Another Respected Scholar Who Recognized The Rapture in Revelation 12!

Ray Stedman
I had been doing some study about sickle's this morning and eventually the Lord led me to this page, a site that shares the teachings of Ray Stedman.  I had never heard of Ray before, but from what I can tell he was very influential and apparently Chuck Swindoll and Luis Palau worked under him for a while as well.  Anyway, I really liked his commentary on Revelation 14 | The Time of the Harvest, but in the back of my mind I remembered the quote by Harry Ironside that said something like "if someone is wrong about the interpretation of the child in Rev12, well then they are probably wrong about a lot of other things in Revelation as well."  Anyway, I took Harry's advice and clicked over to see what Ray had to say about Revelation 12 | The Woman and the Serpent....  As I read I was worried for a bit.... but then I came up on the following paragraphs.  Not too bad for something written back in 1990!  Another solid theologian to add to the list guys!
But there arises a problem here in understanding this because the ascension of Jesus, as recorded at the end of the Gospels and in the opening of Acts, was not in order that he might escape harm from his enemies on earth. The resurrected Lord was far beyond his enemies' reach by that time -- they could do him no harm. So there is no need for Jesus to ascend into heaven in order to escape the wrath of the dragon.

But -- and here is where it gets a bit tricky -- there is an aspect of our Lord which found deliverance from danger by being snatched away into heaven. How many of you have guessed what it is? It is the church, of course. All through the New Testament the church and the Lord are regarded as one. Remember when Saul was converted on the Damascus Road Jesus appeared and said to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Acts 9:4). Paul was actually persecuting the church, but Jesus said, "That is me!" In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes, "The body of Christ is a unit. It is made up of many parts but it is one body -- ," (1 Corinthians 12:12a NIV). And then he added this significant phrase: " -- so also is Christ," (1 Corinthians 12:12b KJV). The church and the Lord are together the body of Christ. So the whole history of the church is involved here, including the rapture. It is interesting that the term used here for the child is that he was snatched up to God. That is the very term that is used for the rapture of the church. It is the Great Snatch! That is what the young people used to call it in the Body Life times of the '60s -- the Great Snatch, the rapture of the church, to occur before the dragon begins his persecuting work.
Here is the link to Ray's full commentary on Revelation 12...


  1. I love Ray Stedman... We could sure use more teachers like him today

  2. Look at the structure of Ray's work: conversational, frank, direct and current to the moment of his writing. This style typifies most of what we've seen from our current crop of Watchers and, in keeping with the Lord using the Foolish of the world to shame the Wise, it seems this style of dividing the Word, shared among the common believer, is a hallmark of authenticity in these times. Just sayin'. Great find, looking forward to the next one! Maranatha!

    1. Thanks guys! It was a fun find! God is good!

    2. Jimboni, I was thinking the same thing about his writing style. I was doing a study on 1John earlier this evening and was typing in my study notes. As I was reading his outline, I was thinking this guy writes like I do in my journal. No fancy words or deep things that make you wonder what he is trying to say, just good old plain conversation type wording. My study notes are just for me to talk to myself, that's the way I felt when I was reading his outline, like he was just talking to himself.

  3. "Remember when Saul was converted on the Damascus Road Jesus appeared and said to him, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' ( Acts 9:4). Paul was actually persecuting the church, but Jesus said, 'That is me!'"

    KA-POW! That is a terrific insight that had never occurred to me, but it strongly meshes with the idea that the child is the body of Christ.

    I am actually a little bit surprised you'd never heard of Ray Stedman...his is a name to remember!

    1. Thanks Greg...yes, that insight struck me too! BTW... You could fill a warehouse with the things I don't know! ; )

  4. I so thoroughly enjoyed that. I will definitely be reading more of his work. I had heard of him long ago, but had forgotten. Wonderful to have an affirmation truth never changes or gets stale. Blessings - Sherry

    1. "A wonderful affirmation..." well put, Sherry! The temptation is to second guess everything just because we are still here... but this helps affirm that yes, we are on the right track. The sign was just that... a sign, and announcement, a great WARNING to some and a great source of HOPE for others!!

    2. The sign is still in motion, not complete until the child is born? Out of Virgo? The 13th of October which is the 23rd of Tishri, pointing to the beginning and end of the sign maybe? September 23 to Tishri 23? Are we being told something?

