Is Rev. 12:5 a Picture of the Rapture?

Interest in the great sign of Rev. 12:1 that might occur in September, 2017 has led some to speculate: is Rev. 12:5 a picture of the rapture? And if so will Christians be raptured in a few months?

This article will not speculate on the great sign of Rev. 12:1. I promise I will discuss that sign in a future article as I have received a great number of questions about it.  Rather this article will focus on Rev. 12:5 which is purported to be a symbol for the rapture of the church:

And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught (harpazo) up to God and to His throne. (Rev. 12:5)

Many are purposing that a pretribulation rapture will occur in conjunction with the great sign which they think will take place in September 2017. This is actually the place to begin. Is the event in Rev. 12:5 a potential rapture. If not, then when we investigate the sign in a later article we will know it has nothing to do with that.

Adding credence to this theory that this is the rapture is a scholarly article that was forwarded to me by a friend who is possibly one of the world’s leading experts on the great sign of Rev. 12:1. The 2004 article is by Dr. Michael Svigel of Dallas Theological Seminary.  CHECK IT OUT HERE He asked me to analyse the article.

Dr. Svigel first makes a number of points about possible references to the rapture in the Book of Revelation. I agree with some of his points and strongly disagree with others. I will do a new series on his article examining all the arguments he makes, some of which beg to be refuted. However, this article will focus on the main focus of his article, whether Rev. 12:5 is truly a symbolic representation of the rapture.

Is Rev. 12:5 a picture of the rapture?

Dr. Svigel’s main point is that  ” a son, a male (child)” in this verse is both a depiction of Jesus and of the church who are the Body of Christ. In this way when the male child is raptured, it is the entire church that is raptured. Dr. Svigel also assumes that if this is true it will be a pretribulational rapture because it appears to occur prior to the midpoint of the 70th Week.

Dr. Svigel makes this assertion that the “son, a male” is the church because:

  1. Jesus will grant the overcomers the right to rule the nations with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:26-27)
  2. all the symbols in the prophecy are corporate; the woman is Israel, the “son, a male” is the church, and the dragon is Satan and all of his evil world empires.
  3. that the reason the “son, a male” is corportate is that Isa. 66:6-9 refers to this event and depicts all of Spiritual Israel
  4. harpazo is a poor word choice for the ascension of Jesus

We will examine all of thse points individually.

Jesus Grants the Overcomers the right to rule the nations with a rod of Iron

Jesus does grant the overcomers this right in Rev. 2:26-27.

The traditional view of Rev. 12:5 is that this passage refers to Jesus and only to Jesus and that quote of Psalm 2 about ruling with a rod of iron proves that. Dr. Svigel’s point is that the reference to ruling with a rod of iron will be granted to those that overcome. They will rule the nations with a rod of iron in the Millennial Kingdom. On this point Dr. Svigel is correct.

The word “son” in Rev. 12:5 also comes from Psalm 2. It is the first time Jesus is referred to as the Son of God in the Bible:

But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’ (Psalm 2:6-9)

This Psalm was identified with Jesus in Acts 4, so the traditional interpretation is absolutely correct that Jesus is the Son (obviously).  It is important to notice, however, that this is a SINGULAR reference not a corporate reference and this obviously is the reference to “son” because of the “rod of iron” reference in the same passage.

This strongly suggests that “son, a male” is also a SINGULAR not corporate reference, but we need to continue and to examine the “a male” portion of the reference.

“A Male”

Dr. Svigel then discusses the birth of the “son, a male” and suggests it is the birth that is recorded in Isa. 66. To him this is very significant because the one given birth to is a nation, a corporate birth. However, let’s look at the actual passage:

Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy. (Isa. 66:7)

It should be obvious to all that this is not the same birth as Rev. 12:1-5. This birth takes place BEFORE the woman travails, but Rev. 12’s birth is one of travail and pain. Whether Isa. 66 speaks of a corporate birth or not, it isn’t the same birth as Rev. 12 so that is immaterial! The correct Old Testament reference is earlier in Isaiah:

And as a woman in travail draws nigh to be delivered, and cries out in her pain; so have we been to thy beloved. We have conceived, O Lord, because of thy fear, and have been in pain, and have brought forth the breath (spirit) of thy salvation. (Isa. 26:17-18 LXX)

As readers of Revelation Deciphered know, John quotes from the Septuagint Old Testament in  Revelation. And this is obviously the passage he was referring to in Rev. 12. The woman cries out in pain and is in travail. Please notice who is born as the result of this birth: “thy beloved” and “the spirit of the thy salvation.” This is Jesus. He is God’s beloved and the spirit of salvation. John is telegraphing that Israel (who is talking in this verse) will be as a woman in labor. They will bring forth the Messiah, God’s beloved, and the spirit (pneuma) of salvation. This is again a very SINGULAR birth of the one and only Son of God.

