Hour of Temptation
In this study, we look at another critical part of scripture in Revelation Chapter 3:
In the above verse, Pre-tribbers claim that Jesus will rapture the church before the tribulation. They claim the "hour of temptation" refers to the tribulation and "I will also keep them from" refers to Jesus' removal of the church from the earth. When translators have written "I will also keep the from the hour...," pre-tribbers claim "kept from" should have been translated "kept out of."
Before we examine this part of scripture, we must examine the first part of Jesus' message to the Philadelphian church.
In the above verses, Jesus said He has the key of David, only Jesus can open and shut. Jesus knew the works of this church and has set before them an open door which no man can shut. He gave them this open door, because they had a little strength, and because they have kept His word and did not deny His name.
Jesus also said He will make them out of "the synagogue of Satan which say they are Jews" but weren't (Inward Jews). And He would make them come and worship before them.
Because they kept Jesus' word and didn't deny His name, He would keep them from the hour of temptation, which will come upon the whole world and to try them that live upon the earth.
As pre-tribbers claim, Jesus will rapture church before the tribulation. But as we see, the Philadelphians kept the word of the Lord's patience, and Jesus said He would keep them from the hour of temptation. Pre-tribbers claim that the "hour" refers to the tribulation, which is seven years. But, if taken literally, an hour is 60 minutes. "Hour" in verse 10 comes from the Greek word "hōra." Verses through the New Testament containing "hōra" are used to suggest a much smaller period than 7 years.
For further reference, these verses use "hour" which comes from the Greek "hōra": Matthew 24:26, 27:46; Luke 12:39; Revelation 11:13, 18:10. For further study, use an exhaustive concordance.
Pre-tribbers also believe that "kept from" should have been written as "kept out of." to imply the church will be absent from the hour of temptation. As we look further into this, the word kept is translated from the Greek "tērēo," meaning "to keep," "watch," or "observe." From comes from the Greek "ek," or "ex," meaning "out of," or "from." So, they are partially right. However translators from King James and modern translations used "from," which shows a consistency of agreement with the King James.
Is the Hour of Temptation the tribulation? Let's look further.
King James use of " temptation" comes from the Greek "peirasmos," meaning "trial," or "proof." An example for the Greek word is in Matthew 6:13a:
The word for tribulation which is used in Matthew 24:21and 29 and Mark 13:24 comes from the Greek word "thlipsis," meaning "pressure," or "affliction." However, tribulation is not used at all in Revelation 3:10 or in the letter to this local church. Remember the Philadelphians kept Jesus' word and did not deny Him. They were being tempted. In the same way, if we are to apply this to the tribulation period, temptation comes upon the whole world to deny Christ and worship the lawless one! And Jesus promised them He would keep them from the hour of temptation. He didn't say He would keep them out of the tribulation or persecution.
Since tribulation is not used in this verse, we cannot conclude the hour of temptation refers to a pre-tribulational removal of the church. Especially when you follow this verse, Jesus said "behold, I come quickly..." And the references to His coming quickly is after the tribulation, i.e., chapter 22 verses 7 and 12.
John sent this book as a letter to seven churches. He told them to behold Christ's coming, every man will see Him, which will happen after the tribulation. We see an inconsistency with the pretribulational belief that the church will be raptured before the tribulation, even though, there is no verse in scripture that describes a "pre-trib" coming. In his gospel, when John was, led by The Holy Spirit, he recorded the prayer in the garden before Jesus' arrest:
If are to believe that Jesus promised a "pre-trib" rapture to His Disciples just before His prayer (At his Fathers House?), and a few days before (Matthew 24), then why did He pray the above prayer to The Father?
Many pre-tribbers believe that the seven churches in chapters 2 and 3 represent 7 periods of the church up to "the rapture." The first church, at Ephesus, represents the early church, which started at Pentecost, The seventh represents the final stage of the church, before the tribulation. However, there is no biblical proof to support this. These churches existed at the time Revelation was written to them And any of these seven churches can apply to any church at any time of history, even today. If we're to apply this principle as many pre-tribbers do, then why does Jesus rapture the sixth church, Philadelphia instead of Laodecia, the seventh church?