1) After this I looked, and, behold, A door was opened in Heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.

2) And immediately I was in the spirit: And, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3) And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

4) 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.

5) And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.

6) and before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

7) and the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like an flying eagle.

8) And the four beasts had each of them six wings about them; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

9) And when these beasts give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever,

10) the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created


4:1 This is not the rapture, (at the rapture an actual trumpet will sound, not a voice like a trumpet which signifies a loud commanding voice) but a command for John to be transported in the spirit to Heaven to receive revelation of future events, to warn the current church and to pass on to future generations the coming tribulation to non repentant people. Hereafter refers to events after the church age in chapters 2 and 3. When John is caught up Jesus is in heaven, not rapturing his church. 

4:2 Caught up in the spirit, not bodily.

4:3 God's throne is magnificent to behold and the rainbow represents his eternal promises and covenants. Jasper: Crystal clear reflecting all colors in spectrum. Sardis: bright red rubylike. Emerald: Cool green hue surrounding rainbow.  

4:4 These 24 elders represent the redeemed throughout history, their worship mimics the worship due from all to God for his mercy and grace to his creation.  Their joint rule and  presence in the places prepared for them symbolizes our places in Heaven that have been prepared by Jesus for his true church. 

4:5 Isaiah 11, 7 spirits

4:6 Cherubim (EZ 1:4-25, 10:15, PS 80:1, 99:1) with comprehensive knowledge with knowledge and perception of the whole Earth.  "Full of Eyes", nothing escapes their examination. 

4:7 These creations represent the 4 of God's earthly creations.  Lion-strength & power, Calf-humble service of God, Man-rational beings, Eagle-swiftness of duty. 

4:8 (Isaiah 6) Seraphims, minor visual difference is not enough to discount Ez, Is. 

4:9 constant, without ceasing

4:10 Cast their crowns:  realizing that God alone is responsible for their rewards, they strip themselves of all honor and cast it to his feet. 

4:11 it is the redeemer who redeemed his creation.