Chapter Four

“The Things Which Must Be Hereafter.”

We have  been covering the signs of the times which precede the Rapture, and, now we are ready to move on and cover more ground a little faster than we have previously.

Revelation 4:1.

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).

Again, this fulfills the natural outline of the book of Revelation 1:19. The “things which must be hereafter. “Hereafter” what? When John is taken up, it pictures the Rapture of the Church. There is no more mention of the Church in the Book of Revelation until Revelation 22:16. Why? The Church is now in Heaven.

Revelation 4:2.

“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne”  (Revelation 4:2).

The One that “sat on the throne” was Christ.

Revelation 4:3.

 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3)

And you say, What in the world is the sight of this? It must have been a very beautiful sight as John opened his eyes, and there he was in Heaven, face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ. What a sight to behold! 

And for the Christian, when we’re “absent from the body, present with the Lord,” there are things that God has put in our language that we can read about Heaven; but honestly, truthfully, nothing can compare to what the real thing is going to be. And for God to describe it to us, we’re thankful for that. It is wonderful and it is going to be beautiful. When we leave this body, because we are going to die, but we do have a home in Heaven. We are just passed from death unto life. And when we see the glories of Heaven, it’s going to be more than whatever could be described in human words!

You often wonder, what in the world is the significance of the stones which John saw. He looked and he saw a jasper stone, and a sardine stone, and “there was a rainbow round about the throne in the sight like unto an emerald.” To get the significance of this, we have to go back to the Old Testament, because you’ll recall back in Exodus 28, all of these stones appeared on the breast plate of the priest. Now, we only have three listed here. We find out there were also nine others, so when the priest went in to perform his priestly duties, he had twelve stones upon his breast, a stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Notice in Verse 3, it says...

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 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper (stone)…

The jasper stone and the sardine stone represent the First and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will see the significance of that, and why John sees them in reverse of how they appeared on the breastplate of the priest. There’s a reason. With Bibles in hand, let us now go back to the Old Testament to get the whole picture.

Exodus 28:15-21:  The Stones of the High Priest’s Breast Plate.

“And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it (15).

   Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof  (16).  

   And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row (17). 

   And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond  (18).

  And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst  (19).  

   And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings (20).

   And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes” (21).

22.  Gems on the High Priest's Breastplate.

This is very interesting here. The sardius stone is on the first row. You actually had four rows with three stones across. You’ll notice, the first stone was a sardius, and that was the stone for Reuben. Then you have the topaz and the carbuncle. The topaz was the stone for Simeon, and the carbuncle was that of Levi. So, you have the rows here, and you have three across with four rows down. Each stone appeared with engraving identifying one of the tribes of Israel. There were twelve stones, of course, because there were twelve tribes of Israel.

We begin to look to the sardine stone. It is very interesting to note that the sardius was a blood-red stone, and it represents the Cross. As we’ve said, that was the stone identifying the tribe of Reuben. It comes from two Hebrew words meaning “Behold the son.” Now, the sardius stone here represents the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Cross of Calvary. In John 1:29, John the Baptist said this,

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Isn’t that something! The sardius, a blood-red stone, the first stone on the breast plate of the priest, represented the  First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary.

The jasper stone here was a clean and transparent stone, and it speaks of victory and power. It is the last stone that we see on the breastplate, and is the stone for Benjamin, who represents the Lion when it comes in power. Benjamin’s name means “the son of my power.” John sees them in reverse. And, as we’ve said, they represent the First and Second Coming of our great priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. John sees them in reverse Please note our representation of the breastplate in the upper left corner.

Now, let’s read the first part of Revelation 4:3 again.

“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper …”

John is on the other side of Calvary now. He is looking back at what is represented on the breast plate here. He sees the jasper stone first, and then the sardine stone. This tells us that John is seeing the stones in reverse, because he is on the other side of Calvary. We find out that when Christ comes back the second time, He will coming as “the Son of my power.” He will be roaring like the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah! He will be coming in judgment.

The sardius stone, the Reuben stone, tells us He came as the meek Lamb of God to die on the Cross the first time. He didn’t come to fight. He didn’t come to exercise His power against man at that time, but He came to exercise only the power of the Resurrection to show that He was more powerful than Satan. He triumphed over anything the demonic, satanic world could do to hold Him in the Tomb. Yes! He arose from the dead and He is a living Savior. He’s alive today. He’s your Savior and “He ever liveth to make intercession” for you and I. I hope that you’ve trusted Him as your Savior. I hope that you have trusted Him as the Lamb of God,— the blood-red stone.

We know that He is coming again—because of the jasper stone. God revealed this to John up in Heaven’s Throne Room, and what it represented—Jesus Christ is coming again!

And, when He comes and sets His Kingdom up on this Earth, He’s coming as a Lion. He will not come as the Lamb of God. He’s going to come in power as the crucified, risen Savior. When we get into Chapter Six, He will be roaring out of Heaven, and He will be executing judgment on the Earth when men will hide...

“…themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;  And [say] to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:” (Revelation 6:16)

I thank God that you and I will never have to hide from the wrath of God. In fact, we go to the Cross of Calvary. That’s where the wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus Christ for your sake and my sake. Christ took our wrath, the wrath of Almighty God, which is death. Romans 6:23 tells us,

“For the wages of sin is death; (23a)

But…we find out,

“the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (23b)

Instead of me facing the wrath of God for my sin, I look to Calvary. Christ said that He came into the world to seek and save that which is lost. Before I trusted Christ as my Savior, I knew that I was lost. Every Christian knows they are lost, and need a Savior, before they trust Christ. Let me ask you. Are you soaking in self-righteousness, and trying to live in a generation which covers its sins, and says, “Oh, I’m a pretty good person.” Are you trying to do that? Or, will you be honest with God? God’s candid camera of your heart says, “Everyone in the World is a sinner.”

 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” - Romans 3:23

God says, “Accept my Son as your Savior and you’ll be passed from death unto life (John 5:24).”

So…the jasper stone shows that Jesus is coming in power and glory to set up the Kingdom, and to judge it. Not only that, when we go at the Rapture, “So shall we ever be with the Lord,” God tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Therefore, when Christ comes back to set the Kingdom up, we’re coming back with Him! We’re going to be here with Christ, and we’re going to be witnessing that power in the Kingdom that He sets up.  We are going to be priests and kings unto Him.

 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen”  (Revelation 1:6)

That’s the position that Christ has given to everyone who is has trusted Him as their Savior. Everyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ becomes a child of God.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12).

As we look on down in our text, we see another stone…

       “…in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3b)

   The emerald was the stone of Judah, and Judah means “praise” in the Hebrew. It is from this title that we know the King is to come and to be praised forever. How wonderful it will be when we get to Heaven and see this glorious scene that John sees here. He is trying to describe it, the best he can, for us to understand in our language. This is just a “preview of the coming attractions” and it is hard to describe all the glories that are going to be there. Let us go on down and notice in Revelation 4:4,

“And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders,”(4a)...

These elders represent ALL of mankind. They represent the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel and the twelve apostles, which takes in all of mankind.

“sitting clothed in white raiment;”(4b)...

They are saved and up in Heaven.

“…and they had on their heads crowns of gold” (4c).

You may not be much in this world, but you have crowns that God is going to give you, if you’ve been faithful to serve Him down here. You are His glory, do you know that? They crowned the Lord Jesus with a crown of thorns, but He has traded that for a crown of glory. Do you know that you, as a child of God who has come to Him by faith in Jesus Christ, are His crown of glory? He bought you with a price and you receive that payment by putting your faith in Him. You now belong to Him. What a wonderful Savior we have!

Revelation 4:5.

And, now for Revelation 4:5. We’re getting ready here, in Chapters Four and Five, for the unleashing of some of the most terrible things that have ever been thrown out by God upon this Earth. We are going to pick that up in Chapter Six. These are the previews, here, to let us know what is getting ready to take place, and what has to take place prior to God’s pouring these judgments out.

 “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

The “seven spirits of God” are nothing more than a represention of the omniscience of God. He is all-knowing. “Seven” is the number of perfection. “Six” is the number of man. Man was created on the Sixth Day. The giants had six toes, six fingers. (1 Chronicles 20:6). Six is the number of man. It is imperfection. Seven is the number of perfection, and only God is omniscient. Only God is omnipotent. Therefore, the “seven spirits” represent the all-seeing, the all-knowing, the all-wisdom of Almighty God, Himself. He is absolute perfection. We have all sinned and come short of the glory, or the perfection of God. That’s why all humanity are sinners. No one can be as righteous as God, himself. But I thank God that He sent His only begotten Son to die upon that Cross. Notice 2 Corinthians 5:21,

“…he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians  5:21).

When I accept His sin payment for my sin on Calvary, Jesus Christ places to my account, and your account, the very righteousness of Christ, Himself. I go to Heaven, perfect. I am not perfect down here, and that is why I can’t take my body to Heaven. God is going to give me a new one. I am, positionally, perfect in the eyes of God, because He has placed to my account what I could never put there myself. He placed the perfection of Jesus Christ to my account, and I go to Heaven on the righteousness of Christ, and no righteousness that I could ever achieve myself. I would fall short of that perfection. You see, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory, or the perfection of God.

Aren’t you thankful that He’s your Savior, and that you know you have a home in Heaven? Let’s go down to Revelation 4:6,

Revelation 4:6-8.

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind” (6).

And then in Verse 7, he describes the beasts,

“And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle  (7).  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (8)”  

John observes four beasts, who are always before the throne, praising God day and night. The word “beast” here is translated from the Greek word “zōon,” and means “living creatures.” This is where we get our words “zoo, and zoology.” These are not the vicious “beasts of the Earth (“thērion”), or predatory animals that kill men in Chapter Six (6:8).

If you’ll go in your Bibles to Isaiah 6:2,16, you will find out these are the Seraphim. This is a created heavenly host that we know very little about. If you go to Ezekiel 1, and Ezekiel 10, you will find that there is another heavenly host called the Cherubim. They have four wings, and their appearance was described to Ezekiel in a vision. He was taken up into Heaven and God allowed him to see the Heavenly train, and let him know what was there. So, Isaiah did have a brief glimpse, and he notifies us in Isaiah 6 that these are the Seraphim, and they have six wings.

As we consider these beasts that appear here, that one looked like a lion, one a calf, one a man, and one an eagle, it reminds us of the four Gospels. They are presenting here the same four-fold picture of our Wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus, as you see in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each one has an emphasis upon a different aspect of the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. You put them all together and you have a four-sided composite picture of our Wonderful Savior.

  1. Matthew is the Kingdom book, and Matthew has the emphasis on the presentation of Christ as the King to the nation of Israel. That’s why you have His genealogy there in the first chapter of Matthew. It takes us clear back to Abraham, showing that Jesus Christ has a right to sit upon the Throne of David. All through the book it references that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” That is, “the Kingdom from Heaven is at hand,” and is found 38 times in the Book of Matthew, because the King is at hand. The whole emphasis of Matthew is, Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. He is the Savior, and the King, to the Nation of Israel. Accept Him, Israel, as your Messiah. The beast that represents Him here is the lion. He is the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), the King of Kings, just as the lion is the King of the Forest.

 “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:5 ).

