Revelation 4: and 5:
Rev 4:1. After these things I looked and behold, a door standing open in heaven.
Which door? Doors are associated with buildings. Are there any buildings in heaven?
Rev 1:12.13. Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands and in the midst of the seven lampstands one like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
Rev 4:2. A throne set in heaven.
Rev 5:6. 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 – – -.
Rev 11:19. Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of the covenant was seen in his temple.
Rev 15:5.6. After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having seven plagues – – -.
Rev 15:8. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
A door in heaven is related to God´s throne, the Lamb of God and the four creatures, the heavenly temple of God, the ark of the covenant, the testimony of the ten commandments and the Son of Man in the midst of the seven lampstands.
Rev 4:1. After these things I looked and behold, a door opened in heaven and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.
The words “after this” in verse one is “tauta” in the Greek language and should be translated “these things.” Which things? Everything which was written about the seven churches in Rev 2 and 3.
I will show you things which must take place after these things written about the seven churches in the first century A.D. after Christ.
Rev 4:2.3. Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven and on the throne sitting similar in appearance to a stone of jasper and Sardius (cornelian) and there was a rainbow around the throne, likewise there was the appearance of emeralds.
Where is God´s throne?
Rev 8:3. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (This golden altar was part of the furniture in God´s temple in heaven).
What is the colour of jasper?
The Oxford Dictionary says it is opaque variety of quartz, usually red, yellow or brown.
What is the colour of sardius?
The Oxford Dictionary says it is yellow or orange cornelian (deep red).
Rev 4:4. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones twenty-four elders were sitting, clothed in white robes and on their heads, there were golden crowns.
Why twenty-four elders in relation to the heavenly temple?
1 Chronicles 23:4. (Verse 2. The subject is priests and Levites). Of these (Levites), twenty-four thousand were to look after the work of the house of the Lord, six thousand were officers and judges – – -. (The twenty-four elders were chosen to look after God´s temple in heaven like the priests and Levites in the earthly temple).
1 Chronicles 25:1. Moreover David and the captains of the army separated for the service some of the sons of Asaph of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals. Verse 8. And they cast lots for their duty, the small as well as the great, the teacher with the student. Verse 9-31. One to twenty-four lots through the year.
Rev 4:10.11. The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “You are worthy, O lord to receive glory and honour and power.”
Rev 5:8.9. Now when he had taken the sword, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: Verse 9 and 10. “And have made us kings and priests to our God.”
Rev 11:16-18. And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying: (Praise to God – Time of the dead should be judged – reward the prophets and saints – destroy those who destroy the earth).
“The Lamb of God is represented before us as in the midst of the throne of God. He is the great ordinance by which man and God are united and commune together. Thus, men are represented as sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. This is the appointed place of meeting between God and humanity. MS 7, 1898.”
Twenty-four elders are related to looking after the work of the house of the Lord in twenty-four lots during the year. These twenty-four elders worship the Lord with harps of gold and bowls of incense representing the prayers of the saints and forwarding them to God. They sang a new song. These elders took part in judging the dead and rewarding the prophets and saints and destroying those who destroyed the earth.
Who are these twenty-four elders?
Matthew 27:51-53. Then behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after his resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
“As Christ arose, he brought from the grave a multitude of captives. The earthquake at his death had rent open their graves, and when he arose, they came fourth with him. They were those who had been co-laborers with God, and who at the cost of their lives had borne testimony to the truth. Now they were witnesses for him who had raised them from the dead.
These, said Christ, are no longer the captives of Satan; I have redeemed them. I have brought them from the grave as the first fruits of my power, to be with me where I am, nevermore to see death or experience sorrow. These went into the city, and appeared unto many, declaring, Christ has risen from the dead, and we be risen with him.”
Genesis 5:23.24. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (When the text says God took him, it means God took him to heaven.)
2 Kings 2:11. Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Matthew 17:3. (On the mount of Transfiguration). And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him. Jude 1:9. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
These are the possibilities that could be amongst the 24 elders up in heaven around the throne: Enoch, Moses, Elijah and those prophets in the Old Testament who lost their lives working for God.
Rev 4:4. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones, I saw twenty-four elders siting, clothed in white robes.
What do the white robes on men mean in the Bible?
Rev 3:4. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life.
Rev 3:18. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed – – -.
Rev 6:11. (Refers to the fifth seal and the souls under the altar who were slain for the word of God). Then a white robe was given to each of them, and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Rev 7:9. After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
Rev 7:13.14. Then one of the elders answered saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.”
Isaiah 61:10. I will rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
White robes are related to believers with white robes in heaven, white garments, salvation and Christ´s righteousness, the blood of the Lamb, and be killed while witnessing for Christ.
Rev 4:5. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thundering’s, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
There is a difference between the word’s lampstands and lamps in the book of Revelation.
In Rev 1:12.13.20. The seven lampstands are λυχνίας (luxnias) in the Greek and are a symbol of the seven churches which John has written to.
In Rev 4:5. The seven lamps λαμπάδες (lampades) in the Greek, represent the seven Spirits of God.
What are the seven Spirits of God?
Rev 1:4. Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne. Verse 5. And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness – – -. (From this text the seven Spirits would indicate that it is the Holy Spirit because the “who is and Jesus Christ” are the other persons in the Godhead).
