“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16:11)
“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God” (Rev. 4:5).
Around the throne were twenty-four seats for the elders. From the throne were thunder and lightning and voices, and before the throne were seven fiery lamps.
The awe-inspiring spectacle of what was proceeding from the throne—voices, thunder, lightning—conjure up images of Sinai. Just as God manifested Himself in terrifying ways with the first covenant, so also with the second. The author of Hebrews concurs with this, saying that Sinai, a mountain that could be touched in principle was still prohibited to the touch (Heb. 12:18ff). Sinai was characterized by fire, and blackness, and darkness, and these voices. It was terrifying, but the mountain of the new covenant is even more so (Heb. 10:28-29).
Commentators are divided on the seven lamps. The majority view is that this is a numerical representation of the Holy Spirit, with seven as the number of perfection. This has strong support from the fact that the text identifies them as “the seven Spirits of God.” But remember that the Lord Jesus, the one who sits on the throne, walks in the midst of seven lampstands, and these lampstands are the seven churches addressed by this book (Rev. 1:12). The words used for candlestick and lampstand are different words, but this does not make identification impossible.
Also suggestive is the idea that the lampstand in front of the throne here is the celestial menorah. Remember that the original menorah, the one used in the Temple, had seven lights.