Thu, Jul 19, 2018

The Rapture in Revelation 3:10

Revelation 3:10 by Jeffrey Townsend
Why is Revelation 3:10 such a hotly contested passage between pretribulationists and non-pretribulationists? It is important since it is a text claimed by pretribulationists to teach that the church will be kept out of the Tribulation. Jeffrey Townsend has written perhaps the best study ever done in defense of the pretribulational understanding of this key passage. He demonstrates from the Greek New Testament that the church will be removed before the seventieth week of Daniel begins...

The Rapture in Revelation 3:10

Dr. Jeffrey Townsend

Why is Revelation 3:10 such a hotly contested passage between pretribulationists and non-pretribulationists? It is important since it is a text claimed by pretribulationists to teach that the church will be kept out of the Tribulation. Jeffrey Townsend has written perhaps the best study ever done in defense of the pretribulational understanding of this key passage. He demonstrates from the Greek New Testament that the church will be removed before the seventieth week of Daniel begins.

Equally sincere and devout students of the prophetic Scripture hold differing views on the time of the church's rapture in relation to the Tribulation. This is due in large measure to the fact that no biblical verse specifically states that relationship. But Revelation 3:10 comes close: "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth" (NASB). Consequently, as Gundry has stated, "Probably the most debated verse in the whole discussion about the time of the church's rapture is Revelation 3:10."[1]

In Revelation 3:10, the church at Philadelphia is promised protection from the hour of testing. The great pretribulational/post-tribulational debate over this verse concerns the nature of the promised protection. Pretribulationists maintain that the church is here promised preservation outside the hour of testing by means of the Rapture (external preservation). Posttribulationists argue that the Church is preserved in the hour of testing (internal preservation). The solution to the problem of promised protection is bound up in the phrase: se têrësö ek tës höras tou peirasmou (I will keep you from the hour of testing).

The Meaning of "Keep From"

Although tëreö is often translated "keep," a better rendering in Revelation 3:10 would be "preserve" or "protect," since great trials are in view in the "hour of testing."[2] Whatever the promise involves, its great fruit will be the genuine preservation and protection of the church during the hour of testing.

This presents an immediate problem for posttribulationism, which holds that the church will be preserved on earth in the hour of testing. Yet verses such as Revelation 6:9-10; 7:9,13,14; 13:15; 14:13; 16:6; 18:24; and 20:4 present a time of unprecedented persecution and martyrdom for the saints of the Tribulation period. Gundry identifies these saints as members of the church.[3] One wonders, with Sproule, "if multitudes of Christians ar going to die under the fierce persecution of Antichrist, Satan, and the wicked, then in what way has God preserved them through the Tribulation?"[4] Moreover, it must be questioned whether this kind of "preservation" would be of any comfort and encouragement to the persecuted Philadelphians. In effect the posttnbulational scheme denies the meaning of "preservation" in tëreO (keep).[5]

The preposition ek is the focal point of the debate over whether Revelation 3:10 promises internal or external preservation. The standard lexicons and grammars are in agreement on the basic meaning of this preposition. According to Robertson, "The word means 'out of,' 'from within,' not like apo or para."[6]

Applying this meaning to Revelation 3:10, Posttribulationists interpret the verse two ways. Reese states both views: "The use of ek in Revelation 3:10 distinctly implies that the Overseer would be in the hour of tribulation; the promise refers, either to removal from out of the midst of it, or preservation through it."[7] Posttribulationists who hold the latter view tend not to see any reference to the rapture in Revelation 3:10. They only see the preservation of the church in the hour of testing.[8] This is an untenable position because the idea of preservation in and through the hour of testing would normally have been expressed by en or para.[9]

This leaves Reese's first view, which, in modified form, is Gundry's view. In a rather lengthy study of ek, Gundry asserts the following:

Essentially, thc, a preposition of motion concerning thought or physical direction, means out from within. 'EK does not denote a stationary position outside its object, as some have mistakenly supposed in thinking that the K of Revelation 3:10 refers to a position already taken outside the earthly sphere of tribulation .... If – ever occurs without the thought of emergence, it does so very exceptionally.[10]

These statements pose a very real problem for pretribulationism, for it appears that tëreö ek must look at "protection issuing in emission," a concept in line with posttribulationism.[11]

However, sufficient evidence exists throughout the history of the meaning and usage of ek to indicate that this preposition may also denote a position outside its object with no thought of prior existence within the object or of emergence from the object.

