After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”
(a) After these things. After recording the seven messages to the seven churches of Asia. See entry for Rev. 1:11.
(b) Come up here. The author of Revelation (John; see Rev. 1:1) was taken up to heaven.
(c) After these things which Jesus has been talking about in the seven letters (e.g., trials, tribulations, and persecutions). A first-century Smyrnean who heard “the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days” (Rev. 2:10) might get discouraged. Jesus wants them to know that is not the end of the story. Jesus is the last word.
Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.
(a) I was in the Spirit. Earlier, John had a vision of Jesus among the lampstands, speaking to encourage the church in the Roman province of Asia (Rev. 1:12–13). Now he has a vision from the throne room of heaven.
(b) One sitting on the throne. God himself, see Rev. 4:8, 19:4.
(c) The throne. God’s throne is mentioned forty times in Revelation.
There are many ways to interpret the strange vision that is recorded in Rev. 4–22, but however we interpret it we can be reassured that God is on the throne.
Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.
White garments; see entry for Rev. 7:9.
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