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Studies in the Book of the Revelation.
The One Who sitteth on the Throne (Chapter 4:).
The eyes of John were first of all directed to see "a throne", but a throne, to indicate
authority and power, must be occupied, consequently the writer adds, "and One sat on the
throne". The appearance of this One is described, and the special accompaniment of the
rainbow is given. Then John saw not only one throne, but surrounding that throne twenty
four thrones; he notes their occupants and accompaniments, this time thunder and
lightning instead of a rainbow. Again he returns to the throne, and in the midst and round
about he sees four living ones. This threefold description is clearly seen in the structure
given, viz., 4: 2-8, the throne, elders, and living ones:--
A1 | 2. On the throne. One sitting.
B1 | 3. Appearance. Like jasper and sardine stone.
C1 | 3, 4. Accompaniment. Rainbow and twenty-four thrones.
A2 | 4. On the thrones. Twenty-four elders sitting.
B2 | 4. Appearance. Clothed in white, with gold crowns.
C2 | 5, 6. Accompaniments. Lightning, thunderings, voices,
seven lamps, sea of glass.
A3 | 6. In midst of throne. Four living ones.
B3 | 7. Appearance. Like lion, calf, man, and flying eagle.
C3 | 8. Accompaniments. Threefold ascription of holiness.
The words, "He that sat upon the throne", must not be passed over without
consideration. So often do they occur, and in such a manner, that the words indicate a
definite title, and give a special character to the Revelation. The solemnity of the words
and acts recorded in this book, and their judicial character, are emphasized by the
continual reference to Him that sat upon the throne. In strong contrast will be seen the
one who "sits upon many waters", "upon a scarlet coloured beast", "upon seven
mountains", and who said "I sit a queen" (17: 1, 3, 9, 15; 18: 7).
The first reference to sitting on a throne is in chapter 3: 21, where the Lord speaks of
His sitting with His Father in His throne. The reader should carefully note the following
passages, observing the various things that are related to the One Who occupies this
glorious throne (5: 1, 7, 13; 6: 16; 7: 10, 15; 19: 4; and 20: 11). It will be specially
profitable to compare and ponder the opening reference (4: 2), with the closing reference
(20: 11); in both there is importance attached to books being opened.
The appearance of the One that sat upon the throne is said to have been like "a jasper
and a sardine stone". Jasper is the first foundation stone of the New Jerusalem, and the
sardius the sixth; jasper was the last stone in the High Priest's breastplate. Exod. 24: 10
"And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work
of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness."