The Importance of


The Pre-Tribulation Rapture

Pastor F. M. Riley      

Truth or Fiction…???


Revised April 30, 2014

Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth,” Revelation 3:10 (KJV).


Because you kept the Word of the patience of Me, I also you will keep out of the hour of trial being about to come upon the habitable world all, to try those dwelling on the earth,” Revelation 3:10 (Henderson’s Interlinear).


In this text the Lord Jesus Christ Himself explicitly promised His New Testament church, “…..I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation…..” Obviously, the first thing we need to do is to identify “the hour of temptation.” What is it? When does it occur? Where should it be placed in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Let’s see…..

The English word “temptation” in this verse is translated from the Greek word, “peirasmos.” This Greek word occurs 21 times in the New Testament, the last occurrence of it being in Revelation 3:10. The literal meaning of this Greek word is “experiment; test; trial; prove; temptation; to test or try (by trouble, adversity, affliction, conflict, confrontation, persecution, etc.). See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, pages 498-499, Strong’s No. 3986.

It is then more than coincidence that “21” is the Bible number repeatedly associated with “the exceeding sinfulness of sin,” especially as related to the 21 judgments of the Tribulation period which follows the church age. In addition, it is evident that the Greek word “peirasmos” as used by the Lord in Revelation 3:10 refers to the seven year Tribulation period. Proof? Gladly…..

When the disciples asked the Lord to teach them how to pray, the Lord gave to them the “model” prayer and explicitly told them in Matthew 6:9, “After this manner therefore pray ye…..” Here is explicit instruction for the Lord’s people directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. And what is the “manner” the Lord set before His people? Here it is…..

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as
it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And
lead us not into temptation
[peirasmos], but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
Amen.”

Here in this “model” prayer is the very first occurrence of the word “peirasmos” in the New Testament. In this first occurrence the Lord Himself instructed His disciples to pray that they will not be led into “peirasmos.” This exact same instruction given by the Lord Himself is also recorded a second time in Luke 11:4.

Then four more times as recorded in Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38, Luke 22:40, and 22:46, the Lord urged His disciples to pray that they would not enter into “peirasmos.” This makes six times in the New Testament that the Lord urged His disciples to pray that they would be kept from “peirasmos.” Then Revelation 3:10 makes it clear that the peirasmosthe Lord had in mind when He was instructing His disciples in all six of these passages is still future.

Folks, did the Lord instruct His disciples six times to pray to be kept from “peirasmos” when He already knew that their prayers would not be answered? Is this the god you serve? Is this the lord you “profess” to believe in? …..and claim to be your savior? A lord who instructs his people to pray for something even when he already knows that he will not answer their prayers?

The word “peirasmos” is used in the New Testament to speak of the trials and troubles that the Lord Himself went through during His personal ministry. See Luke 4:13 and 22:28. This same word is used in referring to the trials and troubles that God’s people were faced with during the previous dispensation, as well as our trials and troubles during this present dispensation. See Luke 8:13, Acts 20:19, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Galatians 4:14, 1 Timothy 6:9, Hebrews 3:8, James 1:2-3, 1:12, 1 Peter 1:6, and 2 Peter 2:9.

But it is also obvious from Revelation 3:10 that the “peirasmos” the Lord urged His disciples to pray to be kept from is still future. But let’s not stop here. Let’s add another passage to Revelation 3:10. In 1 Peter 4:12, an epistle expressly addressed to the Jewish people [1 Peter 1:1], it is explicitly stated, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you [peirasmos], as though some strange thing happened to you:” This statement is obviously referring to a future event. So here are two passages clearly placing the “peirasmos” the Lord wanted His disciples to avoid in the future following the “church age.”

It should then be glaringly obvious to our readers that the “peirasmos” the Lord had in mind when He warned His disciples to pray, and which He promises in Revelation 3:10 that He will keep His New Testament believers “from,” is the future seven year Tribulation period.


