Q. We have a friend who is very knowledgeable in the Word, and we meet for study every week. We have only one main disagreement, and although we have discussed it at length many times, he keeps going back to it. He is not convinced that there is a rapture, and believes instead that the Church will be protected somewhere on earth by the Lord during the Tribulation period. He is also convinced that the woman in Revelation 12 is the Church, but this is the only scripture he can really use to support his view. We have pointed out that this woman is Israel, and having given birth to a child, can’t be a virgin bride. Would you agree?
A. In 1 Thes. 1:10 Paul wrote that Jesus would rescue us from the coming wrath. The Greek word for “rescue” in the verse means to deliver, or draw to oneself. The word for “from” denotes a separation of time and distance. So the Lord will draw us to Himself to distance us from the time and place of the wrath to come. In 1 Thes. 5:9 he said the Church was not appointed to suffer wrath. In Rev. 3:10 the Lord promised to keep us from the “hour of trial” that’s coming upon the whole world. A different Greek word for “from” is used there. It means out of the place, time, or cause of the event being referenced. So here His promise is to keep us out of the time and place of His wrath, since we’re not the cause of it. Put it all together and it’s clear that we won’t be here for any of it.
And you’re right about the woman in Rev. 12. Being pregnant, she can’t be the virgin bride. Additionally, the child she’s about to give birth to is the Messiah. The Church did not give birth to the Messiah. The woman is Israel.