Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 10/24/2010
The Doctrine of The Open Door. Part 8.
Point 7 (Cont’d). The Doctrine of The Open Door. The blessings awaiting you on the other side of the first open door in heaven.
Again, in the book of Revelation there are two doors that are documented and revealed to us, is a book filled with a lot of typology and numerology. In fact, these two principles need to be understood when it comes to the interpretation of many of the passages found in the book of Revelation.
The first is understanding the principle of typology, for there is a lot of typology found in the book of Revelation. Therefore, a simple and clear definition of typology is needed before we go on.
Typology is the study or systematic classification of types that have characteristics or traits in common. It all depends upon the content of the passage. For example, we took the word serpent in the Bible. The serpent is used as a type of Satan as in GEN 3:1, Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’”?
We know that this serpent is used as a type of Satan because the serpent is identified as Satan and the devil in REV 12:9, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan.
As Paul warned the Corinthians in 2CO 11:3, But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
In NUM 21:6 Serpent are a type of sin in all of its terrible effect on the people.
And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. (NUM 21:6)
But then in NUM 21:8, The serpent is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ when He was made sin for us (2CO 5:21) as He hung on the Cross. NUM 21:8-9, Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he shall live.” And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.
The serpent represents our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the Cross. How we know that?
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;” (JOH 3:14)
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth [the cross], will draw all men to Myself.” (JOH 12:32)
In MAT 7:10, the serpent represents the deceitfulness of sin.
“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a serpent (not a snake), will he?”
(Mat 7: 8-10)
This is a symbol of a harmful, detrimental thing which the believer, in his ignorance, thinks is good and profitable. The Lord sees that he is mistaken in his request and so refuses to give it to him because He knows it would harm. So God says “NO” to the request. The serpent represents a type of evil pointing to Satan, and the devil and sin and evil.
So, the first principle is that typology is a means of expressing a principle of truth but never grounds to build a doctrine upon - the same way parables are to be interpreted. The second doctrinal principle that needs to be understood, especially in the book of Revelation, is the subject of numerology, Numerology is the study of how numbers are used in the Bible.
The 2 most usually used numbers in the Bible are the numbers 7 and 40. The number 7 is found as being representative of perfection or completion. The number 40 is well-thought-out to be a number that is associated with test or difficulties. At least 12 numbers in the Bible stand out in this regard: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 40, 50, and 70. In order to express this truth, I just give you some quick biblical examples, however, much more can be said on this subject, so these examples serve merely as an introduction and are not exhaustive by any means.
1 - Represents absolute singleness and unity - EPH 4:4-6, There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
2 - Represents the truth of God's Word; for example, the law and prophets, and in HEB 4:12, For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two‑edged sword,
3 - Represents the Godhead - Trinity. The angels cry “Holy” three times to the triune God (ISA 6:3; MAT 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,”
4 - Represents universal truth, as in the four directions (north, south, east, west) and the four winds; MAT 24:31, “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
REV 7:1, After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth,
REV 20:8, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth,
5 - Represents teaching and grace. First, there are the five books of Moses. Second, Jesus taught about the five wise virgins and used five barley loaves used to feed the 5,000.
6 - Represents the worship of man, and is the number of man, signifying his rebellion, imperfection, works, and disobedience. It is used 273 times in the Bible.
The number is especially significant in the book Revelation, as "666" identifies the beast. “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty‑six.” (REV 13:18)
7 - Represents perfection, and is the sign of God, divine worship, completions, obedience, and rest. The “prince” of Bible numbers, it is used 562 times, including its derivatives.
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (GEN 2:1-3)
Seven times a day I praise Thee, Because of Thy righteous ordinances. (PSA 119:164)
The number seven is also the most common in biblical prophecy, occurring 42 times in Daniel and Revelation alone. In Revelation there are 7 churches, spirits, golden candlesticks, stars, lamps, seals, horns, eyes, angels, trumpets, thunders, heads, crowns, last plagues, golden vials, mountains, and 7 kings.
40 - Represents a generation and times of testing. It rained for 40 days during the flood. Moses spent 40 years in the desert, as did the children of Israel. Jesus fasted for 40 days. So in REV 4:1 teaches the first open door mentioned in the book of Revelation is the opening of the entrance door of Rapture of the Church.
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." (REV 4:1)
“Come up here” is a command to the apostle John to go into heaven which will happen to the Church after the Rapture of the Church. “What must take place after these things” refers to the divine order of things to come, which is as follows:
First, there is the Rapture or exit resurrection of the Church; 1TH 4:16-17. When the sound of the trumpet in this passage blows, the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Notice that we meet the Lord first, in the clouds of the air.