The “Hour” of Temptation

But let’s still not stop here. Let’s nail it down…..

At some time most of our readers have heard the statement, “The darkest hours of the night come just before the dawning of the day.” For thousands of years this statement has been repeated by mankind, and passed on from one generation to another. But is this statement true, or is it just an “old wives” tail? Let’s see…..

In 1957 the very first satellite to orbit the earth was placed into space. Since that time the space programs of the nations have mushroomed, so that today there are many satellites in space. Men on earth, through the use of these satellites have photographed and mapped every square inch of the earth’s surface, and have repeatedly photographed the rising and setting of the Sun from every conceivable position. Well guess what?

The photographs taken by these satellites show a band of darkness encircling the entire earth right before the rising of the Sun at dawn, and right after the setting of the Sun at twilight. On that position on the earth where the Sun is rising, the band of darkness is extremely dark just ahead of the dawn. So it really is literally and actually true that “The darkest hours of the night come just before the dawning of the day.” This band of darkness has been observed and documented by satellite photos, and any reader can see this for themselves by checking out the NASA photographic library that is open to the public.

What is my point? Just this….. The width of this band of darkness that precedes the dawning of the day is approximately two hours wide. In other words, the last two hours of the night are the darkest hours of the night. Is this just coincidence? Not at all! Psalm 19:1-3 clearly states that “The heavens declare [present tense; are declaring] the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Glory to God! Praise the Lord!

Folks, the very heavens confirm this amazing truth set forth in the Scriptures. In Revelation 3:10 the Lord promised His church and all New Testament believers that He would keep them from the hour of temptation[peirasmos]. Then in Revelation 14:6-7, at the middle of the Tribulation, the Lord sends an angel flying through “…..the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; For the hour of His judgment is come…..”

What we learn from these two statements is that the entire seven year Tribulation period, from one viewpoint of the Lord Himself, is divided into two hours. The first half of the Tribulation is “the hour of temptation” [peirasmos]. The second half of the Tribulation is “the hour of His judgment.” These two hours are the darkest hours of this world’s night; the two darkest hours in human history, just preceding the dawning of the “day of God,” 2 Peter 3:12. Glory! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! How great and awesome is our God!


The Seven Year Tribulation Period


Here is the seven year Tribulation period illustrated exactly according to what the Scriptures literally state and teach. So it is absolute Scriptural truth that the “hour of temptation” is indeed a reference to the first half of the seven year Tribulation period, which is still future as I write.


The Spiritual Significance

Now what was it the Lord Jesus Christ promised His church and His people in Revelation 3:10?

Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the
hour of temptation
[peirasmos], which shall come upon all the world, to try them
that dwell upon the earth,”
Revelation 3:10.

Folks, it is obvious that since “the hour of temptation” [peirasmos] precedes the “hour of judgment,” and the Lord’s New Testament believers are to be kept from “the hour of temptation,” then no true believer in this present dispensation is ever going to enter into any part of the seven year Tribulation.


Defining the Gospel

Folks, God’s “rightly divided” Word proves [2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:21] that the “hour

of temptation” [peirasmos] in Revelation 3:10 is a reference to the first half of the future seven year Tribulation period, and that “the hour of His judgment” refers to the last half of the Tribulation period. This truth is verified by the fact that there is an actual literal two hour period of intense darkness which precedes the dawning of the day, and that the very “heavens” [Psalm 19:1-3] testify to this truth. This two hour period of extreme literal darkness which precedes the dawning of the day is obviously a type of the two hour Tribulation period of extreme spiritual darkness which will precede the dawning of the “day of God. These proven truths make it obvious that the only position that any true believer can take on the “rapture” question that is in harmony with God’s Word is that of the Pre-tribulation rapture. PERIOD! Any other position makes the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 3:10 out to be a lie and therefore the Lord Himself out to be a liar!

But I have been repeatedly told over the years by those who don’t want to believe these truths that “one’s position on the rapture has nothing to do with the gospel.” In the light of what I have just pointed out to our readers, is this claim [or excuse] really so? Let’s find out…..

