Revelation 4:2
At once I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne standing in heaven, with someone seated on it.
The Divine Government SymbolizedR. Green Revelation 4:1-6
A Door in HeavenD. Thomas, D. D.Revelation 4:1-11
A Door Opened in HeavenC. H. Spurgeon.Revelation 4:1-11
An Invitation to GloryS. Fisher.Revelation 4:1-11
Element of the IdealC. E. Eberman.Revelation 4:1-11
Heaven NearDean Vaughan.Revelation 4:1-11
Heaven Near, Though HiddenT. M. Herbert, M. A.Revelation 4:1-11
Heaven Our HomeRevelation 4:1-11
HeavenwardWm. Guild, D. D.Revelation 4:1-11
Soul ElevationHomilistRevelation 4:1-11
The Heavenly Vision of the SoulJ. S. Exell, M. A.Revelation 4:1-11
The High Court of HeavenS. Conway Revelation 4:1-11
The Open DoorD. C. Hughes, M. A.Revelation 4:1-11
The Upward CallH. W. Beecher.Revelation 4:1-11
The Vision of the ThroneG. Rogers.Revelation 4:1-11
The Vision of the ThroneJames Young.Revelation 4:1-11
Trumpet Voices Talking with UsH. J. Bevis.Revelation 4:1-11
An Emerald RainbowA. G. Brown.Revelation 4:2-5
Rainbow and ThroneF. W. Brown.Revelation 4:2-5
The Circle RainbowA London MinisterRevelation 4:2-5
The Majestic Government of the Great GodJ. S. Exell, M. A.Revelation 4:2-5
The RainbowT. Spencer.Revelation 4:2-5
The Rainbow a Pledge of MercyR. P. Buddicom, M. A.Revelation 4:2-5
The Rainbow of the CovenantEssex RemembrancerRevelation 4:2-5
The Rainbow Round About the ThroneR. Simpson, M. A.Revelation 4:2-5
The Rainbow Round About the ThroneE. A. Thomson.Revelation 4:2-5
The Rainbow Round the ThroneC. H. Parkhurst, D. D.Revelation 4:2-5
The Rainbow Round the ThroneF. Tucker, B. A.Revelation 4:2-5
The Rainbow Round the ThroneC. F. Childe, M. A.Revelation 4:2-5
The Throne and the RainbowC. S. Robinson, D. D.Revelation 4:2-5
The Throne in Heaven and its SurroundingsLuke Tyerman.Revelation 4:2-5
The Throne of GodPulpit StudiesRevelation 4:2-5
The Triune GodR. H. McKim, D. D.Revelation 4:2-5
Man's Higher Sphere of Being: (2) Spiritually EnteredD. Thomas Revelation 4:2-11

And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne, etc. We need not suppose that the supermundane world appeared to John's bodily eye in the forms in which it is here presented. It was a mental vision and nothing more, and a mental vision is often more real, more significant, more impressive, than a material. Commentators of this book have treated these objects as those which were addressed to the senses of the apostle, and have thus turned it into a wilderness of confusion; and preachers have used it to excite the imagination, stir the sensibilities, and stimulate the wildest and idlest speculations concerning a man's higher sphere of being. The whole is a mental vision. We shall take the vision not as a symbolic puzzle, or even a metaphorical representation, but merely as an illustration of two things.

I. THE EXTRAORDINARY CHARACTER of man's higher sphere of being. All things here seem to be of a unique nature and order. An air of the wonderful spreads over all.

1. The general appearances are extraordinary. Observe the social appearances are extraordinary. Royalties abound. "A throne was set in heaven," with one Occupant supreme, as brilliant in aspect as a precious stone. "He that sat was to look upon like a jasper [stone] and a sardine stone [sardius]: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald [to look upon]." Then there were other royalties and dignities seated round the central throne. "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats [thrones]: and upon the seats [thrones] I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed [arrayed] in white raiment [garments]; and they had on their heads crowns of gold." Now, the social appearances of this world are nothing like this. Everywhere there is degradation, not dignity; heads encircled with poverty, sorrow, and care, not "crowns of gold." Indeed, the great bulk of our social world do not even see the throne of the Supreme One in the heavens. They see the motion of the mere material machinery, or a scheme of what they call laws and forces, but not the One central and universal Ruler of all. Man's higher sphere of being, socially, is widely different to this. In the higher one free moral agents are the ruling power, not blind forces. And then over all there is One, and but One over all, on the central throne. Again, the physical phenomena are extraordinary. "And out of the throne proceeded [proceed] lightnings and thunderings [thunders] and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." True, we have lightnings and thunders here occasionally, but articulate voices in the heavens we hear not, nor do we see torches of fire blazing before the throne. The firmament that spreads over the higher sphere of being will no doubt, in many respects, be very different to the heavens that encircle us. So, also, with the waters. "Before the throne there was [as it were] a sea of glass [a glassy sea] like unto crystal." We have a sea here rolling in majesty round three parts of the globe, but it is not like glass or crystal, ever calm, sparkling, and clear; it is never at rest, often lashed into fury, and black with rage. How calm and clear will be our higher sphere, "a sea of glass," mirroring the peacefulness and the glory of the Infinite! The living creatures also are extraordinary. "Round about the throne were four beasts [living creatures] full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast [creature] was like a lion, and the second beast [creature] like a calf, and the third beast [creature] had a face as [as of] a man, and the fourth beast [creature] was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts [living creatures] had each of them [having each one of them] six wings about him; and they were full [are full] of eyes within [and round about]." Although we have in this earth such beasts and birds and faces of man as here represented, a striking difference is indicated. They had "six wings" and were "full of eyes." Whilst some have the courage of the lion, the patience of the ox, the towering tendency of the eagle, and the sympathy of the man, they are all endowed with transcendent organs of vision and powers of speed - they teem with eyes and wings. It is here suggested, then - I do not say that it is intended to be taught, for I am not gifted with the power to interpret such passages - that man's life in the higher sphere of being differs widely from the present. "Eye hath not seen," etc.

2. The supreme service is extraordinary. What is the supreme service in that higher sphere? Worship. "And they rest not [have no rest] day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God [the] Almighty, which was, and [which] is, and [which] is to come. And when those beasts [the living creatures] give [shall give] glory and honour and thanks to him that sat [sitteth] on the throne, [to him] who liveth forever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall [shall fall] down before him that sat [sitteth] on the throne, and worship [shall worship] him that liveth forever and ever, and cast [shall cast] their crowns before the throne," etc. The worship there is the one ruling, intense, unremitting service. It is anything but that here; business, pleasure, aggrandizement, - these are the great and constant services of life. Real worship is indeed rare.

II. THE REAL ENTRANCE into man's higher sphere of being. "Immediately [straightway] I was in the Spirit." It is suggested that this higher life, this supermundane world, is entered by the Spirit. "Flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." There are two ways by which man can enter the invisible.

