4:4 "And round about
the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty
elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of
The word, "seats," comes
from the same Greek word that the word, "throne," comes from. That Greek word
is "thronos." It literally means the "seat of a ruler." The Lord told the
twelve apostles: Matt. 19:28, "Verily I say unto you, That ye which have
followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of
his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of
In the Old Testament there were twelve princes that were the rulers of the
twelve tribes of Israel. Thus the twelve princes and the twelve apostles added
together make twenty four. These 12 princes and these 12 apostles each
represent the whole. Therefore the twenty four represent the whole of the elect
of God who have been made "kings and priests unto God" (Rev. 1:6).
To sit down indicates rest.
For instance we read of the Lord in Heb. 1:3 "Who being the brightness of his
glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word
of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand
of the Majesty on high." After that the Lord had purged our sins he sat
down (or rested) on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Similarly, it can
appropriately be stated that the twenty four elders were "resting" (sitting) in
the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We, as the elect of God, are
sitting on thrones when we are resting in the finished work of God: Heb. 4:9
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is
entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from
his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man
fall after the same example of unbelief." When we cease trying to establish
our own righteousness and rest in Christ who is the end of the law for
righteousness we are resting on that throne of grace that God has given us.
As kings we sit also on
thrones of judgment. The judgment isn't based on our intellect or reasoning
ability, but rather it is the judgment given to us in God's word. Our judgment
pertains unto things in this life, i.e., how we should live our lives to the
praise, honor, and glory of God. We are to judge ourselves by God's word. We
are also to judge the government of the church by God's word. Similarly, when
discipline needs to be applied in the church it is to be applied according to
The twenty four were
"clothed in white raiment." This raiment was not their own righteous living:
Is. 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are
as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind,
have taken us away." They were clothed in the righteousness of Jesus
Christ: 2 Cor. 5:21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." The filthy rags of
self-righteousness are not a fit wardrobe for kings. The only suitable apparel
for these kings was to be clothed in the gorgeous wardrobe of Christ's
righteousness. Since the twenty four represent the elect of God who according
to the covenant of redemption are justified by the blood of Christ, then we all
can thank God for clothing us in the robes of His righteousness.
"They had on their heads
crowns of gold." To consider the crowns of gold they were wearing, I refer
you back to the essay on Rev. 1:6. Suffice it to say that a king wearing a
crown indicates that the king is reigning. We are reigning with Christ as the
following verses show:
1. Rom. 5:17
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive
abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one,
2. 1 Cor. 4:8
"Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I
would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you."
3. 2 Tim. 2:12
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny
4. Rev. 5:10
"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the
5. Rev. 20:6
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the
second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and
shall reign with him a thousand years."
4:5 "And out of the
throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven
lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God."
combination of lightnings and thunderings and voices is found in the giving of
the covenant of the law at Mt. Sinai:
1. Ex. 20:18 "And
all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the
trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and
stood afar off."
2. Ex. 19:16
"And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders
and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet
exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled."
3. Ex. 19:19
"And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder,
Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice."
4. Heb. 12:18 "For
ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire,
nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a
trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the
word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure
that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall
be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the
sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)"
we read of this combination of the lightnings and thunderings and voices in the
giving of the new covenant of worship in the kingdom of heaven set forth in the
book of Revelations:
1. Rev. 8:5
"And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast
it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and
2. Rev. 11:19
"And the temple of God was opened
in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there
were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great
3. Rev. 16:18 "And
there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great
earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an
earthquake, and so great."
in the scriptures is associated with the judgment of God:
1. Ex. 9:23
"And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and
hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the
land of Egypt."
2. 1 Sam. 2:10
"The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he
thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give
strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed."
3. 1 Sam. 7:10
"And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to
battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day
upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before
4. 1 Sam. 12: 17
Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send
thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great,
which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.
While lightnings are also
associated with God's judgment, they also bring God's judgment to light:
1. Ps. 77:18 "The
voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the
earth trembled and shook."
2. Ps. 97:4
"His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled."
