Division Three – The things which shall be hereafter
The Scene in Heaven
“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.” (Rev 4:1 KJV)
The phrases ‘after this’ and ‘things which must be hereafter’ signal the third division of the book of Revelation. This division is still future and comprises the largest portion of the book.
Here we see a solid transition from the vision on Earth to the vision in Heaven. This could be the point in the future where the Rapture has taken place. ‘After this’ could be referring to the Church age, so he would be saying ‘after the Church age’. The rapture will take place before the seven year tribulation because the Church will be taken out before the wrath of God is poured out upon the world.
The Church is never referred to as being on Earth after the seven Churches.
“2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
(Joh 14:2-3 KJV)
The Church is with Jesus in chapter 17.
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev 17:14 KJV)
The Church is seen as the Bride of Christ in chapter 19, already in the presence of Jesus before His Second Coming.
The Church rides from Heaven with Jesus for the battle of Armageddon.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Rev 19:11 KJV)
Jesus promised the Church of Philadelphia that He would keep them from this hour.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world,” (Rev 3:10a KJV)
This promise is to all overcomers. The wrath of God is not intended for the Church.
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luk 21:36 KJV)
“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” (1Th 1:10 KJV)
“16 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:
17 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.”
(1Th 4:16-17 KJV)
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1Th 5:9 KJV)