Revelation 4:1-11 Part 2

1)    After these I looked and, lo, a door having been opened in the heaven and the sound, the first that I heard as a trumpet, speaking to me saying “come up here and I will show you what is necessary to take place after these”.

2)    Immediately I did come in spirit and, lo, a throne set in the heaven, and upon the throne One sitting,

3)    and the One sitting like stone, jasper and sardonyx in appearance, and a rainbow round about the throne like emerald in appearance.

4)    And round about the throne twenty four thrones, and upon the thrones twenty four elders having been clothed in white garments, and upon their heads gold crowns.

5)    And from the throne coming forth lightnings and sounds and thunderings, and seven fiery lamps ablaze before the throne that are the seven spirits of God,

6)    and before the throne as glassy sea like crystal, and in midst of the throne and round about the throne four creatures being entirely of eyes front and back,

7)    and the first creature like unto a lion, and the second creature like unto a calf, and the third creature having the face as of man, and the fourth creature like unto a flying eagle,

8)    and the four creatures one by one of them having six wings each, being entirely of eyes around and within, and they have no pause saying “holy holy holy Kurios The God The Almighty, the Was and the Is and the Coming.

9)    And whenever the creatures will present glory and honor and thanksgiving to the One sitting on the throne, to the One living into the ages of the ages,

10) the twenty four elders will prostrate themselves before the One sitting on the throne, and they will adore the One living into the ages of the ages, and they will cast their crowns before the throne, saying

11) “worthy are You, the Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power; for You, You did create all, and by Your will they are, and they were created”.


When we left off last Lord’s Day, we had completed what we knew about the “door having been opened in the heaven”.  Two previous prophets had seen many things that were reflected in the ceremonial and sacrificial system commanded by God.  The apostle John also sees all of these things… with one exception: he saw the Lamb Slain.  There is no more altar of whole burnt offering which once took its place prominently at the door of the tabernacle.  And now the door into the holy of holies is open.  All of those covered by the blood of the Lamb Slain are priests; to all else, the door is closed, and no one can open it, but to those washed in His blood, it’s open all the time – and no one can close it.

And now verse one continues, “and the sound, the first that I heard as a trumpet, speaking to me saying….”

It’s the same sound that John had heard before, isn’t it? … as recorded in chapter one verse ten.  That’s what he means when he wrote “the first that I heard as a trumpet”.  Here is that portion of chapter one:


9)    I John, your brother and co-sharer in the affliction and kingdom and steadfastness in Jesus, came to be in the island called Patmos through the Word of God and the witness of Jesus.

10) I came to be in spirit in the Lord’s Day, and I heard a great voice as a trumpet behind me

11) saying, “write what you see in a scroll and send to the seven Churches, into Ephesus and into Smyrna and into Pergamum and into Thyatira and into Sardis and into Philadelphia and into Laodicea”.

12) And I turned around to see the voice that was speaking with me; and when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,

13) and in midst of the lampstands like a son of man, having been clothed upon to the feet and having been wrapped at the chest with a golden girdle:

14) His head and hair white as wool, white as snow, and His eyes as flaming fire,

15) and His feet like burnished brass as in having been fired in a furnace, and His voice as a sound of many waters,

16) and having seven stars in His right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword proceeding out of His mouth, and His face as the sun shines in its power.

17) And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead; and He placed His right hand on me saying “fear not.  I Am the First and the Last

18) and the Living, and I became dead and LO, I am living into the ages of the ages, and I have the keys of death and hades.

19) Therefore write the things you saw and that are and that are about to be with these.


So, here in our first verse of chapter four, John writes that it is the same sound, the first sound, or “voice”, he heard as a trumpet, and HE is now speaking to him again.  And, obviously, it is the same Person speaking to him as in chapter one where our God and Savior Jesus Christ is so gloriously described as the One speaking.

The sound is “as a trumpet”.  And the sound “as a trumpet” is proceeding from the mouth of the One “in the heaven”.  That’s where the sound originates.  And apparently it is in “forte”, in great volume and intensity, penetrating, majestic, piercing and insistent… making all else imperceptible.

The “sound as a trumpet” originates in the heaven, from the Lord of Hosts.  He is the One Who made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.  He called all of it into being by His Word… the trumpet “sound” of His voice.  He is the One Who gathered the nation of Israel together and rescued them and covenanted with them; and He is the One Who commanded a man-made replica of His throne-room/judgment seat to be built in the midst of them… one which was patterned after the heaven, and one which corresponds to it.

And everything about what He has made, and that tabernacle, and the nation gathered around it corresponds in some way to that which is in “the heaven” and which John now proceeds to describe in some detail.

Since our God has made all things in some form of “likeness” to that which is in the heaven, then we can be delighted to go to the Scripture and find the trumpeting sound of Almighty God as His likeness is found in what He has made!

