John is being snatched away to the third heaven
The book of the Revelation is the fullest prophetic description of God's Kingdom on the earth established in so-called the Day of the Lord. The restoration of mankind to the lost paradise and harmony with God is the aim of millennial rules our Lord in his Day.
Scripture teaches about three worlds. "The world to come" began with the second presence of Jesus Christ, named also the Day of the Lord. Organization of every of these worlds is presented in Bible as symbolic heavens (ruling powers) and symbolic earth (ruled societies).
The first heavens and earth were before the flood; the second, this present evil world and its ruling powers (first and second are under Satan); the third, the new heavens and earth, wherein dwells righteousness. The third will be under the rule of Christ and his saints. It is during this latter that all the glorious promises of peace and prosperity will be fulfilled. This dispensation of the kingdom of God is symbolically termed a new heavens (government) and new earth (subjects) in contradistinction from the heavens and earth which now are, "the present evil world," or order of things. As the powers of the third heaven take possession, the powers of the second are "shaken" until they are destroyed. (Matt. 24:29; Heb. 12:26.)
When Paul was shown visions of things to come he was "caught up [better, snatched away] to the third heaven." (2 Cor. 12:2,4.) John also saw at last the third heavens and earth fully established, the Millennial kingdom, when he was on the Isle of Patmos, and when he “was in the Spirit on the Lord's day.” (Rev. 1:10.) This Apostle was the witness of peculiar movie, full of symbols, symbolic phenomena, mysterious figures and creations. This "movie" could not be understood in the whole until the appearing the reality on which these symbols showed. This explains, why this
It was when seventh thousand of years went by from Adam's sin that the day of the Lord began to dawn (1874). From this year dates parousia of invisible King, Jesus Christ. From then on our Lord is getting involved in the matters of the earth with the aim of establishment of his kingdom. From then on the prophecies of Scripture relating to this period began to fulfill as the actual processes and events. The apostle Peter compared these prophecies to "a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn , and the day-star [phosphorus – bringing light] arise in your hearts:” (2 Pet. 1:19.)
The enigmatical words of our Lord about John: "If I will that he tarry till I come" (John 21:22), they were understood as saying that He wished himself so that this beloved disciple represents throughout evangelical age God's people looking forward faithfully for his second arrival. In such a view the apostle John represents John class, or Christ's followers. When the Lord arrived, his presence thus illuminated the hearts of this John class as the Day-star (2 Pet. 1:19). It caused them to understand, to be not in darkness as the world in respect to his plans, present and future.
John class recognize Lord's presence through appropriate signs. As far as it concerns the world, it will recognize this invisible presence by events of great tribulation: "Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him [with eyes of understanding], and they that pierced him [Jews]; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him." (Rev. 1:7)
The situation of John's class therefore changed fundamentally since when the threshold of seventh millennium had been crossed. From then on began the invisible presence of Christ and attached to it promised blessings, namely: the full understanding of Truth displaying the splendor of the Divine Plan of redemption, and at the same time the privilege of perception of being fulfilling prophecies speaking about establishing on the earth of God's Kingdom.
This changed situation of God's people has been showed by the calling on John into the heaven so that he can to look at heavenly throne, Sitting down on it, Divinely retinue and the surroundings of the throne. From such spiritual high place he could from now on to look at the sea – the earthly scene of coming events. In the dawn of parousia this sea of nations was relatively calm yet, but it began to churn violently when the High Calling is over. Then it is already mixed with the fire of anarchy (John 15:2). This symbolic sea however is for Omniscient God transparent as the crystal, from the beginning to the end.
Getting rid of errors of nominal Christianity was one of the main blessings of the God's people which had waited the arrival of Christ. This relates especially to the false teachings of the Roman Catholic church, biblical Antichrist, which had warped image of merciful God Jehovah and with invented, repeated endlessly "bloodless sacrifice" of so-called mass had defiled Ransom, his Son the holiest sacrifice. An apostate churches present the God of the Old Testament in the false light, portraying Him as the cruel despot, and just of his Son, Jesus Christ, as the personification of the love. Holy Scriptures give the lie to such blasphemy, teaching clearly: "But when the kindness of God our Savior, and his love toward man, appeared (…) according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Tit. 3:4-6). Both fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation confirm distinctly the truth, that Father and Son are acting in one spirit of the love. The Father is the author of the plan of salvation of the mankind, whereas his Son is of this plan the performer.
The calling of John into the heaven
(4:1) After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, [a voice] as of a trumpet speaking with me, one saying, Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter.
