Circumstances involving an email arose the other day, revolving around a request that I address a question in Bible prophecy. A dear ministry friend had just received the email asking what I meant by something I wrote in a commentary that my friend posted on her website. The question was about Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24 regarding the days of Noah and days of Lot–Matthew 24:36-44.
This prophecy is one I consider most relevant to this very moment in which we find ourselves. I believe the Lord was talking specifically to the present generation. We have covered the prophecy a number of times in recent weeks. I am convicted in my spirit that we stand upon the very precipice of its fulfillment.
Here is that prophecy:
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” (Matthew 24:37-42)
Jesus followed up the exhortation to be watchful with a second exhortation reinforcing the first: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).
After responding to the emails from my friend and her website follower, I began to think back on one of the great prophecy teachers I’ve been privileged to call friend and Christian brother. It is Dave Hunt to whom I refer, as the title of this commentary suggests. I’m sure that most all who read this article know about this superb speaker, writer, and teacher of God’s Word.
Dave went to his heavenly home a few years ago. His ministry is The Berean Call, which continues today.
The question of whether the Rapture of the Church is in Jesus’ Matthew 24 Olivet Discourse has long been a somewhat contentious matter among students of Bible prophecy. Most often, the seminary line has it that there is no reference whatsoever to the Rapture in that account, although some within that high realm of Bible academia believe the Rapture is within the prophecy Jesus gave.
I, of course, don’t belong to that high realm, but do believe with all that is within my spirit that Jesus was foretelling not only the Rapture, but a pre-Trib Rapture, meaning that the Rapture will happen prior to the Tribulation era, that great time of worldwide judgment and wrath prophesied by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse, Paul in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, the prophet Daniel in 9:26-27, and John in the Book of Revelation.
The preachers and teachers of this present day continue to neglect Bible prophecy, and almost never express any thoughts whatsoever on the Rapture of the Church. These spend even less time presenting their parishioners with any teaching on the pre-Trib view of the Rapture.
It is with this lament weighing heavily that–upon dealing with the above-mentioned email–Dave Hunt came to mind.
Dave conducted a session at the Pre-Trib Study Group in Dallas on the Matthew 24 prophecy in 1998. I sat in on that early-morning session and was validated in my spirit by Dave’s facing the study group head-on with his lecture.
Many there that morning were of the higher academic sort–good brothers, sisters in Christ all. But, many–probably most–believed the Olivet Discourse held no mention of the Rapture. That prophetic utterance by the Lord, most held, was and is for Israel only.
I looked into my computer and found my files on that session. I have both a transcript of the session and the audio file. I’ve had fun going over both since entertaining the email interaction mentioned above.
Dave Hunt gave a masterful rendering of Matthew 24 that morning in 1998. He began with his terrific sense of humor in full force, although most of us were still trying to come to our senses as we sipped on black, caffeine-soaked coffee.
Well, if the truth were to be known, which is not easy, Tommy [Dr. Thomas Ice, Pre-Trib study group director] scheduled me at this early hour, hoping nobody would show up to here my heresies, and I was hoping the Greek scholars wouldn’t be here, to bombard me with errorist indicatives and that kind of stuff. Furthermore, I knew Tommy was throwing me to the lions this morning, and my name isn’t Daniel, so I got cold feet and decided to change the topic. He said the topic is “Is the rapture in the Olivet Discourse?” Well, I’d like to talk on the topic “The pre-trib rapture in the Olivet Discourse.” I couldn’t quite handle that question. I couldn’t justify why there ought to be any question at all. Why the pre-trib rapture, or the rapture, or the church, or anything else was in the Olivet Discourse.
Dave defended his–and my- belief that Jesus was indeed speaking of the Rapture and even more so to the pre-Trib Rapture in the days of Noah, days of Lot portion of His Olivet Discourse.
