REVELATION 4 Listen to the Podcast Here
Last week we heard about the most important part of Revelation…What God had to say to the Churches and were told if we had an ear to listen, then do it. Today’s Episode will cover the beginning of Chapter 4, the Rapture!
Reminder of the outline that God gave for this book chpater 1:4
It was John speaking to the seven churches sending grace and peace from Him
Which is (A paraphrase of the great I AM)
Which was (The past)
And which is to come. (The Future)
In the ESV Version 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.”
At once I was in the Spirit and behold, a throne stood in heaven with one seated on the throne.
Did you catch that? According to the scripture we just read, the Rapture was put into God’s timeline of History for mankind.
If you missed it, lemma essplain.
When my brother and sister and I were visiting our Grandfather in Germany, way too many years to mention, we were standing around waiting for a bus, while we overheard a conversation in English.
In English I asked the couple if there was anything we could do to help.
He replied in English telling me he was trying to confirm the correct bus headed in his direction, but he was Polish and only knew how to speak Polish and English. After getting his info and question, I asked around in German for the info we needed and had them on their bus just in the Nic of time. It only took three languages before things became clear.
Yes, that was an important rabbit trail. Most of us read our Bible in English. I read the first verse in the English Standard Version, a simpler version to understand than the KJV. I love the beauty of the KJV, but I understand that we don’t all go around speaking like Shakespeare anymore.
Whatever American translation you are reading from, was translated from the original languages…Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
No I don’t speak those languages, and don’t even begin to be an expert in translating. However since I speak German as well as English, I do understand that sometimes the translation of words or phrases are not clear cut and need a little understanding. For example, I grew up asking for an “untersetzt” at very important moments. At home with the family they understood, however if I was at someone else place, they didn’t always help quickly enough. So my mind would have to do the translation out loud. I need and untersetzt! The thing that sits under. The thing that sits under this hot pot of spaghetti that will burn me very soon. I need a TRIVET! That’s it, I NEED a TRIVET! In my mind I had to translate from German to English to a borrowed word from French!
After these things, the things I just shared with you from my past, I am moving to the present to share more with you of what I have read and studied in the Bible. What I share on the subject of the Rapture is not meant to be taken to the point of using as ammunition in an arguement. These things that God has taught me through His word are made to comfort us with the thought of His return, not ne used as a weapon in warfare between other believers or a hammer when speaking with unbelievers.
In fact this is a great place to pivot for some support for this caution.
If we look into I Thessalonians. This book was written around AD 51 so it was written to a fairly young church of about 20 years, rather young in the eyes of many a believer. And yet, Paul takes the time to speak to them of what was an important matter. Some of those in the early church had died, and they had questions. Will my loved one be in heaven or not since they have missed the Coming of the Lord, His return that has not happened yet. Paul was clarifying what would happen in
Chapter 4, he did not want them to be ignorant due to lack of information regarding those who had already died.
For the Lord Himself will 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. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air,
and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.
A few things stand out to me here, how about you?
There are some today and in recent decades saying that we should remain in the gospels and leave Revelation alone, which is too difficult for the average person to understand, but Paul was clarifying the Coming of the Lord to them through these verses that were to bring them comfort.
This shows me that as believers in Jesus, we are to find comfort in reading Revelation as we look deeper into the coming of the Lord and how it all plays out. Now that grace and peace from John at the beginning of Revelation always came in that order. Grace first and then peace, for there is no peace with out the grace of God.
This passage also shows me that the caught up or snatching away of God's children will not be a silent affair. There will be a voice like the Archangel, like the sound of a loud trumpet!
This trumpet is referring to the gathering of believers, but in the case of
Matthew 24:31 God sends angels pl. to gather all the elect at the end of the seven year tribulation period, known also as the 70th week of Daniel.
Thessalonians refers to the believers in Jesus that have already died
And Matthew refers to Jewish, living believers
In more modern English we read I Thess 4:13-18
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[d] that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
With a bit of a foundation regarding the doctrine of the Rapture, the snatching away or being caught up in His presence, we can continue on to Rev 4:1 with more insight.
In the ESV Version 4:1-2
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 must take place after this.”
At once I was in the Spirit and behold, a throne stood in heaven with one seated on the throne.
At this point we do not see the word Rapture in this passage or any other passage for that matter. However the doctrine of the Rapture is in the Bible, some of which we saw in I Thess.
Some scholars take this first verse of Revelation 4 and explain that after this, or after these things in the Greek Meta Taute, to English sounds something like being harpooned, translated to Latin and then English we get our word Rapture.
Some scholars say this verse is not to be used as support for the translation of the Rapture of the church here, because it’s a stretch and may cause some to disbelieve the Pre Trib Rapture case once they look into this.