  1. Then we come to the Gospel of Mark, as the Holy Spirit inspired Mark to write. Mark portrays Christ as the Servant. It has more conjunctions in it as far as the word, “and.” And… and…and…! The activity never stops. A servant is always working. There are no genealogies in Mark. Who cares about the genealogy of a servant, as long as he can do the work. Jesus Christ came to be the Servant of mankind, even to die on the Cross, as a Servant to mankind, to pay for our sin. So, the Gospel of Mark’s emphasis is on Jesus Christ as a Servant. The calf, or the ox here, pictures Him as the Servant. They were to do the work.
  2. And then we come to Luke. Luke emphasizes Christ as the Son of Man. Isn’t that amazing, when we know He is the Son of God? Luke gives a genealogy because he emphasizes Him as the Son of Man, and takes His genealogy clear back to Adam, showing He was born of human flesh, although it was sinless flesh because of the Virgin Birth. Luke’s emphasis is on Him being the Son of Man. He was perfect God, yet He was perfect man. That’s the whole emphasis of the Gospel of Luke. Yes, He was God incarnate in human flesh. That is why He is pictured here by the third beast with “the face of a man.” God, personified, in human flesh.
  3. Then, we come to the fourth beast which is like a flying eagle. That’s exactly how Christ is pictured there in the Gospel of John. When you come to the Gospel of John, you will find that there are no genealogies given in the Gospel of John, because he portrays Him as the Son of God. He is God in human flesh, and, therefore, being God, He had no beginning or ending. Therefore, there are no genealogies because God never had a “start,” nor will He ever have an ending. You see, Jesus Christ is not just a good man, He is perfect God in human flesh. He is perfect Deity in human flesh and, in that flesh, He was born with no sin whatsoever. “In him was found no sin.” None, whatsoever!

You put these all together and you have these four beasts, or living creatures, representing the composite picture of Christ, as they are there at the throne of God, and as pictured in the four Gospels. In Matthew, we have Him as the Lion, Mark has him as the calf or the ox, picturing the Servant. In Luke, we have Him as the man, the Son of Man. He was Perfect God, yet, perfect man. In John, we have Him as the eagle, with the swiftness and the power of an eagle showing His omnipotence. He was pictured, as the eagle by John, showing He was omniscient, omnipotent God in human flesh. John emphasizes His Deity.

Revelation 4:9-11.

“And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, (9) The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (10)  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (11).

He reminds them again, the four and twenty elders represent all of the redeemed of mankind. The Word of God tells us that there’s a time coming when every knee shall bow to and give glory to God, and confess Him.

 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God (11).  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” (Romans 14:11-12).

 Let me ask you, “Do you glorify God, now, and confess (witness) about Him to others?” We have a wonderful Savior, and the least we can do is to tell others how to have the same salvation by grace that we do. That is how we “confess” Christ down here.

The saddest thing in the world is to see Christians that have just “backed off from the Lord.” They think they can live their life more effectively. They don’t need the church. They don’t need Christian fellowship. When you get around these people, you can surely tell it. You can tell it by their language. They don’t want to talk about the Bible. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful things that Christ has done for them. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful blessings that they could be looking forward to, and have that kind of fellowship. They want to talk about worldly things.

Not that a Christian has to go around with a Bible in each pocket and one in each hand, with two or three chains with a cross hanging over his back, and one on his chest. We’re not talking about that kind of fanaticism. We’re talking about a Christian who loves to talk about his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

You know what is an amazing thing? You see people leaving a liberal church service and they never carry a Bible to church. You can’t talk to them about the Lord. Huh-uh, they don’t want to talk. They say, “I don’t talk about religion or politics.” Do you know why they don’t want to talk about that? They don’t know anything about either one. If they knew anything about them, they would want to talk about them. When you grow in the grace and knowledge of God’s Word, you can’t keep it in! You want to tell somebody! It’s human nature.

When you find somebody that doesn’t want to talk about the Bible and says, “Oh-oh, I’m not going to argue about the Bible,” they either do not know the Lord, or are an out of fellowship Christian. Talking about the Bible is not arguing about the Bible. You can talk about the Bible, and not argue. There may come a time in their life when they desire some truth from God’s Word. They may begin to think, “I don’t really have the assurance that I’m going to Heaven when I die.” That is the time they may be open to the Gospel, and you can help them.

Let me ask you this. If you’re a Christian, do you pray to the Lord Jesus Christ as the four and twenty elders, representing all mankind, do in Verse 10,

…“fell down before him that sat on the throne, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.”

Do you know what that represents? They worship the Lord Jesus Christ because they know He is their Creator. They…

“cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:”

They realized that any award, reward, or anything that they had prospered materialistically, with down here, had been a gift from God. They thanked God for everything. They thanked God for their jobs, for their husbands, for their wives. They thanked God for their families, and their Christian homes, and their home in Heaven.

I’ve heard this more in my years in the ministry than anything else. “You know, Pastor, we never realized when we had a good Bible-teaching church. We took for granted the fellowship, the outings, and the picnics that we had. We could share about witnessing to somebody with others in our church. We had Christian friends. Then, we moved, and we could not find a good, Bible-teaching church. We felt just like a “duck out of water.” We were empty. We thought they were everywhere, but they’re not. We’ve tried a couple of churches here, and, you know what? We got a little verse read and the Bible was closed, then we heard all the philosophy of the preacher. Or, we heard what the Synod, or the church organization expected, and how each member has to pay their “dues” now to be a member of this church.”

There’s a minimum “fee” on your head in many church organizations, if you didn’t know that. We call it a “bounty.” I don’t believe churches should do that, but you have a bounty on your head if you want to join some of your liberal churches. You gotta “pay up, or shut up!” That’s about it.

But the Fundamental church is not this way. You are free to come. There are no bounties on your head for money, and there’s nobody hunting your pocketbook. We do not have to pay into an organization to have you as a member.

How wonderful it is to be as one of the four and twenty elders who fell down and thanked God for the wonderful blessings that He had given them. They fell down on their knees, and realized, in humility, how wonderful it is to have a Savior who died on that Cross to pay for their sins, and bought their right to be in that beautiful throne room in Heaven!

We are going into Chapter Five, next, and we are going to take the key parts and bring them up. We hope they will be a blessing to you. But…more important than anything else. Honestly, if someone were to ask you, “Do you know for sure you’re going to Heaven when you die?” Can you, honestly, and truthfully say, “I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my home is with the Lord Jesus Christ.” The only way you can say that is if you’re trusting Jesus Christ, and Him alone. It is not your church, not your baptism, not your church membership, or any of the things that some churches put in that are non-essential for salvation. There is only one essential for salvation, and that is belief in Christ as the One who paid for our sins.

 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14:6).

If you’re trusting Jesus Christ, you’ll have “the peace of God that passeth all understanding.”

 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.(6)  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”  (Philippians 4:6,7)

“The Things Which Must Be Hereafter.”

We have  been covering the signs of the times which precede the Rapture, and, now we are ready to move on and cover more ground a little faster than we have previously.

Revelation 4:1.

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).

Again, this fulfills the natural outline of the book of Revelation 1:19. The “things which must be hereafter. “Hereafter” what? When John is taken up, it pictures the Rapture of the Church. There is no more mention of the Church in the Book of Revelation until Revelation 22:16. Why? The Church is now in Heaven.

Revelation 4:2.

“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne”  (Revelation 4:2).

The One that “sat on the throne” was Christ.

Revelation 4:3.

 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3)

And you say, What in the world is the sight of this? It must have been a very beautiful sight as John opened his eyes, and there he was in Heaven, face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ. What a sight to behold! 

And for the Christian, when we’re “absent from the body, present with the Lord,” there are things that God has put in our language that we can read about Heaven; but honestly, truthfully, nothing can compare to what the real thing is going to be. And for God to describe it to us, we’re thankful for that. It is wonderful and it is going to be beautiful. When we leave this body, because we are going to die, but we do have a home in Heaven. We are just passed from death unto life. And when we see the glories of Heaven, it’s going to be more than whatever could be described in human words!

You often wonder, what in the world is the significance of the stones which John saw. He looked and he saw a jasper stone, and a sardine stone, and “there was a rainbow round about the throne in the sight like unto an emerald.” To get the significance of this, we have to go back to the Old Testament, because you’ll recall back in Exodus 28, all of these stones appeared on the breast plate of the priest. Now, we only have three listed here. We find out there were also nine others, so when the priest went in to perform his priestly duties, he had twelve stones upon his breast, a stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Notice in Verse 3, it says

 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper (stone)…

The jasper stone and the sardine stone represent the First and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will see the significance of that, and why John sees them in reverse of how they appeared on the breastplate of the priest. There’s a reason. With Bibles in hand, let us now go back to the Old Testament to get the whole picture.


Exodus 28:15-21:The Stones of the High Priest’s Breast Plate.

“And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it (15).

   Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof  (16).  

   And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row (17). 

   And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond  (18).

  And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst  (19).  

   And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings (20).

   And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes” (21).

22.  Gems on the High Priest's Breastplate.

This is very interesting here. The sardius stone is on the first row. You actually had four rows with three stones across. You’ll notice, the first stone was a sardius, and that was the stone for Reuben. Then you have the topaz and the carbuncle. The topaz was the stone for Simeon, and the carbuncle was that of Levi. So, you have the rows here, and you have three across with four rows down. Each stone appeared with engraving identifying one of the tribes of Israel. There were twelve stones, of course, because there were twelve tribes of Israel.

We begin to look to the sardine stone. It is very interesting to note that the sardius was a blood-red stone, and it represents the Cross. As we’ve said, that was the stone identifying the tribe of Reuben. It comes from two Hebrew words meaning “Behold the son.” Now, the sardius stone here represents the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Cross of Calvary. In John 1:29, John the Baptist said this,

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Isn’t that something! The sardius, a blood-red stone, the first stone on the breast plate of the priest, represented the  First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary.

The jasper stone here was a clean and transparent stone, and it speaks of victory and power. It is the last stone that we see on the breastplate, and is the stone for Benjamin, who represents the Lion when it comes in power. Benjamin’s name means “the son of my power.” John sees them in reverse. And, as we’ve said, they represent the First and Second Coming of our great priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. John sees them in reverse Please note our representation of the breastplate in the upper left corner.

Now, let’s read the first part of Revelation 4:3 again.

“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper …”

John is on the other side of Calvary now. He is looking back at what is represented on the breast plate here. He sees the jasper stone first, and then the sardine stone. This tells us that John is seeing the stones in reverse, because he is on the other side of Calvary. We find out that when Christ comes back the second time, He will coming as “the Son of my power.” He will be roaring like the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah! He will be coming in judgment.

The sardius stone, the Reuben stone, tells us He came as the meek Lamb of God to die on the Cross the first time. He didn’t come to fight. He didn’t come to exercise His power against man at that time, but He came to exercise only the power of the Resurrection to show that He was more powerful than Satan. He triumphed over anything the demonic, satanic world could do to hold Him in the Tomb. Yes! He arose from the dead and He is a living Savior. He’s alive today. He’s your Savior and “He ever liveth to make intercession” for you and I. I hope that you’ve trusted Him as your Savior. I hope that you have trusted Him as the Lamb of God,— the blood-red stone.