1. By the efforts of the imagination. The whole scene before us is evidently the product of the imagination. Extraordinary visions men often have in the stilly watches of the night, in the season of dreams. But imagination can act more accurately, if not more vividly, in the hour of consciousness and intellectual activity. Thus Milton beheld his heavens and his hells, his angels and his devils. We can all, by the force of imagination, penetrate the visible, the material, the tangible, withdraw the sublunary curtain and step into the world of spiritual wonders.

2. By the influx of a new spirit. It is not uncommon for men to come into possession of a new ruling spirit, and with a new spirit comes a new world. When the philosophic spirit enters a man (and it does so in the case of a few in every age and land), the man is ushered into a new world a world of high thoughts, invisible forms, and remedial forces. When the commercial spirit enters the rustic lout, he soon finds himself in a new world - a world of speculations and struggles, of losses and gains. When the parental spirit enters the soul, it is borne into a world before unseen - a world of solicitude, absorbing interests, pains and pleasures, sorrows and joys. When the genuinely religious spirit enters the soul, it enters this higher sphere of human life - the world of brightness and beauty, the world of an "innumerable company of angels, the spirits of just men made Perfect," etc: "And immediately [straightway] I was in the Spirit." "Heaven lies about us in our infancy, and we have only to be in this spirit to realize it. The great Teacher taught that no man can see the kingdom of God, unless he comes into the possession of this spirit. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

CONCLUSION. Search not for an outward heaven, but rather search for that new spirit, that spirit of Christliness, that will let you into the heaven that lies about you and within you. Were the twelve hundred million men that tenant this earth today to come into possession of this spirit, they would arise on the morrow and exclaim, "Behold, a new heaven and a new earth!" Evermore the state of a man's soul determines his universe. The ruling life within him measures out, builds up, and moulds the external. - D.T.

A throne was set in heaven.

1. When a good man is privileged to look into heaven, the first thing that attracts his attention is the majestic government of God.

2. Earth does not contain the supreme power of law, but is under the government of heaven.

3. The government of God is in sublime contrast to that which obtains amongst men.

(1)Firm in stability.

(2)Great in majesty.

(3)Constant in exercise.

(4)Calm in triumph.


1. It is pure in its administration. The aim of His rule is to subdue moral evil, and to permeate life with laws, the observance of which will sanctify it. This cannot be predicated of all human governments, which are often gained by the sword, and upheld by terror.

2. It is righteous in its administration. Under it the poor and the oppressed may take welcome refuge.

3. It is merciful in its administration.


1. In exalted station.

2. In peaceful posture.

3. Of unsullied purity.


1. The crash of thunder.

2. The blaze of forked lightning.

3. Not only thunderings and lightnings, but voices proceeded out of the throne; the meanings of Divine judgments are partially unfolded; all judgment is vocal to the soul of man.Lessons:

1. That God rules all things by the word of His power.

2. That the Church is safe under the Divine rule.

3. That men must not provoke the terrible agencies of the government of God.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

Pulpit Studies.

1. He superintends all the affairs of His creatures.

2. He governs all by the sceptre of His power.


1. His throne of grace has its foundation in justice and holiness.

2. The throne of grace is accessible to all.


1. God deals justly with impenitent sinners in this world.

2. God will eventually appear in general judgment on all mankind.


1. It is a throne of glory. God is the King of glory (Psalm 24:10). His throne is a throne of glory (Jeremiah 14:21); a "glorious high throne, the throne of our God" (Jeremiah 17:12).

2. It is a throne of bliss. There the wondrous assembly are beyond every evil, and above every imperfection; they enjoy without any interruption the beatific vision of God, manifested in the person of Christ.

(Pulpit Studies.)


1. Above all the strife and discord and confusion of this world, above those thrones and dominions which caricature royalty and pervert justice, above the Neros and Domitians and all their brood of lesser tyrants, there is a dominion, an authority, a throne which is supreme. The world is not without a Ruler; it is not rolling on from age to age, like a ship without a pilot; it has a Guide, a King, whose eternal throne is established on high.

2. The majestic repose and ethereal majesty of the throne of God. But before the throne of God is "a sea of glass" — image of calmness and repose; a sea whose smooth surface is never ruffled, whose transparent depths are never disturbed.



(R. H. McKim, D. D.)

It is a curious fact that the last book of the Bible is, upon the whole, the most mysterious. It has been said that John Calvin evinced his wisdom by declining to write an exposition of this book. To a great extent the book is prophetical; but other parts are doctrinal, and these it is our privilege to endeavour to understand.

I. THE THRONE ITSELF. "Behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat upon it." St. John's vision in Patmos reminds us of the vision of Micaiah in the reign of Jehoshaphat. "I saw the Lord," says he, "sitting on His throne and all the host of heaven standing by Him, on His right hand and on His left." This part of the chapter may be considered as bringing before us the sovereignty of the Lord God Almighty. God is no epicurean, taking no interest in the welfare of His creatures: God is King of all the earth. His sceptre is a sceptre of righteousness. To acknowledge the existence of a God is, in point of fact, to acknowledge the supremacy of His reign. Having created all things He governs all things.

1. The sovereignty of God is universal in its extent. "His kingdom ruleth over all" — over angels, men, and devils, over the good and the bad, over birds and beasts anal creeping things, over mountains and mole-hills, storms and sunshine, peace and war, plague and pestilence, abundance and famine, great events and little ones. All are subservient to His governance and submissive to His power.

2. The sovereignty of God is not only universal in its extent, but is also independent and absolute. "As He receives His essence from none so He derives His dominion from none," says old Stephen Charnock. His right to reign has not been won by war, or obtained by bribery: it is not the bequest of some predecessor or the gift of some superior. He is not a King by the votes of the vassals whom He governs, but by His own eternal excellence and by His own omnific acts. As a sovereign whose dominion is absolute you see Him continuously sustaining creation when He might, in an instant, suffer it to relapse into its primeval nothingness. You see Him redeeming men, promulgating laws, instituting rites, and appointing conditions, without the observance of which sinners cannot be saved. "He doeth according to His will."

3. Let me add that whilst the government of God is universal and absolute, it is not tyrannical, but wise and pure and just and good. "Clouds and darkness are round about Him" often, but at all times "righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne." His throne is a throne of holiness. We may often be puzzled by His proceedings: we ought never to murmur and malign. I would remind you of the fearful position of the man who dares to rebel against such a King. Of all the creatures in God Almighty's wide creation, except the lost in hell, man is the only one in whose heart lurks rebellion. Woe to the man that strives against his Maker! Pharaoh ventured to do that until Pharaoh and his legions sank in helplessness just at the moment when they were anticipating victory. Nebuchadnezzar set himself against God, the result being that Nebuchadnezzar became a wild and wandering maniac. Man cannot sin against such a sovereign as this with impunity, without his sin entailing punishment sooner or later. Do not forget that you are not your own and, therefore, you have no right to live for your own aggrandisement and gratification. God governs the universe. Yes, and let us not forget that God our Governor is infinite in greatness and also in goodness, and if so, then in our direst emergencies we may venture safely to repose trust in Him. We may be mean and miserable, but do not forget that God's sovereignty takes cognisance of everything God's power has made. If there is nothing too little for God to make, there is nothing too little for God to govern.

