Revelation Chapters 4 and 5: The Rapture, the Scroll, and Christian attitude toward the Tribulation


Why should we interpret the book of Revelation as literal as possible? Rev. 22:18-19


Revelation Chapter 4

1)      Chapter 4:1 and the Rapture of the Church.

i)        vs. 1 - "dei/ gene,sqai meta. tau/ta" / what must(out of necessity) become/take place after these things.

ii)      One's view of when the Rapture occurs will greatly persuade their interpretation of the Book of Revelation.

iii)    The Biblical evidence for the end of the church age before the Great Tribulation begins.

(1)   Revelation states that the things written after 4:1 occur after the Church Age.

(2)   The Church is not mentioned again until she is seen in chapter 19 as the bride of Christ.  She is with Christ at this point which is before the Second Advent.  Rev. 19:7, Ephesians 5:23-32, 2 Cor. 11:2

(3)   The seventieth week of Daniel is separate from the church Age.  Daniel 9:24-27

(a)     Matthew 24 refers to the end of the Jewish age.

(i)     aivw,n - refers to an age as a period of time. Hebrews 1:1-2

(ii)   oivkonomi,a - refers to a house law and is where we get the term dispensation.  Ephesians 3:2 

(4)   The restrainer must be removed which demands that all believers who have the indwelling Holy Spirit be removed.  2 Thessalonians 2:6-7

(a)    If believers have the permanent indwelling of the Spirit they cannot be in the tribulation without the Spirit.  Ephesians 4:30

(b)   6:7 - states that someone must become out of the way before the antichrist can go in full force.

(c)    Since the 7 year period is the completion of the Jewish age the operation of the Holy Spirit changes.

(5)   The Great Tribulation is a testing for the world/unbelievers and has no purpose for Church age believers.  Rev. 3:10, 2 Peter 3:7, 2 Thess. 1:7-9, 2:10

(6)   Church age believers are saved from the wrath to come.  Romans 5:9, 1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9, Rev. 6:16

(7)   Twenty four elders with victors crowns around the throne.

(a)    Rev. 4:4 -  Ste,fanoj

(8)   The rapture is clearly in Scripture and anticipated.  1 Thess. 1:10, 4:15-16, 2 Thess. 2:1, 1 Cor. 15:52, John 6:39, 40, 44, 54, 14:3

b)      Evidence against a midtribulation rapture.

i)        The reasoning follows that the saints are only protected from the Great Tribulation which they state to begin at the midpoint or last 3 1/2 years.

(1)   Error:  Revelation states the "great tribulation" to have begun earlier than the last 3 1/2 years.  Rev. 7:14

(2)   The last trumpet is the last trumpet of the Church age just as the last day that Christ will raise up the Church is on the last day of the Church age.  1 Cor. 15:52, John 6:39, 40, 44, 54               

2)      The Scroll with 7 seals.  What is it?  Revelation 5

a)      We know for sure that it leads to the judgments that come in the tribulation but it should not be thought of as a book of judgments.

b)      The scroll represents something that the Lamb purchased and seems to represent a type of title deed to dominion over the earth. 5:9

c)      The Biblical evidence for this view:  

i)        Adam had dominion over the earth but not ownership, which means he forfeited his dominion to Satan. Genesis 1:26, 2:15

ii)      Biblically God set up a system for forfeiture and redemption of land with Israel which reveals His system for redemption of the entire earth. Leviticus 25:23-25, Jeremiah 32:6-15

iii)    Satan is said to be the ruler of the earth and Jesus does not dispute the authority that Satan claims to have.  Matt. 4:8-10, John 14:30(prince of this world), 2 Cor. 4:4(god of this world), Ephesians 6:12(rulers of darkness of this world)

iv)    Dominion is taken from the antichrist/Satan and given to Christ.  Daniel 7:13, 14, 24-27

v)      As shown in Leviticus someone else could purchase back your land for you.  This means that Christ was able to purchase back dominion on the earth for us by paying the appropriate price.

vi)    The redemption price is found in 1 Peter 1:18-20.

vii)  The price has already been paid but dominion is not taken back until Christ takes the scroll/deed into possession.  Hebrews 2:8

3)      The Lamb and the Christian attitude toward the tribulation.  Rev. 5:5-14

a)      The Lamb without spot or blemish.

i)        The Lamb overcame as an example to the 7 Churches. 5:5

(1)   We overcome the same way the Lamb overcame and only by means of what the Lamb provided. 

(2)   The example of phase 2 faith from the Lamb.  Hebrews 2:13, 11:6, 12:2, Isaiah 50:4, Matthew 4:4-10

(3)   The most important issue in becoming an overcomer is not your obedience to Word of God but believing the Word of God.

(4)   We use the same power source that Christ used.  Matthew 4:4-10

ii)      Christ became the Passover Lamb.  Unblemished (Exodus 12:5, John 19:4), no bones broken (Exodus 12:46, John 19:33).

iii)    The Lamb was slain to purchase men and return man to reigning on the earth.

b)      The remaining tribulation is a great event from our viewpoint, and offers unbelievers a final chance for salvation.  Revelation 6:9-10, 7:9, 14, 20:4   

i)        Though we will not have the privilege of being martyred in the tribulation we have the opportunity to give our life now.  Luke 9:24

ii)      Our attitude while waiting should be geared toward spreading the gospel.  2 Peter 3:9, 15

c)      We should be anticipating the promise of the rapture and judgment upon the world and not fearful or hoping for its delay.  2 Peter 3:4, 9, 11-15, 1 Cor. 15:57, 58, 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:16-18, 2 Thess. 2:13-17, Rev. 5:9-10, 12, 13

d)     The last purpose for the Tribulation is the deliverance of the Jewish remnant.  Romans 9:27, 11:4, 11:25