We know that He is coming again—because of the jasper stone. God revealed this to John up in Heaven’s Throne Room, and what it represented—Jesus Christ is coming again!

And, when He comes and sets His Kingdom up on this Earth, He’s coming as a Lion. He will not come as the Lamb of God. He’s going to come in power as the crucified, risen Savior. When we get into Chapter Six, He will be roaring out of Heaven, and He will be executing judgment on the Earth when men will hide...

“…themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;  And [say] to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:” (Revelation 6:16)

I thank God that you and I will never have to hide from the wrath of God. In fact, we go to the Cross of Calvary. That’s where the wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus Christ for your sake and my sake. Christ took our wrath, the wrath of Almighty God, which is death. Romans 6:23 tells us,

“For the wages of sin is death; (23a)

But…we find out,

“the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (23b)

Instead of me facing the wrath of God for my sin, I look to Calvary. Christ said that He came into the world to seek and save that which is lost. Before I trusted Christ as my Savior, I knew that I was lost. Every Christian knows they are lost, and need a Savior, before they trust Christ. Let me ask you. Are you soaking in self-righteousness, and trying to live in a generation which covers its sins, and says, “Oh, I’m a pretty good person.” Are you trying to do that? Or, will you be honest with God? God’s candid camera of your heart says, “Everyone in the World is a sinner.”

 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” - Romans 3:23

God says, “Accept my Son as your Savior and you’ll be passed from death unto life (John 5:24).”

So…the jasper stone shows that Jesus is coming in power and glory to set up the Kingdom, and to judge it. Not only that, when we go at the Rapture, “So shall we ever be with the Lord,” God tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Therefore, when Christ comes back to set the Kingdom up, we’re coming back with Him! We’re going to be here with Christ, and we’re going to be witnessing that power in the Kingdom that He sets up.  We are going to be priests and kings unto Him.

 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen”  (Revelation 1:6)

That’s the position that Christ has given to everyone who is has trusted Him as their Savior. Everyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ becomes a child of God.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12).

As we look on down in our text, we see another stone…

       “…in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3b)

   The emerald was the stone of Judah, and Judah means “praise” in the Hebrew. It is from this title that we know the King is to come and to be praised forever. How wonderful it will be when we get to Heaven and see this glorious scene that John sees here. He is trying to describe it, the best he can, for us to understand in our language. This is just a “preview of the coming attractions” and it is hard to describe all the glories that are going to be there. Let us go on down and notice in Revelation 4:4,

“And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders,”(4a)...

These elders represent ALL of mankind. They represent the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel and the twelve apostles, which takes in all of mankind.

“sitting clothed in white raiment;”(4b)...

They are saved and up in Heaven.

“…and they had on their heads crowns of gold” (4c).

You may not be much in this world, but you have crowns that God is going to give you, if you’ve been faithful to serve Him down here. You are His glory, do you know that? They crowned the Lord Jesus with a crown of thorns, but He has traded that for a crown of glory. Do you know that you, as a child of God who has come to Him by faith in Jesus Christ, are His crown of glory? He bought you with a price and you receive that payment by putting your faith in Him. You now belong to Him. What a wonderful Savior we have!

Revelation 4:5.

And, now for Revelation 4:5. We’re getting ready here, in Chapters Four and Five, for the unleashing of some of the most terrible things that have ever been thrown out by God upon this Earth. We are going to pick that up in Chapter Six. These are the previews, here, to let us know what is getting ready to take place, and what has to take place prior to God’s pouring these judgments out.

 “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

The “seven spirits of God” are nothing more than a represention of the omniscience of God. He is all-knowing. “Seven” is the number of perfection. “Six” is the number of man. Man was created on the Sixth Day. The giants had six toes, six fingers. (1 Chronicles 20:6). Six is the number of man. It is imperfection. Seven is the number of perfection, and only God is omniscient. Only God is omnipotent. Therefore, the “seven spirits” represent the all-seeing, the all-knowing, the all-wisdom of Almighty God, Himself. He is absolute perfection. We have all sinned and come short of the glory, or the perfection of God. That’s why all humanity are sinners. No one can be as righteous as God, himself. But I thank God that He sent His only begotten Son to die upon that Cross. Notice 2 Corinthians 5:21,

“…he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians  5:21).

When I accept His sin payment for my sin on Calvary, Jesus Christ places to my account, and your account, the very righteousness of Christ, Himself. I go to Heaven, perfect. I am not perfect down here, and that is why I can’t take my body to Heaven. God is going to give me a new one. I am, positionally, perfect in the eyes of God, because He has placed to my account what I could never put there myself. He placed the perfection of Jesus Christ to my account, and I go to Heaven on the righteousness of Christ, and no righteousness that I could ever achieve myself. I would fall short of that perfection. You see, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory, or the perfection of God.

Aren’t you thankful that He’s your Savior, and that you know you have a home in Heaven? Let’s go down to Revelation 4:6,

Revelation 4:6-8.

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind” (6).

And then in Verse 7, he describes the beasts,

“And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle  (7).  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (8)”  

John observes four beasts, who are always before the throne, praising God day and night. The word “beast” here is translated from the Greek word “zōon,” and means “living creatures.” This is where we get our words “zoo, and zoology.” These are not the vicious “beasts of the Earth (“thērion”), or predatory animals that kill men in Chapter Six (6:8).

If you’ll go in your Bibles to Isaiah 6:2,16, you will find out these are the Seraphim. This is a created heavenly host that we know very little about. If you go to Ezekiel 1, and Ezekiel 10, you will find that there is another heavenly host called the Cherubim. They have four wings, and their appearance was described to Ezekiel in a vision. He was taken up into Heaven and God allowed him to see the Heavenly train, and let him know what was there. So, Isaiah did have a brief glimpse, and he notifies us in Isaiah 6 that these are the Seraphim, and they have six wings.

As we consider these beasts that appear here, that one looked like a lion, one a calf, one a man, and one an eagle, it reminds us of the four Gospels. They are presenting here the same four-fold picture of our Wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus, as you see in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each one has an emphasis upon a different aspect of the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. You put them all together and you have a four-sided composite picture of our Wonderful Savior.

  1. Matthew is the Kingdom book, and Matthew has the emphasis on the presentation of Christ as the King to the nation of Israel. That’s why you have His genealogy there in the first chapter of Matthew. It takes us clear back to Abraham, showing that Jesus Christ has a right to sit upon the Throne of David. All through the book it references that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” That is, “the Kingdom from Heaven is at hand,” and is found 38 times in the Book of Matthew, because the King is at hand. The whole emphasis of Matthew is, Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. He is the Savior, and the King, to the Nation of Israel. Accept Him, Israel, as your Messiah. The beast that represents Him here is the lion. He is the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), the King of Kings, just as the lion is the King of the Forest.

 “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:5 ).

  1. Then we come to the Gospel of Mark, as the Holy Spirit inspired Mark to write. Mark portrays Christ as the Servant. It has more conjunctions in it as far as the word, “and.” And… and…and…! The activity never stops. A servant is always working. There are no genealogies in Mark. Who cares about the genealogy of a servant, as long as he can do the work. Jesus Christ came to be the Servant of mankind, even to die on the Cross, as a Servant to mankind, to pay for our sin. So, the Gospel of Mark’s emphasis is on Jesus Christ as a Servant. The calf, or the ox here, pictures Him as the Servant. They were to do the work.
  2. And then we come to Luke. Luke emphasizes Christ as the Son of Man. Isn’t that amazing, when we know He is the Son of God? Luke gives a genealogy because he emphasizes Him as the Son of Man, and takes His genealogy clear back to Adam, showing He was born of human flesh, although it was sinless flesh because of the Virgin Birth. Luke’s emphasis is on Him being the Son of Man. He was perfect God, yet He was perfect man. That’s the whole emphasis of the Gospel of Luke. Yes, He was God incarnate in human flesh. That is why He is pictured here by the third beast with “the face of a man.” God, personified, in human flesh.
  3. Then, we come to the fourth beast which is like a flying eagle. That’s exactly how Christ is pictured there in the Gospel of John. When you come to the Gospel of John, you will find that there are no genealogies given in the Gospel of John, because he portrays Him as the Son of God. He is God in human flesh, and, therefore, being God, He had no beginning or ending. Therefore, there are no genealogies because God never had a “start,” nor will He ever have an ending. You see, Jesus Christ is not just a good man, He is perfect God in human flesh. He is perfect Deity in human flesh and, in that flesh, He was born with no sin whatsoever. “In him was found no sin.” None, whatsoever!

You put these all together and you have these four beasts, or living creatures, representing the composite picture of Christ, as they are there at the throne of God, and as pictured in the four Gospels. In Matthew, we have Him as the Lion, Mark has him as the calf or the ox, picturing the Servant. In Luke, we have Him as the man, the Son of Man. He was Perfect God, yet, perfect man. In John, we have Him as the eagle, with the swiftness and the power of an eagle showing His omnipotence. He was pictured, as the eagle by John, showing He was omniscient, omnipotent God in human flesh. John emphasizes His Deity.

Revelation 4:9-11.

“And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, (9) The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (10)  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (11).

He reminds them again, the four and twenty elders represent all of the redeemed of mankind. The Word of God tells us that there’s a time coming when every knee shall bow to and give glory to God, and confess Him.

 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God (11).  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” (Romans 14:11-12).

 Let me ask you, “Do you glorify God, now, and confess (witness) about Him to others?” We have a wonderful Savior, and the least we can do is to tell others how to have the same salvation by grace that we do. That is how we “confess” Christ down here.

The saddest thing in the world is to see Christians that have just “backed off from the Lord.” They think they can live their life more effectively. They don’t need the church. They don’t need Christian fellowship. When you get around these people, you can surely tell it. You can tell it by their language. They don’t want to talk about the Bible. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful things that Christ has done for them. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful blessings that they could be looking forward to, and have that kind of fellowship. They want to talk about worldly things.

Not that a Christian has to go around with a Bible in each pocket and one in each hand, with two or three chains with a cross hanging over his back, and one on his chest. We’re not talking about that kind of fanaticism. We’re talking about a Christian who loves to talk about his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

You know what is an amazing thing? You see people leaving a liberal church service and they never carry a Bible to church. You can’t talk to them about the Lord. Huh-uh, they don’t want to talk. They say, “I don’t talk about religion or politics.” Do you know why they don’t want to talk about that? They don’t know anything about either one. If they knew anything about them, they would want to talk about them. When you grow in the grace and knowledge of God’s Word, you can’t keep it in! You want to tell somebody! It’s human nature.

When you find somebody that doesn’t want to talk about the Bible and says, “Oh-oh, I’m not going to argue about the Bible,” they either do not know the Lord, or are an out of fellowship Christian. Talking about the Bible is not arguing about the Bible. You can talk about the Bible, and not argue. There may come a time in their life when they desire some truth from God’s Word. They may begin to think, “I don’t really have the assurance that I’m going to Heaven when I die.” That is the time they may be open to the Gospel, and you can help them.

Let me ask you this. If you’re a Christian, do you pray to the Lord Jesus Christ as the four and twenty elders, representing all mankind, do in Verse 10,

…“fell down before him that sat on the throne, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.”

