Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”
There are a lot of opinions about the book of Revelation. Books have been written about the different views. Are you Pre, Mid, or Post Tribulation seems to be the question most asked. We want to know when Jesus is coming back. Jesus told us we don’t know the day or the hour so a lot of speculation is worthless, but when it comes to the tribulation I believe there are some very telling verses that leads us to a Pre-tribulation rapture.
Revelation 4:1 gives us three clues the church has been raptured before the tribulation. While there are many more verses and cross references we can use to prove this point, namely Revelation 3:10, we will just focus on these three:
- Voice Like a Trumpet: We read that John heard a voice like a trumpet calling him up to heaven. In the Old Testament trumpets were used to summon groups of people together for things like battle or to tell people to move from one place to another. For instance when it was time for the Jews to move in the desert they would blow a trumpet. That meant it was time to pick up their tents and move to the next destination. John hearing the trumpet is like telling the church that it is time to pick up their earthly tents and change locations to heaven.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
- A Heavenly Perspective: The second clue we are given is John’s perspective for the tribulation. He writes it from a heavenly perspective. Jesus has called him up to heaven and he writes what he sees while watching it from heaven. John didn’t go through the tribulation, he was removed from it. In Revelation 3:10 Jesus tells the church of Philadelphia that he will keep them from the hour of trial. The word “from” is from the Greek word “ek” which means to remove and where we get our word exit from. God is going to spare the church from his wrath by removing them before the tribulation.
Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth
- No Mention of the Church: The final clue we get is that from chapter 4 until chapter 19 we don’t see the church mentioned. That is curious because the church is mentioned twenty times in the first three chapters. You would think that God would mention his caring for or protecting the church during all of the judgments, especially if he has promised to keep them from it. Well he doesn’t need to mention the church because they are with Him in heaven.
There is so much more to write and as I teach through the book of Revelation I will try to post weekly reviews of some the material that I have taught on in the previous Sunday. If you would like to listen to the whole message you can click here.