Again, this is not for our intellectual sparring, but for our comfort.
When I come upon a passage that gives me trouble, or one that scholars have trouble agreeing on,
The Thessalonians were clearly looking forward to the imminent return of their savior. They were comforted with the thought of what their future held in Christ. They were not living in fear or dread of what was to come in the Great Tribulation. They were looking forward to the return of their savior Jesus, just like I am !!!!!!!!
Another point of comfort I see is that the young Thessalonian Church was finding comfort not only in Jesus return, but also of being taken with Him.
Again, if they were looking forward to comfort with being with Him, then this catching away would bring judgement and fear, they would not be comforted. There will be judgement at the Throne of God, but this is not the time.
There is another passage of scripture that helps us understand.
I Cor 15: starting at verse 51
Behold! I tell you a mystery, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet will sound and the dead shall be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immmotailty, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in VICTORY.
Mystery here is through the idea of an imposed silence
which is now being revealed! There will be some at the end of the Church age, the age of grace, that will not die before Jesus returns, and those that did die in Christ, those will once again be raised to life.
Oh death were is you victory?
Oh death where is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Now that’s another rally cry of comfort in Christ, through Victory over death!
Ok, so the body will die or be changed one day. We will trade in this earth suit for our heavenly suit and live with Jesus in heaven for ever!
Mystery is over! It has been revealed!
The conclusion of the matter here in Corinthians?
Paul loved the Corinthian church, but they were not living to their best potential in Christ, but instead chose to live in the flesh rather than choose to be pleasing to God. So the Apostle Paul in this chapter reminds them to be steadfast: to remain in the doctrines of the Gospel, in particular this doctrine fo the resurrection of the dead, to be fruitful, to do the work of the ministry, because God will not forget their labors and He is a rewarder of those who love and serve Him.
The Bible reminds us that no one will know the day or the hour of our Lords return for us, but we are supposed to watching, listening, and recognize the season. Just like when the snow finally begins to melt and Spring begins to blossom. At that seasonal change, I find myself looking for any small sign of change from the drab of winter to a bit of color in the branches, to those tiny leaves or blossoms beginning to pop up on the landscape.
After comparing these verses we can see the Rapture on the timeline of God
as a Pre-Trib Rapture point in the near future. The world stage is being set for the rest of what will be revealed in Revelation.
Now that we have looked at when, let’s take a look at why?
God has a divine purpose for His People Israel, and for the Church. The Church has been grafted into the Vine, which represents Christ. Those in Christ share in the divine purpose of bringing others into the Kingdom of Heaven with us during this Age of the Church as we look expectantly for the Rapture.
God also has a purpose for Isreal. No the church has not replaced Israel. Israel is on a kind of time out, in the corner for not obeying God. So during this time God will use the spiritual children of Abraham, whether they be Jew or Gentile to spread His word and mission to reconcile souls to Himself.
Romans 11:25 tells us. I want you to understand this mystery brothers, a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in
(That is, until the full number of Gentiles who will be saved have, in fact become saved!)
So God has delayed the Kingdom plan for the Jews at this time, until all who will choose Jesus will do it.
The thousand year plan for Isreal, or the Millennial Kingdom of the Jews, on Earth, is postponed until the timeline of the Church has been fulfilled.
This is where it gets a bit more complicated to see in our minds eye because the Rapture is only the beginning of the fulfillment of the Church.
After being Raptured from the Earth, to be in God’s presence, all those in christ who have lived in faith looking forward to the Messiah, all those who look back to the cross in faith, and all those tribulation saints on the earth that are martyred for their faith, will be The Bride of Christ and take part in activities in Heaven during the seven years of Tribulation that will poured out to those left on the earth after the Rapture.
During these last days of the Church Age, before the Millennium, God says there will be many false prophets, and false teachers that rise up that will try to deceive us.
We have a short time for the following:
Time to share the gospel
Time to repent
The claims I made in the section, I just finished sharing with you is based mostly in the rest of the Book of Revelation, so we will get into those deeper in the future. The rest of the section comes out of a study of the Covenents of the Bible Study we just finished here on Moments with Moni. If you have not gone through Biblical Covenant Series, I would suggest you walk through it with me before continuing through Revelation, as it will give you better insight God’s plans for different people groups and places, and it would take too much time to repeat it all here.
Of course you may not agree with what I have said, but If that is the case, then I would hope that your view is not based on what you have been told. Don’t take my word for all of this, it’s important for us to be responsible for our own salvation, and sanctification through the word of God.
So what does this spiritual season look like around us?
Some of the things I see working out on the worlds stage remind me of what to expect at the end of the Church Age, while I am looking forward to the Return of Jesus, in the air, with a loud trumpet sound.
This view is being mocked
2 Tim 3:1-7
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