Where Is The Church After Revelation 3? by John Accomando

Popular teachers like to suggest that because “church” isn’t mentioned after Revelation 3, that it must be an “evidence” that the church was raptured in Revelation 4:1.

However, I would argue that John declared that he alone was taken “up hither” in Revelation 4:1. Stating that the church is called “up hither” there is clearly adding to Scripture. That’s something which Revelation 22:18 expressly forbids anyone to do. Furthermore, John ended up right back on Patmos in the 1st century. So when you really think about it, if the Lord is talking to the church in chapters 1-3 while John is here, but the church isn’t mentioned anymore after John is called to Heaven, then if anything, the church is still here (being that John doesn’t mention “church” while he’s in his new vantage point). Also, “saints” are clearly here throughout Revelation, and we are most assuredly called “saints”. That’s throughout the epistles. To pretend that “saints” refers to a group of believers only after a pretrib bunch gets raptured? Well, that’s circular reasoning (“We’re not the ‘saints’ of Revelation, because we’re already gone”). If there is no pretrib rapture, then that argument falls on it’s face.

Also, those same popular teachers say that the church returns in Revelation 19, yet the word “church” isn’t mentioned at all in chapters 19-21. You don’t see them being sticklers about the word “church” there. Why not? Because it makes their original argument weaker. So they make much fuss about the word “church” being vitally important to their argument for a pretrib rapture, but when it comes to Revelation 19, they change their tune altogether, move the goal posts, and claim that we’re the “armies” of Revelation 19:14. So it’s a heaping dose of “pick-and-choose” with pretrib.

Of course, the Lord told us precisely who the “armies” really are:

Matthew 16:27- “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his ANGELS; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”

Matthew 25:31- “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the HOLY ANGELS with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”

Mark 8:38- “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the HOLY ANGELS.”

Luke 9:26- “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the HOLY ANGELS.”

As did Paul, in the ONLY verse in which he specified who returns with the Lord from “heaven” at His second coming:

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from HEAVEN with his MIGHTY ANGELS, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Paul was clear that we “meet the Lord in the air” AFTER He descends out of Heaven:

1 Thessalonians 4:17- “THEN we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

There is a wedding announcement in Revelation 19:6-10. Those doing the announcing are describing the bride/wife in 3rd person singular (“herself”; “her”, “she”). It says that the marriage of the Lamb is come:

Revelation 19:7- “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

There is no indication that the bride/wife is in Heaven, or has been in Heaven for 7 years. And again, the Lord only described returning from Heaven with His angels. So there is a wedding announcement, followed immediately by the Lord’s return (Revelation 19:14-21). That’s because the Lord is coming to rescue His bride “after the tribulation of those days” (Matthew 24:29-31).

Secondly, Revelation is clearly addressed to the church at both beginning and end:

Revelation 1:4- “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;”

Revelation 22:16- “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

This is the same method of writing as the epistles, where the recipients are addressed at both beginning and end. If we were to be gone during the trib, there would have been absolutely no reason for us to be informed about something which would have no bearing on us.

Thirdly, Galatians only mentions “church” in the first chapter. 1 Thess only mentions it in the first two chapters. 2 Thess only mentions it in the first chapter. Neither 1 or 2 John mention it at all. Neither does Jude. So are they going to apply the same argument? 1 Thess 4 clearly describes a rapture, but church isn’t mentioned after chapter 2. So by their own argument, should we also conclude that 1 Thess 4 and 5 aren’t to the church because those chapters don’t mention the word “church”?

Lastly, there is no “glorious appearing” in Revelation 4. Paul only sees a door opened, and a voice calling him. This is in sharp contrast to Scripture (Matthew 24:29-31 and 1 Thess 4:13-17) which describes the Lord’s return, as they have Him appearing FIRST (with every eye seeing Him), and THEN Him sending His angels to gather us together.

Popular teachers try to play smoke and mirrors with the “first resurrection” of Revelation 20:4, but that verse is very consistent with what the Lord said in John 6:

John 6:39-40: “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at THE LAST DAY.”

The Lord never described a gathering together of believers prior to the tribulation. It’s as simple as that. Pretribulationalism has to be added to the text in bizarre ways, such as this very argument about the word “church”.

