The Call to “Come Up Hither!”
By Joseph Chambers
Any view of the fourth chapter of the Book of Revelation that doesn’t allow for the triumphant Rapture of the saints is woefully inadequate. This chapter is a grand picture of the true church and the overcoming saints that have been transferred from the lion’s mouth to the King’s throne. The blood-washed saints that were hated by the world will have faced their persecutors for the last time. Giving up the world, they will have gained the grandest seats around the throne of the Father. This chapter is the beginning of the glory that has been promised to the saints since the opening of the Holy Bible. From seats around the throne to the city of the throne, the saints will never suffer shame again. They are His saints and they will take up positions as His elders until they march as His army, reign as Kings, and possess the city of the Bride, New Jerusalem.
The great Jehovah God is seated on His throne in the celestial heavens and is fully prepared for the heavenly court. Over six thousand years have passed since a serpent – possessed by Lucifer – walked into the garden and deceived God’s perfect couple, Adam and Eve. From the venom of those lies in the garden, sin has touched every offspring of Adam. The upheaval of the earth by the Noahic flood left indescribable scars on a sin-cursed earth. There is not one element of the created world unspoiled by the flood of evil, and it is now time for redemption. The earth must be reclaimed.
The celestial city of Heavenly Jerusalem and its inhabitants are the only untouched geography in the cosmos. This future court will be held in its temple. David must have had a slight view of the location of this seven-year judgment session, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge” (Psalm 48:1-3).
The court proceedings that must go forth out of this city demand a Pre-Tribulation Rapture to transfer the saints from their graves or from their lives on earth to fulfill their appointed positions. This earth is the Lord’s and He has appointed it to His saints to posses for eternity. It has been clearly stated that we shall judge this earth, and our removal to this grand event is unquestionably guaranteed. The fight against the Rapture is a last ditch effort from the devil to prevent us from our heavenly task. The proceedings cannot begin until we arrive at our appointed seats before the throne.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1).
There is no event on God’s calendar that demands a door opened into heaven from the earth’s advantage, except for the Rapture. This great vision by John incorporates all the fine details that Scripture associates with the saints being caught up to meet the Lord in the air, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Before John sees the throne in heaven, he hears the voice of Jesus Christ “as it were of a trumpet” saying, “Come up hither.” The trumpet voice gave details to John to make sure the church understood this further information as “hereafter” or following the letters to the seven churches. Nothing from this point on in Revelation can be a historical event. This was clearly stated in the introduction of chapter one, “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter” (Revelation 1:19). All through chapter one, two, and three, the whole vision and scene is the High Priestly appearance of Jesus Christ and His letters to His churches.
But, in chapter four Saint John is clearly caught up into the Heavens to view further proceedings that demand his presence. He is going to witness the glorified saints seated in positions of honor and dressed in attire that would be impossible on earth. Everything he sees and writes from this verse on has no connection to the Church Age and its kingdom business, which the Scripture identifies as the spiritual kingdom “that cometh not with observation.” “And, when he was demanded of the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21).
“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald” (Revelation 4:2-3).
In the Spirit, John looks on the majestic throne of Almighty Jehovah, where our Heavenly Father is seated in His glory. The description given to us is limited by human language inadequate to reach to such heights of splendor. The glory was such that the writer could only compare it with the grandeur of rare jewels. There was a gleam of glory and overwhelming splendor making Him incomparable to earthly beauty. The dazzling colors of a rainbow were seen overshadowing the throne and its occupant. The throne itself was in sight like unto an emerald. No earthly wonder has ever been so described. We will soon be there!