Lord, cleanse my heart and open it to Your message for me today.
"Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heard ... Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Before the throne was a sea of glass, like crystal ... " (Revelation 4:4-6).
After we see the Person on the throne, John directs our attention to the people around the throne. We don't have to guess at the identity of these twenty-four elders, for we see in Revelation 5:8-9 that they are the redeemed. These are the saints who have been washed whiter than snow by the precious blood of Jesus.
Why twenty-four? In the Old Testament there were twelve patriarchs: in the New Testament, twelve apostles. These twenty-four elders represent the redeemed of all the ages gathered around the throne singing praises to the Lamb.
And the Holy Spirit is there, casting light upon the glory of Jesus. Seven is used here again to indicate perfection. This is now the true temple, not just a replica built by man. The lampstand that stood in front of the Ark of the Covenant symbolized this actuality of the Spirit illuminating the splendor of Christ in heaven.
The blazing Holy Spirit of God (Isaiah 4:4) is there bathing the Lord Jesus in the Shekinah glory, and that holy light is reflecting off the glorious, gem-like qualities of our Lord and back onto the faces of the saints. What a beautiful scene!
Beneath it all is a marvelous foundation - the eternal Word. In the Old Testament temple there was a great basin called a "laver" or a sea in which the priests wold wash before serving the Lord. It symbolized the Word of God, for the Bible speaks of "the washing of water by the Word" (Ephesians 5:26). But in heaven, the water is now crystalline glass. The Word of God is fixed and firm. No longer do we wash in it, for we won't need to be cleansed anymore! Now, we stand upon it for all eternity. "Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven" (Psalm 119:89).