Do you know what that represents? They worship the Lord Jesus Christ because they know He is their Creator. They…

“cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:”

They realized that any award, reward, or anything that they had prospered materialistically, with down here, had been a gift from God. They thanked God for everything. They thanked God for their jobs, for their husbands, for their wives. They thanked God for their families, and their Christian homes, and their home in Heaven.

I’ve heard this more in my years in the ministry than anything else. “You know, Pastor, we never realized when we had a good Bible-teaching church. We took for granted the fellowship, the outings, and the picnics that we had. We could share about witnessing to somebody with others in our church. We had Christian friends. Then, we moved, and we could not find a good, Bible-teaching church. We felt just like a “duck out of water.” We were empty. We thought they were everywhere, but they’re not. We’ve tried a couple of churches here, and, you know what? We got a little verse read and the Bible was closed, then we heard all the philosophy of the preacher. Or, we heard what the Synod, or the church organization expected, and how each member has to pay their “dues” now to be a member of this church.”

There’s a minimum “fee” on your head in many church organizations, if you didn’t know that. We call it a “bounty.” I don’t believe churches should do that, but you have a bounty on your head if you want to join some of your liberal churches. You gotta “pay up, or shut up!” That’s about it.

But the Fundamental church is not this way. You are free to come. There are no bounties on your head for money, and there’s nobody hunting your pocketbook. We do not have to pay into an organization to have you as a member.

How wonderful it is to be as one of the four and twenty elders who fell down and thanked God for the wonderful blessings that He had given them. They fell down on their knees, and realized, in humility, how wonderful it is to have a Savior who died on that Cross to pay for their sins, and bought their right to be in that beautiful throne room in Heaven!

We are going into Chapter Five, next, and we are going to take the key parts and bring them up. We hope they will be a blessing to you. But…more important than anything else. Honestly, if someone were to ask you, “Do you know for sure you’re going to Heaven when you die?” Can you, honestly, and truthfully say, “I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my home is with the Lord Jesus Christ.” The only way you can say that is if you’re trusting Jesus Christ, and Him alone. It is not your church, not your baptism, not your church membership, or any of the things that some churches put in that are non-essential for salvation. There is only one essential for salvation, and that is belief in Christ as the One who paid for our sins.

 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14:6).

If you’re trusting Jesus Christ, you’ll have “the peace of God that passeth all understanding.”

 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.(6)  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”  (Philippian

“The Things Which Must Be Hereafter.”

We have  been covering the signs of the times which precede the Rapture, and, now we are ready to move on and cover more ground a little faster than we have previously.

Revelation 4:1.

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).

Again, this fulfills the natural outline of the book of Revelation 1:19. The “things which must be hereafter. “Hereafter” what? When John is taken up, it pictures the Rapture of the Church. There is no more mention of the Church in the Book of Revelation until Revelation 22:16. Why? The Church is now in Heaven.

Revelation 4:2.

“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne”  (Revelation 4:2).

The One that “sat on the throne” was Christ.

Revelation 4:3.

 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3)

And you say, What in the world is the sight of this? It must have been a very beautiful sight as John opened his eyes, and there he was in Heaven, face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ. What a sight to behold! 

And for the Christian, when we’re “absent from the body, present with the Lord,” there are things that God has put in our language that we can read about Heaven; but honestly, truthfully, nothing can compare to what the real thing is going to be. And for God to describe it to us, we’re thankful for that. It is wonderful and it is going to be beautiful. When we leave this body, because we are going to die, but we do have a home in Heaven. We are just passed from death unto life. And when we see the glories of Heaven, it’s going to be more than whatever could be described in human words!

You often wonder, what in the world is the significance of the stones which John saw. He looked and he saw a jasper stone, and a sardine stone, and “there was a rainbow round about the throne in the sight like unto an emerald.” To get the significance of this, we have to go back to the Old Testament, because you’ll recall back in Exodus 28, all of these stones appeared on the breast plate of the priest. Now, we only have three listed here. We find out there were also nine others, so when the priest went in to perform his priestly duties, he had twelve stones upon his breast, a stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Notice in Verse 3, it says

 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper (stone)…

The jasper stone and the sardine stone represent the First and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will see the significance of that, and why John sees them in reverse of how they appeared on the breastplate of the priest. There’s a reason. With Bibles in hand, let us now go back to the Old Testament to get the whole picture.


Exodus 28:15-21:The Stones of the High Priest’s Breast Plate.

“And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it (15).

   Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof  (16).  

   And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row (17). 

   And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond  (18).

  And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst  (19).  

   And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings (20).

   And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes” (21).

22.  Gems on the High Priest's Breastplate.

This is very interesting here. The sardius stone is on the first row. You actually had four rows with three stones across. You’ll notice, the first stone was a sardius, and that was the stone for Reuben. Then you have the topaz and the carbuncle. The topaz was the stone for Simeon, and the carbuncle was that of Levi. So, you have the rows here, and you have three across with four rows down. Each stone appeared with engraving identifying one of the tribes of Israel. There were twelve stones, of course, because there were twelve tribes of Israel.

We begin to look to the sardine stone. It is very interesting to note that the sardius was a blood-red stone, and it represents the Cross. As we’ve said, that was the stone identifying the tribe of Reuben. It comes from two Hebrew words meaning “Behold the son.” Now, the sardius stone here represents the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Cross of Calvary. In John 1:29, John the Baptist said this,

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Isn’t that something! The sardius, a blood-red stone, the first stone on the breast plate of the priest, represented the  First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary.

The jasper stone here was a clean and transparent stone, and it speaks of victory and power. It is the last stone that we see on the breastplate, and is the stone for Benjamin, who represents the Lion when it comes in power. Benjamin’s name means “the son of my power.” John sees them in reverse. And, as we’ve said, they represent the First and Second Coming of our great priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. John sees them in reverse Please note our representation of the breastplate in the upper left corner.

Now, let’s read the first part of Revelation 4:3 again.

“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper …”

John is on the other side of Calvary now. He is looking back at what is represented on the breast plate here. He sees the jasper stone first, and then the sardine stone. This tells us that John is seeing the stones in reverse, because he is on the other side of Calvary. We find out that when Christ comes back the second time, He will coming as “the Son of my power.” He will be roaring like the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah! He will be coming in judgment.

The sardius stone, the Reuben stone, tells us He came as the meek Lamb of God to die on the Cross the first time. He didn’t come to fight. He didn’t come to exercise His power against man at that time, but He came to exercise only the power of the Resurrection to show that He was more powerful than Satan. He triumphed over anything the demonic, satanic world could do to hold Him in the Tomb. Yes! He arose from the dead and He is a living Savior. He’s alive today. He’s your Savior and “He ever liveth to make intercession” for you and I. I hope that you’ve trusted Him as your Savior. I hope that you have trusted Him as the Lamb of God,— the blood-red stone.

We know that He is coming again—because of the jasper stone. God revealed this to John up in Heaven’s Throne Room, and what it represented—Jesus Christ is coming again!

And, when He comes and sets His Kingdom up on this Earth, He’s coming as a Lion. He will not come as the Lamb of God. He’s going to come in power as the crucified, risen Savior. When we get into Chapter Six, He will be roaring out of Heaven, and He will be executing judgment on the Earth when men will hide...

“…themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;  And [say] to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:” (Revelation 6:16)

I thank God that you and I will never have to hide from the wrath of God. In fact, we go to the Cross of Calvary. That’s where the wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus Christ for your sake and my sake. Christ took our wrath, the wrath of Almighty God, which is death. Romans 6:23 tells us,

“For the wages of sin is death; (23a)

But…we find out,

“the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (23b)

Instead of me facing the wrath of God for my sin, I look to Calvary. Christ said that He came into the world to seek and save that which is lost. Before I trusted Christ as my Savior, I knew that I was lost. Every Christian knows they are lost, and need a Savior, before they trust Christ. Let me ask you. Are you soaking in self-righteousness, and trying to live in a generation which covers its sins, and says, “Oh, I’m a pretty good person.” Are you trying to do that? Or, will you be honest with God? God’s candid camera of your heart says, “Everyone in the World is a sinner.”

 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” - Romans 3:23

God says, “Accept my Son as your Savior and you’ll be passed from death unto life (John 5:24).”

So…the jasper stone shows that Jesus is coming in power and glory to set up the Kingdom, and to judge it. Not only that, when we go at the Rapture, “So shall we ever be with the Lord,” God tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Therefore, when Christ comes back to set the Kingdom up, we’re coming back with Him! We’re going to be here with Christ, and we’re going to be witnessing that power in the Kingdom that He sets up.  We are going to be priests and kings unto Him.

 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen”  (Revelation 1:6)

That’s the position that Christ has given to everyone who is has trusted Him as their Savior. Everyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ becomes a child of God.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12).

As we look on down in our text, we see another stone…

       “…in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3b)

   The emerald was the stone of Judah, and Judah means “praise” in the Hebrew. It is from this title that we know the King is to come and to be praised forever. How wonderful it will be when we get to Heaven and see this glorious scene that John sees here. He is trying to describe it, the best he can, for us to understand in our language. This is just a “preview of the coming attractions” and it is hard to describe all the glories that are going to be there. Let us go on down and notice in Revelation 4:4,

“And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders,”(4a)...

These elders represent ALL of mankind. They represent the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel and the twelve apostles, which takes in all of mankind.

“sitting clothed in white raiment;”(4b)...

They are saved and up in Heaven.

“…and they had on their heads crowns of gold” (4c).

You may not be much in this world, but you have crowns that God is going to give you, if you’ve been faithful to serve Him down here. You are His glory, do you know that? They crowned the Lord Jesus with a crown of thorns, but He has traded that for a crown of glory. Do you know that you, as a child of God who has come to Him by faith in Jesus Christ, are His crown of glory? He bought you with a price and you receive that payment by putting your faith in Him. You now belong to Him. What a wonderful Savior we have!

Revelation 4:5.

And, now for Revelation 4:5. We’re getting ready here, in Chapters Four and Five, for the unleashing of some of the most terrible things that have ever been thrown out by God upon this Earth. We are going to pick that up in Chapter Six. These are the previews, here, to let us know what is getting ready to take place, and what has to take place prior to God’s pouring these judgments out.

 “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

The “seven spirits of God” are nothing more than a represention of the omniscience of God. He is all-knowing. “Seven” is the number of perfection. “Six” is the number of man. Man was created on the Sixth Day. The giants had six toes, six fingers. (1 Chronicles 20:6). Six is the number of man. It is imperfection. Seven is the number of perfection, and only God is omniscient. Only God is omnipotent. Therefore, the “seven spirits” represent the all-seeing, the all-knowing, the all-wisdom of Almighty God, Himself. He is absolute perfection. We have all sinned and come short of the glory, or the perfection of God. That’s why all humanity are sinners. No one can be as righteous as God, himself. But I thank God that He sent His only begotten Son to die upon that Cross. Notice 2 Corinthians 5:21,

“…he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians  5:21).

When I accept His sin payment for my sin on Calvary, Jesus Christ places to my account, and your account, the very righteousness of Christ, Himself. I go to Heaven, perfect. I am not perfect down here, and that is why I can’t take my body to Heaven. God is going to give me a new one. I am, positionally, perfect in the eyes of God, because He has placed to my account what I could never put there myself. He placed the perfection of Jesus Christ to my account, and I go to Heaven on the righteousness of Christ, and no righteousness that I could ever achieve myself. I would fall short of that perfection. You see, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory, or the perfection of God.

