Revelation 3:10 – The Hour of Temptation (What & When?)

By: Robert Hunt – Jan. 21, 2016
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Revelation 3:10-11
(KJV) – 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. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”
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Ah yes, the topic most scholars tend to neglect or avoid when writing about their rapture theories.  Many pre-tribulation scholars use Rev. 3:10 and a couple other scriptures to prove that the Church won’t be here for any part of the final seven years of this age. 
Although, the scriptures they use do not indicate when the rapture occurs in relation to the final seven years.  As a former pre-tribber, myself, I know their theory is based on mostly assumptions derived from misconceptions.  But I’m very surprised that no one, it seems, in any rapture theory, ever discusses what the hour of temptation is, nor when they believe it will occur or even how long it will last.  In fact, I may be mistaken, but I can’t recall any other scholar discussing these things very much at all, other than maybe skimming the surface.
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This is not a subject that one can just open up to a certain book and chapter in the Bible and simply read all about it.  No, to get a solid understanding of the hour of temptation, we must gather facts that have been scattered randomly throughout God’s Word.  The Bible contains many mysteries and it’s up to us to learn how to connect the dots.  Jigsaw puzzles have many pieces.  To complete them, we must keep fitting the pieces together until all of the holes are filled and you can see the big picture.  Biblical prophecy mysteries are very similar to jigsaw puzzles.  However, before we can start putting the puzzle together, we often have to search to find the pieces first, which can sometimes take years, depending on how great the mystery is.
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God has promised to reward those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).  So those who are knowledgeable in God’s Word often know where many of the pieces are.  If not, they are usually quicker to find them.  But just like any other puzzle, once we have all of the pieces, then care must be taken to fit them together properly, in order to see the big picture.  If the pieces are not put into the proper places, the picture will not be very clear.  And if we don’t have all of the pieces, the holes will be our clue that we need to keep searching and/or studying.  So without any further ado, I believe I have all of the necessary pieces to solve this mystery.  So let’s put this puzzle together.

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After reading the passage above, two questions immediately come to mind. First, what exactly is the hour?  And second, what is this coming temptation or trial?  Some translations may say hour of trial or time of testing instead.  But since these terms are used interchangeably, I’m going use “hour of trial” for the remainder of this thread to keep it shorter, and to cut down on confusion.
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An hour can have two different meanings.  It can either be a literal measurement of sixty (60) minutes, which is the most common usage; or it can also be a brief period or short span of time.  Then there’s the trial, which is said to be a time of testing for all the inhabitants of the earth, with the exception, of course, of those who will be kept from this hour.

