Revelation 3:22

let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches
See commentary on Revelation 2:7.

After reading the seven letters to the seven churches, we cannot escape the fact that compromise of God’s word is anathema to Christ and is the root of all Christian weakness. Let us each individually resolve to uphold the full teaching of our Lord and Savior—in the strength He provides.1

This is the last mention of “church” (εκκλησία [ekklēsia] ) in the book of Revelation until the closing remarks: “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” (Rev. Rev. 22:16+). As we note elsewhere, the Jewishness of the book of Revelation was recognized early on and contributed to a reluctance to recognize its canonicity . This is a reflection of what we have just observed: the absence of the church from the events following chapters 2 and 3. We believe this is intentional and indicates that the saints who experience the Tribulation period come to faith after the Rapture of the church. This includes a significant Jewish witness (Rev. Rev. 7:4-8+; Rev. 11:3-13+; Rev. 14:1-5+).

The fact that parts of Revelation contain no reference to the church but make many references to Israel has been recognized by scholars who do not advocate a Pretribulation Rapture of the church. For example, the Roman Catholic scholar, C. Van Den Biesen, state, “The Apocalypse abounds in passages which bear no specific Christian character but, on the contrary, show a decidedly Jewish complexion.”2

It is important to understand that the pretribulational rapture view is not derived from this observation, but that it is founded upon other passages. The emphasis on the church in chapters 2 and 3 followed by a complete omission of any mention of the church in the events of judgment spanning chapters 6 through 19 is but one of numerous evidences in Scripture which indicate that the church will not endure the Tribulation. See Rapture.

Notes

1 Monty S. Mills, Revelations: An Exegetical Study of the Revelation to John (Dallas, TX: 3E Ministries, 1987), Rev. 3:22.

2 Renald E. Showers, Maranatha, Our Lord Come (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1995), 246.

Read Revelation 3:22