The book of Revelation in the Bible is both fascinating and terrible. Many pastors do not preach on it very often. Unless one “rightly divides” the word of God and understands that Israel and the Church are separate entities, this book will be very confusing and leads to much error in interpretations. If you belong to a church denomination that adheres to Replacement Theology, you will be taught nothing about the Nation of Israel in this book. You will be told that the Church (body of Christ) will go through the Tribulation. That Christians must “overcome” or “endure till the end” when Christ finally returns. Yet this book is largely Jewish. It is the final expression of and complement to the prophecies of the Jewish prophets. Revelation reveals the events of the Day of the LORD, which Jesus called the “Tribulation” (Matthew 24) and the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth (in Jerusalem). The apostle John, who wrote Revelation, wrote only to Jews, just like James, Peter, and Jude. Everything in Revelation concerns Israel and the nations. (unbelieving Gentiles) The Tribulation is the “time of Jacob’s trouble” It is about God’s wrath against Israel for her unbelief and rejection of their Messiah.
“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jeremiah 30:7)
Who is Jacob in Scripture? Israel. This is going to be 7 years of God dealing primarily with His Covenant people. A remnant of one third of the Jews will be saved. The Gospel of the kingdom that John the Baptist, Jesus and the Twelve taught will once again be preached during this time by 144,000 Jewish men. Just like it was originally supposed to be, Jews will now bring the gospel to the world. (John 4:22) This gospel focuses on WHO Jesus is (the Messiah). It has nothing to do with belief in His death, burial and resurrection for salvation. That was Paul’s gospel and it will not be preached during the tribulation. The Church will not be here. It will have already been caught up to meet Christ in the air.
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
If the Church were to go through the Tribulation, which gospel do you think it would be preaching? The Jewish kingdom gospel where Christ is the King and will rule and reign in Jerusalem, or the Gospel of the grace of God that Paul taught and is our Gospel today during this church age? Since only the gospel of the kingdom will be preached everywhere, this can only mean the Church will not be here. Paul wrote that the body of Christ would not go through the wrath of the Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 5:1-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-15, Romans 5:9, Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:6).
Many pastors mistakenly believe that the seven “churches“ or “assemblies” in Rev. 2 and 3, are Christian churches. Yet, when we closely examine the message Jesus gave to the members of each of these assemblies, nothing in His words indicate that they had salvation as a present possession. Each assembly is told: “He who overcomes.” will be saved. It is all about judgment, works, repentance, overcoming, etc. Jesus said, “I will grant/give” salvation to those who “overcome.” Such language is entirely different from Paul’s teaching that believers “have” salvation as a present possession on the basis of believing his gospel. God is not angry with those who are trusting in Christ alone for salvation. Jesus did the work for us on the cross. It is finished. Christians have passed from death and judgment to eternal life with God They are sealed to the Holy Spirit. There is nothing to “overcome.”