Aren’t you thankful that He’s your Savior, and that you know you have a home in Heaven? Let’s go down to Revelation 4:6,

Revelation 4:6-8.

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind” (6).

And then in Verse 7, he describes the beasts,

“And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle  (7).  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (8)”  

John observes four beasts, who are always before the throne, praising God day and night. The word “beast” here is translated from the Greek word “zōon,” and means “living creatures.” This is where we get our words “zoo, and zoology.” These are not the vicious “beasts of the Earth (“thērion”), or predatory animals that kill men in Chapter Six (6:8).

If you’ll go in your Bibles to Isaiah 6:2,16, you will find out these are the Seraphim. This is a created heavenly host that we know very little about. If you go to Ezekiel 1, and Ezekiel 10, you will find that there is another heavenly host called the Cherubim. They have four wings, and their appearance was described to Ezekiel in a vision. He was taken up into Heaven and God allowed him to see the Heavenly train, and let him know what was there. So, Isaiah did have a brief glimpse, and he notifies us in Isaiah 6 that these are the Seraphim, and they have six wings.

As we consider these beasts that appear here, that one looked like a lion, one a calf, one a man, and one an eagle, it reminds us of the four Gospels. They are presenting here the same four-fold picture of our Wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus, as you see in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each one has an emphasis upon a different aspect of the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. You put them all together and you have a four-sided composite picture of our Wonderful Savior.

  1. Matthew is the Kingdom book, and Matthew has the emphasis on the presentation of Christ as the King to the nation of Israel. That’s why you have His genealogy there in the first chapter of Matthew. It takes us clear back to Abraham, showing that Jesus Christ has a right to sit upon the Throne of David. All through the book it references that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” That is, “the Kingdom from Heaven is at hand,” and is found 38 times in the Book of Matthew, because the King is at hand. The whole emphasis of Matthew is, Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. He is the Savior, and the King, to the Nation of Israel. Accept Him, Israel, as your Messiah. The beast that represents Him here is the lion. He is the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), the King of Kings, just as the lion is the King of the Forest.

 “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:5 ).

  1. Then we come to the Gospel of Mark, as the Holy Spirit inspired Mark to write. Mark portrays Christ as the Servant. It has more conjunctions in it as far as the word, “and.” And… and…and…! The activity never stops. A servant is always working. There are no genealogies in Mark. Who cares about the genealogy of a servant, as long as he can do the work. Jesus Christ came to be the Servant of mankind, even to die on the Cross, as a Servant to mankind, to pay for our sin. So, the Gospel of Mark’s emphasis is on Jesus Christ as a Servant. The calf, or the ox here, pictures Him as the Servant. They were to do the work.
  2. And then we come to Luke. Luke emphasizes Christ as the Son of Man. Isn’t that amazing, when we know He is the Son of God? Luke gives a genealogy because he emphasizes Him as the Son of Man, and takes His genealogy clear back to Adam, showing He was born of human flesh, although it was sinless flesh because of the Virgin Birth. Luke’s emphasis is on Him being the Son of Man. He was perfect God, yet He was perfect man. That’s the whole emphasis of the Gospel of Luke. Yes, He was God incarnate in human flesh. That is why He is pictured here by the third beast with “the face of a man.” God, personified, in human flesh.
  3. Then, we come to the fourth beast which is like a flying eagle. That’s exactly how Christ is pictured there in the Gospel of John. When you come to the Gospel of John, you will find that there are no genealogies given in the Gospel of John, because he portrays Him as the Son of God. He is God in human flesh, and, therefore, being God, He had no beginning or ending. Therefore, there are no genealogies because God never had a “start,” nor will He ever have an ending. You see, Jesus Christ is not just a good man, He is perfect God in human flesh. He is perfect Deity in human flesh and, in that flesh, He was born with no sin whatsoever. “In him was found no sin.” None, whatsoever!

You put these all together and you have these four beasts, or living creatures, representing the composite picture of Christ, as they are there at the throne of God, and as pictured in the four Gospels. In Matthew, we have Him as the Lion, Mark has him as the calf or the ox, picturing the Servant. In Luke, we have Him as the man, the Son of Man. He was Perfect God, yet, perfect man. In John, we have Him as the eagle, with the swiftness and the power of an eagle showing His omnipotence. He was pictured, as the eagle by John, showing He was omniscient, omnipotent God in human flesh. John emphasizes His Deity.

Revelation 4:9-11.

“And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, (9) The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (10)  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (11).

He reminds them again, the four and twenty elders represent all of the redeemed of mankind. The Word of God tells us that there’s a time coming when every knee shall bow to and give glory to God, and confess Him.

 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God (11).  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” (Romans 14:11-12).

 Let me ask you, “Do you glorify God, now, and confess (witness) about Him to others?” We have a wonderful Savior, and the least we can do is to tell others how to have the same salvation by grace that we do. That is how we “confess” Christ down here.

The saddest thing in the world is to see Christians that have just “backed off from the Lord.” They think they can live their life more effectively. They don’t need the church. They don’t need Christian fellowship. When you get around these people, you can surely tell it. You can tell it by their language. They don’t want to talk about the Bible. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful things that Christ has done for them. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful blessings that they could be looking forward to, and have that kind of fellowship. They want to talk about worldly things.

Not that a Christian has to go around with a Bible in each pocket and one in each hand, with two or three chains with a cross hanging over his back, and one on his chest. We’re not talking about that kind of fanaticism. We’re talking about a Christian who loves to talk about his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

You know what is an amazing thing? You see people leaving a liberal church service and they never carry a Bible to church. You can’t talk to them about the Lord. Huh-uh, they don’t want to talk. They say, “I don’t talk about religion or politics.” Do you know why they don’t want to talk about that? They don’t know anything about either one. If they knew anything about them, they would want to talk about them. When you grow in the grace and knowledge of God’s Word, you can’t keep it in! You want to tell somebody! It’s human nature.

When you find somebody that doesn’t want to talk about the Bible and says, “Oh-oh, I’m not going to argue about the Bible,” they either do not know the Lord, or are an out of fellowship Christian. Talking about the Bible is not arguing about the Bible. You can talk about the Bible, and not argue. There may come a time in their life when they desire some truth from God’s Word. They may begin to think, “I don’t really have the assurance that I’m going to Heaven when I die.” That is the time they may be open to the Gospel, and you can help them.

Let me ask you this. If you’re a Christian, do you pray to the Lord Jesus Christ as the four and twenty elders, representing all mankind, do in Verse 10,

…“fell down before him that sat on the throne, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.”

Do you know what that represents? They worship the Lord Jesus Christ because they know He is their Creator. They…

“cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:”

They realized that any award, reward, or anything that they had prospered materialistically, with down here, had been a gift from God. They thanked God for everything. They thanked God for their jobs, for their husbands, for their wives. They thanked God for their families, and their Christian homes, and their home in Heaven.

I’ve heard this more in my years in the ministry than anything else. “You know, Pastor, we never realized when we had a good Bible-teaching church. We took for granted the fellowship, the outings, and the picnics that we had. We could share about witnessing to somebody with others in our church. We had Christian friends. Then, we moved, and we could not find a good, Bible-teaching church. We felt just like a “duck out of water.” We were empty. We thought they were everywhere, but they’re not. We’ve tried a couple of churches here, and, you know what? We got a little verse read and the Bible was closed, then we heard all the philosophy of the preacher. Or, we heard what the Synod, or the church organization expected, and how each member has to pay their “dues” now to be a member of this church.”

There’s a minimum “fee” on your head in many church organizations, if you didn’t know that. We call it a “bounty.” I don’t believe churches should do that, but you have a bounty on your head if you want to join some of your liberal churches. You gotta “pay up, or shut up!” That’s about it.

But the Fundamental church is not this way. You are free to come. There are no bounties on your head for money, and there’s nobody hunting your pocketbook. We do not have to pay into an organization to have you as a member.

How wonderful it is to be as one of the four and twenty elders who fell down and thanked God for the wonderful blessings that He had given them. They fell down on their knees, and realized, in humility, how wonderful it is to have a Savior who died on that Cross to pay for their sins, and bought their right to be in that beautiful throne room in Heaven!

We are going into Chapter Five, next, and we are going to take the key parts and bring them up. We hope they will be a blessing to you. But…more important than anything else. Honestly, if someone were to ask you, “Do you know for sure you’re going to Heaven when you die?” Can you, honestly, and truthfully say, “I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my home is with the Lord Jesus Christ.” The only way you can say that is if you’re trusting Jesus Christ, and Him alone. It is not your church, not your baptism, not your church membership, or any of the things that some churches put in that are non-essential for salvation. There is only one essential for salvation, and that is belief in Christ as the One who paid for our sins.

 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14:6).

If you’re trusting Jesus Christ, you’ll have “the peace of God that passeth all understanding.”

 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.(6)  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”  (Philippian

“The Things Which Must Be Hereafter.”

We have  been covering the signs of the times which precede the Rapture, and, now we are ready to move on and cover more ground a little faster than we have previously.

Revelation 4:1.

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).

Again, this fulfills the natural outline of the book of Revelation 1:19. The “things which must be hereafter. “Hereafter” what? When John is taken up, it pictures the Rapture of the Church. There is no more mention of the Church in the Book of Revelation until Revelation 22:16. Why? The Church is now in Heaven.

Revelation 4:2.

“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne”  (Revelation 4:2).

The One that “sat on the throne” was Christ.

Revelation 4:3.

 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3)

And you say, What in the world is the sight of this? It must have been a very beautiful sight as John opened his eyes, and there he was in Heaven, face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ. What a sight to behold! 

And for the Christian, when we’re “absent from the body, present with the Lord,” there are things that God has put in our language that we can read about Heaven; but honestly, truthfully, nothing can compare to what the real thing is going to be. And for God to describe it to us, we’re thankful for that. It is wonderful and it is going to be beautiful. When we leave this body, because we are going to die, but we do have a home in Heaven. We are just passed from death unto life. And when we see the glories of Heaven, it’s going to be more than whatever could be described in human words!

You often wonder, what in the world is the significance of the stones which John saw. He looked and he saw a jasper stone, and a sardine stone, and “there was a rainbow round about the throne in the sight like unto an emerald.” To get the significance of this, we have to go back to the Old Testament, because you’ll recall back in Exodus 28, all of these stones appeared on the breast plate of the priest. Now, we only have three listed here. We find out there were also nine others, so when the priest went in to perform his priestly duties, he had twelve stones upon his breast, a stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Notice in Verse 3, it says

 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper (stone)…

The jasper stone and the sardine stone represent the First and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will see the significance of that, and why John sees them in reverse of how they appeared on the breastplate of the priest. There’s a reason. With Bibles in hand, let us now go back to the Old Testament to get the whole picture.


Exodus 28:15-21:The Stones of the High Priest’s Breast Plate.

“And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it (15).

   Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof  (16).  

   And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row (17). 

   And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond  (18).

  And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst  (19).  

   And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings (20).

   And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes” (21).

