1. After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, a voice as of a trumpet speaking with me, one saying, Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter.
2 Straightway I was in the Spirit: and behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting upon the throne;
The work of Jesus in Heaven is the only real foundation for the work of the Church on earth. When Christians mirror Jesusy then are they accomplishing His will.
3 and he that sat was to look upon like a jasper stone and a sardius: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, like an emerald to look upon.
The throne is the sign of Godís Lordship. He is the King above every king, including the demented Domitian, who forced his servants to call him ďdominus et deusĒ (lord and god). But the only real lord is the Lord, in spite of Domitianís claims.
Note that John does not describe the visible appearance of God Himself; he simply describes Godís surroundings. God is indescribable and too wonderful for words. Those who know Him best know this as well and are not led astray into fantasy or speculation.
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty thrones: and upon the thrones I saw four and twenty elders sitting, arrayed in white garments; and on their heads crowns of gold.
God has chosen not to rule alone; His community is called to share in His work and privileged to do so. The church thus is to the world what God is to the Church; the place where light is visible and truth is manifest.
5 And out of the throne proceed lightnings and voices and thunders. And there was seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;
The Lordship of God extends to every part of creation, like lightning flashes from the sky.
6 and before the throne, as it were a sea of glass like a crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.
The sea is at rest, still as glass, because one cannot be in the presence of God without being in peace.
7 And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face as of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.
8 And the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and within: and they have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.
The Lord is Lord of heaven and earth, and all they contain.
9 And when the living creatures shall give glory and honor and thanks to him that sitteth on the throne, to him that liveth for ever and ever,
10 the four and twenty elders shall fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and shall worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and shall cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created.
The Church should know that all division in the community is wrong; it is human and not divine and it is earthly and not heavenly. In the presence of God there is only harmony.
Copyright © Quartz Hill School of Theology. All Rights Reserved.