“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)
Remember, the original message of Revelations was one continuous message. It was not divided into chapters and verses. Chapters and verses were added to the whole Bible at a later date to make it easier to reference and study.
So let’s not look at Chapter four as if the subject and vision is somewhat disjointed from the previous Chapter, because it is actually a direct continuance of same vision and thought. You cannot understand Chapter four without having understood the previous Chapter three.
In the last Church Age message to the Laodiceans, the promise to the over-comers was:
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:21)
So it is natural for John (who was an over-comer) to be looking up toward heaven’s throne: “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven…” Are we still looking up to the throne of God? The context of “looking to Jesus in heaven” is always that of continuing in the Spirit of worship, even though we are going through tribulation because of our stand for all the truth, including the truth that exposes false worship:
- “But he (Stephen when he was martyred), being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55-56)
- “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20)
- “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
Notice that when we stand for all of the Word, including the Bible teaching on one true church of God, we will suffer persecution. But this is how Jesus has ordained that the fullness of his revelation should come. This is how we are able to have the “door opened in heaven.” And this is exactly what happened in the Philadelphia church age when they began to stand out for all the Word:
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” (Revelation 3:7-8)
The reason that John “looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven” was because the door of revelation that Jesus opened in the Philadelphia church Age was still open. Man has tried to shut it by his lukewarm attitude, but Jesus in his wonderful mercy still has the door open to those who will sincerely look up to him fully and believe all of his truth and all of his power to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords to the church! But you have to be in the Spirit of true worship to receive it!
“…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.”
The “first voice” like a trumpet, was the voice John heard from Jesus himself in the first chapter of Revelations. Notice, the voice is still sounding out as a trumpet by the sounding out of the true Gospel. It is sounding out to speak to the hearts of people to open “their door” because Jesus’ door has already been opened. And his voice is still calling out to Laodicea to open their hearts door to him:
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20)
In order to receive understanding in “things which must be hereafter” we must be in the Spirit of true worship to be able to look up, see the open door, and “come up hither”.