“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’”
John looked into the future of mankind and saw the day when the heavens will open, not to speak, but to call home all who have trusted in Christ for salvation. Paul explained that the dead in Christ would rise first, and we who are alive and remain will be caught up together in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). What a day that will be, when we are no longer looking through a glass dimly, but we are face to face with Christ (I Corinthians 13:12) steeped in His glory.
John gives us a glimpse of what we have to look forward to. He writes of a radiant throne, encircled by a rainbow, and surrounded by elders. In front of the throne, a sea like glass, and flying around the throne angel beings, ever declaring the Holiness and mighty power of God. The beauty of the throne is only overshadowed by the glory of the One sits upon it. Whenever the angels begin to sing, the elders cast down their golden crowns in homage and worship.
One day, not too far in our future, we will hear the sound of the trumpet blast, watch as the door opens in heaven, and the believers are called home to meet the Lord in the air. Live expectantly, who knows how soon, before that day appears.
Questions for Revelation 4
Remember that Revelation 1:19 gives us an outline of the book. Chapter 1 was the things that he had seen; chapter 2 and 3 were the things which are; and chapter 4 begins the section of the things which will take place “after this”.
1. Notice at the end of verse 1 that John is about to be shown things that will take place “after these things”. What things is he referring to in chapters 2 and 3?
2. In verses 1 and 2, where was the open door to and where is John then called to?
3. John saw a door open in heaven, then he was called up to heaven and was immediately there. Have you considered how quickly/suddenly the Lord could return for us? Read Mark 13:32-37
4. Look at verses 3-8. Some of the descriptions are of things that we have never seen before. John must frequently use the word “like” to describe things. His (and our) only point of reference is earthly things that we have already seen. Part of the reason for the dramatic imagery is to get our attention. But heaven will be full of new things that will blow our mind! Read 1Cor 2:9, and Job 42:3.
5. Notice that the 24 elders have crowns and white robes. Look up 2 Tim 4:8, James 1:12, and 1 Peter 5:4 for clues as to the crowns that they could be wearing. Also look up Isa 1:18 and 61:10.
6. You may have noticed that in the book of Revelation the number 7 has been mentioned many times. Seven is a number that in biblical numerology means “completion”. In verse 5, we see mention of the seven Spirits of God. Since we never have a listing of seven spirits of God elsewhere in the Scripture, it’s a good bet that this speaks of the “completeness” of God’s Spirit, in every way. Be on the lookout for sevens as we go through the book.
7. The living creatures are “full of eyes”, which is a pretty bizarre picture to imagine. However eyes are used for sight. The object of their attention is God Almighty upon the throne. What do they whose eyes are always upon Him have to say to Him? How can we keep our eyes focused on Jesus?
8. Notice the effect of the living creatures worship on the twenty four elders. The most effective way that we can influence others is to grow in our own relationship with God. Look up John 15:4-5.
9. In this life crowns give power, authority and glory. Note what the elders do with their crowns and what they say to God. How is God totally different from us and why should He be worshipped?
Ezekiel 20- Navigating Life