Jesus said, "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left." For some decades now many fundamental Protestant churches have claimed that these two verses in Matthew are teaching the doctrine of the "rapture." That Christ will come invisibly FOR His church just before the final GREAT Tribulation of 7 years on this earth, and take them to heaven, protecting them from the Anti-christ. Then He will return WITH them to set up the Kingdom of God on earth for a thousand years. I have a full in-depth study on the teaching called "The Secret Rapture" that can be sent to anyone via e-mail who requests it. On the other had, some branches of the Sabbath keeping Churches of God have used Matthew 24:40-41 to teach that God will supernaturally take away His people to a "place of safety" on this earth, as foretold in Revelation 12, and protect them from the end time Beast power. The truth of the matter is that Matthew 24:40-41 is NOT talking about a secret rapture or a removal to a place of safety somewhere on this earth. One of the greatest keys to understanding some of the verses in the Bible that often puzzle people is to read the CONTEXT of the passage wherein those verses are contained. Reading BEFORE and AFTER those verses can often give light and often lead you to the true meaning of those verses that seem to be difficult to understand. Reading carefully what is stated, being analytical and using common logic with the verses will also help to arrive at the truth. So, let's begin by going clear back to the beginning of this chapter in the book of Matthew. Jesus and His disciples leave the Temple, but the disciples point Him to the great buildings of the Temple. Jesus tells them that EVERY SINGLE STONE of the buildings (plural) will be thrown down which has not yet happened as the Wailing wall in Jerusalem today was part of that Temple of Jesus' day). As they sit on the mount of Olives the disciples come to Jesus and ask TWO things: 1. When shall this be that all the stones of the Temple will be cast down, and 2. What shall be the sign of His coming and the end of the age. Here lies a key to this prophecy. This prophecy is PRIMARILY and even SPECIFICALLY to do with Christ's coming in glory to set up His Kingdom on earth, the end of this present age, and the start of the age to come, as foretold by all the holy prophets since the world began. Jesus starts by telling them of many things that will happen BEFORE He comes. This is all contained in verses 4 to 25. He told them, and so tells us today, that when that GREAT Tribulations comes that none will have ever been the like before or after (verse 21), then also at that time (verse 23) some will preach that Christ has returned, that He is over in this place or that place. Some during that time will either come in Christ's name, or even claim they are the Christ, and will be able to perform great miracles. Then again He warns them and us, that some will claim Christ is over in this or that location on the earth (verse 26). Jesus told us we are not to take notice of such preaching, FOR......He then proceeds in the next verses to ZERO IN on not only HOW He will return, but He also talks about the VERY DAY, the literal 24 hour day that He will return on. And this is a major key to the whole next section of Matthew 24, in fact it is the key to the rest of the chapter. In fact it is the key all the way to chapter 25:13. Jesus will come as does LIGHTNING - brightly and suddenly - verse 27. He will come after that period of Great Tribulation and great heavenly signs - verse 29. There will be a SIGN in heaven (I guess something like lightning is a sign alright) Tribes and nations will actually SEE Jesus coming in the CLOUDS of heaven, with great power and glory - verse 30. This is most definitely talking about the VERY DAY, the very literal day that Jesus will come and once more set His feet upon the mount of Olives as foretold by the prophet Zechariah in his 14th chapter. Jesus is no longer talking about events LEADING UP to this day. He is now talking about the VERY DAY of His coming, the day in human terms when He leaves heaven and places His feet on the mount of Olives at Jerusalem. Verse 31 also proves this to be correct, for Jesus goes on to talk about the angels GATHERING TO HIMSELF at the sound of the TRUMPET, the SAINTS, the ELECT. This is, by putting what Paul was inspired to write in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, the LAST trumpet of Revelations, the SEVENTH trumpet of Revelations 11, and the setting up of the Kingdom of God on earth. It is the time of the RESURRECTION of the saints of all ages to gather together on the sea of glass, in the clouds of heaven, with Jesus Christ, ON THE VERY LITERAL 24 HOUR DAY THAT HE RETURNS TO THIS EARTH! Jesus goes on to warn us to be looking, watching, to be ready for this VERY DAY of His return (verses 32-35). BUT, concerning this very day and the very hour when He will return and the saints will be gathered together to Him, when the RESURRECTION takes place, only the Father in heaven knows when that day will be, even the angels do not know. So, it was no wonder Jesus told us to be prepared, to be watching. Then Christ gives an example. The example is that of Noah. The people of the world not believing that a flood was to come to destroy them all, not believing the preaching of Noah concerning a coming flood, were going about every day life, doing their thing, continuing to live as if the world was going to go on in the same manner forever. This they did RIGHT UP TO THE VERY DAY that Noah entered the ark and shut the door. Notice it, the last words of verse 38. Noah did not take a month or a week to kind of slowly put one foot in front of the other, and after a month or so, get into the ark and then maybe take a week to slowly close the door, inch by inch. NO! There came a time, a LITERAL DAY on the calendar, a 24 hour day, and even an hour, when Noah literally entered the ark and closed the door. And right up to that very literal HOUR the people of the world were still "doing their thing." When that day arrived, when Noah entered the ark and closed the door, when that day had come that the waters came on the earth to bring to pass what Noah had been preaching to them, they still did not know it, they still did not believe it would happen, they were still going about their daily lives as IF there would be for them a tomorrow. But it was then too late. THE DAY had arrived, AND not being ready for that day, they PERISHED! Jesus, by giving that example, was and is, telling His followers to BE READY, be prepared for THE DAY when He shall come again, for like Noah it is being preached it will come, but ONLY the Father knows when that literal day will be that Jesus will be sent back to this earth. If you are not watching, if you are