Churches in the Tribulation (Revelation #4)

Text: Revelation 1:12, 20

John is being shown actual events in heaven (third heaven). He receives these letters after being brought forward to the Lord’s day in the spirit (Revelation 1:10).  The presence of these churches causes some folks to say “the body of Christ” – the church – will go through the tribulation.  Let’s look at why that is not the case.

Defining a Church

  • When the word church shows up in your Bible it is not always a reference to the body of Christ.
    • Acts 7:38 the church in the wilderness… and angel
    • Israel was an assembly in the wilderness.  Israel was called out.
  • These churches are assemblies that are called out, but they are not in one location like the Jews in the wilderness.
    • The angels and the churches because Jewish believers are scattered.
    • Hebrews 1:1, James 1:1
    • These churches are all in Turkey, which is the north country in relation to Israel.
    • Zechariah 6:1-8

These churches likened to candlesticks, not the body of Christ

  • Revelation 1:12, 20
  • Candlestick was an instrument in the tabernacle that the priest was to administrate.  John sees the Lord Jesus Christ in glory administering as a priest to seven churches identified by their geographic location.
    • Exodus 25:31-40
      • This is the only source of light inside the tabernacle.
      • Seven sources of light on the candlestick, but made out of one
    • Leviticus 24:1-4
      • Israelites brought the oil
      • Aaron administered
  • Daniel 5:5 Nebuchadnezzar had taken all the items out of the temple and put them in the house of his god.  Then Belshazzar gets the temple instruments out for his big party.
  • Matthew 5:15

Overcoming is a requirement for these believers

  • Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 3:5, 12, 21
  • Do you know how many times the body of Christ is told to overcome?  Never.
  • Revelation 2:26 overcometh to the end
    • Daniel and his companions are types of these tribulation saints
      • Virgin, male, Jews being forced to commit idolatry
      • “the end” shows up several times in the book of Daniel
      • Daniel 7:26-28, 8:17-19, 11:27, 12:4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13
    • The end of the world, not the end of someone’s life – Matthew 10:22, 13:40, 49, 24:3, 6, 13, 28:20