What I’m going to do now is give you a progression of passages having to do with the trumpeting sound of God in His sanctuary.  And then we’ll see how God commanded His sound to be replicated in the ceremonial and sacrificial system, and in the very life and existence of the nation gathered around His tabernacle.

And I urge you to listen carefully to these, and remember them, for the trumpet sound of God occurs seven more times in the Revelation – chapters eight through eleven.

The first occurs in the garden when, post-adamic rebellion, God’s fearsome trumpeting sound blasts into the ears of the hiding and terrified Adam.  (That’s the way it ought to read, but the Hebrew text is incorrectly translated there in Genesis chapter three in the common English translations.)

In Exodus chapter nineteen we see the trumpeting voice of Almighty God as He comes in the heaven with the great cloud of creatures to Sinai.  Listen:


10) And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

11) And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

12) And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:

13) There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

14) And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

15) And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.

16) And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

17) And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.

18) And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

19) And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

20) And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.


This is the very sound that the apostle heard as the Lord Jesus Christ appears to him in chapter one; and it is the same here in our text – chapter four.  It is the sound of God in the heaven.  And it is the original sound.

Now, what we’re going to see next are the “like” sounds that are commanded of Israel.  (I say “like sounds”…. they are, indeed, “like” the trumpet sound of God in the heaven; but they are “more”.  They are commanded of God, and they are, in actuality, His voice!) 

Not only are we to see the throne of God and all His created surroundings in the heaven in the gathering of Israel around the tabernacle, but we are to “hear” it as well; for the sights and the sounds of the heaven are created in, and around, the tabernacle and the gathering of the nation.

Listen to the instructions to Moses regarding the “trumpeting” of Israel as it replicates the voice of the Lord of Hosts.  Numbers chapter ten:


10) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

11) Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.

12) And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

13) And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.

14) When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.

15) When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.

16) But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.

17) And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.

18) And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

19) Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.


So, two trumpets, each fashioned from one quantity of silver, were vital accompaniments to the congregating of the nation, and to the movements of the nation, to the defense of the nation and to the ceremonial and sacrificial system of the nation.  The trumpets, and the sounding of the trumpets, were to be a “memorial”.  In other words, when the trumpets sounded, all Israel was to remember the voice of Yahveh in the heaven!  The trumpets being sounded was the likeness of Yahveh speaking.  And, indeed, the sound was Him speaking!

In Leviticus chapter twenty-three we read this:


23) And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

24) Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.


What follows there in Leviticus twenty three (much too long for us to read here) is the law of the feast days, passover, the bringing of tithes, whole burnt offerings and peace offerings, the day of atonement, and the eight day long Sabbath in which Israel lived in tabernacles… all commencing with the sounding of the trumpets for an entire day, and all of it prophesying and foreshadowing what John sees and hears here in our text: the trumpet voice of God commanding John to “come”, and the “Lamb Slain”.

In addition to the silver trumpets associated with the ceremonial and sacrificial system of the tabernacle, listen to what God commanded Joshua as Israel encountered Jericho – the first city the nation of Israel engaged as it crossed over the Jordan into the promised land:


1) Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

2) And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

3) And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

4) And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

5) And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

The initial engagement in cleaning out the Canaanites from the promised land was the city of Jericho.  And the instrument used was the ram’s horn trumpet.  It was the very voice of the Lord of Hosts in the heaven.  It was the commanding Word of God.

And here is the final one that I’ll give you this morning.  It is from the seventh chapter of Judges.  Listen:


15)   Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.

16)   And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.

17)   And he (Gideon) said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.

18)   When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

19)   So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.

20)   And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.


As you may remember, Yahveh had pared the twelve thousand (or so) troops of Israel down to three hundred in order that Israel not think that it was their own strength that secured the victory.  Gideon and his three hundred troops were coming up against an entire nation of Canaanites with only three groups of a hundred.

The trumpeting voice of The Lord of Hosts was sounded in three hundred ram’s horn trumpets.  It was, in likeness, the same sound of God at Sinai as He spoke from the heaven, sounding long and loud in the ears of the Canaanite army.

And let no one doubt that the blast of the three hundred trumpets was the “Sword of the Lord”, the very voice of Yahveh, also pictured to John as our God and Savior Jesus Christ stands before him with the Sword – the Word – protruding from His mouth (chapter one).

And all of Israel could not but see that it was not their own strength and mettle that secured the victory, but it was the sound, the voice, the Sword of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses that had commanded the rout of the Canaanite mighty men of valor.  And they could not but hear the sound – the same sound that so terrified the nation at Sinai.

And as the door opens in the heaven, and as John hears the trumpeting sound, he could not mistake the One speaking… it was the same One that appeared to him and spoke to him shortly before, as recorded in the first chapter.  And it is the same One Who spoke at Sinai; it is the same One who spoke at the tabernacle in the desert; it is the same One Who spoke at Jericho; it is the same One who spoke and commanded Canaanite armies to flee.  It is the Word of God.

