Remember what the Lord God says: “I am the beginning and the end of all things. My sovereign power and divine will are in control of history—everything that is, was, and will be.”
“Write the following to the heavenly messenger looking over the church in Ephesus—the church that is at the crossroads of the world—and to all the people in it:
‘I am the One who holds the Church—represented by the seven stars—in My right hand. I walk in the midst of the Church, which is symbolized by the seven golden lampstands. In an unsure world, I secure and ensure the Church’s existence. These are My words to you.
“I am the A and the Z of language and every letter of the alphabet; the first, the last, and every position in between; the beginning and the end of all things.”
3.1.2 Heaven is a place centered on God’s greatness and filled with His glory (4:3-7).
3 The One seated on the throne appeared in a crystalline brightness, like the sharpest, purest diamond. He appeared in a fiery fullness brighter than the greatest of red rubies. The powerful visuals of what I saw made clear the majestic splendor of the One seated on the throne. The scene clearly communicated that the One on the throne was the Supreme King and spiritual ruler of the universe. The glorious throne was encircled by an amazing, majestic rainbow that shone like a bright emerald. The emerald-like rainbow’s appearance reminded me of the symbolism of the rainbow that appeared after Noah’s ark in the book of Genesis. After that great flood, God used the symbol of a rainbow to remind Noah and humanity of His great mercy toward them.
4 Surrounding the central location of the glorious throne were twenty-four other thrones. These twenty-four other thrones were in a circular pattern around the glorious throne. Seated on each of these thrones were the twelve tribes of Israel from the Scriptures of the Old Covenant [Old Testament] and the twelve apostles of the God’s New Covenant through Christ [New Testament]. These twenty-four leaders were seated on the twenty-four thrones because they—chosen and appointed by God—communicated His foundational teachings to the world. The twenty-four leaders were dressed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. They looked like great, victorious athletes who had finished running their race well.
5 Out from the glorious central throne came flashes of lightning and thunderous reverberations. Their power reminded me of when God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai in Exodus 19. In front of the glorious throne was a blazing, seven-branched lampstand, which symbolized the presence of the Holy Spirit. This blazing, seven-branched lampstand also reminded me of the one used in the temple of Jerusalem. Just like the symbolic meaning of that lampstand, this one made me think about how God’s full and complete presence is with us via the Person of the Holy Spirit.
6 Also, in front of the central throne was the purest sea I have ever seen. It was so crystal clear that it looked like a sheet of glass. Its meaning was not lost on me, as it symbolized how crystal clear and pure everyone must be before approaching God, and that we gain this crystal-clear purity through Christ.
7 Centrally positioned around the glorious throne in four main directions—north, south, east, and west—were four living creatures. They represented the created world where God’s power and rule are always active. These four living creatures were covered with eyes in front and in back. Their eyes in front and back reminded me of how God has all vision and knowledge; His vision spans time in all directions—vision and knowledge of both what is future and what is past. The first living creature was like a lion; it made me think of God’s majesty and supreme rule over the created world. The second living creature was like an ox; it reminded me of God’s strength, power, labor, and patience over creation. The third living creature had a face like a human being; it implied to me God’s reason, intelligence, and emotion over the created world. The fourth living creature was like a flying eagle; it reminded me of God’s loftiness and His presence that is above all in creation.