The throne room of God is the setting that readers of Revelation find themselves in after reading about the seven churches in Revelation chapters 1 - 3. The books of Daniel and Revelation complement each other - Daniel's prophetic visions portraying the future and Revelation revealing and elaborating on the content and meaning of Daniel's visions. When we enter the throne room of heaven in chapter four we realise something very important is about to take place.
1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
Did Daniel ever see the throne room of God? If so, where can we find his prophetic descriptions of the throne room of God and what was taking place in the throne room? We don't have to look far. In Daniel 7 we find the following references:
9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Daniel's description could be described as short and sweet. In just two verses he records the scene and describes concisely what is taking place. The judgment is about to take place and the books were opened
John the revelator's description of events and participants is extremely detailed describing :
● the 24 elders
● seven lamps of fire
● the sea of glass
● detailed descriptions of the four beasts
It is interesting to note that Daniel describes the fiery wheels of the throne and that the thrones were 'cast down'. Daniel in vision has seen the movement of God's throne into place as well as the seats for the 24 elders.
Towards the end of Daniel's vision he records the following:
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
In Revelation we are shown when the son of man or Christ comes to the Ancient of Days :
1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
The only person in the universe who is able to open the book with seven seals is Jesus Christ the son of God. The lamb slain from the foundation of the world has 'prevailed' to open the book and loose the seven seals. Prevailed means to conquer or subdue. Christ has gained the victory over sin by choosing to be a sacrifice for humanity. With nails driven into his hands and feet and hanging on the cross he called out "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" Christ conquered sin and Satan with the greatest power in the universe - the love of God. He truly is worthy to open the 'book' with the seven seals.
Contrasting what Daniel has seen is interesting, particularly the book. Daniel describes the 'books' plural being opened in verse 10 : "the judgment was set, and the books were opened." In contrast we see in Revelation 5 it is referred to as the book singular. However this book is partitioned into seven, each having a seal and each being opened individually at different times. In effect Daniel's vision of books is the same scene as John portrays but written from his unique point of view and as an overview. The phrase the 'judgment was set' captures concisely what is taking place in Revelation chapters 3 and 4.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
The song that echoes through heaven after Jesus Christ receives the book from his father is new - it has never been sung before. Redeemed by the blood of the lamb the elders accompanied by the four beasts praise the son of God for his redemptive actions. He was slain because of their sins and by doing so had paid the price for their sin.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The twenty four elders have received eternal life :
Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Who might these elders be? We are told that they have heen redeemed: "to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." Even though we are not told who these elders are we know that Christ was accompanied at his resurrection by the first fruits of his death and victory over sin:
Matthew 27: 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many
When Christ upon the cross cried out, “It is finished,” there was a mighty earthquake, that rent open the graves of many who had been faithful and loyal, bearing their testimony against every evil work, and magnifying the Lord God of hosts. [John 19:30; Matthew 27:50-52.] Now as the Lifegiver came forth from the sepulcher, proclaiming, “I am the resurrection and the life,” He summoned from the grave these saints. When alive, at the cost of their lives, they had borne their testimony unflinchingly for the truth. Now they were to be witnesses of Him who had raised them from the dead. These, said Christ, are no longer the captives of Satan. I have redeemed them; I have brought them from the grave as the first fruits of My power, to be with Me where I am, never more to see death or experience sorrow. 12LtMs, Ms 115, 1897, par. 17
Those who had been raised were presented as trophies to the heavenly universe—samples of the resurrection of all who receive and believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. They were a symbol of the final resurrection of the righteous. That same power that has raised Christ from the dead will raise His church—as His bride—and glorify it, with Christ, above all principalities, above all powers, above every name that is named, not only in this world, but in the heavenly courts, the world above.... CTr 286.4
The elders are present during the judgment carried out by Christ himself in the heavenly sanctuary. Christ, the lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29) paid the price for our sins. Worthy, worthy is his name! As each seal is broken, as each book is opened Christ examines the lives of those who have claimed to be his followers. Are they worthy to be robed in Christ's white robe of righteousness?
As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation—a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12. CIHS 147.1
To confirm that the judgment is about to begin now that Christ has been affirmed as the worthy judge when comparing Daniel with Revelation we see that similar accounts of the heavenly audience are described in both accounts:
Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Revelation 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
It is interesting to note the exclamation of all creation in recognition of Christ's absolute worthiness to open the sealed book:
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Christ alongside his Father created the world and all the creatures resident in its heaven, in its seas and on or under the earth. All blessings and honour are ascribed to the Father and the son by their creation. The very existence of God's creation testifies to his handiwork and amazing love.
1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. note
2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.
3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.
4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:
8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
9 Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:
10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:
11 Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. note
12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice
13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
John states that he heard "every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them." The word creature as defined by Strong's is :
Strong's Definition: From G2936; an original formation (concretely), that is, product (created thing): - creature.
Every element of creation or creature testifies of the love of the Father and Son. Their very existence, design and purpose is a reflection of the love of God. David the Psalmist also describes the creatures or creation giving glory and praise to God.
Psalms 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
Why do they praise God? For God commanded and they were created.
This recognition of the Father and Son's creatorship is inextricably linked to the judgment which is about to begin. The creation of mankind was God's crowning act of creation and mankind is about to be judged by their creator.
Psalms 96:13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
John has recognised the praise, glory and honour given to the Father and the Son from the creatures they have created just as David also did in his Psalms.
Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen
This introduction to the study of the Seven Seals presents what is taking place in Revelation chapters four and five. Daniel reveals what is taking place in very concise descriptions and John the Revelator expands in greater detail what is taking place in the the throne room of God. The judgment is set and the books are about to be opened.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR FURTHER STUDIES ON EACH OF THE SEVEN SEALS - THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS - PRAISE GOD FOR HIS WORD!