Ex in Classical Literature

Liddell and Scott list several examples of ek, chiefly in the early writers, with the heading, "of Position, outside of, beyond" [12] For example, in the following quotation from Murray's translation of The Iliad, the italicized portion is the translator's rendering of ek beleön: "Thereafter will we hold ourselves aloof from the fight, beyond the range of missiles, lest haply any take wound on wound .... " [13] In this and other references listed by Liddell and Scott, the meaning of ek is clearly not motion "out from within." [14] Gundry notes this evidence, but relegates it to early classical writers and certain lingering, frozen forms of expression.[15] However, these writers have the effect of establishing that from the earliest times ek can denote outside position (as well as motion "out from within").

Ek in the Septuagint

Proverbs 21:23 exemplifies the fact that the idiom of. "outside position" expressed by ek continued into the era of the Septuagint: "The one who guards his mouth and tongue keeps (diaterei) his soul from (ek) trouble." [16]This verse is significant not only because it provides an example of ek as meaning "outside position," but also because it does so by using diatëreö with the preposition. Although there are no examples of tired with ek in the Septuagint, diatëreô with ek has a very similar meaning. The preposition ôid in composition with t‘reö simply intensifies the idea of "keeping" (hence: to keep continually or carefully). [17] Thus the Septuagint contains a very comparable idiom to that found in Revelation 3:10, and the meaning in the Septuagint is not "keep by bringing out from within," but rather "keep outside of." The ideas of prior existence in the object and emission from it are missing.[18]

Proverbs 21:23 is not an isolated case. Ek with the idea of outside position is also found in expressions employing synonyms of tired (cf. exaireö with ek in Josh. 2:13; rhuomal with ek in Ps. 33:19 [Septuagint, 32:19]; 56:13 [Septuagint, 55:13]; Prov. 23:14).[19] Abbott notes that in Psalm 59 "söson ek, exelou ek, rhurai ek, may mean, not 'Bring me safe out after I have fallen in,' but 'Save me [by keeping me] out (of the hands of my enemies who surround me)"[20] In summary, the Septuagint offers examples of expressions which are not frozen forms and where ek has the idea of outside position.

Ek in Josephus

The works of Josephus also provide examples of ek used to express "outside position" rather than "motion out from within." In perhaps the clearest example, the italicized portion is Thackeray's translation of rhuomai with elc "He delivered them from those dire consequences which would have ensued from their sedition but for Moses' watchful caj"[21] The idea here is preservation rather than removal, since the judgment of God was prevented by Moses' intercession.

EK in the New Testament

Examples of ek carrying the idea of "outside position" have been found in each period of the development of the Greek language. Acts 15:29 establishes the fact that this meaning of ek is also found in the New Testament. In Acts 15:28-29, the brethren in Jerusalem concluded their letter to the Gentiles in Antioch with instructions to abstain from certain practices that would be especially offensive to Jewish brethren. Their concluding remark is found at the end of verse 29: "Keeping yourselves free from (ex... diatërountes) such things, you will do well." The expression employs diatëreo in the form of a circumstantial participle with ek. Like the expression with Diatëreö and ek in Proverbs 21:23, the idea is outside position, not motion out from within.[22] The thrust of verses 28 and 29 is a request for future abstention (cf. apekesthai, v. 29a) from certain practices (outside position), not an accusation of current vices from which the brethren in Antioch must desist (motion out from within). As noted previously, diatëreo differs from têreö only in the strength of the idea of keeping (hence "keeping... free" rather than simply "keeping"). Consequently, Acts 15:29 provides another construction which is very similar to tëreö ek in Revelation 3:10, and again the meaning is not keeping out from within, but keeping outside the object of the preposition.

In addition to Acts 15:29, at least four other verses in the New Testament contain verbal constructions with ek in which ek seems to indicate a position outside its object.[23] Each of these verses needs to be examined in some detail.

