No matter how intensively I try to look in other directions these days for issues and events of possible prophetic portent, inner prompting brings me back to Matthew 24: 32-42.
Jesus’ words resound more powerfully in spiritually attuned ears than any other to be found in God’s Holy Scripture. Thus, things to be considered in the Lord’s Olivet declaration must have more relevance for these days in which we live than many seminaries will acknowledge.
Most of these bastions of higher learning put forth that the prophecies in Matthew 24 were given almost exclusively for the Jews of Christ’s physical time on earth. I completely dismiss that notion. I believe issues and events that unfold minute by minute around this generation continue to bring to light stage-setting for fulfillment given by the Lord in this profoundly important section of His prophetic teaching.
In my estimation–as those who read these commentaries know–we have come to the specific point on God’s prophetic timeline that Jesus foretold. We are, I believe, in the time He described: “As it was in the days of Noah…and of Lot.”
My own contemplation of things going on today and prophetic Scripture likely relevant to the very end of the Church Age (Age of Grace) has me carefully reconsidering Jesus words in that Olivet Discourse prophecy–His words about the “days of Noah” in particular. Let us look at them together yet again. We will look at the entire prophecy as Jesus gave it to us, recorded in Matthew 24:
24:32Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 24:33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near,even at the doors. 24:34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 24:35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Seminary thinking on this, for the most part, has it that Jesus was speaking exclusively of the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in referring to “this generation.” They dismiss that He was prophesying about the generation of people of the earth in general. The seminaries have it that the Lord was saying the Jewish race would not pass away. “Israel will not be eliminated by any foe” is one of the most common seminary takes on this prophecy.
I believe Jesus was prophesying that when Israel begins to become a nation that observably affects the rest of the world at the end of the age, the consummation of human history will be profoundly underway. The Tribulation, Armageddon, and His Second Advent (Revelation 19:11) would then rapidly be fulfilled.
The Lord then stamped His omnipotent signature on the guarantee of its coming to pass:
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
What follows these words by the Lord of all creation sends chill bumps–I should say “thrill bumps”—through yours truly.
Jesus next gives us a precise look at what precedes this total consummation of human history that includes Antichrist, the worst time in history (the Tribulation), His Second Advent at Armageddon, and the entire Millennial era! He next says the following:
24:36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
The Lord is, I believe, here referring back to His Words:
24:33″So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
He then goes in-depth in explaining what is meant by His Words “it is near, even at the doors. 24:37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Jesus is talking about His coming back to planet earth. He has already said it will be at a time that only the Father knows. This precludes His Second Advent, which will be a time that can be precisely calculated, according to Scripture.
Again, Jesus indicated that no one can know the precise time of His coming. But He then tells us exactly what the time of this arrival will look like from a cultural/societal and particularly an economic standpoint–this right up until judgment falls:
24:38For 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, 24:39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
To look more deeply into the circumstances prevalent at this prophesied time, we go to the Words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Luke:
17:26And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 17:27They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 17:28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 17:29But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 17:30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Next we go back again to Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew chapter 24 to see exactly what will happen when He again “reveals” Himself in a catastrophic manner:
24:40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 24:41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
And we look again at the Gospel of Luke to get further enlightenment from the Lord:
17:34I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 17:35Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 17:36Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Those who dispute that this is referring to the Rapture say that those taken here are taken for judgment and wrath, not to a place of safety. But Greek words here indicate the opposite. Those taken are taken to safety and those left behind are left for judgment. I haven’t the space here to do a Greek word study to prove my contention. I will simply give the word used here by Jesus in defining the matter of those taken.
Paralambanó, if I have spelled it correctly, is the same word Jesus uses in John 14:2-3–“I will come and receive you.”
“Receive” and “taken” use the same word–paralambanó: “I will receive you unto myself, for where I am, there ye may be also.”
This is the Rapture!
We are in a “think-not” time, that is for certain. The Body of Christ–the Church–for the most part, has its collective attention turned away from God’ will. Worldly pursuits are the order of the day, both within the church edifices and within the lives of too many believers. All other issues and events scream through our hourly news feeds that stage setting for fulfillment of Bible prophecy is in every direction one looks.
Israel is front and center–the fig tree that has been putting forth it leaves since May 14, 1948.
Financial experts say, and the facts show, that America is entering a time of economic boom, not bust. (Even though the fiscal laws of gravity are being defied by all rational ways of analyzing the matters involved.) The world follows the almighty dollar, so, many believe, a world economic boom may soon follow. Jesus predicted just such a time in His “days of Noah and of Lot” prophecy.
