Regarding the Pre-Trib Rapture argument
that the Church is not mentioned after Revelation 4:1
by Sandy Simpson, 10/10/10

I am not going to start a debate on the whether Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, Pre-Wrath, Post-Trib or other Premillennial Rapture scenarios are Biblically correct.  They all have a basis in Scripture.  Pre-Tribers, however, sometimes try to come off as if they have a corner on the market of truth.  But one of their arguments for a Pre-Trib rapture is not correct.  I have heard the argument time and again ... that a proof of a Pre-Trib Rapture is that the "Church" is not mentioned after Revelation 4, therefore proving that since the Church is not mentioned the Church is no longer on earth.

Of course right off the bat they are missing the whole point of the first three chapters.  I wrote a book on this subject called "Letters to the Church" in which I prove that you cannot divorce those first chapters from the rest of Revelation.  It was written, not just to first century real churches, but to all the churches through time and especially to the end times churches that will see the prophecies come to fruition.  It was written as a warning to the churches to be ready to be "overcomers" through tribulation, trials and adversity.

Re 2:7  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
Re 2:11  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
Re 2:17  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
Re 2:26  To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—
Re 3:5  He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.
Re 3:12  Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.
Re 3:21  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
And this is mentioned at the end of Revelation as well.
Re 21:7  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
But the contention that the Church no longer exists after Chapter 4 is patently wrong.  There is not just the mention of the "elect" and the "bride" but of the "churches".


Re 22:16  "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you {The Greek is plural.} this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."
The whole of Revelation was written as a "testimony" for the churches.  Why?  Read on.


Re 22:17  The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
The purpose of the true Church, which is the bride of Christ, is to preach the Gospel!  We are to preach the Gospel till He comes.
Matt. 24:44-46  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.
Not only are "churches" and "the bride" mentioned but the saints are mentioned numerous times.  The saints are what make up the churches.  They are not some special designation for people saved during the Tribulation who are not part of the Church.  Where there are believers there is the Church.
Mt 18:20  For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
Ac 4:32  All the believers were one in heart and mind. No-one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
The saints are mentioned in Chapter 5 and beyond.


Re 5:8  And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Re 8:3  Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.
Re 8:4  The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.
Either the saints are in heaven praying, which makes no sense unless you are Roman Catholic, or they are on earth praying and their prayers are represented in heaven by incense.  Jesus is the one who makes intercession for us.  After we die we do not take His place in heaven to make intercession.
Re 11:18  The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great—and for destroying those who destroy the earth."
Re 13:7  He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.
Re 13:10  If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed {Some manuscripts anyone kills} with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
Re 14:12  This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.
This proves that the first three chapters of Revelation have great relevance to what will happen in the Tribulation because the saints, the Church, will have to suffer the attempt of the AntiChrist to wipe them out.
Re 16:6  for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve."
Re 17:6  I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.
Re 18:20  Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.’"
Re 18:24  In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth."
Many saints will die as martyrs during at least part of the Tribulation.  The false one world religion that rides the beast of one world government and its leader, the AntiChrist, will be the one persecuting the saints.  This is why, I believe, John was astonished when God showed him the Tribulation.  He was amazed to find out that many of those calling themselves "Christians" were the very people in league with the AntiChrist in persecuting and killing the true saints.
Re 19:8  Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
There will be religious acts in the Tribulation even after the "Restrainer" is taken away.  Just because the "Restrainer" is not longer restraining does not mean the Holy Spirit is gone from the earth.  That is impossible since God is omnipresent.
2 Thes. 2:6-7  And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
It does not necessarily follow that the Holy Spirit will depart from the earth or the hearts of the saints who are obviously living through the Tribulation.  It does mean that the retraining power God had in place, preventing the evil one from carrying out his final plans, will no longer hold him back but will be "taken out of the way".  But since there are saints in the Tribulation suffering under the tyranny of the AntiChrist and those who follow him, the Holy Spirit will be with them as He is eternally with those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mt 28:20  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
If the Tribulation period begins during our lifetime we should not be guaranteeing that Christians will not go through at least part of it.  The reasons are many, but first we need to be sure our arguments for our position are solid.  We need to be careful not to set people up to be expecting to be out of here when they may actually see part or all of the AntiChrist's demonic reign.  The problem is that if the AntiChrist, who represent himself in an evil way to begin with, comes and says he is Christ returned, those who have been taught false forms of Pre-Trib Rapture ideas may think that the Tribulation has not come.  I always endeavor to teach two things concerning Premillennial eschatology (Postmillennial and Preterists scenarios are false teaching):  First that the Rapture can come at any time and second that we need to be prepared to be "overcomers".  If you balance your eschatological teaching with those two Biblical facts you cannot go wrong, no matter if you think that Pre, Mid, Pre-Wrath or Post-Trib are when Jesus Christ comes back to get His Church.  I see good Biblical arguments in all the different Premillennial Rapture ideas (though Post-Tribers don't like to use the word "Rapture" because they believe the Rapture and the Second Coming are one event).  I have verses marked in my Bible supporting all the verious Premillennial Rapture scenarios.  I have heard all the arguments many times, and this is one of the polemical arguments we can have as believers and still be in unity of the Spirit and unity of the Faith.  But let's be sure to use valid arguments.