January 25, 2009
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
I believe that in view of the hour you and I live in, it is imperative that we understand the prophetic Word, and that we are prepared to walk through these days just prior to the rapture of the Church victoriously. As we see increasing tensions in the world, and darkness escalating in the earth the Word of God is our road map and the Holy Ghost is our GPS system to enable us to navigate through to that day when Jesus comes to catch us away.
We have been examining prophetic passages that have proven difficult to understand for many believers. I believe there are some wonderful nuggets of revelation contained in these passages. We pick up this week with Matthew 24:40 – 42. This passage is of course in the context of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse. This was a very important teaching of our Lord’s. I base this on the fact that it is recorded in all three of the synoptic gospels – Matthew 24, 25; Mark 13; and Luke 21.
5. ONE TAKEN AND THE OTHER LEFT:
40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. [Matt. 24:40 – 42 NKJV]
Many prophecy scholars believe that this passage refers to the time Christ will return to earth at the conclusion of the Tribulation to introduce His 1,000-year reign [Rev. 20:4]. The concept is taught that those in the parable who are taken are removed from earth because they have received the Mark of the Beast, and those who remain are those who refused the Mark. If this is true, then those who are removed are taken to hell, along with the beast and false prophet [Rev. 19:20]. Those who remain will rule with Christ.
There are a couple of problems with this interpretation. The first problem is the other verses linked to this one. The other is that it violates just good old common sense. Contextually, Jesus was emphasizing the importance of watching for His return [Vs. 42]. After one is taken from the field and another is taken from the grinding mill, Christ said,
43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. [Matt. 24:43, 44 NKJV]
In Greek, the word Goodman means “the head of the house.” The owner of the house was to watch to prevent his house from being broken into. In the parable, the sudden return of the Lord had broken up this house so that some people were missing and the head of the house remained. The Goodman was filled with regret and sorrow, since part of the family was missing.
The proof that this parable speaks of the Rapture can also be seen where Christ compared the breakup of the house to a thief coming in unexpectedly. The theme of Christ coming as a thief is found in many scriptures in the New Testament:
4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. [1 Thess. 5:4 NKJV]
2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. [1 Thess. 5:2 NKJV]
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. [2 Pet. 3:10 NKJV]
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. [Rev. 3:3 NKJV]
A thief comes unannounced and unexpectedly and usually targets something of value in a home. He enters the house, steals the goods, and then departs without anyone’s knowledge. The Coming of Christ will be in the same fashion. The valuable goods will be the precious souls who have been purchased by the blood of Christ and will be taken before the time of God’s wrath, or raptured and taken into heaven.
The Weekly Word is found in Luke 17:34 – 36. Here the Bible says,
34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left. [Luke 17:34 – 36 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson