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The Revelation of Navi Y'shua
By John of AllFaith © 9.16.09 (last update: 10.24.2012)
Revelation 4:4-11 Events in the Throne Room
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We pray to HaShem, the Holy One of Israel, to fill our hearts with wisdom and understanding as we continue this study into the Revelation of our chief rabbi, Navi Y'shua.
We now continue our study of the prophecy of Rebbe Y'shua which he revealed to his tamid Yochanan or John with Revelation 4:4.4:4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones. On the thrones were twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white garments, with crowns of gold on their heads.
These Twenty Four Thrones upon which sit the Twenty Four Elders are indicative of those to whom HaShem has granted authority over His people. As we've discussed, HaShem deals in people groups and organization. In these symbols we see the structures through which HaShem is working to bless the world and settle the challenge posed by Heylel, as we have discussed.
As we discussed last time, verse 3 of this chapter tells us that the Rainbow of HaShem surrounds the Throne. This gives insight into the identity of the twenty elders. The rainbow, as we discussed, symbolically represents the Noachide Covenant. In the same way these thrones and their occupants represent two more Covenants HaShem has established with the people of the earth.
The Noahide Covenant served humanity well for a long time but eventually the people began worshiping other gods and fighting with one another. Because of this Elohiym metaphorically sought through the various people groups hoping to find a place to establish His Torah and further His plans for global restoration.
In time Elohiym found a young man named Avram of the Shemites (i.e. of the lineage of Noah's son Shem) and established a covenant with him. The Book of Genesis (Hebrew: B'resheet, meaning "In the beginning") describes the life and times of Avram. When Avram and his wife Sarai were in the nineties and well beyond child bearing age, El Shaddai (God the Almighty) worked a wonder and they conceived a son and named him Yitz'chak (which means "laughter"). El Shaddai promised the couple that His plan of global restoration would be fulfilled through the offspring of Yitz'chak and his descendents. First however the One True God changed their names. Avram became Avraham (Abraham) and Sarai became Sarah. In English we typically refer to Yitz'chak as Isaac.
The Promise of Elohiym passed from Avraham and Isaac ( Yitz'chak) to his son Ya'akov (Jacob).
In time Ya'akov (Jacob) found favor in the sight of El Shaddai and He renamed him Israel (Genesis 35:10). The Hebrew name Israel comes from "ysr" and "el". El of course translates as "god." In context the reference of course is to the One True God. As is common, the Hebrew "ysr" has many possible meanings. It means "rule," "prince," "persist," "struggle," "strive," "straight," "honest" etc. In context the most likely intended meaning is "prince" because Israel as a people, the descendents of Ya'akov/Israel, are they who will one day bring in the eternal Melekh or King of Israel. As El Shaddai placed His blessings on Israel He announced the truth that one day HaMoshiach would come. This is the Promise of Israel.
Israel had twelve sons (and one daughter). These sons fathered the Twelve Houses or Tribes of Israel. This is a key to the identities of these twenty-four elders.
Twelve of these elders represent the Twelve Patriarchs of Israel. Like the rainbow, these twelve thrones symbolize that People Israel are always in the forefront of HaShem's consciousness.
In time HaShem sent Moshe or Moses. Through Moshe, Elohiym revealed His Torah to the descendents of Avraham, Yitz'chak and Ya'akov. Also to and through Moshe El Shaddai revealed the Holy Name that is above all names as recorded at Exodus 6:3.
In time HaShem (the Sacred Name) sent Rebbe Y'shua ben Miryam to inspire the Jewish people and to draw the Goyim or Gentiles to Torah observance as the prophets of the Tanakh had foretold.
Rebbe Y'shua appointed twelve of his talmidim (students) to oversee his movement after his execution. These twelve are the other Twenty-four Elders seated on the twenty-four thrones.
There are a great many theories about who these elders are but contextually this makes the most sense. The symbolism John is seeing is revealing HaShem's Plan for the ages that is now coming to fruition.
Through the Noachide Covenant HaShem makes His Way available to all people. Through the Mosaic Covenant offered to the House of Israel the descendents of Avraham were sanctified as a kingdom of priests. Then through the final High Priest (Cohen Gadol) of Israel HaShem established the B'rit Hadashah or New Covenant. HaShem now invites everyone to enter into the family of God through conversion to Judaism through Cohen Gadol Y'shua.
Now, in the time line being presented by John, the time for another Covenant is approaching. This one will be ushered in by the coming Melekh of Israel, HaMoshiach.
Through the authority of these Twenty Four Elders HaShem has governed the world, both the Jews and Goyim. As with the other courtly imagery, whether one wishes to think in terms of literal thrones upon which literal elders sit may be debated however the significance of what John is doubtless as presented.
The Twelve Patriarchs
The Twelve Apostles
James ben Alphaeus
Simon the Zealot
Judas ben James
We now continue with our text:Revelation 4:5 Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders. There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
As the lukewarm Nicolaitan Nicean Church is vomited from El Shaddai's Mouth (Revelation 3:15-18) His Wrath is kindled and He summons the Twenty Four Elders before Him. This divine wrath is noted by the lightnings, sounds (or voices), and thunders that erupt from the heavens. To date the Earth has been largely shielded from the events taking place in the celestial realms, however as the Tribulation Period begins that is going to change! There is every reason to expect to see severe lightening storms, to hear soul cringing cries and unearthly sounds reverberating from the heavens above. One can almost hear the coming global despot blaming these occurrences on a threat from beyond! "Place your trust me!" he will proclaim; "I can save you!" And billions will!
Now in the Heavenly Courts HaShem holds the twenty-four Elders of the people accountable for their errors and for the failing of those in their charge. Perhaps this is partially why James warns those who would lead the Messianic Community to do so with extreme caution (James 3:1)!
And there is plenty of failure to go around! As Paul explains in Romans 11, both the Noahides and the Israelites/Jews have failed to keep the covenants of HaShem. Now King of kings summons the leaders of the people into His Presence.
The seven lamps:Numbers 8:1 ADONAI said to Moshe,
2 "Tell Aharon, 'When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps are to cast their light forward, in front of the menorah.'"
3 Aharon did this: he lit its lamps so as to give light in front of the menorah, as ADONAI had ordered Moshe.
4 Here is how the menorah was made: it was hammered gold from its base to its flowers, hammered work, following the pattern ADONAI had shown Moshe. This is how he made the menorah.
5 ADONAI said to Moshe,
6 "Take the L'vi'im [the Levites] from among the people of Isra'el and cleanse them.
7 Here is how you are to cleanse them: sprinkle the purification water on them, have them shave their whole body with a razor, and have them wash their clothes and cleanse themselves.
8 Then they are to take a young bull with its grain offering, which is to be fine flour mixed with olive oil; while you take another bull for a sin offering.
Through John's vision we are witnessing the scene as it unfolds in the court room of HaShem. The seven lamps are accouterments that testify that this is the same El Shaddai who led His people out of Egypt. This is main point of the above quote. This is the same Holy One of Israel, John understands, that will one day establish His servants again and for all times in the Land He declared to be theirs. At the time John is writing these words Israel has been dispatched among the nations, the Temple has been destroyed, Rome seems unstoppable and Israel's rebirth surely seems like an impossibility. But John knows that with Adonai all things are possible!
Note that these texts add that these lamps "are the seven Spirits of God." The reference here is that HaShem is all knowing and that by His Glory and Omniscience nothing escapes his awareness. Much more could be said about these seven lamps but for our present purposes this will suffice.
The Sea of Glass:Revelation 4:6 Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal. In the midst of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.
This "sea of glass" signifies all of existence. We see this image again at Revelation 15:2 where the martyrs from around the world stand on this sea of glass in celebration of their victory over the Beast. These are the same martyrs and the same mote that surrounds the Throne as we discussed previously. This imagery gave birth to the looking glass stories. We will also witness this scene again soon as the people of this "sea of glass" cry out for vengeance and are told to wait yet a little longer (Revelation 6:11).
