I want to state that I am a pre-trib believer, that I have studied Thessalonians, looked at Rev. 4:10, am very aware of mid-trib, post-trib, pre-mill.,a-mill,post-mill. and stick with the golden rule of Bible interpretation.
My question is: WHEN did Rev.4:1 come into view as a Rapture point (yes, I am aware of the early church fathers and their belief in the Rapture, i.e Pseudo-Ephraim of Syria also), when did this particular verse become a Rapture point? (yes, I know that the word rapture is not in the modern translations comes from the Latin Vulgate).
Apart from designating John as a church symbol, for which there is not a justifiable cause or purpose, there is so small evidence to suggest anything other than what is read.(Golden Rule) If one symbolizes John as the church simply because he was called up to heaven, then are we not also required to take on the purpose of the calling and say that the church(raptured) would only be taken up to heaven to be shown the things that were yet to take place? John was to be shown the things that are yet to take place, “come up here”, does not mean anything else. It just seems that alot of believers go to great lengths to explain this verse as a symbolic illustration of the rapture. Getting references from this verse with loose ties from more well known “rapture” scriptures, is supposition.
I wasn’t aware that the pre-Trib Rapture depended even in part on Rev. 4:1. I personally believe that John was called up to heaven more to be an observer of end times events than as a type of the Church. I have heard Hal Lindsey say that the command “Come up here” from Rev. 4:1 is likely what we’ll all hear at the moment of our disappearance, but that’s hardly something upon which to build doctrine.
In my opinion, the case for the Rapture taking place in Rev. 4 rests on two things. First is the appearance of 24 thrones that aren’t mentioned in any previous view of God’s throne, and 24 elders who are uniquely like the church and also make their first appearance at God’s throne in Rev. 4. The second thing is the song of the redeemed sung in heaven in Rev. 5:9-10. Only the Church can sing this song.
Circumstantial support comes from the fact that no other group arriving in Heaven matches the Church’s description, but Rev. 17:14 places us with the Lord when He returns.
But as you know there is much stronger support for the pre-Trib Rapture in other parts of the Bible, so reliance on Rev. 4:1 is unnecessary.