For believers the visions found in Scripture are nothing strange. Often in a variety of such forms the Lord made known His word and work to mankind.
Already Enoch, seventh from Adam, knew that the Lord would come with thousands of His holy ones to judge the world in righteousness. Also Jacob at Bethel saw a ladder from earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it. Isaiah “saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple” (Isa.6: If.). And Joel prophesied of a day when “old men will dream dreams, and young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28).
On the day of Pentecost this promise began to be fulfilled. Added revelation was given by God to Peter, Paul and John at times. And of the contents they “prophesied.” All that was necessary was put doon paper. But since then “visions” and “dreams” about the things of God and heaven have not beenabsent. Yet none of these were revelatory! That hadceased with what John saw. Any claim to a “new” and “added” revelation from above is contraband. Those who claim it, whether women or men, place themselves outside of the true faith. But often believers steeped in the Holy Scripture “see” with the eye of faith the realities made known in such a fashion that they, too, begin to prophesy to family, friends and others what the Bible says. None of this is revelatory; only reflective as an inward response to God’s own truth.
What a “wonderful” God is the One who calls us to salvation.
And the only appropriate response is that of humility, faith-surrender and adoration. As John, seeing what was revealed to him, bowed in profound awe before the Lord, so should we as we read, meditate on and then learn from the visions now recorded. Only then will our view of the sovereign God in Jesus Christ be neither short-changed nor low.
The One upon the throne, vss. 1–3
On Patmos the apostle now sees “an open door.” It gives access to the heavenly region. He hears a voice “like a trumpet.” “In the spirit” he is shown “what must take place after this.” These realities are to extend deep into the future but with the guarantee of their complete fulfillment. He sees a “throne,” symbol of full authority and power. It is “in heaven,” lifted high above the chang