II. Leaving the throne itself, LOOK AT THE RAINBOW WHICH SPANS IT. "There was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald." The rainbow round about the throne naturally leads us to contemplate God as entering into a covenant engagement with man. Glorious is the fact that God not only rules as a sovereign, but in infinite condescension He has made covenants with His creatures which He cannot break. "I will make a covenant of peace with thee," says God by the prophet Ezekiel, "and it shall be an everlasting covenant." Oh, how infinite is condescension like this l God the uncreated, the infinite, the all-perfect Being exercising universal sovereignty, binds Himself by promises to bless. Man makes leagues and covenants, and then snaps them asunder at his pleasure. God's covenants and compacts, like Himself, are unchangeable. "The mountains shall depart, and the hills shall be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, nor the covenant of My peace be broken." Oh, for faith in these compacts which God has made with man! After daily trusting in consonants made by mortals like yourselves, will you dare to call in question the truthfulness of compacts God has made? God promises me a pardon through Jesus Christ if I seek it in penitence and faith. Shall I question God's readiness to fulfil that promise? God promises finally a mansion, a throne; and shall I doubt His readiness and His ability to fulfil His covenant? Did He fail me when I came to Him a burdened penitent for the pardon of my sins? Patriarchs, prophets, and others believed the covenant not because they had seen it verified, but simply because God's own living lips had uttered it; and, if so, shall I, with the experience of six thousand years before me, dare to doubt it? God forbid!

III. Leaving the rainbow which spans the throne, let us go, in the third place, to THE LIGHTNINGS AND THUNDERINGS AND VOICES COMING OUT OF IT (ver. 3). The lightnings and thunderings and voices coming out of the throne bring us a step farther in the history of the Divine Being, and leads us to contemplate Him as a great Lawgiver — a Lawgiver issuing precepts for the guidance and discipline of man's probationary being. This part of the chapter reminds us of the scene which was witnessed on Mount Sinai, as you will find if you turn to the 19th chapter of Exodus, beginning at the 16th verse. Oh, that we could make you unconverted sinners to feel in the presence of this legislative God as these Hebrews did! Let me say that in order to be saved you must first of all, to some extent at least, have an experience like that to which I am now adverting. Do not imagine that you are in a fit frame of mind to come and ask God for pardon until you feel the terrors of that God whose laws were published on Mount Sinai in sounds and voices so terrific. Issuing from the legislative mount, thunders and voices and flashing lightning scare them, and they are made willing to be saved on any terms, at any sacrifice.

IV. I pass to the fourth point, namely, THE SEA OF GLASS AND THE SEVEN LAMPS OF FIRE BEFORE THE THRONE (vers. 5, 6). I will simply say that by the sea of glass we are reminded of a text in the Book of Exodus — the 38th chapter, beginning at the 17th verse: "The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Thou shalt also make a laver of brass," etc. Accordingly, we are told in the 8th verse of the 38th chapter of Exodus, that Moses made a laver of brass of the brazen looking-glasses presented by the women. Then, again, you will remember that when Solomon built his temple, he also made a similar laver capable of containing twenty-two thousand gallons, and he designated that laver a molten sea. It is intended to typify the provision that has been made for the sanctification of sinners in the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ. Then as respects the seven lamps of fire which are the seven spirits of God, I have as little doubt that that is symbolical language intended to signify the sanctifying agency of the Holy Ghost. I will just remind you that the word "seven" in the Scriptures is a sacred number, and is often used in the same sense as the word "perfection." The word "horn" is often used to signify authority, power; the word "eye" to signify intelligence, wisdom, light. Now blend all these things together, and then you learn from these symbolical texts that the Spirit of Christ is possessed of perfect wisdom and perfect power, and is sent forth into all the earth. Apply all that to the Holy Ghost, and you will find it strictly true. The Holy Ghost is an all-perfect Spirit. He is the Spirit of the Son as well as of the Father, and He is sent forth into all the earth, for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. We have just now been reminded, by the lightnings and thunderings and voices coming out of the throne, of the law which God published in the days of Moses, and of our transgression of that law, and of our need of a Mediator to obtain for us pardon and purity. And here, in the sea of glass and in the seven lamps of fire, our necessities are fully met. In the blood of the Mediator atonement is made for our transgressions, and in the agency of the Holy Ghost provision is made for the removal of our darkness and depravity and sin. As a sinner exposed to the wrath of God — "Wherewithal shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God?" How shall I gain access to His mercy-seat? How shall I enter the tabernacle in which He dwells? Before Moses and Aaron were allowed to avail themselves of bliss like this they had to wash in the brazen sea; and I also must wash in the sea of glass, or, in other words, in that fountain which has been opened in the House of David for sin and for uncleanness. Without the blood there is no admission into heaven, just as without the molten sea there was no admission into the temple's tartest holy place; and without the Spirit we are without the wish to wash in the cleansing blood, and, in point of fact, despise it.

V. And now, as a result of the whole, let us look at THE HOLY ONES BY WHICH THE THRONE, SET AND ESTABLISHED IN THE HEAVENS, IS SURROUNDED. "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." Good old James Kershaw, one of John Wesley's itinerant preachers, lays it down with authority that these elders — these grand seniors of heaven, as he calls them, mean the four-and-twenty elders or presbyters from the patriarchal age, from Adam to Jacob, and including Job and Melchizedek. I am not going to controvert it, but there are one or two other kindred interpretations, perhaps, equally to be commended; for instance, some of you are well aware that king David divided the Jewish priests into twenty-four divisions, and at the head of each division placed a prince or chief priest; and some think that when the text speaks of four-and-twenty elders, there is a reference to these twenty-four priests or princes of the priests belonging to the Jewish Church. Another interpretation says that the four-and-twenty elders are intended to signify the heads of the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and that these twenty-four constitute the elders of the Jewish and Christian Churches united. Any one of them will serve my present purpose, namely, to show that as a consequence of God's care of His creatures, and of His sovereignty, and of His covenant engagements, and of His legislative acts, and of His redeeming mercy — as a consequence of this, I find men in heaven — men who were once sinners. All this has a tendency to strengthen our confidence and our faith in God — in His ability and willingness to bring us safe to the realms of blessedness and peace.

(Luke Tyerman.)

A rainbow round about the throne
A London Minister.
A semi-circle rainbow is all that presents itself to our vision, and that is often a very imperfect half. We see things in this world only by halves. Imperfection characterises all our powers, and limitation all surrounding objects, and incompleteness all our pleasures. "The things that shall be hereafter" shall be in circles, complete and perfect.


