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#9.10 THE CHURCH IN REVELATION AFTER CHAPTER 3

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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.

Introduction 9.10

It is amazing how many people try to argue scriptural doctrine from what the bible doesn't say, and this is the case here. The argument is that the word "church", or the words "in Christ", do not appear after Revelation Chapter 3, and therefore the church is not there. Dear reader, beware when anyone tries to argue doctrine from what the bible doesn't say, it is almost always false. Please establish your doctrine on what the bible does say, "lest God reproves you and you are found a liar." (Proverbs 30:6). Let us follow their false logic a little. The Hebrew word 'elohim' for God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, Song of Solomon or Obadiah, so does that mean he was not there? Some say that because rain is not mentioned after Genesis 2:5 before the flood of Noah, that it did not rain on the earth for the first 1500+ years, is that true? Well, rain is not mentioned in the book of Joshua or Judges, until Israel asked for a king for themselves (1 Samuel 12:17) in the days of Samuel. Would you also argue that there was no rain during this time? The Sabbath is not mentioned after the death of Moses until the time of King Jehoshaphat and the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4:23). Would you argue that the Sabbath was not kept during that time, hundreds of years, because the bible does not say that it was? I hope that you can see that this kind of reasoning is not spiritual. So if the word "church" is not mentioned in Revelation after Chapter 3, does that mean it isn't there? I hope you don't think so. This is an excellent bible study to disprove the claims that the church is not in Revelation after chapter 3, and we will give you plenty of evidence for its existence then.

#9.101 THE BEAST MAKES WAR WITH THE SAINTS (REVELATION 13:7)

DANIEL 7:21-22
21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

REVELATION 13:4, 7 (John)
4 And they worshipped the dragon who gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? who is able to make war with him?
7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all tribes, and tongues, and nations.

Note: "The horn" in Daniel 7:21 refers to the Antichrist, just as "the beast" does in Revelation 13:4, and in both scriptures he makes war with God's Saints, and overcomes them. This is persecution of the church during the tribulation period. Pre-tribulation rapture teachers say that the church will be raptured before the Antichrist appears. This is a deception; please do not fall for it. "Saints" is a word often (well over 40 times) used of people in the church in the scripture written after the time of Jesus (Acts 9:13, 9:32, 9:41, 26:10, etc). They are also used in Revelation after Chapter 3 (Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4, 11:18, 13:7, 13:10, 14:12, 16:6, 17:6, 18:24), proving that the church is still there. If they argue that these saints are not part of the church, then ask for a scripture to prove it. That is based on what the scripture doesn't say again, so refuse it.

#9.102 THE DEAD WHO DIE IN THE LORD (REVELATION 14:13)

1 THESSALONIANS 4:15-17 (Paul)
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep.
16 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.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

REVELATION 14:13 (John)
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works will follow them.

Note: Who are the dead "in Christ" who rise at the rapture? It included the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:2), the churches of Judaea (Galatians 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:14), Titus and Paul (Galatians 2:3-4), Jews, Greeks, bond, free, male, and female (Galatians 3:28), circumcised and uncircumcised (Galatians 6:15), the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:1; 2:10), the Philippians (Philippians 1:26; 3:3), the Colossians (Colossians 1:2; 1:4), the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 5:18), Timothy (2 Timothy 2:10), and Paul (2 Timothy 1:9), Philemon, Apphia, Archippus (Philemon 1-2, 6), and the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocea, Asia and Bithynia (1 Peter 1:1; 3:16).
One of the errors in the pre-tribulation rapture theory is that because the words "in Christ" do not appear between Revelation chapter 3 and chapter 18, that it is proof that the church is not there on the earth. We must ask then, "Who are those who die 'in the Lord' (Revelation 14:13), which the context shows to be during the tribulation?" The phrase "in the Lord" is often used of the church in the New Testament:

(Romans 16:2) "That you receive her in the Lord, as becomes saints,"
(Romans 16:8) "Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord."
(Romans 16:10) "Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord."
(Romans 16:12-13) "Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, who laboured much in the Lord.
Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine."

[The word translated "chosen" in this last verse is the same one translated "elect", often referring to the church.]

(Romans 16:22) "I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord."
(1 Corinthians 4:17) "For this cause have I sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord,"
(1 Corinthians 7:22) "For he who is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman:"
(1 Corinthians 7:39) "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord."
(1 Corinthians 9:1) "are you not my work in the Lord?"