John 12:27. The use of ek in John 12:27 is important because this verse can shed light on John's usage of the same preposition in the book of Revelation.[24] Whether or not Jesus' words, "Father, save Me from this hour," express a question or a petition is relatively unimportant to the present discussion. The question at hand is whether Jesus was speaking about preservation from the coming hour of His death (ek meaning outside position) or deliverance out of an hour that had already come to pass (ek meaning motion out from within). The verb sözö is capable of either idea.[25] Robertson is certain that Jesus had already entered the hour.[26] However, John 7:30 and 8:20, along with the immediate context of 12:23-24, seem to use "the hour" in reference to Jesus' betrayal and death, which would be followed by His glorious resurrection. Evidently the request of the Greeks in 12:21 vividly brought to mind the hour of the Lord's impending death, but the actual occurrence of the hour was yet future. This is the conclusion of Smith, who writes a helpful appendix on the significance of John 12:27 in relation to the rapture question in Revelation 3:10:

That Jesus' suffering at this time was proleptic and anticipatory and that the "hour" spoken of was in reality still in the future is evident in that He Himself declares a few days later, "With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:15), and later still, just previous to His arrest, "Behold, the hour is at hand [Greek: near], and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners" (Matthew 26:45). The phrase "is at hand" always denotes proximity and never total arrival.[27]

It appears that Jesus was referring to preservation rather than to deliverance, with regard to the hour of His death. Thus John 12:27 provides an example (parallel in many respects with Revelation 3:10) in the Johannine literature where the meaning of ek is position outside the object of the preposition.

Hebrews 5:7. A second example of ek indicating outside position is found in Hebrews 5:7, in which the Lord is said to have prayed "to the One [who was] able to save Him from death" (sözein... ek thanaton). The description of His prayer as being made "with loud crying and tears," and the reference to the Father as "able to save Him from death," indicates that the Gethsemane prayer is in view (Matt. 26:39; cf. Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42). This connection is significant for the present discussion, since, as Hewitt points out, "if the prayer which Christ offered with strong crying and tears was a prayer to be saved 'out of' death, it cannot easily be reconciled with another request made in Gethsemane: 'Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me' (Luke 22:42)."[28] In order to reconcile Hebrews 5:7 with the Gospel accounts, which stress preservation from death and not resurrection out of death, ek must have the idea of position outside its object rather than emergence from the object.[29]

James 5:20. This passage presents yet another use of sözo with ek, where the meaning of the preposition is "outside position." James writes, "He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death" (sozei... ek thanaton). This sinner is defined, in 5:19, as a brother who has strayed from the truth he once held (either doctrinal or moral) and who needs to be turned back (epistrephö) to his former direction of life. The most natural way of understanding the context is to see this sinner as a true believer who has embraced erroneous doctrine or practice. The death in 5:20, then, must be physical death. Wessel comments, "Since the New Testament teaches the security of the believer in Christ, it is best to take the reference to death as physical death. The early church believed and taught that persistence in sin could cause premature physical death (cf. 1 Cor. 11: 30)."[30] This interpretation is supported by the context of 5:15-16, where sin is linked with the loss of physical health. If physical death is in view in James 5:20, then ek cannot mean "out from within." Instead it must mean "position outside" its object.

This study of ek throughout its linguistic history, and especially its usage in the New Testament, has shown that the preposition may sometimes indicate "outside position" (whereas at other times it means removal "out from within"). In relation to the interpretation of t‘reö ek in Revelation 3:10, this finding establishes the pretribulational position as a bona fide grammatical possibility. To understand t‘reö ek as indicating preservation in an outside position is well within the bounds of the linguistic history and usage of ek.[31]

John 17:15. In order to determine the most probable meaning of tëreö ek in Revelation 3:10, its usage in John 17:15 must be considered. This is the only other occurrence of têreö with ek in either biblical or classical Greek.[32] It is significant that both verses are Johannine and in both cases Jesus speaks the words. Hence much can be learned from John 17:15 about the meaning of arej ek in Revelation 3:10.

John 17:15 begins with a negative petition using airo and ek. Jesus uses these words to express His prayer that the disciples not be physically removed from the earth. Removal would be one way of preserving them spiritually in His absence, but it would violate their commission as witnesses (cf. John 15:27). It is significant that in the case of airo with ek, the idea of motion in the verb naturally lends itself to the idea of taking (ek), in the sense of motion out from within (cf. oi erchomenoi ek, Rev. 7:14). This points up the necessity of considering the verb and the preposition together, and not simply isolating the components of the expression. The context is also an important factor in deciding the exact force of the phrase. The disciples were in the world (17:11), so ek must mean "out from within" in John 17:15a.

