Instructions to the seven Churches have been issued for edification and warnings of Gods chastisements and now John sees a vision of a door opening before him. The first voice he heard speaking to him was that of great power and authority similar to the powerful sound a trumpet makes. The voice tells John to draw in closer to Gods Spirit to see the visions of those things that are yet future.
After hearing this voice John was immediately overcome by the Holy Spirit and in this vision saw a throne was set in heaven and the Lord sat on it, Rev 1:10; Isaiah 6:1. John was not taken up to heaven, John 3:13, but was only caught up in the Spirit while he was on the isle of Patmos. God was being compared to a jasper and a sardine stone in all their splendor and beauty. On the Ephod that the Priest wore there were four rows of various stones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel being the sons of Jacob. The first stone was jasper representing Reuben being the first born and a sardine stone as being Benjamin the last son to be born. God is represented like these stones in vs. 3 as being the first and last as in Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
All the stones in between the jasper and sardine are those of Gods covenant he made with faithful Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 that have remained faithful and have endured all persecutions even to death that sleep in the grave, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. There are yet many that even now and up to the time of Jesus returning in the air for his Bride that will die a martyr’s death in that which will come hereafter as John sees in his visions.
The rainbow round about the throne of God is his covenant promise he made with Noah in Genesis 9:1-13 that from henceforth God will never destroy this earth with an actual flood, but the flood or power of Gods wrath during the seven trumpet sounds will either cause many to repent and have eternal life with the Father or be cast into the lake of fire with Satan, the beast and the false prophet. The rainbow is also described as being emerald that is green in color which symbolizes that same covenant God made with Noah is also for all who are living and growing spiritually as they remain grounded in faith that is Christ Jesus no matter what comes against them.
John now sees twenty-four elders seated around the throne of God. The twenty-four elders in the heavenly sanctuary of God are responsible for worship, for the music of worship, and as such they stand as the gatekeepers of the house of God. The Elders in the Church here on earth are patterned after those in the heavenly realm, 1 Chronicles 24:7-19; 25:6-31; 26:12-19. These elders are clothed in white raiment which represents Gods glory in them and they have gold crowns upon their heads as they are Gods royal priesthood. The elders are representative of Gods chosen generations that he has called out of darkness into his marvelous light, 2 Peter 2:9 that are asleep in the grave and those who remain alive as God’s witnesses during the seven trumpet soundings before Jesus returns.
Lightning’s, thundering and voices are that of the glory of God in all His power and authority. There are seven lamps of fire burning before the throne which are the seven spirits that are the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord found in Isaiah 11:2. The seven spirits of God are given to the seven churches in the beginning of Revelation as the seven churches are representative of all who are in Christ to stay inline with the will of God.
The sea of glass that is liken unto crystal before the throne of God symbolizes Gods holiness and purity as in Exodus 24:10 where God is revealed in all his glory to the people of Israel and in Ezekiel 1:22-28 Ezekiel saw a vision of Gods throne. It’s a place in our mind of peace and restful assurance in the presence of Gods full glory as we see him in all power and authority. God is our safe haven during times of persecution during the trials and tribulations we face as we always have the victory over Satan and his temptations, especially during the time of Gods wrath and the mark of the beast.
The four beasts around the throne are Seraphim that have six wings. Two wings to fly with, two wings to cover their feet and two wings to cover their faces. They fly around the throne of God singing his praises as they call attention to Gods attributes, Isaiah 6:1-3. The first beast was like a lion that represents Gods majesty and omnipotence. The second beast was likened unto an ox which is typical of faithful labor and patience. The third beast had a face of a man that indicates Gods intelligence and the fourth beast had a face like an eagle that represents supreme sovereignty. They give glory and honor and thanks to God who sits on his throne as only he alone is worthy of praise.
The twenty four elders around the throne of God cast their crowns before the throne as they give praise, glory and honor to God. The crowns they lay down are the crowns of glory as they are the head of worship and praise to God in heaven. The earthly elders or pastor are given a crown of glory as they hold the office of leadership over the members that make up the body of Christ. It is their leadership through the Holy Spirit that helps to teach us about God through his word. Theirs is the greatest judgment for what proceeds out of their mouth, 1 Peter 5:1-5.