When John is taken up into heaven his journey allows him to see the divine throne where God “seated upon it,” and surrounded by heavenly worshipers. The message is clear. We have only one allegiance and that is God and God’s Lamb Jesus. They are worthy of our worship. This is, of course, stood in opposition to those who wanted to worship the Roman emperor or any imperial power. This radical message is transformative for John and for his first century church to which he wrote.
John’s Apocalypse is an exposé written to pull back the curtain and uncover the truth about the Roman Empire. Like Toto in the “The Wizard of Oz,” Revelation pulls back the curtain to expose the fact that Rome is not the great eternal power it claims to be. Rome must not be worshiped. Only God is worthy of our worship.