Why would the early church have been familiar with the phrase “the hour of temptation”?

By: Dr. John Ankerberg; ©1996
Bible Prophecy Questions Answered by Leading Christian Scholars.


Why would the early church have been familiar with the phrase “the hour of temptation”?

Dr. John Ankerberg: Dr. Radmacher points out that in Revelation 3:10 the Greek article for the word “the” is used three times: “The hour of the trial, the coming one.” In Greek this is known as an article of previous reference which means Jesus is talking to these people about a coming hour of trial that was well-known to them. He didn’t have to spell it out for them—they already knew all about it. The Christians in all the Churches were well acquainted with all that the Old Testament as well as Jesus had said concerning the hour of trial, the time of Tribulation.
For example, they knew such Scriptures as Isaiah 13:6-13, where among other things the prophet wrote: “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, a cruel day with wrath and fierce anger… I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins….” (NIV). They also had read Jeremiah 30:4-11 where God told him that in the future Israel would be punished along with the nations of the world; but ultimately, Israel would be brought back to repentance and belief in God.

In this passage God says, “How awful that day will be: none will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob; but he will be saved out of it. I have struck you as an enemy would and punished you as would the cruel because your guilt is so great and your sins so many. I will discipline you but only with justice. I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

They knew what God had told Daniel the prophet in Daniel 9:26 and 27 where He said, “The end will come like a flood. War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He [the Antichrist] will confirm a covenant with many [that’s Israel] for one seven [which, in context, meant a seven year period of time]. In the middle of the seven he [the Antichrist] will put an end to sacrifice and offering and on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed is poured down on him.”

Further, in Daniel 12:1 he says about this coming hour of trial that will come on all the world, “There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.”

They knew about Zephaniah 3:8 where God told him, “I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms, and to pour out my wrath on them. All my fierce anger on the whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger.”

Much more, these Christians knew about Jesus’ own words in Matthew 24:9-31 where He described the events of the Tribulation. In verse 21 Jesus specifically states: “For then there will be a great tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be.” So this hour of trial was well-known to these Christians.

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