Summary: Now we begin a new vision—the second vision given to John the Apostle. Now it’s time for the churches to see the future events that are coming upon the earth.
The Lord’s personal message to the individual churches is now over. He has told them who He is, pointed out their failures, and warned and counseled them to correct their failures. He has also given them the great promises of heaven if they will only overcome.
Now we begin a new vision—the second vision given to John the Apostle. Now it’s time for the churches to see the future events that are coming upon the earth. Now it’s time for the churches to know that Jesus is coming back to earth. For the next 19 chapters we will see enormous detail of things to come.
READ verses 1 & 2. Tonight we see just a part of the vision—the throne of God. In tonight’s vision, John is transported into heaven and the very first thing he sees is the throne of God. And he sees God Himself seated upon this great throne. There are five quick things that happen to John in these 2 verses.
1. He saw a door opened in heaven. What he was about to see was coming from heaven. This means that we can trust the events written down in Revelation. It is the Word of God coming from heaven, from God’s great throne.
a. There are three doors mentioned in Revelation. There is the open door for evangelism and missions. This is the door that God opens for us as we attempt to share the gospel message with the world. There is the door of the human heart. We saw last week how we must open our heart to allow Jesus to come in. Then there is the door of revelation. Once a person has opened the door of his heart to Christ, Christ reveals the glorious things of Himself, of God, of heaven, and of this world. But Christ also reveals some of the events that will take place when Jesus comes again.
2. The second thing that happens to John is that he heard a commanding voice, the very same voice he had heard in the first vision (Rev. 1:10).
3. Thirdly, John was called to come up here into heaven. Why? To see future events, things that must take place. This is our revelation that things in this world don’t just happen. They are not by chance. There is no coincidence with God. It is all planned. All is of God, of His will—things that must (v.1) happen. God works them out. They are according to His will. History is in His hands and under His ultimate control.
4. Fourthly, John was immediately in the Spirit. He was having a deep, intense spiritual experience with God. In this ecstatic state, in his mind and spirit he was taken up and above this world into heaven.
5. Fifth, John saw the most astounding sight imaginable—God and the throne of God. John declares that he saw God sitting on the throne of God. This assures us that God is above all. He controls all. He sets the things that are to happen. And there will never be an end to His rule.
This should give us a peace in our hearts in knowing that we are secure. God has promised to deliver and keep the believer from the hour of trial, the great tribulation mentioned in Rev. 3:10. Then John describes God in verse 3. READ verse 3.
Note that the glory of God was so astounding that He is indescribable. No human shape or form can describe Him. He is described in terms of light, the dazzling light of the most precious gems and jewels of that day.
I have to say right here that that is the way we try to depict heaven. It is so beautiful that words cannot describe it. As you read about heaven, you will see that it is like a beautiful park. It is like a quiet meadow. It has streets that are like gold. It has seas that are like crystal. That’s as close as we can come. But it is better than all that.
The jewels used to describe God were the most precious of that day and they all represented something.
a. Jasper – This jasper was different from the jasper stone of today. This stone was translucent. A crystal through which light was shining. It was shining so brightly that it was like the concentrated light of a laser. This represents the penetrating perfection and purity of God.
b. The carnelian stone was a fiery red stone and it represents the justice of God.
c. The rainbow that surrounded the throne looked like emerald green. This represents the mercy of God and the new covenant of grace given to man by God.
Note that the throne of God covers the whole scope of salvation. There is God is all His perfection and purity. Man comes short of God’s perfection and purity.