v1 Some scholars incorrectly tie the rapture/blessed hope to this verse. In this verse, John (specifically) receives an invitation to go into the heavens to see things from G-d’s perspective; and to have something revealed to him. It is a dangerous practice to interpret and apply this to all believers. In this chapter we don’t see a massive body of people from every nation, tribe and tongue – because they are not there yet! All we see are G-d, John, twenty-four elders, angels, and the living creatures.
· ‘Trumpet’: (see comments under 1v10) John probably heard the silver trumpet – announcing what was going to take place.
· ‘After this’ – after this age. This is speaking about a transition.
v2: ‘Throne set in heaven’: We should not expect justice in this age. Believers are the only force for justice and righteousness in the here and now.
v3: Ezekiel 1v22-28
v4 Many conclude that the 24 elders are the 12 tribes(Dan is not mentioned with these tribes-Rev 7v5-8, Manasseh replaces him) and the 12 apostles. (Not Judas. Matthias was chosen to take his place: Acts 1v15-26). There is a unity between the “old” and the “new” testament.
· ‘White garments’ depict purity – an outcome of redemption. Purity and authority work together.
v5 Loud sounds in heaven – see also Exodus 20v18-21. G-d is bringing His rule, throne and Presence into this world. Will we be prepared for this, or will we fail like Israel did at Mt Sinai?
v6 The number 4 has to do with the world. (North, South, East, West). G-d, with perfect knowledge, is going to bring about a transition in all of the world.
· ‘Full of eyes’ speak of intelligence, knowledge. They see (and know) everything.
v7 See also Ezekiel 1v4-28 and Isaiah 6v1-8. A lion speaks of glory, a calf (ox) power. Man speaks of intelligence/wisdom and an eagle of that which is supernatural. These living creatures reveal very important characteristics of G-d to us.
v8 These creatures NEVER stop worshipping saying: “Holy, holy, holy… “G-d’s world is going to become holy – due to the fact that He is coming into it.
v9-10 The elders (they were made elders because of their testimony -1 Tim 3v1-7) demonstrate to us how we should worship – fall down, cast their crowns(they overcame, received their rewards and now have something to offer in worship to G-d) and …
v11…they bring their words of worship.