The Four Living Creatures:4:7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle.
4:8 The four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within. They have no rest day and night, saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come!"
4:9 When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives forever and ever,
4:10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever, and throw their crowns before the throne, saying,
4:11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One, to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!"
Traditionally these four living creatures have been associated with the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John however despite the power of that image I do not believe it is correct. For one thing John does not ponder how it is that he is simultaneously present as a winged creature and as himself!
While the idea is poetically pleasing, the prophet identifies these creatures himself:
The lion: the wild animals of the Earth
The calf: the domesticated animals of the Earth
The man: humanity
The flying eagle: the animals that soar in skies
Understand that humanity is not alone in suffering from the Adversary-led rebellion. HaShem cares about all of His creation and all of existence suffers when the worlds are out of balance with the Will of HaShem. Consider this:Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us.
8:19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
8:20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope
8:21 that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
The four living creatures therefore demonstrate the high cost sin has taken on the entire creation. All existence is yearning for the coming liberation.Numbers 23:24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.
Note that PEOPLE ISRAEL – the people, not the Moshiach – will rise up like a great lion (i.e. the Lion of the House of Judah) and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down... Liberation comes when the Jewish people arise in faith and from among them our Moshiach will arise to lead the way. This is what is meant by the phrase that the entire creation awaits the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21 above). In that day the People of HaShem will arise as Psalms 82 describes. In that day the Great Multitude of Goyim and a 144,000 Jews will unite with HaMoshiach and then:Isaiah 11:6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the young goat;
The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf together;
and a little child will lead them.
11:7 The cow and the bear will graze.
Their young ones will lie down together.
The lion will eat straw like the ox.
11:8 The nursing child will play near a cobra's hole,
and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.
11:9 They will not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahweh,
as the waters cover the sea.
11:10 It will happen in that day that the nations will seek the root of Jesse, who stands as a banner of the peoples; and his resting place will be glorious.
11:11 It will happen in that day that Adonai will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
11:12 He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
And again:Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain," says Adonai.
Truly all of creation yearns for Earth's liberation!
So then, here is the scene to contemplate: In his visionary state John beholds HaShem seated on His Glorious Holy Throne. The Twelve Patriarchs and the Twelve Apostles are seated before Him. An immense Rainbow encircles the Throne and John stands before this scene in utter awe and beholds humanity, as a endless churning sea, spread out as far as the eye can see.
John beholds HaShem's righteous wrath as the Holy One beholds (within the surrounding Sea of Glass) the betrayal of the Earth by the very people who were supposed to be His emissaries. This betrayal has just been finalized and now HaShem expels the Laodicean Church as the Seven Year Tribulation Period begins.
John watches as the Twenty Four Elders and the Earth itself (depicted as the four living creatures) acknowledge God's righteousness and the utter failure of the earth's inhabitants.
At the outset of these lessons we discussed the importance of considering the Rebellion when examining the prophecies of this book. John knows that it is the Rebellion that has wrought these terrible conditions. John the Beloved Apostle had always sought to live for HaShem as a devout Meshiykhiyyim however his life had been a difficult one and he well understood the grave consequences of the rebellion. Now in his vision of future-history John sees that the wrath they all knew was coming about to be poured out upon the Earth and he knew this wrath is completely deserved!
And so with this understanding, the Twenty Four Elders toss their crowns, their claims to authority and honor, to the ground at the feet of the One God, symbolically confessing their utter failures. Both Jews and Goyim have conclusively demonstrated their inability to rule the Earth justly and to the well being of the Earth's inhabitants. All existence is wailing in fear and pain at this point as fear grips the planet.
The final seven years of the Times of the Gentiles has now begun!
Here Ends Chapter Four of the Revelation of Navi Y'shua
Continue with Chapter Five of the Revelation of Navi Y'shua
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