In 17:15b the Lord contrasts (using alla) His first petition with a petition using tëreo and ek for preservation from the evil one.[33] Gundry asks, "How then can tëreo ek [in Rev. 3: 10] refer to the rapture or to the results of the rapture, when in its only other occurrence the phrase opposes an expression [airo ek] which would perfectly describe the rapture?"[34] The answer lies in the combined effect of the verb and the preposition in the context-factors which Gundry tends to overlook.

Regarding the context, the disciples were in the world physically. This combined with the idea of motion in airo, demands that airo ek in John 17:15a be understood as removal out from within. However, John 17:15b describes an entirely different situation. The disciples were not in the evil one spiritually when Jesus prayed. This, combined with the fact that arej demands not the idea of motion but rather the idea of preservation, indicates that tëreo ek in John 17:15b be understood as preservation in an outside position.[35] This is in line with the pretribulational understanding of Revelation 3:10: Just as the disciples were not in the evil one, so the Philadelphians were not in the hour of testing, and the promise is that Jesus Christ will keep them outside that hour.

Gundry interprets John 17:15b as a prayer for the preservation of the disciples in the moral sphere of Satan, since they are to be left in the world (John 17:15a).[36] However, both the immediate context and John's other writings argue against this interpretation. In the context of John 17:11-16, the idea of "keeping" is related to salvation and the possession of eternal life, not preservation from the moral assaults of Satan. The issue is the keeping of salvation (i.e., the perseverance of the saints), not progression in sanctification, which is taken up in 17:17.

First John 5:18-19 also stands against Gundry's premise. In 1 John 5:18, the evil one does not touch (apto) the one who has been born of God, because the One who was born of God (Jesus Christ) keeps (tired, cf. John 17:11) him. In 1 John 5:19 the apostle wrote, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." Gundry's interpretation of John 17:15b, as preservation in the moral sphere of Satan, does not square with the Johannine emphasis on the separation of believers from the spiritual realm of the evil one.

Thus the idea in John 17:15b is not the moral sphere of the evil one (i.e., the world system), as Gundry and most Posttribulationists suppose, but the spiritual realm of the evil one (i.e., spiritual death). The disciples were not in Satan's realm spiritually, and Christ prays, using tired ek, that the Father would keep them so. Hence tired ek in John 17:15 is an expression for preservation in an outside position. Applied to Revelation 3:10, this evidence indicates that the pretribulational position is not only possible but probable.

Revelation 3:10 may then be paraphrased, "Because you have held fast the word which tells of My perseverance, I also will preserve you in a position outside the hour of testing" (NASB). This paraphrase points up an important nuance of meaning that must be recognized. Tired ek in Revelation 3:10 does not describe the rapture as such. Instead, it describes the position and status of the church during the hour of testing. It describes the results of the rapture, not the rapture itself. Revelation 3:10 does not state directly how the church will be preserved outside the hour of testing. How- ever, the remainder of the verse indicates that the proper logical deduction is preservation by means of a pretribulational rapture of the church.

The Meaning of "The Hour of Testing"

The Meaning of "The Hour"

The object of the preposition ek in Revelation 3:10 is "the hour of testing" (tës öras tou peirasmou). The preservation promised the Philadelphians is in relation to a specific period of time. This is indicated by the inclusion of tës as an article of previous reference. Jesus is speaking of the well-known hour of testing, which is a reference to the expected time of trouble, the Tribulation period, before the return of Messiah (Deut. 4:26-31; Isa. 13:6-13; 17:4-11; Jer. 30:4-11; Ezek. 20:33-38; Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Zech. 14:1-4; Matt. 24:9-31).[37] This period is graphically portrayed in Revelation 6-18 (cf. "the great tribulation," 7:14; and "the hour of His judgment," 14:7).[38]

In relation to the rapture question, it is significant that the Philadelphian church is here promised preservation outside the time period of the Tribulation. The combination (ek t‘s öras) thwarts the posttribulation view of the church being kept from trials while on earth during the hour of testing. As Thiessen notes, the promise "holds out exemption from the period of trial, not only from the trial during that period."[39] Ryrie comments, "It is impossible to conceive of being in the location where something is happening and being exempt from the time of the happening." [40]

Gundry attempts to "undercut stress on the term 'hour" in three ways.[41] First, he claims that the hour will elapse in heaven as well as on earth. But the verse claims that this hour is coming on the oikoum‘n‘ ("inhabited earth") and thus is related to the earthly time continuum. This was certainly John's perspective.