We are at a time in human history that Jesus described perfectly, as only the God of all creation could. Again, I believe that Donald J. Trump was put in the presidency of the United States for just this hour. We are, I believe, entering a time of building, buying, planting, socially intensive activity like marrying and giving in marriage, unprecedented in the annals of mankind. It will be just at such a time–“a time you think not”- that the “Son of man is revealed.”
Jesus Christ’s “revelation” to this rebellious world will come in the form of the Rapture of all born-again believers, both sleeping in death and those alive, when He calls, “Come up here!” (Revelation 4:1).
Terry, I believe that when Jesus grouped the days of Lot and Noah together, He linked the homosexual generation of Lot’s day to the rainbow symbol of Noah’s day. The rainbow flag, first used in 1978, marked that very generation. Truly these are the last days.
God bless you for your work, Terry. We miss Dave Hunt, too!
Terry, may I ask you a question? Do you think that the Rainbow Lot/Noah generation turning 40 in the same year that Israel turned 70 might be a little more than coincidence? I don’t normally play the “numbers” game, but I think it’s worth consideration since both numbers are so prophetically significant. The timeframe seems to fit what others have termed the “terminal” generation. Any thoughts?
You’ve brought up a correlation I’ve not heard. It is an interesting one, if I correctly understand the generation you mention.
I am, like you apparently are, reluctant to get into the numbers game when it comes to Bible prophecy.
I think it better to justread the scriptures and watch the issues and events while they take place within our time.
There might be correlation –the generation you mention to the 70 years anniversary of Israel’s rebirth into modernity. But I, personally, havent sensed in my spirit that correlation regarding numbers of any sort, except for the 70 years of Israel’s rebirth , to perhaps, the U.S. move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to jerusalem, thus giving validation to israel’s declaration that Jerusalem in israel’s capital forever.
Thanks for your thoughts.
This is a scripture that I have heard both ways and up and down and sideways. After several years I have come to the conclusion of common sense and agree as you do that Jesus IS referring to the pre-trib Rapture. It is obviously NOT referring to the Tribulation just prior to the Second coming because that will be a time of chaos, death and destruction.
Terry, I enjoy reading your articles. I study my Bible from a dispensational perspective — so am pre-trib. I think you would agree that God has given us the Scriptures for the purpose of knowing Him deeply; so we can have communion (fellowship) with Him while we learn to respond to Him with faith and obedience. I study my Bible prayerfully and carefully as a whole book — every piece has a context with every other piece; unfolding truth in a logical progressive way so that we can come to know Him deeply (as much as finite creatures can know an infinite God). I cannot agree with your assessment of Matthew 24 in light of the Jewish context and subject matter of the whole book of Matthew, and especially the particular context of this chapter. But this is not something I spend a lot of time on these days.
Here is my point, in light of the scholarly interpretations on both sides of the issue: if the pre-trib rapture is clearly found in other parts of the Scripture (and of course it is) then why waste time and risk ill feelings among brothers and sisters with whom we disagree just to parse Matthew 24? We have enough trouble being consistent in walking in the Spirit, setting aside our flesh and giving God what He desires — which is sweet communion with Him. I study the prophecy of the whole Bible, not just the rapture and end times events — and what I see there is the unfathomable grace of God as He preserves His people instead of wiping them off the face of the earth because of their constant rebellion against, and rejection of, Him. And I am not speaking of the Jews only but of christendom (and also of myself who relishes my union with Christ, yet fails so much in my walk with Him). We need to get over our differences and get on with our mission on this crumbling, disgusting planet. We have only a short time left and there are many who do not know Him — worse than that there are many who call themselves Christians who have no idea who God is and what He desires or requires. We have work to do that can only be done if we are in close communion with Him every minute! Who is encouraging or teaching Christians how to accomplish THAT?!? The Lord has told us about the rapture of the Church so we will have a glorious hope for our future with the Him. We need that hope as we make this wilderness journey and deal with the evils of our day. Satan doesn’t care what our interpretation of Matthew 24 is, but he loves to keep us sidetracked away from close fellowship with the Father. We will do well to keep our hearts and minds fixed on the One who offers the glorious hope and leave the details to Him!