That Word commands John “come up here”.  And please be aware that this aorist active indicative “I did come….” is NOT a response to an invitation!

John did not write, “I went”.  He didn’t decide to “go”.  The command was to “come up here”.  And John said, “I did come”!  The “coming” of John was from God’s perspective in the heaven, and it was precipitated by the command “come up here”.  And, immediately, John “did come”.

“I will show you what is necessary to take place after these”.  The trumpeting voice of God explains the reason for the command.  Please remember the opening words of Revelation of Jesus Christ: “Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him to show His servants that which is necessary to be done in quickness….”  Then the Lord gives John specific messages to seven Churches.

Then, Revelation chapter four begins, “after these”.  After the messages to the seven Churches, John is commanded to “come up here” in order to be shown “what is necessary to take place after these”.

What comes next in Revelation is that which is “necessary to be done in quickness”.  After these messages to the Churches John is commanded to “come up here” in order to be shown what is necessary to be done in quickness.  And “blessed the one reading and the ones hearing the words of the prophecy and keeping things having been written in it, for the time is near” (chapter one verse three).

Listen to verse one of our text again: “After these I looked and, lo, a door having been opened in the heaven and the sound, the first that I heard as a trumpet, speaking to me saying “come up here and I will show you what is necessary to take place after these”.

The prepositional phrase “after these” is plural in both cases.  And, in both cases, refer to the messages to the seven Churches from the Lord Jesus Christ.  And in continuation, with no break in the text or the activity, John sees a door having been opened in the heaven; and the trumpeting sound that he had just heard speaking to him.

Now, I’m spending some time with this because dispensationalism, a scheme devised by an English fortuneteller in the early nineteenth century and then later superimposed on the text of Revelation, would have our Lord’s people believe that there is a “break” at the end of chapter three.  Everything John sees and hears in the first three chapters only is to be written and sent to the Churches for the entire Church age.

Then, sometime later, John has another “revelation”, which begins at chapter four.  “After these” is re-written to be “after this”.  And “after this” is interpreted to mean sometime in the distant future, which is now about two thousand years in the distant future!

So, Revelation of Jesus Christ to the apostle John, which Jesus Christ Himself said was to be done in quickness - and the time is near, in a text which is obviously continual – with no break, has been altered to fit a man-made scheme which includes the “rapture” of the Church before anything in chapters four through twenty-two takes place.  Therefore everything in the remainder of the letter, beginning with John’s “rapture”, has yet to occur!

And this abhorrent scheme has become so prevalent among Evangelicals, that everything about this letter has to be re-interpreted, or re-written, in order to make it fit.  Let me give you just one example!   Since the word Ecclesia, “church”, doesn’t appear in the text of Revelation four through twenty two, that’s “proof” to the dispensationalist that the Church has been “raptured” and is with Jesus during the time of the events prophesied in those chapters.  That’s proof of the rapture!  And it’s proof that none of the events prophesied by our Lord to take place “quickly” have yet to occur here two thousand years later.

It makes one wonder how much “proof” to the dispensationalist there might be in the fact that the word “rapture” never appears in Revelation of Jesus Christ; nor does it appear in any of the other sixty-five books of the Bible.

And it also makes one wonder just how far in compromising the text of Scripture folks might go in forcing a man-made scheme on the Revelation of God’s Word.  It seems that they’ll go as far as they have to.

But the entirety of the letter to be sent to the Churches is summed up in the introduction, the first three verses.  Here it is once again:


1)      Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave to Him to show His servants that which is necessary to be done in quickness, and He did make it known having sent through His messenger to His servant John,

2)      who did bear witness the Word of God and the witness of Jesus Christ all he saw.

3)      Blessed the one reading and the ones hearing the words of the prophecy and keeping things having been written in it, for the time is near.


And having appeared to John, Jesus says to him, verse nineteen: “Therefore write the things you saw and that are and that are about to be with these.”

And then comes our text at verse one:  After these I looked and, lo, a door having been opened in the heaven and the sound, the first that I heard as a trumpet, speaking to me saying ‘come up here and I will show you what is necessary to take place after these’”.

So, not only is the entire letter summed up in the first three verses, but the continuity and verity of what John saw and heard is well-established.  And it is non-negotiable.  It is the very Word of God written, and, as the apostle Peter proclaimed, it is “more sure” than one’s own experience or perspective.

Please be sure and pray with me that God will give us knowledge of Him in everything He’s seen fit to reveal.  Some of the greatest moments of my life have already been experienced in dealing with the Revelation.  And I thank God for it; and I thank you, this Church, for the means, time and place to address all of these wondrous things in some depth.

Hear it with me.  And remember what our Lord said in chapter one: “Blessed the one reading and the ones hearing the words of the prophecy and keeping things having been written in it….”