22.  Gems on the High Priest's Breastplate.

This is very interesting here. The sardius stone is on the first row. You actually had four rows with three stones across. You’ll notice, the first stone was a sardius, and that was the stone for Reuben. Then you have the topaz and the carbuncle. The topaz was the stone for Simeon, and the carbuncle was that of Levi. So, you have the rows here, and you have three across with four rows down. Each stone appeared with engraving identifying one of the tribes of Israel. There were twelve stones, of course, because there were twelve tribes of Israel.

We begin to look to the sardine stone. It is very interesting to note that the sardius was a blood-red stone, and it represents the Cross. As we’ve said, that was the stone identifying the tribe of Reuben. It comes from two Hebrew words meaning “Behold the son.” Now, the sardius stone here represents the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Cross of Calvary. In John 1:29, John the Baptist said this,

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Isn’t that something! The sardius, a blood-red stone, the first stone on the breast plate of the priest, represented the  First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary.

The jasper stone here was a clean and transparent stone, and it speaks of victory and power. It is the last stone that we see on the breastplate, and is the stone for Benjamin, who represents the Lion when it comes in power. Benjamin’s name means “the son of my power.” John sees them in reverse. And, as we’ve said, they represent the First and Second Coming of our great priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. John sees them in reverse Please note our representation of the breastplate in the upper left corner.

Now, let’s read the first part of Revelation 4:3 again.

“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper …”

John is on the other side of Calvary now. He is looking back at what is represented on the breast plate here. He sees the jasper stone first, and then the sardine stone. This tells us that John is seeing the stones in reverse, because he is on the other side of Calvary. We find out that when Christ comes back the second time, He will coming as “the Son of my power.” He will be roaring like the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah! He will be coming in judgment.

The sardius stone, the Reuben stone, tells us He came as the meek Lamb of God to die on the Cross the first time. He didn’t come to fight. He didn’t come to exercise His power against man at that time, but He came to exercise only the power of the Resurrection to show that He was more powerful than Satan. He triumphed over anything the demonic, satanic world could do to hold Him in the Tomb. Yes! He arose from the dead and He is a living Savior. He’s alive today. He’s your Savior and “He ever liveth to make intercession” for you and I. I hope that you’ve trusted Him as your Savior. I hope that you have trusted Him as the Lamb of God,— the blood-red stone.

We know that He is coming again—because of the jasper stone. God revealed this to John up in Heaven’s Throne Room, and what it represented—Jesus Christ is coming again!

And, when He comes and sets His Kingdom up on this Earth, He’s coming as a Lion. He will not come as the Lamb of God. He’s going to come in power as the crucified, risen Savior. When we get into Chapter Six, He will be roaring out of Heaven, and He will be executing judgment on the Earth when men will hide...

“…themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;  And [say] to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:” (Revelation 6:16)

I thank God that you and I will never have to hide from the wrath of God. In fact, we go to the Cross of Calvary. That’s where the wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus Christ for your sake and my sake. Christ took our wrath, the wrath of Almighty God, which is death. Romans 6:23 tells us,

“For the wages of sin is death; (23a)

But…we find out,

“the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (23b)

Instead of me facing the wrath of God for my sin, I look to Calvary. Christ said that He came into the world to seek and save that which is lost. Before I trusted Christ as my Savior, I knew that I was lost. Every Christian knows they are lost, and need a Savior, before they trust Christ. Let me ask you. Are you soaking in self-righteousness, and trying to live in a generation which covers its sins, and says, “Oh, I’m a pretty good person.” Are you trying to do that? Or, will you be honest with God? God’s candid camera of your heart says, “Everyone in the World is a sinner.”

 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” - Romans 3:23

God says, “Accept my Son as your Savior and you’ll be passed from death unto life (John 5:24).”

So…the jasper stone shows that Jesus is coming in power and glory to set up the Kingdom, and to judge it. Not only that, when we go at the Rapture, “So shall we ever be with the Lord,” God tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Therefore, when Christ comes back to set the Kingdom up, we’re coming back with Him! We’re going to be here with Christ, and we’re going to be witnessing that power in the Kingdom that He sets up.  We are going to be priests and kings unto Him.

 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen”  (Revelation 1:6)

That’s the position that Christ has given to everyone who is has trusted Him as their Savior. Everyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ becomes a child of God.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12).

As we look on down in our text, we see another stone…

       “…in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3b)

   The emerald was the stone of Judah, and Judah means “praise” in the Hebrew. It is from this title that we know the King is to come and to be praised forever. How wonderful it will be when we get to Heaven and see this glorious scene that John sees here. He is trying to describe it, the best he can, for us to understand in our language. This is just a “preview of the coming attractions” and it is hard to describe all the glories that are going to be there. Let us go on down and notice in Revelation 4:4,

“And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders,”(4a)...

These elders represent ALL of mankind. They represent the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel and the twelve apostles, which takes in all of mankind.

“sitting clothed in white raiment;”(4b)...

They are saved and up in Heaven.

“…and they had on their heads crowns of gold” (4c).

You may not be much in this world, but you have crowns that God is going to give you, if you’ve been faithful to serve Him down here. You are His glory, do you know that? They crowned the Lord Jesus with a crown of thorns, but He has traded that for a crown of glory. Do you know that you, as a child of God who has come to Him by faith in Jesus Christ, are His crown of glory? He bought you with a price and you receive that payment by putting your faith in Him. You now belong to Him. What a wonderful Savior we have!

Revelation 4:5.

And, now for Revelation 4:5. We’re getting ready here, in Chapters Four and Five, for the unleashing of some of the most terrible things that have ever been thrown out by God upon this Earth. We are going to pick that up in Chapter Six. These are the previews, here, to let us know what is getting ready to take place, and what has to take place prior to God’s pouring these judgments out.

 “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

The “seven spirits of God” are nothing more than a represention of the omniscience of God. He is all-knowing. “Seven” is the number of perfection. “Six” is the number of man. Man was created on the Sixth Day. The giants had six toes, six fingers. (1 Chronicles 20:6). Six is the number of man. It is imperfection. Seven is the number of perfection, and only God is omniscient. Only God is omnipotent. Therefore, the “seven spirits” represent the all-seeing, the all-knowing, the all-wisdom of Almighty God, Himself. He is absolute perfection. We have all sinned and come short of the glory, or the perfection of God. That’s why all humanity are sinners. No one can be as righteous as God, himself. But I thank God that He sent His only begotten Son to die upon that Cross. Notice 2 Corinthians 5:21,

“…he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians  5:21).

When I accept His sin payment for my sin on Calvary, Jesus Christ places to my account, and your account, the very righteousness of Christ, Himself. I go to Heaven, perfect. I am not perfect down here, and that is why I can’t take my body to Heaven. God is going to give me a new one. I am, positionally, perfect in the eyes of God, because He has placed to my account what I could never put there myself. He placed the perfection of Jesus Christ to my account, and I go to Heaven on the righteousness of Christ, and no righteousness that I could ever achieve myself. I would fall short of that perfection. You see, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory, or the perfection of God.

Aren’t you thankful that He’s your Savior, and that you know you have a home in Heaven? Let’s go down to Revelation 4:6,

Revelation 4:6-8.

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind” (6).

And then in Verse 7, he describes the beasts,

“And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle  (7).  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (8)”  

John observes four beasts, who are always before the throne, praising God day and night. The word “beast” here is translated from the Greek word “zōon,” and means “living creatures.” This is where we get our words “zoo, and zoology.” These are not the vicious “beasts of the Earth (“thērion”), or predatory animals that kill men in Chapter Six (6:8).

If you’ll go in your Bibles to Isaiah 6:2,16, you will find out these are the Seraphim. This is a created heavenly host that we know very little about. If you go to Ezekiel 1, and Ezekiel 10, you will find that there is another heavenly host called the Cherubim. They have four wings, and their appearance was described to Ezekiel in a vision. He was taken up into Heaven and God allowed him to see the Heavenly train, and let him know what was there. So, Isaiah did have a brief glimpse, and he notifies us in Isaiah 6 that these are the Seraphim, and they have six wings.

As we consider these beasts that appear here, that one looked like a lion, one a calf, one a man, and one an eagle, it reminds us of the four Gospels. They are presenting here the same four-fold picture of our Wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus, as you see in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each one has an emphasis upon a different aspect of the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. You put them all together and you have a four-sided composite picture of our Wonderful Savior.

  1. Matthew is the Kingdom book, and Matthew has the emphasis on the presentation of Christ as the King to the nation of Israel. That’s why you have His genealogy there in the first chapter of Matthew. It takes us clear back to Abraham, showing that Jesus Christ has a right to sit upon the Throne of David. All through the book it references that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” That is, “the Kingdom from Heaven is at hand,” and is found 38 times in the Book of Matthew, because the King is at hand. The whole emphasis of Matthew is, Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. He is the Savior, and the King, to the Nation of Israel. Accept Him, Israel, as your Messiah. The beast that represents Him here is the lion. He is the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), the King of Kings, just as the lion is the King of the Forest.

 “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:5 ).

  1. Then we come to the Gospel of Mark, as the Holy Spirit inspired Mark to write. Mark portrays Christ as the Servant. It has more conjunctions in it as far as the word, “and.” And… and…and…! The activity never stops. A servant is always working. There are no genealogies in Mark. Who cares about the genealogy of a servant, as long as he can do the work. Jesus Christ came to be the Servant of mankind, even to die on the Cross, as a Servant to mankind, to pay for our sin. So, the Gospel of Mark’s emphasis is on Jesus Christ as a Servant. The calf, or the ox here, pictures Him as the Servant. They were to do the work.
  2. And then we come to Luke. Luke emphasizes Christ as the Son of Man. Isn’t that amazing, when we know He is the Son of God? Luke gives a genealogy because he emphasizes Him as the Son of Man, and takes His genealogy clear back to Adam, showing He was born of human flesh, although it was sinless flesh because of the Virgin Birth. Luke’s emphasis is on Him being the Son of Man. He was perfect God, yet He was perfect man. That’s the whole emphasis of the Gospel of Luke. Yes, He was God incarnate in human flesh. That is why He is pictured here by the third beast with “the face of a man.” God, personified, in human flesh.
  3. Then, we come to the fourth beast which is like a flying eagle. That’s exactly how Christ is pictured there in the Gospel of John. When you come to the Gospel of John, you will find that there are no genealogies given in the Gospel of John, because he portrays Him as the Son of God. He is God in human flesh, and, therefore, being God, He had no beginning or ending. Therefore, there are no genealogies because God never had a “start,” nor will He ever have an ending. You see, Jesus Christ is not just a good man, He is perfect God in human flesh. He is perfect Deity in human flesh and, in that flesh, He was born with no sin whatsoever. “In him was found no sin.” None, whatsoever!

You put these all together and you have these four beasts, or living creatures, representing the composite picture of Christ, as they are there at the throne of God, and as pictured in the four Gospels. In Matthew, we have Him as the Lion, Mark has him as the calf or the ox, picturing the Servant. In Luke, we have Him as the man, the Son of Man. He was Perfect God, yet, perfect man. In John, we have Him as the eagle, with the swiftness and the power of an eagle showing His omnipotence. He was pictured, as the eagle by John, showing He was omniscient, omnipotent God in human flesh. John emphasizes His Deity.

Revelation 4:9-11.