Rev 3:1. And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, “These things says he who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars:” (This is referring to Rev 1:4).
Rev 5:6. 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 pout into all the earth.
The Holy Spirit is represented in the symbols as seen as the seven lamps of fire, seven Spirits of God, seven horns and seven eyes sent out into the world.
Rev 4:6-8. And before the throne was something like a sea of glass similar to crystal. And in the midst of the throne and around the throne were four living creatures being full of eyes in the front and in the back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night.
When these creatures have six wings and having eyes in the front and in the back suggest that they are angels with some kind of special work and authority in God´s service in the midst of the throne of God.
Ezekiel 1:5-28. A similar vision of the four creatures around the throne of God is written in detail in the book of Ezekiel. However, these four creatures had four wings and their legs were straight and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves’ feet.
Ezekiel 1:8.10. The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.
We must remember that this is a vision and not actual reality.
“Divine Power Gives Success – In Ezekiel´s vision, God had His hand beneath the wings of the cherubim. This is to teach His servants that it is divine power that gives them success.”
“The Lamb of God is represented before us as in the midst of the throne of God – – -. This is the appointed place of meeting between God and humanity.”
“When an attempt is made to interpret these four living creatures, it is well to keep in mind that in symbolic prophecy, the prophet sees representations of the actual and not the actual itself. E.g., In one instance Jesus is symbolically represented as a Lamb with a bleeding knife wound, and with seven horns and seven eyes (Rev 5:6). No one would conclude for a moment that this was an attempt to represent the appearance of Jesus.”
(Ezekiel´s vision). “The vision was given to show that an overruling Power had to do with the affairs of earthly rulers and that God was still in control. This was the overall objective of the vision.”
The heavenly creatures represent heavenly beings. As already noted, it is not necessary to imagine that in the service of God are four-headed, four winged beings. The forms chosen for this symbolize heavenly messengers in their plenitude of officers, capabilities and adaptabilities.
As regards to the vision given to John in Rev 4: and 5: This was given to show that God has everything under control with the following world´s events and powers outlined in the following chapters in Revelation from Rev 6: to Rev 20:
(Ezekiel´s vision). “As the wheel like complications were under the guidance of the hand beneath the wings of the cherubim, so the complicated play of human events is under divine control. Amidst the strife and tumult of nations He that sitteth above the cherubim still guides the affairs of this earth.”
(See my website for details of the four creatures: Lion, man, ox and eagle)
Rev 4:6. And before the throne there was a sea of glass similar to crystal.
Why a sea of glass?
The sea in biblical prophecy is a symbol of nations and people. E.g., Isaiah 57:20. But the wicked are like the troubled sea.
The opposite to a troubled sea is a calm sea like a sea of glass with no trouble.
Rev 15:2.3. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of gold. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God and the song of the Lamb.
Rev 14:1-3. Then I looked and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him one hundred and forty-four thousand having his Father´s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who are redeemed from the earth.
Rev 7:4. And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.
Rev 7:9. After these things I looked and behold, a great multitude, which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. (This multitude is separate from the 144,000 who stand on the sea of glass. They must stand on the outside of the glass).
This sea of glass is not a troubled sea like the wicked come from, but it is a calm sea like crystal mingled with fire. Those who stand on this sea of glass before the throne of God are those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name. These people have gone through a special time of trouble just before the Second Coming of Christ which is called the seven last plagues and the last great war Armageddon.
Rev 5:1. And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
`When Pilate washed his hands, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person (Christ)” the priests joined with the ignorant mob in declaring passionately, “His blood be on us, and on our children.” Matt 27:24.25. Thus, the Jewish leaders made their choice. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open. In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. `
Rev 5:2. Who is worthy to open the book and to loose its seals?
Rev 5:3. And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look at it.
Rev 5:4. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the book or to look at it.
Rev 5:6. 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.
Rev 5:7. Then he came and took the scroll/book out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne.
Rev 5:8. Now when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Rev 5:9. And they sang a new song saying: You are worthy to take the scroll/book and to open its seals. (This text refers to the seven seals in Rev 6: 7: 8: which are in the book and refer to the last days from the time of John to the Second Coming of Christ).
This scroll or book with seven seals contains all the sins of the ungodly from the time of John the disciple to the time of Christ´s Second Coming. The seven seals cover this period in Revelation 6: 7: 8: Jesus Christ is the only one who can open this scroll or book, because he is the Lamb of God who was slain for all the sins of all people. But not all will accept Christ as their Saviour.
 Ellen G. White, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary-Ellen G. White Comments (Washington D.C.: Review & Herald Pub., Assoc., 1957), 967.
 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Pub., Assoc., 1940), 786.
 Ellen G. White Comments, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol. 7-A (Washington D.C.: Review & Herald Pub., Assoc., 1957), 1161.
 Ibid., 967.
 Francis D. Nichol, Edit., The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary Vol. 4 (Washington D.C.: Review & Herald Pub., Assoc., 1977), 576. 577.
 Ibid., 577.
 Ellen G. White, The Story of Prophets and Kings (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Pub., Assoc., 1943), 536.
 Ellen G. White, Christ´s Object Lessons (Washington D.C.: Review & Herald Pub., Assoc., 1941), 294.