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Our Lord's Great Prophecy, Part 63

  1. Matthew Chapter 24

    VERSE 31 continued, “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

    Luke 21 shows clearly that the Church will be complete just prior to the great Time of Trouble and Jesus’ revealing to the world (in the fire of the great day).

    Luke 21:26–28 reads: “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh.”

    If the wordbeginhad been omitted, the thought would be quite different, suggesting that the trouble would precede the Church’s deliverance. Many in the nominal systems believe that when Jesus appears in heaven as a literal sign, then all the saints will be caught up bodily to meet the Lord in the air. But the word “begin” is in the text: “when these things begin to come to pass.” The Church goes before the appearance of the sign of the Son of man in (the clouds of) heaven.

    The “sign” or evidence which the world and the worldly church will see (the eyes of their understanding then being opened) will be the gathering “clouds” of the great storm as it approaches, the Great Time of Trouble, in which the Son of Man will be revealed to them

    Who are theangels?

    The answer depends on what is meant when the text says that the Son of man shall gather his elect. If the gathering is primarily to the barn conditionthe condition of security, of separateness from the worldly, and the worldly church, and to the truth, the Harvest message, theangelswould be human messengers. But if the gathering is to the barn of heaven, theangelswould be literal.

    The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares emphasizes the beginning and the progressing of the Harvest, but Matt 24:31 tells of the results of the Harvest, when all 144,000 have been reaped. We are told in 1 Thess 4:17 that the feet members will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air (to join the saints already raised and with Jesus). The last members will be collectively caught up—as Elijah was caught up in the chariot of fire by the whirlwind. Being “caught up” means being “gathered.”

    Also suggested is that the last members at the very end of the age will be attracted to the truth not as they originally were but in a different sense. The bulk of the Harvest is over, complete, but the gleaning work remains.

    A great message was involved in the gathering of the bulk. For example, “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: Then [afterward] we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:16, 17).

    These two verses cover the whole Harvest: (1) from 1878 when the dead in Christ were caught up, (2) through the living members who remain, and (3) down to the translation of the feet members later. The words “first” and “remain” are extremely significant, for they indicate that some remain and are still here. A time period occurs between the dead being raised and the feet members going home.

    Rev 14:13 adds more detail: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow [continue with] them.” This text applies to the individuals who died since 1878 and up until the translation of the feet members. “Blessed are the dead which die [as individuals] in the Lord.”

    Thus the picture is comprehensive. The sleeping saints were raised first, in 1878. Blessed are the faithful individuals (those who have made their calling and election sure) who have been dying ever since. The climax will be when the feet members who remain are caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. “Togethermeans both collectively and at the same time. That way no one will have the honor of being the last saint. The Elijah CLASS is caught up at the end, NOT individuals.

    Thegreat ... trumpetof Verse 31 will complete the gathering work, and the feet members will go beyond the vail to complete the Church.

    Just as in the general Harvest a worldwide, very pronounced message (the Harvest message) attracted people to the truth, so at the very end of the age, a worldwide message—loud and great—will alert Christians to the conditions at hand and their corresponding responsibilities to not get the mark of the beast. Just as Gideon led three bands of 100 each, so at the very end of the age those who rightly respond, including some who will come out of Babylon at the last minute, will comprise the feet members. Thus thegreat sound of a trumpetis still a message, and the last message will be prominent just like the first Harvest message.” (The Gospel of Matthew)

    We move on to Verse 32 in our next post.

    About Author

    Harvest 1874
    I am and have been a Bible Student now for over 30 years ever since the day the Lord so graciously called me out of darkness into his marvelous light. To Him be the honor and glory forever. Everyday I thank Him for the privilege of working in His "vineyard".

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