With our Lord’s messages to the Church complete, John is air-lifted from Patmos in the Spirit to the heavenly throne room of God. This marks the beginning of John’s incredible journey into the future to behold and record the events of the last days.
v.1-2 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.
With the messages to the Church complete, John is taken in the Spirit into the presence of Almighty God Himself. Let’s put ourselves into John’s place and see if we can experience this rapture with him. Imagine for a moment that you are John.
You’re on Patmos no more than a few feet away from Jesus listening to His every word. Then after some time (you don’t know how long) the voice of Jesus ceases and you’re attention is drawn toward a parting of the sky, the call of God’s voice, and the Holy Spirit’s seizure and instantaneous translation of your body from the realm of the physical into the supernatural.
Okay, that’s where we’ll begin this chapter; with John standing before the throne of God. Before we move on, though, allow me to explain why I believe that this event is an anti-type of the yet-future advent of the rapture of the church.
- Foremost, and most importantly, I’m convinced that the great Tribulation concerns Israel, not the Church. We will read more about this in Chapter six when we cover Israel’s “Seventieth Week”.
- I accept our Lord’s instruction to John that he “write the things which take place after this” in Rev.1:17 to mean those things that take place “after” the age of the church has been fulfilled.
- I see John’s ascent into heaven once the letters to the Church are complete intending to signify the rapture once the age of the Church is complete.
- I don’t find it coincidental that the Church is never seen on earth throughout all the grim events of the Tribulation and when represented, only as being in Heaven.
- I accept that Scripture teaches rapture (refer to supplementary notes).
Rapture can happen in our lifetime, dear ones. The next breath we inhale here on earth might very well be exhaled in heaven in the presence of Jesus. It’s a wonderful thought.
“Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1Thess.5:6)