[See also 1 Corinthians 9:2; 11:10; 15:58; 16:19; 2 Corinthians 10:17; Ephesians 2:21; 4:17; 5:8; 6:1; 6:10; 6:21; Philippians 1:14; 2:29; 4:1; 4:2; 4:4; Colossians 3:18; 4:7; 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:8; 5:12; Philemon 1:16; 1:20(2)]
All theses scriptures show that the terms "in Christ" and "in the Lord" are synonymous. So the dead "in Christ" (1 Thessalonians 4:16) includes both Jews and Gentiles, and those who die "in the Lord" (Revelation 14:13), which is during the tribulation, and so refutes the idea of a Gentile church being raptured before the tribulation, just as the rest of this section does.

#9.103 TWO PROPHETS IN THE CHURCH (REVELATION 11:10)

1 CORINTHIANS 12:28 (Paul)
28 And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

REVELATION 11:3,6, 10
3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it does not rain in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
10 And those who dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts to one another; because these two prophets tormented those who dwelt on the earth.

Note: The apostle Paul said that God has set prophets IN THE CHURCH (1 Corinthians 12:28), and the power to work miracles also. Before Jesus ascended to his Father after his resurrection, he empowered his church to become witnesses (Acts 1:8). This is exactly what these two witnesses for Jesus did: they were called witnesses, they prophesied and worked miracles. So how can people say now that they are not part of the church? Is there anywhere where the scripture says that he has set prophets outside the church? No, so don't believe it. Just accept the evidence of scripture that the church is still here in Revelation 11.

#9.104 THE END-TIME TRIBULATION ON THE CHURCH

REVELATION 6:9-11 (John)
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

REVELATION 7:9-10, 13-14 (John)
9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the lamb.
13 And one of the elders answered, saying to me, Who are these who are arrayed in white robes? and where did they come from?
14 And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, these are those who came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb.

REVELATION 12:10-11 (John)
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death.

REVELATION 12:17
17 And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

REVELATION 13:4, 7 (John)
4 And they worshipped the dragon who gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? who is able to make war with him?
7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all tribes, and tongues, and nations.

REVELATION 13:15 (John)
15 And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

REVELATION 14:13 (John)
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works will follow them.

REVELATION 16:4-6 (John)
4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, You are righteous, O Lord, who is, and was, and shall be, because you have judged thus.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

REVELATION 17:5-6 (John)
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

REVELATION 20:4
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgement was given to them: and I saw the souls of those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and who had not worshipped the beast, nor his image, nor received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Note 1: Throughout history, beginning with Cain killing Abel (Genesis 4:8), and following through the Old Testament prophets (Hebrews 11:36-40), God's people have always suffered tribulation at the hands of the wicked.
Jesus himself suffered great tribulation when he died on the cross (Matthew 26:67-68; 27:26-56; Mark 14:65; 15:15-41; Luke 22:63-65; 23:26-49; John 19:16-30), and he also promised tribulation to his followers (John 15:20; 16:63). An example is the suffering that he promised to Paul the apostle (Acts 9:16), which was later fulfilled (2 Corinthians 1:5-6; 4:10-11; 7:4-5; 11:23-25; Galatians 6:17; Colossians 1:24), and persecution has come upon followers of Jesus throughout the centuries since the days of the apostles, even to the present day. God uses tribulation to test the faith of his people (Job 23:10; 1 Peter 1:7; James 1:12; Revelation 2:10): it produces endurance and perfects us (Romans 5:3; 12:12; James 1:2-4), it purifies us (Daniel 11:35; 12:10; Revelation 7:14), and is a necessary part of taking up our crosses and following Jesus (Matthew 10:38; Luke 14:27). It is through this perfecting and purifying that the Lamb's wife makes herself ready (Revelation 19:7), which is after Babylon the great is destroyed (Revelation 18:1-8), after the earth mourns its destruction (Revelation 18:9-19), and just before Jesus comes again at the end of this pre-millennial age (Revelation 19:11-21).
God has not changed (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), and Jesus has not changed (Hebrews 13:8), so why do people now teach that the church will be raptured without going through any great tribulation? Such teaching is totally inconsistent with what God has done in the past, and what he has promised to do in the future:

(John 15:20) "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;"
(John 16:33) "In the world you shall have tribulation;"
(Acts 14:22) "we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."
(2 Timothy 3:12) "all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
(Revelation 2:10) "you shall have tribulation ten days: be faithful to death,"

This last scripture was written to the church at Smyrna (Revelation 2:8); a Gentile church in Asia, and so confirms that Gentiles will also go through tribulation.