      I keep thinking it's not over till it's over. This year has been unlike any other.

      Btw, there is a late harvest moon tonight and over a week to go before the 13th, lots can happen in a week.

      Titus 2:13

    3. If I may chime in with a similar study that both Gary at and Bill Write have, although I don’t know their work that well. I like to contribute to the discussion. It Rev 12 Sign in my opinion continues to be very interesting. I said to myself that I was not going to write about the Sign anymore because I think I had exhausted any aspect of it but was prompted last night. It is nothing major as I just wanted to see what is it going to look like as the Great Sign dissipates astronomically but could be a confirming witness perhaps.

      I had mentioned an abbreviated list of conjunctions in a prior posting so I investigated that further. In the study of the remaining timeframe that will last about 3 months, I came across some possible insights. However, no Rapture correlations of my own other than to investigate the most popular one at the moment, that being Friday the 13th one?! :)




    4. Nana,

      *September 23 to Tishri 23* is very interesting!!! One of the watchmen/women I’m following on youtube had a dream back in 2013 and later in 2016 another dream (the same!) where she saw a Calendar with September, October and November written on it and a hand in her dream switched September and October! I mean, these two months switched places, replaced each other. (She isn’t cheating, there’s the youtube video on her channel she has made in 2016 about that dream. Others have pointed it out to her a few days ago because of the possibilities of this October!) That’s one of the reasons why I considered the possibility of the current (fall-) feasts being off by one month because of the *barley harvest connection*. I also thought that it could point to a possible Feast of Tabernacles “fulfillment” this month. *September 23 to Tishri 23* might mean just that, we’ll see. Whatever happens until the end of the current Feast of Tabernacles, I think this whole fall season got great prophetic implications (just like this year). (Maybe Watchmen’s watchman will turn out to be right in his theory and all 3 fall feasts will be fulfilled this year with the rapture happening at some point as a “conclusion” and again the 3 fall feasts will get a “double fulfillment” at the time of Jesus’ Second Coming.)

  5. Could the Hebrew Calendar be off by 1 month? According to their Agricultural laws, in which God divinely sent Rains exactly when they were suppose to, and matured the Barley Harvest exactly when they were suppose to be, in time for their FirstFruits (Aviv).. 2016 was perfect for their Calendar, but this year, its anything but... And Rains coming along the Wrong times (see 1 Sam 12:17 - its a curse to have Rains at the Harvest), and Barley not ripe for at least the Firstfruits, indicate the Harvest at the timing prescribed by Hebrew Calendar, as is, will not be acceptable. We have a Solid Report from one in Israel that indicates the Hebrew Calendar is off by one month. And God's Calendar is set by His Timing, His Rains, His Weather ...

    "They stumbled on that stone of offense the barley represents, which is our Messiah. I know, I know: That’s a strong statement. But by refusing to recognize the barley as the primary sign, really the only sign to qualify the beginning of the year, simply because it didn’t appear in within a twelve-moon window, they stumbled and have left the path of truth. That clause demanding only twelve moons is simply not included in our instructions."

    1 month off according to God's timing of the Rains and Firstfruits harvest - means Feast of Trumpet is Oct 21st of this Year, despite all the Hebrew Calendars being off... Not setting a date, but watching because this year there is an incredible amount of Compelling Evidences this year could be the year..

    Full Report of Barley (Aviv) PDF Article:

    (By the way, the Book of Jubilees 6:36-37 - authoritative in Ethiopian Orthodox and 15 Scrolls found in Dead Sea Scrolls says this:
    "For there will be those who will assuredly make observations of the moon -how (it) disturbs the seasons and comes in from year to year ten days too soon.
    For this reason the years will come upon them when they will disturb (the order), and make an abominable (day) the day of testimony, and an unclean day a feast day, and they will confound all the days, the holy with the unclean, and the unclean day with the holy; for they will go wrong as to the months and sabbaths and feasts and jubilees." )
    --- God already knew Israel nationally would go wrong, and observe Feast Days on the wrong months (going by Mathmatical calculations rather than following Christ - represented by the Barley, and being Ripe by Firstfruits), otherwise why have this written down.. We know that it is this exact month that would affect the timings of the Months. And no one seems to be Waiting on the Real Feast of Trumpets Oct 20-21st.....

