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Related Greek Word Studies
601 || ἀποκαλύπτω || apokalupto || to reveal.
602 || ἀποκάλυψις || apokalupsis || revelation.
2347 || θλῖψις || thlipsis || tribulation.
3952 || παρουσία || parousia || coming.

This is an excellent bible study to show that, 'I will keep you from the hour of trial' (Revelation 3:10) does not mean that we will be kept out of the tribulation. It uses a Greek Unicode font and is printable.

Introduction 9.08

Gerald B. Stanton wrote a book called 'KEPT FROM THE HOUR', the title being based on Revelation 3:10, to prove that the Church will not go through the tribulation. It was first published in 1956 and so has been available as a standard work promoting the pre-tribulation rapture for over 50 years. In his first chapter he wrote, "under no circumstance will the true church of Jesus Christ go through any portion of the coming Tribulation period." (Page 12). This bible study refutes that argument, and proves that 'I will keep you from the hour of trial' (Revelation 3:10) does not mean that we will be kept out of the tribulation.

#9.081 The pre-tribulation rapture argument

Greek - Revelation 3:10 - English
ὅτι ἐτήρησας τὸν λόγον τῆς ὑπομονῆς μου κἀγώ σε τηρήσω ἐκ τῆς ὥρας τοῦ πειρασμοῦ τῆς μελλούσης ἔρχεσθαι ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκουμένης ὅλης πειράσαι τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς 10 Because you have kept my command to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Some of those who promote the pre-tribulation rapture argue this scripture like this. The words translated "from the hour of trial" (Gr. ἐκ τῆς ὥρας τοῦ πειρασμοῦ, Gtr. ek tes oras tou peirasmou) really mean "out of the tribulation". The KJV translates them, "from the hour of temptation", which is possible because the Greek word "peirasmos" can mean trial or temptation. The first assumption is that "the hour of trial" refers to "the tribulation", which is probable because it comes on the whole world. The second assumption is that the Greek word "ek", a preposition, means "out of", and they use three scriptures in the same chapter of Revelation, spoken by the same Jesus Christ, to prove their point.

(Revelation 3:5) "I will not blot his name out of the book of life,"
(Revelation 3:12) "the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God."
(Revelation 3:16) "I will vomit you out of my mouth."

The Greek word translated "out of" in these verse is the preposition "ek", which means 'out of completely and remains no longer in it'. Therefore, if the word "ek" means "out of" in these three scriptures, then the same word "ek" (Verse 10) means the church will be kept "out of" the tribulation and will not be in it. This is the way that Jesus used the word "ek" in this chapter and so it must mean that in verse 10.

#9.082 The post-tribulation rapture answer

The above argument is false for the following reasons. First, the word "ek" appears another twice in the same chapter which they have not mentioned.

(Revelation 3:9) "Indeed, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan,"
(Revelation 3:18)
"I counsel you to buy of me gold refined in the fire."

In Revelation 3:9 the Greek word "ek" is translated "of" and is used to indicate source. It certainly does not mean "out of" in this scripture, but it would be better translated "from" or even "in".
In Revelation 3:18 "ek" is translated "in" (KJV, NKJV, NIV), or "by" (YLT, ASV, RSV), and it certainly doesn't mean "out of" in this scripture.

Secondly, chapter division, or even who does the speaking, is not the correct way to determine the meaning of a word; we must look at the context, the syntax of the Greek, and in this case the words that the preposition "ek" is used with. In Revelation 3:5, 12, 16, "ek" is used as a preposition indicating a place, and in these cases the translation "out of" is fine. But in Revelation 3:10 "ek" is used as a preposition of time, qualifying the word "hour", and in this case "out of" is not a reasonable translation. Look at some definitions of how "ek" is used as a preposition of time.

"Temporal: from, from [this point] ... on."

"4.7.2. Temporal (time from which). One of the specific applications of physical or spatial movement is temporal. The preposition ἐκ may be used of a restricted time from which someone or something has moved."

"5. of time - a. of time when something begins from, from - on, for, etc."
William F. Arndt, and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A GREEK ENGLISH LEXICON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT  and other early Christian literature. Page 236.

"IV. of TIME [W. 367 (344)];    1. of the (temporal) point from which; Let. ex, inde, a; from, from ... on, since:"

Time = Although not as common, ἐκ can express the time when something began, as in John 9:1 (blind since birth), or the the length of time that something happens, as in Acts 9:33 (bed-ridden for eight years).

Looking at these definitions, we may say that, when "ek" is used in a temporal sense, the prepositional phrase it is used in indicates a point or period in time from which the verb or adjective it qualifies applies, or a period of time during which the verb or adjective it qualifies applies to. Let us look at some scriptural examples.

(Matthew 19:20) "The young man says to him, All these I have kept from my youth, what do I still lack?"
(Mark 10:20) "And answering he said to him, Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth."
(Luke 18:21) "And he said, All these I have kept from my youth."