not prepared in your life, then that very literal day may come and you will find yourself on the outside looking in, not a part of the elect saints, in the resurrection, and being taken by the angels to meet and be with Christ in the clouds, at the last trumpet sound. THE WHOLE FOCAL POINT in this prophecy of Jesus is NOW THE RESURRECTION AND THE VERY DAY OF HIS COMING IN GLORY! A day that no man or angel can know, for only the Father in heaven knows when that day will be. So, Jesus says, make sure you are personally, in your life, prepared. Notice verse 39 and the last words. Noah entered the ark and closed the door on ONE PARTICULAR CALENDAR DAY, so the coming of the Son of man shall be on ONE particular calendar day. THEN, the thought of Jesus is continuing....THEN, at that time, on the very day of His coming......shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. YES OF COURSE, it shall indeed be so, FOR THE RESURRECTION of true saints of God will take place, just as He had been telling about in the preceding verses. Then, to prove this is the CONTEXT....the coming of Christ on one literal day and the resurrection of the saints to gather to Him, He says in verse 42, "WATCH therefore; for you KNOW NOT what HOUR your Lord does COME." The whole context of these verses is concerning the very one day and hour that Jesus is to return to this earth!! Read on. Notice it, the context is so clear and plain. Jesus warns once more about being spiritually ready for His coming, when it comes, on that specific day that only the Father knows will be. Jesus even says that that day will probably come when you do not think it will come (verse 44). So much for people trying to figure it out by their interpretations of some verses in some prophetic book of the Bible, and making charts and setting dates, as so many have done over the centuries. Jesus further goes on to expound the vital key of being ready in our life for that day of His coming. Notice verse 46....."whom his Lord WHEN HE COMES shall find so doing." Our entering the Kingdom, being given rewards according to our works, will be all done on ONE specific day, the day Christ comes and we are gathered together (see again 1 Thes.4:13-18) to be with Him in the clouds and on the sea of glass (as Revelation shows us). But if we think that day is being delayed, that day of His coming (verse 48) and we stop living as a true Christian in word, thought, and action, and become as we would say today, un-converted, then we shall be like those in Noah's time. That day of Jesus' return will come, that very HOUR will come, and those not ready in their life and mind, will be on the outside looking in, just a weeping and gnashing their teeth (verses 48-51). Jesus also went on to give further warning and instructions concerning that VERY DAY of His coming again, in chapter 25 and verses 1 to 13. This parable was given once more to highlight the importance of being PREPARED for that day. The last words in verse 13 show clearly Jesus is still talking about the very day and hour of His coming back to gather His elect who are ready, to be with Him, and shall be with Him, via a resurrection or instant change (as Paul told us), gathered by the angels to meet Christ in the air, the clouds, and so to ever be with Him. CHRISTIANS SCATTERED ON THE EARTH AT CHRIST'S COMING? One last point I need to cover. Some are not sure that some Christians will be grinding at the mill when Christ comes again in glory. That talk is like saying Christians will be living here and there, working and doing jobs and other kinds of "normal" things. This they have a hard time with because they know the Bible talks about a place of protection for some (in the wilderness Revelation 12 says, whatever that may mean) and being killed for many others (as Matthew 24 and Revelation foretell). But, working and sleeping with some who will not be "taken" in a resurrection gathering with Christ, that may puzzle many. Reading the prophetic books of the Bible with the book of Revelation should make it all come clear. During the Great Tribulation, many will come to see the truth of the word of God. Many , in fact Revelation says 12 thousand from each tribe of Israel will be brought to repentance and conversion before the great and terrible day of the Lord (Rev.7), as well as a vast multitude from other nations. Israel and Judah will be in a state of captivity and scattered through many lands of their enemies. They will be in effect slaves to their enemies, doing work for them in the towns, villages, and cities in the lands of their enemies. During the last three and one half years of this age, when the Beast power is in control of the Western world, the book of Revelations (chapter 12) tells us that God will have TWO witnesses in the city of Jerusalem proclaiming His word of truth. I'm sure most of the world will know about them and what they are preaching. The false prophet of Revelation will have deceived the world into believing he is the true one from God, and these two witnesses are from Satan. The whole situation in Jerusalem at that time will no doubt be on the daily news casts, at least around the Western world, where the Beast power will reign supreme. Many people in all nations will be brought to true understanding of God's word, and true repentance during that last number of years of this age. Many will have been given the Spirit of God as Revelation 7 plainly tells us. They will be scattered in many lands, working alongside the un-converted. Some sleeping with unconverted mates, some as in concentration camps sleeping in large rooms alongside many unconverted. When Jesus returns all those truly Spirit filled saints in the above situations, will be either working or sleeping somewhere on this earth, and the unconverted will be there also with them. The LAST TRUMPET will sound, the RESURRECTION of the dead saints from all ages will take place, the INSTANT CHANGE from mortal to immortal will transform the living saints, the angels will be ready to gather them all together and to lead them to where Christ is in the clouds, in the air, to all meet together on the sea of glass, the bride ready for the bridegroom, the marriage supper of the Lamb to finally be a reality. And rewards given to those who have made themselves ready, who have WATCHED, who are prepared for that great and wonderful DAY OF CHRIST'S RETURN, when His feet shall stand on the mount of Olives, and the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior, and He shall reign forever, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. Let us continue to pray, "Thy Kingdom COME." All articles and studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, published, e-mailed, and distributed as led by the Spirit of God. Mr. Hunt trusts nothing will be changed without his consent.