What of the Church needing to go through the Tribulation?
First we must understand the title of the tribulation, it is called the time of JACOB’S trouble from the Old Testament (Jer. 30:7). It is also known as the 70th week of Daniel’s revelation for his people. Called the Great Tribulation (Dan. 12:1), the Day of Israel's Calamity (Deut. 32:35). The focus is not the Church, but Israel!
Some say the church needs to be purged, cleansed by persecution to be made pure. That we must go through the whole 70th week of Daniel, to be found faithful until the end, this is not exactly how the Scripture presents it.
There is no such requirement to be cleansed by persecution. If persecution is required to make one worthy or purified, much of the church in history would be exempt, much of the church has not been persecuted. If only the persecuted are cleansed to be accepted into heaven, then we have a huge theological problem to answer.
What is used is Eph. 5:27-28 “ that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
I know there are numerous scriptures that can be used for the various views. I want to present a small portion of what it says about the Church, along with the tribulation.
This will be answered at the conclusion.
As the apostasy comes first, it makes a separation of those faithful and those who are not.
Why would the Lord say to the church of Philadelphia Rev. 3:10-11 “ Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world , to test those who dwell on the earth.”
What is the hour of trial? It is the Tribulation period that comes before we enter the Millennium. The whole world is involved, every nation, all are tested, none are excluded. The Lord says he will keep the Philadelphian’s from this. There are 7 churches existing at the time, that are used as types, this is a promise for a Philadelphian church. This is why we are instructed to persevere by keeping His Word and his name.
As said in the Old Testament, God blesses his people, Num. 6:24 " The LORD bless you and keep you.”
Jude 24 “ Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy”
How are we kept? By faithfulness Gal.5:22 (Mt.25: Lk.19:27; Rev.17:14) One way to be faithful is holding fast the faithful word (Titus 1:9).
Another, most importantly is by the blood of Christ. 1 John 1:7 “ the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” V:9-10 “ If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
We are preserved in sanctification, 1 Thess. 5:23-24 “ Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ .”
The admonition of being awake
Mark 13:35-37 “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"
Stay awake, be aware of the time, keep your eye on Jesus, we are not to be looking everywhere for the antichrist. He will be revealed in his time.
The Bible uses the word sleeping for death of believers, however there is a way to be alive and still be dead.
1 Thess. 5:6 “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”
Jesus used this dichotomy a number of times of sleeping and being watchful; praying.
Mark 14:34-42 " My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch ." After praying Jesus came back and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. Then He came the third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go. See, My betrayer is at hand."
Three times this occurred with his closest disciples. This is the same number Peter denied the Lord (Mt.26:34). As we see the betrayer of Jesus came while they were sleeping, so it will be in the end.
That day, the hour of trial
Luke 21:34-37 “that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass , and to stand before the Son of Man."
What day, the Tribulation period.
Mark 13:32-37"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is .… V.35 “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"
Interesting point, the crowing of the rooster was used to wake Peter up from his denial.
Matt 26:34-35 Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." Peter said to Him, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And so said all the disciples.
How confident we are to protect our own lives. All the gospels speak of this so it is important according the Holy Spirit for us to know of.
As Peter is warmed by the fire outside the high Priests house is accuse of knowing Jesus (Lk 22:60-62) But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are saying!" Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. ( Mark 14:72) V.61 “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”
Being clothed in white garments
Rev 3:4-6 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." '
It is about ones spiritual birth that keeps them in the book of life.
Rev 7:13-15 one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
It’s the blood that cleanses us from all. ALL, ALL sin.
Jesus returns to end the tribulation on a white horse. We read in Rev. 19:14 “ And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean , followed Him on white horses.”
These are not just those who went through the tribulation, purged by persecution, this is the whole church assembled together from the beginning to end. (Rev. 4:4; 7:9) as the marriage of the lamb has already taken place in heaven.
How do we not have spots or wrinkles is what needs to be answered
Eph. 5:26-28 “ that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
Keeping to the Word:
We are cleansed “ with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:19-20)
By his blood we are cleansed, His pure nature, his sacrificial work is judicially transferred to us that covers us from judgment.
1 Tim. 6:14-15 “ that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He will manifest in His own time” (that you were also called and have confessed the good confession, your testimony of Christ)
1 John 3:3 “… we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
2 Peter 3:14-15 “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless”
The word and his name
Rev.3:8 “ for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
Jesus taught to keep His word shows we love him, and not denying his name is especially important, for in the end the false Christ comes in his own name, authority.
The commendation all through the book of Revelation is keeping a testimony, it is by the cleansing of the blood that secured their entrance into heaven
Rev. 6:9 “ When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.”
Rev. 12:11 “ And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
They entered heaven because of the blood cleansing them as it has been throughout all generations to those who believe the gospel.
These are those throughout the tribulation “ then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands” (Rev. 20:4)
Consider these Scripture’s, the saints were not kept physically safe through the Tribulation, saints died, they were killed. If the church is physically preserved through this time then I can’t find it. Chapter 6.7,11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18 of Revelation the saints are being killed; on a massive scale. If these saints are Church saints, then Revelation 3:10 is moot.