All of the three examples above are different versions of the same incident, where Jesus told the rich young ruler to keep the commandments if he wanted to enter into eternal life. In each version the young man's reply was, "All these I have kept from my youth." The word "from" is translated from "ek" in the Greek, and is followed by a period of time during which he said he had kept the commandments, "kept" being the verb qualified, and from (the beginning of) his youth up to that present time being the time period. Here "ek" points to a point in time from which he had begun to keep the commandments.

(Luke 8:27) "A certain man out of the city who had demons for a long time."

In this example "ek" is translated "for" and is followed by the period of time (a long time) during which this man had demons. It should be understood to mean that he had demons from a long time ago up to that time, the prepositional phrase  indicating the starting point of that period from which the verb "had" applied.

(John 6:64) "For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe."

Here "ek" is translated "from" and the prepositional phrase "from the beginning" indicates the start of the period of time from which Jesus knew who did not believe. It indicates the point from which the verb "knew" applied.

(John 9:1) "And passing on he saw a man blind from birth."

Here "ek" is translated "from" and the prepositional phrase "from birth" indicates the point in time from which the adjective "blind" applied to the man.

(John 9:32) "From the beginning of the age, it was not heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man who had been born blind."

In this case the Greek ἐκ τοῦ αἰῶνος (Gtr. ek tou aionos) literally translates as "From the age" or "For the age" and obviously refers to a period of time from the beginning of the age up to that present time. Other translations are "Since the world began" (KJV, NKJV, RSV),  "From the age" (YLT),  and "Since the beginning of time" (NAS). It cannot be much plainer than this example, that "ek" followed by a period of time marks the beginning of that period to which the verb "it was ... heard" applies.

(Acts 9:33) "And he found there a certain man, named Aeneas, who was lying on a bed for eight years, and was paralysed."

Here ἐκ is translated "for" referring to the eight year period from the beginning of which Aeneas had been lying down. Again, there is no way that ἐκ means "out of" in this scripture. These are not the only examples. We could also examine "for a second time" (Matthew 26:42), "for a third time" (Matthew 26:44), "From that time" (John 6:66), "From that time" (John 19:12), "from his mother's womb" (Acts 3:2), "from generations of old" (Acts 15:21), "from my youth" (Acts 26:4), but there is enough evidence already given to show how "ek" is used when applied to time. So let us go back and look at the original scripture.

(Revelation 3:10) "Because you have kept the word of my endurance, I will also keep you from the hour of trial, which is about to come upon the whole habitable world, to test those who dwell on the earth."

The verb here is "I will keep", "ek" is translated "from", and the time period is "the hour of trial". The understanding then is that God will keep us, from the beginning of the hour of trial onwards. This verse does not say that God will remove the church before the tribulation comes on the world, but rather that he will keep us through it.

#9.083 Checking the Old Testament Type

In the Old Testament we have a very good type of the last days plagues, which are the plagues in Egypt before Israel left. Were the children of Israel removed out of the way before the plagues came on the land? No, but there is much evidence that they were protected from the plagues.

1. A plague of flies came on Egypt (Exodus 8:21-23) but it did not come on the land of Goshen where the Israelites were.
2. God sent a pestilence to kill all the cattle in Egypt (Exodus 9:3-6) but none of Israel's cattle were killed.
3. Also a plague of hail fell on Egypt to strike trees, man and beast (Exodus 9:23-26) but there was no hail in Goshen where the Israelites were.
4. Also Egypt was plagued with thick darkness for three days (Exodus 10:22-23) but the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
5. Finally, the angel of the LORD killed all the firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 12:12-13, 23, 27) but not the firstborn of the Israelites who were protected by the blood of the lamb on the doorposts.

As in this case in the Old Testament, God's people were protected from the plagues which came on the wicked, so also God's people who are alive during the tribulation  will be protected from the plagues that come on the world. See a New Testament example:

(Revelation 7:1) "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
3 Saying, Do not hurt the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed: a hundred and forty four thousand sealed of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
(Revelation 9:3) "And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree; but only those men who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads.
5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man.

This plague of scorpion like creatures tormented people on the earth for five months, but they were not allowed to touch God's people who were alive and had the seal of God in their foreheads.

#9.084 Conclusion on the Hour of Trial

Revelation 3:10 is one of the scriptures that the pre-tribulation argument depends on very heavily, but when it is closely examined it does not mean what the pre-tribulation teachers say that it means. They have failed to distinguish between the tribulation that will come on the world, the tribulation that will come on the church, and the tribulation that will come on the Jews in the last days. Revelation 3:10 refers to the tribulation that will come on the world, from which the Christians will be protected by God, and is in fact a sound defence for the post-tribulation rapture. This does not mean that the church will not be persecuted, as this has been promised (See #4.2 The Tribulation on the Church). There is no way that Revelation 3:10 proves that the church will not go through the tribulation.

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