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Geneva Study Notes
Revelation Chapter 4

Revelation 4:1
4:1 After {1} 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.

 (1) Hereafter follows the second part of this book, altogether
     prophetical foretelling those things which were to come, as
     was said in Revelation 1:19.  This is divided into two
     histories: one common to the whole world, till Chapter 9
     and another unique to the Church of God, till Chapter 22.
     These histories are said to be described in several books
     Revelation 5:1,10:2.  Now this verse is a passage from the
     former part to this second: where it is said, that heaven
     was opened, that is, that heavenly things were unlocked and
     that a trumpet sounded in heaven, to stir up the apostle,
     and call him to the understanding of things to come.  The
     first history has two parts: one the causes of things done
     and of this whole revelation in this next chapter, another
     of the acts done in the next four chapters.  The principal
     causes according to the economy or dispensation of it, are
     two: One the beginning, which none can approach, that is,
     God the Father, of whom is spoken in this chapter.  The
     other, the Son, who is the secondary cause, easy to be
     approached, in that he is God and man in one person;
     Revelation 5:5-9.

Revelation 4:2
4:2 And {2} immediately I was {a} in the spirit: {3} and,
    behold, a throne was set in heaven, and [one] sat on the

 (2) The manner of revelation:
    (a) See Revelation 1:10.
 (3) A description of God the Father, and of his glory in the
     heavens, explained to men by his office, nature, attending
     company, effect, instruments and events that follow
     afterwards.  In this verse he is presented in office as a
     judge as Abraham said; Genesis 18:25 which is declared by
     his throne as sign of judgment, and his sitting on it.

Revelation 4:3
4:3 {4} 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) By his nature, in that he is the Father, most glorious in
     his own person, and with his glory outshining all other

Revelation 4:4
4:4 {5} 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) By the company attending about him in that, as that most
     high Judge, he is accompanied with the most honourable
     attendance of prophets and apostles both of the old and new
     Church, whom Christ has made to be priests and kings;
     Revelation 1:6,5:10.

Revelation 4:5
4:5 {6} 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

 (6) By effects, in that most mightily he speaks all things by
     his voice and word, Psalm 29:3 and with the light of
     his Spirit and prudence peruses and passes through all.

Revelation 4:6
4:6 {7} 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

 (7) By instruments used, in that he has both a most ready
     treasury and a workhouse excellently furnished with all
     things, to the executing of his will, which things flow
     from his commandment, as repeated in Revelation 15:2 and
     has also the angels ready administers of his counsel and
     pleasure to all parts of the world, continually watching,
     (in this verse) working by reason otherwise than the
     instruments without life last mentioned, courageous as
     lions, mighty as bulls, wise as men, swift as eagles
     Revelation 4:7 most apt to all purposes as furnished with
     wings on every part, most piercing of sight, and finally, pure
     and holy spirits always in continual motion Revelation 4:8.

Revelation 4:8
4:8 And the {b} four beasts had each of them six wings about
    [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest
    not {8} day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God
    Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

    (b) Every beast had six wings.
 (8) By events, in that for all the causes before mentioned, God
     is glorified both by angels, as holy, Judge, omnipotent,
     eternal and immutable and also after their example he is
     glorified by holy men Revelation 4:9 in sign and speech
     Revelation 4:10.

Revelation 4:9
4:9 And when those beasts {c} give glory and honour and thanks
    to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

    (c) God is said to have glory, honour, kingdom, and such
        like given to him, when we godly and reverently set
        forth that which is properly and only his.

Revelation 4:10
4:10 {9} 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,

 (9) Three signs of divine honour given to God, prostration or
     falling down, adoration and casting their crowns before
     God: in which the godly, though made kings by Christ,
     willingly empty themselves of all glory, moved with a
     religious respect for the majesty of God.

Revelation 4:11
4:11 {10} Thou art worthy, O Lord, {11} to receive glory and
     honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for
     thy pleasure they are and were created.

 (10) The sum of their speech: that all glory must be given to
      God: the reason, because he is the eternal beginning of
      all things, from whose only will they have their being,
      and are governed: and finally in all respects are that
      which they are.
 (11) That is, that you should challenge the same to yourself
      alone.  But as for us, we are unworthy, that even by your
      goodness we should share in this glory.  So far has been
      discussed the principal cause unapproachable, which is God.

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