II. THE CIRCLE OF TRUTH. The ancient philosophers perplexed themselves in their search after truth. They failed to see that while truth is a perfect circle, it is not visible as a whole to mortals. "We know in part, and prophesy in part." In other words, we know but a small part of truth, and can teach only the part we know. What shall be said when we ascend to the higher plane of truth? If such the earthy, what of the heavenly? But we shall yet know in full. Hereafter the whole circle shall be unfolded. Then our knowledge shall be perfected.

III. THE CIRCLE OF PROVIDENCE. The wisdom of God is best judged of by the view of the harmony of providence. The single threads may seem very weak, or knotty and uneven, and seem to administer just occasion of censure; but will it not as much raise the admiration to see them all woven into a curious piece of branched work?

(A London Minister.)



1. The first is Ezekiel 1:28. Here is an evident reference to Jehovah, as governing all things in the person of His Son, of which mention is made in ver. 26 as having the appearance of a man. And it is in and through Christ that Jehovah treats with mankind, and by whom He directs and upholds all things both in heaven and earth.

2. The second instance is our text, where the Godhead, high and lifted up on His holy throne, and surrounded by the worshipping hosts, is represented as encircled with "a rainbow, in sight like unto an emerald." This evidently intimates the gracious connection subsisting between God and man; and that however elevated and glorious He may be, yet His grandeur and majesty are made to act in blessed concert with the arrangements of grace.

3. The last representation of the rainbow is Revelation 10:1, where we are taught that however Jehovah may step forth, arrayed in garments of terror, or however black the dispensations of His providence may appear, yet that His head is ever adorned with the rainbow of grace, and that as such He will ever be recognised by all those who love and put their trust in Him; that while He is the destroyer of His impenitent enemies, He is the unchanging friend and consolation of His people.


1. The rainbow is turned up towards heaven — is unstrung — and without arrows. And here we have a representation, or symbol, of God's being in a state of perfect reconciliation to our world.

2. In the rainbow is exhibited the union of the various prismatic colours. A beautiful symbol of the harmony of the Divine perfections in the economy of Divine grace.

3. The rainbow appears to reach the heavens. Symbolical of the origin of all the blessings of grace.

4. The rainbow seems to unite both heaven and earth. And this union is truly effected in the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

5. The rainbow is all God's work. Man has no part in making it. So with respect to our salvation; all is of God from first to last.

6. This rainbow is said to be "round about the throne" of God, indicating that all His attributes and perfections are under its influence.

7. This rainbow is likened to an "emerald." The meaning of which is, that the beautiful green colour of the emerald was the leading appearance it presented. So when the awakened sinner beholds the rigour of Divine justice in its most awful form, even at this moment the Divine compassion is most apparent, and demands the most implicit confidence.

8. The unmerited freeness of Divine mercy. So salvation is not of debt but of grace.

9. The unspeakable delight which the sight of this rainbow excited.

10. Look upon the rainbow, and praise Him that made it.

11. Let the mourning penitent look at the bow, and be encouraged.

12. Let the troubled soul look and be comforted.

(R. Simpson, M. A.)

Essex Remembrancer.



1. Consider the perfections of God, as they shine in the person and work of Christ, the Mediator and Redeemer.

2. Consider the dispensations of Providence in their connection with the covenant of grace and peace.

3. Consider the glory which shall be disclosed to you in a future, eternal world.

(Essex Remembrancer.)

I. IS THE RAINBOW A REFLECTION OF THE RAYS OF THE SUN UPON A THIN WATERY CLOUD? The covenant of grace owes all its excellences to Jesus Christ, the "Sun of righteousness."

II. ARE OUR MINDS STRUCK WITH THE DIVERSIFIED COLOURS OF THIS BEAUTIFUL PHENOMENON IN NATURE? Let them remind us of the numerous blessings which are treasured up in the everlasting covenant.

III. WAS THE RAINBOW AN EMBLEM OF PEACE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN AFTER THE FLOOD? The covenant of grace declares reconciliation, and secures the redeemed for ever from the deep waters of affliction, which had often before overwhelmed them.

IV. IS THE RAINBOW SAID TO BE ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE OF GOD? The covenant of grace includes in it, and glorifies all the Persons in the Trinity, and is ever in their sight and remembrance.

V. ARE WE INFORMED THAT THE RAINBOW WAS IN SIGHT "LIKE UNTO AN EMERALD," green, beautiful, and durable? How delightful to contemplate and enjoy the blessings of the covenant of grace! It is always new, and lasting as the throne which it surrounds.

(T. Spencer.)

I. First, let us look up at this wonderful throne. Of course, we understand such a thing to be the symbol of GOVERNMENT — of the Divine government in the universe — for that Being in the seat of royalty is God. But what do the other emblems mean?

1. Observe that the exalted Monarch is said to be "like a jasper and a sardine stone." See the supreme advantage we have in knowing that we are under a splendid and sufficient government in this world of ours, where all appears so confused and independent. I confess my mind grows restful and glad when I look up and seem to see this dazzling diamond of infinite perfection subduing itself to my weak comprehension till it looks like a carnelian, which I gaze upon constantly and yet live.

2. Then, next to this, observe in like manner the attendants which are represented as forming the King's retinue: "And round about the throne were four and twenty thrones," etc. Here again is a disclosure upon which it will cheer the Christian's heart to dwell. This is more than a splendid government; it must be amazingly potent and irresistibly strong. The very nobles are crowned, and wear royal raiment: their ordinary seats are thrones.

3. But does God know what Him wicked and wilful creatures are doing so far away from His presence? That leads us forward another step in the vision, and we observe that this must be a very watchful government; the language is quite peculiar: there was "before the throne, as it were a glassy sea like unto crystal," etc. We cannot delay to examine in turn every one of these interesting symbols. It must be enough to say that the lion is the chief of wild beasts, as the ox is the chief of those tamed and domestic; the eagle is the king of the air, and man is the monarch among created things; each is sovereign and supreme of his kind, for the Lord God could receive no less into Him court for His servants. But the main particular to notice in this description is the suggestion — here twice made — that they were all "full of eyes," and the floor beneath the throne was of glass as transparent as crystal. "And thou sayest, hove doth God know? can He judge through the dark cloud?" But now this vision teaches that earth can always and everywhere be seen from heaven.

4. Observe, once more, that this is an unimpeachable government. These living creatures are worshipping while watching: "they have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy," etc. No one can know better than those nearest to a monarch how pure he is. This King in the throne never broke one of His promises, never deceived one of His subjects, never forgot one of His creatures in its time of possible need.

II. Thus much does this first symbol in the vision teach. Now we come to study the second; the "rainbow, in sight like unto an emerald." This represents a COVENANT, as the other represented a rule.

1. Observe first, that the ancient covenant of reaction has in it the promise of the covenant of grace. This is Noah's bow repeated with fresh and better engagements for John.