    Anyway, my thoughts... Thank you.
    Steve - (FB - stevejlo)

    1. Which is precisely why the Book of Jubilees, written during the Inter-Testament period when God was not speaking to His prophets, was not made part of the Inspired Canon of Scripture by the early church

    2. It is canon in Ethiopian Orthodox, maybe they have actually studied it... And maybe you have not even taken any time to research that statement, and blithely comment..

    3. Ethiopian Orthodox is the Coptic Church, Monophysite Christians. Monotheists deny Jesus is the Holy Ghost or the Father. Copt stems from Arab Quft,, the Coptic word for Gyptios and Greek Agytptios "Land of Gypsies". Chaldeans the first "Gypsies" were the Hyksos "Foreign Shepherd Kings" who coerced Pharaoh to kill the Israelites; they were also called the Priests of On (Osiris) in Egypt. Ethiopia is Cush; the most famous Cushite being Nimrod.

    4. Steve - Stevejlo, I've been thinking that all along because the FoT came before the fall equinox. Well stated. I'm in agreement and looking at the third week in October.

  6. Ray Stedman taught Monastacism and Ascetism as the "Path to God"; Joining together with unbelievers; Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Luis Palau is called the Billy Graham of Latin American Catholicism and was Ray Stedman's protege with Charles Swindoll, now Evangelical head of the Dallas Theological Seminary. I attended Swindoll's 1st EV Free Church and read his New Age books for years before I woke up to truth. Watch out folks!

    1. Kindly point out how any of these deviate from Scripture, book, chapter and verse along with their offending teaching specifically. Otherwise you run the risk of 1) adding undue burden to the brethren; and 2) causing a stumbling block for the less mature.

  7. 2 Cor 6:14; Mat 16:18; Eph 5:11; Rev 2:6;15 Brad can you leave this up for 2 minutes? Thanks, Howard

    1. I have been praying Howard! Thank you for being kind.

  8. No problem Brad. I'm on the same team. Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life; none of us get out of this except through Jesus.

  9. That's awesome!! I love and respect Ray Stedman - so his stance on Rev12 just adds one more solid layer of validity for me :)

  10. It is great that you mentioned sickle. And I associate sickle with the word harvest. And Jesus mentioned that there will be sickle. As we also review and see even the weapons of mass destruction is ominously named SICKLE and SATAN See these links below.

  11. I saw him speak, i think it was at a Campus Crusade for Christ conference 100 years ago, and also read 2-3 of his books including,"What's the World Coming to?"
    I Might need to re-read that one!
    Nice to hear his name again.

  12. Did The Feast of Tabernacles tell us something about the body politic of the world in the last days ?

    The table of nations in Genesis 10 tells us that there were 70 original people groups that would ultimately form todays nations. On the day of atonement ( if the priest is accepted ) a sacrifice was made for Israel that made them acceptable for the next year. This made them a kingdom of priests by which they would intercede for the nations of the world. 70 bullocks were offered for them ( one for each people group ). But there were also 14 rams, 98 lambs, and 7 kids offered as-well. That is a total of 189 sacrifices. If one adds in the meat offerings and drink offerings 7 + 7 would bring us to 205. Roughly half 105 of the offerings were of very young animals ( lambs and kids ). The UN recognizes about 250 separate nations. But this would include places like Vatican City, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Palestine and Kosovo among others which are not defined by a separate people group. Most entities recognize any where from 189 to 205 nations. Many of which have formed in the last two hundred years. Did the feast of tabernacles tell us something about the world body of nations when the feast it self would be fulfilled ? Notice that we first see a castrated steer ( a bullock ). There will never be any more than 70 people groups in this age. A kid and a lamb are essentially new-born. Many of these nations will be relatively new compared to the original 70. Less than 200 years ago most of todays nations simply did not exist. The drink offering of blood and water ( wine was substituted for blood ) was clearly understood to depict the pouring out of the spirit on and atonement for the nations. Just saying it but how ironic that the sign of revelation 12 hit when the number of the nations of the world reflect the offerings of the feast of tabernacles.

