Summary: week 11 in a Wednesday evening study through the book of Revelation
“The Church In Heaven With Christ”
Date: August 21, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: Revelation: 4:1-11
In these past weeks we have seen the history of the church in the seven churches of chapters 2-3. Now from this point on the church is no longer mentioned until chapter 19. What has happened to the church?
I need to stop here and ask that we back up to chapter 1 verse 19.
Here we have God’s outline for the book of Revelation.
* Revelation can be divided into three divisions as seen in Rev. 1:19.
I. “The things which you have seen”
A. This refers to the vision John has seen
B. Remember thee vision John has seen 7 golden lamp stands; Jesus in the midst of these lamp stands; Stars in the hand of Jesus.
C. All of this in chapter 1
II. “The things which are”
A. This refers to the letters to the churches.
B. Remember these churches represent all churches through out the church age, from Pentecost to the Rapture
C. Chapters 2-3 are the seven great periods of the church age.
III. “The things which are to come”
A. This is referring to chapters 4-22
B. . Going back to 4:1, the word Metatauta (Meta-toe-tay) means after this or after these things
C. After Revelation 3:22 the Church is not mentioned again until she returns as “The Bride of Christ”
D. God has judged and dealt with the church in chapters 2-3.
So chapter 4 has a new scene. Chapter 3 closes with a closed door; Rev 3 20 Jesus says to the church “Behold I stand at the door and knock”. Revelation 4:1 begins with the opened door in heaven.
One more point I want to share before I begin in our text; remember the word church is the Greek word “ekklesia” which means called out people.
So the answer to your first question, where is the church?
We have been called out. The church has been removed or raptured out of the world before the tribulation.
Some may ask how do I come to this belief of the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. Here are some of my thoughts & studies.
1. The structured outline of Revelation 1:19. – Go back to this verse & the outline God gave us. After these things
2. The very nature of the tribulation – The tribulation is the outpouring of God’s wrath on a Godless world. We are His bride & His body.
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
John 5:24; “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My Word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
3) Scriptural presentation of the comfort & hope to the Christian. – We are not waiting for or looking to the great tribulation. Titus 2:13 tells us we are waiting that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
4) Because of the premise of revelation 3:10; “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trail which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
“After these things”
That word again meta tauta is used here again; it opens & closes this verse.
After the church age; after the church has been taken out of the world.
“I looked & behold a door standing open in heaven”
John did not say he saw the door opening, but saw it open.
This reminds us that heavens door is always open to those who believe. And now is open to receive the church.
“And the voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking to me”
This is the voice of Christ
Some have said this is the voice calling us to heaven
“Saying come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
According to our outline in Revelation 1:19, this begins the 3rd & final division of the book of Revelation, describing the events after the church age.
“I was in the Spirit”
This was not a dream, John was supernaturally transported to an experience beyond the normal senses.
The Holy Spirit is guiding John into this new truth & showing him things to come.
“And behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the Throne.”
Our attention is now directed to the center of attention.
The throne represents the universal sovereignty & rulership of God.