TARSB: Revelation Chapter 4

Footnotes By Thomas Perez. Copyright On This Chapter; 2014.

CHAPTER 4

IV The Throne Room of the Lamb Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty

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. (Cr1)

2. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. (Cr2)

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. (Cr3)

4. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. (Cr4)

5. 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. (Cr5)

6. 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. (Cr6)

7. 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. (Cr7)

8. 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. (Cr8)

9. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, (Cr9)

10. 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, (Cr10)

11. 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. (Cr11)


Cross References

Cr1. Ezek 1:1, Rev 1:10. Cr2. Rev 1:10, Isa 6:1. Cr3. Rev 21:11, Ezek 1:28. Cr4. Rev 11:16, 3:4-5. Cr5. Rev 8:5, 11:19, 16:18, Ex 37:23, Rev 1:4. Cr6. Rev 15:2, Ezek 1:5. Cr7. Ezek 1:10, 10:14. Cr8. Isa 6:2-3, Rev 1:4, 8. Cr9. Rev 1:18. Cr10. Rev 5:8, 14, 7:11, 11:16, 19:4. Cr11. Rev 1:6, 5:12, Gen 1:1, Col 1:16.


Footnotes

Vs. 1. Two words must be examined. The word “After” and the “Hereafter.” Many claim that the terms “after” and “hereafter” signifies the beginning of prophetic events that will begin to unfold after the aforementioned church age and before the great tribulation.But one would have to believe in dispensationalism in order for a correlation of chapters 2, 3, and 4 to exist. Presumably, it is believed that the “Rapture” of the church has taken place, beginning with verse 1. The words “Come up hither” (here) is also found in Ch 11:12. Many associate these words with the Rapture (pre or mid-tribulation). As mentioned in footnote Ch 1:10, the term “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” indicates that John was IN the Spirit, not his spirit, but the Holy Spirit. Here (Vs 1) we see that John was IN his spirit (his own). The voice, as that of a trumpet, was behind John in Ch 1:10. This time in Ch 4:1, the voice, as that of trumpet, is coming from above. Hence the term “come up.” It is then upon this commandment that John was immediately in the spirit – (more than likely, transfigured). During this transfiguration, John witnesses the “after” and the “hereafter.” In Greek the term “hereafter” is not found. Only the term “after” is cited. The term comes from the Greek word Μετὰ. The definition of this word in Greek is “with,” “among,” “beside,” “after” – adjacent,” denoting accompaniment; amid.” It is a preposition. In English, a preposition sits before a noun or a pronoun, or perhaps both. It is to show the noun’s or pronoun’s relationship to another word in a sentence. But the term “after” in this instance is used at the end of the sentence. As a rule, a sentence should not end with a preposition, nor should a preposition begin a sentence. It is considered a grammatical error. The term does not relate to what is “on” the topic, but what is “about.” If we were to replace the Μετὰ (preposition) with the term “about,” we would have “About (possibly meaning the churches and/or individuals or among us) 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 (here), and I will shew (show) thee (you) things which must be about.” Or in other words; adjacent. Here the concept of Preterism, and/or Historicism is strongly suggested. It is also interesting to note that the term “a door was opened in Heaven” is shown. A possible correlation between Ch 3:7-8 may indicate a door opened for the Universal Church – about us, beside us, among us, and adjacent to us. “For the Kingdom of God cometh (comes) not with observance” (Lk 17:20). “For he that observeth (observes) the wind shall not sow; and he that regarded (regards) the clouds shall not reap” Eccl 11:4, cross reference this with Jn 3:8.

