The following is Jesus’ last communication to the church through John in Revelation 3:21. John has a personal rapture experience. This is the revealing to us, through John, of God’s plan for the rapture of the church as an event yet to come.
Revelation 3:21: “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my father on his throne.”
To better understand the personal rapture experience John describes in Revelation 4:1-4, we must first carefully read two Scriptures that describe the Rapture in detail:
•1 Corinthians 15:51-52: “Listen, I will tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet.”
•1 Thessalonians 4:16-18: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall ever be with the Lord.”
Notice the similarity of detail between the previous verses and John’s personal rapture experience as follows:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven, and the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’ At once I was in the Spirit and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it” (Revelation 4:1-2).
Similarities Describing the Rapture:
The phrase “after this” tells us that what is about to happen to John occurs just after Jesus’ last communication to the Church through John (Revelation 3:21).
“Before me was a door standing open in heaven” tells us the door to Heaven is, at that time, standing wide open as an invitation for the raptured church to enter.
“The voice” speaking “like a trumpet” is a similar description to “the voice” in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, described as “the voice of the archangel” and “with the trumpet of God.”
“Come up here” is a direct quote from Jesus to John, and is similar to the phrase, “the Lord himself … with a shout,” in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.
“What must take place after this” tells us that all the future events in Revelation occur after this particular event that John is experiencing. This indicates that the rapture is a pre-Tribulation event.
“At once” in the Revelation passage is similar to “in the twinkling of an eye” as described in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.
“I was in the Spirit” could correlate to the phrase, “we will all be changed,” found in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.
“There before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it” indicates that John is now having a vision in heaven in the presence of God; the only way to get to heaven without your body dying a mortal death is with a glorified body through the Rapture.
The personal rapture experience that John relates in Revelation 4:1-2 reveals how the church will be raptured to heaven after the Church Age and before the Tribulation, because Scripture tells us:
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Come Lord Jesus!