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If those who are kept from the hour of trial are raptured-out beforehand, as I believe those who are ready will be, then it seems logical that those who are left will be the one’s who will enter into the hour of trial, to be tested.  Now, if the people who missed the rapture enter into the hour of trial to be tested, what will they be tested for?  It seems the only logical thing that the remaining inhabitants of the earth would be tested for, after missing the rapture, would be whether or not they will take the mark of the beast.  If this is so, I believe this time of testing is what God will use to judge them, to determine who will become martyrs, and who will remain on the earth in their mortal bodies during the millennium (sheep/survivors); and then lastly, to judge the enemies of God (goats/unbelievers) who will be killed for taking the mark of the beast.
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Revelation 13:16-17 (KJV) – And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
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Revelation 14:9-13 (KJV) – Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” 12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
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Only four types of people will remain (after) the rapture, the martyrs who will refuse the mark of the beast, Jews or Israelites, and the sheep and goats from the nations (Matt. 25:31-46) that will be judged when Christ returns to judge the nations (second coming).  If everyone, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave are forced to take the mark of the beast in order to buy and sell, this will undoubtedly become a monumental task that will require a global government.  No wonder the beast has ten horns, as the horns represent ten kings.  I believe it’s highly likely the world will be divided up into ten regions at some point near the time of the end.  Then the ten kings will be empowered to implement and enforce the forbidden mark of the beast.
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Revelation 17:12-13 (KJV) “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. (13) These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”
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It appears that the hour of trial that will come upon all of the inhabitants of the earth is very likely to be the same hour the ten kings will finally appear on the world stage.  But you would have a very hard time trying to convince me that they could pull this off, I mean, killing millions of martyrs in just sixty (60) literal minutes.  I would imagine that it would take at least several days to track down, gather, detain and behead the millions of believers who will reject the mark of the beast.  For this reason, I don’t think it would even be remotely possible to accomplish this evil deed in a literal 60-minute hour.  Therefore the hour of trial will likely end up being a very brief and brutal period of time in the scope of the history of the world.
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2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (KJV) – The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, (10) and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, (12) that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
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I believe the strong delusion also relates to the hour of trial and the mark of the beast as well, which is made more clear after reading the passage below.  The false prophet will pull the wool over the unbelievers eyes with his lying wonders.  He will probably make the mark of the beast sound wonderful and say how necessary it is for security purposes, not to mention how it will prevent identity theft among other clever lies, but the real intent will be to deceive and enslave the masses, and to gain complete control over them.  It will be a strong delusion for those who do not love the truth and it will seal their fate.
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Revelation 19:19-21 (KJV) Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. (20) But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (21) The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”
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Conclusion: We may not be able to positively know exactly how long the hour of trial will last, as scripture does not plainly say.  But it will likely be a short period of time when the mark of the beast is implemented in the world at the end of the age.  I believe the mark of the beast will be the strong delusion God sends upon the unbelievers.  It will likely be implemented before the rapture, probably on a voluntary basis at first.  But then after a majority of the people have taken it, it will then become mandatory shortly after.  Then I suppose they’ll start labeling those who refuse the mark as terrorists and arrest them.  They will probably offer rewards to people who take the mark initially, if they will turn in their friends and family members who have not taken the mark.  And this would make it very difficult to hide.
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Then finally, the time will come when they start putting those who refuse the mark to death, but then the rapture will occur, because scripture says those days will be cut short for the sake of the elect, otherwise no flesh will be saved.  But only those who are ready will be rescued in the rapture, and the rest will then enter into the hour of trial.  I believe the hour of trial will begin right after the rapture, at the end of the great tribulation, but it must also come before the second coming, because those who are ready and go in the rapture, along with the saints who will be martyred for refusing the mark after the rapture, will all be returning together with Christ at the second coming.  God will not avenge the blood of the martyrs until after the last one is killed (Rev. 6:9-11).  Therefore, it is my belief, that the hour of trial will begin right after the rapture, and it will not end until the last martyr is killed, which will be the end of the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4).
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Matthew 24:21-22 (KJV) – For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
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I also believe Christ will fulfill the fall feasts when He returns, just as He fulfilled the spring feasts in the first century, before He ascended back to heaven.  I believe the rapture will occur on the feast of trumpets, and nine days later He will save the nation of Israel on the Day of Atonement.  Then five days after the Day of Atonement, the feast of Tabernacles begins, and the second coming could happen any time, when Christ returns to judge the nations (wrath/Armageddon).  Many assume Christ’s second coming will occur immediately after the great tribulation, but the second coming will not take place immediately.  Daniel said these wonders (great tribulation) would end after 1290 days from the time of the abomination of desolation.  But he also said, “Blessed are those who come to the 1335 days,” so we can plainly see an extra or additional 45 days remaining.
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Revelation 13:5-8 “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
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Daniel 12:11-13 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. 13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (resurrection)
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Why are these extra 45 days important?  Not only do they allow for the fall feasts to be fulfilled, but they also allow the days to be shortened for the sake of the elect (those who are ready), otherwise no flesh would be saved (rapture/rescue).  In other words, if those days were not shortened for the sake of His elect, and they are not kept from the hour of trial (Rev. 3:10), then there would be no Christians left alive to be raptured, because the beast would then overcome all Christians (see Rev. 13:7-8 above).  These extra 45 days allow all of the foretold prophecies to be fulfilled, including the wedding supper in heaven, the hour of trial and even God’s wrath after the last of the martyrs are killed.  This also allows the days to be shortened for the sake of the elect, without shortening the appointed 3.5 years, 42 months and/or 1260 days of the great tribulation.  This is also why I believe Christ was warning that His followers need to be ready.
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Thank you for visiting my blog.  Feel free to share this with friends and your comments are welcome below as well.  My mission is to prepare as many as possible for the soon return of our Lord and Savior.  To God be the glory!

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