The Great Tribulation: Kept “Out Of” Or “Through”? -- By: David G. Winfrey

Journal: Grace Theological Journal
Volume: GTJ 03:1 (Spring 1982)
Article: The Great Tribulation: Kept “Out Of” Or “Through”?
Author: David G. Winfrey


The Great Tribulation:
Kept “Out Of” Or “Through”?

David G. Winfrey

The debate over whether or not the church will enter the great tribulation is focused on a single critical phrase in the Greek text. The question is: does τηρέω ἐκ (keep from KJV) in Rev 3:10 necessarily imply that the church will be kept out of the great tribulation, or does it allow for the church to go through the great tribulation? As the end time fast approaches, it is imperative for the church to settle this issue. Is the Lords coming for his church imminent, or will the church soon enter into a period of unprecedented Satanic persecution. In answer to this question, four points are considered (1) Robert Gundrys use of John 17:15 as an interpretive guide for Rev 3:10; (2) three antithetical expressions which support the pretribulational view; (3) four complications to Gundrys posttribulational view; and, (4) an analogy illustrating the difference between the phraseskeep out of anddeliver out of.”

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Introduction

In the course of the history of the Church, controversies often crystalized around particular phrases and words. When the deity of Christ was challenged in the fourth century, the issue was brought into sharp focus in two Greek words: ὁμοούσιος and ὁμοιούσιος. At the Council of Nicea, Christ was declared to be ὁμοούσιος (of the same substance) with the Father rather than ὁμοιούσιος (of a similar substance) with the Father, as the Arians taught. As can be seen, the only difference between these two words is the letter iota. To some it may seem ludicrous to argue over such a “trivial” point. However, although a mere letter distinguished these two Greek words, the matter was by no means insignificant. Whether Christ was co-eternal, co-equal, and co-substantial with the Father or a mere creature, even though of the highest order, was the issue at stake.

Today one of the important issues facing the church is in the area of eschatology. In the nineteenth century, the early premillennial

teaching of the church was rediscovered. Under the leadership of J. N. Darby, the brethren movement (Plymouth Brethren) of the 1830s developed a new and startling variation of premillennialism. Whereas those who are now called “historical premillenni...

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