2. Notice again, that its appearance just here in John's vision is welcomed more for its graciousness than for its antiquity. No one can read the Bible without noticing more and more ]plainly that the God of nature desires to transfer the allegiance of His creatures so that they may fully recognise Him as the God of grace.

3. Once more: observe how well this vision teaches us that God's covenant is completed. A perfect circle is the finest figure we could imagine of the covenant of God's love fully complete.

4. The symbols here employed seem to teach that this is an abiding covenant: it will stand for ever. In oriental countries green is the emblem of unchangeableness. It signifies fidelity, incorruptible and for ever to be trusted.

5. This covenant is to each of us individual and personal. Each beholder is the master and owner of his particular arch in the heavens. Thus it comes to pass that we are sure no two persons ever see the same iris even on the clouds of the same storm, though they are almost side by side in their outlook; for there are different drops which fall into the angle of range, and different sunbeams to touch them. Do not waste this conception in admiration of the beautiful phenomenon of nature. God's covenant is made with a generous distribution of grace, but to each reception and bestowment of favour there are only two parties, Himself and a single believer.

III. Thus we reach the last point for our consideration; namely, the COLLOCATION of the two symbols. "The rainbow was round about the throne."

1. God's promise surrounds God's majesty. The ancient Rabbins used to render the verse in Genesis concerning the rainbow thus: "It shall be a sign between My word and all the earth." So now we look up at this vision of John, and we learn to rest in our Creator. We are not left to vague considerations of Jehovah's consistency with His own character, or, as we sometimes phrase it, "His name"; we dwell upon His recorded language of blessing, "Thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name." The word is "round about" the name, the rainbow is round about the throne.

2. God's grace surrounds God's justice. We lift our eyes, and see this rainbow as really the most conspicuous thing in the vision. Its vast emerald arch shines all around the supreme tribunal on the floor of crystal. The suggestion is immediately clear, it is a comfort that we are now under the New Testament.

3. God's love surrounds God's power. Love is symbolised in the rainbow, and power in the throne; and the rainbow is round about the throne.

4. God's glory surrounds God's children. For just look up and see the position and collocation of these two objects; the emerald ring is all around the sapphire seat of royalty.

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

I. THERE IS A RAINBOW ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE IN THE WORKS OF CREATION. In the threefold kingdom of nature the throne is conspicuously manifest, for authority and power are everywhere obvious. Law reigns permanent and supreme, and sometimes asserts itself with apparent severity and sternness. But there is a rainbow encircling the throne-for the storms that terrify produce in their train fertility and health. Processes that seem to produce death give birth to new life. Floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, tempest, etc., work upon the whole for the good of man.

II. THERE IS A RAINBOW ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE IN THE PROVIDENTIAL GOVERNMENT OF GOD. In all God's dealings with man there have been blended mercy with judgment, forgiveness with chastisement. This is true of nations as well as of individuals.

III. THERE IS A RAINBOW ABOUT THE THRONE IN THE SCENE THAT WAS ENACTED AT CALVARY. In the death of Christ — the sinless One — the throne of authority and righteousness is unveiled; but the rainbow encircled the head of the suffering Redeemer; on the Cross mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other.

IV. THERE IS A RAINBOW ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE IN THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL OF THE GLORY OF GOD. The glad tidings of salvation proclaim God's righteous indignation against sin, and to some become "a savour of death unto death." The rainbow of the covenant of grace, full of exceeding great and precious promises, encircles that throne of authority, so that whosoever will may come and obtain pardon and peace.


1. Of the perpetuation of the evolution of the seasons in the world of nature.

2. Of the fulfilment of the promises contained in the covenant of grace.

3. Of the absolute safety of all who cling with deathless tenacity to the enthroned Redeemer.

4. Of the final accomplishment of God's gracious purposes in relation to our race.

(F. W. Brown.)

The picture introduces us into the midst of the heavenly world, and shows to us its enthroned Sovereign spanned with an arch of iridescent light, ineffable majesty blossoming out in forms of tender beauty, the beauty brightening the majesty, the majesty solemnising the beauty, Divine and eternal, and yet raying out into lines of genial and affectionate colour such as the eye can delight in, and the face and heart grow bright and cheerful under. There is the throne and there is the rainbow, the solemnity of the throne qualifies the rainbow and the rainbow qualifies the throne, and they make not two pictures, but one picture; the two features that customary thought divorces, the imagery marries in solid wedlock, and righteousness and peace are shown to have kissed each other. That is a wonderful answer that stands in the Westminster Assembly Shorter Catechism in response to the question, "What is God?" "God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth." That is a wonderful answer, but then it is not my God any more than putting arms, legs, trunk, and head alongside of one another compose my father. Considered as a schedule of detail, as a bill of Divine particulars, that answer cannot be surpassed, but it will have to yield instant precedence to the imagery of our verse when the object sought is not a God dissected in the interests of philosophy, but God whole, and entire, in the interests of love and worship. What I feel that I need for myself in my religious character and relations, is to be able to come to God in the entireness of His personality — come to Him, in that respect, in the same way in which a boy comes to his father. True personal approach combines into indistinguishable unity all those ingredients that to pure speculation stand separate and distinct. Now, that is the charm and the truth of the Apocalyptic picture in our text. It brings the solemn sovereignty of God and the sweet, accessible beauty and loveliness of God so into relation with each other, and so draws them through one another, that each quality is felt to inhere in the other, and one indivisible God to be the issue of it, all whose majesty is sweet, and all whose sweetness is majestic. You behold the rainbow about the throne, and you behold the throne by the light of the rainbow. The world is going to grow better by coming to know God better. What St. Paul said at Athens still holds, "Whom ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you." To help people to feel God as He is, is the one only comprehensive service that we can render them; and if the peculiar glimpse of God afforded us by this imagery of St. John once becomes an appreciated and a conscious truth with us, it will easily, not to say necessarily, work practical results in our theology and in our hearts and lives. Once let us feel, as John's picture suggests, that God all belongs together, that violence is done Him whenever any one of His attributes is plucked from its coherency with His other attributes, and we shall be saved from what has been the bane of all theology — namely, founding on some individual attribute which has been rudely dislocated from its companion attributes, taking the amputated member and electing it to be the vitals of a living system. Now, that makes theology easy, but it makes it a lie. The throne is a lie without the rainbow, and the rainbow is a lie without the throne. Now, that conducts directly to two schools of theologic thought. One starts with the solemnities of God, and the other starts with the amenities; they both make bad start, and consequently they both make a bad finish. One begins with the majesty of God, and gets along as best it can with His love; the other starts with the love of God, and gets along as well as it can with His majesty. One gives us a solemn despot, and the other gives us a doting old grandfather. One is just as good as the other, and neither is good for anything so far as being a just statement of the truth is concerned. We often conceive of God as acting at one instant out of His pure mercy, as if His justice had for a time been put in a dark closet or gone off on a vacation, and that His mercy was the only attribute that had remained at home and that was doing all the work. Then, after mercy has worked until it is tired, we think of Him as putting that to sleep and letting everything for a time be managed at the arbitrament of unassisted justice. I venture to say that there is not among us the conception that, when God acts, He acts in the entireness of His being always, as He always does, and always will; that His justice and His mercy, for example, have no existence apart from each other; that He never surrenders Himself to a single impulse, has no pet attribute, but that all of Him is in everything that He does.