“And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, (9) The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (10)  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (11).

He reminds them again, the four and twenty elders represent all of the redeemed of mankind. The Word of God tells us that there’s a time coming when every knee shall bow to and give glory to God, and confess Him.

 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God (11).  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” (Romans 14:11-12).

 Let me ask you, “Do you glorify God, now, and confess (witness) about Him to others?” We have a wonderful Savior, and the least we can do is to tell others how to have the same salvation by grace that we do. That is how we “confess” Christ down here.

The saddest thing in the world is to see Christians that have just “backed off from the Lord.” They think they can live their life more effectively. They don’t need the church. They don’t need Christian fellowship. When you get around these people, you can surely tell it. You can tell it by their language. They don’t want to talk about the Bible. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful things that Christ has done for them. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful blessings that they could be looking forward to, and have that kind of fellowship. They want to talk about worldly things.

Not that a Christian has to go around with a Bible in each pocket and one in each hand, with two or three chains with a cross hanging over his back, and one on his chest. We’re not talking about that kind of fanaticism. We’re talking about a Christian who loves to talk about his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

You know what is an amazing thing? You see people leaving a liberal church service and they never carry a Bible to church. You can’t talk to them about the Lord. Huh-uh, they don’t want to talk. They say, “I don’t talk about religion or politics.” Do you know why they don’t want to talk about that? They don’t know anything about either one. If they knew anything about them, they would want to talk about them. When you grow in the grace and knowledge of God’s Word, you can’t keep it in! You want to tell somebody! It’s human nature.

When you find somebody that doesn’t want to talk about the Bible and says, “Oh-oh, I’m not going to argue about the Bible,” they either do not know the Lord, or are an out of fellowship Christian. Talking about the Bible is not arguing about the Bible. You can talk about the Bible, and not argue. There may come a time in their life when they desire some truth from God’s Word. They may begin to think, “I don’t really have the assurance that I’m going to Heaven when I die.” That is the time they may be open to the Gospel, and you can help them.

Let me ask you this. If you’re a Christian, do you pray to the Lord Jesus Christ as the four and twenty elders, representing all mankind, do in Verse 10,

…“fell down before him that sat on the throne, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.”

Do you know what that represents? They worship the Lord Jesus Christ because they know He is their Creator. They…

“cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:”

They realized that any award, reward, or anything that they had prospered materialistically, with down here, had been a gift from God. They thanked God for everything. They thanked God for their jobs, for their husbands, for their wives. They thanked God for their families, and their Christian homes, and their home in Heaven.

I’ve heard this more in my years in the ministry than anything else. “You know, Pastor, we never realized when we had a good Bible-teaching church. We took for granted the fellowship, the outings, and the picnics that we had. We could share about witnessing to somebody with others in our church. We had Christian friends. Then, we moved, and we could not find a good, Bible-teaching church. We felt just like a “duck out of water.” We were empty. We thought they were everywhere, but they’re not. We’ve tried a couple of churches here, and, you know what? We got a little verse read and the Bible was closed, then we heard all the philosophy of the preacher. Or, we heard what the Synod, or the church organization expected, and how each member has to pay their “dues” now to be a member of this church.”

There’s a minimum “fee” on your head in many church organizations, if you didn’t know that. We call it a “bounty.” I don’t believe churches should do that, but you have a bounty on your head if you want to join some of your liberal churches. You gotta “pay up, or shut up!” That’s about it.

But the Fundamental church is not this way. You are free to come. There are no bounties on your head for money, and there’s nobody hunting your pocketbook. We do not have to pay into an organization to have you as a member.

How wonderful it is to be as one of the four and twenty elders who fell down and thanked God for the wonderful blessings that He had given them. They fell down on their knees, and realized, in humility, how wonderful it is to have a Savior who died on that Cross to pay for their sins, and bought their right to be in that beautiful throne room in Heaven!

We are going into Chapter Five, next, and we are going to take the key parts and bring them up. We hope they will be a blessing to you. But…more important than anything else. Honestly, if someone were to ask you, “Do you know for sure you’re going to Heaven when you die?” Can you, honestly, and truthfully say, “I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my home is with the Lord Jesus Christ.” The only way you can say that is if you’re trusting Jesus Christ, and Him alone. It is not your church, not your baptism, not your church membership, or any of the things that some churches put in that are non-essential for salvation. There is only one essential for salvation, and that is belief in Christ as the One who paid for our sins.

 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14:6).

If you’re trusting Jesus Christ, you’ll have “the peace of God that passeth all understanding.”

 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.(6)  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”  (Philippian

“The Things Which Must Be Hereafter.”

We have  been covering the signs of the times which precede the Rapture, and, now we are ready to move on and cover more ground a little faster than we have previously.

Revelation 4:1.

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).

Again, this fulfills the natural outline of the book of Revelation 1:19. The “things which must be hereafter. “Hereafter” what? When John is taken up, it pictures the Rapture of the Church. There is no more mention of the Church in the Book of Revelation until Revelation 22:16. Why? The Church is now in Heaven.

Revelation 4:2.

“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne”  (Revelation 4:2).

The One that “sat on the throne” was Christ.

Revelation 4:3.

 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3)

And you say, What in the world is the sight of this? It must have been a very beautiful sight as John opened his eyes, and there he was in Heaven, face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ. What a sight to behold! 

And for the Christian, when we’re “absent from the body, present with the Lord,” there are things that God has put in our language that we can read about Heaven; but honestly, truthfully, nothing can compare to what the real thing is going to be. And for God to describe it to us, we’re thankful for that. It is wonderful and it is going to be beautiful. When we leave this body, because we are going to die, but we do have a home in Heaven. We are just passed from death unto life. And when we see the glories of Heaven, it’s going to be more than whatever could be described in human words!

You often wonder, what in the world is the significance of the stones which John saw. He looked and he saw a jasper stone, and a sardine stone, and “there was a rainbow round about the throne in the sight like unto an emerald.” To get the significance of this, we have to go back to the Old Testament, because you’ll recall back in Exodus 28, all of these stones appeared on the breast plate of the priest. Now, we only have three listed here. We find out there were also nine others, so when the priest went in to perform his priestly duties, he had twelve stones upon his breast, a stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Notice in Verse 3, it says

 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper (stone)…

The jasper stone and the sardine stone represent the First and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will see the significance of that, and why John sees them in reverse of how they appeared on the breastplate of the priest. There’s a reason. With Bibles in hand, let us now go back to the Old Testament to get the whole picture.


Exodus 28:15-21:The Stones of the High Priest’s Breast Plate.

“And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it (15).

   Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof  (16).  

   And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row (17). 

   And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond  (18).

  And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst  (19).  

   And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings (20).

   And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes” (21).

22.  Gems on the High Priest's Breastplate.

This is very interesting here. The sardius stone is on the first row. You actually had four rows with three stones across. You’ll notice, the first stone was a sardius, and that was the stone for Reuben. Then you have the topaz and the carbuncle. The topaz was the stone for Simeon, and the carbuncle was that of Levi. So, you have the rows here, and you have three across with four rows down. Each stone appeared with engraving identifying one of the tribes of Israel. There were twelve stones, of course, because there were twelve tribes of Israel.

We begin to look to the sardine stone. It is very interesting to note that the sardius was a blood-red stone, and it represents the Cross. As we’ve said, that was the stone identifying the tribe of Reuben. It comes from two Hebrew words meaning “Behold the son.” Now, the sardius stone here represents the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Cross of Calvary. In John 1:29, John the Baptist said this,

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Isn’t that something! The sardius, a blood-red stone, the first stone on the breast plate of the priest, represented the  First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary.

The jasper stone here was a clean and transparent stone, and it speaks of victory and power. It is the last stone that we see on the breastplate, and is the stone for Benjamin, who represents the Lion when it comes in power. Benjamin’s name means “the son of my power.” John sees them in reverse. And, as we’ve said, they represent the First and Second Coming of our great priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. John sees them in reverse Please note our representation of the breastplate in the upper left corner.

Now, let’s read the first part of Revelation 4:3 again.

“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper …”

John is on the other side of Calvary now. He is looking back at what is represented on the breast plate here. He sees the jasper stone first, and then the sardine stone. This tells us that John is seeing the stones in reverse, because he is on the other side of Calvary. We find out that when Christ comes back the second time, He will coming as “the Son of my power.” He will be roaring like the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah! He will be coming in judgment.

The sardius stone, the Reuben stone, tells us He came as the meek Lamb of God to die on the Cross the first time. He didn’t come to fight. He didn’t come to exercise His power against man at that time, but He came to exercise only the power of the Resurrection to show that He was more powerful than Satan. He triumphed over anything the demonic, satanic world could do to hold Him in the Tomb. Yes! He arose from the dead and He is a living Savior. He’s alive today. He’s your Savior and “He ever liveth to make intercession” for you and I. I hope that you’ve trusted Him as your Savior. I hope that you have trusted Him as the Lamb of God,— the blood-red stone.

We know that He is coming again—because of the jasper stone. God revealed this to John up in Heaven’s Throne Room, and what it represented—Jesus Christ is coming again!

And, when He comes and sets His Kingdom up on this Earth, He’s coming as a Lion. He will not come as the Lamb of God. He’s going to come in power as the crucified, risen Savior. When we get into Chapter Six, He will be roaring out of Heaven, and He will be executing judgment on the Earth when men will hide...

“…themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;  And [say] to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:” (Revelation 6:16)

I thank God that you and I will never have to hide from the wrath of God. In fact, we go to the Cross of Calvary. That’s where the wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus Christ for your sake and my sake. Christ took our wrath, the wrath of Almighty God, which is death. Romans 6:23 tells us,

“For the wages of sin is death; (23a)

But…we find out,

“the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (23b)

Instead of me facing the wrath of God for my sin, I look to Calvary. Christ said that He came into the world to seek and save that which is lost. Before I trusted Christ as my Savior, I knew that I was lost. Every Christian knows they are lost, and need a Savior, before they trust Christ. Let me ask you. Are you soaking in self-righteousness, and trying to live in a generation which covers its sins, and says, “Oh, I’m a pretty good person.” Are you trying to do that? Or, will you be honest with God? God’s candid camera of your heart says, “Everyone in the World is a sinner.”

 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” - Romans 3:23

God says, “Accept my Son as your Savior and you’ll be passed from death unto life (John 5:24).”

So…the jasper stone shows that Jesus is coming in power and glory to set up the Kingdom, and to judge it. Not only that, when we go at the Rapture, “So shall we ever be with the Lord,” God tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Therefore, when Christ comes back to set the Kingdom up, we’re coming back with Him! We’re going to be here with Christ, and we’re going to be witnessing that power in the Kingdom that He sets up.  We are going to be priests and kings unto Him.

 “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen”  (Revelation 1:6)

That’s the position that Christ has given to everyone who is has trusted Him as their Savior. Everyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ becomes a child of God.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12).

As we look on down in our text, we see another stone…

       “…in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3b)

   The emerald was the stone of Judah, and Judah means “praise” in the Hebrew. It is from this title that we know the King is to come and to be praised forever. How wonderful it will be when we get to Heaven and see this glorious scene that John sees here. He is trying to describe it, the best he can, for us to understand in our language. This is just a “preview of the coming attractions” and it is hard to describe all the glories that are going to be there. Let us go on down and notice in Revelation 4:4,

“And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders,”(4a)...

