To quote CM, The Thessalonian Epistles, "The most important eschatological epistles of the New Testament." So while we, the Church, eagerly await the Blessed Hope what of Israel.
I am currently enrolled I610 Strategic Trend Reporting, the first of four Silver level Issachar Courses. I’m working on my first article and my topic Question is “Who does the Woman in Revelation 12 Represent? Israel or the Church or both?” My Working Thesis Statement is, “The woman of Revelation 12 represents Israel being sheltered in Petra during the Great Tribulation and the twelve stars represent the twelve tribes of Israel in keeping with Joseph's dream in Genesis 37.”
The research for this article seems to have taken on a life of its own. There is disagreement as to who this woman represents and many theologians claim that the woman is the church and not Israel. Could this lead to the heresy of Replacement Theology?.
One of the teachers I very much respect claims the woman is the Church and the Rapture is an invention meant to lead believers astray. He cites scripture that to him prove that the woman/ Church will be carried off to the wilderness where she will be protected.
Revelation 12:1, “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” How could she be other than the state of Israel? We read in Revelation 12:6, “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” This would be when the remnant of Israel will flee to Petra at the start of the great tribulation, the last three and a half years of the seven year tribulation.
Other supporting scriptures include Joel 3:14-17, the Day of Jehovah is described as the time of refuge for Israel. Matthew 24:15-17, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house”
From Israeology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology by Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum Th.M., Ph.D:
“The Woman of Revelation 12 is connected with the sun, the moon, and the twelve stars. The Old Testament background is Joseph's dream in Genesis 37:9-1 0 which makes it evident that the sun represents Jacob, the moon Rachel, and the twelve stars the twelve sons of Jacob who fathered the twelve tribes of Israel. The Woman in this chapter represents the nation of Israel, who produced the man child, who is Jesus the Messiah.”
As an aside, could the fact that the woman in Revelation 12 has the moon under her foot be prophetic of the downfall of the Islamic state? The man-child representative of Jesus is caught up to heaven. As the ascension of the man-child occurs at the start of the great tribulation and Jesus is the head of the church and we, the Church, are the body, is this indicative of a mid-tribulation rapture?