Second, Gundry claims that "the hour of testing" does not emphasize a period of time, but rather the trials during that period. Although Delling notes this possibility in his article on öra, he gives Revelation 3:10 as an example of öra in the general sense of "'the divinely appointed time' for the actualization [sic] of apocalyptic happenings."[42] Gundry's view errs in failing to square with the use of the definite article tës which indicates that a well-known hour (fixed in length by Dan. 9:27) is in view. A careful evaluation of the evidence seems to prove all the more that both time and event are inextricably linked.

Third, Gundry notes that in Jeremiah 30:7 (LXX, 37:7) Israel is given a similar promise of being saved from (sözö apo with apo in the Septuagint) the "time of Jacob's trouble" (cf. "hour of testing"). Even though apo denotes separation more strongly than ek, Israel is preserved within the time of trouble not outside it. Gundry concludes his argument by stating, "If a pretribulational rapture was not or will not be required for deliverance from the time of Jacob's distress, neither will a pretribulational rapture be required for preservation from the hour of testing." [43]

This appears to be a strong argument until one considers the context of Jeremiah 30:7. Jeremiah 30:5-6 indicates that the nation is already in the great day of trouble when salvation comes. This is confirmed in Matthew 24, where the Jews are told to flee the persecution of the one who desecrates the temple, and in Revelation 12, where the dragon persecutes the woman and her offspring. From this trouble, the nation is promised rescue in Jeremiah 30:7. Thus the promises are different and not comparable. Israelis promised rescue within the time of trouble,[44] the church is promised preservation from the hour of testing. Only the latter case demands rapture from earth to heaven.

The Scope of "The Hour"

The qualifying phrase, "which is about to come upon the whole inhabited earth," further describes the hour as imminent and worldwide in its impact. Tés mellouses erchesthai goes beyond conveying future tense. It carries a note of imminency, as indicated by erchomai tachu, which begins Revelation 3:11. Both the coming of the hour and the coming of the Lord are imminent. This connection indicates a relationship between the promise of "keeping" in 3:10 and the coming of the Lord in 3:11. There will be preservation outside the imminent hour of testing for the Philadelphian church when the Lord comes. This, in turn, indicates that although tëreö ek in 3:10 does not refer directly to the rapture of the church, rapture as the means of preservation is a proper deduction from the context.

"The whole inhabited earth" will be overtaken by this hour (cf. Rev. 2:10, where local persecution is in view). Since the church is to be preserved outside a period of time that encompasses the whole world, preservation by a pretribulation rapture is again seen to be a logical inference from the context. Only a rapture to heaven removes the church from the earth and its time continuum.[45]

The Purpose of "The Hour"

"To test those who dwell upon the earth" gives the purpose of the coming hour. In both secular and biblical Greek peirazd has the root idea of a test that is applied in order to expose the true character of someone.[46] Usually peirazd denotes negative intent: to test in order to break down, to demonstrate failure.[47] Hence the hour of testing will come on the whole world, with the specific purpose of putting earth-dwellers to the test, which will demonstrate their utter failure before God. In other words, the Tribulation period will provide condemning evidence for the judgments the Lord will carry out when He returns to the earth (cf. Matt. 25; Rev. 19:19-21; 20:4).