Isa. 66 and the birth without labor is considered the rebirth of Israel in 1948 by most scholars. Something totally different than what is depicted in Rev. 12.

The reference to “a male” is found in the New Testament and, not surprisingly, it is from the nativity of Jesus!

And she gave birth to her firstborn son . . . Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord (Luke 2:7,23)

“Son” and “male” are found in the same extended passage. This is also a very SINGULAR reference and not corporate by any means.  This does not completely discount Dr. Svigel’s theory, but it is getting weaker with each point we examine.

By the way, if you read all of Svigel’s article, you will notice a he discusses the “gender” of “a son” at some length. He assumes the word “a male” is an adjective as in “a male son.” This leads to “Gender confusion” in his mind but that is not correct. The words are both nouns as in “a son, a male.” One is masculine and one is neuter.  Nothing more and nothing less.

Are All the Symbols are Corporate?

Dr. Svigel then continues to  make the point that “the son, a male” is the church as well as it is Jesus because all the symbols in Rev. 12:1-5 depict individuals and corporate groups. He asserts the woman is both Mary and Spiritual Israel.  I agree with him wholeheartedly. Please see my article on Who is the Woman of Rev. 12.

He also asserts that the Dragon is both Satan and the evil world empires that have comprised the heads and horns of the dragon. I don’t agree with him. First, Rev. 12 clearly identifies the dragon as “the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Satan has controlled the evil world empires but by no means are they the dragon. Additionally, Rev. 12 clearly identifies the dragon as a single spiritual being, the devil who has evil angels under his command. The dragon and the angels will be thrown out of heaven. The evil world empires will not be thrown down and they don’t control evil angels. They are not the dragon and it is not a corporate symbol.

Harpazo and the Ascension

Rev. 12:5 mentions a harpazo, a snatching up, of the “son, a male.” Traditional theory has claimed this is the ascension of Jesus. Dr. Svigel goes into great depths to say that harpazo is a poor choice of words for the ascension. He does this to claim that this harpazo is the rescue of the church from the clutches of Satan and not the ascension. I’m sure Dr. Svigel considers this the strongest point in his argument. He even includes a table which shows all the various translated meanings of harpazo in the Septuagint and the New Testament to support his point.

Unfortunately, Dr. Svigel misapplies a very, very important use of harpazo found in Hosea. It is one of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible. Because of this I will insert the “snatched up” definition of harpazo in Brenton’s Septuagint translation as opposed to what he chose:

Wherefore I am as a panther to Ephraim, and as a lion to the house of Judah: and I will [snatch up myself], and go away; and I will take, and there shall be none to deliver. I will go and return to my place, until they are brought to naught, and then shall they seek my face. (Hosea 5:14-15 LXX)

I have a future article on this verse and the verses that follow it planned for later this summer. However for our purposes now, Look at this passage! It is the source reference for the “Lion from the Tribe of Judah” found in Rev. 5:5. Notice that it clearly references Jesus being “snatched up” (harpazo); a process that Jesus does himself! (future middle imperative). This explains Dr. Svigel’s issues with Jesus being snatched up. The Holy Son of God carries out the process himself.

 The verse then further clarifies that it’s Jesus because he will return to heaven until the Jewish remnant are brought to nothing by the Antichrist and then they shall seek Jesus’s face. (They will see his face in Rev. 6:17!)

So harpazo is clearly a word that can and should be associated with Jesus’s ascension. Dr. Svigel’s fourth argument is totally invalid.

The Body of Christ

Dr. Svigel goes into a great deal of postulating that the rapture of Christ in Rev. 12:5 is also the rapture of the Body of Christ (the church) symbolically. The church is referred to as the Body, but Jesus is the head and He was snatched up 2000 years ago. The Body can’t be snatched up without its Head, symbolically! So this symbolism is very weak and not a proof at all. Jesus is the one and only Son of God.

