The book of Revelation chapters 4 and 5 introduce us to the throne room of God with 24 elders, 4 strange four-faced beasts, and the Lord God who lives forever and ever.
Verse 1 opens with the Lord God speaking. The “first voice…as of a trumpet” uses the same expression as in v.10 “a great voice as a trumpet”, which from v.11 we know is clearly identified as the Lord God. Thus John is given a vision of the throne room of God (v.2) set in the heavens as with the rainbow (Ezekiel 1:28). The Lord God who sat on the throne appeared to shine like “a jasper and a sardine stone” (v.3). From Revelation 21:11 we learn that a jasper is not the same as we know today but is a clear crystal that has a brilliant shine. So it could be a diamond. God’s throne is described also by Isaiah (chapter 6) and Ezekiel (chapter 1 & 10).
There are 24 elders seated around the throne of God (v.4). Who or what they represent is debated still. They have “white raiment” which often signifies salvation and “crowns of gold” where the Greek word for ‘crown’ here is ‘stephanos,’ meaning laurels, the prize won in public games, or a symbol of honour. This is not the same as ‘diadema’ the Greek word for a kingly crown. This word for crown (stephanos) was used in v. 3:11 in relation to the believers enduring the trials and tests of life unto the end whence he/she will receive a crown (a reward) as a winner, but not meaning to win salvation, which can only come through grace.