The key word of chapter 4 is throne. The Book of
Revelation makes it clear that it is the throne of God
that rules in the universe, not the throne of men.
Everything from chapter 4:1 through the remainder of the
book is prophecy.
The fact that John is “caught up” at this point
is another evidence that the Church will not go through
the Tribulation. Note how this experience pictures the
Rapture: Heaven is opened to receive God’s child; there
is a voice of a trumpet; it is a sudden event; it comes
at the end of the Church Age outlined in chapters 2 and
3; it introduces John to the throne-room of heaven; and
it signals the beginning of God’s judgment on the world.
John is called up and he sees the glory of the throne
(chapter 4:2,3). The Person on the throne is most likely
God the Father. The Spirit is represented by the lamps
before the throne (chapter 4:5).
The Son comes to the throne in chapter 5:6. John
uses precious gems to symbolize the glory of the Father.
Jasper is a clear stone, speaking of God’s purity;
sardine is red, speaking of God’s wrath and judgment;
and the emerald is green, a color associated with grace
and mercy. All of these stones were found on the
beautiful breastplate of the High Priest (Exodus 28:17-
In chapter 5:1-5 we read about the sealed book.
The word “book” means, of course, “scroll,” since they
did not have bound books in those days. Some students
think the scroll contains the judgments of chapters 6–
9. The fact that the scroll is written on both sides
shows that nothing can be added or changed. The destiny
of this sinful world is already determined.
In chapter 5:6-10, John looked for a Lion but he
saw a Lamb. In the two names, Lion and Lamb, we have the
two-fold emphasis in Old Testament prophecy. As the
Lion, Christ conquers and reigns; as the Lamb, He dies
for the sins of the world. It is worthy to note that
Christ is called “the Lamb” 29 times in the Book of
Revelation. In fact, the entire Bible could be
summarized by tracing the theme of “the lamb.” Isaac
asked, in Genesis 22:7, “Where is the Lamb?” and John
the Baptist answered, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John
1:29). Now John writes “Worthy is the Lamb.”
In chapter 6 we enter into the first half of
Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9:27), that seven-year period
of Tribulation. The Lamb has taken the sealed book (His
title deed to creation) and is about to open the seals
and declare war on this godless world. With the opening
of each of the seals in heaven, an important event takes
place. It would be very interesting to compare these
seals with what Christ taught about the end times in
Matthew 24. The first seal is opened and the Antichrist
rises to power (verses 1,2); the second seal is opened
and wars break loose (verses 3,4); the third seal is
opened and famine breaks loose (verses 5,6); the fourth
seal brings Death riding a pale horse and Hades rides
with him (verses 7,8). Death claims the body, and Hades
the soul. The fifth seal is the seal of the martyrs.
These people are those who were saved after the Rapture,
but who paid for their testimony with their lives. Their
murderers were, at that time, still alive on the earth,
and they had not been judged. These martyred saints pray
for vengeance. It is true that saints in this age are
told to pray for those who persecute them. This is what
Christ, Stephen, and Paul did. But this period will be a
time of judgment, when God will be answering the prayers
of His people for deliverance and vengeance. The sixth
seal opens a time of world chaos (verses 12-17). As we
read of the opening of these seals, we should make every
effort to get our lost friends and loved ones into the
fold of Christ. If you are not saved, the truths of the
prophecies of chapter 6 should move you to immediately
fall upon your knees, repent of your sin, and ask Christ
to save you today.