What About the Dragon?

Now that we have exhausted all of Dr. Svigel’s arguments, we need to continue to explore this passage because there is more evidence to disprove his theory. In the expanded prophecy of Rev. 12:1-5, there are three characters. We have seen that Spiritual (True) Israel is the “woman” and that Satan is the “dragon.”

 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.  And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. (Rev. 12:3-4)

Dr. Svigel does not discuss these verses in the context of his theory, but they are very relevant. He does not explain what the “birth” of the Son is in an eschatological sense or why Satan is waiting for that moment to devour the Son after his birth.  Why is the Son more vulnerable after this birth?

Rev. 12:4 makes perfect sense in the nativity narrative of Jesus. Herod attempted to kill Jesus immediately after his birth. This passage makes no sense in terms of the 70th Week. What is the birth that would take place before the 70th Week that makes the church more vulnerable? Why is Satan is waiting?

In order to take the enormous leap to say this passage symbolizes the rapture of the church, one must fill in all the blank spaces. Rev. 12:4 is a huge blank space in Dr. Svigel’s theory.

But the Church is mentioned

Although Dr. Svigel wishes us to believe that the Son is a symbol for the church, but a very real and tangible mention of Christians is found later in this chapter:

So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev. 12:17)

Dr. Svigel argues that these are the mythical Tribulation Saints of the pretribulation rapture theory.  If they are, they will be great heroes of the faith:

And they overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. (Rev. 12:11)

The same testimony n verse 17 is found in verse 11.  It is this testimony that overcomes Satan! In fact testimony is a key ingredient of the end times, it is mentioned 9 times in Revelation and in each version of the Olivet Discourse (Matt., Mark, Luke). If the pretribulation rapture is true, why does God take his saints from the earth and give the job of testimony to these “Tribulation saints” during the greatest need for testimony in history? Is the current church inadequate for the job?

It also doesn’t answer why God would choose a oblique symbol for the church in verse 5 and yet specifically mention Christians in literal terms in verse 17.

The Rest of the Story

If Rev. 12 existed in a vacuum without the rest of the Bible, Dr. Svigel’s theory might be possible, highly, highly unlikely but possible. Fortunately we do not have to guess. Revelation contains several other references to the rapture, a prewrath rapture, that are solid and fairly indisputable. We will examine them in the next several installments in this series.

38 thoughts on “Is Rev. 12:5 a Picture of the Rapture?”

  1. Here is my theory on the revelation 12 sign. I do not think it is the Rapture. Keep in mind that it occurs during Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish people are always looking for a messiah during that time. I believe that this will be the appearance of the false messiah. I was reading about the Jewish wedding and how the bride and groom are separated until the father of the bride has made the arraignments. Once he has everything ready then he sends his son and groomsman to gather the bride. The groomsman blow a shofar to warn the bride the groom is coming…thus the I will come with my angels and the sound of a trumpet. I believe this is why the women flees to the wilderness for 1260 days. This is symbolic of the wedding. Notice in Revelations when John does not see anyone able to open the seals. Jesus is no where around. I believe that the women giving birth is symbolic of when Jesus comes to the thrown to open the seals. All these people are waiting for Jesus to rapture them up in a pre tribulation during that time. I believe this is why the false messiah comes on the scene at that time. To try and fool those people. I just watched your video of the horseman and I could not believe you think like I did about the mark of the beast being the 3Rd or 4th seal. I had been telling people that and no one understood it. It was amazing that you put that out. I actually thought I was crazy cause I thought that and I could not find anyone else that thought along those lines. Excellent video. I’m going to get your book next week. I can’t wait to hear your views. Thanks much.

    1. There are plenty of others who think the sign of September 2017 is about the start of the breaking of seals. I think it is too early, but I could obviously be wrong. We must watch and pray.

  2. I agree. Rev 12 is not about the rapture. What I don’t understand is why nearly everyone believes the following:

    The beast is a human being and comes before Jesus has returned.

    Neither is correct. Revelation clearly puts the beast’s 1260 days AFTER the 7th trumpet. So does Daniel 12:1 and Isaiah 16:1-4. The beast isn’t the AC. Judgment comes on the saints first and then the wicked.

