What was the very last command which God gave to his Church?
If you said, “The Great Commission,” you can receive half credit for an educated guess and also because this was a trick question! (Sorry, I am an old-school teacher!) The truth is, God’s last command to His Church has not yet been spoken.
It can be found in the Book of Revelation, chapter 4, verse 1,
“Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven,
and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast.
The voice said, ‘Come up here,
and I will show you what must happen after this.'”
In this verse, John is called to come up to heaven to receive the revelations which God wanted His Church to know about. If prophecy teachers are correct about John representing the end-times Church on earth, then God’s final command to us in the Rapture will be, “Come up here!”
Significantly, as soon as John is lifted up off of the earth and carried to heaven, the terrors of the Tribulation time begin. Also, once John has left the earth, there is not another mention of the Church during the next 15 chapters of history recorded in Revelation as all of the 21 judgments of God are poured out upon the earth.
Bible commentator David Guzik (Blue Letter Bible) writes this about Rev. 4:1:
“Many see John’s going up to heaven as a symbol of the rapture of the Church. John was called up to heaven by a voice that sounds like a trumpet, just as the Church will be as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. The pattern is significant. Jesus finished speaking to and dealing with the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, and all churches are comprehended in the seven. Now, after dealing with the Church, Jesus called John up to heaven, “catching him away” with a voice that sounded like a trumpet. All this happened before the great wrath that will be described beginning at Rev. 6. As that great judgment on the earth unfolded, John – a representative of the Church – was in heaven, looking down on earth.”
Let me stop here and ask my readers another question…
Can you recall the only other time in New Testament scripture when that same phrase, “Come up here!” is used? The answer is compelling!
It is found in Revelation 11:12.
The two faithful witnesses (Dr. David Reagan believes them to be Elijah and Enoch) have been preaching in Jerusalem for the final half of the Tribulation. Their ministry has been accompanied by signs and wonders, but after 3.5 years, the world has grown unable to stand their message a moment longer, and the Anti-Christ has them killed. The wicked world celebrates, and their bodies are displayed for television audiences to see, but after 3 days, God resurrects His great prophets and calls them home to heaven! As they are raised in a cloud, the whole earth watches via satellite transmission!
“Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, ‘Come up here!’
And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.”
My conclusion is simple. The Greek words are identical in both Revelation 4:1 and Revelation 11:12: “anabaino hode.” If God’s command to “Come up here!” resulted in the symbolic rapture of the Church in Rev. 4:1 and the resurrection and physical return to heaven of the two faithful witnesses in Rev. 11:12, then God’s final command to the Church to “Come up here!” will result in the resurrection and physical return of the faithful Church at the Rapture! These words were literally fulfilled when spoken to the two witnesses; I believe they will be literally fulfilled when Jesus speaks them to His Bride at the Rapture!
Let us continue to persevere till then so that we may be found worthy to hear and obey God’s Last command to the Church!
“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere,
I will protect you from the great time of testing
that will come upon the whole world
to test those who belong to this world” (Revelation 3:10).