Keith Hunt - The Truth About Matthew 24:37-41 Restitution of All Things


The Truth About Matthew 24:37-41

                                    
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.    

First written in 1981 re-written November 1999
by
Keith Hunt

 
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