A Throne Set in Heaven
The fourth chapter of Revelation has got to be the most triumphant chapter in the Holy Bible. The First Testament saints and the Second Testament saints are finally, after thousands of years, directly around the majestic throne of the Heavenly Father. The veil of His glory has been removed for them. For the first time since Adam sinned, men and women can sit or stand in His unclouded presence without a redemptive covering. They are glorified Saints in the presence of the eternal throne with the archangels and the Heavenly Host. It is glory indescribable and eternal. This is the triumphant moment of His redeemed, as the beginning of the end is unfurled. This is the final process of the reclaiming of all things that God Almighty might finally be “All in All” in all of His universe.
This chapter begins with Heaven opening like a door and the Son of God Himself speaking with a voice like a trumpet. He calls to John, the writer of His words of Revelation, “Come up hither” and I will show thee things which must be hereafter. Jesus Christ is clearly the Narrator and Host to John as he reveals to him the triumph of this future moment. I have often wondered why Jesus Christ chose not to be in sight during all of chapter four. Finally it dawned on me that His presence is there alright, but as John’s Host to unravel the grandeur of this hour.
This moment in prophecy is the mountain peak. The saints of God have thirsted and longed for His presence. The passion of every Blood-washed soul is to know and see God in His glory and to awake to His visible sight and Divine Person. Being a Christian is more, much more than being delivered from eternal hell. It is the hope of spending eternity in the fellowship of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. This scene in Revelation chapter four is just the beginning, but what a beginning.
John the Apostle has just finished penning the seven letters to the seven churches. This concluded the church age because this book never speaks of the church again until He reminds John in chapter twenty-two that this entire book is a testimony to be given to the churches. He says, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Revelation 22:16) Beginning in this fourth chapter, the overcoming saints have been promoted to being “elders in the presence of God” conducting Heavenly business with the Father and His Son. The scene in this chapter is Heavenly. Earthly places and events have suddenly faded into the background. Instead of talking about earthly cities, the talk is of angels, heavenly seraphims, cheribums, and the seven-fold offices of His Holy Spirit.
For the first time since Adam hid himself in the Garden of Eden because of sin, man can behold God in His glory without a covering of redemptive blood. No event or idea is more positive in proof of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture than this fact. Search the Scripture for man’s approach to God and you will find every approach awesome in redemption requirement. In the Garden the Father slew the first animal to make coats from a blood sacrifice before Adam and Eve came out of hiding. The family of Rahab escaped the dreadful destruction of Jericho by a scarlet thread hanging from her window in the wall. A scarlet cord traced its way from the garden to the Book of Revelation without a break. But now, the Saints are sitting upon thrones in the uncovered presence of Divine Revelation. The Sovereign God is in full view by the redeemed saints of both Testaments. It is a breathtaking picture of our future.
The Open Door in Heaven
We must not bypass the powerful significance of this open door. Heaven is closed at the present. No man or woman can ascend into His glory, because we are flesh and blood, until we are transformed at the Resurrection. Yes, the spirit of the saints goes to His presence to await that event, but our flesh goes back to dust. To see that the saints have passed through this door into Heaven settles the fact that before the seven dark years of the Great Tribulation, the overcoming saints will escape to His wonderful nearness and presence. The chapter begins as following, “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” (Revelation 4:1)
Jesus Christ said to John that what he was about to see was all in the context of “hereafter.” That statement settled the fact that nothing beyond this moment in this revelation is historic or past. It does not relate to the existing church as far as time or fulfillment but to the future of the saints after this transfer from earth to heaven. Absolutely nothing in Revelation chapter four to chapter twenty-two can be placed on a timeline before the Rapture. This is a wonderful aid in interpreting this great Revelation of Jesus Christ. In chapter one, He was seen in His post-resurrection glory. In chapter two and three, He was seen in the midst of His church, directing the life and ministry of His ecclesia or body of the church. From chapter four on, He must be seen revealing the future beyond the time of the saints’ earthly pilgrimage.