According to Johnson, tous katoikountas epi tës ges corresponds to the Hebrew idiorn-yothey hãaref which, in Isaiah 24:1,5,6; 26:9, becomes a technical term for people on the earth during the time of Jacob's trouble.[48] The term is not all-inclusive, since in each of its seven other uses in Revelation the reference is to unbelievers, and both pretribulationists and posttribulationists agree that there will be many saints in the Tribulation period. The question is whether these saints are the preserved church (which is unlikely since many are martyred), or people who come to salvation during the Tribulation and are martyred for their faith. In Revelation 13:8 and 17:8 an earth-dweller is further defined as one "whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world." These are the nonelect of the Tribulation period, and as a result they worship the beast (cf. Rev. 13:8,14). On these earth-dwellers will come judgments that have the purpose of openly demonstrating their absolute and utter depravity (cf. Rev. 6:15-17; 9:20-21; 16:21). McClain notes, "In that hour the physical judgments will generally fall upon saved and unsaved alike."[49] But the special objects of testing and wrath will be the earth-dwellers.


In seeking a solution to the pretribulational/posttribulational debate over the nature of the preservation promised the church in Revelation 3:10, the preposition ek was traced throughout its history in order to establish the fact that ek may at times indicate "outside position" as well as at other times indicating motion "out from within." This brought the pretribulational interpretation of Revelation 3:10 within the realm of possibility. In addition, John 17:15 the only other occurrence of t‘reö ek in either biblical or classical Greek-was studied. Pretribulationists and posttribulationists alike note the similarity in meaning between John 17:15 and Revelation 3:10. Hence when it was determined that t‘re™ ek in the context of John 17:15 demanded the idea of preservation outside the evil one, this had the effect of making outside preservation the preferred (or most probable) interpretation of Revelation 3:10.

The preservation promised in Revelation 3:10 is in relation to a specific, well-known hour of trial, the future seven-year Tribulation, which is to precede Messiah's return and which is described in detail in Revelation 6-18. Revelation 3:10 teaches that the coming of this hour is imminent, that it is worldwide in its scope, and that the purpose of the hour is to put the ungodly earth-dwellers of the Tribulation period to the test to reveal evidence of their wickedness in preparation for the Lord's judgments when He returns to the earth.

Although Revelation 3:10 describes the result of the rapture (i.e., the position and status of the church during the Tribulation), and not the rapture itself, the details of the hour of testing just mentioned establish the pretribulation rapture as the most logical deduction from this verse. The promise of preservation is from a period of time that will envelop the whole world. Only a pretribulation rapture would remove the church completely from the earth and its time continuum. Thus the pretribulation rapture is found to be a proper logical deduction from the data found in Revelation 3:10.

[1] Robert H. Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House 1973), 54.

[2] Gundry claims that "where a situation of danger is in view, vpdo means to guard," and that "throughout the LXX and the NT ripéw always occurs for protection within the sphere of danger..." (Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, 58). Although "to guard" does not differ much from "to protect," Gundry's second statement is questionable. In 2 Peter 2:9 and Jude 21, for example, the idea of protection within the sphere of danger is inappropriate.

[3] Ibid., 80.

[4] John A. Sproule, "A Revised Review of The Church and the Tribulation by Robert H. Gundry" (paper delivered at the Postgraduate Seminar in New Testament Theology, Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, IN, May 15, 1974), 32 (italics his).

[5] Gundry's comment that "were the Church absent from the hour of testing keeping would not be necessary" (Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, 58) looks at the situation from a post-tribulational viewpoint within the tribulation where keeping seems necessary. There is also the viewpoint of the Philadelphians prior to the hour of testing. To them, protection from that hour definitely necessitated some form of keeping. In relation to a worldwide judgment, it would seem that keeping in heaven would be a necessity.

[6] A. 1. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, 4th ed. (New York: George H. Doran Co., 1923), 596.

[7] Alexander Reese, The Approaching Advent of Christ: An Examination of the Teaching of I. N. Darby and His Followers (London: Marshall, Morgan, & Scott, 1937), 205.

[8] As Ladd puts it, "This verse neither asserts that the Rapture is to occur before the Tribulation, nor does its interpretation require us to think that such a removal is intended" (George Eldon Ladd, The Blessed Hope [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1956], 86).

[9] Cf. E. Schuyler English, Re-Thinking the Rapture: An Examination of What the Scriptures Teach as to the lime of the Translation of the Church in Relation to the Tribulation (Travelers Rest, SC: Southern Bible Book House, 1954), 89.

[10] Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, 55-56.

[11] IbId., 59.

[12] Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, An IntermediateGreek-Engish Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), 498-99.

