After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened 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 show thee things which must be hereafter. Disrobe this chapter of its strange metaphorical costume, brush away all the symbols, and there appears a supermundane world, here called heaven - man's higher sphere of being; a world this, unseen by the outward eye, unheard by the outward ear, untouched by the tactile nerve, lying away altogether from our five senses. That such a world exists is, to say the least, highly probable, if not morally certain. Universal reason conducts to the belief in, and the universal heart yearns for, such a scene. He who is so thoroughly acquainted with the universe as to be incapable of a mistake, so inflexibly sincere as to be incapable of deception, has said, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you." I may observe, in passing, that from the first verse of this chapter to the first verse of the eighth chapter inclusive forms an interesting paragraph of thought for suggestion. Now, this supermundane world, or man's higher sphere of being, we have here presented in two aspects - humanly accessible and spiritually entered. Each of these we shall employ as the germ of a separate homily. In the text it appears as humanely accessible. Notice -
I. THERE IS A DOOR TO ADMIT. "A door was opened in heaven." What is the "door"? Christ says, "I am the Door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:9). He shall enter into this super-mundane world with absolute safety and abundant provision. He is "the Way." Christ's absolute moral excellence makes him the Door of admission to all that is pure, beautiful, and joyous in the universe. "Beholding as in a glass the flee of the Lord, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory," etc. Two things may be predicated about this door.
1. It is transparent. He who looks into Christ's character looks into heaven. In his spirit we see the light that animates all heaven, and the principles that set all heaven to music. He who knows Christ experimentally knows heaven, and no other.
2. It is ample. Millions have passed through it, and millions more will to the end of time; thousands are passing through it, and all the men of coming generations will find it wide enough.
II. THERE IS A VOICE TO WELCOME. "And the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking [speaking] with me; which said [one saying], Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be [come to pass] hereafter." Whither? Up the heights of the supersensuous universe, lying even beyond the stars. Thither in imagination we may ascend. Who, indeed, in the stillness of the night, has not heard as it were a "trumpet" coming down into his soul from those bright orbs which in teeming legions traverse the infinite fields above? Whoever gazed upon their shining, Nor turned to earth without repining, Nor longed for wings to fly away, And meet with them eternal day? Come up hither, they seem to say. Let not your minds be confined to your little, cloudy, stormy, perishing planet. Earth was only intended as the temporary home of your bodies, not the dwelling place of your souls. The great universe is the domain of mind. We roll and shine in our mighty spheres around you to win you away to the serene, the height, and the boundless. "Come up hither," immortal man, wing your flight from orb to orb, system to system; count our multitudes, mark our movements, gauge our dimensions, breathe in our brightness, rise beyond us, scale the wondrous heavens still far away, revel in the Infinite, be lost in God. But the elevation to which we are called is not local, but moral. "Seek those things which are above." What are they? Truth, rectitude, holiness, fellowship with the Infinite. Herein is true soul elevation. To this the "trumpet" bids us. Hear this trumpet from the infinite silences around you, from departing saints above you, from the depths of conscience within you, "come up hither."
CONCLUSION. Are we morally ascending? Then we shall experience three things.
1. Increasing dominion over the world.
2. Constant growth in moral force.
3. Augmented interest in the spiritual domain. - D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: After these things I looked and saw a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was one saying, "Come up here, and I will show you the things which must happen after this."