Here are the reasons why the Church can not be in heaven in revelation 3 and 4
I will begin from Revelation 4:1 – 5.2 (paraphrased) to provide some background.
Firstly, we read that John was taken up in the Spirit and he found himself in the throne room of heaven and before him was one who ‘sat’ on the throne holding a sealed scroll and being worshiped and sung to by 24 elders who throw their crowns of honour down before Him.
John heard a voice asking ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’, but no one was found worthy to open the scroll and look inside, either ‘in Heaven’, on the earth or under the earth and John wept bitterly because of the hopelessness of the situation that no one could be found anywhere!
Here is the crux of identifying the precise time that John was taken into heaven.
Astonishingly Jesus was missing when John first arrived. If John had been taken to heaven at a later point in time, then he would not have been worried or upset that there was no one to open the scroll because Jesus would have been there before him on the throne, having already conquered and won the victory when John first arrived.
Instead he found the one who ‘sat’ on the throne there before him being sung to by the elders. Jesus did not appear until later on as the victorious risen Lamb in Revelation chapter 5.
Next, the text says that Jesus the Lamb went and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. John witnessed this action as it occurred and then the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb and sang a ‘new song’. So instead of singing the song that they had been singing earlier in the chapter to the one who sat on the throne, they now sing a ‘new song’ to the Lamb who now ‘stands’ on the throne and this song describes Jesus’ eligibility to open the scroll: that being, because He was slain He had purchased people from every tribe, nation and tongue.
I would like to go back now for a moment and revisit John’s entry into heaven. If John had been taken into heaven a little later on, the elders would have already been singing the ‘new song’ to the Lamb when He first arrived and there certainly would have been no tears from John.
It is surprising that John did not expect Jesus the risen Lamb to be there before him on the throne. It is also surprising that John did not ask of Jesus’ whereabouts since he had witnessed Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven while on earth years earlier. John knew very well that Jesus had purchased us with His blood when he died on the cross and rose again. It seems that John is witnessing everything anew from a heavenly perspective, as if he had never seen or known it before! Perhaps John was being shown in a very real way the gravity of the hopelessness there was for mankind before Jesus’ work of redemption had been accomplished?
Here are some important facts to consider;
In Acts 7:55 when Steven was being stoned, he saw heaven opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. So how is it that when John first entered heaven that he did not immediately see Jesus standing at the right hand of God as Steven had?
Another important fact to take into account is that in Revelation 3:21, ‘just before’ John was invited up through the open door into heaven, Jesus’ message through John to the church of Laodicea reads, ‘he who overcomes, I will grant to him to ‘sit down’ with my on my throne’ as I also overcame and ‘sat down’ with my Father on His Throne.
Now a very pertinent question must be asked here. Just how is it that Jesus was NOT ‘SAT DOWN’ with His Father on the throne on John’s arrival in heaven, when only a few verses earlier the text declares that Jesus had already overcome and had ‘sat down’ with His Father?
I would like to ask you now; after considering the information provided above “was John taken ‘backward’ or ‘forward’ in time when transported up to Heaven in the Spirit”?
Let’s re-examine the timeline again.
Revelation 5:4 reveals the utter hopelessness for the future of mankind, and this is graphically demonstrated by John’s distress and tears that no one could be found anywhere! Either ‘in heaven’, ‘on the earth’, or ‘under the earth’ to open the scroll, and as noted above; astonishingly EVEN JESUS is not found worthy to open the scroll at that point!
Two questions must be asked now!
1) What negated Jesus from opening scroll?
2) Where was Jesus likely to be if He could not open the Scroll?
I believe that the text ‘strongly suggests’ in Revelation 5:4 that Jesus was not able to open the scroll because He was very likely on the cross bearing our sin; as it is ‘sin and death’ that negates ‘anyone’ from opening the scroll! – As we know, sin however had no hold over Jesus because he was righteous and pure and that gave Him the power to break through into heaven and take His place on the Throne of God as the Spotless Lamb, because He triumphed over sin and death’; so then the elders in the very next sentence of Revelation 5:5 could proclaim why He the ‘Lion of Judah’ was now able to open the scroll because He was slain and had risen to life, which brought redemption for people of all nations 2,000 years ago. We know that in reality Jesus had ascended to heaven’s throne approximately 40 years before John’s vision, as this is confirmed by Stephen’s witness to this, in the book of Acts.
So what I take from this is that God starts from the very beginning in John’s Vision, taking him ‘back’ to Jesus’ death and resurrection and victorious ascension to the throne to ‘THE THINGS THAT ARE’ – Jesus is our SACRIFICED LAMB WHO ‘SAVED’ US.
Revelation 1:19 Therefore write down the things you have seen, and the things that ARE, and the things that will happen after this.
