4:1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
4:2 At once I was in the Spirit [a supernatural state of inspiration], and there before me was a throne [indicates sovereignty] in heaven with someone [God: see vv. 5,8,11] sitting on it [indicating God is in control…encouragement to persecuted believers].
4:3 And the one who sat there had the appearance [description indicates that God is indescribable and beyond our comprehension] of jasper [stone that occurred in various colors (see 21:11); perhaps symbolizing God’s holiness, righteousness, purity] and carnelian [blood-red stone; perhaps denoting God’s redemptive purpose or perhaps wrath/judgment]. A rainbow [halo; symbol of God’s covenant (Gen. 9:12-17); signifying life, hope, promise, mercy], resembling an emerald [green], encircled [not a semicircle] the throne [Ps. 103:19].
Note: Carnelian: blood-red stone also called sardine or sardius – named after Sardis where it is found.
4:4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.
4:5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits4:5 That is, the sevenfold Spirit of God.
4:6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.
4:7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.
4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”
4:9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever,
4:10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”