The Word Of My Patience

 

In verse ten of Revelation three we find a verse that has been under all sorts of scrutiny and subjected to various and sundry interpretations concerning it's subject matter, since the time that it was first published. 

We won't go into but a couple of those interpretations here for the sake of sparing the reader the most glaring errors concerning the interpretation of this verse.

[Revelation 3:10] Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

 

 

The key to coming to an understanding of this verse is the knowledge that our Lord is not talking about something that is going to afflict all men in general, saved and/or unsaved, that have and will dwell upon the whole earth.

 

This verse is in reference to and only pertains to all Christians which have and which will dwell upon the Earth from the time of Pentecost to the time of the rapture of the Church. Furthermore, this promise is to faithful Christians who have and are overcoming the world the flesh and the devil {"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience"}.

 

Christ is warning believing Christians, not unbelieving Christians, for unbelieving Christians do not believe Godís Word where it pertains to overcomeing the World, the flesh, and the devil; nor do they attempt to keep the "Word of His patience" that our Lord is referring to in this verse.

 

Application to our generation will come later, but we must first ask the question, what was the literal meaning of this promise for the literal first-generation church to which this was written as well?

Some Christians would interpret this verse to indicate that many Christians will be left behind at the time of the rapture and will thus be subjected to that short season of time "the hour" referred to by most as the tribulation period. A time in which many believers will be subjected to the temptation of taking the mark of the Beast and thus disowning Christ; wherein, if they do not, they will be beheaded for the sake of the testimony of Christ.  

This cannot be and for very good reason: First, the Apostle Paul never so much as even hinted at that kind of scenario in his first epistle to the Thessalonians when he addressed their concerns about the rapture of the church. [1 Thessalonians 4"13-18]  And secondly, nor is there any examples or types in the Scriptures which would indicate a split rapture. There simply is no evidence for an event describing splitting Christians at the time of the rapture and thirdly the Holy Scriptures do not contradict themselves.

 

What could this "hour of temptation be then?

 

Some believe it is this some dire hour of the last and most fierce flood of trials and temptations from the imaginations of our own dark, deceitful, and desperately wicked souls, and/or from powers and principalities of the air and wickedness in high places, that manifest themselves to Christians in their last hour of death?

 

Do we suppose that if we are not at death's door, our "hour of temptation that comes upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the Earth", has apparently not yet arrived. Is this not those temptations, which, once over, can never be experienced again?

 

If this is so can we verify that this question could be answered by a definite yes. We can verify it by answering this question: Were the first-generation Philadelphians and all those who have died since Pentecost subject to this same" hour"?

 

Could the first-generation Philadelphians have been kept from "the hour" in the same way that our generation or any other generation could? Yes. Christ's promise in this verse could be applied to all of these generations of Christians.

Then is the method of keeping overcomers from "the hour" not the promise of death itself, before "the hour" arrives?

Could the first generation have been kept from "the hour", by death, prior to the beginning of "the hour of trial and temptation"?

They did die, all of them. Can it be that there is an "hour" before death that is common to all Christians, that is so threatening {to overcoming Christians in particular} that it could be considered a special blessing to die before that "hour arrived?

I would think not. Why? Because there is no Scriptural basis that describes such an "hour" or season that afflicts Christians before they die and Scriptural basis is the spiritual compass from which we will not depart.

So the answer to this puzzle seems to be a delivery from something that all Christians experience in common and which happens prior to "the hour" or season of time just before death claims us.

Is there Scriptural basis for a trial or temptation that is common to all Christians and that would have been common to all generations of Christians? The answer, of course, is an unequivocal yes and the Apostle Paul in his second epistle to the Thessalonians especially mentions it.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

It is the temptation or trial of falling away from the truth that all generations of Christians have been subject to since that great day at Pentecost. Let's examine out text again beginning with the one condition in mind that Christ ties to His promise to all overcomers in the last part of the verse.

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience," Here is the one condition that all Christians have been expected to keep throughout all generations since Pentecost. Not only keeping the Word but more specifically the word of "my patience".

The Greek word translated "patience", according to Strong's, is {Hupomone} pronounced {hoop-om-on-ay'}.

The Strong's definition is:

  1. Steadfastness, constancy, endurance
  2. In the New Testament the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
  3. Patiently, and steadfastly
  4. A patient, steadfast waiting for
  5. A patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance

Now our burden is to find a basis, in the Scriptures, for a condition that can be described as "the word of my patience" in which all Christians are expected to strive for or attain unto something. In other words is there Scriptural references wherein all Christians are warned to hold fast to "the faith" with a patient enduring and steadfastness unto the end?

The answer would, without question, be that the Holy Bible is filled with the type of admonition that forms the condition upon which Christians are admonished to strive for, run a race for, fight for, and/or persevere in the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. This admonishment is so common that any Christian that has had even the most basic and rudimentary reading of the Holy Scriptures will understand it's truth without having to post the first reference or verse for the convenience of the reader.

Let's look at the rest of the verse in question that forms the promise to the overcomer.

"I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. "

Now let's tie the promise to the warning that Paul gave us in [2 Thessalonians 2:3]. Paul said: "for "that day" {the rapture of the Church} shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" and the part we want to focus on is "a falling away" for that is the part of this verse that ties it to the condition and the promise in [Revelation 3:10]

Again, were the first-generation Philadelphians and all those who have died since Pentecost, subject to this same" hour"? An hour of temptation and trial that would cause a Christian to "fall away" from a patient enduring, a steadfast waiting for the trumpet call of our Lord to "come up hither", the characteristic of Christians who would not be swerved from deliberate purpose and loyalty to "the faith"?

And by "the faith" we mean the entire council of God, not just to the Gospel of the Grace of God {believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved} but also to the Gospel of the Kingdom with all of it's admonishments unto the good works of the Holy Spirit through us, the admonishments to die to self, the calls to humility and charity towards our fellow Christians and the command of our Lord to let our light so shine before others that the light of Christ would be seen and cause others to be pricked in the heart by a still small voice calling them to God.

The answer again would have to be an unequivocal yes!

So then our Lord's promise to this type of Christian is that "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the temptation of "falling away"! And doesn't that just make so much sense that it begs the question as to why this verse has been so confusing to so many Christians, including this writer, up to a certain point in time?

Is it not just plain old common sense that if {the word if denotes a condition}, we are not swerved from deliberate purpose and loyalty to "the faith" and a patient steadfast waiting upon our Lord by even the greatest trials and sufferings, that Christ would keep His promise that He will never leave or forsake us? And would that promise not also include His helping us to overcome the temptations to allow ourselves to fall away from "the faith"?

The Apostle Paul said it this way: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? .... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

And wasn't it Jude that said? "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."

"Because thou {overcoming Christians} hast kept the word of my patience"

"I also will keep thee {overcoming Christians} from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the {Christian} world, to try them {Christians} that dwell upon the earth."

Praise God!!! Praise God!!! Praise God!!!

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