Vs. 2-3. The throne of God is revealed. Is this a literal throne, or an analogy? More than likely it is an analogy, since the highest heavens can not contain God – in the natural sense of thought (Jere 23:24). It represents the promise of God (as seen in the rainbow, Gen 9:8-17). It represents power and great sovereignty. It is the demonstration of Might over Right, and Right over Might (Ezek 1:26). For Ezekiel it is a distinct qualification, a distinct philosophy, considering the age and troubles of his people in which Ezekiel saw his vision. It represents the authority of Christ over ALL things, thus over ALL life (Phil 2:9-11). The Right and Good became the Might, while the Might became what is Right and Good (Psa 145:17, Dan 9:14, Jn 10:14, Mk 10:18, Isa 9:6, Mic 5:2, Jn 1:1, 14, Heb 1:8-9). Philippians 2:9-11 beautifully demonstrates this. Therefore, what is pious is pious because it is “Right” and what is “Right” is “Right” because it is pious. It is a Universal inheritance that Jesus obtained (Rom 4:13, Rev 11:15). For He is Lord of ALL history. Therefore since He is Lord of ALL, should His dominion be limited to that of Christianity or Islam? Should He not appear in other forms to bring salvation, howbeit; even through other names ? But while we ponder this, let us remember that this particular message represents that of the Abrahamic faiths – namely Christianity. Yet, He/She is the God of ALL. The form took shape in its paradigm. It was a psychological, sociological, and spiritual event; as demonstrated by there various adherents through the body (various forms of worship). During this event, many traditions, stories, and similarities made their way into corresponding faiths. Such correlations often take place during migrations. One such migration took place in 562BC. It is believed by some that a migration of Jews into India took place sometime during the Kingdom of Judah. Others see this migration as the result of Israel’s descendants (namely the Ten Lost Tribes). Of all the Jewish communities in India, the oldest is in Cochin. Having arrived in Cochin in 562BC and subsequently after 70AD, many Jews, as well as Christian Jews, took with them their own sacred copied writings of the OT, the prophets, and that of the NT. In all probability, the Indian people (though of a different belief system) considered the prophecy of a virgin birth, the victory of a Western Messiah, and His exultation to the throne of Brahman, though in Christianity it is Elohim – as it is in Judaism, highly probable and profitable to their own faith and thus incorporated it into their belief system. Which later, due to Christian missionary endeavors, were added very accurate; even almost similar, accounts in what now appears in their apocryphal writings (writing’s after the Mahabharata) which were written sometime after the prophets and later after the founding of the 1st Apostolic church in India by the Apostle Thomas. Tradition states that St. Thomas preached in India and his Christianity was widely spread in both East and West. The tradition’s of Thomas are found in such writers as Ephraem Syrus, Ambrose, Paulinus, Jerome, and later Gregory of Tours, and others. The Jesus of the NT becomes the Krishna (supposedly born sometime between 900 and 1200 BC) in India. Where is the heresy in this train of thought? To illustrate my point, let us consider the Rig Veda. The Rig Veda of the Hindu faith is believed to be composed before 6,500 BC. However, this is debatable. Since there are no criteria for validated authenticity, the actual date of the Rig Veda must be ruled out. Moreover, the oldest preserved parts of the text are not thought to be appreciably older than around 400 BC, though the origins of the story probably fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BC. The same is true for the Mahabharata – probably having reached its final form by the early Gupta period (c.4th cent. AD). Contemporaries of this era include: Hosea 8th cent. 792 – 699 BC., Jonah 8th cent 770 – 750 B.C., Amos 8th cent 763-750 BC., Micah 8th & 7th cent. 742 – 699 BC., and Isaiah 8th & 7th cent. 740 – 681 BC.– hence the correlation. Christ is having His way. Whether He be called Jesus, Krishna, or Buddha;this is not a denial of Jesus, but a proclamation of the Way (Jn 14:6) See footnote in John 14:6.

Vs. 4-5. The vision of the 24 Elders are interpreted as follows; they are seen as believers in Heaven, they are seen as the church, and/or they are seen as a ruling counsel of angels. Some claim that they are ruling priests in this present age due to citations in Jere 23:18, 22. However, this is unlikely – there seems to be no correlation of thought. The Elders remain a mystery in eyes of Christianity. However, in Judaic customs; there exists 24 kohanic Gifts. These gifts are offerings given to Judaic priests. Though not practiced today, they were gifts of indulgences for the remission of sins and various other reasons, such as; tithes, first fruits, meal offerings, and even money for the purpose of an exchange for redemption of a first born son. In the Hindu belief system there are 24 Avatars of Vishnu- who is considered by some Hindu’s as the supreme God. Or it could be a reference to the 24 Buddha’s of Jainism. The Elders are also cited as wearing white garments with crowns of gold – possibly an indication of truth and accomplishment within their own respective representation of man, our tongues, and belief systems. They are worthy and are justly rewarded. Perhaps this is where the Almighty kept His/Her unity of thought after the destruction of Babel’s tower and humanities dispersion due to the unholy cult of Babylonian worship. See footnote in Genesis 11. Whatever the case, the true identity of the elders remain uncertain.