[13] Homer, The Iliad 2.14.130 (italics added).

[14] Cf. ek ,ca.irvoi "out of the smoke" (Homer, The Odyssey 2.19.7); ev4udouv icariiottw, "stood aside" (Herodotus 2.3.83).

[15] Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, 55.

[16] Old Testament citations are based on the Masoretic text. Variations in the Septuagint are indicated in parentheses.

[17] Joseph Henry Thayer, A Greek-Engish Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1962), 142. Cf. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. "v1odw," by Harold Riesenfeld, 8: 151.

[18] Preservation in an outside position is also found in Psalm 12:8 (Septuagint, 11:7) using özaripdw with third. Thus air in the Septuagint is capable of the idea of separation normally found in third.

[19] Also compare àr,c.ti with thic in Proverbs 1:5 and dvdo, with thic in Amos 4:7.

[20] Edwin A. Abbott, From Letter to Spirit: An Attempt to Reach Through Varying Voices the Abiding Word, Diatessarica, part 6 (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1903), 311. In the Septuagint the reference is Psalm 58:1-2.

[21] Josephus, Jewish Anitquities, 4.2.1 (italics added). Cf.dziovai èxinAntiquities 12.10.5; 13.6.3.

[22] In a similar context of keeping from idols, 1 John 5:21 employs vpdw with third, indicating that, as in the Septuagint, air and third are difficult to distinguish as to meaning in the New Testament. Both may mean "separation from." (Compare John 17: 15 with James 1:27; Mark 1:10 with Matthew 3:16; and 1 Thessalonians 1:10 with Romans 5:9.)

[23] In addition to the verbal constructions with air, the nonverbal expression ekedoepo... dir ,rdvrwv ("free from all") in 1 Corinthians 9:19 seems to use dir in a way that indicates a position outside its object.

[24] Smith notes a further correlation with Revelation 3:10. "It is significant that Jesus is the speaker and John the writer just as is the case in the Revelation [3:10] text, and that in each case mention is made of a coming hour of suffering. In all probability, therefore, the meaning of the phrase from the hour is similar in both instances" (J.B. Smith, A Revelation of Jesus Christ: A Commentary on the Book of Revelation, ed. J. Otis Yoder [Scottsdale, PA: Herald Press, 1961], 331).

[25] William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), 805-06.

[26] Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 598.

[27] Smith, A Revelation of Jesus Christ, 331.

[28] Thomas Hewitt, "The Epistle to the Hebrews: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1960),99-100.

[29] Both Bruce and Lenski are correct in answering the question of how the Lord's prayers were answered since He went to the cross in spite of His prayers. "While Gethsemane provides 'the most telling illustration' of our author's words, they have a more general reference to the whole course of our Lord's humiliation and passion" (F F. Bruce, "The Epistle to the Hebrews: The English Text with Introduction, Exposition and Notes," New International Commentary on the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1964, 100]. "Jesus prayed for deliverance from death only with an 'if: 'if it be possible' (Matt. 26:39); 'if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it' (v.42). The real burden of his prayer was: 'Nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt' (Mark 14:36). So also Mart. 26:39,42, 'thy will be done,' and this prayer of Jesus was fully and truly granted" (R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Epistle of James [Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1943], 164).

[30] Walter W Wessel, "The Epistle of James," in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, eds. Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F Harrison (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), 1439.

[31] As Morris puts it: "Keep thee from (ex) the hour of temptation' might mean 'keep thee from undergoing the trial' or 'keep thee right through the trial.' The Greek is capable of either meaning" (Leon Morris, "The Revelation of St. John: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale New Testament Commentaries [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1969], 80). Cf. Henry Alford, The Greek Testament: with a Critically Revised Text, a Digest of Various Readings, Marginal References to Verbal and Idiomatic Usage, Prolegomena, and a Critical and Exegetical Commentary, rev. Everett F. Harrison, 4 vols., vol. 4: Hebrews-Revelation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1958),585; James Moffatt, "Me Revelation of St. John the Divine," in The Expositor's Greek Testament, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll, 5 vols. (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1900-10), 5 (19l0):368.

[32] Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. "pdw" by Harald Riesenfeld, 8:142.

