Dear Student of the Word,
It's time to move on in our Revelation study. In this week's installment, we finish looking at Jesus' remarks to the seven churches and then begin the main body of the book in chapter four where the focus shifts from the church on earth to the situation in heaven. The portion after the address to the seven churches begins in 4:1, and I include my comments on that verse in this week's study, which can be downloaded in its entirety below:
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
4:1 – When we see things from heaven’s perspective, we are much better off. These churches were living in the midst of political turmoil and religious persecution. Yet the Lord did not take them to Rome or some other earthly place to gain the proper perspective, He took them to heaven.
The voice talking to John was like a trumpet. A blown trumpet is hard to miss. Often God is speaking loudly and clearly, but we miss what He is saying due to disobedience, hardness of heart, or an expectation that God will say something other than what He is actually saying. Our problem hearing God is often the same one that we encounter in communicating with other people. Even though they are talking to us face to face, we can miss or misunderstand what they are saying for a variety of reasons.
The voice ordered John to “come up here.” That makes me think of what Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7).
We experience resurrection life when we give our lives to the Lord and are raised with Christ, and now we are seated where He is. We do not bring Christ down to where we are, but rather join Him where He is.
John saw an open door in heaven. When God calls us to Himself, it is an exciting thing. God opens His world to us and that is the thing upon which we need to focus; that is where we need to go. Is there an open window in heaven for you? What is God saying to you? What are you seeing?
You should get the idea after reading this verse that God is working out everything according to His purpose. Someone once said God is playing chess with man; He matches his every move. The words “after this” are used twice in this verse after the words “must take place.” God orders our affairs. There is no need for anxiety when He knows all the “after this” situations in our lives.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the daily devotional entitled Your Life Matters: Daily Reflections from the Book of Psalms. Thank you and soon I will begin sending you my edited studies from James' epistle. After that, we will only have the book of Revelation to complete before the entire New Testament is on the site where this study is posted.