The phrase, ‘after these things,’ ‘meta tauta,’ immediately sets up a chronology.
After the events of
chapter 1, the resurrected Christ. After the letters to the
Churches, chapters 2 and 3, the warnings, the failings, and the promises for
believers in our Church Age.
Then after these events of chapters one to three, a
door opens in heaven.
Now, this has been often times interpreted as the
Rapture, however, nowhere is the church mentioned in Revelation, as being
transported into heaven.This is only
John being transported into heaven for the purposes of receiving the visions
which he will record, and has recorded in this book.
However, that is not the entire picture being
presented here in this verse.
The Church is mentioned in chapters 2 and 3. The church has been promised that it will not
see the testing (from chapters 6 and after) of the Tribulation, Rev. 3:10. And, after chapter 3, the church is no longer
mentioned in the activities that will occur on earth, during the entire period
of the Tribulation. Our activities are restricted to those in heaven, with one
exception, and that is our accompaniment of Christ at the Second Advent.
Therefore, between chapters 3 and 4, the Church is
no longer on the earth.And now there is
one more thing to mention that relates here.
In all of the Bible, only
two people are mentioned as having visited heaven, only two people.
The first is Paul, 2 Cor. 12:2, and he was
forbidden to speak of anything which he saw, 2 Cor. 12:4. And, Paul’s visit occurred many years prior
to his writing 2 Cor., before any of the books of the New Testament were
The second person is John, which we are studying in
Revelation. And John was told to write
all that he saw, with only the exception of the seven thunders, Rev. 10:4. And John in fact wrote the final book of the
Bible, which indicates that now we are ready to know about and see exactly what
is in heaven, where we are going to go, at some time in our future.
The door opening is a door of entrance, the voice
of Christ calling (not returning to earth to stay), is a voice of summons, ‘Come
up here. ’And that is exactly what will occur
when the Rapture occurs, 1 Thess. 4:16, when Christ descends into the clouds,
and with a voice calls all Church Age believers to come up to Him. And we will then leave this earth and go off
to heaven with Him.
And Christ repeats again, ‘After these things.’ And after the events of chapters 1 through 3,
after the Church is no longer on planet earth, then we will see events occurring
in heaven and on the earth. And the
drama of it all, will absolutely overwhelm us.
The word for behold, ‘idou,’
means astonishment, something so astonishing that we will not be able to look
away from it. Events were going to
unfold before John in this vision, and for us, in real time in our future, and
they will be phenomenal events. None of
us will be prepared for them.No matter
what kind of preparation you have or will have in your life, you and I, and all
of us, will not be prepared for what is to come.
We have seen many great disasters in many of our
lifetimes. Most of the World War Two
generation is gone now, but a few remain.
And so we have seen world war, tsunami’s, ice
storms, massive earthquakes, and powerful hurricanes and tornadoes, and so
forth. Many disasters and events have
killed hundreds and thousands and millions, but the Tribulation will see even
greater horrors than anything that has ever occurred on this planet in our
This book relates descriptions of many of these
disasters from disease to starvation to crime, to natural disasters, but it
withholds the descriptions of the seven thunders. We cannot even begin to imagine what those
events might be. But rest assured, they will not be good for those who are on this earth.
And in heaven, the events that are described will be
phenomenal, and of course that is where we will be while the earth is drowning
in its horrors.
John begins with a peak into heaven, and so will we.
End of study