My take is that those who are "taken" are taken to judgment (bad side of Hades) and the ones who are "left" are left to enter the Millennial Kingdom. This is described in further detail in Matthew 25 in the Sheep and Goats Judgment.
As to those who say the section of scripture you are asking about describes a time when people are "not expecting" His coming, I say: The unbelieving world does ***NOT*** believe He is ever coming, and by this point in the Great Tribulation they will be deluded beyond fixing, so His coming will be unexpected for them. To those who believe, the few that are left, they will know roughly when He is coming.
The Olivet Discourse, the _literal section_ (Matthew 24) is sequential in events. Jesus then backs up the literal and sequential events with parables and illustrations to support the literal section (Matthew 25).....He did not jump around the timeline going back and forth between his descriptions of middle-trib events, post-trib events, then back to pre-trib events, and finish it off with more Post-trib events. That would be way too confusing. So he gave the events sequentially, ending with His coming and the Sheep and Goats Judgment (one taken, one left). After all, is this not what the Disciples were asking about? They had no idea there would be a rapture.....that had not yet been disclosed.
Well said, JIL.
You can read my page on it here and here (printable version)
Those "taken" are "paralambano". Paralambano to "bring alongside". Just as the Holy Spirit is the Paraclete or Parakletos (brought alongside, as it were, us).
One will be paralambano, the other will be left (behind). I can't remember the exact word but it is a version of paralambano. You can see it in a Greek interlinear. I had to show it to a seminary student who didn't understand the passage.
John 14:3 KJV
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you (paralambano you) unto Myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.
What makes me think that at least some of it is about the Rapture is the "two in the field", "two grinding at the mill", parts. I can't picture anyone showing up for work the day before the Second Coming. This part just sounds too much like normal life (normal for this day) to me.
But then again, maybe it's not meant as a depiction of life in general. Maybe out of the whole world, there literally will be only two men working in a field and two woman grinding in a mill!
"We have no defenses against space junk, people!" - Take me away!
*Ask me about my testimony!*
Yes, life appears to be normal for both the Saved and the unsaved in that passage. You are correct; this is the Rapture.
The world is in total disarray at the Second Coming. 1/2 of the world's population is dead, wars are rampant, the Antichrist is trying to kill off the remnant of Jews at Petra, Israel and Jerusalem has been besieged: EVERYONE alive at that time will know Jesus is coming.
These are two different events.
I don't think the idea there is that life will be going on "as normal." People WILL have to eat (do the basic things to survive) if ANYONE is going to make it through to the end... and we know that there will be, because of the armies that assemble for Armageddon, at the end of the trib. These are not depicted as emaciated, starved people, weakly crawling out of caves... all the way to the battlefield... gathering sticks and stones they hope to use, as they crawl along.
Also, the word meaning for "taken" reminds me of how Paul used a variety of different words to describe "the rapture" throughout 1 and 2 Thessalonians... including "the departure" (which the KJV has as "a falling away" - 2 Thessalonians 2:3), which was used elsewhere to describe, not a physical departure (rapture), as here (in 2 Thess. 2:3), but a spiritual departure... or a departure from the truth/doctrine.
In Matthew 13:30, for example, there are two different words for "gather," there. You would think that they should be used consistently, especially in the same passage (I mean, one "gather" be positive, the other "gather" be negative), but they aren't. In verse Matthew 13:48, the one "gather" is used in the opposite way as it had been used in verse 30 (positively, instead of negatively). G4816 and G4863.
I think it may be the same for the word "taken" in Matthew 24. JMHO.
If some folks think unbelievers are paralambano'd, well, then there's no way to explain it to them otherwise.
On the flip side, there's a popular youtube video about the rapture, but the verse actually refers to the Second Coming. They should have used a different verse in the video. Like Luke 21:34-36.
The verse used at the end of the video was this:
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
I even saw Dave Reagan show it on Lamb & Lion - I'm thinking, how could he not comment that this passage is actually about the Second Coming?
I think you'd have to "take" up (gather) tares, for example, "to yourself" before you could actually pitch them into the fire... a gathering, to pitch.
In this case, the angels do the "gathering," according to Matthew 13. (Matthew 13:39-40, 41-42, 49-50, etc.)
38 - For in the days before the flood (1), people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage (2), up to the day Noah entered the ark (3);
39 - and they knew nothing about what would happen (4) until the flood came and took them all away (5). That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
40 - Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.
41 - Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
Before we look at the points I outlined, lets look at the context overall. Does this sound to be a happy taking? Is there any celebration amongst those taken in the flood? So the context is that of a negative tone, and the focus is on those taken (killed) in the flood.
Now for the bolded points:
1) Days before the flood: This can either be symbolized to mean the "days before the Tribulation" or the "days before the Second Coming" in Matthew 24. Given the context of the passage, in the Tribulation, the "bad guys" are not swept away until the Second Coming as satan has his grip on the earth until the 7 years are over. The bad people are not swept away completely until the very end. I believe it to be more accurate to see this bit of text to symbolize the "days before the Second Coming".
2) Eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage: Given that which was described in #1, this means that these people were "eating, drinking and giving in marriage" up until the point that they are all destroyed, meaning they were doing "business as usual" up until the Second Coming, not up until the start of the trib. This doesnt mean this time period must be pre-trib, as you suppose.
3) Noah entered the ark: This could be a reference to the Rapture, or this could be a reference to the remnant of Israel being saved, the latter I believe to be more likely given the context. In any case, this hardly constitutes a "rapture teaching", and if it was, there was not nearly enough information about it to let people know what this event is all about. I think it's more of an illustration that God protects and hides away His people from His divine wrath and judgment.
