Jesus Christ takes John the Apostle into heaven. He beholds the throne of God the Father, and those gathered in worship. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, “Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this.”
I looked and saw a door open in heaven. That is what Deacon Stephen the martyr saw.
Acts 7:55-56. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
Come up here. The Voice is calling John to ascend up into heaven. How would this be fulfilled? Would he come up to heaven in a purely spiritual way? Or would his physical body be taken up into heaven?
Some people are skeptical of a physical body being taken up into heaven. However, the Bible reveals that it already happened for both Elijah and Enoch:
Genesis 5:24. Enoch walked with God, and he was not found, for God took him.
2 Kings 2:11. As they continued on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated them, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Sirach 48:9. [Elijah] was taken up in a whirlwind of fire, and in a chariot of fiery horses:
Sirach 49:14. No man was created upon the earth such as was Enoch; For he was taken up from the earth.
Hebrews 11:5. By faith, Enoch was taken away, so that he wouldn’t see death, and he was not found, because God translated him. For he has had testimony given to him that before his translation he had been well pleasing to God.
Revelation 4:1. After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, “Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this.”
Revelation 11:12. I heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them.
VERSE 2. Immediately I was in the Spirit. Behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting on the throne
Immediately I was in the Spirit. John is taken up to heaven in a purely spiritual way. His physical body was taken up into heaven.
VERSE 3. that looked like a jasper stone and a sardius. There was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald to look at.
that looked like. John tries to share with us what he saw. But he can only give approximations.
People who have mystical experiences say they are almost impossible to describe. However, for our sake, John tries. He tries to describe it for us.
VERSE 4. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones. On the thrones were twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white garments, with crowns of gold on their heads.
twenty-four elders. This is curious. It is not twelve. There are twelve tribes and twelve apostles. But here there are 24 elders.
Later, in Revelation 5:5, one of these elders will speak with John.
white garments, with crowns of gold. Some people say these are Catholic bishops. They say that the white garment alludes to the “chasuble,” or outer dress, and the golden crown alludes to the “miter,” or pointy hat.
However, on the most casual of study, we find that this interpretation does not fit. If a bishop is wearing a white garment (“chasuble”), his crown (“miter”) is a also white. Also, the miter is not a “crown” by any stretch of the imagination.
VERSE 5. Out of the throne proceed lightnings, sounds, and thunders. There were seven lamps of fire burning before his throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
seven. There are a lot of instances of the number “seven” in the Book of Revelation. Here is our list of all we have found.
seven Spirits of God. Or “sevenfold” Spirit of God.
VERSE 6. Before the throne was something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal. In the middle of the throne, and around the throne were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.
VERSE 7. The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle.
VERSE 8. The four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within. They have no rest day and night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come!”
Holy, holy, holy. Many people assume this is what is said during their liturgy. However, the phrasing is not the same. There are differences.
VERSE 9. When the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to him who sits on the throne, to him who lives forever and ever,
him who sits on the throne. That is, Jesus Christ.
him who lives forever and ever. That is, Jesus Christ.
VERSE 10. the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever, and throw their crowns before the throne, saying,
throw their crowns before the throne. These 24 elders know they are not the center of attention. Their role is to point to Someone Else.
VERSE 11. “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One, to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.