Home » Prophecy Line » God, Man, and the Coming Judgment: Part II

God, Man, and the Coming Judgment: Part II

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Revelation 21:1–5)

The Lord Himself expounded upon what that day would be like. I believe He spoke directly to what the very start of that day would be like for both God’s children (all born-again into God’s family through belief in Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross) and for unbelievers who are alive at the time of His sudden break-in upon the world:

In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.

Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

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. (Luke 17:31–37)

 Again, this corresponds to the words of Jesus:

And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke 21:39–40)

Significant Differing View

Some—likely, most—of the great seminary scholars in premillennial, pre-Trib teachers of eschatology hold that the Scriptures in these passages predict the Tribulation, just before Christ returns in the Second Advent. They for the most part believe these refer to the people who are to suffer God’s wrath and judgment.

I fall into the Dave Hunt camp regarding these matters. I am more and more convinced that these prophecies, given in more or less parabolic language by the Lord, are not about the last of the Tribulation era, but about the time when the Lord calls the Church to be with Him—the Rapture.

Actually, I believe the Lord is talking about both the middle of the Tribulation in the first part of His prophecy and the time of Rapture in the second part.

First, Jesus says:

In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 

Remember Lot’s wife.

Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

Jesus was talking about, I’m convinced, the same directive to the Jews as He gives in the Olivet Discourse:

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: 

Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:15–21)

As Different as Day and Night

The second part of Jesus’ prophecy is not about the “day” (time) when the Jews are in the middle of the “day of the Lord” (the middle of the seven-year Tribulation when Antichrist is in the Temple declaring himself to be God). Jesus talks next about “in that night.” I believe He’s referring to the end of the Church Age. He abruptly stops foretelling the conditions in the middle of the “day of the Lord” and reverts to talking about “that night,” the night into which He likens the unguarded moment when the thief breaks in. And, note that this time of taking is in all different time zones, referring to both time of sleep and of the working day:

I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Jesus Not PC

One of the problems many seminarians will argue is that Jesus can’t be talking about the Rapture because of the distasteful, even grisly, analogy He draws in describing this one-taken, one-left account:

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.

Jesus would never make such a reference in describing His Bride, the Church, as “eagles” (“vultures” in Biblical vernacular), or to Himself as a dead body (after all, He is the Resurrected Lord!).

That argument is very weak. We see where the Lord gives the analogy of breaking in on an unsuspecting world, likening himself to a thief. That’s not a very attractive description of the Living God. He is the Creator of all things, and by Him all things are held together. Jesus Christ, however, who is God, doesn’t have to worry about the wokeness, the political correctness, or the false niceties of this phony world system. He makes His points in the strongest terms at times because He doesn’t want the fallen minds of men to miss His point.

This is the description of the Rapture, I believe, as my late friend Dave Hunt once wrote. And, why should we not trust that the Lord of Heaven would forewarn in the strongest terms about the stupefying event that will mean absolute joy and ecstasy to believers alive at the time of its occurrence, and abject terror to those who don’t know Christ for salvation?

He would not and did not leave such an astoundingly vital prophecy to the Apostle Paul without adding His own words of foretelling. As a matter of fact, as I’ve often expressed, I believe Jesus’ words recorded in the Gospel account by John were about the “mystery,” which Paul later prophesied (1 Corinthians, chapter 15).

John’s earlier recording of Jesus’ prophecy was a mystery not understood by those listening at the time.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions:

if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1–3)

This declaration by the Lord Jesus Christ has a significant and direct connection to His Olivet Discourse words:

I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

The Greek word paralambano is all important here.

Many seminaries teach that those removed or taken away in the “days of Noah” prophecy are those being taken for punishment. Therefore, they say, this isn’t a Rapture passage, but a reference to the Tribulation.

During Dave Hunt’s lecture at the Pre-Trib Conference in Dallas in 1998, the following statement of biblical fact was presented (taken from a transcript of that lecture):

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 word for “taken” away to punishment would be] 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.

As also expressed many times before, I believe prophecies about the days of Noah and the days of Lot, as well as Jesus’ words about the thief in the night breaking in on an unsuspecting world, cannot be the end of the Tribulation when Christ returns. Perhaps as many as three-fourths of the world’s population will have died by the time the horrendous wrath of God has fallen in judgment upon the wicked. It will NOT be business as usual. People will not be building, marrying, buying, or selling in anywhere near the normal fashion Jesus described in the Luke 17 accounts. It will be hell on earth at that time.

