Revelation of John 4

* A vision of God, as on his glorious throne, around which were

twenty-four elders and four living creatures. (1-8) Whose songs,

and those of the holy angels, the apostle heard. (9-11)

1-8 After the Lord Jesus had instructed the apostle to write to

the churches "the things that are," there was another vision.

The apostle saw a throne set in heaven, an emblem of the

universal dominion of Jehovah. He saw a glorious One upon the

throne, not described by human features, so as to be represented

by a likeness or image, but only by his surpassing brightness.

These seem emblems of the excellence of the Divine nature, and

of God's awful justice. The rainbow is a fit emblem of that

covenant of promise which God has made with Christ, as the Head

of the church, and with all his people in him. The prevailing

colour was a pleasant green, showing the reviving and refreshing

nature of the new covenant. Four-and-twenty seats around the

throne, were filled with four-and-twenty elders, representing,

probably, the whole church of God. Their sitting denotes honour,

rest, and satisfaction; their sitting about the throne signifies

nearness to God, the sight and enjoyment they have of him. They

were clothed in white raiment; the imputed righteousness of the

saints and their holiness: they had on their heads crowns of

gold, signifying the glory they have with him. Lightnings and

voices came from the throne; the awful declarations God makes to

his church, of his sovereign will and pleasure. Seven lamps of

fire were burning before the throne; the gifts, graces, and

operations of the Spirit of God in the churches of Christ,

dispensed according to the will and pleasure of Him who sits

upon the throne. In the gospel church, the laver for

purification is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which

cleanses from all sin. In this all must be washed, to be

admitted into the gracious presence of God on earth, and his

glorious presence in heaven. The apostle saw four living

creatures, between the throne and the circle of the elders,

standing between God and the people. These seem to signify the

true ministers of the gospel, because of their place between God

and the people. This also is shown by the description given,

denoting wisdom, courage, diligence, and discretion, and the

affections by which they mount up toward heaven.
9-11 All true believers wholly ascribe their redemption and

conversion, their present privileges and future hopes, to the

eternal and most holy God. Thus rise the for-ever harmonious,

thankful songs of the redeemed in heaven. Would we on earth do

like them, let our praises be constant, not interrupted; united,

not divided; thankful, not cold and formal; humble, not

self-confident.
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