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A Vision of God's Throne

Although the book of Revelation is sometimes referred to as "the revelation of John," it was, is, in fact a revelation of God (revelation means a revealing - see Apocalypse) that God gave to Jesus Christ to give to the apostle John through an angel.

"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His servants what must soon take place; and He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw." (Revelation 1:1-2 RSV)

Stars In The Universe

The vision described something unlike anything on earth, at least not yet (see The Throne Of God, From Heaven To Earth).

"After this I looked, and lo, in heaven an open door! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up hither, and I will show you what must take place after this."

At once I was in the Spirit, and lo, a Throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the Throne!

And He who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the Throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald. Round the Throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads.

From the Throne issue flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder, and before the Throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God; and before the Throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal." (Revelation 4:1-6 RSV)

Around the Throne were creatures that had been seen on earth long before however, by the prophet Ezekiel (i.e. "each had the face of a man in front; the four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle at the back," Ezekiel 1:10 RSV). What were/are they? Cherubim. Ezekiel's answer (see also The Prophecies Of Ezekiel): "And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. And the cherubim mounted up. These were the living creatures that I saw by the river Chebar." (Ezekiel 10:14-15 RSV).

"And round the Throne, on each side of the Throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" (Revelation 4:6-8 RSV)

Also around the Throne of God were/are the twenty-four elders.

"And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the Throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the Throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the Throne, singing, "Worthy art thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou didst create all things, and by thy will they existed and were created." (Revelation 4:9-11 RSV)

Fact Finder: How do we know that John saw the Throne of God? What "Lamb" is described in the next chapter after the verses quoted above as being the only one qualified to take the scroll (also sometimes translated as "book") from the hand of the one sitting on that Throne?
Revelation 5:1,6-10
See also The Ancient of Days


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