Revelation 4:1 (NKJV)
4After these things I looked, and behold, a door standingopen in heaven. And the first voice which I heard waslike a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here,and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
In Matthew 24:21 and in Revelation 7:14 the Great Tribulation. The discussion isn’t necessarily about the Great Tribulation and the unimaginable events that will surely take place. The discussion centers around whether or not we the church will go through the Great Tribulation?
I for years have stated emphatically, but without much discussion, that I do not believe that the church will go through, these times.
Why would the groom bludgeon His bride the night before the wedding, and then expect the bride to still go through with the wedding? We are the bride of Christ and Christ is the groom.
Some would say well the anger and the judgment of God needs to be poured out. However, that anger and wrath was already poured out. It was poured out on the Cross of Calvary. That was the purpose of the Cross, for as many as did receive Him, to them He gave power, not wrath.
I want to lay out four reasons, why you should have peace about this, and focus your efforts, energy, and purpose on making sure that as many people as possible, hear the knock of Jesus and they open the door to Him as their personal savior.
Reason #1 – the structural outline of Revelation. This outline was written by John, but given by Jesus.
3 sections of Revelation
- Revelation 1:19 – 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.
A. Write the things which you have seen – John wrote in Chapter 1 on the Isle of Patmos the things which He had seen.
B. Write the things which are – the things of the churches – John wrote in Revelation 2 and 3
C. And the things that shall be hereafter (meta tauta)
John would write in Revelation 4 through 19 of the things that were to come to pass after the church was called up to heaven.
The question then is. How did the church get called up to heaven? The church was taken up, snatched away, or we church folk would say raptured.
The church will be taken away in a moment in a twinkling of an eye. This is what the Apostle Paul called the mystery in 1 Corinthians 15:51-56
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery (musterion): We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal mustput on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”
56 The sting of death issin, and the strength of sin isthe law. 57 But thanks beto God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 4:1 states that a little different.
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standingopen in heaven. And the first voice which I heard waslike a trumpetspeaking with me, saying, “Come up here,and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
The New King James Version. (1982). (Re 4:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Paul also wrote to the church in Thessalonica these words.
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive andremain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive andremain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Th 4:13–18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
The word rapture is an old English word that means to transport.The church is transported before it happens.
Understand that the great tribulation is the end time visitation of God upon sin and Satan in this world. The judgment that we will face is found in II Corinthians 5:10 when we shall stand before the judgement seat of Christ. Each one of us will receive according to what we have done in the body of Christ.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things donein the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Co 5:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
God’s people will not go through that final wrath known as the great tribulation.
There istherefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
The New King James Version. (1982). (Ro 8:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life
The New King James Version. (1982). (Jn 5:24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 – 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Th 5:9). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Revelation 3:10 – 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trialwhich shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
The New King James Version. (1982). (Re 3:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Jesus already took the penalty for our sins. When we received Him, we were saved by the sacrifice of Jesus and saved from the wrath and judgment.
The Delivered Church
Matthew 24:21, Revelation 7:14, Joel 2:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:2,
- Structure of Revelation – (2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 8:1, John 5:24, Revelation 3:10)
things that thou hast seen
Things that which are
Things that will take place
- The Church is restraining it from happening (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8)
The church in Thessalonica was undergoing great trials. They believed that they were in the great tribulation. The verbiage in some translations states, they thought they were in the “day of the Lord”. These believers, because of the great trials and tribulations of their life, believed they were going through the great tribulation. Therefore, they asked Paul, what is this that is happening. We under so much pressure that we are being overwhelmed. Paul responds in an explanation to them in II Thessalonians 2.
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not comeunless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do sountil He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming
The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Th 2:1–8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Paul states the first thing that will happen in the Day of the Lord is that there will be a falling away and the man of sin is revealed.
Paul also states that the only thing that is keeping this from happening is that there is a “Restrainer”! Someone is keeping the Man of Sin from being revealed. Satan has always tried to do his thing, but there’s always been a restraint. He would kill you if he could, but he cannot. Satan would destroy if he could, but he cannot. Satan would steal from you, but someone is restraining him. Someone has more power than the devil.
Now some would say, oh, that has to be an angel. No! The bible says that not even Michael the archangel would dare to speak to Satan and rebuke him, instead Michael states “the Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 1:9 and 2 Peter 2:11).
Yet, the bible says that Greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
I believe that the Restrainer on the earth is the Holy Spirit of God. That Spirit rests inside of the believer and the believer is what makes up the church. So you can then see that the church on the earth is restraining the Man of Sin.
However, when the church is caught up, taken out of the way, there will be no restriction on the Man of Sin. Why? The Spirit of God will have been lifted, and when it’s lifted, everything that has that spirit will be caught up. I can envision in my mind that the lifting is that moment in the twinkling of an eye.
- Enoch, Noah, and Lot (Luke 17:26, 2 Peter 2:8, Hebrews 11:5)
The Old Testament is types and shadows of what is to come in the New Testament. The Old Testament is the schoolmaster teaching us about Christ.
Luke 17 states – “as it was in the Days of Noah so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man.”
As it was in the days of Noah… the scripture follows a pattern
In the days of Noah there was judgement.
However, there was man by the name of Enoch who was before Noah. Enoch though was taken up before the flood for He was pleasing to God.
Noah passed through the flood.
Enoch is the type of the church, we will be taken up before judgement.
Noah is the type of what we call the remnant, that is saved through the tribulation.
Now let’s look at another person for a moment.
Lot, this man was a compromising carnal Christian. By most accounts we believers wouldn’t think that Lot was worth saving. However, judgment was coming on Sodom and Gomorrah. God wouldn’t rain down judgement on those cities, because of Lot’s presence there.
In 2 Peter 2:8 – 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented hisrighteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing theirlawless deeds
The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Pe 2:8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Summarize Genesis 19…
However, the angel said “I can’t do anything to Sodom and Gomorrah until you arrive at Zoar!”
Judgment couldn’t rain down until Lot was out of the way. We cannot rain down judgment here until you get there. God’s judgement doesn’t rain down until His people are taken out of the way.
- The Comfort and Hope of the Believer. (Titus 2:13)
God’s people have a hope, the scripture lays out pretty clearly that we are to be a people of hope.
Now like you, I have known people who are more interested in looking for the man of sin, looking for a snake under every rock and around every corner. They are looking for the beast, the false prophet, the Anti-Christ. Others spend their time looking for the signs of Armageddon others are paying attention to the when the temple is being built. While others look for every detail for a sign of the end.
However, we aren’t to be looking for those signs. We are instructed by the bible to look to Jesus.
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
The New King James Version. (1982). (Tt 2:13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Can you imagine the hope that builds when you begin to look at Christ instead of the things of the world. We would begin to live with Heaven on our minds. We would live with eternity being the forefront of our minds. We look for that blessed day when Jesus Christ Appears and in a moment in a twinkling of an eye, we will be with the Lord.
The Apostles and disciples would greet each other with maranatha – the Lord is at Hand.
We are to live with that imminence, that at any moment Jesus Christ is coming. When He comes it will not be with an announcement, no signs! He will come quietly, like a thief in the night. He will come and we will be caught up transported, through an open door in heaven.
How do you get an open door into Heaven? (Rev 4:1)
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Revelation 3:20 NKJV
When you heard Jesus knock on your door and you opened it and let him in. When you opened that door, He opened a door in Heaven for you. You invited Him in, on that day He will return the favor and invite you in.
Saying enter in, thou good and faithful servant.