The Four Views on Revelation
In chapter 4 we enter what most people think of when they see "Revelation" in their Bible - the collection somewhat-confusing prophecies and symbols. This is the main body of Revelation, and there have historically been four views on it:
• There is no prophecy here – John is writing about events that happened in his day in symbolic terms (such as the destruction of the temple in 70 AD). Preterists seek to connect the events portrayed in this book with events that occurred in the 1st century
• Revelation is allegorical – the book is a picture of the struggle between good and evil and doesn't refer to specific events, but merely portrays the great struggle in concrete terms
• The symbolism of the book outlines the course of church history. This is somewhat similar to the next view in that it views SOME of the events in Revelation as happening in the future. This view, however, understands much of Revelation to have already happened - therefore many seek to connect the events and people portrayed to events and people throughout the history of the church/world
• The book speaks of the past, present, and future. All prophecies in chapters 4-22 are to be fulfilled immediately before and after the second coming of Christ
As we work through this book, the viewpoint that I'll be taking is the "futurist" viewpoint. I personally feel that this is the most natural understanding that someone would have if they simply picked up the book and knew nothing about it. The great criticism that is usually offered of this view is that it takes things too literally, an accusation that I would be glad to be guilty of. As we work through the book, I may occasionally explain how some of these other views understand a certain section just to help you see how that view works. This book can be complicated, so we''ll try our best to understand it!
All of that being said, a few notes to help you understand chapters 4-5:
-The number 7: it's viewed as the "perfect number" or a number of completion. So, for example as in 5:6 the lamb with 7 eyes and 7 horns should be understood to be all-seeing and all-powerful (the horn is a symbol of power throughout the OT; there are frequent uses of this symbolism in psalms)
-The 24 elders:
"The twenty-four elders around the throne (4:4), like other worshipers in heaven (4:7–9; 5:11–14), illustrate the appropriate response to God’s glory: worship (4:10–11; 5:8–10, 14). While their literary function in this sense is difficult to dispute, their exact identity does not share the same accessibility. Some regard them as angels, others as Old Testament saints.16 But most likely they represent all believers. The doubling of the twelve could represent the Old and New Testament peoples of God together (see 21:12–14). But given their function in worship they probably represent the twenty-four courses of priests in the Old Testament (1 Chron. 24:4)." 
-The scroll: We'll get to the scroll tomorrow, but suffice to say that the important part in today's passage is that we know the lamb (Jesus) alone is worthy to open the scroll. He is worshiped because He is worthy!
As I said before, I'll make an attempt to answer as many questions as I can, but I'm expecting more than that usual volume of questions when studying this book. If it takes me a while or I can't answer it, sorry! I'll try my best!