A Careful Look at Revelation 3:10

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Christian Beliefs
Diagram of the major tribulation views in Chri...

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Today we’re going to look at a very important verse for believers and one that I’ve been looking at with great interest over the last few days. It is clear from global events that things are moving forward prophetically and that the return of Christ from the Father’s House to call His Bride to Him and take her back to His father’s House (John 14: 1-3, 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) could occur at any moment.

However there are some who question the validity of a two part Second Coming (The Rapture followed 7 Years later by The Glorious Appearing) in fact a great many want to take what is referred to as the Blessed Hope and turn it into a Bloody Beatdown. They claim that the Bride of Christ or the Church if you so wish will go through the Tribulation period, regardless of the promises in scripture against such a possibility occurring.

Today we are going to look at one simple verse that should put any lingering questions to rest about this topic and we’re going to address it thoroughly.

Here’s the verse and we’ll break it down after the break:

10 Because you have kept My command to endure, [g] I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

Revelation 3:10

I’m going to break the verse into three sections and look at each section sequentially and then follow things up with a recap of what we’ve learned.

Section One

“Because you have kept my command to endure….”

Endure can be found in some translations as Persevere, this comes from the Greek word [hypomonēs] this can include a “patient expectation” or a looking forward to deliverance as well as simply living and persevering on this earth as a new creation.

What promised event could we possibly be in patient expectation for- the one promised in John 14:1-3 and other verses I posted at the start of this article. The return of Christ in the air to call His Bride, Born Again believers, to Himself so they can return with Him to the Fathers House.

But what of this next section of verse ten, many claim it means we must endure the time of Tribulation let’s look at it closely.

Section Two

“…I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world…”

There are a great many people who focus primarily on the latter portion of this verse, that there is a time of testing that is going to come over the entire world.

Others focus on the phrase “keep you from” and get lost in there and we will look at all of these things because they are important.

However the most important phrase in the entire verse is “…keep you from the hour of testing…” and I’ll explain why at the end of this section.

It is important to realize that this time of testing isn’t going to be localized. In other words it won’t say be happening here in Redlands and not happening in Yucapia. Or to be more global, it won’t be happening in New York City and not in London. This time of testing will happen globally, it will affect the entire globe. You won’t be able to drive anywhere or fly anywhere to escape it if you are still here for it. It is a planetary event, if you are here for it there is no escape from it, bar death. And if you die you want to have made a choice about where you want to spend eternity.

One more time just to make this clear, this time of testing will involve everyone on earth at the same time, wherever they are.

“…Kept from…” What does it mean?

Here is where the consternation comes in what does being kept from mean? Some contend that it means that God will divinely protect us through this time of testing. These people take kept from to mean kept through and of course my perspective of this is why would anyone want to be kept through this time of testing. And if John our Christian Brother had meant to be kept through he would’ve been led by the Holy Spirit to actually use different words in the original language in the first place.

The original text says “Tereo ek” literally Kept Out of compared to “Tereo in” literally Kept in or “Tereo Dia” literally Kept through.

In other words if John wanted to say that believers would be kept in or through the Time of Testing he would have been led by the Holy Spirit to use either of the two other words I listed. However John used Tereo ek, which means kept out of, He gives us an exit, He calls us to be where He is.

So we’re kept from, out of, the earth.

Hold on, it gets even better.

  “…keep you from the hour of testing…”

Not only are we kept out of the earth.

We are kept out of the time of the testing which comes upon the entire earth.

We are not kept safe in the time of testing on the earth, we are not kept safe through the time of testing that comes upon the earth.

We are kept both from the earth AND from the time of testing that will come upon it.

A hearty hallelujah on that one!

Also if we are kept through this time then God is made out to be a liar from His own predictions of what will take place during this time period to those that do come to believe Him during this time.

A serious problem with the kept through view is that God’s promise is of little merit in view of the fact that Scripture records multitudes of the faithful will suffer violent death during this period (Dan. 7:21258:24; Rev.7:9-1612:1113:720:4)

Wait, why are we kept from it entirely?! Some might say, what about the end of the verse?!

I’m glad you asked because it needs to be broken down and fully understood as well.

Section Three

“…to test those who live on the earth.”

We live on the earth! Right now we live on the earth! How can you say that we won’t be here?!

I think I answered that objection pretty readily above, we do after all wait for a Blessed Hope not a Bloody Beatdown. We are told to look and wait for Jesus Christ and His coming for us…not Antichrist and his persecution of us.

However just to clear things up entirely let’s take a look at the people mentioned at the end of this verse.

Those who live on the earth…or to be literal “earth dwellers” are a specific group of people, a club if you will that you absolutely do not want to be part of – they are described in the following passages:

For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain. (Isa. 26:21)

The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers. “I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like refuse.” Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy, for He will make speedy riddance of all those who dwell in the land. (Zep 1:14-18)

In the Book of Revelation in the verse we are studying earth dwellers or “those who dwell on the earth” takes on a whole new dimension of uh-oh.

The tribulation and wrath associated with this coming hour is intended to test those whose home, citizenship, and focus is earthward rather than heavenly.

The phrase those who dwell upon the earth takes on a soteriological/eschatological meaning in the book of Revelation for it denotes the unsaved at the time of the end who steadfastly continue in their rejection of God.

To make it perfectly understandable as to who these people are, if it isn’t already, let me contrast it with the Believer, those who have chosen Heavenly things over Earthly things.

In contrast the faithful are those who are aliens and sojourners upon the earth (Lev. 25:23; Num. 18:2023; 1Chr. 29:15; Ps. 39:12119:19; John. 15:1917:1416; Php. 3:20; Heb. 11:13; 1Pe. 2:11) and whose hope is heavenward (Heb. 11:13-16; Rev. 13:6+).

There is a wide chasm between Believers and Earth Dwellers or at least there should be.

There certainly is here in Revelation 3:10.

Key Points

The Time of Trouble is upon the whole world.

The Believer is promised an escape from hour of the time of trouble not simply protection while in it or through it.

Those who come to believe in the Lord during this time will not be protected but decimated.

We are called to look for Jesus Christ- not Antichrist.

We are called to look for a Blessed Hope not a Bloody Beatdown.

We are not the Earth Dwellers nor should we ever make the mistake of equating ourselves with such.

The moment we believe in Christ’s death on the Cross in our place and repent we are Born Again and are no longer under the Wrath of God, while the earth dweller or unsaved is destined for wrath unless he or she comes to God in repentance.

In Conclusion

As a believer I look for the coming of my Lord and Savior to take us home to Heaven to the Father’s House and I worry for those who think they are saved but have no problem cuddling up to the earth dwellers. For the word of God says:

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you”(John 15:19).

If the world is praising you and you claim to be a believer that tells me you need to get certain things straight. Christ on the cross and your salvation should be something you think of often, Heaven should be on the tip of your tongue, and the thought of your Lord and Savior coming at any moment should make you almost giddy with excitement!

If you hope that Jesus doesn’t come quite yet then your priorities are skewed in the wrong direction.

To set you on course let me share with you one of my favorite passages from my favorite translation of the Bible, the Holman Christian Standard Translation.

 1 So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. 4 When the Messiah, who is your [a] life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 

Colossians 3:1-4

Since the time is short my dear readers let me end this post thus-

See you here, there, or in the air!

In Christ,

Ross

 

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Comments
  1. […] July 12th of 2011 I again spoke of the Rapture in the promise found in the book of Revelation. Revelation 3:10 to be exact and I broke the passage down so that you can have hope- a Blessed Hope! Check out that article by clicking here: A Careful Look at Revelation 3:10. […]

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