John, the writer of Revelation, used language he understood in his day. He doesn’t use the same language we would use today. He didn’t have our technology.
The prophets were able to see the end result of prophecy. They didn’t see all the steps in between. Paul called this the great mystery. That’s the period we’re in right now.
People are intrigued with the idea of heaven. God knew we would be be. Revelations 4 & 5 help paint that picture. A lot of what we talk about heaven is really about the New Jerusalem, which is entirely different from heaven.
Revelation 4 serves two purposes. There is the interpretation but also the application of Christ’s coming. There is the rapture or snatching away of the church. We know that Jesus Christ is coming again. The simplest rendering of Scripture suggests that Christ will come before the tribulation. There is no “church talk” after the rapture until the very end of prophecy. The church won’t be here after Christ snatches us away.
Despite this, God is not done with the Jewish nation. It is a miracle that Israel even still exists.
We (the church) have been delivered from the wrath to come. Fundamentally, we believe in the Second Coming. Philosophically, we disagree on when exactly it will happen.
Judgment is about to be poured out on the earth. But it does not come until the church has been removed. God does not allow His children to suffer judgment.
The word throne is mentioned 13 times in these few verses. Yet the throne, a symbol of authority, is not nearly so important as the One who sites upon the throne.
The writer mentions gold & jasper. It gives the idea of clear brilliance. He mentions a sardine stone, which is a dark red ruby. And he mentions a rainbow — a symbol that God will never again flood the world.
There are 24 seats for 24 elders around the throne. The 24 elders represent the church. They are clothed in white, a symbol of righteousness. It is the perfect picture of what the judgment seat of Christ will be like, a picture of their salvation. God rewards His children.