The Incorrect Interpretation of
Revelation 4:1 Held by Many
Denominations Today

By: Petros Theodoros Presbeftes

Some denominations teach that the Church is raptured at the exact point of Revelation Chapter 4, Verse 1 to meet the Lord in the air.  This point of interpretation is untrue and manifestly so!  Please study with us to learn what is wrong with this teaching.

In Revelation Chapter 2, verse 1 through to the end of Chapter 3, our Lord writes a letter to each of seven churches:  Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyateira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodikeia.  These seven churches, during the day in which the Book of Revelation was written down, were all in existence.  Today, because of the effect of wars that established Muslim governments which are, in present times, intolerant of Christianity, most contemporary theologians assume, incorrectly, that these churches are no longer in existence.  After all, we can visit the ruins of these ancient communities can we not?  Are we not able to see plainly for ourselves that these seven churches are now extinct?  Huh? Huh? (So the teachers of falsehood would have us believe!)

To make matters even still worse... For the typical protestant 'Christian', it is widely assumed that the early church, equally as well, ceased to exist!  Why so?  It is because many of them know nothing at all about the Holy Orthodox Church.  So, in a informational vacuum, the teachers reason that because the country of Turkey occupies all of those lands upon which the seven churches had established their communities (in a location known as Asia Minor), it is widely assumed that these seven churches are no longer viable churches.  For the Christian of the western traditions of Rome and the Protestant Churches, where organizational structure oftentimes means solidity, viability, and large edifices, the concept of these seven churches not being extinct is somewhat of a surprise ending, indeed!

The teachers, therefore, in line with their incorrect assumptions, admonish us to think of an interpretation of Revelation Chapter 4, verse 1, which grows from their erroneous assumptions in which they espouse the idea that each of the seven churches, in turn, mentioned in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 are representative of church periods and thus therefore, they postulate that the seven churches represent the span of a "church" age from Pentecost to the end of the Age of Grace.  After all, they reason, the word 'church' is nowhere to be found after the inception of Revelation Chapter 4!  The Church must have been raptured, they intone...  But what happens to this theory when we can point to the fact, for example, that the Church of Ephesus is still in existence under the leadership of His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Chysostomos? or that, for example, the Church of Thyateira is under the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios? or that the Church of Smyrna suffered persecutions in the year of our Lord 1922 A.D., as prophesied in Revelation Chapter 2, Verse 8, or that, for example, the Holy Orthodox Church is the only legitimate continuation of the Early Church: the Church that has NEVER KNOWN DIVISION or REFORMATION!

By fixing the time period of the rapture, through the application of their erroneous theory, much damage is potentially a possibility for the novice pilgrim who follows such of those teachings of these religious leaders, who, in actuality, display a lack of knowledge about Holy Tradition, and who display an even greater ignorance of the history of the True, Undivided Church: the Church that is One, Holy, Catholic (Universal), and Apostolic.

So, don't stop performing your diakonia (servanthood) for Christ Jesus and your neighbor, in order to wait idly by for His Second coming (that you think is so near), but work diligently in faithful readiness, working continuously with Agape (Agape means doing service to God and your neighbor, brothers and sisters, alike) until that moment when He catches you (Yes, YOU!!) up into the air to be with Him.  Perhaps, you have yet to earn a crown before this does happen, or if it ever does take place for you, because maybe God will find you not ready.  Will you be left behind, because of your lack of Faith and Agape?  Therefore, be in a constant state of readiness.  The Holy Apostle Paul tells us by Divine revelation that the dead in Christ shall be raised up first, followed then by all the living Faithful at the last Trump(et) of God.   Perhaps then, the Apostle Paul tells us better than anything else what age of the ages in which to actually expect the rapture to take place.  But, on this subject, I cannot rightly express an opinion.  All I can say, all I should say, and, therefore, all I do say is an admonition:  Be Ready!  Our Lord Jesus Christ, at His Glorious Second Coming. will come unexpectedly (like the stealth of a thief in the night), but visibly for all to see.  He will come in a manner similar to the days of Noah (who preached Repentance): they were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage (living a life normally without thought for any unexpected occurrence)  and then the rains came...  In like manner, shall our Lord come (quite unexpectedly and He will appear quickly in the blink of an eye)!!!

Be Ready!!!

Grace and Peace be with you in Christ Jesus, now and forever, and from all Ages to all Ages.  Amen.

Love in Christ,
Petros Presbeftes, Sysop
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This article and all content is Copyright © 2006, by the Monastery of St. Michael the Archangel, San Ignacio, Belize, and Petros Presbeftes.  All Rights Reserved.