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The Emerald Throne

Key References: Revelation 4; 5; The Great Controversy, chaps. 25, 26, pp. 436-438, 452; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 10, pp. 180-183; Our Beliefs nos. 28, 6, 4

Power Text

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11).

Power Point

We worship Jesus because He created us and saves us.

Close your eyes and picture the most beautiful rainbow you have ever seen. Keep that picture in your mind as you read what happened to John as the Holy Spirit took him through the open door into heaven.

After John heard the messages for the seven churches, his heart and mind were full of praise for God. As he looked around he saw an open door in heaven. Then he heard a voice calling him, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this” (Revelation 4:1).

The first thing John saw was a beautiful throne. An emerald rainbow surrounded the throne. The One sitting on the throne was surrounded with light and glory. Around the central throne were 24 other thrones, each one more magnificent than anything on earth. John saw 24 elders seated on the thrones, dressed in pure white clothes and wearing crowns of gold.

Coming from the central throne were flashes of lightning and rumblings of thunder. In front of the throne were the seven lamps he had seen before, their flames burning brightly. John’s heart was filled to overflowing with praise as He worshipped God. In front of the lamps was a crystal-clear sea, like a sea made of glass.

John could hardly take it all in. As he looked around, his eyes were drawn back to the throne, where he saw four creatures like no creature he had ever seen or heard about on earth. The first creature was like a lion, the second like an ox, the third had the face of a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. But each had six wings and was covered with eyes. These creatures were constantly praising God, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (verse 8).

All these strange and wonderful creatures praised the One sitting on the throne. And the 24 elders knelt down and put their crowns down at His feet. Together they said: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (verse 11).

John continued to look. As he looked he saw a scroll in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne. It was an unusual scroll with writing on both sides. It was sealed with seven seals. John knew that this scroll was extremely important.

When he saw the seven seals he wondered if there were seven more messages. While he was wondering an angel asked in a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” (Revelation 5:2). No one came forward. No one could open the scroll.

John started to weep. He desperately wanted someone to be able to open it.

Then one of the elders came to John and said, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals” (verse 5).

John felt a surge of hope as he looked again. Then John saw a Lamb, in the middle of the throne, who looked as if it had been sacrificed. The Lamb came and took the scroll. When the 24 elders and the four creatures saw the Lamb taking the scroll, they fell down and worshipped Him. Each elder had a harp and sang a new song:

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (verses 9, 10).

This song filled John with joy and hope and made him want to praise Jesus the Creator and One who had died for his sins. Then John saw and heard thousands and thousands of angels surrounding the throne. Each one felt just as he did. They too were praising God and saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (verse 12).

Just when John thought that his heart would burst with joy and praise and worship for God, he heard another anthem of praise. This anthem came from all created beings:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (verse 13).

The four creatures responded and said, “Amen,” while the elders bowed down and worshipped Jesus.