The Revelation 12 Sign March 30, 2017Posted by stevekerp in Uncategorized.
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(In response to the suggestion by “Informed Christian” Daniel Valles, and a few others, that the Revelation 12 sign is NOT connected to the rapture of the church, I have a guest blogger, Professor Al-Henk Rekers, Ph.D., Dr.Theol.)
Dr. Rekers: Biblical scholars who believe in the inerrancy of Scripture who have studied Revelation 12 in the original Greek language, using scholarly methods of exegesis and comparing Revelation 12 to other Bible passages have drawn a distinction between two different Greek words for “child” in Revelation 12.
Theology Professor Dr. Michael Svigel from Dallas Theological Seminary demonstrates with Biblical exegesis that the sentence, “And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne” in Revelation 12:1-5 refers to the Rapture of the church.
In his article The Apocalypse Of John And The Rapture Of The Church: A Reevaluation Professor Svigel explores various interpretations of the timing of the Rapture in the book of Revelation, and he concludes:
If the male child represents not simply the individual, Jesus Christ, but the unio mystica, the believers of every generation of the Church who are ἐν Χριστῷ, then Revelation 12:5 is the only explicit mention of the rapture of the Church in the Book of Revelation. While other passages may, in fact, imply a rapture (i.e. Rev 3:10) the event itself is not described. Revelation 12:5, which stands at the heart of the Apocalypse and which brings together the two allusions to Psalm 2:9 found at the extremes of the Book, seems an appropriate place for the rapture of the Church in a book that was written to “show his servants what must happen very soon.”
A summary of why Revelation 12:5 teaches a pre-tribulation Rapture is this PDF of Professor Michael Svigel’s PowerPoint presentation:
The following interview of Professor Svigel is a summary of Scriptures on the pre-tribulation Rapture, including Revelation 12:1-5:
PRE-TRIBULATIONAL RAPTURE: AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL SVIGEL
Revelation 12 – Birth Before Labor?
This short article by Daniel W. Matson (who has a masters degree from Multnomah Seminary) concludes: “Clearly then, Revelation 12:5 is the description of the Rapture of the Body of Christ to the throne of God. With the Sign of the Woman this September 23, 2017, it is time to be Rapture ready. ”
This same author wrote a brief update entitled, “Revelation 12 – The Sign for Israel” at http://watchfortheday.org/signofisrael.html. In this article, he concludes,
The Sign of the Woman on September 23, 2017 is therefore a sign to Israel. This means the birth of the Male-Child (Body of Christ) and its harpazo to heaven must come before this time as the Church and Israel are separate dispensations. With the Feast of Trumpets two days before the Sign of the Woman, it would seem appropriate timing for the Rapture of the Church at this time of the Last Trump. Therefore, Israel gave birth to the Body of Christ and then the Body of Christ departs to heaven with the resumption of Israel and her tribulation yielding more offspring (Gentiles)–they both will be saved except for those who have sided with the Dragon.
Here is a short article entitled, Man-Child vs Child: A Word Study of Rev. 12:5 that begins and concludes as follows, that concludes that “he child was caught unto God” in Revelation 12:5 uses a Greek word for child that is not applied to the adult Jesus Christ, and is a term for a group of people—namely the true church:
Rev 12:5 (KJV) “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.”
The translation “man-child” in Rev 12:5 is from the Greek “arsen huios” while the word “child” in the same verse has been translated from “teknon.” Thus we have two different Greek words that have both been translated as “child.”
man-child = arsen huois
child = teknon
No Bible writer, including John, ever refers to Jesus as ‘teknon.’ If Rev 12:5 is referring to the ascension of Jesus Christ to God’s throne, then it is the only time in the scriptures that ‘teknon’ was used in reference to Jesus.
‘Teknon,’ when not speaking in general terms, is most commonly used to refer to the church or believers of God.
The word ‘harpazo’ refers to a snatching away, and is especially used when referring to the rapture.
In refuting Mr. Valles’ conjecture, I also offer the following comments.
First, Jesus was not raptured. He simply wasn’t. This isn’t conjecture; it’s a simple reading of the text and believing what’s there. Rapture or harpazo means snatching away, carrying away by force, kidnapping, sudden removal. The term harpazo is not used. Jesus was not in danger or being threatened, and He was not being “acted upon” and hurried to safety, or snatched out of harm’s way.
“Bride of Christ” is one designation of many for the ekklesia. Ephesians 4 goes into detail in explaining how we are also members of the body of Christ. This does not make him some sort of trans-gendered physical-spiritual creature – half man/half woman, or half spirit/half flesh. The fact that we “corporately” are in a role as the Bride of Christ (feminine) does not in any way negate the reality that we are also the BODY of Christ (masculine).
Yes, as King of Kings, Jesus will rule the nations with a rod of iron. But according to Rev. 2:26, so will overcomers. The distinction attempted between Jesus’ ruling ALL the nations, and us as His underlings ruling just some, is rebutted by the text. He will rule over the nations with a rod of iron, and He gives that exact same promise to overcomers. Again, just read the text. Jesus was given power and He gives what He received – “…as I also have received from My Father.” He gives us exactly what the Father gave Him.
Daniel asserts that the Rapture of the Church will occur “way before” (his phrase) the Revelation 12 sign. I don’t know what is meant by “way before” but there’s less than six months left. There’s lots of confusion regarding the correct understanding of “tribulation” in Matthew 24 because the term is used in at least two contexts. Matthew 24:9 speaks of tribulation for believers, and Matthew 24:21 speaks of “great tribulation” that is apparently local to Judea. Regardless of when they begin or where they are located, it’s fairly obvious that they both have ended before the events of verses 29-31. If the Revelation 12 sign in Virgo is the sign of the Son of Man, and Jesus is sending His angels to gather some other “elect” group, you might want to explain who that group might be.
Daniel also says the sign won’t be visible. A sign that can’t be seen isn’t a sign. Again: common sense. John said the sign would “appear”. That means it’s visible.
http://www.rogershermansociety.org.sign.htm may have some conclusions Daniel does not like, but the scripture says on many occasions that the sun will be darkened. Again, nothing fancy here – just read the text.
There are several other points I could challenge, but the bottom line is this: we should be expecting deception, war, famine, persecution, and a face-to-face meeting with Jesus Christ in the VERY near future. Those who presume to teach will be judged strictly, especially on those matters that impact the faith, growth and obedience of other believers. Offering to the Body of Christ unsupported and unbiblical conjectures concerning matters of spiritual importance is extremely dangerous.