The English word “gospel” is translated from three different Greek words in the New Testament. These words are…..

[1] “euangelizo” which literally means, “to preach the good news; especially of salvation in Christ, but also including its implications for mankind and their relationship to God; to bring glad tidings; to declare glad tidings; to show glad tidings.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, pages 256-257, Strong’s No. 2097.

[2] “euangelion” which literally means good news; good tidings; glad tidings; the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up; the glad tidings of salvation through Christ; the proclamation of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Christ.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 257, Strong’s No. 2098.

[3] “proeuangelizomai” which literally means “to announce the gospel in advance; to preach beforehand the good tidings; before the event by which the promise is made good.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 539, Strong’s No. 4283.

It is obvious that the sole and only true meaning of the word “gospel” as defined by each of these three Greek words is simply “good news” or “glad tidings.” But good news of what? The answer to this question is found in the context in which these words occur where they are obviously connected with different aspects of “good news” for humanity and for God’s people.

For instance, there is the “good news” of the birth of Christ, the “good news” that both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed announcing the coming of the kingdom of God, the “good news” of salvation through faith in Christ, the “good news” of Christ making an atonement for sin at Calvary, the “good news” of the resurrection of Christ, the “good news” of God’s grace providing an opportunity for salvation, the “good news” of the Lord’s future Millennial Kingdom of true righteousness and peace, and the “good news” of the blessed hopeof the rapture for God’s people preceding the Tribulation period. Folks, every one of these things [and more] are part and parcel of “the gospel [good news] of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Praise the Lord!

Yes, I am well aware that men pick out a Scripture here or a Scripture there and attempt to dogmatically define “the gospel” as this or that or something else, totally ignoring the fact that the Greek words translated as “gospel” simply mean “good news.” In the light of God’s Word, can “the gospel” really be limited to only one solitary event in all of God’s Word? Or, are there many events in God’s Word which true believers rejoice in as “good news” from the Word of the Lord?

Folks, the entire Word of God is “the gospel” [good news] which the Lord has graciously bestowed upon mankind in order to bring those who will repent and believe to a saving knowledge of His Son. Proof? Gladly! Compare Matthew 4:4, John 5:24, Ephesians 1:13, Acts 20:26-27, Roman 10:17, and many more similar Scriptures. The Word of the Lord is “the gospel” [good news] which saves, keeps, and will deliver a true believer into the presence of the Lord and into His promised glorious Kingdom. Praise the Lord!


What are YOU “looking for”?


Folks, in view of the times in which we are living today and the swiftly approaching terror that is staring the whole world in the face right now, what news could possibly lift the spirits of true believers any more than “the gospel” [good news] of the Pre-tribulation rapture?

The Pre-tribulation rapture promised by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in Revelation 3:10 is indeed considered to be “good news” [gospel] by the Lord Himself, for even His Word explicitly instructs God’s people [true believers] to live daily “looking for” it.


For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”


Titus 2:11-15


Compare Luke 21:36 with Luke 20:35-36, then carefully study Colossians 1:12-14. This latter passage explicitly states that the Lord has already “…delivered us [true believers] from the power of darkness…”

Now study 1 Corinthians 15:49-52, noticing carefully the words “we” and “all.” Look at Galatians 1:4 and notice that it is “us” [true believers] who are to be delivered “…from this present evil world [age; dispensation], according to the will of God our Father:” Look at 1 Thessalonians 1:10, where we true believers are explicitly told that the resurrected Lord Jesus has already “…delivered us from the wrath to come.” Glory! And then 1 Thessalonians 5:9 which explicitly states, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Now read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 noticing especially the five times the word “we” occurs, and the explicit statement, “caught up together with them” [the dead in Christ], clearly pointing out that all New Testament believers will be raptured at the same time. Then notice that the last verse explicitly admonishes God’s people, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Folks, are none of these verses of Scripture “good news” [gospel] to you? Do none of them stir up “the blessed hope” in your heart and spirit? Are none of these Scriptures of any “comfort” to you? No? Then evidently you need to quit “hiding” behind your worthless “religious profession” and seek the Lord for the salvation of your soul.