    Further, it is Jesus who gives the beast the deadly wound to one of his seven heads. Habakkuk 3:13. Jesus does this when He returns the Mount of Olives and gathers the remnant. That is why they must flee through the valley created by splitting the Mount of Olives when He returns. Flee, not come. Jesus Himself is the wall of fire around them in the wilderness during the 1260 days of the beast while the wicked are being punished. No one seems to get that. Rearranging the sequence of Revelation will never work.

    (Btw, the beast is called by name in Leviticus 16 and thoroughly explained in Enoch. He is the one to which the “whole crime of corrupting humanity is ascribed.” (chapter 10 I believe) Notice Azazel was buried in the earth and not sent into the abyss with the rest of the fallen angels. He has a future purpose. That is what the Day of Atonement is about. Transferring the sin onto Azazel. That is why Jesus, the high priest, must be the one to strike him, to transfer the sin onto him. Then Jesus heals his wound. Thus the beast rules after Jesus has returned.)

    PS. I believe I made a mistake in calculating the Gregorian date for Tishri 1, 2020 in the email I sent you about the restoration order for Jerusalem and the temple mount. It should be around Sept 18-19, not 15-16. Sorry for the error.

    1. Harvos, glad to see we agree on Rev. 12. On the rest of this complex comment, I will break it up into segments.

      In regard to the Beast, as you must know from being a regular reader, I believe the Beast has a 3 part nature. Primarily he is demonic, he is also a man (Antichrist) after he possesses the man, and an empire which he rules. My thoughts are explained in THIS ARTICLE

      In regard to the 1260 days (time, times and half a time), neither Daniel nor Revelation say this comes after Jesus returns. In all of Daniel’s visions, the angel explains the vision AFTER giving it. So just because he mentions time, times, and half a time after giving the vision doesn’t mean the 3 1/2 years comes after the vision chronologically, it simply is the explanation portion of the Vision. Check out all of Daniel’s visions to see this structure. In Revelation, the 1260 days and time, times and half a time is found in Rev. 12 which is a NON SEQUENTIAL vision section. This portion doesn’t happen after the 7th Trumpet!!! Not by any stretch. It opens with the birth of Jesus after all which is 2030 years earlier than the 7th Trumpet. Chapters 12, 13, and 14 are all separate visions and non sequential to the main storyline. The main story picks up again in Rev. 15:1. In both Rev.11:19 and Rev. 15:5 we see the temple being opened. This is the same event and John’s way of telling us that the main story is picking up again.

      1. I appreciate your thoughts here and I don’t seek to change anyone’s mind. Daniel 12:1 clearly puts the time of severe distress AT the time Michael stands up, which is the same deliverance is given for all in the book of life. Also, the 1335 days come after the 1290 for this very reason. The time of the beast is most certainly after the 7th trumpet. Changing the sequence is a critical error as I see it.

        Further, most people believe Jesus’ coming is either a single event or two events, with rapture followed by a later return. Neither is correct as Jesus Himself said there are THREE watches!

        Luke 12:35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

        Notice only those in the first watch go to the wedding feast. There are two watches that follow the rapture and they will be blessed also. Lamentations, which has nothing to do with ancient history, tells people what to do if they miss a watch.

        Lamentations 2:19 “Arise, cry out in the night,
        At the beginning of the watches;
        Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
        Lift your hands toward Him
        For the life of your young children,
        Who faint from hunger at the head of every street.”

        The three watches are the key that nearly everyone is missing. The 6th seal rapture. The 7th trumpet regathering of the elect into the wilderness. THEN the 7th bowl of wrath at Armageddon. Three watches. Nearly everyone seeks to force all events into just two watches. That is the critical error confusing most of us.

        1. Interesting Harvos. Luke 12:35 and following is definitely discussing those that have been left behind by the rapture, the jewish remnant, because the master leaves the wedding feast and then returns. It also references “I stand at the door and knock” from the Letter of Laodicea which is about those left behind as well. I’m not sure I buy the three watches. Notice Mark 13 lists four watches and it is clear it is an either or scenario, not all four:

          Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’

          Luke 12 contains these same “or” statements so it is not clear that their are three watches where people should be watching for Jesus. Now when exactly that Jesus comes to split the mount of olives is an interesting question. It appears it might be the same day as the rapture from Zech. 14. I am working on an article about this.