The things that take place after Jesus ascension to the throne BEGIN with the workings of the Holy Spirit who is sent to EARTH which the White Horse of Revelation 6 very accurately describes. See the full story below this article.
The Imaginary 2,000 year Gap?
Bible scholars often insert 2,000 years from when Jesus appears standing on the throne of God as the Victorious Lamb and when he begins to open the seals, when there is absolutely no suggestion of a 2000-year gap in the text!
In Revelation 5:9-10 the elders sing to Jesus: Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (emphasis added).
The verse quoted above is from the King James Version but the English Standard Version, which is known as one of the better translations by those who study Greek (my daughter studies Greek and has verified this for me) and most of the other versions translate the elders singing ‘You have made them to be a kingdom and priests and they shall reign on the earth’ rather than using the words ‘us’ and ‘we’.
1 Peter 2:9 states: ‘you are (already) a royal priesthood’.
These verses all point to the saints reigning on the earth through Jesus right now.
Some teachers conclude from the KJV that the word ‘us’ means the elders represent all of the saints who, ‘they believe,’ are already in Heaven by Revelation chapter 4. I conclude that the elders in these two particular passages in Revelation 4 and 5 do speak on behalf of God’s people ‘on earth’ signifying through their actions what the saints bring before the throne of God in heaven. For example the golden bowls of incense speak of the valuable sweet prayers of the saints ascending up to the throne, the crowns of honour cast down before the throne reflect the victories through God’s power and the harps signify the songful praises bestowed upon the Father, but there is no mention of the saints standing themselves before the throne of God in heaven in these two chapters. The 144,000 from Israel, and the uncountable multitude of saints together known as ‘the servants of our God’ do not appear standing in heaven, clothed in white robes before the throne, until Revelation Chapter 7. (Where again the 24 elders are mentioned).
Now I would like to address some popular teaching on the 7 lamps of fire mentioned in Revelation 4:5.
Some well-known teachers such as John Hagee, and the late Chuck Missler argue that the ‘seven golden candlesticks’ (churches) of Revelation 1:20 and the ‘seven lamps of fire’ of Revelation 4:5 are one and the same thing, asserting that the churches are already before the throne in heaven in Revelation chapter 4.
Here are the relevant verses:
Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Seven golden candlesticks are also mentioned in Revelation chapters 1:12-13 and 2:1 and each time I believe they are referring to the seven churches.
The seven lamps of fire however are described a little differently.
Revelation 4:5 …and out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
The word for Spirits is pneuma and is translated from the lexicon on Blue Letter Bible – as the third Person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son. From the root word – breath, to blow, wind. (Please note that the King James adds a capital S to the word ‘Spirits’ to identify this word as the ‘Holy Spirit’.)
Here again is a mention of the seven Spirits of God: Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God (Holy Spirit) and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
And once more, referencing Jesus the Lamb (Spirit of Christ),
Revelation chapter 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Again the identical word pneuma, Holy Spirit, is used.)
This next verse will make it very clear what the seven lamps are. Please note very closely what is said here:
Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne…
The words ‘seven Spirits’ in Revelation 1:4 is the Holy Spirit (pneuma) that is before the throne of God in Heaven. The same seven Spirits (pneuma) are referred to in Revelation chapter 4:5 as the ‘seven lamps of fire’ (in the KJV) but it is taught by popular teachers that the seven lamps of fire represent the ‘Church’ that is supposedly before the throne of God in heaven after the Rapture. Unfortunately these teachers have totally ignored the fact that the verse in Revelation 4 not only translates itself as the seven Spirits but that the same seven lamps of fire (pneuma – Spirits) have been previously mentioned in Revelation chapter 1, before anyone was ever in heaven.
Now also consider this: If the seven lamps of fire/seven Spirits that are before the throne of God in Revelation 4 are supposedly the seven churches, then the verse in Revelation 1:4 would have all seven churches saying grace and peace to themselves from the throne of God, which is a total contradiction. But, as I have confirmed, the seven lamps/Spirits refer to the Holy Spirit which is before the throne of God in Heaven.
When you look at the description from the Greek text, the candlestick is described as a lampstand or candelabrum (the vessel that holds the lamp/fire), whereas the lamp is described as the flame which is fed with oil. I believe without a doubt that the Scriptures I have referenced above confirm within themselves that the seven candlesticks are the seven churches and that the seven lamps of fire/or seven Spirits are most definitely the Holy Spirit. As I have shown earlier, if the Church was already in heaven in Revelation chapter 4, then it would have arrived in heaven before Jesus’ work of redemption had been accomplished in chapter 5. I hope this has helped to dispel any confusion
The White Horse of Revelation 6 Cannot be the Antichrist.
Click on the image below to find out the many reasons why.
HEAVEN Image courtesy of WallpaperCave
White Horse image Ⓒ D A Cleland