Discussion: – Pre Tribulation – Mid-Tribulation – Post-Tribulation
Christian believers take different positions on this and their position will cause them to view what time period in history the ‘rapture’ occurs and do so will determine when the ‘tribulation year’ (7years) will occur in the final days. In Revelation 3:10 the Greek Word(s) (tereo sy ek) (tereo ek) become center on understanding if the church will go through the tribulation period under God’s protection or will be removed from the earth prior to the ‘tribulation period’ and thus will NOT go through the ‘tribulation period. The translation of the Greek words (tereo sy ek) – (tereo ek) affect one’s stand on the issue. The text in Revelation 3:10 is fairly clear that God promised His church He would keep them from the your of testing (the tribulation period.)
‘Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of dtesting, that hour which is about to come upon the whole eworld, to test those who dwell on the earth. Rev3v10nasb
Rev. 3:10- ESV
I have enclosed a portion of the commentary on Revelation written by John MacArthur. Please read and I have underlined points of items to be aware of. FYI – John MacArthur supports the stand on “pre-tribulation”. (Streesing that sentences in paragraphs on written by this writer and not John MacArthur.
Verse 10 contains a final promise to the faithful Philadelphia church: Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Because the believers in Philadelphia had successfully passed so many tests, Jesus promised to spare them from the ultimate test. The sweeping nature of that promise extends far beyond the Philadelphia congregation to encompass all faithful churches throughout history. This verse promises that the church will be delivered from the Tribulation, thus supporting a pretribulation Rapture. The Rapture is the subject of three passages in the New Testament (John 14:1–4; 1 Cor. 15:51–54; 1 Thess. 4:13–17), none of which speak of judgment, but rather of the church being taken up to heaven. There are three views of the timing of the Rapture in relation to the Tribulation: that it comes at the end of the Tribulation (posttribulationism), in the middle of the Tribulation (mid tribulationism), and the view that seems to be supported by this text, that the Rapture takes place before the Tribulation (pretribulationism).
(To assist I will print out the Bible Verses important for our discussion using the NASB95 version of the Bible.) (Please note that parentheses will be used to show text that belong to the writer of this document and not of John MacArthur.)
John 14:1-4 –
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4“And you know the way where I am going.”
1 Cor. 15:51-54 –
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on athe imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.
1 Thess. 4:13-17 –
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain 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 cshout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Several aspects of this wonderful promise may be noted. First, the test is yet future. Second, the test is for a definite, limited time; Jesus described it as the hour of testing. Third, it is a test or trial that will expose people for what they really are. Fourth, the test is worldwide in scope, since it will come upon the whole world. Finally, and most significantly, its purpose is to test those who dwell on the earth—a phrase used as a technical term in the book of Revelation for unbelievers (cf. 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 14:6; 17:2, 8). The hour of testing is Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Dan. 9:25–27), the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), the seven-year tribulation period. The Lord promises to keep His church out of the future time of testing that will come on unbelievers.
Unbelievers will either pass the test by repenting or fail it by refusing to repent. Revelation 6:9–11; 7:9–10, 14; 14:4; and 17:14 describe those who repent during the Tribulation and are saved, thus passing the test; Revelation 6:15–17; 9:20; 16:11; and 19:17–18 describe those who refuse to repent, thus failing the test, and are damned.
(Here is the paragraph dealing with our Greek Words (tereo ek)
There has been much debate over the meaning of the phrase tēreō ek (keep from). Those who argue that the church will go through the Tribulation hold that this phrase means preservation in the midst of and emergence from. They believe the church will go through the Tribulation judgments and that God will preserve it in the midst of them, so that the church will thus emerge successfully at the end from the hour of testing. That view is unlikely, however, both on linguistic and biblical grounds. The basic meaning of the preposition ek is “from,” “out from,” or “away from.” Had the Lord intended to convey that the church would be preserved in the midst of the Tribulation, the prepositions en (“in”) or dia (“through”) would have been more appropriate. En is used three times with the verb tēreō in the New Testament (Acts 12:5; 1 Pet. 1:4; Jude 21) and eis once (Acts 25:4), always implying previous existence within with a view to continuing in. Tēreō with ek implies just the opposite: continuous existence outside.
(The problem is that when we read the scripture references we do not really see that the same Greek Word ( tereo ek ) is being used. What we need to see is how that same Greek Word is translated as “from” or “out from” ot “away from”. This is to help us see that to give that Greek Word a different meaning would be not adhering to the actual Greek words but a translation that can and might lead to miss understanding. One can see how there are three different views as the translation slants it one way or another. In this study I hope to show you where the Greek Word (tereo ek) is translated by various Bible Translations.) Remember: (The parentheses portions of this text belong to the writer of this document and not of John MacArthur.)
The only other time the phrase tēreō ek appears in Scripture is in John 17:15. In His High-Priestly prayer, Jesus prayed, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” He certainly did not pray that believers be preserved within Satan’s power, for believers have been “rescued … from the domain of darkness” and “transferred … to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). Christians are those who have turned “from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18). First John 5:19 says that it is the unregenerate world that lies in Satan’s power, not believers.
(NASB John 17:15 – “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from athe evil one. Jo17v15nasb
The meaning of tēreō ek in John 17:15, to be kept completely out of, argues strongly for a similar meaning in Revelation 3:10. The apostle John wrote both passages, and both are direct quotes of the Lord Jesus Christ. To interpret tēreō ek as a promise of preservation in the midst of the Tribulation poses another difficulty: the Philadelphia church was never in the Tribulation, which is still in the future.
Another obvious objection to interpreting tēreō ek as a promise of preservation in the midst of the Tribulation is that believers in that terrible time will not be preserved. In fact, many will be martyred (6:9–11; 7:9–14), leading to the conclusion that promising preservation is meaningless if the believers face the same fate as sinners during the Tribulation.
Some hold that the promise of deliverance is only from God’s wrath during the Tribulation. But a promise that God will not kill believers but will allow Satan and Antichrist to do so would provide small comfort to the suffering church at Philadelphia.
The coming that Christ refers to differs from those promised to others
of the seven churches (e.g., 2:5, 16; 3:3). Those earlier promises were
warnings of impending temporal judgment on sinning congregations (cf. Acts
5:1–11; 1 Cor. 11:28–30). The coming
spoken of here, however, is to bring the hour of testing that culminates in our
Lord’s second coming. It is Christ’s coming to deliver the church (cf. 2 Thess.
2:1), not to bring judgment to it. Quickly
depicts the imminency of Christ’s coming for His church; it could happen at any
time. Every believer’s response should be, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20).