Revelation 4:1-2 states, “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. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.”
Are the above scriptures referring to the rapture of the Church? The Apostle John dictated 7 letters from Jesus Himself pertaining to 7 Churches in Asia Minor or modern-day Turkey. Why these 7 Churches? Why was the Church in Jerusalem not included? If you look closely at these 7 epistles, they may represent each period of the Church age. The Church at Ephesus may represent the apostolic period, and the Laodicea Church may represent the apostate or lukewarm period. If this is true, the lukewarm Church is the Church in our time. It will be the last Church before the rapture. This is the dominant Church in America and Europe. When the Apostle John wrote “after this,” “Hereafter,” I believe he was referring to after the Church age.
The “door” opened in heaven is Jesus Himself. John 10:7 & 9 states, “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” Jesus stated emphatically in John 14:6 that He is the only way to heaven. Jesus is the Savior of mankind. He is the Word of God (John 1:1).
The “trumpet” is the next key to the puzzle. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 states, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and 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 shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
The above verses in I Thessalonians 4 reveal that “the Lord Himself” will open the door to Heaven and will descend to the clouds. The “trump of God” will sound and the Church will receive their glorified bodies “immediately.”
I Corinthians 15:51-53 states, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
The Apostle John was taken up in the spirit. The bodies of dead saints will be resurrected and their soul and spirits that are in heaven will be incorporated into their glorified bodies. The saints that are alive will be taken up and changed in less than a second. In a twinkling of an eye, the body corrupted with sin will be changed into a body like the Lord Jesus. 1 John 3:2-3 states, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” What a great promise. What a “comfort.” What a “blessed hope”!
The Apostle John was taken up in the spirit to view the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10) or the Day of the Lord, from Heaven. Revelation 3:10-11 states, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” The book of Revelation promises a blessing to those who read it (1:3) and promises the overcoming Church that they will be exempt from “the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world.” It is not a shock to see the Apostle John taken up in the spirit because he represents the true Church.
After the rapture of the Church or the removal of the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit that indwells the Church), God will turn His focus to Israel. God has made covenants with Israel, which will be fulfilled. Jesus will come suddenly for His bride. We will be transported to heaven until the indignation or tribulation is completed. Jesus stated in John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” No doubt the Church will be in heaven while God pours out His wrath out on unrepentant mankind.
How can anyone deny that Revelation 4:1 is a transition verse or a rapture verse? If you read Revelation 4 – 19, you will notice the Jewishness of the book. Here are some examples:
- “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” (Rev. 5:5)
- “the Lamb” (Rev. 5:6, 8, 12, 13; 6:1; 7:9-10, 17)
- The 144,000 Jewish Evangelists from the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8, 14:1-4; Matthew 24:13-14)
- The temple of God will be in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:1-2).
- The two Jewish witnesses (Rev. 11:3-12; Zechariah 4:11-14)
- “A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” The woman is Israel (Rev. 12:1, 6; Genesis 3:15).
- Michael the Archangel defends Israel (Rev. 12:7; Daniel 12:1).
- The abomination of Desolation takes place in Jerusalem (Rev. 13:1-18, Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; II Thessalonians 2:4).
- The battle of Armageddon takes place in Israel (Rev. 16:16; Zechariah 12:11; Matthew 24:20).
- Jesus returns to Jerusalem (Revelation 19:11-21; Zechariah 14).
The Church age is coming to an end. When the Father gives His Son the command, hundreds of millions of believers will be gone in a less than a second. The only way to go in the rapture is to be born again. But, Christian, do not tempt God by using grace as a license to sin (Romans 6).
You must confess that you are a sinner. That is repentance. It is a change of mind about one’s spiritual condition. Many of the Jewish leaders during Jesus’s 1st time advent did not change their mind about their sinful condition. Their sin remained. Many were removed from their own olive tree (Romans 11:17, 19, 24). You must believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, He died for your sins on the cross, and was resurrected on the third day (I Corinthians 15:1-4).
Once you are saved, you live by faith. You build that faith through prayer, fasting, Bible study, and trials and tribulations.
When you become a believer in Jesus, you will know if you are out of God’s will. The Holy Spirit will convict you of your sin. You keep your heart tender by confessing your sins to God (1 John 1:9) and confessing your faults to one another (James 5:16). You confess your sins, forgive, forget, and restore in that order.
Your faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross must be the focus of your faith (I Corinthians 1:18, 23, 2:2; Galatians 6:14; Hebrews 12:2). Please do not go back under the Mosaic Law or under man’s law. If you live by law instead of grace, Satan and your sin nature will attack your faith (Galatians 5:1-4, 19-21). Please read Acts 15, Romans, and Galatians regarding law versus grace.
The Bible states very clearly that “some will depart from the faith” in the last days (I Timothy 4:1). Why? Because of “seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.” Please, ask the Lord where He wants you to serve. Your faith is the most important part of your armor (Ephesians 6:16).
Thank the Father each day for sending His Son to die for your many sins. Tell the lost what Jesus has done for you.
If you accepted Jesus, welcome to the Kingdom of God.
The next sound you may hear is “Come up Hither.” Amen.