And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.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 crowns of gold.(Revelation 4:2-5)
After hearing the heavenly voice commanding him to “Come up here”, the apostle John has been translated from “the things that are…” , through the “door opened into heaven“, into the very throne room of God.
What did he see there?
* A Throne was set…The first thing John sees in heaven is a Throne. It is God who rules, not Caesar or Pharoah, Bush or Putin. The heavenly court is a throne room, the living God is an absolute Sovereign.
The churches, besieged and harassed by their enemies, and seemingly powerless and vulnerable in this world, can take comfort knowing that at the ultimate center of reality is a Throne, fixed in heaven.
…I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?(Daniel 4:34-35)
* A figure sitting on the Throne who is indescribable! “He that sat on the throne to look upon was like Jasper and like Sardine stone”.
What did he look like? Jasper is a blood-red stone, Sardine is like a diamond, a clear stone. What kind of description is that? This person, seated on the throne is indescribable!
The blood-red Sardius Stone was the first in the series of stones on the Priest’s breastplate, representing the firstborn, Reuben and does indeed speak of blood sacrifice. The last stone, the clear Jasper, represents Benjamin, and stands for victory.
The name Reuben means “Behold a Son”, and the name Benjamin translates, “The Son of my Right Hand”. The colors point to Jesus in his first and second comings.
* The Rainbow around the Throne. God’s throne is surrounded by a complete Rainbow. The obvious connection is the covenant sign of mercy after the flood. Green is the color that stands for renewed life.
There are many terrifying, awesome, Holy and destructive Judgments rightly coming to the inhabitants of the earth, but we can be assured that the One who sits upon the throne, sees everything through the prism of His mercy.
* Twenty Four Elders- Remember the stained and weak churches, seemingly helpless on this earth, with no recourse when her enemies lied about her, stole from and persecuted her? The ‘despised and rejected’ weak and powerless Ones, witnesses to truth in a hostile world?
That is just one way to look at the church, but here is the heavenly perspective of the same people. They are immaculately dressed, there is no stain, they have access, not to Caesar, but the magnificent throne set in heaven! This is the heavenly view of God’s people.
These are King/Priests, dignified, and powerful in their access to heaven. They too sit on thrones and when their prayers are later gathered up into a censor in heaven, powerful things happen on earth!
Twelve is the number that represents the people of God, 12 Sons of Israel, 12 Apostles of Jesus. Two is the number for witness, “By the mouth of two or three witnesses…”. Twenty four, 12×2, is the number for the whole people of God.
All of them will be there, God himself will see to that. They will gladly worship Jesus, casting their crowns of reward before Him, acknowledging His love, and the price He paid to make them fit for this place.
There they stand, immaculate, crowned with glory and Honor, and in a place of privilege. They all know well, that they deserve none of the pleasures they have been given.
They were once idolaters, sinners, they hated God himself and in many cases persecuted the followers of the lamb. Some of them were drowning in their own swamp of lust, sin, failure and strife, until the Saviour reached out a hand to rescue them.
They fall down in utter worship, and amazed adoration, praising and singing of him who bought them and gave them the victory.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.