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The One on the Throne - The Book of Revelation
Week 1, 2017
In Revelation 4:1-4, we come to one of the most wonderful and encouraging passages in this great Revelation:
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things."
Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.
And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.
Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.
This door standing open in, or to, heaven is still open. It is open to any who hear His voice and the invitation to “come up here.” This door to heaven is the door to the home of the new creation—those who are now citizens of heaven. Those who find this door and enter are the ones who become more at home in the heavenly places than on earth.
Those who enter this door will see the same thing when they enter—the One who sits on the throne. We see throughout the Scriptures that when the heavens are opened, as they were for Stephen as he was martyred, we will behold the One on the throne. True faith is the result of seeing Him—who He is and where He sits above all rule and authority and dominion. Nothing happens without His permission and for His glorious purposes. When we see Him in His glory, all earthly and temporary purposes take their rightful place as dim and insignificant in comparison.
The rainbow and precious stones said to be like His appearance are significant in their revelation of His authority, His throne. Jesus is here “like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance.” Many scholars believe the word translated “jasper” in this text is a mistake—it should have been translated “diamond.” What we call “jasper” stones today are not “like crystal” or “transparent” as this stone is described here, but diamonds are. Diamonds are also considered “most precious,” or most valuable.
Diamonds are formed when black coal is subjected to extreme pressure and heat. This is what our Lord subjected Himself to when He “emptied Himself” of His divine nature and took on the form of man. Throughout His life, He was subjected to the pressure and heat of extreme trials. Even though He was the Son, “He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (see Hebrews 5:8). If the Son would learn obedience in this way, how much more should we embrace the trials that give us the opportunity to do the same? Jesus did it to make the way for mankind to be transformed from the dark and dirty to the “most precious.” All trials are intended to transform us.
Diamonds also refract light, breaking it down into individual and brilliant colors that represent the great truths of God’s nature. Diamonds are the hardest of all stones and are used to cut and shape the others. Such is the nature of Christ, Who is unchangeable but will shape and change all others.
The sardius stone mentioned here is bright red. This speaks of His blood shed for the salvation of the world, which will forever be part of His revealed glory.
The emerald stone is green, which usually speaks of the life in prophetic revelation. He is “the Prince of life,” who leads us on “the path of life.” His life is an “indestructible life” from which we are made partakers of His eternal life. In prophetic symbolism, green also symbolizes teaching. He is The Teacher, and His teachings lead us to the path of life and keep us on it.
The rainbow is the glorious beauty that reminds us of God’s covenant with man. God’s word is true. He will never, ever break His covenant with us. This too is His glory that we trust in.
Jesus is The Door, and all who enter the heavenly realm will behold Him on His throne before anything else. As explained repeatedly in the New Testament, Jesus is the One through whom and for whom the creation was brought forth, and the One in whom all things hold together. Therefore, we can see Him in everything that was made. He is the One we should look for in all things. He is also the One the Father looks for in us.
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