Next, still in the clouds of the air is where the Big Genuflex occurs when the entire royal family is present, and they confess to the battlefield royalty of Jesus Christ. The Big Genuflex is the interim event between the Rapture and the Judgment Seat of Christ when the entire Church or the royal family is present, and they confess to the battlefield royalty of Jesus Christ. This explains the phrase “every tongue shall confess to God.” What is confessed is the fact that our Lord’s victory on the cross over Satan and the kingdom of darkness demands that His Humanity which is now royalty requires the resurrection of His royal family. We must have a resurrection body as He does because we are His family. In resurrection body the entire royal family will identify the Head of the family, Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father.
After this comes the Judgment Seat of Christ. In 2CO 5:10 we read, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ [bema seat], that each one [members of the Royal Family] may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good [of intrinsic value] or bad worthless [human power and evil]. So, when the Lord said to John “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” These things refer to:
- The Rapture.
2. Big Genuflex.
3. The Judgment Seat of Christ.
All three of these biblical events we are told take place in the clouds of the air. The question you should have concerning this open door is: What is behind it? For it is not an open door filled with surprises but a door with clarity, excitement, and principles of doctrine that motivate us concerning our very own future. This is a passage which illustrates that the Church is no longer on earth and that it is in heaven worshipping the Lord.
Now, how do we know that? Because in REV 4:2, the apostle John writes that after the Lord said in REV 4:1-2, “Come up here and I will show you what must take place after these things.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. Notice what is behind this open door. First of all, there is a throne in heaven, and immediately when there is a throne that means that there is a system of authority, there is a hierarchy, an organization. Heaven is a perfect place and as a perfect place or environment, there is authority in heaven. This is why Satan and the kingdom of darkness do everything they can to attack and discredit those who are in positions of authority.
And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone. (REV 4:3)
We saw the jasper stone is actually a transparent, translucent stone referring to a diamond which represented the strengthening of relationships and the promises and commitments made from one to another. In this case, from our Lord Jesus Christ to member of His Church, His future bride. For as 2TI 2:12-13 says, If we endure, we shall also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself. The biblical meaning of the diamond had to do with a person's dedication and devotion and respect toward another.
So when REV 4:3 says, And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance, and there was a rainbow around the throne, The Sardius was blood-red, speaking of the sacrifice of blood, pointing to the Cross and the first advent of our Lord Jesus Christ who shed His blood for the remission of sins, the basis of our Lord’s victory.
The significance of the rainbow, first mentioned in GEN 9:12-16, as a manifestation of our Lord’s integrity fulfilling His promises. Which is why God said in GEN 9:16 “When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
What was the covenant or promise? It was GEN 9:15, I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. So, the rainbow represents our Lord’s integrity, the guarantee that He will never again destroy all mankind through a flood. And notice in REV 4:3, One color is emphasized in the rainbow and that is green, the color of the emerald. and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.
Emerald or the color green symbolizes:
The color green also refers to man’s perfect environment of the Garden of Eden. Green is the color of plant life, which covers the earth in abundant luxury. It is associated with healthy plant life, and therefore, with happiness.
In verse 4, also behind this open door John is given a vision of twenty-four elders who are seated on thrones. There are four inerrant marks which identify these elders as representatives of the Church. I believe that these inerrant marks or infallible truths reveal that these 24 elders are not angels, as some teach, or heads of the 12 tribes of Israel with the 12 apostles of the Church, 12 +12 equaling the number 24. I believe these are elders from the Church-age.
- Their position. They are sitting on the thrones which make up the rainbow around the throne in REV 4:3b.
- The number of these elders. Especially in this book where numbers are so great a part of the symbolism. Twenty 24 is the number of the choruses into which the Levitical priesthood was divided, 1CH 24:1-19. So the number 24 represented priesthood.
- The testimony of the enthroned elders, REV 5:8-11.
- They are called elders, and elder-ship is a representative office for the Church-age, ACT 15:2; ACT 20:17.
So, the elders are members of the Church and they are seen in heaven in the place which the scriptures assign to the Church. They are there before a seal is opened or a woe is uttered and before the wrath of God is poured out. Therefore, they are there before the sorrows of the Tribulation period actually begins. They are in their redeemed state clothed with white raiment and crowned with crowns. From this chapter to the 20th chapter the church is never once referred to as on earth.