Matthew Chapter 24
Continuing the previous post on the things due during the day of the revelation of our Lord's presence, Jesus says: "I tell you in that night (before the day has dawned yet a part of that day) there will be two in a bed; one will be taken and the other left.” (Luke 17:34 Diaglott)
Some of this we have already mentioned and thus is repetitive, nevertheless it is the Lord’s chosen way in which to instill the truth into his children, “For precept [truth] must be upon precept [truth]; line [of reason] upon line [of reason]; here a little, and there a little” (Isa 28:10) thus who are we to argue.
“A bed is a place in which to rest; it is here used, we believe, to represent the resting place of the church--the belief or creed. The same bed is here referred to as that mentioned by the prophet Isaiah:
“For the bed is too short to stretch out on, And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.” (Isa 28:20)
The prophet is speaking of the stumbling of the church (Verse 13) and of the flood of trouble coming upon them (Verses 18-20), and says (see margin): "When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it; from the time that it goes forth it shall take you (The trouble will commence with the professing church); for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night (increasing like a flood of waters); and it shall be a vexation only until he shall make you to understand doctrine. [The church has largely substituted doctrines of men for those of God, and they will be vexed and perplexed by the spread of Infidelity, etc., until they come to understand God's word and plan. Then their perplexity and trouble will be at an end, for they will see that the whole plan is working out gloriously to the praise of God and the good of his creatures.]
For (the vexation is because) "the bed (creeds --belief) is shorter than that a man [a mature Christian] can stretch himself on it." The creeds cramp (shackle, restrain) any who have any degree of development (in truth). When we were babes (“unskilled in the word of righteousness [in truth]”, Heb 5:13) we could rest in them, but by reason of growth in grace and knowledge some are coming to find themselves in a very uncomfortable place (to many conflicting doctrines, errors being put forth) -- no rest there now; it will be quite a relief to get out of such a bed.
It is from this short bed that some will be taken in the day when the Son of man is present turning the light of truth upon error, and bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness. During this time before the sore vexation of the falling house comes, some will awaken and get out of such a short, uncomfortable man-made bed, into the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free, and some will be left; some will be so short (in growth in the graces and the knowledge of our Lord and his truth, mere “babes”) that they will feel no inconvenience, and others so sleepy and drowsy as to not notice the matter, and will so remain until the Gospel house, beds and all, become a mass of ruins; then these having shared in her sins and to a degree in her plagues will "come out of great tribulation." (Rev 18:4) R229 Edited
Let us now return to where we left off in Matthews’s account,
VERSE 40 "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left."
"The field is the world," our Lord explained; and in this discourse it represents a condition outside the nominal "house"--outside of Babylon. Thus we are taught that not all "come-outers" will be "gathered," but that the "jewels" will be sought wherever they may be--"the Lord knows them that are his," and in this harvest gathering he is making up his jewels--gathering his "elect," to be joint-heirs in his Kingdom.
VERSE 41 "Two shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken and the other left."
A mill is a place where food is prepared: the ministers and theological schools do the grinding of the spiritual food for "Babylon," and turn out very poor grist (ground grain-meal)--not "clean provender (food)."
The complaint is a growing one (with many ministers who are awakening to the truth) that the food supplied is largely composed of husks and chaff (human traditions and errors, the precepts and doctrines of men), which will not sustain spiritual life and strength: and each grinder (minister) is obliged to prepare only that which is given him by his own particular denomination (i.e. that which he was taught in seminary according to the creed of the church), thus (if awoken to the truth) he cannot hold his position (remain attached to these man-made institutions) and yet provide the necessary "meat in due season," "clean provender," for the household of faith.
Hence "present truth" gathers some of the grinders (honest ministers, those bound to Christ and to the truth, not to the sect) and leaves others--one is taken and another left. Those who are loyal to God and to his flock will be taken; all others will be left.
While the world and the nominal church declare this to be a time of union and "confederacy," God declares it to be a time of separating. Isa 8:12
But to where will the one who was taken, be taken?
We will see in our next post.
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