Vs. 6-9. The vision of the four living creatures are similar to the visions Isaiah and Ezekiel had (Isa 6:1-3, Ezek 1:4-28, 10:1-20). They are cited as having many eyes (full of eyes) in the front and back. Are these creatures literal beings? Or are they a metaphor of a higher thought? If so, why such a symbol ? Before we consider the questions, let us look at where they are, what they are doing, and how they look. First, whether literally or figuratively, they are about the throne of God. Second, they are worshiping God day and night, crying; “Holy,” “Holy,” “Holy!” Thirdly, they are described as being four distinct beings (creatures). The first had a face like unto a lion, the second had a face like unto a calf, the third had a face as a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. Many scholars suggest a literal interpretation; that the beings described in Ch 4 are that of Cherubim’s, citing Ezekiel 10:3-14 as evidence. Christian Scholars suggest the following: The lion is that of the King of kings (the lion of the tribe of Judah – Gen 49:9-10, Rev 5:5), the calf is that which represents the sacrifice of Christ (since the calf was often offered for sacrifice in OT times – Lev 15). But unfortunately previously worshipped in the form a golden calf. An action condemned in the Scriptures – Psa 106:19-22, Ex 32 and the Qur’an. The Qur’an cites, “(As for) those who took the calf (for worship), surely wrath from their Lord and humiliation shall overtake them, and thus do We recompense the devisers of lies” (Qur’an 7:152).” The man represents Christ incarnate in flesh (Isa 7:14, 9:6, Jn 1:1,14), and the eagle represents sovereignty and supremacy (Isa 40:31, Jere 49:16) – thus the beings represent Christ in the fullness of His deity (Col 2:9). Some also suggest that they (the 4 beings) represent the four Gospels; with Matthew being the Lion, Mark being the calf, Luke being the man, and John being the Eagle. They claim this for various reasons, being esoteric to their own belief systems. In Chariot Mysticism (a school of Jewish mysticism c. 100BC -1000AD) stories as those found in Ezekiel and Isaiah are also told in what is known as the Hekhalot (palaces in Hebrew). The composition of the Merkabah/Merkavah literature or chariot mysticism was developed c. 200 – 700AD. Chariots are often depicted as being flown or ridden upon by such beings. However, some Rabbinic scholars argue that commentaries on the Merkabah were exegetical. The Talmudic tradition limited such discussions to the worthy sages of their time. They instructed others citing the Wisdom of Sirach 3:21-22, “Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above thy strength. But what is commanded thee, think thereupon with reverence; for it is not needful for thee to see with thine eyes the things that are in secret.” Those accepting the Merkabah literature include Jewish Apocalyptist’s, the dead sea community, students of the Kabbalah, and Christian Gnostics. Many Hekhalot devotees focused their attention on ascensions into Heaven and the means to obtain it. They also focused on visions and the summation of angels; with the sole purpose of understanding the deeper message of the Torah. Rabbinic Torah scholars suggest the imagery to be analogies indicating the many ways God interacts with the world and man. Other related works in the Hekahalot tradition include the Hekhalot Rabbati, Hekhalot Zutarti, Maaseh Merkabah, and 3rd Enoch. Some Jews read the Biblical passages of Ezekiel and Isaiah concerning the merkaba in their synagogues every year on the holiday of Shavuot. Moreover, the merkabah is also referenced in traditional Jewish liturgy. Dead Sea Scroll 4Q405 and the latter section of the Book of Enoch (61:10) cite these beings as angels and/or celestial beings, where they are seen WITH the Cherubim’s and Seraphim’s. A universalist approach to the imaginary found in Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Revelation entails a Rabbinic approach. To answer the questions previously asked, the angels are in all likely hood an analogy. This is not to say that Isaiah, Ezekiel, or John exaggerated the imagery written in their books, but instead penned an inexpressible and unexplainable vision that can only be speculated upon. Each creature; the lion, the calf, the man, and the eagle should contain a deeper meaning. Thus far we’ve looked at the interpretation of Christianity, Judaism, and that of Jewish mysticism. But let us look now at how these symbolic creatures in appearance fair in other societies – starting with the calf. The symbol and worship of the calf has a long tradition, dating back to the stone age, bronze age, and the Iron age. Each age had its own particular flavor in reference to its worship. From ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, the Indus Valley civilization, the Israelites, the Canaanites, the Hellenistic societies, the Roman Empire, and Iberia; all worshipped or sacrificed the calf to appease the gods or God. Or rather it was God appeasing the desires of man’s ignorance in reference to his salvation. The symbol of the lion is seen in many cultures. In religions (both ancient and modern), various sovereignties, and political governments; the lion is seen as a symbol of majesty, heraldry, royalty, and awe. Depictions concerning the symbology of the lion date back as early as 32,000 years ago. In Judaic tradition, the books of Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea depict God as a lion (Isa 31:4, Amos 3:8, Hos 5:14). It is also interesting to note that three of the 12 tribes of Israel; Judah, Gad, and Dan are compared to as lions (Gen 49:9, Deut 33:20, 23). In the poetic books, the lion is an emblem of courage, strength, and majesty Prov 23:13, 26:13, 30: 30. However, there are also