Heaven's Open Door
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23. Heaven's Open Door
Revelation 4.1-3

"After this, I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.' At once, I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne." (Revelation 4.1-3)✞

Heaven's Door

Revolving DoorJohn of Patmos, otherwise called "John the Divine" or "John the Theologian," describes a vision of a door into the heavenly court where God sits on his throne surrounded by multitudes of angels and the righteous in Paradise all worshipping. In ancient times, the belief was that heaven was a vast vault set like a roof on the square flat earth entered by way of actual doors in the vault. Jesus, at his ascension, is described as rising into the clouds and disappearing from view. Acts 1.9-11 catches that moment, "After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 'Men of Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.'"

Jesus the Gate

Open Door into HeavenThe idea of an open heavenly door reminds us of Jesus speaking to the disciples in John 10.7 when he says, "Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep." Again in Luke 11.9-10, Jesus says, "So I say to you: 'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.'" Jesus tells us to keep on knocking, and the door into God's presence will always open. He or she who knocks on heaven's door can enter. John of Patmos hears what sounds like a trumpet blast at the voice of Christ and is invited into heaven by the angel who says, "Come up here." This call reminds us of God's call to the prophet Ezekiel whose name means "may God strengthen him" or "God will strengthen," who is similarly called up in a vision into heaven to the throne of God.

In the Spirit

Door into HeavenFour times in the Book of Revelation, John of Patmos says he is "in the Spirit." The Holy Spirit takes over John and gives him a vision, and shows him situations and events he could not see with human eyes. Being in the Spirit points up the truth that all true prophecy comes from God through the Holy Spirit. Heaven's open door invites John to come up and to come in. John describes seeing the magnificent throne room of God through the door standing open. God asks John of Patmos to, "Come up here."

Someone Sitting

Throne of GodJohn of Patmos sees the holy Almighty Creator God sitting on the Revelation heavenly throne. Overcome by this awe-inspiring sight, in reverence, John of Patmos avoids naming or describing Almighty God but says that there is "someone sitting" on the heavenly throne. The Revelation heavenly throne is the focal point of the one and only God. It is not empty as many in our generation would wish but occupied. The deity on the Revelation throne has the appearance of a human being with a personality hence using the word "someone." Humans need to remember that God is not a large, powerful computer or frightening space alien but a person somewhat like us. He cares for us because he is one with us, but as the Holy Almighty Creator who formed at his word the universe out of nothing, he is not the same as us. Almighty God on his throne in heaven is orchestrating all the events that John of Patmos records.

Like Precious Gems

EmeraldGod's appearance describes shining, precious gems. They are a rainbow of jasper, an opaque stone usually red, yellow, brown, or green. Ruby, sometimes called "carnelian," a blood-red stone found in Sardis and a symbol of avenging wrath. Emerald, a green stone symbolic of soothing mercy, expressing God's majesty. These gems are significant in that jasper, carnelian, and emerald decorated the High Priest's breastplate and were among the precious stones described on the foundations of the New Jerusalem. Therefore, the three gems are symbols of avenging wrath, mercy, and blood, all of which are essential elements in our relationship with Almighty God through our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Heaven's Emerald Rainbow

John of Patmos sees God's throne with someone sitting on it, surrounded by the emerald rainbow's shimmering colors. To further emphasize the scene's otherworldliness, John of Patmos describes the emerald rainbow behind God's throne. The richness of these glistening jewels adds to the magnificent sight before John's eyes. After telling of heaven's wonder, John reassures us that we will not be frightened by future events. Some people assert that the world is spinning out of control, but Creation's God is directing his plans from his throne.

Praise Song

SunsetThe fantastic sight of glimmering rainbows and emeralds around the throne of God spontaneously brings forth a song of praise within us. The lovely Christian hymn from a poem by Carl Gustav Boberg (1859-1940) based on a traditional Swedish melody beautifully conveys the sense of wonder inspired by the "Heaven emerald rainbow." Creation and Earth

"O, Lord my God.
When I in awesome wonder,✞

Consider all the works thy hands have made.
I see the sun. I hear the rolling thunder,✞
Thy power through all the universe portrayed.
Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee.
How great thou art, how great thou art.
In all the World, there is no God like Thee.
How great thou art, how great thou art!

"Heaven's Open Door"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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