  13. Right on Brad. The 70 Bullocks=70 original Nations atoned for by the "Chief Priest" on Feast of Atonement. The Levitical Priesthood became corrupted by worshipping Azazel (Goat that Departs; seen in new bible versions is Satan aka Samael in Hebrew tradition or Baphomet/Goat of Mendes ) instead of the Scapegoat (Jesus Christ is the real Scapegoat) in Num 16-8-10; this was during the period the Alternative Priesthood "Korahites" advanced their false ideas.
    Fast forward to Jesus' birth on Feast of Tabernacles, Circumcision on the 8th Day of Tabernacles and offering of Himself as the "Scapegoat" to all nations (Gentiles)
    Only the Chief Priest may enter the Holy of Holies on Feast of Tabernacles; Heb 7 explains the Levite Priesthood is corrupt; their duties assumes by the Zadokites in the return and 2nd Temple period; hence Melchizedek (Melek=Lord + Zadok=Righteous Priest) the King of Salem (Jerusalem) and Priest of the Most High is the source of the Covenant with Abram becoming Abraham and Sarai becoming Sarah; the h in Hebrew means God is with me; thus Jesus is Melchisedek the only Chief Priest which He explains in Heb 5-9 many times.
    We know Jesus returns with the sound of the Trumpet; a Jubilee Year returns the land and goods to their rightful owner; Shiloh means "He whose it is"; thus in Gen 49:10 Jesus carries the Scepter of Judah , returning on the Jubilee as Shiloh to Jerusalem as KING OF KINGS (Rev 19) Note that nobody may enter the Temple after God's 2 Witnesses are killed making Jerusalem "Desolate", until God's last 7 plagues seen in Rev 16 Vials of Wrath are poured out on the Desolate Rev 15:8. Jesus then returns to the Temple, on the Jubilee and claims what was always His.
    Look at how far the Priesthood (Rabbis) have descended into Sin. Kol Nidre "All Vows" on the eve of Feast of Atonement, Rabbis forgive their Congregations (Foreigners and members) of Sins and Vows they plan to commit for the coming year; not the way God works in the least.
    Feast of Tabernacles "Booths or Succot" commemorated living 7 days in evergreen tents during 40 years wandering in the Arabian Desert (Gal 4 says Agar=Mt Sinai in Arabia). "And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth" 2 Ki 17:30 These are Booths of Daughters where incest and ritual prostitution occur.
    Brad, this is why it is so dangerous to blindly follow "Jewish" customs in the New Covenant; Jesus Christ and His shed blood atone for any and all who choose to accept that gift of Atonement.
    Jesus was born on Feast of Tabernacles because He was and is the Tabernacles of the LORD. Rabbis have turned the 8th Day of Tabernacles (Circumcision) into a sacrifice day, mimicking the cutting away of unused/unclean flesh into Shemini Atzerat, called "Time of our happiness"; the Talmud even declares Shemini Atzerat a Holy Day on its own. Jesus warned No flesh would remain unless He shortened "Those Days" Mat 24:22; the Flesh the Talmudic Rabbis refer to is Jesus and His followers.

    1. Bitterness....really, find a place where your opinion makes sense because your revisionism is not needed.

    2. Dan, I'm anything but bitter; a Baptism of the Holy Ghost will do that for you. If you don't know about Kol Nidre; here it is on the Chabad Lubavitch site
      If you don't know about Succoth-benoth replacing Tabernacles read 2 Ki 17:30 or this book

  14. I think the astronomical alignment is an important sign that the fulfillment of John's vision is not far off. However, I think many are missing the strategic PLACEMENT of the Revelation 12 sign within the scriptures. The chronological events on earth comprising the 7 year tribulation are pegged to and outlined by the sounding of the seven trumpets. This is why, as the tribulation is actually ready to begin, there is an awesome moment of SILENCE prior to the first trumpet sounding, which includes the FIRST reference to chronological time in the Revelation (see Rev 8:1 and how it also corresponds to Zechariah 2:13, which says, "Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.") The trumpets then begin sounding in the chronological order of the events which they portend. The events of Revelation 12 fall under the sounding of the seventh trumpet, which begins sounding immediately after the sixth trumpet events end (including the two witnesses), and continues sounding with no declared ending. I too believe that the Rev 12 sign is a picture of the rapture of that "one new man" which is Christ and his Body, however, it's placement under the last eschatological trumpet surely should be considered significant.


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Colossians 3:2-4

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Philippians 3:20-21

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.