Revelation 4:1 "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."
Type of the Pretribulation Rapture.
4:1 - A door opens in Revelation two times. This time someone goes up and in Revelation 19, someone comes down. Comparing this verse with 1 Thess. 4:15-18 will show the reader that this is clearly a type of the Pretribulation Rapture. Cross references: Proverbs 25:7 and Revelation 11:12.
4:2 - When John says that he is in the spirit, it is not like being in the Holy Spirit, rather a transformation into another time dimension (Revelation 1:10, 1 Cor. 15:49-52). This time John is brought to the third heaven. There are three heavens in scripture. The first heaven is the sky, second is outer space and third is where God is located (2 Cor. 12:1-4). We know that John is a type of the church because the church and himself are both called the beloved (John 13:23, Ephesians 1:6). Notice that the word "churches" ceases from now on in the book of Revelation. The Bible teaches three Raptures. The Rapture of the Old Testament saints at Christ's resurrection (First Fruits/Matthew 27:50-54, Ephesians 4:8-12). The Pretribulation Rapture of the Church (Harvest/1 Cor. 15:49-53, 1 Thess. 4:13-18). A Rapture at the end of the Tribulation for the Tribulation saints (Gleanings/Matthew 24 and Revelation 11). (1 Cor. 15:22-26)
Revelation 4:3 "And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
John is shown a vision of the third heaven.
4:3-4 - The crowns show the Judgment Seat of Christ, while the white raiment shows the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19). The twenty-four elders represent saved people that are washed in the Blood and have rewards. The twenty-four elders may be the twelve Apostles and the twelve heads of the twelve tribes of Israel, but no one knows for sure (Psalms 107:32, 1 Chron. 24:1, 1 Peter 5:1, Exodus 3:18, Hebrews 11:12, Revelation 21:12,14). The third heaven can be found by looking to the North Star (Isaiah 14:13, Psalms 75:6).
4:5 - Cross reference: Isaiah 11:2
4:6 - The sea of glass is transparent. These four beasts are literal beasts in heaven called Cherubim and are also found in Ezekiel 1:6-10 and Ezekiel 10:1-22. These four represent four animal creations; domestic(ox or cow), wild(lion), flying(eagle) and man. In Ezekiel 28:14, there are five Cherubim, so there is one missing now. Satan was the fifth Cherub(not angel) before he fell and represented the reptile class of animals (Revelation 12:9).
4:7 - Each Cherub has a different face.
4:8 - Ezekiel 1:5-18 for more on the Cherubim. All four Cherub have feet like a calf and also have wings. Remember that angels do not have wings, but Cherubs do. The fifth Cherub was an ox with two horns (Ezekiel 1:10, 10:14). When Satan appears now, he *appears* as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:11-14). The Trinity is also pictured in this verse by the three Holy's and Lord(Father), God(Son), Almighty(Holy Spirit).
4:9-10 - Cross references: Revelation 5:8, 14; 7:11; 11:16
4:11 - Notice that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:2). John sees God receive worship in heaven from the twenty-four elders and four beasts.