After These Things
The fourth chapter of the book of Revelation correlates with the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet: daleth, “an open door.” It begins with Rev. 4:1,
1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”
It says, “After these things.” After what things? It refers to the time after the seven churches. But as we have seen, there is more than one level of interpretation in regard to the seven churches. The most immediate understanding is that “after these things” means “after these revelations that were given to John,” Christ spoke to John himself, inviting him to come higher in the realm of the Spirit, in order to receive a greater revelation of things to come.
When we understand the seven churches to be seven eras in church history, it does not stretch the imagination to say that this open door was to be presented to those living in the post-Laodicea era. Therefore, we can say that “after these things” refers to any time beyond May 30, 1993, which was the end of the 40 Jubilee cycles of the seven prophetic churches.
I know something about this open door from personal experience, because shortly after the end of the Pentecostal age, the word of the Lord came, instructing me to issue my first “call to arms” in order to lead the Jubilee Prayer Campaign in November of 1993.
My own life has been somewhat of a prophetic pattern subjected to these long-term cycles. In previous years (during the final 12 years of the Laodicean era) I was trained in the areas of intercession and spiritual warfare. During that time, God held me back, for my ministry pertained to the next Age, which did not begin until “Saul” died in 1993. I made many mistakes during those training years, as we all do, but I learned far more from my mistakes than from any successes that I may have had.
In fact, it was necessary to make those mistakes, because most of them were mistakes that the Pentecostal realm has made over the years, often without realizing what they were doing. In moving from one Age to another, I started out with the same blindness that afflicted Laodicea and began to be healed as the revelation of God stirred within me and opened my eyes to the big picture of the divine plan.
One thing clearly emerged from that training time: the mistakes were always rooted in my ignorance or misperception of the law. I learned that the law was not merely a moral boundary, but an entire way of life subjected to the leading of the Holy Spirit. More than this, the law prophesies, because it reveals the divine plan for the earth, His judgments, and His vows to intervene in history to save mankind.
In that sense, I could personalize Rev. 4:1 and apply it to my own ministry and calling in life. “After these things” (1993) a door opened in heaven, as if to invite me to “come up here,” so that He could show me “what must take place after these things.” The Jubilee Prayer Campaign did indeed open the floodgates of revelation about the overthrow of Mystery Babylon and the Kingdom of God.
Many Bible teachers identify Rev. 4:1 as the “rapture of the saints,” seeing the invitation to “come up here” as a prophecy of the rapture at the end of the Church Age. However, none of the rapture teachers had any real knowledge of the feast of Tabernacles, and so this teaching was developed in ignorance of the most important foundational prophecies that speak of Christ’s second coming. Their teaching, then, was inevitably warped.
Without understanding Tabernacles, it is not possible to have a clear picture of prophecy regarding the second coming of Christ and the “catching away” (Greek: harpazo; Latin: rapto) of the saints.
It was not until about 1950 that any serious study of Tabernacles was made in the context of the New Covenant. Prior to the publication of George Warnock’s book, The Feast of Tabernacles, in 1952, most studies had been by Jews who viewed it through the lens of the Old Covenant. Few understood that the two sets of feast days (April-May and September-October) prophesied of the two works of Christ.
Bible teachers have long known, of course, that Christ died to fulfill the feast of Passover, was raised from the dead and presented to the Father on the wave-sheaf offering, and that the feast of Pentecost was fulfilled in Acts 2 with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In each case, the timing of the feast day established the date of its fulfillment.
However, for some reason they did not take this further in regard to the second set of feast days. The feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hoshana) prophesies of the resurrection of the dead saints. The Day of Atonement prophesies of the church’s repentance for its lack of faith.
The first day of Tabernacles prophesies of the transformation (“change,” 1 Cor. 15:51) of the overcomers who are alive during that time. The middle of Tabernacles prophesies of Christ’s coming in order to unite the Head with the Body of the New Creation Man. The eighth day of Tabernacles is the actual harpazo, the “catching away” of these saints. They are then presented to the Father as the “sons of God.”
The presentation is the official occasion where the saints are recognized by the courts of heaven and are empowered with the full authority that their legal position requires to do their work on earth. Then these sons of God will return to be “manifested” in the earth.
Each step is laid out in the second set of feast days. Those who developed the “rapture” idea without understanding the feast days tended to lump all of these events together and to place a seven-year tribulation between the harpazo and the return of Christ to rule the earth. They did not understand that the tribulation of Israel was to last “seven times,” or 7 x 360 years, as explained in Daniel 7 and in Revelation 13. (See Daniel, Prophet of the Ages, Book 2.)
Understanding the feasts of the Lord is crucial to understanding the book of Revelation, for in the past 150 years this book has been understood in the context of the “rapture” theory and the Futurist interpretation of the book of Revelation. Prior to the mid-1800’s, the book was understood predominantly by the Historicist view (which is my own approach as well).
Revelation 4:2 says,
2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.
When John was invited to “come up here,” he was caught up “in the Spirit.” That is, his spirit was transported to heaven to the throne of God. We all have more than one consciousness. Normally, we perceive things through the soul’s consciousness (or conscious awareness). Our spirit also has a mind (conscious awareness) of its own that is separate from that of the soul.
John had an out-of-body experience. There is no reason to believe that his body was transported to heaven. His soul, too, remained with his body. His heavenly visit involved only his spirit, that is, his spiritual seat of consciousness.
Even so, as many have learned by experience, there is a “window” that connects the soul to the spirit, allowing the soul to see (to the best of its ability) that which the spirit communicates to the soul. The soul’s conscious recollection, then, allows one’s earthly faculties to remember and to record the events using bodily tools (i.e., one’s hands for writing). Hence, spirit, soul, and body are designed to work together in order to bring heaven to earth.
So John was taken to the throne room. The One sitting on the throne is not immediately identified, but the words of the 24 elders in Rev. 4:11, and again in Rev. 5:9, indicates that it is Jesus Christ.