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.
1. “After this…”
a. after [3326 * meta][Strong: a primary preposition (often used adverbially); properly, denoting accompaniment; "amid" (local or causal); modified variously according to the case (genitive association, or accusative succession) with which it is joined; occupying an intermediate position between; after(-ward), X that he again, against, among, X and, + follow, hence, hereafter, in, of, (up-)on, + our, X and setting, since, (un-)to, + together, when, with (+ -out). Often used in composition, in substantially the same relations of participation or proximity, and transfer or sequence.]
b. this [5023 * tauta][Strong: these things:--+ afterward, follow, + hereafter, X him, the same, so, such, that, then, these, they, this, those, thus.]
c. Traditionally this verse is regarded as a transition of events from earth to heaven. Many translations use the words “After these things”. The NASB, ASV, Young’s Literal Translation, Darby Translation, Hebrew Names Version all use this wording. The meaning is that after the things that have transpired on earth. The wording of the rest of the verse backs up this view as we shall see.
2. “…and, behold, a door was opened in heaven…”
a. An open door sometimes refers to spiritual opportunity.
1). Colossians 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
2). Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
3). 1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
2). 2 Corinthians 2:12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
b. Here it obviously means the door into the heavenlies where John was being taken in the Spirit.
3. “…and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me…”
a. John writes that he heard a voice that sounded like a trumpet. It is noted that the two most common passages in the New Testament that speak about the rapture also include a trumpet.
1). 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
2). 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
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:
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.
4. “…which said, Come up hither…”
a. The same words are repeated to the resurrected dead bodies of the two witnesses later in the events that transpire in Revelation.
1). Revelation 11:3-12 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
5. “..and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”
a. The wording here repeats the thought this is a transition in time from the events that have happened to the events which will happen.