These elders represent ALL of mankind. They represent the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel and the twelve apostles, which takes in all of mankind.

“sitting clothed in white raiment;”(4b)...

They are saved and up in Heaven.

“…and they had on their heads crowns of gold” (4c).

You may not be much in this world, but you have crowns that God is going to give you, if you’ve been faithful to serve Him down here. You are His glory, do you know that? They crowned the Lord Jesus with a crown of thorns, but He has traded that for a crown of glory. Do you know that you, as a child of God who has come to Him by faith in Jesus Christ, are His crown of glory? He bought you with a price and you receive that payment by putting your faith in Him. You now belong to Him. What a wonderful Savior we have!

Revelation 4:5.

And, now for Revelation 4:5. We’re getting ready here, in Chapters Four and Five, for the unleashing of some of the most terrible things that have ever been thrown out by God upon this Earth. We are going to pick that up in Chapter Six. These are the previews, here, to let us know what is getting ready to take place, and what has to take place prior to God’s pouring these judgments out.

 “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

The “seven spirits of God” are nothing more than a represention of the omniscience of God. He is all-knowing. “Seven” is the number of perfection. “Six” is the number of man. Man was created on the Sixth Day. The giants had six toes, six fingers. (1 Chronicles 20:6). Six is the number of man. It is imperfection. Seven is the number of perfection, and only God is omniscient. Only God is omnipotent. Therefore, the “seven spirits” represent the all-seeing, the all-knowing, the all-wisdom of Almighty God, Himself. He is absolute perfection. We have all sinned and come short of the glory, or the perfection of God. That’s why all humanity are sinners. No one can be as righteous as God, himself. But I thank God that He sent His only begotten Son to die upon that Cross. Notice 2 Corinthians 5:21,

“…he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians  5:21).

When I accept His sin payment for my sin on Calvary, Jesus Christ places to my account, and your account, the very righteousness of Christ, Himself. I go to Heaven, perfect. I am not perfect down here, and that is why I can’t take my body to Heaven. God is going to give me a new one. I am, positionally, perfect in the eyes of God, because He has placed to my account what I could never put there myself. He placed the perfection of Jesus Christ to my account, and I go to Heaven on the righteousness of Christ, and no righteousness that I could ever achieve myself. I would fall short of that perfection. You see, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory, or the perfection of God.

Aren’t you thankful that He’s your Savior, and that you know you have a home in Heaven? Let’s go down to Revelation 4:6,

Revelation 4:6-8.

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind” (6).

And then in Verse 7, he describes the beasts,

“And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle  (7).  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (8)”  

John observes four beasts, who are always before the throne, praising God day and night. The word “beast” here is translated from the Greek word “zōon,” and means “living creatures.” This is where we get our words “zoo, and zoology.” These are not the vicious “beasts of the Earth (“thērion”), or predatory animals that kill men in Chapter Six (6:8).

If you’ll go in your Bibles to Isaiah 6:2,16, you will find out these are the Seraphim. This is a created heavenly host that we know very little about. If you go to Ezekiel 1, and Ezekiel 10, you will find that there is another heavenly host called the Cherubim. They have four wings, and their appearance was described to Ezekiel in a vision. He was taken up into Heaven and God allowed him to see the Heavenly train, and let him know what was there. So, Isaiah did have a brief glimpse, and he notifies us in Isaiah 6 that these are the Seraphim, and they have six wings.

As we consider these beasts that appear here, that one looked like a lion, one a calf, one a man, and one an eagle, it reminds us of the four Gospels. They are presenting here the same four-fold picture of our Wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus, as you see in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each one has an emphasis upon a different aspect of the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. You put them all together and you have a four-sided composite picture of our Wonderful Savior.

  1. Matthew is the Kingdom book, and Matthew has the emphasis on the presentation of Christ as the King to the nation of Israel. That’s why you have His genealogy there in the first chapter of Matthew. It takes us clear back to Abraham, showing that Jesus Christ has a right to sit upon the Throne of David. All through the book it references that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” That is, “the Kingdom from Heaven is at hand,” and is found 38 times in the Book of Matthew, because the King is at hand. The whole emphasis of Matthew is, Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. He is the Savior, and the King, to the Nation of Israel. Accept Him, Israel, as your Messiah. The beast that represents Him here is the lion. He is the Lion out of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), the King of Kings, just as the lion is the King of the Forest.

 “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:5 ).

  1. Then we come to the Gospel of Mark, as the Holy Spirit inspired Mark to write. Mark portrays Christ as the Servant. It has more conjunctions in it as far as the word, “and.” And… and…and…! The activity never stops. A servant is always working. There are no genealogies in Mark. Who cares about the genealogy of a servant, as long as he can do the work. Jesus Christ came to be the Servant of mankind, even to die on the Cross, as a Servant to mankind, to pay for our sin. So, the Gospel of Mark’s emphasis is on Jesus Christ as a Servant. The calf, or the ox here, pictures Him as the Servant. They were to do the work.
  2. And then we come to Luke. Luke emphasizes Christ as the Son of Man. Isn’t that amazing, when we know He is the Son of God? Luke gives a genealogy because he emphasizes Him as the Son of Man, and takes His genealogy clear back to Adam, showing He was born of human flesh, although it was sinless flesh because of the Virgin Birth. Luke’s emphasis is on Him being the Son of Man. He was perfect God, yet He was perfect man. That’s the whole emphasis of the Gospel of Luke. Yes, He was God incarnate in human flesh. That is why He is pictured here by the third beast with “the face of a man.” God, personified, in human flesh.
  3. Then, we come to the fourth beast which is like a flying eagle. That’s exactly how Christ is pictured there in the Gospel of John. When you come to the Gospel of John, you will find that there are no genealogies given in the Gospel of John, because he portrays Him as the Son of God. He is God in human flesh, and, therefore, being God, He had no beginning or ending. Therefore, there are no genealogies because God never had a “start,” nor will He ever have an ending. You see, Jesus Christ is not just a good man, He is perfect God in human flesh. He is perfect Deity in human flesh and, in that flesh, He was born with no sin whatsoever. “In him was found no sin.” None, whatsoever!

You put these all together and you have these four beasts, or living creatures, representing the composite picture of Christ, as they are there at the throne of God, and as pictured in the four Gospels. In Matthew, we have Him as the Lion, Mark has him as the calf or the ox, picturing the Servant. In Luke, we have Him as the man, the Son of Man. He was Perfect God, yet, perfect man. In John, we have Him as the eagle, with the swiftness and the power of an eagle showing His omnipotence. He was pictured, as the eagle by John, showing He was omniscient, omnipotent God in human flesh. John emphasizes His Deity.

Revelation 4:9-11.

“And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, (9) The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (10)  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (11).

He reminds them again, the four and twenty elders represent all of the redeemed of mankind. The Word of God tells us that there’s a time coming when every knee shall bow to and give glory to God, and confess Him.

 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God (11).  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” (Romans 14:11-12).

 Let me ask you, “Do you glorify God, now, and confess (witness) about Him to others?” We have a wonderful Savior, and the least we can do is to tell others how to have the same salvation by grace that we do. That is how we “confess” Christ down here.

The saddest thing in the world is to see Christians that have just “backed off from the Lord.” They think they can live their life more effectively. They don’t need the church. They don’t need Christian fellowship. When you get around these people, you can surely tell it. You can tell it by their language. They don’t want to talk about the Bible. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful things that Christ has done for them. They don’t want to talk about the wonderful blessings that they could be looking forward to, and have that kind of fellowship. They want to talk about worldly things.

Not that a Christian has to go around with a Bible in each pocket and one in each hand, with two or three chains with a cross hanging over his back, and one on his chest. We’re not talking about that kind of fanaticism. We’re talking about a Christian who loves to talk about his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

You know what is an amazing thing? You see people leaving a liberal church service and they never carry a Bible to church. You can’t talk to them about the Lord. Huh-uh, they don’t want to talk. They say, “I don’t talk about religion or politics.” Do you know why they don’t want to talk about that? They don’t know anything about either one. If they knew anything about them, they would want to talk about them. When you grow in the grace and knowledge of God’s Word, you can’t keep it in! You want to tell somebody! It’s human nature.

When you find somebody that doesn’t want to talk about the Bible and says, “Oh-oh, I’m not going to argue about the Bible,” they either do not know the Lord, or are an out of fellowship Christian. Talking about the Bible is not arguing about the Bible. You can talk about the Bible, and not argue. There may come a time in their life when they desire some truth from God’s Word. They may begin to think, “I don’t really have the assurance that I’m going to Heaven when I die.” That is the time they may be open to the Gospel, and you can help them.

Let me ask you this. If you’re a Christian, do you pray to the Lord Jesus Christ as the four and twenty elders, representing all mankind, do in Verse 10,

…“fell down before him that sat on the throne, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne.”

Do you know what that represents? They worship the Lord Jesus Christ because they know He is their Creator. They…

“cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:”

They realized that any award, reward, or anything that they had prospered materialistically, with down here, had been a gift from God. They thanked God for everything. They thanked God for their jobs, for their husbands, for their wives. They thanked God for their families, and their Christian homes, and their home in Heaven.

I’ve heard this more in my years in the ministry than anything else. “You know, Pastor, we never realized when we had a good Bible-teaching church. We took for granted the fellowship, the outings, and the picnics that we had. We could share about witnessing to somebody with others in our church. We had Christian friends. Then, we moved, and we could not find a good, Bible-teaching church. We felt just like a “duck out of water.” We were empty. We thought they were everywhere, but they’re not. We’ve tried a couple of churches here, and, you know what? We got a little verse read and the Bible was closed, then we heard all the philosophy of the preacher. Or, we heard what the Synod, or the church organization expected, and how each member has to pay their “dues” now to be a member of this church.”

There’s a minimum “fee” on your head in many church organizations, if you didn’t know that. We call it a “bounty.” I don’t believe churches should do that, but you have a bounty on your head if you want to join some of your liberal churches. You gotta “pay up, or shut up!” That’s about it.

But the Fundamental church is not this way. You are free to come. There are no bounties on your head for money, and there’s nobody hunting your pocketbook. We do not have to pay into an organization to have you as a member.

How wonderful it is to be as one of the four and twenty elders who fell down and thanked God for the wonderful blessings that He had given them. They fell down on their knees, and realized, in humility, how wonderful it is to have a Savior who died on that Cross to pay for their sins, and bought their right to be in that beautiful throne room in Heaven!

We are going into Chapter Five, next, and we are going to take the key parts and bring them up. We hope they will be a blessing to you. But…more important than anything else. Honestly, if someone were to ask you, “Do you know for sure you’re going to Heaven when you die?” Can you, honestly, and truthfully say, “I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my home is with the Lord Jesus Christ.” The only way you can say that is if you’re trusting Jesus Christ, and Him alone. It is not your church, not your baptism, not your church membership, or any of the things that some churches put in that are non-essential for salvation. There is only one essential for salvation, and that is belief in Christ as the One who paid for our sins.

 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14:6).

If you’re trusting Jesus Christ, you’ll have “the peace of God that passeth all understanding.”

 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.(6)  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”  (Philippian

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