1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had 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 behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.
One might think that, after hearing and seeing the risen Lord Jesus and taking dictation from him, there would be nothing more spectacular that could occur. However, to think this is to underestimate the Lord we serve. Our God is infinite in his wonder and majesty. There will never be an end to the joys and glories that those who know him will experience. And John was by no means at the end of his glorious experience.
After John finishes writing the seven letters to the seven churches, he hears a resounding voice. Back in chapter one, John heard the voice of Jesus which reminded him of a trumpet. That voice was loud, clear, and commanding. Now, here in chapter 4, the voice of Jesus rings out again.
This time, Jesus calls John to “Come up here.” He promises that, when John follows him, he will learn what must soon take place. But the future is not at hand in this chapter.
John looks to the sky, and he sees a door standing open in heaven. John tells us that he was “in the Spirit,” a phrase which seems to accompany the transitions between the major visions of this book. John was filled with God’s Holy Spirit and made ready to receive the revelation of God.
Then John is caught up through that door and taken into heaven. Did he go physically or was he just having a vision? There is just no way for us to know. Whether in his body or out, John is transported out of the sphere of this world and into the very throne room of God.
Now, take careful note of what John first describes. When John enters heaven, there is something that demands his attention, his focus. There is something that catches his eye and, for a moment, completely consumes his imagination. John sees the throne of God.
Remember, of course, that this is a vision. We cannot begin to imagine what it really looked like. God does not need a chair. He is spirit. He does not get tired and need a seat for a rest. But, whatever it is that John’s Spirit-filled eyes take in, it is clearly the place where God reigns.
Right here is the first key to worship. See the Lord God on his throne. God is enthroned. God is in charge, in command, the ruler of all. Worship centers on God. Worship centers on his authority and majesty. If we miss this fact, we miss worship.