[33] Although rot) ,rovqpot) may be either masculine or neuter, it is most likely masculine and a reference to Satan, according to Johannine usage, (cf. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 1 John 2:13-14; 3:12; 5:18-19).

[34] Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, 59.

[35] Evidently, combining vpdw with ek modifies the meaning of the preposition from the primary meaning of motion out from within to the secondary meaning of outside position (S. Lewis Johnson, Jr., class notes in 228 The Revelation, Dallas Theological Seminary, Fall 1976).

[36] Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, 59.

[37] For evidence that lcezpaayó痍 was associated with thliynçin the New Testament, compare Luke 8:13 with Matthew 13:21 and Mark 4:17.

[38] Mounce thinks that the hour is "three and a half years of rule by Antichrist in Revelation 13:5-10. In fact, all the judgments from 6:1 onward relate to this final hour of trial" (Robert H. Mounce, "The Book of Revelation," New International Commentary on the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1977, 119). However, it seems better in the light of the seventieth week concept of Daniel 9:27 to see the hour as a seven year period of time. Cf. Henry C. Thiessen, "Will the Church Pass through the Tribulation?" Bibliotheca Sacra 92 (January-March 1935):45-50.

[39] Henry C. Thiessen, "Will the Church Pass through the Tribulation?" Bibliotheca Sacra 92 (April-June 1935):202-03.

[40] Charles Caldwell Ryrie, A Survey of Bible Doctrine (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972), 170.

[41] Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, 60.

[42] Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, sm. by Gerhard Delling, 9:677.

[43] Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, 60.

[44] That it is possible for ci,ró— to indicate prior existence in its object (as nc normally does) is demonstrated by its use in Psalm 69:14 (Septuagint, 68:14) and Psalm 140:1, 4 (Septuagint, 139:1,4). According to Turner, in both the Septuagint and the New Testament thr— encroaches on é, (James Hope Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek 4 vols. [Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1906-76], vol. 3 [1963]; Syntax by Nigel Turner, 250-51).

[45] Some posttribulationists insist that oiicovizdvi, limits the hour of testing to the Roman world of John's day. Bell writes, "The seemingly universal terms are used elsewhere in the New Testament to mean the civilized world of that day, i.e. the Roman Empire .... The several empire-wide persecutions of Christians could easily satisfy the universal terminology" (William Everett Bell, Jr., "A Critical Evaluation of the Pretribulation Rapture Doctrine in Christian Eschatology" [PhD. diss., New York University, 1967], 304). But as Johnston notes, oiicovpdvq may have a very wide reference .... Sometimes it is synonymous with aithv and scdo7toç Hence, oecumenë may mean also mankind as a whole..." (George Johnston, "Oucovpdvi and Kóqtoç in the New Testament," New Testament Studies 10 [April 1964:353). This is exemplified by the use of oiscovpdvr in Matthew 24:14 and Acts 17:31. Commenting on the use of oiicovpdvi in the Matthew passage, Michel writes, "It is certainly not to be linked here with political imperial style. The reference is simply to the glad message which is for all nations and the whole cattle' (Theological Dictionary of the New Testamen4 S.V. "1' oiKotiév7ç" by Otto Michel, 5:158). In both Acts 17:31 and Revelation 3:10 oiKovudv,7 is set in an eschatological context that also seems to demand the widest possible reference.

Furthermore, the next phrase in Revelation 3:10 rozç tcawLKoi3vraç à,ri vç 'iç ('those who dwell upon the earth"), is used only pejoratively in Revelation (cf. 6: 10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8, 14; 17:8), thus indicating that unbelievers are designated by the phrase. This is fatal to Bell's view because, as Brown points out. "If the enemies of the Christian religion are to be affected.., by the 'hour of trial,' it is clear that the author cannot be thinking of a persecution directed against Christians" (Schuyler Brown, "'The Hour of Trial' (Rev. 3:10)," Journal of Biblical Literature 85 [Summer 19661:310).

[46] Cf. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. s.v. "reina rü" by Heinrich Seesemann, 6:23; and mayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 646.

[47] Richard Chenevix Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament (New York: Redfield, 1854), 281, Cf. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, s.v. ",rez-,ra rrL" 6:23.

[48] Johnson, class notes.

[49] Alva J. McClain, The Greatness of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1959),465.