    2. Jesus does give the Antichrist his deadly wound and yes it is pictured in Hab. 3. I wrote about that in THIS ARTICLE however, no were in this article does it show Jesus healing him!

      As far as Azazel being the Beast, I don’t know. The Beast rises from the abyss. We are told this in Rev. 11, however, I don’t think this excludes Azazel from being the Beast. He is chained in complete darkness so that could be another way of saying the abyss. There is no way however, that this evil angel is healed by Jesus after his return or rules. It is a 1000 years of peace and righteousness, not sin until Satan is released. Notice the Beast is thrown into the Lake of Fire after Armageddon.

      1. Yes, the beast is thrown ALIVE into the LoF. He cannot be killed. He is immortal, a fallen angel who was, is not, yet comes up from the earth. Angels are not created in the image of God as we are. They are quite different creatures according to Enoch. I know how strange it is to accept the beast as a literal beast. However, satan knows the scriptures and believes them more than we do. He has informed his people of a beast, who is buried near Mecca and will mark the foreheads of believers. I’m not joking. Check out this collection of hadith material:

        http://www.discoveringislam.org/daabba.htm

        Btw, Daabba means “the father.” Creepy.

    1. Rytis, this is a very, very good video. I found only one error in it, and that is the mistaken notion that Matt. 24:31 and Mark 13:26-27 are the physical second coming of Jesus, when in fact they are the Rapture which preceeds the physical second coming (Armageddon) by one year and ten days. The new book “Rapture: Case Closed?” will help answer these questions. But all in all, very good teaching.

  3. My question regarding how to discern which exegesis was rhetorical. I provided the answer from scripture and experience.

    I have access to the same tools for judging Dr. Svegil’s conclusions that you have. I see the merits of his argument, even though, just like you, I am not a Greek scholar. So why do I prefer his exegesis? The answer lies mostly in the points I made (not his), which you continue to avoid answering.

    Namely that Rev 12 is “meta tauta” Rev 4:1. And immediately after the snatching up to God (rapture). The woman flees to the wilderness for 1260 days, which can only be during the Tribulation.

    Now there are the two witnesses by which a thing is established. And they are ‘case closed’ for your pre-wrath doctrine. Unless that is, you are for the third time of asking, going to provide a rebuttal.

    1. Frankly Phil, I think your arguments are much stronger than Dr. Svigel’s. I still disagree with you, but I understand your points and these arguments don’t rely to “stretching scripture’ like his did.

      First in regard to the 1260 days in the wilderness, although some believe this is the Holy family’s escape to Egypt, I disagree. Just like you I think this is Israel’s flight to the secret place after the midpoint of the 70th Week. This in no way however, necessitates that it immediately follows the harpazo of “a son, a male.” Rev. Chapters 12-14 are not in chronological order with the overall vision of Rev. 4-21. Obviously this is true because all of us can agree that Rev. 12:1-2 cannot chronologically come after the Seventh Trumpet given in Rev. 11! So Rev. 12-14 is an interlude of visions that help explain the main vision that has just been described in Rev. 4-11 (the seals and trumpets). Rev. 12’s purpose is to show what is happening to “the woman”, the Jewish remnant. The aspect of the harpazo of in Rev. 12:5 is not prophecy but a historic event that explains why the dragon hates the woman and why he is pursuing her. Rev. 12:1-5 is a historic reference to what is about to happen in Rev. 12:6. For instance notice that the dragon sweeps a 1/3 of the stars to the earth with his tail. Most scholars believe this is the fall of the 1/3 of the angels during Satan’s fall-a historic event.

      In terms of “meta tauta,” this term “after these things” is a much debated term. it is used as a transitional term in Rev. 1:19, 4:1, 7:1, 7:9, 15:5; 18:1; 19:1 It can imply the order John saw the visions or that the events follow one another. Under no circumstance however, should it mean that everything after these points are yet future. For instance clear historic references are given “five have fallen” (Rev. 17:10) and Rev. 12:4 as we just saw. Craig Keener’s commentary (https://www.amazon.com/IVP-Bible-Background-Commentary-Testament/dp/0830814051/ref=cm_rdp_product_img/136-5195399-9127705) will help you see that this phrase did not mean “all the events were future” in historic First century Jewish thought.