similes. Lions are also compared to as enemies, false prophets, angry kings, the cruel, the oppressive, the mighty, the rich, and even an angry Jehovah (Isa 5:29, Zeph. 3:3, Ps 22:13, Prov, 28:15, Ezek 22:25, Prov 19.12, 20:2, Ps 10:9, 34:11, 35:17, Jere. 25:30; Joel 4:16, Amos 1:2, 3:8). In Christian tradition, the lion is typically that of Jesus Christ (Rev 5:5). See also footnote in Genesis 49. Ironically, in I Pet 5:8, the Devil is referred to as a “roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” Perhaps this particular citation is in reference to the House of Israel – the whelp (the cub) who rejected its own Father (The Lion) and now persecutes those that believe in “Shiloh” (to whom the scepter belongs). From East to West, this emblem or symbology carries out the duty, characteristics, emotional, moral, and ethical code of purported human endeavors; both terrestrial and celestial. The lion has conquered. From East to West, the lion is often depicted holding and bearing up the gods, being slain by the gods, or being worshiped (as in the case of Christianity) as the gods or God. Thus, what was considered pagan, has now been finalized. The Son bearing up the Father’s Name. The god’s (Man – Psa ) having slain the Son. The Son having now received the Scepter is now the worshiped Lion and thus will gather “ALL” together; both Ephraim and Judah. For God is the Lion of Ephraim (the Gentiles), but to Judah He is a young Lion (cub) put to the test as that of a Lamb (Hos 5:14, Jn 1:29). The face of a man is a simile of what we are in relation to God. For we are created in His/Her image. For there could be no other explanation for the appearance or likeliness of this face. Christianity, in its attempt to associate this face with that of the incarnate Christ might be missing the bigger picture. Perhaps it is a representation of all that is (as in the eyes that see before John – meaning in front of John, you, and I), and all that was (as in the eyes that look behind). There are no eyes that see beyond the aforementioned perceptions of sight. Only what is before us and what is behind us – our heritage – our adoption. But the secret things (as in the future) belongs to the Lord (Deut 29:29, Matt 6:6, Rom 16:25). As the term “Son of God“ represents that of God – the Eternal celestial Spirit, the term “Son of Man“ represents that which was, and is, in Christ. For we are His workmen-ship created in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10). The eyes of the other creatures in all likely hood serve the same purpose. A living testimony of all that the calf represents, all that the lion represents, all that man represents, and all that the eagle represents. In all probability they may represent the different creational accounts concerning man (Gen 1:1-2:1- and early half of verse 4, and Gen 2: latter half of verse 4 – 25). For it is said in Ezekiel 1:24 that the four wings was as “the Voice of the Almighty, the voice of many waters.” In Biblical symbology, many waters represents many peoples, tongues, and tribes (Rev 17:15). It suggests that God is not just the God of the Hebrews (Jews), Christians, Muslims (Arabs), or of the Indian/Hindu Vedic sects; but of ALL men! The eagle may represent the flight of God in reference to our relationship to Him/Her “For they shall mount up their wings as eagles” (Ex 19:4, Isa 40:31). In the NT, the eagle gathers in the carcase (Matt 24:28). See footnote in Matthew 24. In Ezekiel we read that they (the beings) moved about in four different directions according to the movement of the wheels (Ezek 1:16-17). But we also read in Vs 19 of Ezekiel when the beings moved the wheels moved beside them and when the beings wanted to go up, the wheels went with them; for the spirit of the living beings (creatures) was IN the wheels. Besides the explanation given above by mainstream Christianity, it is highly probable that this vision represents the 4 corners of the Earth, and the ministry the wheels have in conjunction to time adjacent to its corresponding spirits. God, in His/Her overall purpose, has revealed His/Her interlocking relationships with the sons of Noah. While Noah (in the Scriptural explanations of things – though he is called by other names outside the Genesis account) represents that of the Semitic races of Adam – the “P“ version (see Preface and footnote in Genesis 1), while those outside of the “P” version represent the other tribes. These tribes in turn came from the son’s of Noah; Shem, Ham, and Japheth – and thus their corresponding faiths according to the “J” version. The son’s of Noah (Semitic or of other blood) represent one origin after the flood, they also represent the different cultural ethnicities that we have today. The symbols can also relate to what Astrological Scholars call “The Procession of the Vernal Equinox.” The Bull representing The Age of Taurus giving way to the Age of Aries (Moses – the ram or lamb – the One God theology). The lion can be seen as the Age of Leo – The Golden Age – circa 10,500-8000BC where global warming took its course. The face of a man may symbolize the sign of Aquarius or the Age of Aquarius. The sign often depicted as a man or boy pouring water from a bucket or urn. Other cultures omitted the human figure, replacing it with a mule and so forth. The fourth, the eagle, may represent the eighth sign of the zodiac; Scorpio. In ancient times the Scorpio was symbolized by the eagle. It is also interesting to note that when we view the Vernal Equinox as a whole, one can draw an imaginary cross from the 4 symbols represented in the Equinox – from the bull to the eagle, one can draw a diagonal line. And from the lion to the man, one can draw a horizontal line. Both lines form an equal shaped cross. Thus north, south, east and west.

