1. Exposition

When did John see the vision of Revelation 4?

Revelation 4:1 (ESV)

1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

John himself dates the timing as after this. The word this (literally, “these things”) refers to the vision of Jesus Christ himself as recorded in Revelation 1:12–20 plus the words that Christ gave him for the seven churches (Revelation 2:1–3:22). Even as John mulls over Jesus’ descriptions of the weaknesses characterizing these churches and the trials that shall beset them, the Lord shows him another vision, one that provides optimism for how things shall go in time to come.