      Also the tenses of the verbs indicate past action for Rev. 12:1-5 and then a change of tense in Rev. 12:6. “harpazo” is in the aorist indicative which usually implies past action and in verse six this changes to present indicative (“she has a place”). This shows the historic nature of Rev. 12-1-5 and the coming prophetic nature of Rev. 12:6 and follows.

      And of course, evenything in the attached article still applies. There is no justification to call “a son, a male” a symbol for the church. There are no other biblical witnesses for this. And all the other problems with Rev. 12:4 also need to be resolved to even begin to consider your theory.

      One does not “close” the rapture case on one theory alone Phil. That is why my new book includes 147 separate proofs, all supporting the same conclusion. You will find it interesting.

      This was a good question on your part and not well understood even by many “professional” scholars.

      1. You said: “The aspect of the harpazo in Rev. 12:5 is not prophecy but a historic event that explains why the dragon hates the woman and why he is pursuing her.”

        I say Rev 4:1 rules that out. And any other historical excursions you quoted in support.

        I now quote you from your article: Who Is The Woman Of Rev 12:

        “This passage also clearly shows that the woman is not Mary. Notice her child is caught up (Gk: HARPAZO, meaning “caught up or raptured”) into heaven AND THEN THE WOMAN FLEES INTO THE WILDERNESS. This cannot be Mary. Mary fled into Egypt long before Jesus was caught up into heaven.”

        When it suits your argument you are quite happy to keep to the natural linear flow of the narrative!

        If it can’t be Mary because she fled to Egypt long before Jesus was ‘as you say’ caught up to heaven. And as I say: because Jesus went with her to Egypt. That only leaves it possible for the woman to be Israel.

        “She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”

        The obvious meaning of that passage is birth followed by rapture followed by the woman fleeing. There is no justification for reading an historical backflip of 2000 years into it.

        I say: When the obvious meaning of the language used makes sense, seek no other meaning!

        You are using linguistic contortions to support an account of events that isn’t there in the narrative. If it didn’t mean what is said in plain English, the scholars would not have rendered it so.

        I bet there was at least one Sadducee who could have presented Jesus 148 reasons why not. But Jesus shot them all down with just two words that contained the correct historical context. Just like those of Rev 12.

        1. Phil, please notice that in every instance I write that the woman is “spiritual Israel” not Mary. In that we agree. I don’t know why you are arguing about something we agree on.

          However, this doesn’t mean that the harpazo and the flight of the woman have to be in the same millennia. Did you not read what I wrote about verb tense changes? Did you not comprehend what was said about the passage being about “the woman” not primarily the harpazo? As far as scholars, they render translations based on their opinion of what it means-and that meaning favors a “Mary” meaning which we BOTH know is wrong. We both have seen this dozens of times. The NASB puts an asterisk on “had*” and indicates at the bottom of the page it is “has.” The NKJV does the best on this verse:

          She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. (Rev. 12:5-6)

          So you need an explanation for these tense differences. If both events are future, why aren’t the tenses the same? This is a textual reason for the 2000 year gap. You also need to explain the 1/3 of the stars, what the birth is eschatologically, why Spiritual Israel is the mother, why the dragon is waiting for this birth to slay the child, and most importantly of all how the reference to a single MALE is supported in scripture to be the church who is usually represented to be the bride.

          These are overwhelming problems with your theory, not to mention the 147 other proofs in scripture that the rapture is not pretrib. Scripture is consistent.

  4. Your reply is nothing more than an attempt to avoid the points I made. Dr. Svegil is a brother in Christ, so therefore has the same Holy Spirit as you and I. Who are you to claim you have the mind of Christ on this subject, and he doesn’t?

    So how do I judge whether his exegesis or yours is the most reliable? That’s simple. I look for the one who has studied and is approved by God, and therefore worthy of my trust (2Timothy2:15). And I look for the one who doesn’t have a track record of avoiding facts when they conflict with his pre-conceived ideas (as mentioned above).

    And of course, I look for the one who provides answers for any scriptural discrepancies I see in their exegesis. So lets see yours.

