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A Study in Revelation
John in The Spirit
After Jesus instructed John to write messages to the seven churches, he looked and a door was opened in heaven. And heard a voice like a trumpet said "come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter." And immediately, John was in the Spirit,1 and he saw a throne in heaven, and God the Father was on the throne. And around the throne twenty-four elders were sitting in twenty-four seats. And they were wearing white raiment and they were wearing golden crowns on their head.
The scene that John described can be taken literally. But those who echo "literal" in the hollowed halls of dispensationalism claim that this is where the church is raptured when John was called to "come up here." However, there is no mention of the church being called to go up with John. He didn’t say he was physically there, but he said he was "in the spirit." This issue is further examined along with the other claim that the twenty-four elders are the raptured church a revised article Come Up Hither.
And John saw from the throne of God lightning and thunder and seven lamps of fire burning from the throne which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like crystal. And there were four beasts around the throne.This is the description of the four beasts:
The beasts gave glory and honor and thanks to the Lord God who sat on the throne. And the twenty-four elders fall down before God and worship Him forever. And they cast their crowns before the throne. And they sing God is worthy to receive glory and honor and power because He created all things, and all things were created for His pleasure.
As this chapter draws to a close. Pre-tribbers believe the church is raptured into heaven because the word church isn’t mentioned after chapter three. Is this a valid argument?
As we studied through the first three chapters of Revelation, John addressed this book to the seven churches which were in Asia Minor2. And He told them to behold the Lord’s coming in which "every eye will see him."3 Jesus also instructs John to write down in a book what John sees and send them to the seven churches.4 Jesus instructs the church at Pergamos "repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them (with false teachings) with the sword of my mouth."5 And the only reference that Jesus will come with a sword in His mouth is after the tribulation.6 Jesus also warns the church at Sardis "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." 7And the only reference in Revelation that Jesus is coming "like a thief" is at the sixth bowl when the Anti-christ gathers the kings and their armies for battle at Armageddon on the day of the Lord.8 And Jesus instructed the church at Philadelphia "behold, I come quickly."9 And the only references to Jesus coming quickly relates to His coming after the tribulation.10 Therefore, this book was written to these seven churches for their instruction, and the church will go through the tribulation.
1-See Revelation 1:10.
10-Revelation 22:7, 12.