Frightening/Exciting Time to Be Alive

This is a generation that can, if one’s head isn’t buried in the sand, sense the groping fingers of ungodly forces reaching, grasping, to strangle anything that puts forward the name of Jesus Christ and His righteousness. In sheer political terms, there is wicked law such as the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) that will, it is almost certain, stifle biblical teaching against the abominable practice of homosexuality. Legislation to increase legalization parameters for killing babies in their mothers’ wombs continues to expand in Congress and can’t be overridden by presidential veto, or even filibustered against in the legislative process. There now is a president who is favorably inclined to support both of these egregious anti-God actions.

Time and time again, we have pointed to the signals that illustrate dramatically the almost certainty that the present generation is experiencing the birth-pang convulsions Jesus described in the Olivet Discourse.

The geopolitical upheavals moving the world toward globalization at a dazzling rate, with the likely prospect of sudden economic meltdown, are drawing even avowed foes into new arrangements to try to avert international financial collapse. All of this should alert us that the shout “Come up here!” can’t be far from happening.

At the same time, the terrifying prospect for those who will be left behind is mind-boggling. So we must be about the Father’s business. We must witness to the saving power of Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross.

Again, here is the message to present to those who will be lost in sin for eternity if they do not heed the grace gift of salvation offered:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)


8 Comments

  1. Truth2Freedom says:

    Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.

  2. MP says:

    Great article Terry. I smiled the whole time reading it. I too always enjoyed Dave Hunt. Lord BlessMark

  3. Dave Michaelson says:

    I had to re-read Part I from last week to refresh my memory in order to remind myself of how debased even America has become. These legislative initiatives designed to protect these ‘classes’ of individuals who live an abhorrent lifestyle from coming to harm by others-namely us-are an ‘afront’ to the God we serve! They, the political left and even some on the right, think they are doing good by passing this legislation, but they are doing just the opposite in my opinion, meaning they are only encouraging this ‘lifestyle’ to flourish because they, LGBTQ, now have a protected status which often thwarts any believer from criticizing them lest they be called bigots or much worse.
    I quoted this below from Terry’s Part II, and inserted what I saw this morning about a young man’s convicted belief concerning the sanctimony of marriage-very heartfelt I might add.
    Check it out on the Youtube URL I copied below—“there is the wicked law such as the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA)” >> https://youtu.be/v0BAq9YLFVw?t=1 <<

  4. Hentie van der Westhuizen says:

    Hi Terry
    Hope you are well. Long time since I wrote to you. Still standing strong in the Lord, my husband Brian, two sons and myself.
    Hentie from Kleinmond in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.
    I have often wondered about why Jesus used the wording “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left”.
    It has such a bad meaning/translation/understanding/conclusion … with men being gay …. “two men in one bed”? I would think both will be left, seeing that both are in the bed. Why not a husband and wife in one bed? Please help me understand why these words were used. Why does Jesus use such an example.

    Kind regards as always.

    Hentie van der Westhuizen
    vanderwesthuizenfamily@ gmail.com

  5. Vera says:

    Thank you, brother, for explaining this passage well. I grew up with the Word of God from a very young age and never understood it any other way. I got to know the other interpretations only much later and did not understand how one can come to such an interpretation. – Put the Bible verses in front of a child and ask him how he understands them. I am convinced that he will immediately understand them as our Lord and Savior meant them. – Maranatha from Spain ♥

  6. A Clark says:

    Mat 24:28 about the vultures gathering, if taken in context of the preceding verses about false messiahs, would likely refer to the people who gather around the false messiahs. It had nothing to do with the church or the real messiah. Another possibility is a reference to Revelation 19:21. The sequence seems about right.

    I agree with your analysis.

    Another interesting point in the discourse is Mat 24:31. Note that the elect are gathered from the sky. I believe this is the raptured church along with the OT saints and the believers still on the earth being gathered into the army that returns with the Lord as described in revelation 19:11-19.

  7. Kim D. says:

    I completely agree with you and Dave Hunt. The differing viewpoints of the Luke and Matthew verses have frustrated me often. Thank you for your understanding and clear explanation, it makes perfect sense.

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