    1. Actually Phil, I wasn’t referring to the Mind of Christ in Dr. Svigel (I am sure he has it), I was suggesting that in Bible study, the student (you and I and others) all have this mind and shouldn’t rely on teachers alone but the Holy Word itself which is self explanatory as it is in this case. You asked how to have discernment on which exegesis is correct. The answer is simple: compare them.

      The following are the results of my examination of Svigel’s theory. His theory shows:

      1) Misapplication of reference to the birth in Rev. 12:5; it’s not Isa. 66:7 due to that being before the travail.
      2) Misidentification of “arsen” as an adjective when it is a noun.
      3) Misunderstanding of how “harpazo” can be the ascension by not recognizing Hosea 5:14-15 as the reference.
      4) Misapplication of “a son, a male” as a plural reference to Isa. 66:6-9 rather than singular references to Luke 2 and Gen. 1:27 and Psalm 2
      5) Misapplication of the “dragon” as a corporate being.
      6) Lack of clarity how Rev. 12:4 fits in his “dual” fulfillment model. Why is the dragon waiting for the birth, why is the child more vulnerable at that moment?
      7) Lack of clarity how the “Body” of Christ can be rescued in a harpazo without the Head who is Christ.

      We have presented 7 serious flaws in Dr. Svigel’s analysis where he has avoided “facts when they conflict with his pre-conceived ideas” (your words). To date, no one has presented a single scriptural discrepancy with my analysis at all. You mentioned Isa. 66, which we will discuss in a future article, but as we’ve shown Isa. 66 is not related to Rev. 12 in any way. One is before travial and one is during travial. Scripture has made it clear these are not the same events. An event cannot take place before something else happens and also during that something else and be the same event. Trying to say they are the same or are parallel is a logical fallacy. If you have other questions ask them.

      Your relying on credentials not truth is the same error the Jews made in the First Century.

  5. Alan Kurschner has done several posts on ‘The Great Sign of Revelation 12’ Theory recently and points out many errors in the arguments used & the greek analysis By Dr Michael Svigel & Scott Clarke
    http://www.alankurschner.com/

    It is interesting watching ‘pre-trib’ believers breaking ‘imminence’ by proposing signs before the rapture

    1. Yes, Alan and I were both sent Svigel’s article by one of readers so its not surprising we released our studies within hours of each other. Alan told me he is planning a more comprehensive scholarly response to Svigel in coming weeks.

    2. I have never taken the doctrine of imminence to be a proven fact. Only that nobody can know the day or hour. Which I am sure you will understand in connection to the sign discussed.

  6. One thing to consider is that the two labors are different from one another. In Isaiah 66, the birth happens before the labor, while in Rev 12 the birth happens after the labor. This seems to suggest the births discussed in Isaiah 66 and Rev 12 are not the same births. The Isaiah birth is suggested to be a Land or Nation, the birth in Rev 12 is that of Zedek the planet, representing the Messiah or Righteousness.

      1. Your views are influenced by your closed minded devotion to a pre-wrath rapture. Svigel’s analysis of this labour issue demostrates his conclusions to be based on well balanced consideration of all the arguments.

        “In conclusion, the allusion to Isaiah 66:7 indicated by the neuter adjective ἄρσεν in Revelation 12:5 is best explained if the male child represents a corporate entity, the Church, rather than an individual only, Jesus Christ.”(Svigel)

        Having read his article, and considered the arguments for and against, I agree with that statement. It settles a conflict I struggled with years ago regarding the positioning of Rev 12:5. Q. How could it depict the birth of Christ as a future event? A. It doesn’t.

        1. Phil, I think everyone reading this knows who it is that has close-minded devotion. At one time I believed in a pre-trib. rapture, but as the evidence mounted, I realized it was a false hope.

          Now in terms of arsen (male) in Rev. 12:5, it functions as a noun not an adjective as Svigel states. Both huion (son) and arsen are nouns and both are singular. Check any Greek reference for this verse such as http://biblehub.com/interlinear/revelation/12-5.htm. “Male” happens to be a neuter noun and that’s why it’s neuter not the absolute foolishness written in Svigel’s article. The word “child” that Svigel alludes to (in your quote) as the noun that arsen is supposed to define doesn’t exist in the Greek; it was added by translators. “Male” is a reference to both Gen. 1:27 (law of primacy) regarding the birth of Adam (Jesus being the second Adam) and to Luke 2:23 which is part of the birth narrative of Jesus. In both cases they are NOUNS.