Note 2:When Jesus came to earth the first time, in human flesh, his physical body was taken by wicked men and crucified, and he submitted himself to it voluntarily (Matthew 26:39; 26:53; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 10:11; 10:17-18). If we consider the fact that the church is now the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 1:24), and that Jesus has not changed (Hebrews 13:8), what will he now allow to happen to his body when it is persecuted in the last days? Will he allow it to be raptured out of the way before any trouble starts? Or will he allow it to be put to death, as he did before? Those who have taken up their crosses and followed Jesus will be able to see the truth of this, because "the wise shall understand." (Daniel 12:10), but for the unwise virgins it will be too late (Matthew 25:10-12). The scriptures show that the church will be persecuted almost completely to death:

(Revelation 2:10) "you shall have tribulation ten days: be faithful to death,"
(Revelation 6:9) "I saw under the altar the souls of those who were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:"
(Revelation 6:11) "until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."
(Revelation 12:11) "and they loved not their lives to the death."
(Revelation 13:15) "as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
(Revelation 14:13) "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on:"
(Revelation 16:6) "they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,"
(Revelation 17:6) "I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:"
(Revelation 20:4) "I saw the souls of those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God,".

These scriptures apply to the very last days, evidenced by those which indicate the presence of "the beast", and the end-time plagues (Revelation 6:9-11; 13:7; 16:4-6; 20:4).
When Saul was persecuting the church, and Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus, Jesus said, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" (Acts 9:4), because he considered persecution against the church, which is his body, to be against him. In the same way we can explain the scripture, "Behold he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and those also who pierced him:" (Revelation 1:7). Those who pierced him could not refer to his first incarnation, because those people are dead, and will not rise until the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:5), but rather it refers to those people who will still be alive on the earth when Jesus returns, who have crucified the church, and put it to death. This evidence all shows that the church will NOT be raptured either before, or during the tribulation, but will go through great tribulation during the last days, and we need to be prepared for it.

Note 3: Jesus had a special message to each of the churches of the last days, that they must be overcomers:

(Revelation 2:7) "To him who overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
(Revelation 2:11) "He who overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death."
(Revelation 2:17) "To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he who receives it."
(Revelation 2:26-28) "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of My Father.
And I will give him the morning star."
(Revelation 3:5) "He who overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels."
(Revelation 3:12) "Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name."
(Revelation 3:21) "To him who overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne."

All of these promises are made to "Him who overcomes", but how do they overcome? Jesus said, "even as I also overcame," (Revelation 3:21), so how did Jesus overcome? He overcame the world by resisting the demons temptations (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13), and said that he had (John 16:33), but to overcome the devil completely he had to overcome the devil's greatest challenge, "all that a man has he will give for his life." (Job 2:4). This he did by submitting himself to death on the cross, and allowing himself to be crucified (Hebrews 2:14), and this is what he expects his church to do also. A pre-tribulation rapture is not how to overcome, it is by being faithful to death (Revelation 2:10). White raiment was also to be given to overcomers (Revelation 3:5), and we see this being done to those who had been persecuted to death under the fifth seal:

(Revelation 6:9-11) "I saw under the altar the souls of those who were slain for the word of God, ... And white robes were given to every one of them,"

Specifically in the last days, Jesus promised tribulation to the Gentile church at Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-10), showing that tribulation would come on Gentile believers as well as Jews. This is confirmed by the persecutions under the fifth seal (Revelation 6:9-11), where believers are killed for the word of God, even before tribulation starts on the Jews as a nation (Revelation 7:1-3). Further proof, and very conclusive, is the evidence of "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and people, and tongues, ... who came out of great tribulation," (Revelation 7:9, 14), which was how they obtained their white robes. This was seen, "After this" (Revelation 7:9); referring to the sealing of the 144,000 Israelites (Revelation 7:1-8), so the evidence is therefore overwhelming, that Gentiles as well as Jews will go through great tribulation, and it refutes the false teaching about a pre-tribulation rapture.

#9.105 CONCLUSION

This has been an excellent bible study to disprove the claims that the church is not in Revelation after chapter 3. The evidence is clear that the church will be on the earth until the return of Jesus Christ to rescue the Jews at the battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 14:1-15), when the church saints will possess the kingdom (Daniel 7:22). There are saints here, prophets, miracle workers and those 'in the Lord', who are all part of the true church of God. Do not accept arguments based on what the bible doesn't say. In this study we have shown you the foolishness of that, and we have shown you what the bible does say. The bride of Christ is called the Lamb's wife, and that marriage does not come until the lamb's wife has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7), after which they prepare for the marriage supper (Revelation 19:8-9), after which Jesus comes for the rest of his church and to destroy his enemies (Revelation 19:11-21).

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