This is revised from something I posted awhile back.

Popular teachers like to suggest that because “church” isn’t mentioned after Revelation 3, that it must be an “evidence” that the church was raptured in Revelation 4:1.

However, I would argue that John declared that he alone was taken “up hither” in Revelation 4:1. Stating that the church is called “up hither” there is clearly adding to Scripture. That’s something which Revelation 22:18 expressly forbids anyone to do. Furthermore, John ended up right back on Patmos in the 1st century. So when you really think about it, if the Lord is talking to the church in chapters 1-3 while John is here, but the church isn’t mentioned anymore after John is called to Heaven, then if anything, the church is still here (being that John doesn’t mention “church” while he’s in his new vantage point). Also, “saints” are clearly here throughout Revelation, and we are most assuredly called “saints”. That’s throughout the epistles. To pretend that “saints” refers to a group of believers only after a pretrib bunch gets raptured? Well, that’s circular reasoning (“We’re not the ‘saints’ of Revelation, because we’re already gone”). If there is no pretrib rapture, then that argument falls on it’s face.

Also, those same popular teachers say that the church returns in Revelation 19, yet the word “church” isn’t mentioned at all in chapters 19-21. You don’t see them being sticklers about the word “church” there. Why not? Because it makes their original argument weaker. So they make much fuss about the word “church” being vitally important to their argument for a pretrib rapture, but when it comes to Revelation 19, they change their tune altogether, move the goal posts, and claim that we’re the “armies” of Revelation 19:14. So it’s a heaping dose of “pick-and-choose” with pretrib.

Of course, the Lord told us precisely who the “armies” really are:

Matthew 16:27- “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his ANGELS; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”

Matthew 25:31- “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the HOLY ANGELS with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”

Mark 8:38- “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the HOLY ANGELS.”

Luke 9:26- “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the HOLY ANGELS.”

As did Paul, in the ONLY verse in which he specified who returns with the Lord from “heaven” at His second coming:

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from HEAVEN with his MIGHTY ANGELS, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Paul was clear that we “meet the Lord in the air” AFTER He descends out of Heaven:

1 Thessalonians 4:17- “THEN we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

There is a wedding announcement in Revelation 19:6-10. Those doing the announcing are describing the bride/wife in 3rd person singular (“herself”; “her”, “she”). It says that the marriage of the Lamb is come:

Revelation 19:7- “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

There is no indication that the bride/wife is in Heaven, or has been in Heaven for 7 years. And again, the Lord only described returning from Heaven with His angels. So there is a wedding announcement, followed immediately by the Lord’s return (Revelation 19:14-21). That’s because the Lord is coming to rescue His bride “after the tribulation of those days” (Matthew 24:29-31).

Secondly, Revelation is clearly addressed to the church at both beginning and end:

Revelation 1:4- “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;”

Revelation 22:16- “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

This is the same method of writing as the epistles, where the recipients are addressed at both beginning and end. If we were to be gone during the trib, there would have been absolutely no reason for us to be informed about something which would have no bearing on us.

Thirdly, Galatians only mentions “church” in the first chapter. 1 Thess only mentions it in the first two chapters. 2 Thess only mentions it in the first chapter. Neither 1 or 2 John mention it at all. Neither does Jude. So are they going to apply the same argument? 1 Thess 4 clearly describes a rapture, but church isn’t mentioned after chapter 2. So by their own argument, should we also conclude that 1 Thess 4 and 5 aren’t to the church because those chapters don’t mention the word “church”?

Lastly, there is no “glorious appearing” in Revelation 4. Paul only sees a door opened, and a voice calling him. This is in sharp contrast to Scripture (Matthew 24:29-31 and 1 Thess 4:13-17) which describes the Lord’s return, as they have Him appearing FIRST (with every eye seeing Him), and THEN Him sending His angels to gather us together.

Popular teachers try to play smoke and mirrors with the “first resurrection” of Revelation 20:4, but that verse is very consistent with what the Lord said in John 6:

John 6:39-40: “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at THE LAST DAY.”

The Lord never described a gathering together of believers prior to the tribulation. It’s as simple as that. Pretribulationalism has to be added to the text in bizarre ways, such as this very argument about the word “church”.

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Posted in End Times

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