Revelation Study Guide: Week 9, Chapter 4

By Coty Pinckney


Read chapter 4 of Revelation at least three times, without looking at notes or commentaries. Also remind yourself of what happened immediately prior to the dictation of the seven letters to the churches by re-reading chapter 1 verses 10 to 20. Also read the visions of Ezekiel and Isaiah: Ezekiel 1, Isaiah 6. Then answer the following questions.

(1) Who says to John "Come up here" in 4:1? Look back at chapter 1.

(2) Who is sitting on the throne? How do you know?

(3) Why are there 24 elders? Who do they represent? What occurrences of the number 12 can you remember from other parts of Scripture? What is the meaning behind their white garments and golden crowns?

(4) In verse 5, what is meaning of the phrase "the seven spirits of God"? Look at chapter 1 verse 4, and recall our discussion there. Look also at 2 Chronicles 4:19-20 and Zechariah 4:1-6.

(5) Try to picture in your head the four living creatures, as described here. How successful are you in doing so? Consider the visions of Ezekiel and Isaiah. How similar are these creatures to those seen by the Old Testament prophets? How are they different?

(6) Looking only at chapter 4, what purpose do the living creatures serve? How often do they say, ‘Holy, holy, holy"?

(7) The 24 elders "cast their crowns before the throne" (see verse 6 for a description of what is before the throne). What is the purpose of a crown (see 2 Tim 4:8)? What does the action of casting their crowns before the throne symbolize?

(8) Compare verse 11 to verse 8. How are the statements of the creatures and the elders similar? How are they different?

(9) Get a hymnal and read the words of "Holy, Holy, Holy." Compare to this chapter.

(10) Does Jesus appear in this chapter?

(11) Consider the impression left by this chapter, in the context of the seven letters to the churches which we have just read. What is your response to John's description of what he sees here? What purpose does this chapter serve?

Commentaries:

Read Stedman’s sermon on this chapter and Wilcock pages 59-68. Wilcock focusses most of his attention here on the symbolism behind the numbers used throughout the book; stop reading on page 68 when you come to "Chapter 5 amplifies. . . ."

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