(C. H. Parkhurst, D. D.)


1. The Most High had proved His hatred of sin by the consuming wrath with which it had been punished.

2. The Lord had also recently accepted the sacrifice of Noah.

3. The rainbow appeared in heaven at the very time when the patriarch's fears must have been renewed.


1. The unmerited freeness of Divine mercy.

2. The faithfulness of God.

3. The infinite compassion of the Lord.

4. The universality of Divine mercy.

5. The perpetuity of redeeming mercy.

(R. P. Buddicom, M. A.)


1. It tells us that God is in covenant with man. Such was the meaning of the rainbow in the time of Noah. The world, which had been taught so solemnly the terror of God's wrath, was now to learn the "riches of His goodness." But the covenant which God makes now is more gracious still — as much more, as the soul is more precious than the body, and things eternal more important than things temporal. And with whom is this covenant made? With all who will accept it: that is to say, with all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ is the acceptance of the covenant. What a covenant! — well called "the covenant of grace." It includes, first, forgiveness; then, renewal of heart; then, preservation from sin; and finally, the eternal joy of the souls of believers.

2. Again, this covenant shows all the attributes of God together. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." How safe then the shelter of those who have an interest in this covenant: they are protected by the combined attributes of the eternal God!

3. By this covenant God binds Himself. Where is the rainbow? "Round about the throne." Majestic as He is, and just and holy, He is content to be bound — bound by His own word, His sure promise, His unchangeable covenant.

II. SOME CONFIRMATION OF THIS TRUTH. The doctrine of God's covenant of grace is not only clearly revealed in Scripture; it is also not opposed to reason.

1. There is nothing in it unworthy of Him. It is not a covenant of unjust severity — nor is it one of unjust mercy. Mercy there is in it — conspicuous mercy; but it is in harmonious alliance with holiness and equity and truth. What, then, is to hinder Him from carrying out the covenant of grace? Nothing! His sovereignty is free.

2. It is a covenant that promotes His glory. Practical lessons from the covenant of grace:

1. Here is joy for the believer.

2. Here, too, is encouragement for the inquirer.

(F. Tucker, B. A.)


1. Let us see in what respects the rainbow serves as an illustration of the covenant, and first — the rainbow is the child of the cloud and the sun. No sooner did man fall, and consequently the cloud gather, than the light which had been shining from before all time flew apace, and darting through the gloom, kissed with its golden rays the threatening cloud. In a moment there was a heavenly transformation, a belt of light encircled the cloud in the shape of that sweet promise given to our parents, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head."

2. Mercy met misery, and the result was the covenant of grace. Man's depravity forms the dark background that throws up in glorious contrast the brightness of God's grace, but the covenant rests on other foundations. It is founded on the purposes of God, and although his sweet engagements are for man, they rest not on man; it is a covenant of "I will" and "thou shalt."

3. Again, the rainbow is an emblem of reconciliation and security. It was so to Noah. God has said, "I will look upon the bow"; well, then, do you look upon it too, for in that you are reconciled to Him with a reconciliation that He has declared shall never be broken.

4. The rainbow was God's handiwork. "I do set My bow in the cloud." So with the everlasting covenant of grace, from first to last it is God's.(1) It is His in conception.(2) It is His in provision. All that was necessary for its accomplishment has been provided by the same One who sketched the marvellous plan.(3) It is His also in execution. The power that convinces — the grace that draws — the faith that accepts — the peace that follows — the security that abides, are all, all of God.

5. This rainbow never melts.

II. ITS POSITION. Round about the throne.

1. May not the fact of the rainbow being all round the throne teach that God in all His persons is included in the covenant of grace? It is a blessed truth that it is so. The covenant embraces the whole Trinity — not one of the Persons is omitted. The bow encircles the whole throne. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all have their glorious part in the salvation of man by grace.

2. Being round the throne, it was always in view. I speak with reverence, but it was impossible for Him who sat upon the throne not to behold the rainbow — it was around Him on every side; its emerald hue would be ever attracting attention. John only saw Him who was like jasper through the bow, and He only looked upon John through the same hallowed medium. God only looks upon His people as they are in covenant relationship with himself.

3. As the rainbow was all round the throne, it follows that there is no coming unto God but through it. Sinner, wouldst thou be saved? Then thou must be saved by grace.

(A. G. Brown.)


1. It reclaimed the fact of the Divine reconciliation. What! is the rainbow in the cloud the symbol of the God of peace? And can the rainbow round about the throne be the symbol of the God of wrath, the God of war? Nay, it bears the same import in both the one case and the other; and how, then, like the elders before the throne, should the new song be ever so much upon our lips at the sight, and even at the very thought, of it.

2. And then, in virtue of the Divine reconciliation, the rainbow further intimated that providence is administered under the reign of grace.

3. After all, the grand purpose of the rainbow was to seal or ratify the covenant of God. It is certain there cannot be a flood in presence of a rainbow.

II. THE POSITION OF THE RAINBOW. The rainbow is round about the throne — not above, as dominating, or upon, as occupying, but round about, as encompassing the throne; and in this regard its position is as significantly instructive as it is itself.

1. It evidently carries us up to the Divine origin of the covenant. This covenant is most certainly of Divine authorship. It is an exclusively Divine product. The rainbow is made up of various intermediate elements, the eye, the sunshine, and the rain. But not the covenant. It is all God Himself.

2. This further intimates that the Divine majesty rules in the covenant throughout. Let us never suppose that God has abdicated His throne when He dispenses mercy, that He has laid aside His majesty when He exercises grace.

3. Once more, by the position of the rainbow, we are assured that the covenant will never pass from the Divine remembrance.

III. THE ASPECT OF THE RAINBOW. The natural rainbow is of varied hue; but green is the prevailing colour in the rainbow round about the throne — here said to be "in sight like unto an emerald." Now, let us observe why this rainbow has so much in it, not of heaven's, but of earth's colour, not sky-blue, but emerald-green.

1. It indicates that there is a refreshing beauty in the covenant which is never wearisome to look at. Some colours, even heaven's own azure-blue, soon dazzle or fatigue the vision. The earth's soft emerald-green never does. Hence the prevailing colour of this rainbow. To look at the throne, and Him who sits on it, in the fire-light resplendence of His holiness, "like a jasper and a sardine stone," how can we do so without having our eyes, as it were, burned out? But with this emerald-green of covenant love and grace all round, how the sight of that very glory becomes a beatific vision. We see God and live.

