Matthew Chapter 24
In our last post we were discussing Luke 17:33 and its repercussions, viz. “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”
NOTE: this text is applicable only to the consecrated, those in covenant relationship with the Father by sacrifice (Psa 50:5) it IS NOT applicable to the world nor to the mere nominal believer.
Those (consecrated) who seek to save this life inordinately (for example building bunkers, storing up excessive supplies, joining a militia or survival group and/or etc.) will in effect, by pursuing such a course of prudence, lose all life. It will be a very sobering situation. The consecrated who remain after the Church is gone should realize that although failing to have attained the reward for which they were originally called they may nevertheless should they now finish the sacrifice which they had previously held back still be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9). They should set this picture before their minds and look forward to this event as their final goal and destiny.
The words introducing Luke 17:34–36 are significant: “I tell you, in THAT NIGHT ...” Jesus is referring to the trouble that will come on the Church ahead of the world’s trouble. Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: THE NIGHT (the great time of trouble) cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). The nominal systems will put a clamp on the promulgation of present truth just as they did with Jesus.
He was apprehended (1) to stop him from talking and (2) to put him to death (As we alluded to in Part 79 of this study). The religious authorities wanted to effectually minimize and stop his ministry and shame him with an ignominious death, thus sending his entire ministry into disrepute. They felt his followers would forsake him if they dealt with him in this way, but they underestimated the POWER of Jesus’ message— that his followers were willing to die too. That was the right attitude. Satan thought the whole religion would collapse with Jesus’ crucifixion, but it did not.
While the principle has been true during the Harvest period that two could be close companions and only one would be taken with the Harvest message, these Scriptures have a further primary dispensational meaning. As we get closer to the end of the age, we are approaching the nighttime, the time when the truth will be stopped and the feet members will go home. This is a more specific application than the general principle applying since 1876 or so. These verses refer to the change of the last members of the Church. The three mentions of two being together, one being taken, the other left, suggests the feet members will be taken collectively. There will be a collection of individuals from different sources.
The question arises “Where, Lord, will they be taken?” Jesus replied, “Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together” (Luke 17:37). It is true that during the Harvest period the eagle class have been attracted to the carcass, the doctrine of the Ransom (of how Jesus’ death will be efficacious for the salvation of both the Church and the world). They are attracted to what others consider repulsive: the death of Christ and what it entails. But the context of Verse 37 shows the attraction is to the Lord in heaven (in the air). The One who did die, the One whose dead humanity as the man Christ Jesus was sacrificed forever, is the One our consecration is based upon and the One whose death, having a value, is fed and acted upon in this life. However, the time will come when the last members will actually meet the risen Lord in the air. This time is referred to here, for Verse 37 is talking about the rapture (translation) of the Church.
Comment: The Scriptures are marvelous! The order of Matthew 24 shows plainly that there is a feeding on the carcass during the Harvest, but by climaxing Jesus’ thoughts in Luke 17 with a similar expression, the account provides the further (or later) meaning of the rapture. The Scriptures unfold more and more unto the time the daystar arises (2 Pet. 1:19).
Comment: Noah was prepared in advance. God gave him instructions and for 120 years he did as he had been told. On the other hand, Lot waited until the last minute to flee Sodom, and so does the Great Company in antitype.
In Luke 17:29 the emphasis is on a judgment coming from God. “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” There is a difference between divine wrath and the wrath of man (man’s inhumanity to man). Divine indignation will be the real Time of Trouble, even though God may use man to accomplish it in some instances. The trouble is more than just the law of retribution.
We continue with our next post.
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