Beauty Scenes from the Throne Room
By Bob Perry
Sometimes when I reflect on the early days of my prayer life, I remember that many times while I prayed or sang in church, my heart was easily distracted. It bothers me to think that “circumstances” affected my heart in worship. I often had a feeling of disconnectedness, with no tangible sense of praying or singing to a real person. At times, I felt like I was praying into the air to some nebulous being, far beyond the grasp of my realities. But over the years, my prayer and worship life have been transformed and enriched by the devotional aide of gazing upon the throne of God. It was the description of God’s throne in Revelation; of the Lord Jesus; the four living creatures; the twenty-four elders; and all of the beautiful sights, sounds and smells that come from His throne that deeply impacted my prayer life.
The Word of God gives us an astounding glimpse into the invisible world that rules our visible world. This throne in Revelation 4 is the most awesome place in all existence. It is the foundation of the entire created order. It is the center and purpose for everything. If we lose our vision of the throne of God as the center of everything we live for, then we lose our equilibrium and stability. We lose our reason for enduring hardships. We lose our motivation to live a holy, sanctified life. We lose our motivation to bless our enemies. And we can easily forget that everything will pass away, that nothing has significance, relevance, or meaning, outside of the reality of the Person upon the throne.
The beauty found in Revelation 4 has an ability to touch many of our natural senses. Our eyes can gaze upon his beauty; the majestic creatures that surround the throne, and the splendor that radiates in and around the throne. Our ears can hear the beautiful sounds emanating from the throne room that move our inner man. Our sense of smell is moved by the powerful sense of incense and the burning torches that give security, comfort, life and light. Even our sense of touch can feel the thunder shake the ground. Our entire soul is moved by the glorious splendor found in this chapter.
A pastor by the name of A.W. Tozer once said, “We must practice the art of long and loving meditation upon the majesty of God.” I want to help you not to just pray or sing into the air, but to learn how to focus your thoughts upon the loving, majestic Person seated upon His glorious throne and speak into His heart. His throne is an eternal reality. It won’t become real when we get to Heaven and see it for the first time – it is real now. This throne, filled with the grace of God, is the most awesome place in all existence.
May these 10 points help you to gaze upon His throne in a greater measure so that you may know Him!
1. The door opens in verse 1, into the throne room of heaven.
The first voice in the vision was one that sounded like a shofar; as the voice of Christ. The voice of the Lord was like a war trumpet. This voice, soothing as rushing waters (Revelation 1:15), was comforting and confident. The voice was sincere and sensitive, yet strong and courageous! He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and his heart is the same: He tells us to ascend and come up and be with him!
Apostle Paul articulated this from another perspective in Ephesians 2, in that we all were slain by our own trespasses and sins. But God, who is rich in mercy, has made us alive. The good news gets even better for He raised us up together with Him and made us to sit together! We have a joint seat with Him. We have the “best seats in the House,” and that was the Creator’s design.
No wonder Saint Paul wrote in Romans 8:18 that, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time and present life are not being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us, and in us, and for us and conferred on us.”
2. The foundation of the beauty realm.
Verse 2 describes a throne set in heaven. This acknowledges the supremacy of Christ and the certainty of God’s plan and power. The throne of God brings full assurance of who is running things on earth.
I have been to the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, approximately 20 times. It contains 1000 rooms: The throne room is larger than two basketball courts. The ceiling patterns reflect the beautiful detailed floor patterns of five different woods. Even the entry way takes about five-minutes to stroll through the grand entrance and staircase. It was all designed to create an atmosphere that showed the greatness of the Czar. How much more stunning is the Heavenly Throne?
3. The Splendor of God’s being.
He is sitting on the throne with the nature of jasper and carnelian. Jasper is as clear as crystal and it is part of the quartz family. It usually glitters in a variety of colors: yellow, green, red and even brown. It represents almost every variety of color. Translucent splendor is part of His nature. The appearance of our Lord shone with crystalline and the brightness of jasper. It is magnificent. But there is more of His nature revealed in Revelation 4:3, which describes the One who sits on the throne as one with a fiery, Sardis appearance. We know that the Lord took on a human body form as the Lamb of God, but His appearance described in John’s vision was not that of a Hebrew, Black, White, Indian or Chinese, but one of heavenly dimensions.
“Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
His appearance of carnelian, or a ruby red Sardis stone, shows us that He has fiery desires of love and affection toward us. No wonder John was caught in deep worship as he looked at the One who sat on the Throne, suffused in gemstone hues of amber and flame, with a nimbus of emerald. This is a graphic picture of His fiery, affectionate desire for His redeemed people.
I enjoy combining these word pictures with the riveting vision of Jesus that John communicated in Revelation 1:14b, “His eyes were like blazing fire.” I am deeply moved! Duty and apathy is broken off of me when I gaze into His affectionate, caring and sincere personhood. The eye is the gateway to the heart, and the compassionate eyes and heart of the Lord draws me into intimacy. Intimacy releases a heart for God! This knowledge and experience makes it pleasurable to do the full will of God! His love draws me to passionately serve the purpose of God in this generation!
