In Revelation 4, the Apostle John says this:
“After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, a voice as of a trumpet speaking with me, one saying, ‘Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter.’ Straightway I was in the Spirit: and behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting upon the throne; and he that sat was to look upon like a [clear] jasper stone and a [fiery] sardius: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, like an emerald to look upon. And round about the throne were four and twenty thrones: and upon the thrones I saw four and twenty elders sitting, arrayed in white garments; and on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceed lightnings and voices and thunders. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; and before the throne, as it were a sea of glass like unto crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face as of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and within: and they have no rest day and night, saying,
‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’
And when the living creatures shall give glory and honor and thanks to him that sitteth on the throne, to him that liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders shall fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and shall worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and shall cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
‘Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created.'”
In this passage, the Apostle John describes his vision of God’s control, God’s cherubim, or angels around God’s throne, and God’s children.
In verses 1-4, he describes his vision of God’s control. He begins with the phrase, “after these things,” marking a transition from one main section of the book to another, which he uses many times in this book, as well as in his Gospel. Then, he says that he looked at an open door in heaven, and heard the first voice he heard in his series of visions, which was like the sound of a trumpet, saying, “come up here (to heaven), and I will show you what must take place after these things.” Immediately, he says, he was in, or empowered by, God the Spirit, and he saw a throne in heaven, and Someone sitting on it. He describes this person as looking like a crystal clear stone, symbolizing perfection, and like a fiery stone, symbolizing wrath. Also, he goes on, there was a rainbow around the throne, symbolizing God’s faithfulness to His Word and His promises, which was like a light green emerald, which seems to speak of earthly life related to God’s promise to never again flood the entire earth. Finally, John says that there were 24 thrones around God’s throne, and upon them twenty-four elders, or mature adults, sitting on their thrones, clothed in white garments, and with golden crowns on their heads. As the elders of Israelite society represented the common people of God, so these elders represent all the people of God. How do I know this? There are 24 of them. 12 is the number representing the tribes of Israel, God’s Mosaic Covenant people, and doubling the number represents the addition of non-Jews, or Gentiles, to God’s people. Therefore, these elders represent all of God’s people, who reign with God on thrones, are clothed in white garments, representing the perfect righteousness of God reckoned to their account by faith, and have golden crowns on their heads, representing the divine eternal reign that God gave them to have with Him.
In verses 5-8, John describes God’s cherubim, or angels around God’s throne. He begins by saying that flashes of lightning, sounds, and peals of thunder came out from the throne. These things represent God’s glory and power, which come from His throne, representing His control of all created things. Further, John adds, there were seven lamps of fire burning in front of the throne, which are the seven, or perfect and divine, Spirits of God, or the personality of His Spirit. Also, he continues, there was a sea of glass, like crystal, in front of the throne, representing the purity, perfection, and holiness, of God’s control, and in the center and around the throne, four creatures full of eyes on their fronts and their backs. The fact that they are full of eyes on their fronts and backs symbolizes that they see, at least in large part, God’s control over all things. In addition, John says, one of the creatures was like a lion, representing the creature’s strength and power, one was like a calf, representing his humble service, one had the face of a man, representing his personality, and one was like a flying eagle, representing his swiftness in service to God. Finally, John says that each of them have six wings — two to cover their feet as they fly above God’s glory, two to cover their eyes, so they don’t see God’s glory, and two to fly in service to God — are full of eyes around them and within them, so they know who God is, and who they are, and they never cease to say, “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come” (NASB). In other words, they say that the Supreme Authority, who is the Creator and Controller of all things, with infinite power, who has always existed, does exist, and will always exist, is infinitely holy, or set apart, from all things and created beings.
In verses 9-11, John describes God’s children in heaven. He says that, when the four creatures give glory, or recognition, honor, or worship, and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, Him who lives forever and ever, the 24 elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and throw their golden crowns in front of the throne, saying “worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created” (NASB). In other words, they tell their Lord and God that He is worthy to receive glory and honor and power because He created all things, and because He willed them to exist and to be created.
So, does God use you to reign over the earth?
Are you clothed in Christ’s righteousness?
Do you spiritually fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and consider your Lord and your God to be worthy to receive glory and honor and power because He created all things, and because He willed them to exist and be created?
Do you understand how to receive Christ’s righteousness? The Apostle Paul wrote about it this way:
“. . . I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures; and that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve; then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep; then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-9
This is what the Apostle John said about the gospel in John 1:1-18:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not. There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light. There was the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. John beareth witness of him, and crieth, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that cometh after me is become before me: for he was before me. For of his fulness we all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
This is what Christ Himself said about the gospel:
“. . . God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:16-20
John the Baptist said this: “. . . he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on [stays directed toward] him.” – John 3:36
The Apostle Paul said this in Romans 2:4-16 and 1:18-32:
“. . . despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his works: to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life: but unto them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek; but glory and honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek: for there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without the law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law; for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified; (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves; in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them); in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, according to my gospel, by Jesus Christ.”
“. . . the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousnessof men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due. And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practise them.”
Speaking of those that practice sin, the Apostle Paul uses this quote:
“. . . There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God; They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one: Their throat is an open sepulchre; With their tongues they have used deceit: The poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness . . .” – Romans 3:10-14
This is my appeal to you, as written by the Apostle Paul:
“. . . we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God. Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20b-21
This is how you become reconciled to God:
“. . . if thou shalt confess [acknowledge] with thy mouth Jesus as Lord [Greek: kurios, or Supreme in Authority], and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him [depend upon Him]: for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [who He is, what He has done, and what He can do] shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-13