2. And again, this emerald-green of the rainbow may be held to intimate that there is an essential unity in the covenant, whatever variety may circumstantially distinguish it. There is no rainbow without the sevenfold variety of the prismatic colours, yet these colours are all harmoniously blended together in its arch of beauty; at least, they are so blended together by the prevailing green of the rainbow round about the throne. And yet, again, the symbol is in this regard significant. There is a manifold variety of Divine promises and blessings which at sundry times and in divers manners have been given in sovereign manifestation from the throne; but they are all suffused with the one ever-permeating tint of grace, new covenant grace.

3. Yet, once again, the everlasting duration of the covenant may be said to be shadowed forth in the emerald aspect of "the rainbow round about the throne."

(E. A. Thomson.)

I. The obvious idea connected with a "throne" is that of POWER or dominion. It is the known public seat of legislation, government, and judgment, surrounded with all the pomp and circumstance of state ceremony and outward splendour. Before it the loyal are proud to bow in token of their homage. At its footstool the rebel is eager to fall prostrate, that he may sue for mercy. And from it the traitor hastens to flee lest his sentence of condemnation should be pronounced by the sovereign. Now let us carry these simple ideas to the interpretation of the symbol employed in the text. Conceive for a moment that the vision vouchsafed to the apostle were granted to you. How inconceivably exalted would your views of the Divine glory become! You would feel that power belongeth unto God! Let us consider how it is exalted by His other perfections. Omnipotence alone, if it were not guided by omniscience, would only he the source of unmeasured and inconceivable confusion and mercy. But "blessed," says the prophet, "be the name of our God for ever and ever, for wisdom and might are His." Again, even this combination of attributes would not afford sufficient security for the happiness of His subjects, unless it were hallowed by the most perfect purity. But He is emphatically "the Holy One of Israel."

II. A second emblem connected with the former, which, whilst it detracts nothing from its glory, softens its splendours, and mitigates its terrors. "And there was a rainbow," it is said, "round about the throne." This is the symbol of MERCY; and independently of its being God's own instituted type, it has a native significance which it is delightful to notice. The most striking feature in the natural rainbow is the skill in which its beauteous variety of colours is blended together. Have we not here a most exquisite emblem of the way in which the Divine attributes all harmonise together, whilst mercy, so to speak, is the emerald grace, and presents the prevailing and refreshing hue? What, to the sinner, is power without mercy but a sure pledge of his destruction. Infinite wisdom only closes the door against the possibility of escaping detection. Holiness banishes him for ever from the presence of Him who is "of purer eyes than to behold iniquity," whilst justice records the sentence of His condemnation in characters of flame. But how blessed the change when "mercy and truth meet together — righteousness and peace kiss each other." The eternal wisdom is engaged to plan, almighty power to execute, the scheme of redemption — justice is appeased in the person of the sinner's surety — all guilt is removed, and perfect righteousness imputed through faith in the blood of atonement; and holiness itself is satisfied through the sanctifying work of the Spirit. But the most precious and important feature of the emblem is still unnoticed. It not merely tells of mercy, but covenant mercy; and was instituted as God's own sign for this very purpose. And blessed indeed are the provisions of that covenant! It tells no more of works of righteousness to be done by the sinner as the condition of his eternal salvation. "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord. I will put My laws into their mind," etc.

(C. F. Childe, M. A.)

Behold, Heaven, Immediately, Myself, Sat, Seat, Seated, Sitting, Someone, Spirit, Standing, Stood, Straight, Straightway, Throne
1. John sees the throne of God in heaven.
4. The twenty-four elders.
6. The four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
10. The elders lay down their crowns, and worship him who sat on the throne.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Revelation 4:2

     1130   God, sovereignty
     1457   trance
     3281   Holy Spirit, inspiration
     4018   life, spiritual
     5841   ecstasy

Revelation 4:1-2

     8319   perception, spiritual

Revelation 4:1-6

     9411   heaven

Revelation 4:1-11

     1090   God, majesty of

Revelation 4:2-3

     1454   theophany
     1670   symbols

Revelation 4:2-5

     5581   throne

Revelation 4:2-6

     4330   glass

Thou Art Worthy
Eversley, 1869. Chester Cathedral, 1870. Trinity Sunday. Revelation iv. 11. "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created." I am going to speak to you on a deep matter, the deepest and most important of all matters, and yet I hope to speak simply. I shall say nothing which you cannot understand, if you will attend. I shall say nothing, indeed, which you could not find out for yourselves,
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

The Sea of Glass
(Trinity Sunday.) REVELATION iv. 9, 10, 11. And when those beasts give glory, and honour, and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 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, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. The Church bids us read
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

The Open Door.
(Trinity Sunday.) REV. iv. 1. "A door was opened in Heaven." When Dante had written his immortal poems on Hell and Purgatory, the people of Italy used to shrink back from him with awe, and whisper, "see the man who has looked upon Hell." To-day we can in fancy look on the face of the beloved Apostle, who saw Heaven opened, and the things which shall be hereafter. We have summed up the great story of the Gospel, and have trodden the path of salvation from Bethlehem to Calvary. We have seen Jesus,
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

The Preface.
Courteous Reader,--It floweth more from that observance--not to say honour--which is due to the laws of custom, than from any other motive, that the stationers hold it expedient to salute thee at thy entry into this book, by any commendatory epistle, having sufficient experience, that books are oft inquired after, and rated according to the respect men generally have of the author, rather than from the matter contained therein, especially if the book be divine or serious; upon which ground this treatise
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

More than Heaven
"A throne was set in Heaven, and One sat on the throne."--Rev. iv. 2. C. P. C. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 Jesus, Lord, in Whom the Father Tells His heart to me-- Jesus, God Who made the Heavens, Made the earth to be-- Jesus, Lamb of God once offered For the guilt of men, In the Heavens interceding Till Thou come again-- Jesus, once by God abandoned, Smitten, cursed for me, Sentenced at the throne of judgment, Dying on the tree-- Jesus, risen and ascended, On the Father's throne, All the Heaven
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

Twelfth Day. The Thrice Holy One.
I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up. Above Him stood the seraphim. And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.'--Isa. vi. 1-3. 'And the four living creatures, they have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, which was, and which is, and which is to come.'--Rev. iv. 8. It is not only on earth, but in heaven too, that the Holiness of God is His chief and most glorious
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

Imagination in Prayer
"Lord, teach us to pray."--Luke xi. i. "Full of eyes."--Rev. iv. 8. I NEVER see, or hear, or speak, or write the word "imagination" without being arrested and recalled to what Pascal and Butler and Edwards have all said, with such power and with such passion, on the subject of imagination. Pascal--himself all compact of imagination as he is--Pascal sets forth again and again a tremendous indictment against the "deceits" and "deceptions" of the imagination. Butler also, in few but always weighty words,
Alexander Whyte—Lord Teach Us To Pray

