Where is the Church in the Book of Revelation?

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Mike Bickle

Some teach that the Church will be raptured before the events that begin in Revelation 4:1. This teaching is based on the argument that since the term Church is not used in chapters 4–21 of Revelation, the Church must no longer be on earth at that time. However, this assumption is based on silence rather than on Scripture. There is much evidence in Revelation that the saints are living and functioning on earth during the tribulation.

A. The great harvest of souls from all nations occurs during the tribulation. The Church will not be absent at the time of our greatest increase and effectiveness in evangelism.

Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne…14 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. (Rev. 7:9, 14)

This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:14)

B. The saints will overcome Satan and the Antichrist with great victory during the tribulation.

They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. (Rev. 12:11)

I saw…those who have the victory over the beast (Antichrist), over his image and over his mark…standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. (Rev. 15:2)

C. Some saints will be martyred during the tribulation. The Church must be on earth at that time.

For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets… (Rev. 16:6)

I saw the woman (Harlot Babylon), drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. (Rev. 17:6) In her (Harlot Babylon) was found the blood of prophets and saints… (Rev. 18:24)

He has avenged on her (Harlot Babylon) the blood of His servants shed by her. (Rev. 19:2)

Rejoice…you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her! (Rev. 18:20)

How long…until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? 11…they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Rev. 6:10–11)

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 (Antichrist)… (Rev. 20:4)

D. Satan and the Antichrist will war against the saints during the tribulation.

The dragon (Satan) was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev. 12:17)

It was granted to him (Antichrist) to make war with the saints…10 Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Rev. 13:7, 10)

Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 13…Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. (Rev. 14:12–13)

E. The 144,000 Jewish servants of God are followers of Jesus.

Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads…4 One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed… (Rev. 7:3–4)

One hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads…3 were redeemed from the earth. 4 These…follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. (Rev. 14:1–4)

They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. (Rev. 9:4)

F. The saints’ prayers during the tribulation will release the trumpet judgments.

Another angel…was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints…4 The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. (Rev. 8:3–5)

G. Jesus comes back to earth in answer to the prayer of saints crying out for His return.

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17)

H. Prophetic ministry will increase greatly during the tribulation (Rev. 11:3–6, 10, 18; 16:6; 18:20, 24; 22:6–9; Joel 2:28–32; Acts 2:17–21; Eph. 4:13; Dan. 11:33–35; 12:10). The seven thunders prophecies were sealed in John’s generation with the intention of being released during the tribulation to the end-time prophets.

When the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.” (Rev. 10:4)

I. The two witnesses or prophets will be born-again believers.

I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy 1,260 days… (Rev. 11:3)

These two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. (Rev. 11:10)

J. Calculating the number of the Antichrist will only be relevant to those living in the tribulation.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Rev. 13:18)

K. Believers who watch and prayer until the time of the bowl judgments (Rev. 16) will be blessed instead of suffering loss at the time of Jesus’ Second Coming.

Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” (Rev. 16:15)

L. Only those on earth during the events prophesied by John are in a position to keep the prophecy.

Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev. 22:7)

M. An angel commands God’s people to leave Babylon just prior to her final judgment in Rev. 18.

I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. (Rev. 18:4)

N. Jesus’ bride is prepared in the context of the final judgment of Babylon during the tribulation (Rev. 19:1-10). An angel revealed to Daniel that the saints would be purified during the pressures of the tribulation (Dan. 11:33–35; 12:10)

For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Rev. 19:7)

Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly…but the wise shall understand. (Dan. 12:10) {eoa}

Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City, an evangelical missions organization based on 24/7 prayer with worship that is engaged in many evangelistic and inner city outreaches along with multiple justice initiatives, planting houses of prayer, and training missionaries. The International House of Prayer has continued in non-stop prayer led by worship teams since September 19, 1999, and is committed to combining 24/7 prayers for justice with 24/7 works of justice. Around 1,500 people (staff members, students, interns) serve full-time on the missions base, investing fifty hours per week in the prayer room, classroom, and ministry outreaches. Mike is also the founder of the International House of Prayer University which includes a full-time Bible school, music school, and media school. Mike is the author of several books including Passion for Jesus, Growing in the Prophetic, The Pleasures of Loving God, After God’s Own Heart, and Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man. Mike’s teaching emphasizes growing in passion for Jesus through intimacy with God, doing evangelism and missions work from the place of night and day prayer, and the end times. To read more content like this, visit mikebickle.org.

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