Christ had shown John the real state of Christians and their churches (chapters 2 and 3).
What John saw would have disappointed him greatly. Some Christians were serving God loyally, but many more Christians had become weak in their relationship with God. Some churches that seemed strong were actually in a terrible state. Many Christians were believing the devilís lies and they were doing many wrong and evil things. It seemed hard to know whether many church members really were Christians or not.
Christ had reminded John that Godís work in the lives of Christians was not yet complete. Christ is the judge of all people; he knows who is genuinely serving him. In the future, Godís plans for them will be complete and Godís people will be perfect. However, certain things must happen both in heaven and on earth to bring this about. God would next show John what those events will be.
Paul writes about a man who, during his life on earth, briefly entered heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). Like Paul, we cannot explain how that could happen. However, it seems likely that something similar happened to John. There could be other explanations. John may have remained on earth while God showed these things to his spirit. We are certain that John did not just see these things in his mind or in his imagination.
An angel (special servant of God) acted as Johnís guide (22:8). It seems likely that John heard the voice of this angel here, and in Revelation 1:10-11. The voice was like the sound of the musical instrument called the trumpet: loud, but a beautiful sound.
Next part: Godís throne in heaven (Revelation 4:2)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.