Bible Study: Revelation 4 – The Four Living Creatures

Revelation is the only book that says we are blessed to read, hear and keep the things that are written, for the time is near. Hence, let us not be like hypocrites without discerning times and seasons. Here we will look into Revelation 4 and understand what it says.

(Rev 1:3) Blessed [is] he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time [is] near.  

(Luke 12:56) “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how [is it] you do not discern this time?

Glory of God

(Rev 4:1-3) After these things I looked, and behold, a door [standing] open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard [was] like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and [One] sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and [there was] a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

Rainbow is the sign of the covenant which God established between Him and all flesh on earth.

(Gen 9:17) And God said to Noah, “This (rainbow) [is] the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that [is] on the earth.”

This is the glory of God as we see in the book of Ezekiel.

(Ezek 1:26-28) And above the firmament over their heads [was] the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne [was] a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so [was] the appearance of the brightness all around it. This [was] the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. So when I saw [it,] I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.

The 24 Elders

(Rev 4:4) Around the throne [were] twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.

Who are these 24 elders?

(Rev 5:8-10) Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

It is the church of God who was redeemed with His blood.

(Eph 1:7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

(Rev 1:4,6) John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, … and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him [be] glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Hence, the 24 elders were of the church.

The Four Living Creatures

(Rev 4:5-11) And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire [were] burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne [there was] a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, [were] four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature [was] like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature [was] like a flying eagle. [The] four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

Similar to the 4 living creatures mentioned Ezekiel, as Ezekiel himself identifies. they were the cherubim.

(Ezek 1:1,10) Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth [month,] on the fifth [day] of the month, as I [was] among the captives by the River Chebar, [that] the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. … As for the likeness of their faces, [each] had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. … (Ezek 10:14-15) Each one had four faces: the first face [was] the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. And the cherubim were lifted up. This [was] the living creature I saw by the River Chebar.

(Ezek 10:20) This [is] the living creature I saw under the God of Israel by the River Chebar, and I knew they [were] cherubim.