This is in a sense the beginning of Johns visions. At the first revelation made to him he saw only our Lord and the lamp-stands; the messages were delivered to him in words. John saw these lamp-stands, when he glanced backward. Then he looked into the future and saw events and conditions in a series of vivid pictures. Similarly made the class of John, living during the second presence. First of all, they made themselves acquainted with history and experiences of all seven periods of the evangelical church to achieve from them appropriate lessons. Then "John," authorized by "present truth" (trumpet), looked ahead at unfolding prophetic events and a wide panorama of entire presence of Christ, from its dawn as much as to the end of the Millennium. From then on he had the privilege to watch the circumstances of overthrow of rules of the prince of this world, Satan, the process of taking over the power by Christ and blessed the results of it.
The character of the Most High God and the attributes of his power,
being showed in symbols:
(2) Straightway I was in the Spirit: and behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting upon the throne...
Jehovah himself – "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:3) – He is that spiritual Being, who sits on the throne of universe.
The pure heart and the highly spiritual attitude were the necessary conditions for John’s class to see God such as He really is.
(3) and he that sat [was] to look upon like a jasper stone and a sardius: and [there was] a rainbow round about the throne, like an emerald to look upon.
The jasper is supposed to mean the diamond. It is described as "most precious" and "clear as crystal." Being the most brilliant of all the gems, fittingly symbolizes the glory of God. New Jerusalem built with the diamond, that is the Church of Christ, it will be entire filled with the light of God's glory. (Rev. 21:11-23)
The sardius is a stone of a red color. Presumably it here symbolizes love, which is the underlying element in all Gods actions. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” to humiliation and sacrifice in death. (John 3:16)
A rainbow is biblical "token" of a covenant, peace and hope. (Gen. 9:12-17.) The Divine plan foresees the making with the Israel of the New Covenant soon, which will bring eternal life and happiness to the whole mankind. The second presence of Christ leading to it is accompanied with clouds of the great tribulation, nevertheless the rays of colorful rainbow are filtering through the dark clouds, being a harbinger of coming blessings (Rev. 10:1).
The emerald, the same with the ancient smaragdus, is one of the most beautiful of gems, of a bright green color, without any mixture. This green color of rainbow symbolizes probably freshness and vigor. God's plans are, like nature in the spring-time, filled with life, and continually developing and unfolding – blossoming into luscious fruit for the sustenance and pleasure of his creatures.
(4) And round about the throne [were] four and twenty thrones: and upon the thrones [I saw] four and twenty elders sitting, arrayed in white garments; and on their heads crowns of gold.
It is clear that twenty-four elders, being symbolic, they can’t be individual saints. This does not relate to prophets themselves, because none of them there is in the heaven. "For David ascended not into the heavens:" (Acts 2:34); Daniel still "sleep in the dust of the earth" (Dan. 12:2,13). In the past, there have been twenty-four prophets that have prophesied of "things pertaining to the kingdom of God." Their testimonies here seem to be personified, exalted and enthroned. They are clothed in white, denoting purity. The crowns of gold symbolize their divine authority. Up until now only true Church recognizes testimony of these prophets. Entire world will do so in Kingdom of God.
The confirmation of this identification by biblical numerology:
✽ ✽ ✽
(5) And out of the throne proceed lightnings and voices and thunders. And [there was] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God...
Prophet Zephaniah defines the preliminary phase of Lord's day that is, the Christ second presence, as "a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness" (Zeph. 1:15). Seventh millennial day is time planned for the work of the Restitution of the mankind. The prince of this world, Satan, and the systems on which his power is based, do not want voluntarily to give way to the new King. That is why our Lord extorts their resignation from the power. He brings about symbolic storm accompanied by lightnings, the tempest of the great tribulation, anarchy. He broke first the supremacy of papacy, the fortress of ignorance and superstition, and allowed to the free printing of Bible. Briefly after this, the torch of the Truth and freedom began to ignite in the entire world the glimmers of knowledge and the enlightenment as the future embers of revolution.
Scripture assures that these lights are originating from God: "His lightnings lightened the world: The earth [societies] saw, and trembled [revolutions]." (Psa. 97:4.) A sounds of a thunderstorm are the symbol of hot disputes, an arguing, a loud revolutionary demands of freedom and justice.
"By the sudden, and now increasingly frequent, flashes of light which issue from the storm clouds that surround the invisible, spiritual presence of our glorious King, these principles of the Word of God are being illuminated and brought to the front for the consideration of all men. They are discussed not only in the daily press, but in our popular periodicals, in the official labor organs, in stores and factories, in counting-rooms, in the market-places, at public gatherings. Even heathen nations are discussing them, and are contrasting both the daily lives of professed Christians and the present course of the professed Christian nations with the character and the teachings of the great Founder of the Christian religion, extolling the latter and ridiculing the former (…)
As a result of God's lightning flashes which are enlightening the world, there is great commotion everywhere manifest. Never before have such conditions prevailed. There are ominous mutterings of dissatisfaction, unrest; and the whole current of popular thought throughout the earth is set in a revolutionary direction. The lightning flashes are revealing the corruption in the world, the dishonesty in high places, and showing men that they are living far below the dignity of manhood. But how to right things they are not able to see; and the conflicting ideas, voices, theories and threats, reveal the facts which the Prophets foretold; for 'the nations are angry, ' 'the heathen [Gentiles, peoples] rage,' and the whole earth trembles from the din of a wordy conflict and from the blows which even now are beginning to arouse the world." Z 1916-340.
(5) …and [there was] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;
Spirit of God, in its wide definition means the will, skill and power – features appearing in every place and the purpose of his activity. These features of God's spirit are unlimited. Hence the number seven – the symbol of Divine perfection and wholeness.
(6) …and before the throne, as it were a sea of glass like a crystal...
"Ah, the uproar of many peoples, that roar like the roaring of the seas; and the rushing of nations, that rush like the rushing of mighty waters!" (Isa. 17:12).
God sees, as through the clean glass, problems and annoyances of discontented and angry nations, and only He know, how to remedy them. Only He will cause in Restitution that this symbolic sea will disappear entirely (Rev. 21:1).
(6) …and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. (7) And the first creature [was] like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face as of a man, and the fourth creature [was] like a flying eagle.
Four creatures personify the fundamental attributes of God, namely: Power, Wisdom, Justice and Love. These attributes are presented as supporting throne of God. Every working of God is in the total accord with these features.
A lion … Justice (Prov. 28:1)
A calf … Power (Prov. 14:4)
A face as of a man … Love (Gen. 1:27; 1 John 4:8)
A flying eagle … Wisdom (Deut. 32:11; Hiob 39:30; Isa. 55:9)
The confirmation of these identifications by biblical numerology:
✽ ✽ ✽
(8) ...and the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings...
Wings are the symbol of Divine Providence. Israel was carried on such wings (Exod. 19:4), thanks to such wings the symbolic woman escaped from the dragon (Rev. 12:4). In the vision, each one of the four creatures had three couples of wings. Three is the Divine number. In such a manner there is underlined the infinite ability of Divine Providence to be ubiquitous. It is able to come immediately everywhere, where God's attributes are active in the realization of his purposes.
(8) ...are full of eyes round about and within: and they have no rest day and night...
The Lord God sees everything clearly and exactly, and knows everything: past things, present and future things.
Jesus said: “My Father worketh even until now, and I work.” (John 5:17.) The ability to work constantly without fatigue is one of the attributes of immortality. Till the time, when the entire Church is taken from the earth to heaven, only the God Jehovah and his Son, Jesus Christ possessed immortality. It is condition in which death is impossible. Immortality has been promised also to the class of Little Flock so that they also have a privilege of the eternal work for the good of all beings of universe.
(8) ...saying, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.
The vision represented the majesty of God, his greatness and glory: and his holiness is markedly brought to attention by the acclaim of the creatures, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty." In this vision Jehovah presents himself to the attention of his people, and to all to whom the vision would be related, the thought of divine majesty, which ultimately shall be revealed to the whole world of mankind. The vision is a prophecy of the future, when the "glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together" in the establishment of the Kingdom of God during the Millennium. (Isa. 40:5).
At present the whole earth is full of sin and violence, and every evil work prospers under the dominion of the great adversary of God and righteousness, "the prince of this world." But God would have the spiritual "sons" of this Gospel age, know that evil shall not always prevail, but that, as expressed in our dear Redeemer's model prayer, eventually God's Kingdom shall come, and his will shall be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Then, with evil and evil-doers destroyed, and the knowledge of the Lord filling the earth, the whole earth shall be full of the Lord's glory. From then "death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. " (Rev. 21:4)
The repeating of the word "holy" has an intensifying effect, as signifying superlatively holy, most holy. Thus, in vision, did God impress upon his people his own holiness and indirectly as well his grace. (Z 1898-305)
(9) And when the living creatures shall give glory and honor and thanks to him that sitteth on the throne, to him that liveth for ever and ever, (10) the four and twenty elders shall fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and shall worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and shall cast their crowns before the throne…
Entire Plan of Salvation relating to restoration of God's Kingdom on the earth, equally elaborated as splendid, it was handed over to Prophets so that they recorded it in the holy book of Scripture. Accurate fulfillment of these ancient prophecies during parousia of Christ, it was, it is and it will be constantly cause of worshiping God and giving glory to Him by all his grateful creatures. These feelings had been illustrated by gesture of the elders falling down and casting their crowns before the throne.
(10) saying, (11) Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created.
God created all intelligent beings in the heaven and on the earth in his own likeness – with the same mental and moral attributes, so that he might have communion and fellowship with them as sons, and they with him as a Father. This wonderful endowment include also attribute of gratitude, this element of character that is being responsive to his own goodness, institutes a delightful fellowship with himself, which is the chief end of human existence. God declares by the prophet, to what purpose He created rational beings: "I have created him for my glory." (Isa. 43:7.) Man's true peace can be found only in harmony with his Creator.
Added by: Andrzej