Good morning!😀 Today’s post is a bit long and I pray that you will bear with me and read/study it in its entirety.
The Book of Revelation used to be a difficult book for me. But as I read it, I learned to interpret it correctly. The Lord promised a blessing to those who read, hear and keep the words written in it. It is the only book of the Bible that promises a blessing! Therefore, let’s dive in this morning and get blessed! 😀
Many years ago in my researching, I learned that whatever image the Apostle John saw, if it seemed like it was something out of Star Trek and not believable, it should be interpreted as a symbol. A good example of this is:
This is definitely a good example, isn’t it? But when other verses seemed to be realistic to me, I should interpret it as literal. A good example of this is:
The star could mean a comet or an asteroid. A few years after I was saved and before the internet, I read an actual news article which stated that a comet had been spotted which was named Wormwood. Unfortunately, I can’t find that article online – it was one read in the newspaper. It could be likely that Wormwood will be discovered by NASA at some point in the near future. The word wormwood is defined by Noah Webster as:
WORMWOOD, n. [G.] A plant, the artemisia. It has a bitter nauseous taste;
So we can interpret the verses above literally. A comet will fall to earth and destroy a third part of the rivers and fountains of waters (fresh water) and make the waters bitter and undrinkable. So now we know what to take literally and what to take symbolically.
Let’s get back on track now and discuss the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as it relates to Revelation. If we are to believe the mid or post tribulation viewpoint, then the Church would have a lot of warning and instruction. The Apostle John would have instructions for the Church. How then does one explain that the church is never mentioned after chapter three??? This is key here! The word “church” is mentioned seven times in chapter two and the word “churches” is mentioned 11 times in chapters one through three. That’s a total of 18 times that “church” appears in just three chapters! The word “church or churches” is not mentioned again until the last chapter, Chapter 22, in verse 16!
It is also interesting to note that in Revelation 3:22 (the last verse in this chapter) is the last use of the word churches. Immediately right after in Revelation 4:1, “a door is opened in heaven” and Jesus says “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” When the Bible was first written, there were no chapters and verses. The assigning of chapters and verses was finished in the year 1551. How exciting is that? Revelation 3:22 and Revelation 4:1 were originally one verse apart. One is referring to the churches and the very next verse speaks of a door opening. Following Rev. 4:1, there is no other mention of the church. It means a lot more when you look at it like that, doesn’t it?
Jesus is not coming to earth in Rev. 4:1. However, John is brought up to where Jesus is located. Secondly, Jesus says He will show John what must be hereafter. None of the judgments have begun yet at this point. The rest of chapter 4 and chapter 5 discuss Heaven and events going on there. One of these events is chapter 4:4
Believers earn crowns for their salvation and the way they conduct themselves on earth. They receive these crowns in Heaven and cast them at Christ’s feet.
So the Pre-Tribulation viewpoint fits in perfectly: the Church goes up to where Jesus is (in the clouds as the Apostle John goes to Jesus) and the judgments begin after the Church goes up.
Just as Noah was kept by the ark, Jesus is our Ark. We are safe in Him from judgment that is to come upon the whole earth.
Just as Noah lived by faith and remained faithful while building the ark, he was protected from the judgment of the flood which would come to the entire earth. Just as Noah returned from the waters onto the mountains of Ararat and a new earth was his home, so will we return with Christ to live on a revitalized earth and Christ will reign in Jerusalem.
No man knows the hour that Jesus will take us up in the Rapture. Just as Noah didn’t know when the rains would come, neither will we know when Jesus will take us away. This is the ONLY version of the Rapture that makes sense. Mid-trib has its exact days (1260) and Post-trib as well. But Pre-Tribulation is imminent and can happen at any time. Once God shuts the door (of our Ark), that’s it!
It is worth repeating: after Revelation 4:1, the church is no longer mentioned (until Rev. 22:16). That is because we have been raptured and are already with Christ. At the beginning of the Tribulation (which occurs when the Antichrist comes to power), God’s focus goes back to Israel’s judgment. After Revelation 4:1, the Old Testament’s prophecies about the time of Jacob’s Troubles come into play. “Come up hither,” is a beautiful depiction of the rapture of the Church. It is prefaced by the wonderful teaching of the Church age in chapters one through three. After the shout to “come up hither,” the Church is not mentioned during the judgments. If the Church were to go through the Tribulation, it would be mentioned. But the focus from that point on is now on Israel.
Believers need to realize that there are two groups of people that God especially loves! He loves the whole world but the faithful are close to His heart. God loves Israel and God loves Christians. God dealt with Israel throughout the Old Testament. Because they would not obey, God opened the door to all mankind to accept salvation. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us all from our sins; this includes non-Jews, the Gentiles. It’s as though God in His mercy took a “break” from dealing with Israel, to open the door to the Gentile, and put Israel’s judgment on hold. The Church Age began with Christ and the Age of Law was paused (this ended Daniel’s 69th week and began Daniel’s 70th week). The Rapture of the church takes us out of the picture and God returns His focus to Israel, Daniel’s 70th week. During this time, called the Tribulation, the Antichrist will make a pact with Israel and half-way through the seven years will break that pact.
I know today’s post is a lot to absorb but it sure packs a wallop! Does this excite you, reader? It surely does me! But to the one who is not saved, it is a different story. Friend, it is no coincidence that God has placed you here for such a time as this so that you may be saved. Please click here and the link will open up in a separate tab to You Can Be Born Again and Know It!