PMW 2019-078 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In Revelation 1:12-20 John’s first vision shows Christ in history (spiritually) walking among the churches as their ever-present Protector and Head (cp. Matt. 18:20; 28:18, 20; Acts 18:9-10; Heb. 13:5). The focal judgments of Revelation do not begin until Revelation 6. In Revelation 4 and 5, though, God braces John for those coming fearsome judgment scenes by spiritually transporting him above history to God’s throne room in heaven (Rev. 4:1-2).
The Heavenly Throne
Here in Revelation 4 John sees God sitting on his judicial throne actively ruling over all creation (Rev. 4:2-6, 11). The four “living creatures” closest to the throne seem to be angels of the highest order: they ever watch (they are “full of eyes,” v. 6) over creation (they appear as creatures and sing of creation, vv. 7, 11), ready to do God’s holy bidding (they have six wings to swiftly fly and they sing of God’s holiness, v. 8) in all of creation (their number represents the four points of the compass, v. 7; cp. Rev. 7:1; 21:13). Whatever John witnesses thereafter — however terrifying the judgments, however vicious the opposition — he may rest assured that not only does Christ concern himself with the affairs of his people in history (Rev. 1), but that God is actively controlling all things from above history (Rev. 4; cp. Dan. 2:21; 4:35; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 1:11). Continue reading