Summary: John see the Ancient of Days on His throne. A door was opened. A voice commanded John to "come up here". John was then in the presence of God. John begins to describe his vision.
A. Turn to Revelation 4:1
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." (2) At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
1. John saw a vision
a. and this morning we are going to zero in on the vision of the throne and the person on that throne
b. Five things happen in rapid succession
(1) First, there was a door, standing open before John
(a) This is the third door mentioned in the Revelation
i) The first was the door Christ opened before the church at Philadelphia
a) Which was the door to evangelization and missions - that door is still open to us!!
ii) The second was the door to the Laodician church that Christ was knocking upon
a) Christ is still standing there knocking, hoping to be allowed to enter into many of these local churches and institutions today
(b) This third door was opened to John and it is the door to the Revelation of Jesus Christ
i) This door is open to all who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit
ii) The main difference is that today, the door lies in the Word of God
iii) The Holy Spirit illuminates these revealed truths to our hearts
(2) Second, a commanding voice calls to John
(a) This is the same voice that John heard in the beginning of the Revelation
On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
(b) And here, "And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said,"
(3) Third, the voice said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."
(a) I pointed out two Sundays ago that the voice is telling John that the things he would see are those things which must, of necessity, happen, because they are divinely decreed to happen
(4) Fourth, John is immediately in the Spirit, in heaven.
(a) Paul describes an experience much the same, however, he did not know whether his experience was a vision or he actually went into heaven
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
(b) John seems to realize that his experience is a very real vision
(5) The fifth thing that happens is John sees a throne and some one sitting upon it.
c. The vision that John has of God is quite obviously symbolic
(1) Moses asked to see God's face and was told that no man could see God and live
(2) Moses was allowed to see a vision of God's back and it effected Him tremendously
(a) Moses face shown with God's reflected glory for quite a while after his experience
(3) But, being symbolic, there is a great revelation here if we will seek to see the significance of the symbols
(a) This morning we are going to explore the symbol's revelation of God Almighty
A. The very first symbol John mentions is the throne
1. Verse 2 says,
there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
2. In verse 4, John sees twenty four other thrones surrounding the central throne
Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones
3. This throne symbolizes everything concerning the authority and rule of God
a. The throne was the symbol of a kings power
(1) In 2 Samuel 7:13, The Lord in His covenant with David said
He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
(2) In Genesis 41:40, Pharaoh tells Joseph
You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you."
b. Here John sees a throne
(1) A symbol of the king of heaven
(2) Central to all others
c. John's vision begins with the revelation of the King of heaven and creation
(1) This has to be God the Father
(a) This is the central throne in heaven
(b) And we will see Jesus, God the Son, in Revelation 5
i) There is found in the hand of the occupant of the throne a scroll
ii) Then in Revelation 5:5 - 7, the Lion of Judah, the son of David, the Lamb takes the scroll