I Came to be in Spirit

On four different occasions, John found himself “in the Spirit” and was transported to a new location where he received another vision

In his first vision, John came to be “in the spirit” where he saw a vision of “one like a son of man” standing among the “seven golden lampstands.” Now, in the fourth chapter, he “came to be in the spirit and was summoned to heaven to receive a vision about the “throne,” the “sealed scroll,” and the “slain Lamb.”

At four different times, John was transported “by the Spirit” to locations where he received additional visions. The description, “I came to be in spirit,” occurs twice; first, in the opening vision on Patmos, and second, when he is called by the “same voice” to “come up here” before the “Throne”:
  • (Revelation 1:10-20) - “I was in the isle called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I CAME TO BE IN THE SPIRIT on the Lord’s day.”
  • (Revelation 4:2) - “Come up here, and I will show you the things which must come to pass after these. Straightway I CAME TO BE IN THE SPIRIT.”

In the first vision, he heard a trumpet-like voice behind him, then turned and saw the figure “like Son of Man” standing among “lampstands.” That figure proceeded to dictate the seven letters to the “messengers” of the “churches of Asia” - (Revelation 1:10-3:22Compare - Daniel 7:13).

In this next vision, John is summoned by that same “voice” to the “throne.” Once there, he sees the “throne,” the “sealed scroll,” and the “Lamb” who will break the “seven seals” that enclosed the “scroll.” The scene before the “throne” is then followed by visions that present events from the perspective of the “throne” - (Revelation 4:1-16:21).

The remainder of the book is divided into two sections, both of which begin when John finds himself “in the spirit” where he receives further visions.

In each case, he is “carried away in spirit,” and each time by one of the seven angels that had the “seven bowls of wrath.” In the last two sections, John sees visions of two cities, “Babylon” and the “New Jerusalem” - (Revelation 17:1-5, 21:1-8, 21:9-22:15).

Thus, in the third division, John is “carried away in spirit to the wilderness” to see “Babylon.” The scene marks the start of the destruction of the cosmic enemies of the “Lamb,” and it ends with a glimpse of “New Jerusalem” as it descends from “heaven.” The division concludes with promises to overcomers and dire warnings to the unrighteous, especially to liars - (Revelation 17:1-21:8).

In the book’s final division, John is “carried away in spirit to a great and high mountain” from which he sees the holy city, “New Jerusalem.” And this section also concludes with promises to overcomers and dire warnings to the unrighteous, especially to liars.

Both final sections conclude with the same warning. They are not in chronological order; instead, they serve to contrast the two cities, “Babylon” and “New Jerusalem” - (Revelation 21:9-22:15).

Thus, John receives glimpses “in the spirit” into HOW the “Lamb” will consummate his past victory by defeating all his cosmic foes, and in this way, his people will stand victorious before him and the “throne” in the holy city of “New Jerusalem.”


Suffering Servant

The Living Word