3. Ezek. 1:14
"And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of
4. Matt. 24:27
"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so
shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
5. Matt. 28:3 "His
countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:"
voice of the Lord is associated with his power and his creation:
1. Gen. 1:3
"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
2. John 5:25
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead
shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."
3. John 5:28
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the
graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good,
unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the
resurrection of damnation."
more is said about the voice of the Lord in Psalms Chapter 29.
Thus the voices, thunderings, and lightnings signify the coming of the kingdom of heaven and show
forth God's righteous judgment and manifests his mighty power in establishing
his kingdom, in bringing his subjects (the elect) into spiritual life, and in
the ultimate glorification of those subjects.
"And there were seven
lamps of fire burning before the throne."
The number seven is used in association with eighteen different things in the
book of Revelation:
Seven churches; seven
Spirits; seven golden candlesticks; seven stars; seven lamps of fire; seven
seals; seven horns; seven eyes; seven angels; seven trumpets; seven thunders;
seven heads of the dragon; seven crowns of the dragon; seven heads of the beast;
seven last plagues; seven golden vials; seven mountains; and seven kings. The
number seven represents completion. Thus the seven lamps of fire burning before
the throne represents all the lamps of fire burning before the throne, whither
it be a literal seven or not.
In the Old Testament the
seven lamps were associated with the candlestick in the holy place:
Ex. 25:37 "And thou
shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that
they may give light over against it." Of course, the candlestick is a
figure of the church as set forth in Revelation Chapter 1.
The purpose of the seven
lamps was to give light in the holy place:
1. Ex. 25:37
"And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps
thereof, that they may give light over against it."
2. Num. 8:2 "Speak unto Aaron, and say unto
him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against
3. Zec. 4:2 "And
said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a
candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps
thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof."
There are at least
seven lamps or lights given to the church:
1. The Lord
himself is called the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5).
2. The new birth
is a light to every child of God (John 1:9).
3. The word of
God is said to be a lamp unto our feet (Ps. 119:105).
4. The disciples
are said to be the light of the world and the children of light (Matt 5:14; 1
5. The church is
said to be a city set on a hill (Matt. 5:14).
6. The gospel
brings life and immortality to light (2 Tim. 1:10).
7. Through the
revelation of the Spirit light or understanding is brought to the children of
God (Eph. 1:17-20).
"Which are the seven
Spirits of God." In addition to the
seven lamps, the seven horns and seven eyes are also said to be the seven
Spirits of God: Rev. 5:6 "And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne
and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had
been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of
God sent forth into all the earth." The use of the term seven Spirits of
God is not used to mean that there are literally Seven Holy Spirits. There is
only one Holy Spirit. The term seven Spirits rather refers to the spiritual
manifestations of the Holy Spirit:
1. Spirit of
adoption (Rom. 8:15).
2. Spirit of
grace (Zec. 12:10; Heb. 10:29).
3. Spirit of
truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13).
4. Spirit of
holiness (Rom. 1:4)
5. Spirit of life
(Rom. 8:2; Rev. 11:11).
6. Spirit of
meekness (1 Cor. 4:21; Gal. 6:1; Is. 57:15).
7. Spirit of
faith (2 Cor. 4:13).
8. Spirit of
promise (Eph. 1:13).
9. Spirit of
wisdom and revelation (Is. 11:2; Eph. 1:17; Ex. 28:3; Deu. 34:9).
10. Spirit of glory
(1 Pet. 4:14).
11. Spirit of
prophecy (Rev. 19:10).
12. Spirit of
understanding (Job 20:3; Is. 11:2).
13. Spirit of
judgment (Is. 4:4).
14. Spirit of
burning (Is. 4:4).
15. Spirit of
counsel (Is. 11:2).
16. Spirit of might
17. Spirit of
knowledge (Is. 11:2).
18. Spirit of fear
of the Lord (Is. 11:2).
As it can be seen there are
more than a literal seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit and I don't maintain
that this is a complete list, yet the number seven represents completion and
therefore the seven Spirits of God (completeness) are seven lamps unto the
Lord's church giving light unto all that are in the kingdom.