Revelation 4:1-8 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"
Chapters four and five reveal what the Lord wants us to know about heaven. When Paul was caught up into the third heaven in about 40 AD, he saw things that man is not permitted to tell (2 Corinthians 12:1-4). The books about people going to heaven and telling us what it is like are not to be read as authoritative. In Revelation we have John writing what the Lord wants us to know about His throne room in Revelation chapters four through five. Books like Heaven is for Real are inaccurate and to be avoided.
John was in the Spirit when he saw the throne room of God and what was to take place in the future, that is the time beyond when this Revelation was given, about 90-95 AD. Much of the language concerning the throne room is outside the ability of most of us to picture in our day and age. John seeks to describe God on His throne, twenty-four elders on thrones around God’s throne. The elders were in white garments, which signify purity and the righteous works they have done. The golden crowns refer to being appointed as godly rulers serving God. Who they are is not given us in the scriptures. We have the seven burning torches, the seven spirits of God before the throne symbolizing the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity (Revelation 1:4-5). The four living creatures were around the throne. One was like a lion, another like an ox, another with the face of a man, and the fourth was like an eagle. Each living creatures had six wings full of eyes, and continually worshiped the Lord God Almighty who has always existed. We are not given the meaning of these creature’s attributes. In front of the throne was a sea of glass. Again, we are not told the meaning of this sea of glass.
What we are given is a picture of God’s throne room. We don’t need to understand all the details in order to know the meaning. God rules over heaven and earth. There are personal beings created in the first six days of creation other than human beings, however unlike human beings, they are not created in the image of God as man is. God is deserving of worship and is Holy. There is no sin in the throne room of God. What we are seeing through the written revelation is beyond what we have experienced now, but is what we will experience when we are with Christ when we die or when He returns. There is life beyond what we now experience.