A Partial Rapture In Rev. 12?

Q. If there is not a partial rapture can you help me with Rev. 12:5 and those who are caught up here and possibly the timing of this event?

A. In Revelation 12, John is reviewing the relationship between Israel and Satan, beginning with Jacob and his 12 sons and continuing on into the Great Tribulation. Israel is characterized as the woman, which is consistent with a dream Joseph had in Genesis 37:9-10, and Satan is the dragon, which is explained in verse 9.

Since Israel gave birth to the Messiah, it’s clear that the woman’s child is Jesus. The child is also described as being one who will rule the nations with an iron scepter. This is a reference to Psalm 2:9, viewed by scholars as pertaining to the Messiah. Satan waited to devour Jesus, and succeeded in having Him killed, but God raised Him from the dead and snatched Him up to Heaven in the ascension.

There’s a 2000 year gap between verses 5 and 6. Then the story picks up again with Israel being protected in the desert for 1260 days (3 1/2 years) during the Great Tribulation, which begins when Satan is expelled from Heaven and confined to Earth.

He tries to destroy Israel, but God provides the same kind of supernatural protection that He gave Israel in the wilderness wanderings (the wings of an eagle is a reference to Exodus 19:4). Furious and knowing that his time is short, Satan unleashes his full fury on Earth and especially on Tribulation believers.

In summary, Rev. 12:5 describes the Lord being taken up to heaven after His Resurrection, not some group of believers who missed out on the initial rapture of the Church. There is no partial rapture. Everyone goes at once, and then the Church Age is over.

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