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Lesson 8 Revelation 4:1-6:8

Lesson 8 Revelation 4:1-6:8
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A Spiritual Interpretation of Revelation

As taught by:
Unity School for Religious Studies
Unity Village, MO 64065

Lesson Outline

  1. Metaphysical significance of God designated as ONE.
  2. Metaphysical meaning of the twenty-four elders.
  3. Metaphysical meaning of the four beasts around the throne.
  4. Metaphysical meaning of the four horsemen.
  1. From your own metaphysical understanding, explain the statement, "ONE seated on the throne."
  2. List the four beasts and tell what each stands for in human nature,
  3. What does the book with the seven seals stand for?
  4. Why is only the Lamb worthy to open the seven seals of the book?
  5. List the four horsemen and tell what each stands for.
  1. Rev. 4:1-6:8
  2. Be Ye Transformed 219-226

Lesson Text

Rev. 4:2 "At once I was in the spirit, and lo, a throne stood in heaven, with ONE seated on the throne!"

Here is the great symbol which describes the sense of the presence of God. It is ONE. Just ONE. Not one this, or one that, but ONE itself! This requires metaphysical thinking for comprehension. God is ONE but not in the sense of one object, one person, or one being. God is ONE in the true meaning of oneness itself (some persons refer to this as "Allness," but that is not quite the same thing; almost, but not quite.) God is not like the numerical digit 1, because in arithmetic the digit 1 can be followed by 2, 3, etc. This is not so of God. God is ONE without anything coming before or after.

Rev. 4:3 "And he who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald."

The author equates the God presence with precious jewels and a rainbow. What distinguishes precious jewels and rainbows is their relationship to light. Precious jewels and rainbows have the appearances they have because of the effects of light. Without the radiance of light, we could not perceive the preciousness of jewels nor the beauty of a rainbow. Equating this idea with the description of the God presence, we are able to perceive God's presence only as there is light in our consciousness. Light is the biDlical symbol of living intelligence and spiritual awareness.

Rev. 4:4 "Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads."

Metaphysically the twenty-four elders symbolize the twelve powers functioning in a manner which seems to double their effectiveness. When we are in a strong sense of awareness of God's presence, our twelve powers have a powerful beneficial action on our own inner nature, and outwardly into our life conditions and affairs. This two-fold direction of their benefits is symbolized in the number twenty-four.

Also, when our twelve powers are being utilized in worshipping God, they become imbued with pure power ("clad in white garments"), and they increase greatly in value to our spiritual unfoldment (wore crowns of gold). Also, they find expression through us in a very stable and mature manner (elders).

Rev. 4:6 "... and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And round the throne on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind..."

To be "before the throne" means to be in a high state of good judgment. When we are using good judgment, there extends into our future an unlimited area of pure potentialities of good. This is the symbolism of the sea of glass and crystal. The sea stands for unlimited possibilities. Glass and crystal stand for purity.

"Eyes in front and behind" refers to the powers of foresight and hindsight. These are possessed by the four beasts mentioned. The four beasts in Rev. 4:7 represent the four main aspects of human nature. They are:

  1. "like a lion"--physicality, the physical aspect of man, the physical body.
  2. "like an ox"--subjective and emotional nature of man, the emotional or astral body.
  3. "With the face of a man"--mental or intellectual nature of man, mental body.
  4. "like a flying eagle"--inspirational and intuitive nature of man, etheric body.


This chapter introduces us to the book sealed with seven seals. There is consternation in heaven because no man was yet able to lift the seals and open the book to read it. We are told that only the Lamb is found worthy to take the book and open the seals.

The book symbolizes full self-understanding and self-mastery. The seals on the book represent barriers to the process of self-understanding. Most people are not yet capable of gaining full insight into themselves because of the presence of certain mental and emotional "blocks" (seals).

The Lamb represents the gentle, kind, and forgiving nature of our Christ Self. Christ is totally harmless; all powerful, but harmless. Only through this attitude, symbolized as the Lamb, can any person gain the insights necessary to full self-understanding (open the seals).


The opening of the seven seals by the Lamb symbolizes the gaining of insights leading to full self-understanding and self-discipline. Each seal that is opened represents the gaining of another step of insight into the inner workings of our own human nature.

Rev. 6:2 "And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and its rider had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer."

The white horse and rider stand for our spiritual aspirations, based upon our understanding of Truth, motivated by our commitment to Spirit. This comes first, and it overcomes all obstacles (went out to conquer).

Rev. 6:4 "And out came another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that man should slay one another; and he was given a great sword."

The red horse and rider stand for our human tendency toward violence. Red is the color that symbolizes passion, and violence is one of the most common expressions of passion. This is still a quite active tendency in human nature. All wars among nations are a collective manifestation of this individual trait.

Rev. 6:5-6 "... and I saw, and behold, a black horse, and its rider had a balance in his hand; and I heard what seemed to be a voice . saying 'A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm oil and wine!

The black horse and rider stand for the human tendency toward materialist greed and anxiety. When we read the words which the voice speaks in regard to this black horse and rider, we have a perfect illustration of this tendency. Materialistic greed and anxiety always make a fuss about possessions and profits. It is significant that black is the most opaque of colors, and materialistic anxiety is the most opaque of emotions in human nature.

Rev. 6:8 "And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth."

The pale horse and rider stand for the habit of fear in general (pale), and also the belief in the inevitability of death (pale). Fear and belief in death are causing a drain of substance and vitality from our natures (pale). Death is the most misunderstood phenomenon in human experience. Until the Truth concerning it is perceived, mankind will continue to fear it. What we fear, we believe in. What we believe in, we hold in mind. What we hold in mind manifests after its kind.