth out of his mouth, and they said, is not this Joseph's son". We also read in Psalm 45:2, "Thou art fairer than the children of men grace is poured into thy lips, therefore God hath blessed thee for ever"'.

(vi) S.O.S 5:14, "His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl;  His belly is as bright ivory over laid with sapphires". The belly is a symbol of affection. Ivory stands for purity. Saphire is a blue colour diamond. Blue speaks of grace of our Lord Jesus who loved us with an everlasting love. "Unto him who loved us and washed us from sin, unto Him be Glory for ever. Amen".

(vii) S.O.S. 5:15, His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: His countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars". His legs are as pillars of marble, which speaks of power and stability.

Cedar is a strong and mighty tree. It grows very tall - a heavenly outlook. Be ye Holy even as I am Holy.

IV THE FOURTH BEAST WAS LIKE A FLYING EAGLE: (KING OF .THE BIRDS)

It is specially mentioned that the Eagle is flying but not resting. Its wings are outstretched.

(i) The eagle is called the Lord of the air and it is a royal bird. Our Lord Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings. It is recorded in Rev. 1:5. "And from Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the Kings of earth"....

Our Lord is supernatural and super powerful. The sovereignty is revealed here. We also read in Rev. 19:16. "And he hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS".

(ii) The Eagle is a very strong bird. Hebrew name for the Eagle is NASHER, which means tearer of the enemy.  Psalms 89:19... I have laid help upon one that is mightily: I have exalted one chosen out of the people".

(iii) The familiarity of this bird is, it mounts up very high and out of the sight of man. Job 39:27, "Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her if nothing nest on high". Our Lord Jesus went up to heaven."   He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things".(Eph 4:10)

(iv) The eagle can sweep in a fraction of  a moment, it is a mighty swift bird. Jesus can solve your problems instantly.

(v) The eagle has piercing eyes. It is able to see and pick up even a very small object from the top. We cannot hide any thing from Jesus.

(vi) The eagle can fight with the serpent and overcome it. Jesus fulfilled the words mentioned in Gen. 3:15! "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel". Jesus crushed all the works of the devil on the cross.

(vii) The Eagle is a heavenly bird. It has long and strong wings. Malachi 4:2 indicates to us, "But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healings in His wings; ..." Refer Exodus 19:4.

(viii) The Eagle disturbs its nest. Sometimes God may disturb our nest to teach us some lessons.

(ix) The Eagle's way in the air cannot be predicted, so also God's dealings. He works in mysterious ways.

(x) The Eagle tenderly takes care of it's young ones. John 21:15.

Lord Jesus told Simon Peter,"Feed my lambs". Lord takes care of the young ones. The young lions may lack - but they that fear the Lord will lack in nothing. ) The Eagle will give its own blood to the young ones. Jesus himself came down from heaven to shed His precious blood for us. In John 6:55, Lord says, "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

(xi) The Eagle can directly fly towards the sun light. In the name of Jesus, principalities and powers of darkness will tremble. Amen! Hallelujah!

(xii) The Eagle is a symbol of long life. There is no beginning and end to our Lord Jesus Christ.

All the four beasts indicate our Lord Jesus' unique characteristics. Every good thing attributed is true of Him to an unlimited extent, and Human words are inadequate to describe the greatness of our Lord!

 

 
 

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