Look Up

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:1–8)

Jesus told John to “come up here” so that he could show John what was going to happen “after this.” After this, is after all the suffering, all the pain, all the misery that the Christian people of the world were enduring.

The real source of power, the real throne where real decisions were made was not in the Emperor’s throne room in Rome. Instead, it was “up here.” Come up here, is something Moses did when God called him up to the mountain to receive the commandments. It was something many prophets experienced when they were “lifted up” in the Spirit. The vision of John of God’s throne room is a vision that would be recognizable to any Jewish person familiar with the Old Testament. The throne room as described by John makes its first appearance in Exodus 24:9-11, when Moses and Aaron, Aaron’s sons and the seventy elders of Israel see God and eat and drink with him.

Jesus asks us to “come up here” above our circumstances, to catch a glimpse of God in in his glory. There is more to life than just what we experience “down here.”

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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