by Kristen C. Strocchia
“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’ At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shown like an emerald encircled the throne.” Revelation 4:1-3
Did you notice? Jesus just told the Church of Laodicea that He stood at the door knocking [Revelation 3:20], and He told the Church of Philadelphia that He placed an open door in front of them that no one on earth could shut them out of [Revelation 3:8]. Now here, John begins by seeing this door to heaven. And he hears that same trumpeting voice of Jesus that dictated the letters to the seven churches [Revelation 1:10].
This time though, the voice calls John to Himself and shows him a prophecy–the after this that He spoke of in Revelation 1:19.
Jesus ushers John into the throne room of heaven–a throne room with an occupied throne just as He told the Laodiceans it was [Revelation 3:21]. God is alive! And He alone is seated on the throne of heaven! There. Is. No. Other. From Nimrod’s lie at Babel to Nietzsche’s proclamation that God is dead, from astrology to human sacrifice, all are empty attempts to unseat God from His throne. But it can never be done. There. Is. No. Other. God. But God Most High! Hallelujah!
And what does God look like? As brilliant and as indescribable as light passing through prismatic gems. More than that, here we see the First and Last, Alpha and Omega imagery again. In the Levitical descriptions of the high priest’s vestment, they were to wear a breastplate fitted with twelve precious stones, each representing a tribe of Israel [Exodus 28:17-20]. If you read through this list carefully, the first stone of the first row is to be a ruby and the last stone of the last row is to be jasper. The God of Israel represented Himself to His people through the priestly vestments in such a way that they would understand that He alone is before all things and in Him is the end of all things. He. Alone. Is. God. The Beginning. And. The End. Hallelujah!
But He gives these two stones in reverse order, jasper–last of last–then ruby–first of first. I’ll admit I’m speculating a little here, but it seems to me that He perhaps did this to also illustrate that the first shall be last [Matthew 20:16]. All of this encircled by His emerald rainbow–the heavenly original after which the earthly rainbow was patterned. The promise that God will never destroy the world by a worldwide flood again [Genesis 9:13-15], eternally before God’s eyes and on His mind as He waits patiently for the return of His Son to make all things new.
It’s hard to consider God on His throne in heaven without being moved to give Him alone praise. And yet, the world offers many distractions to keep us from considering God in the first place so that our hearts will never be moved to adore Him. Are you distracted by things of this world? Or are you looking to God alone? Is He alone the Almighty of your life? The Beginning and the End of all that you are and say and do?