4. A rainbow resembling an emerald encircled the throne.
This rainbow was in appearance, the glory of the Lord. It was a sign of God’s covenant that He had made with man. This beautiful reflection of light and colors was a beautiful reminder that His mercy and love covers all.
"Then there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him."
The glory of God in the form of a rainbow glowed like a halo. The appearance of fire mixed with the brightness of the halo about Him caused Ezekiel, St. John and Isaiah the Prophet to be impacted profoundly. This casual, distracted churchgoer was ruined forever by a glimpse of His nature and the knowledge that He shares in covenant with us.
5. The Splendor around the throne.
The Splendor around the throne in Revelation 4:4 can be seen by the twenty-four elders seated in white robes and gold crowns, in the twenty-four thrones that encircled the Throne. This demonstrates our Creator’s desire to share His partnership with His children. When you look at the great rulers of the earth, you do not see them sharing with their former enemies, do you? We were once enemies of the cross, but are now redeemed and joint-heirs with Him. The white robes, where condemnation and accusation once ruled, are no longer sin-stained but rather undefiled priestly garments of worship. The gold crowns show us that our Ruler loves to remember and reward service and good deeds that were done with a pure heart.
6. The Beauty and glory that emanates from the Throne.
You can see and hear it in Revelation 4:5. Lightning flashes and thunder rumbles from the Throne. These lightning shows are more dynamic and better choreographed than any fireworks or light show that man can generate. This is His divine energy and power being released to awe us. Voices and thunder simultaneously come forth, heralding a divine message with power and music. These majestic sounds do not move us to hide and be afraid, but instead release divine love and emotion in our hearts. The power of this music from the Majestic heart of the Creator is teamed with light, colors and shadows that move us deeply and affectionately in love!
7. The seven burning torches before the Throne.
The seven burning torches before the Throne are the seven spirits of God. These are the blazing torches of the Holy Spirit’s fire hovering before the throne, not just small lamps or flashlights. These torches bring beautiful light, heat, fire and guidance. You can smell these torches and feel their warmth. They are much more moving than the nicest fireplace. You can see the effects of these torches in the atmosphere and on the water, as they cause wind currents and breezes that stir the soul to worship and become captured by the majestic awe of His glory.
8. Before the Throne it was like a clear crystal sea.
Glass was very rare in New Testament times, and crystal clear glass was virtually impossible to create and find. This “sea of glass” highlights both the magnificence and holiness of God. The throne and all of the creatures are mirrored in this sea. The size of the sea should be remembered in this devotional aide, because it is not like a puddle, pond or lake, but rather a large body of water. In terms of mass size, it is more than 1,500 miles or 2500 km around the perimeter. The beauty and grandeur of this transparent, glossy mass of water, will perfectly display His nobility and splendor. Our jaws will drop at this imposing and stately scene around His throne. Joy will flood us as we contemplate and dwell on this majesty.
9. The fire and beauty of the attendants around the throne.
The four living creatures found in Rev. 4:6-8 represent the attributes, qualities, and character of God. These creatures were not real animals, but similar in function to the cherubim, who are the highest orders of angels. They have three purposes: to guard God’s throne, lead others in worship, and proclaim God’s holiness. Their names mean “fiery ones.” So the attendants that are closest to God are not warring or messenger angels, but ones of pure, holy, passionate love for Him and Him alone!
The creature’s faces seem to symbolize the most impressive of all creation. The mightiest among the birds is the eagle. The mightiest among the domestic animals is the bull. The mightiest among the wild beasts is the lion. The mightiest of them all is man. God’s attributes are symbolized in the animal-like appearance of these four creatures -- the faithfulness of the ox; the power and dominion of the lion, the sovereignty and freedom of the eagle; and the creativity and intelligence of man. These fiery creatures had wings and eyes, which represent strength and the prophetic. They also might symbolize a greater release of the Apostolic and Prophetic aspect of Jesus Christ in the last days.
10. Heaven’s holy anthem.
The uninterrupted anthem “Holy, Holy, Holy” found in Revelation 4:8, can also be found in Isaiah 6:3.
This phrase is not a dead religious phrase, but is one that will be sung throughout eternity. This is the foundational song in the heavenly symphony and the first song in Revelation. Use the first seven verses of this chapter as a continual, vivid backdrop for moving into higher places of worship and prayer.
Remember to use these points in your own devotional and corporate time of worship. I only listed 10 to make it simpler; others use 15 or more. These points are doorways into the beauty realm of God! Open a door and enter into His glory and presence. I believe we will discover many more points and doors in the future as we gaze at the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the Lamb of God who sits on the throne.
This is the last frontier—to know God. St. Augustine said it well, “God is not on the surface.”
Press ahead to know Him and experience His Beauty!
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