Hour of Testing

Many commentators see "the hour of testing" as a reference to the tribulation or great tribulation of the apocalypse. This interpretation is the basis for the view that Jesus Christ will remove Believers from experiencing the tribulation; however, there is no evidence to support this.

1. Jesus warns Believer what to do when the Great Tribulation occurs:

"Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. (Matt 24:15-21)

2. Of the 3 instances in Revelation, where human beings are mentioned in heaven and specifically in the Temple of God, they were martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ during the Great Tribulation (Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:13-15; 14:1-3).

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. (Rev 7:13-15)

Since the "hour of testing" cannot be mean the tribulation or great tribulation, what could it be that includes the "whole world"? Similar to "the hour of testing," there is a reference to "the hour of His judgment" in Revelation (Rev 14:6-8).

And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters." And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality." (Rev 14:6-8)

At this moment, the bowls of God's wrath (Rev 15:1) are about to be released. The last trumpet has sounded (Rev 11:15), and Jesus Christ and His angels are returning to "reap the earth" (Rev 14:14-16; Matt 24:29-31).

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe." Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. (Rev 14:14-16)

This is the only time in the book of Revelation that corresponds to Jesus Christ's "hour of testing" (Rev 3:10), and it takes place "upon the whole world". And "the hour of testing" corresponds to "the hour of His judgment" and "the hour to reap."

"The hour of reaping" is by Jesus Christ who removes of all Believers to the Temple of God so that they may receive their white robe and attend the wedding banquet (Rev 19:5-9).

"The hour of testing / of His judgment" is by God's angels who dispense the bowls of His wrath (Rev 14:17-20; 16:1-19).

The meaning of "the hour of testing" "to test those who dwell on the earth" becomes clear. While Babylon the great represents the completeness of lust, deceiving ourselves and others for the pursuit of personal desires of our heart, will the expression of God's wrath, in the hour of testing through the dispensation of His bowls of wrath, cause a person to recognize His existence and engender obedience to His word? Or will it stiffen an obstinate denial and motivate one to continue in disobedience? And in fitting conclusion, this is God's final test.

This is an exerpt from: What is the Hour of Testing?.

From Revelation: An Explication © Helpmewithbiblestudy.org: A resource for learning how to read the Bible.