“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Revelation 4:1.
The above has been left in for context. Our study in this post will cover Revelation 4:2-3.
Before we begin though notice the words, “After these things…” in the first sentence above. This tells us that the events in Revelation chapter 4 follow immediately after the last letter to the seven churches, Revelation 3:14-22 to the Laodiceans.
Watch for these preambles as you study Revelation, they will help keep you on track of the process of events.
“Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.” Revelation 4:2.
Upon John’s arrival he sees God the Father seated on a throne. That this is God the Father will become apparent as we go along.
While the description of God here is very beautiful, it does not tell exactly what He looks like, mainly because even John did not see Him clearly.
“[God] who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:16.
“And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” Revelation 4:3.
While the exact stone that the word jasper is referring to is unclear it has variously been described as being of different colors and either clear as crystal or opaque.
Since jasper is described as clear as crystal in Revelation 21:10-11 this would be acceptable, and perhaps it might be seen as being much like a diamond. The intent is to describe something of indescribable beauty.
“And he [an angel] carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. And her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” Revelation 21:10-11.
The sardius on the other hand is a bit easier to envision, it has the appearance of a ruby which with its blood red color symbolizes the infinite value of Christ’s blood.
Like a diamond and a ruby with their many facets which appear ever changing when held up to the light, so too we will marvel and be in continual amazement for eternity at the grace, beauty and holiness of God in Christ.
“…That I [Paul] should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold [marginal, variegated or many sided. i.e. many faceted] wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” Ephesians 3:8b-12.
“And there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” Revelation 4:3b.
The rainbow is kind of fascinating because it says it was “around the throne” and the marginal note for the word rainbow in the New American Standard Bible calls it a halo.
If this is the case then, instead of a bow it forms a circle which represents eternity and the green color of the emerald represents life, and in Christ we have eternal life which rescues us from the coming judgment. And the rainbow is tied to judgment.
“Thus I establish My covenant with you: never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Genesis 9:11-13.
The rainbow reminds us that mankind was once so evil that God had to destroy every living breathing creature. It also reminds God of His everlasting covenant and we see in it that there is coming a time when men will again become so rebellious that God will again judge the whole earth, yet not with a flood.
“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:3-7.
Men have adopted the rainbow today as a symbol of diversity, and as light rays are broken down into their basic components by passing through the prism, so men want to return through the prism, so to speak, to their original state as one ray of light.
What many may not understand is that this rainbow, its beauty corrupted, is meant as a challenge to God, “Go ahead, we will not bow, so do your best, we dare you!”
The world will be one man, one humanistic race, laden with perversity and filth, one against God to shake off His shackles from them forever.
“Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’” Psalm 2:1-3.
“Professing to be wise, they became fools…” Romans 1:22.
When Noah and his sons had left the ark God gave them the following instructions.
“So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’” Genesis 9:1.
But in a very short time men then, as it is today, decided on other plans.
“Then they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’” Genesis 11:3-4.
The tower referred to was the tower of Babel. It is understood that they did not intend to build it to heaven, but to the heavens (very tall) for the purposes of astrology.
Man was already turning to the occult and because the occult always destroys he would have soon returned to the same vile state of depravity as when the Lord sent the flood.
Today men desire one world without God to interfere with the sin and evil they cling to and once again terrible judgment is on its way. This rebellion is not out of innocence or confused thinking, you only have to listen to John Lennon’s song “Imagine” to see what they want.
“Imagine there’s no heaven it’s easy if you try, no hell below us… imagine there’s no countries…nothing to kill or die for and no religion too…I hope someday you will join us and the world will be as one.”
It is a hauntingly beautiful melody, but all I can see is joyless, politically correct saturated people walking around in chairman Mao coats whose only longing is for death the only escape from a cold dead violent world.
“O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s a light for a look at the savior, and life more abundant and free! Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” “Turn Your Eyes on Jesus”, by Helen H. Lemmel.
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2.
Soon we will see Jesus a glorious King seated on a throne, will it be to you as Savior or judge?
Revelation 4:2-3 taken from godisrevealed.com updated on 10-14-16, reposted on 5-27-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.