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 Revelation Chapter 4 (Part 32) (Verses 1 – 2)

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 4 (Part 32) (Verses 1 – 2)   Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:19 pm

In chapters 2 – 3 of Revelation we learned how the resurrected Jesus showed John through a vision the future of the church ages. We learned that there are 7 church ages all together throughout human history of the church of Jesus. We saw that there were 7 literal churches in John’s day, each having some characteristics that made it unique from the others, but these characteristics would reflect the personality of each church age in the order that Jesus addresses the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. We saw that the last church, the church in Laodicea, represents this time period we are currently living in. Well, there is nothing more prophetically in the bible that needs to take place before the next huge event: the Rapture. The Rapture is next event. It can occur at any time.

Revelation 4:1 begins, “After this I looked…” Notice that John is still speaking the progressive order of things. We have gone through the history of the 7 church ages in order. And continuing, John says, “After this…” What did we just state is immediately subsequent to the Laodicean age? The Rapture! The first 2 verses of Revelation chapter 4 are describing the Rapture event. The entire of verse 1 reads, “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.” Again, we see the words, “what must take place after this.” There is a designated order of events that are laid out in these first few chapters. Jesus is talking to John, and John himself represents the Church. Jesus tells John, that is, the Church, to “Come up here.” Jesus is described here as sounding like a trumpet. We will see other passages that describe the Rapture as having a trumpet sound accompanying the event. And as a side note, recall that the church of Laodicea had its door shut to Jesus with Him on the outside of the church knocking for someone to open the door, but Heaven will open its door open to us at the Rapture.

Interestingly, and tellingly, from this point on through the rest of the book of Revelation, there is no more mention of the Church being on this Earth. The word “church” was mentioned 19 times in Revelation chapters 1 to 3, but is not mentioned anymore from the standpoint of this Earth from chapters 4 through 19. Why would that be unless it has been raptured up to Heaven? The word “Father” is not mentioned in chapters 4 – 19. Only the Church has the privilege of calling God “Father.” God is mostly referred to as “God” in chapters 4 – 19. God only has a familial relationship with His own people. Seven times in Revelation chapters 2 – 3, Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” In Revelation 13:9, it reads, “He who has an ear, let him hear.” It leaves out the Spirit and the churches because neither the Holy Spirit nor the Church is on the Earth anymore.

I stated that John represents the Church in this passage. There are a couple of extra things to point out that supports this. The beginning of verse 4:2 reads, “At once I was in the Spirit…” John himself was suddenly changed in the Spirit. This was while he was called to “come up here [to Heaven]” to see “what must take place after this [the Church Age]”. In 1 Corinthians 15:51b-52, it says that the Christian will suddenly be changed at the Rapture. It reads, “…we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” John here in Revelation 4:2, representing the Church, is being changed into his new spiritual body, which the Saints will receive at the Rapture. But there is another passage that shows that John represents the Church here. This passage is in John 21:18-24. It is a peculiar passage whose meaning is obscure except when we connect it to this passage in Revelation. Jesus says in John 21:18, “I tell you [Peter] the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” We are told the meaning of this statement in the next verse, which reads, “Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, ‘Follow me!’” Peter would indeed later die by stretching out his hands. History tells us that Peter was crucified upside down because since he was condemned to be put to death by crucifixion, he asked to be crucified upside down because he did not deem himself worthy to be crucified as Jesus had been.

Verse 20 says, “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, ‘Lord, who is going to betray you?’)” We know “the disciple whom Jesus loved” refers to the Apostle John, the writer of the book of Saint John, the Epistles of John, and Revelation. It continues in verse 21, saying, “When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.’ Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?’” Now this is a really peculiar statement Jesus made. Why would he say of John, “If I want him to remain alive until I return…[I could].” Jesus said this because He knew that later John would write Revelation 2, 3, where John would brisk through the entire history of the Church age, and write 4:1-2 where John himself would represent the Church undergoing the Rapture. Furthermore, John is the only disciple regarded as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” God’s love is not the same for everyone. God loved the world, but He especially loves His Church. In the Old Testament, God loved the world, but He especially loved Israel. 1 Timothy 4:10 says, “…God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” Jesus loved all of His disciples, but He had a special affinity for John. Again, John in Revelation’s early chapters represents the Church; and just as Jesus had a special relationship with John as opposed to His other disciples, so too Jesus has a special relationship with the Church than He has with the rest of the world.
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Revelation Chapter 4 (Part 32) (Verses 1 – 2)
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