you ever heard someone say,
“While I was dead I saw a great light, and then came back to life”?
Have you ever wondered if this can be true? What does it mean? Why did
it happen? One man, an agnostic, has written a book about his near death
experience (NDE). In his book, we discover that he died when his pickup
fell on him, flattened his chest, and killed him. He was “dead” for
about 15 minutes. Yet, he returned to life. He said that while he was “dead” he
traveled through a tunnel and saw the “Light of God.” He
said that God sent him back to tell everyone that God loves without any
conditions. He wrote about seeing Jesus and asking God many questions.
Eventually, he revealed that the “Jesus” he talked with was
not the Jesus who walked this earth. He believes that we are a part of
god, and yet we are all god. This is revealing because Jesus did not
teach that we are a part of god, nor did He teach that we are god. He
did not teach that we all went to heaven either. This man did not see
God. He saw something else.
Heavenly Vision. The Apostle John saw
God too, but John was alive - not dead. He did not have a NDE. The apostle
had a different experience. He saw God in a vision.
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing
open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound
of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will
show you what must take place after these things.” Immediately
I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and
One sitting on the throne. (NASB) Rev. 4:1-2
The Holy Spirit gave the apostle a vision of heaven, a throne, and of
One sitting on the throne. We will discover soon that the One sitting
on the throne is God. We will also read that there were others around
the throne too!
Revelation 2-3 are about the past. In our last study, we saw that since
the rapture will occur before the Tribulation, it must occur between
Revelation 3 and 4. Revelation 4 takes us to the start of the Tribulation,
and we are able to see into this future event through the apostle’s
vision. What we are about to see are the events which will occur in heaven
before the Tribulation starts.
Room. In the vision, the apostle
saw the One sitting on the throne, twenty-four elders, and four creatures
sitting around the throne.
And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a
sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like
an emerald in appearance. And around the throne were twenty-four thrones;
and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white
garments, and golden crowns on their heads. (NASB) Rev. 4:3-4
The One sitting on the throne is God the Father. He is the first person
of the Trinity. The apostle does not describe Him as simply light. Yes,
God is light; but He is more than that. He is like a jasper and sardius
stone with an emerald bow surrounding Him.
Revelation 21:11 says that a jasper stone
was a crystal-clear stone. We are not sure, but it sounds like a diamond.
The sardius stone was named after the city of Sardius and was ruby red
in color. A diamond and red ruby make a wonderful color combination on
a bracelet or necklace. Just imagine how God must look with the emerald
bow. Why did we say emerald bow and not rainbow? The answer is found
in the Greek word translated as “rainbow.” The Greek word
actually means “bow.” So, God is surrounded by an emerald
bow and flashes of lightening and sounds of thunder.
And from the throne proceed flashes of lightning and
sounds and peals of thunder. . . . (NASB) Rev. 4:5
What an amazing vision of God!