          An open minded person would read this (and my article) and compare them to Svigel’s work and decide not to trust Dr. Svigel’s opinions further on this issue. He has been proven wrong on nearly every point in the article. A close minded person would grasp at any straw to continue in their beliefs.

          1. Am I to accept your argument as an amateur, or that of a professional scholar? Well I have to take into consideration the fact that you have continued to hold onto views I have proved to be wrong on at least two occasions in the past. (Sir Robert Anderson’s calculations and the Dan 2 vision).
            So that has to influence my choice on this topic, which I have already admitted to being “not so sure” about.

            In addition to Dr. Svigel’s deliberations I also see the fact that Rev 12 can’t be describing the birth of Christ because Rev 4:1 declares it to be a future event.

            ” After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must TAKE PLACE AFTER THIS.”

            And when I go on to read the rest of Rev 12, I see that immediately after the snatching up to God (rapture). The woman flees to the wilderness for 1260 days, which can only be during the Tribulation. So that is a another proof this can’t be depicting the birth of Christ. And your pre-wrath ideas simply don’t fit anywhere in the narrative.

          2. I would except better of you Phil. You know that “let God be found true, though every man be found a liar.” Our only teacher should be Jesus for we all have the mind of Christ. And his Word stands supreme. As you have seen, Dr. Svigel’s analysis tramples on good exegesis to make a point. To trust credentials of man over the Word is dangerous ground. This is the same mistake the Sanhedrin made with the Apostles in Acts 4:13; trying to judge a man by his credentials and not the truth he speaks.

            “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”

  7. In context, the birth of Isaiah 66:7 is described in verse 8 as a “land” and a “nation”. Usually, nations are birthed after travail, ie war or revolution. The birth of Israel in 1948 was the opposite of this…..the birth happened in one day, May 14th, followed by the travail or labor of the War of Independence.

    1. Yes Sam. That’s exactly what I would have said. But since reading about the connection between Rev 12 and what’s happening next September, I am not so sure.

    1. Thanks Preston. This article is taken in part from my new book Rapture: Case Closed? which is associated with the Mystery Project. You will have the chance to support the project and get a free copy of the Exclusive Leadership Edition of the book within the next few weeks.

      1. Awesome stuff Nelson. But I don’t know how I’m going to get the hard copy when it is released. I haven’t quite got your other books yet “Revelation Deciphered” and “Are We Ready For Jesus” still trying to find a book store here in Melbourne Aust. But persistence prevails I suppose. I actually asked my pastor about getting our church ready for the end times ever since I started reading your work about this time last year and response was “I here what you are saying but I won’t start yet until the Holy Spirit tells me to”. Well I couldn’t argue with that because I know for fact he has a very close relationship with the Holy Spirit and I have felt it… Darn near bowled me over on a few occasions because of it. God Bless Brother.

  8. “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy. (Isa. 66:7)”

    Who is the she spoken of? I think it obvious this is Israel. What does the “travail” and pain depict? Obviously the Tribulation.

    So the passage describes the birth of the body of Christ before the Tribulation. In other words: the pre-tribulation rapture!

    1. The point of mentioning the reference to Isa. 66:7 in the article is to demonstrate clearly that Rev. 12:5 is not referencing Isa. 66 and not referencing any passages that have a “corporate” meaning to son or male as Dr. Svigel postulates. Isa. 66 does refer to a corporate birth, however. In order for us to do justice to this topic we’ll need an entirely separate article, which I will provide.

      I think that this article has shown that the pre-trib rapture is not depicted in Rev. 12 and not associated with the Great Sign of Rev. 12:1-2. That was the point-given the hysteria that many from that camp are associating with it.

      1. Okay Nelson. But please be sure to give us a good explanation of what giving birth before travail and pain can symbolise, other than a pre-tribulation rapture.

  9. Excellent analysis Nelson…..it does not make sense to me for the Body to be raptured separately from the Head, who in any case we know is not raptured at the parousia of the second coming. The idea that the male son of Rev 12 is the Church apart from Christ places an immodest focus on believers, when the focus of the prophecy should be on Christ and Christ alone

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