Rev.4 [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 shew 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.

Who is "I" in the above passage? If "he" is God, how is it possible that the speaker can look upon God when even the angels must cover their eyes with their wings?

  • It's a vision, given by God (see Revelation 1:1). What is seen is imagery - jasper and sardine stone. This is conceptual, not physical.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 15, 2020 at 21:17

2 Answers 2


The Book of Revelation is a series of visions reported by John (Rev 1:9). He describes them as one who is participating in the events he is seeing. We see this many, many times such as:

  • Rev 1:9 - I John ...
  • Rev 1:12 - I turned ...
  • Rev 1:17 - When I turned I saw ...
  • Rev 1:19, 2:1, 8, 12, 18, 3:1, 7, 14 - John told to write something.
  • Rev 4:1 - After this I looked ...
  • Rev 5:1 - Then I saw ...
  • Rev 5:11 - then I looked and heard ...
  • Rev 5:13 - Then I heard ...
  • Rev 6:1 - I watched as ...
  • Rev 6:12 - I watched as ...
  • Rev 7:1 - After this I saw ...

... and so forth. In many of these experiences, John is accompanied by an angel (Rev 19:9, 21:9); or an elder (Rev 7:13); or even Jesus Himself (Rev 4:1 = the voice like a trumpet from Rev 1:12); or the One seated on the throne (Rev 21:5 = God), etc.

Recall that in Rev 4:1, John is in vision, ie, it is NOT a real experience but highly symbolic with Jesus depicted as a seven horned lamb (Rev 5:6), etc. Even God seated on the throne (who is unnamed) is described symbolically using many elements from Eze 1. There are seven lamps representing the spirits of God (Rev 4:5). The four living creatures are, again, highly symbolic, especially in the description of their appearance.

Thus, we have John describing "the One seated on the throne" (Rev 4:3 = God), with Jesus' trumpet-like voice speaking to John (Rev 4:1). Later in the same vision, Jesus appears as a bleeding seven-horned lamb. Therefore, there are three personages described in early part of Rev 4: John, Jesus, God. John is not actually seeing God the Father here but a symbolic scene representing greater realities.


The answers are in the opening of the book ...

REV 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Your question reflects that the “l” is John - in the spirit, that is, viewing using his ‘spiritual eyes’. But - the “He” is Jesus. John was ‘talking’ with Jesus.

John knew Jesus as ‘a man’, in his earthly role, as Jesus Christ. Here he was seeing him in his heavenly role, as Christ Jesus. That is, the “He” is not God, it is Jesus as God.

  • that sounds like a riddle if God is giving Jesus something and Jesus is God. How is Jesus God if he has a God? Rev3:11-12
    – Steve
    Aug 16, 2020 at 4:35
  • Yes - Unless you ‘refine’ your understanding of the ‘Trinity’. Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are One. Being ‘One’ does not mean they are ‘the same’. (The Hebraic understanding of One-ness.)
    – Dave
    Aug 16, 2020 at 5:30
  • ok, based on what verse?
    – Steve
    Aug 16, 2020 at 5:37
  • Oneness’ (Echad) is a Hebraic concept that you ‘see’ in several places throughout the Torah, but not something that you will see clearly expressed in ‘a verse’. Not enough space in a comment field, but doing an online search for ‘Echad’ will provide plenty of ‘food’ for thought.
    – Dave
    Aug 16, 2020 at 18:21
  • thx Dave, we've got hard facts about God and Jesus and spirit - we don't need to add speculative concepts that effectively detract from the original message - and present another gospel
    – Steve
    Aug 16, 2020 at 20:23

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