Conclusion


Today many who call themselves “Christians” look down upon and criticize those who hold fast to belief in the Pre-tribulation rapture. But that is precisely what the Lord Jesus Christ Himself clearly promised in Revelation 3:10. And every reader willing to deal honestly with the Scriptures knows it!

Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [peirasmos], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

Folks, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself explicitly promised to keep His people from the hour of temptation.” Therefore the Pre-tribulation rapture of God’s people is indeed the only position on the rapture which does not make the Lord Jesus Christ Himself out to be a liar. The Lord promised only the Pre-tribulation rapture in Revelation 3:10. This passage makes no allowance for God’s people [true believers] to take any other position on the rapture.

God’s people are then most certainly on Scriptural ground when we believe in, hold fast to, and teach, the Pre-tribulation rapture of all true believers. In fact, a careful study of Christian history will reveal that throughout this entire “dispensation of grace” there has always been “a remnant” of God’s people who held to and considered the Pre-tribulationrapture to be part and parcel of the Christian faith. Folks, taking Revelation 3:10 at face value for what the Scripture actually and literally says is nothing less than adhering to and contending for “…..the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3. Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Glory to God! What a living hope Gods people have in Christ Jesus our Lord. Glory!

Folks, the Lord Jesus Christ is not a liar. He made a promise to His church and to all true New Covenant believers, and He will keep His promise. Read Hebrews 10:23 and believe it.

In setting this study before our readers, it should now be obvious that the only position on the rapture that is in perfect harmony with the Lord’s statement in Revelation 3:10 is the Pre-tribulation rapture position. Praise the Lord!

Folks, every one of us who are true believers are going to be standing face to face with the Lord at the “bema” seat of judgment very soon. I would not want to have to look my Lord in the face and confess in shame and sorrow that I made Him out to be a liar because I refused to believe what He Himself plainly stated about the Pre-tribulation rapture of His people in Revelation 3:10. Would you?

I would further add that we New Testament believers today are living in the very “time frame” when the Lord’s promise in Revelation 3:10 is about to be fulfilled. No! I do not know the day or the hour when our Lord is coming to resurrect and rapture His people to glory, but I do know that the time is very close. Folks, don’t let anyone steal your “blessed hope” from you. Dates may come and go, but just keep on watching and praying and witnessing and warning and seeking to win the lost to Christ. Never! Never! Never! give up your “blessed hope” for any man’s silly theory. Our Lord is coming to resurrect and rapture His New Covenant believers to glory BEFORE the Tribulation period!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” Revelation 22:20.


The Challenge


In 60 years in the Lord’s ministry I have repeatedly ask those who take the partial rapture, pre-wrath rapture, and post trib rapture positions to take the Scriptures and refute my teaching of the Pre-tribulation rapture as set forth in this study. I am not interested in hearing their theories, opinions, ideas or feelings. Every man [and woman] has theories, opinions, ideas, and feelings. None of these are any better than the next person’s, and none of them are on a par with God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible Word. Use the Scriptures to refute what I have taught in this study, or even to reveal where I have erred in my use of the Scriptures. So far in 60 years, not one person has even attempted to refute my studies on the Pre-tribulation rapture with book, chapter, and verse from the inspired Scriptures. I am standing on the solid “rightly divided” Word of God in teaching a Pre-tribulation rapture, and no man or woman will ever steal my “blessed hope,” Titus 2:11-15. What are my critics standing on?


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NOTICE: Permission is granted to any true believer, or to any Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.

This ministry is supported solely by the freewill offerings of those who feel led of the Lord to help us send forth God’s wonderful Word.

All comments, questions, and correspondence should be addressed to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be reached by email at: fmr7sngn@centurylink.net


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