The Gospel of the Revelation
according to St. John the Divine
St. John’s MCC • Session 2
Questions to Ponder
- Where is the most majestic place you’ve ever been? How would you describe it? OR
What was the most joyfully overwhelming experience you’ve ever had?
- Where does this scene take place?
- Who is the figure on the throne?
- What response does the central figure elicit from John and the other characters? Why? What emotions does the central figure draw out of you?
- Who are the 24 elders? Whom do they represent? What are they like?
Numbers used (numerology) in chapter 4:
- What Hebrew Bible figures are present around the throne?
- What does this say about who God is and how God relates to creation?
What aspect of God’s creation in our world today best demonstrates God’s glory and power to you? In other words, if you wanted to impress someone with God’s glory and power, what picture could you describe?
One = Unity and independent existence which is unique. Example: One God
Two = Strength and companionship. The disciples were sent to witness in pairs. In Revelation, the two witnesses confirm the truth and the two beasts represent a formidable foe.
Three = The number of perfection and spiritual completeness. The Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is an example (see Revelation 1:4b-5). The number of parts in a “good Baptist sermon.”
Four = The world or the natural realm, e.g., “…I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds,” (7:1).
Five = human completeness (e.g., five fingers on one hand and a total of ten).
Six = human frailty, ego, or desires
Seven = The number of completeness (e.g., a complete week has seven days). When seven is broken in half this always came to symbolize incompleteness. This is seen in Revelation by such things as 42 months (i.e., half of seven years, Revelation 11:2).
Twelve = This number and its multiples are a picture of the people of God. There were 12 tribes in Israel and 12 apostles. In Revelation, we find “24 elders” (4:4). Twelve is a product of Three and Four.