Revelation 4-5: The Throne, The Lamb And The Scroll

Laying Out Revelation – Part 3

Chapters four and five of Revelation give us more questions and plenty of opportunity for confident mistakes.

Who is sitting on the throne?

Who are the 24 elders?

What is the name of this scroll and what does it look like?

What are the Seven Spirits?

And, why did Jesus need to sacrifice Himself to open the Scroll?

What is in this scroll and why is it so important?

The safest, most accurate answer to these questions is, “I don’t know.” But, there are a few things that we can know.


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Revelation 4-5 – The Throne, The Lamb And The Scroll

Laying Out Revelation – Part 3

Remember that John is ‘in the spirit’. This isn’t a dream. And, I’m not quite sure that you could call it a ‘vision’. Visions are highly symbolic, and while John’s experience has symbolism, it’s extremely real. So, when a voice tells him to “Come up here!” He does.

Revelation 4 – The Throne

We are immediately introduced to a throne and One who sits on that throne. His appearance is like jasper and sardius. We’re reasonably certain about the color of sardius, which is a deep red.

Jasper is a little more difficult. Today we consider this color to be an earthy red. But two thousand years ago, it may have been a semi-transparent crystal with different hues.

One thing is clear, though. The One on the throne does NOT have the appearance that Jesus had, when He spoke to John in chapter one:

“…clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;…”

 – Revelation 1:13-14 (NKJV)

So, does this mean that this must be God the Father?

Well, not for that reason. Jesus will appear again in chapter five, as a lamb that was slain. So, we know that His form will be different, depending upon the circumstances. However, chapter five will show us something that will seem to indicate that this is The Father because the Lamb takes the Scroll from the hand of the One on the throne – which would seem to confirm that this is God the Father.

We next see 24 elders with crowns, sitting on thrones. And, we are not sure who they are. You’ll notice that John doesn’t recognize any of them, which might not mean anything if our appearance is changed when we get our glorified bodies. My best guess would be that they are key figures in the Bible, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, etc.

However, we might have a clue about who 12 of these elders are, when Jesus said this to His disciples:

So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

 – Matthew 19:28 (NKJV)

Was Jesus saying that they would be 12 of these 24 elders?

I would assume that the answer would be ‘Yes’, but the lack of recognition by John would seem to indicate that their appearance had changed and that he would also be one of the elders that he does not recognize.

The next confusing imagery is the seven lamps of fire that burn before the throne of God:

…Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

 – Revelation 4:5b (NKJV)

In Revelation 1, the seven lamps are seven churches. But, the lamps of fire in heaven are seven spirits, and we have a couple other references to seven spirits:

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

 – Revelation 1:4 (NKJV)

And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

 – Revelation 5:6 (NKJV)

And since those seven eyes are also the Seven Spirits, here is another connection:

For behold, the stone
That I have laid before Joshua:
Upon the stone are seven eyes.
Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’
Says the Lord of hosts,
‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

 – Zechariah 3:9 (NKJV)

Here is what those seven eyes are described as doing:

For who has despised the day of small things?
For these seven rejoice to see
The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
They are the eyes of the Lord,
Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”

 – Zechariah 4:10 (NKJV)

Are these Seven Spirits the ones that Daniel 4 refers to as The Watchers?

They could be.

However, anyone who confidently claims that they know with certainty is either a fool, or trying to sell you something.

After that, we have the four creatures that are quite unusual:

The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

 – Revelation 4:7 (NKJV)

And, they are remarkably similar to the description in Ezekiel 1 and Ezekiel 10. However, Ezekiel calls them cherubim – more accurately כרבים (pronounced kroo-veem).

Why is it that Bible translators mess up even the most basic Hebrew names?

However, since everyone knows what cherubim are, we’ll stick with that spelling – even though it’s wrong. Now, where was I? Oh yes…

These cherubim have a number of jobs that we’ll see later in Revelation, but the most important one is praising God. Of all the things that we do in our church services, singing praise to God should be at the top of our list. And, it is discouraging to see how corrupt some of our songs have become.

Revelation 5

Chapter Five opens with a scroll in the hand of the One sitting on the Throne. That scroll is described as having seven seals.

Why Seven Seals?

There are seven events that must happen before the scroll is opened.

Many keep trying to add context to this, but that’s very foolish. There is a scroll. It has seven seals. And, since John did not add any modifiers to this scroll – other than that it was written on both sides – this scroll is… wait for it …a scroll.

That means that it did not look like this:

NOT how scrolls are made or sealed – EVER.

Never has there ever been a scroll sealed like that, and John would have mentioned it, if it had been. Claiming that the scroll opened a bit after each seal was removed is a very, very foolish error. And, it also shows an ignorance of what the name of this scroll is – what it is called – but I’m getting ahead of myself.

In verses two and three, an angel stands up and asks if there was anyone who could open that scroll. And when no one could be found to open the scroll, John began weeping in verse four.

Why was John weeping so piteously?

Because if that scroll does not open, there will be no First Resurrection. God will not have been victorious over Satan. The righteous would have been defeated.

Well, we could read the rest of the Book of Revelation to find out what is contained in that scroll. And, we will do that. But, there is one other place where we could find out what is written in this scroll:

But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.

 – Daniel 10:21 (NKJV)

Translation Note: The words ‘Scripture of Truth’ is actually כתב אמת (k’tav eh-met), or ‘writing of truth’. I’m splitting hairs a bit here since ‘scripture’ means ‘writing’, but I think that the understanding is more clear when you say ‘writing’.

What follows after this verse, is also included in the Book of Revelation. We see the Antichrist (Daniel 11:20-45). And, we see the Great Tribulation and the First Resurrection (Daniel 12:1-3). Daniel is even told how long this terrible period will be (Daniel 12:7,11-12) – three and a half years. I’m just not sure that I quite understand the extra 45 days that Daniel talks about.

Now, here is the verse that confirms in my mind the identity of the scroll in Revelation 5. A man in white linen says this to Daniel:

And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

 – Daniel 12:9 (NKJV)

It sounds like the ‘man in white linen’ is Jesus. And, it also sounds like HE is the One who seals this Writing of Truth. And, through His sacrifice, Jesus was able to open this Writing of Truth so that the victory over Satan and Death would be complete.

Indeed, the rest of Revelation 5 glorifies our Lord and Savior, the Lamb who was slain that we might have eternal life. May we always rejoice in what God did for us, in sending His Son to pay for our sins that we would live forever in the world to come.

Again, what is in this scroll?

All the events described by John in Revelation 8 through 22.

Lord willing, I will lay out the events of Revelation 6 and 7 next week.


I truly hope that you’ll be ready for this

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.Proverbs 22:3


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Subscribe for free to Revelation Six and receive my articles in your inbox:

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If you miss my rantings about geopolitics, idiocy, resource collapse and incompetent globalism, follow me on Twitter.


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