The Lord made the analogy of His next intervention into man’s history as being like the break-in of a thief in the night. He wrapped up this account of this first phase of His Second Coming with this sobering exhortation for Christians who will be living when the Rapture occurs:
Matthew 24:42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 24:43But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 24:44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
According to the Bible, and as you pointed out in your excellent “Essays” book, Terry, we can expect not only “business as usual,” but business “better than usual.” In addition to the days preceding Jesus’ call for believers being like those of Noah, he also characterized them as being like the days of Lot. From that, I believe he was pointing to the acceptance of homosexual perversion as “normal” even to the point of being very likely being sanctioned by the government of Sodom and now this being paralleled by modern ones today.
Gay marriage has already been accepted in the U.S and this list is now at 26 countries according to Pew Research (Dec. 8, 2017) – plus being allowed in parts of Mexico. Another interesting aspect of this is that it has all happened since the turn of the century.
In view of this and the convergence of so many signs presented in the Bible which would be present near the end of this age, can Jesus’ “upward call” be far off?
I think NOT!
Reblogged this on BibleProphecyWatch.
I’m with you! Looking forward to the blessed hope and coming of our grear God and Savior Jesus Christ!
There are many scriptures referring to the Body of Christ being gathered together. In Paul’s epistles…
The thing with using Luke 17:34-36 as a rapture passage is vs. 37.
“And they answered and said unto him, Where Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.”
Same with Matt.24:27-28…
This I think is a reference to…Rev.19:17-21.
17¶And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great.
19¶And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
NOTE: What is on Israel’s flag today ?…A STAR…
Amos 5:26 KJV — But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
We are all waiting for our Lord… and it’s comforting to think on heavenly things, and our gathering together…
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 ¶For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Thank you for thinking on the rapture;)
Hi. I do not know Greek. I originally thought that when Jesus taught in Luke and Mathew that one would be taken and the other left that this is the rapture. But in Luke the disciples ask: Where Lord,? to which Jesus indicated to judgment. In Mathew the words of judgment are left out. I wish I knew which interpretation is correct. This confusion muddles up my understanding of Bible Prophecy.
I find what I believe might be the answer to your question in the following excerpt taken from a session at the Pre-Trib Study Group in Dallas in 1998.
Dave Hunt was defending the proposition that Matthew 24 days of Noah and days of Lot is a prophecy of the Rapture found in the Olivet Discourse.
Here is the excerpt:
In the 24th chapter [of Matthew,] we read that they were all taken away in the flood [in judgment]. Well that’s there, and I’m not a Greek scholar, but that’s kai erenhapantas, a completely different expression than when Jesus says, one will be taken, and one will be left behind. The taken there is from paralambanó, the same word Jesus uses in John 14:2-3, I will come and receive you. Receive and taken use the same word paralambanó, I will receive you unto myself, for where I am, there ye may be also and that’s the rapture…
[…] Dissecting Christ’s Declaration on Noah’s Day […]
I too have read how some of that is to be interpreted as the sheep and goats judgement, tho I believe, and also from the Greek word study, that it’s the harpazo.
This got me to thinking then about the sheep and goat separations, and how exactly that will all go down. Jesus says no unbelievers will enter into the Kingdom, which is when He has come back and put an end to the Armageddon war. Yet there will be unbelievers all over the world, not just those that die there in the ME. Will it be like a reverse harpazo where they all suddenly disappear to go hell, leaving the remnant of the trib saints to populate the Kingdom? I’ve not seen a study on that yet, just wanted to throw this out there and get your opinion. Because the Bible is like a multi faceted diamond, and there are double meanings in a lot of prophesy, I wonder, could both schools of thought be true? Two different raptures at different times?
All the Bible reveals in this matter is that the people within the “goat” nations will be sent into “everlasting punishment,” and those within the “sheep” nations will be invited into “life eternal” .
We are not told here how the lost who are living when Christ holds this Judgment will be sent into “everlasting punishment”.
Probably, they will be either killed –executed—and their souls sent into the Abyss –the place where all the lost are held until the Great White Throne. Or else they will simply vanish from a Word from the Lord and be transported into that realm to await their being called to stand before the Great White Throne.
I never noticed until now that some Bible versions (Amplified and whatever version Terry is using) in Luke 17 verse 34 it says “two MEN will be in one bed”….My New American Standard just says “there will be two in one bed”….
Why the difference? And if “two MEN in one bed” is correct, could this indicate homosexual men?