Revelation 2:21 ‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22 ‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed [of sickness,] and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23 ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. (NASB)
I take very seriously the message in the book of Revelation. What Jesus stated here in these three verses gives us all that we need to know about the subject of Great Tribulation. He in fact warns us to neither take away from or add to this book. Listen:
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; Revelation 22:16,18 NASB
From this we know that there are serious consequences for many preachers and teachers of the Bible and specifically of the Revelation, for if there are changes in any way to this message they that do this are made subject to the plagues of this book which are many.
Therefore I believe that all that we need to know about the Great Tribulation’s timing and the Church’s involvement concerning it’s timing for us is contained in these verses without adding anything; because they are the only reference by Jesus to us concerning the Great Tribulation and the church, which Jesus had prior to this time introduced to us in what has become known as the Olivet Discourse.
So I will not add to this, nor will I take away from its message to the churches, for it is to the churches. But what it says is revealing.
Our first and most important question is — will the church be present at the time of great Tribulation? It is answered in this message. Jesus says that a some in the church are involved in this sin of Jezebel’s. Read the entire message. And within it is this:
Behold, I will throw her on a bed [of sickness,] and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23 ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds
Be honest with yourself, when you answer this question, because if you are not honest with yourself you will resist what is stated here. It will be too hard for you to hear.
There is a big difference between, I don’t believe it and I don’t want to believe it. If you refuse to believe this word that the churches will see Great Tribulation and in so doing know; then you will twist what this passage tells you. These verses tell us that Churches plural represented in these seven will see the great Tribulation, for by this event it is made known to the churches that Jesus as God is the one who searches minds and hearts. That statement by Jesus can only imply that those represented in these churches exist at a time when God sends this event, and that they (we if present) will learn something important during this time. If these churches had been raptured and they were learning from a place in heaven, they would no longer be churches (plural), but the bride. They would no longer be plural, but instead they would be the one church.
If we are followers of God’s truth then we must be truth seekers, as opposed to believing what we feel good about. A pre-Trib Rapture is what I personally wanted far back in time to be true. When God put the hunger in my heart to read His word, I began to see that God does not respond as I perceived and wanted Him to do. Scripture teaches that I will suffer as a Believer. I will possibly see many tribulations, and persecution is the believers lot. I will experience sickness and even possibly see death before He will come. Truth is discoverable from scripture, if we have an open mind. To discover truth one must consider the points made by both sides of any discussion. The foundation for Rapture’s timing must be scripture, not what feels good. The argument that quite frankly all of us want, because it feels good. That argument once was for me and now is for most — God would never put his bride through what we see in Revelation. But this same God came down; God the Son came to suffer His Father’s wrath for us. Unimaginable suffering. Because of Christ’s suffering no believer will suffer His wrath. But Great Tribulation is nowhere in scripture defined as His wrath (Orge in the Greek). Orge is poured out at the end of Great Tribulation (at the time of His coming), and we are Raptured if still alive, just before it is poured out.
(Verse 23 above) is a timing verse for Resurrection and Rapture. Churches plural exist now, before they are joined and wed to Christ, and before made the one bride at the time of Rapture. Jesus says that these churches will learn from this Great Tribulation. He then says (again before the wedding is consumated), that He “will give to each one of you according to your deeds”. This verse is all about timing; because bema judgment occurs before there is a wedding. And here Great Tribulation is obviously presented before the making of one complete bride. The facts need no man to speak for them, as they speak for themselves without any additions or subtractions.
Besides these truths, all of scripture supports this timing. Do I want it to be thus? The answer is no, I wish that I could be convinced from scripture that all of these passages, which teach post-Trib could be somehow explained another way, but they cannot be, not without adding to or taking away from what they state. The great Tribulation that Jesus uses in this verse is the same Greek wording that He uses in Matthew 24. I wish it were not so, but to me it is more important to believe God than to believe man who will teach what he says that he believes about what God says.
God bless you as you seek for truth. Truth comes to those who hear and see which leads to their doing. They we are told are overcomers, but some will be thrown into great Tribulation as the churches learn what God is about. This time seems to be drawing near and we are to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The seeing will certainly come to pass.