Thanks for your thoughts. I’m thankful that you study the Word and care deeply about the Body of Christ being kept together, not divided.
I agree with that view completely.
However, I believe my Commission is to be a Watchman and sense in my spirit very strongly that the days of Noah, days of Lot prophecy is most relevant to this very hour. I must listen to what I believe to be the Holy Spirit Prompting that this prophecy by the Lord is about the Rapture of the church, regardless of how many within seminary-academia interpret Matthew 24 as pertaining only to Israel.
We will have to agree to disagree and be satisfied to be shown by the unfolding of time as to Truth.
I’m content to be patient in that regard.
None-the-less, I respect your opinion and position.
Let’s both keep praying, studying and watching.
Reblogged this on BibleProphecyWatch.
You mention, “We are, I believe, entering a time of building, buying, planting, socially intensive activity like marrying and giving in marriage, unprecedented in the annals of mankind..” I agree, but I wonder your perspective on marrying and giving in marriage? Could Jesus be speaking of the LGBT crowds and their fury to see that “One man and one woman” is completely outdated and that they receive equal acceptance? The heterosexual crowds, at least in the West, are choosing by large percentages to just commit fornication and live together outside of marriage. So “giving in marriage” ἐκγαμίζω is not as common as it once was. No doubt that it still occurs but as Barna states: “When it comes to living together, the majority of adults (65%) either strongly or somewhat agree it’s a good idea to live with one’s significant other before marriage, compared to one-third (35%) who either strongly or somewhat disagree. Though it may seem that couples would live together primarily for convenience or cost-saving, almost all adults see it as a rite of passage in the path toward marriage.”1 But we all know that many of those never get married.
I guess I am just wondering if there were something else in the “giving in marriage” category Jesus may have been referring to.
1 – https://www.barna.com/research/trends-redefining-romance-today/
Yours is a very good question. To be honest, I don’t know what the Lord was referring to exactly in the term “giving in marriage”.
I’ve wondered about it over the years and read what others thought on the phrase, but haven’t gotten a totally satisfactory answer.
I think part of it is wrapped up in what you are saying with regard to the current “norms” in the matter of marriage versus living together. Plus, your mention of the LGBT perversion that is now further corrupting God’s order of things, thus confusing the issue, has some validity.
Maybe we are just now, at this late hour of the age, beginning to understand that phrase “giving in marriage”.
What I would like hear others thoughts on is the words in Matt 24:21 where is states “great tribulation” (megas thlipsis) compared to Matt 24:29 where it only uses the word “tribulation” (thlipsis) without the being pre-pended by the word great (megas).
Why I wonder about this difference is that in John 16:33 we read that in this world we will have “tribulation” (thlipsis) and so the word tribulation itself does not refer to the “Great tribulation”, but to every time that we have troubles because of the word and name of Yeshua as also shown in Matt 13:21.
The Genocide of Christians in the Middle-East, which is primarily the focus of the scriptures to me would be indicative of “the tribulation of those days” as referred to in Matt 24:29, which means that verses 29 to 31 also refer to the Rapture.
I wonder, since the concept of “giving in marriage” was often purely a business arrangement in the Old Testament culture, and is still practiced in that manner in many Middle East and tribal cultures, if maybe this refers to how Islam has carried the practice throughout the world. Particularly of child brides. That could explain why both terms (marrying, which is voluntary, vs. “giving in marriage”) are used. In most modern western and European cultures, the “giving of the bride” is only practiced symbolically, yet Muslims, no matter where they are, still maintain that practice of arranged marriages. Since fewer heterosexuals are marrying, “gay marriage” could account for some of that “marrying”, and among heterosexuals who do marry, many have multiple (serial) marriages. All of those conditions existed in the days of Noah and Lot.. Granted, Islam had not come around yet, but Islam did carry that Middle Eastern tradition from the region of the cradle of civilization out into every nation as they have immigrated, regardless of local law. Just a thought.