1. In chap 1-3 the Church is mentioned 19 times. Chap 6-18 cover the tribulation. The Church is not mentioned one time; saints are, but not the Church.
a. In chapters 2 and 3 the phrase “he that has ears let him ear what the Spirit says to the Churches” is found seven times (Rev 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22). Then, the phrase abruptly stops. Why?
b. Rev 13:9–In the midst of the tribulation we find the phrase “If any man have an ear, let him hear”, but there is no mention of the Church. Why?
c. The Church is not mentioned again until Rev 19:7-16 when it is described coming out of heaven with Jesus at the end of the tribulation.
2. Rev 4,5 describe heaven just before the tribulation begins. Notice these points:
a. 4:1–John has an experience similar to I Thess 4:16,17. He is caught up to heaven before the tribulation begins = a type of the rapture.
b. 4:2-9–John sees the throne of God. Before the throne is a crystal sea. v6
c. In prophetic scriptures, an unspecified sea refers to a large, innumerable body of people. Isa 57:20,21; Rev 13:1; 15:2.
d. Crystal is the only element in which you cannot hide flaws. The Church will be without flaws. Is this the Church in heaven before the tribulation?
3. Rev 4:4,10–John sees twenty four elders before the throne of God.
a. We have a record of two other men who were permitted to see the throne of God, Isaiah and Ezekiel. Their descriptions of the throne are similar to John’s, except neither the elders nor the crystal sea are mentioned. Ezek 1:1-28; 10:1-22; Isa 6:1-3
b. Elders = elderly, subject to age, which means they are real people, not angels. The elders and the sea suggest strongly that the Church is in heaven before the tribulation begins. The Church didn’t exist in OT times.
c. The elders have crowns which they throw at Jesus’s feet. The Church will receive crowns at the BEMA of Christ after the rapture. II Tim 4:8
d. 5:9,10–They sing that Jesus has redeemed them by His Blood, made them kings and priests. That’s a description of the Church.
4. Rev 3:10–Jesus promised to keep the Church from the hour of temptation (testing) which will come on the whole earth. In context, that testing has to be the tribulation. Testing can expose the evil in people. Isa 13:11
5. The tribulation will be a time of wrath and judgment. But, God has delivered us from the wrath to come. Rom 8:1; Rom 5:9; I Thess 1:10; 5:9; Rev 3:10
a. God took Enoch before the flood came. Gen 5:21-24; Heb 11:5
b. Gen 6,7–Noah and his family were preserved above the flood in the ark.
c. Sodom and Gomorrah could not be destroyed until righteous Lot was removed. Gen 19:16,22; Ezek 14:14
6. If the Church is going through all or part of the tribulation, why is it not mentioned in the most detailed description of the tribulation, Revelation?
a. Some midtribulationists say the Church is found in Rev 11 and is raptured in the middle of the tribulation. v3-12
b. But, to reach that conclusion, you must allegorize those verses.