His Holy Covenant
"To remember His Holy Covenant; to grant unto us that we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, should serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all our days."-LUKE i. 68-75. WHEN Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, he spoke of God's visiting and redeeming His people, as a remembering of His Holy Covenant. He speaks of what the blessings of that Covenant would be, not in words that had been used before, but in what is manifestly a Divine revelation
Andrew Murray—The Two Covenants

The Trisagion Wrongly Explained by Arians. Its True Significance.
And how do the impious men venture to speak folly, as they ought not, being men and unable to find out how to describe even what is on the earth? But why do I say what is on the earth?' Let them tell us their own nature, if they can discover how to investigate their own nature? Rash they are indeed, and self-willed, not trembling to form opinions of things which angels desire to look into (1 Pet. i. 12), who are so far above them, both in nature and in rank. For what is nearer [God] than the Cherubim
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Relation v. Observations on Certain Points of Spirituality.
1. "What is it that distresses thee, little sinner? Am I not thy God? Dost thou not see how ill I am treated here? If thou lovest Me, why art thou not sorry for Me? Daughter, light is very different from darkness. I am faithful; no one will be lost without knowing it. He must be deceiving himself who relies on spiritual sweetnesses; the true safety lies in the witness of a good conscience. [1] But let no one think that of himself he can abide in the light, any more than he can hinder the natural
Teresa of Avila—The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

Some General Uses.
Before we come to speak of some particular cases of deadness, wherein believers are to make use of Christ as the Life, we shall first propose some useful consequences and deductions from what hath been spoken of this life; and, I. The faith of those things, which have been mentioned, would be of great use and advantage to believers; and therefore they should study to have the faith of this truth fixed on their hearts, and a deep impression thereof on their spirits, to the end, that, 1. Be their case
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The First
refers to Genesis ii., the promise being, "I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. ii. 7). God begins from Himself. The Apocalypse related not only to Israel, but to the earth; and the first promise goes back to Eden and to the "tree of life." The way to that tree was lost: but was "kept" (or preserved) by the cherubim (Gen. iii. 24). These cherubim next appear in connection with the way to the Living One, in the Tabernacle, and are thus linked
E.W. Bullinger—Commentary on Revelation

How Subjects and Prelates are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 5.) Differently to be admonished are subjects and prelates: the former that subjection crush them not, the latter that superior place elate them not: the former that they fail not to fulfil what is commanded them, the latter that they command not more to be fulfilled than is just: the former that they submit humbly, the latter that they preside temperately. For this, which may be understood also figuratively, is said to the former, Children, obey your parents in the Lord: but to
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The Life of Mr. Hugh Binning.
There being a great demand for the several books that are printed under Mr. Binning's name, it was judged proper to undertake a new and correct impression of them in one volume. This being done, the publishers were much concerned to have the life of such an useful and eminent minister of Christ written, in justice to his memory, and his great services in the work of the gospel, that it might go along with this impression. We living now at so great distance from the time wherein he made a figure in
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Of Deeper Matters, and God's Hidden Judgments which are not to be Inquired Into
"My Son, beware thou dispute not of high matters and of the hidden judgments of God; why this man is thus left, and that man is taken into so great favour; why also this man is so greatly afflicted, and that so highly exalted. These things pass all man's power of judging, neither may any reasoning or disputation have power to search out the divine judgments. When therefore the enemy suggesteth these things to thee, or when any curious people ask such questions, answer with that word of the Prophet,
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Mercy of God
The next attribute is God's goodness or mercy. Mercy is the result and effect of God's goodness. Psa 33:5. So then this is the next attribute, God's goodness or mercy. The most learned of the heathens thought they gave their god Jupiter two golden characters when they styled him good and great. Both these meet in God, goodness and greatness, majesty and mercy. God is essentially good in himself and relatively good to us. They are both put together in Psa 119:98. Thou art good, and doest good.' This
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

A Book for Boys and Girls Or, Temporal Things Spritualized.
by John Bunyan, Licensed and entered according to order. London: Printed for, and sold by, R. Tookey, at his Printing House in St. Christopher's Court, in Threadneedle Street, behind the Royal Exchange, 1701. Advertisement by the Editor. Some degree of mystery hangs over these Divine Emblems for children, and many years' diligent researches have not enabled me completely to solve it. That they were written by Bunyan, there cannot be the slightest doubt. 'Manner and matter, too, are all his own.'[1]
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Christian's God
Scripture References: Genesis 1:1; 17:1; Exodus 34:6,7; 20:3-7; Deuteronomy 32:4; 33:27; Isaiah 40:28; 45:21; Psalm 90:2; 145:17; 139:1-12; John 1:1-5; 1:18; 4:23,24; 14:6-11; Matthew 28:19,20; Revelation 4:11; 22:13. WHO IS GOD? How Shall We Think of God?--"Upon the conception that is entertained of God will depend the nature and quality of the religion of any soul or race; and in accordance with the view that is held of God, His nature, His character and His relation to other beings, the spirit
Henry T. Sell—Studies in the Life of the Christian

Of the Incapacity of an Unregenerate Person for Relishing the Enjoyments of the Heavenly World.
John iii. 3. John iii. 3. --Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God. IN order to demonstrate the necessity of regeneration, of which I would fain convince not only your understandings, but your consciences, I am now proving to you, that without it, it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of God; and how weighty a consideration that is I am afterwards to represent. That it is thus impossible, the words in the text do indeed sufficiently prove: but for the further illustration
Philip Doddridge—Practical Discourses on Regeneration

Paul a Pattern of Prayer
TEXT: "If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it."--John 14:14. Jesus testified in no uncertain way concerning prayer, for not alone in this chapter does he speak but in all his messages to his disciples he is seeking to lead them into the place where they may know how to pray. In this fourteenth chapter of John, where he is coming into the shadow of the cross and is speaking to his disciples concerning those things which ought to have the greatest weight with them, the heart of his message
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot

Covenanting Enforced by the Grant of Covenant Signs and Seals.
To declare emphatically that the people of God are a covenant people, various signs were in sovereignty vouchsafed. The lights in the firmament of heaven were appointed to be for signs, affording direction to the mariner, the husbandman, and others. Miracles wrought on memorable occasions, were constituted signs or tokens of God's universal government. The gracious grant of covenant signs was made in order to proclaim the truth of the existence of God's covenant with his people, to urge the performance
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

The Death of the Righteous
'For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' Phil 1:1I. Paul was a great admirer of Christ. He desired to know nothing but Christ, and him crucified. I Cor 2:2. No medicine like the blood of Christ; and in the text, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' I. For to me to live is Christ. We must understand Paul of a spiritual life. For to me to live is Christ, i.e.' Christ is my life; so Gregory of Nyssa; or thus, my life is made up of Christ. As a wicked man's life is made up of sin,
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

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