Revelation 4, Part 1
The disciple has been “spit out” by Christ and returned to the material realms where they must be purified in order to return to God’s presence.
Some have argued for the “secret teachings of Christ Jesus”, yet in the Bible anyone can find the highest spiritual teachings available to humankind. The Old Testament prophets and mostly John in the New Testament give esoteric teachings that are spoken in the language and culture of their times.
About four hundred years before the life of Christ Jesus, the Greek philosopher Plato presided over the Athenian school. One of the theories he taught, not widely known in Jewish circles at Christ’s time, was called the Platonic Year. The Platonic Year, or the Great Year, is based on the astronomical observation that the earth’s position in relationship to the twelve constellations of the Zodiac progresses in a cyclical manner. The total length of this cycle is estimated to be approximately 25,800 solar years. Ancient Hindus have a made a similar observation, which is called the Maha Yuga. As the earth cycles through this elliptical path amongst the stars, the average human abilities to act and to conceive change. There are ascending periods of awareness (which humanity currently enjoys) and descending periods that lead to greater ignorance.
Christ Jesus came at the lowest point in the cycle. He taught during the period of greatest ignorance. It’s important to understand this because ignorance impacts the ability of Christ and any prophet or apostle to communicate grand concepts about spiritual development and God to sincere disciples. The majority of the Revelation audience were uneducated farmers, fishermen, herdsmen and artisans with the understanding limited by their personal experiences. John on behalf of Christ was limited in the concepts he could use to convey the process of spiritual liberation.
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.”
The door which is open represents the third knot where Christ “knocks” and from where the voice that first began the Revelation prophecy speaks (see Revelation 1:10). The disciple has returned to the beginning so that Christ may teach the “secret teachings” in plain view for any advancing disciple to understand and embrace. The rest of Revelation is an elaboration of the various states that one who arrived at the throne of God and was returned to creation will likely experience. Every new individual experience is built within the context of past experiences. It is easier to learn a foreign language during childhood than as an adult largely because the context of learning has changed as one matures.
In another analogy, a roller coaster is a roller coaster. Accidents are rare and they are remarkably safe. However, someone who began riding kiddie roller coasters as a child is less likely to be fearful of the adult roller coasters. An adult who has never seen a roller coaster and sees a huge drop controlled by a car riding on a minimum number of metal tubes makes all sorts of safety calculations based upon their past experiences. Now that Christ’s disciple has done their best, only to be rejected from God’s presence, their next attempt will be more informed.
Like the Israelites who displeased God after leaving Egypt, the disciple who has approached God but who has not fulfilled the law is still allowed access to some aspects of the higher realms. While Moses led his people to a high understanding of the law, they still turned against God. Like the disciple of Christ who has been spit out, God opened a door in heaven to provide the manna of wisdom. The Psalmist summarizes this event in terminology similar to this verse in Revelation.
… they did not believe in God
and did not trust his saving power.
Yet he commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven, — Psalm 78:22–23
Deep esoteric truths are detailed in Revelation using the uneducated, limited language of John’s Jewish audience.
At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.
John’s perspective has returned to the point of one who has passed through the Christ gateway into the presence of God. This is the same as one who has achieved samadhi in yoga or nirvana in Buddhism. John is “in the Spirit” an advanced state of spiritual ecstasy, notable because his physical body appears dead as he has this experience.
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.
Through John, Christ is laying out extensive metaphysical concepts which may also be experienced in the terms discussed. Review the colors of the conscious energy centers (chakras) which are reflected in the physical manifestation of the rainbow. From lowest state of consciousness to highest, these colors are
Red = Coccygeal Center
Orange = Sacral Center
Yellow = Lumbar/Solar Plexus Center
Green = Dorsal/Heart Center
Blue = Cervical/Throat Center
Indigo = Medullary Center
Violet = Cerebellum/Crown Center
The one seated on the throne is one who has conquered the realm of Satan. This is not Christ Jesus on this particular throne. The appearance is one of an admixture of mostly the lowest three colors which includes reds, oranges and yellows of jasper and carnelian stones. Emeralds are typically green thus this particular throne is located in the heart center and the rainbow around signifies that this individual has also perceived all seven churches to some degree.
Note again, while the one who is seated on the throne is not stated directly in John’s vision this is anyone who has achieved the “Son of Man” status. One who has gained control of the lower three centers and who has untied the first two knots becomes a “Son of Man”. Christ Jesus often refers to himself as a “Son of Man” when he is illustrating actions that his disciples should naturally display once they conquer the earthly realm of Satan.
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.
The human mind is very limited in its ability to understand spiritual concepts and universal truths. Concepts in Revelation are often simplified and illustrated in anthropomorphic humanoids and creatures.
The twenty-four elders here represent two separate truths about the structure of God’s creation. First, they represent the nature of the cycles of time and its relative influence in creation. Time is a measurement of change. Second, the elders represent the 24-steps required to manifest the human experience. Matter doesn’t exist without a consciousness that can perceive it. There are 24 steps of consciousness required to perceive matter.
Twenty-Four Elders of Time
As mentioned in the introduction regarding the Platonic Year, earth is passing in an elliptical path through the twelve constellations of the Zodiac. Each constellation has positive and negative poles. The twenty-four elders are the positive and negative attributes of these twelve separate periods of time. Earth’s position relative to each constellation impacts human expression.
Since the twenty-four are bowing to the throne, this indicates that any Son of Man who is seated on the throne of the heart center has overcome the influence of time. The same concept is stated as one who is the Alpha and the Omega, at the beginning and the end of physical time.
… I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ — Isaiah 46:9–10
END OF PART ONE
I am breaking Revelation 4 into two parts. Many concepts are explained and the length exceeds a natural attention span.
The next in the series is linked here: https://edsharrow.medium.com/revelation-4-part-2-f8a4aa995f70
“A New Eschatology for Revelation” begins here: https://edsharrow.medium.com/a-new-eschatology-for-revelation-1c7bb51ef8df
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.