Revelation 4:2 MEANING

Revelation 4:2
(2) And immediately I was in the spirit.-- Comp. Revelation 1:10. The mind and soul were absorbed in the vision of things celestial. (See. 2 Corinthians 12:1-4.)

"Words may not tell of that transhuman change;

If I were only what Thou didst create,

Then newly, Love ! by whom the heaven is ruled,

Thou know'st, who by Thy light didst bear me up." --

Paradiso, i. 68-73.

And, behold, a throne was set (i.e., not that the seer saw the throne being set, but when he saw it was already set) in heaven, and one sat on the throne.--Comp. Micaiah's speech (1 Kings 22:19). The enthroned One is not named. Have we here a touch of the Jewish reluctance to name Jehovah? or is it that the descriptive phrase, "He that sat on the throne" is Used here, and kept before us in the whole book to remind us that the great world drama moves forward ever under the eyes of the ruling One. (Comp, Revelation 5:1; Revelation 5:7; Revelation 6:15; Revelation 20:11; Revelation 21:5.)

Verse 2. - And immediately I was in the Spirit. Omit "and" (see above), so that the passage may be rendered, After these things, immediately, I was in the Spirit; a new scene was opened out, as before (in ver. 1). St. John was already in the Spirit; but now receives a fresh outpouring of grace, enabling him to see yet more deeply into the mysteries of the kingdom of God. And, behold, a throne was set in heaven; or, a throne was situated (ἔκειτο). There is no action of placing or setting up. Compare the vision of Ezekiel, "In the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne" (Ezekiel 10:1), where the throne appears above the cherubim, in the position of the cloud of glory (cf. also Isaiah 6:1, 2, where the seraphim are above). And one sat on the throne. Probably the Triune God, to whom the Trisagien in ver. 8 is addressed. Some have thought that the Father is indicated, in contradistinction to the other Persons of the Holy Trinity, and that it is from him that the Son takes the book in Revelation 5:8. But as Cornelius a Lapide remarks, "The Son as Man may well be said, especially in a sublime vision like this, to come to God." The Person is not named, because

(1) the Name of God is incommunicable; it is the "new Name" (see on Revelation 3:12); or

(2) because the seer describes only what is seen; or

(3) it is suppressed from a sense of reverence.

4:1-8 After the Lord Jesus had instructed the apostle to write to the churches the things that are, there was another vision. The apostle saw a throne set in heaven, an emblem of the universal dominion of Jehovah. He saw a glorious One upon the throne, not described by human features, so as to be represented by a likeness or image, but only by his surpassing brightness. These seem emblems of the excellence of the Divine nature, and of God's awful justice. The rainbow is a fit emblem of that covenant of promise which God has made with Christ, as the Head of the church, and with all his people in him. The prevailing colour was a pleasant green, showing the reviving and refreshing nature of the new covenant. Four-and-twenty seats around the throne, were filled with four-and-twenty elders, representing, probably, the whole church of God. Their sitting denotes honour, rest, and satisfaction; their sitting about the throne signifies nearness to God, the sight and enjoyment they have of him. They were clothed in white raiment; the imputed righteousness of the saints and their holiness: they had on their heads crowns of gold, signifying the glory they have with him. Lightnings and voices came from the throne; the awful declarations God makes to his church, of his sovereign will and pleasure. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne; the gifts, graces, and operations of the Spirit of God in the churches of Christ, dispensed according to the will and pleasure of Him who sits upon the throne. In the gospel church, the laver for purification is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which cleanses from all sin. In this all must be washed, to be admitted into the gracious presence of God on earth, and his glorious presence in heaven. The apostle saw four living creatures, between the throne and the circle of the elders, standing between God and the people. These seem to signify the true ministers of the gospel, because of their place between God and the people. This also is shown by the description given, denoting wisdom, courage, diligence, and discretion, and the affections by which they mount up toward heaven.And immediately I was in the Spirit,.... As he had been before, Revelation 1:10; it seems he had been some little time out of his ecstasy, how long cannot be said, and now, upon this new scene of things, returned to it; upon the opening of the door in heaven, and hearing the former voice, and the things it said, the Spirit of God at once possessed and filled him, in an extraordinary manner; and his soul or spirit was immediately taken from the consideration of all sensible objects, and was fixed and intent upon the things presented to it in the vision, so that it was as if it was out of the body. The Arabic version reads, "then therefore I went in the Spirit"; in obedience to the voice that called him up, in which he was assisted by the Spirit of God, who lifted him up as he did Ezekiel, when he saw what follows:

and behold, a throne was set in heaven; not for the final judgment, on which the son of man will sit, when he comes to judge the quick and dead, for he is not the person that fills this but this is a symbol of the power, authority, and dominion now exercised by God, not over the world in general, who has prepared his throne in the heavens, and governs among the nations, according to his sovereign will and pleasure, but which he exercises in his church, signified by "heaven". The allusion is to the temple, and the throne of God in it, Isaiah 6:1. The temple was an emblem of the Gospel church, Jerusalem, or the Gospel church state, and was to be called the throne of the Lord, Jeremiah 3:17, and now his throne is set there. Here he exercises a jurisdiction and government; he is King and lawgiver in it; he has enacted laws, and he writes them on the hearts of his people, and puts his Spirit within them, and makes them both able and willing to obey them.

And one sat on the throne; not the trinity of persons in the Godhead, which some think are signified by the three precious stones in Revelation 4:3, the jasper, sardine, and emerald; for, as distinct from him that sat upon the throne, the Lamb is said to be in the midst of it, and the seven spirits of God are said to be before it: nor is Jesus Christ intended, and his two natures; his divine nature by the jasper, and his human nature by the red and blood coloured sardine; since he, the Lamb, is represented as in the midst of the throne, and is often distinguished from him that sat upon it; see Revelation 5:6; but God the Father is designed, who sits on the throne, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit, yet in distinction from them. This clause is left out in the Ethiopic version.

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