Vs. 10-11. Here we see the 24 Elders fall down and worship He who sat on the throne, saying, “Thou (you) art (are) worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour (honor) and power: for thou (you) hast (have) created all things, and for thy (your) pleasure they are and were created.” They cast their crowns of achievement before the throne. Perhaps this casting represents the 24 manifestations of God in relation to His/Her faiths as seen in the many diversities that exist today (24 Avatars of Vishnu and the 24 Buddha’s of Jainism) – including that of Christianity and Islam. All gifts (faiths/religions) are worthy of casting before God. If the 24 Avatars or 24 Buddha’s are pagan, in all its profanity, then I would cite, “you are correct,” the gifts of paganism are unrighteous. But man is unrighteous – for in him there dwelleth no good thing. Just read the daily paper or listen to the 6 o’clock news. But what of the good crowns? Yes, we can commit acts of righteousness and goodness (Matt 5:46, 7:9-11) and caste them down before the Throne of God, but even they are considered as filthy rags as quoted by Isaiah, Jesus, & Paul (Isa 1:16-18, 64:6, Matt 7:10, Rom 3:23, 5:6-7). Thus truth is proclaimed through negation! The crowns are a matter of fruit. What fruit did a particular religion produce? Did it produce, hate, anger, bigotry, malice, or murder? The question one should ask themselves is what would you caste before the throne of the Almighty? Will it be fruits of exclusiveness, creedal doctrines, or denominational representations? Or will you cast down before the throne inclusiveness, faith, hope, and love?

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