4) They knew nothing about what would happen: Again, given the time period, people will refuse to believe in Jesus and go about their own business and pleasures. Even if they understand he's coming back at some point, they dont study nor care about the scriptures and the Truths contained in them....if they dont read the scriptures, how are they supposed to know and understand the timing of His coming?
5) Flood came and took them all away: This is the strongest proof against your argument. You say that the "taken" in verses 40-41 refers to the rapture, yet the
"took them all away" Jesus is illustrating in the Flood account relates to those who were killed and destroyed by the Flood. If Jesus is using the flood as an illustration or parable about what will happen in the last days, and He uses the "took them all away" to refer to those who were taken to judgment, then doesnt it stand to reason when He says, "That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man", that he is ALSO referring to those who will be taken to judgment?
Just some food for thought.
Nope, sorry. No sale. But like I say, if folks think unbelievers are paralambano'd, well there's no point in trying to convert them.
I ought to know. I've spoken to several on this subject. Can't remove the preconceived notions. Oh well.
The passage is simple: In Noah's day and in Lot's, the unbelievers stayed exactly where they were, and the believers were moved to a place of safety. Which is totally consistent with paralambano as used elsewhere.
But folks *want* it to be the other way. for some unknown reason. And when that is the case, there is no changing their mind.
Frankly, I'm stunned how a church could make a "rapture" video and then use Matthew 24:27.
But I guess I ought not be surprised.
BTW, I am not trying to "sell" you on anything. You are free to believe whatever you want, even if you are ignoring the different uses of the word, "Paralambano". But I will say that you have a LOT of explaining to do as far as how you can possibly come to a Pre-Trib Rapture if you really believe what you are saying. The "one taken, one left" happens right after the Second Coming in Matthew 24. How do you explain this event to be pretribulational when Jesus says it happens right after He comes back? Remember, He says, "so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man", NOT, "so it will be at the coming of the Tribulation Period".Flood came and took them all away: This is the strongest proof against your argument. You say that the "taken" in verses 40-41 refers to the rapture, yet the
"took them all away" Jesus is illustrating in the Flood account relates to those who were killed and destroyed by the Flood. If Jesus is using the flood as an illustration or parable about what will happen in the last days, and He uses the "took them all away" to refer to those who were taken to judgment, then doesnt it stand to reason to think that when He says, "That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man", he is ALSO referring to those who will be taken to judgment?
No answer will satisfy you, no? You want it to be the Second Coming and not the Rapture.
If one thinks unbelievers are paralambano'd, well there's no point in going any further.
JVI famously misreads this as well. Makes me groan every time he does it. Grant Jeffrey, usually pretty good, also makes the same error.
I address the general subject at my page.
But there's no point in endlessly debating it. If you want to make it the Second Coming, then that certainly is your right.
Other folks may want to read Dave Hunt's "When Will Jesus Come?". It goes into this as well.
BTW, I am not trying to "sell" you on anything. You are free to believe whatever you want, even if you are ignoring the different uses of the word, "Paralambano". But I will say that you have a LOT of explaining to do as far as how you can possibly come to a Pre-Trib Rapture if you really believe what you are saying. The "one taken, one left" happens right after the Second Coming in Matthew 24. How do you explain this event to be pretribulational when Jesus says it happens right after He comes back? Remember, He says, "so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man", NOT, "so it will be at the coming of the Tribulation Period".Excellent posts!One last thing: Have you ever thought about this differently? How Noah and His family were saved through the judgment, and not taken away from it entirely? This represents more of a picture of Israel than it does the Church.
Oh I have an answer and have given it to you. You just don't accept it. But don't say that I don't have an answer. I just no longer endlessly debate this thing. If folks think people are going to "know not" just prior to the Second Coming, there's no way to change their minds.
Been down that road too many times.
I'm not going to parse it 50 ways. Done that too many times as well.
It's a waste of time; like debating a preterist or partial-preterist. That I no longer do as well.
They will find out as it unfolds. I daresay I think some of them may meet the Antichrist because they reject the clear teaching of Scripture (along with the evidence of history).
Sorry.....I couldnt help myself
Just in the same way that "they knew not" until the flood came and took them all away, even though they HAD to have HEARD about the approaching judgment, for Noah was the preacher of that day. The flood came and took them all away (to their death).
This will happen at the Second Coming. The tribulation period is that final warning (though, in my opinion, no one will be "actively" saved during the second half of it). By the time He comes (to the earth), all nations will have "heard" (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 14:6), but not everyone will have "heeded." That's what it means by "they knew not until" (they had HEARD but didn't BELIEVE)... it's a willful refusal to heed God's Word (that He's COMING... to the earth, in a "severing" judgment)... during the trib... just like in the days of Noah.
If Matthew 24 is entirely for the tribulation saints and Jews,then we have a problem here.
From verse 21-22,28-29,we learn that before our Lord returns,the world is under a great tribulation,horribly judged,and carcass are every where,with the eagles flying in the air and waiting for their prey ,and the sun shall be darkened,the moon shall not give light,and the stars are falling from the sky.This reminds me the aftermath of the world war 3,with 1/3 being perished,and the sky is covered with the mushroom cloud that caused by many nuclear explosion all over the world.
Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
But in verse 36-39,an entirely different earthly condition is given before our Lord returns.The earth is relatively at peace,people are eating,drinking,marrying and giving in marriage.And just like the Noah's time,this time our Lord's coming shall catch them totally off guard.It is quite a different scenario than the one given from verse 15-31.
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Question: If Matthew 24 is entirely about the second coming of our Lord,why would our Lord give the disciples two different earthly conditions pertaining to his return?Can Jesus say thing that contradicts to his own words?
The answer is of course no.
Then we can only come to conclude that he was clearly illustrating the signs of a "two" second coming scenario,when he was addressing to the disciples concerning his second coming.The first would be his physical touch down on mount Olive from verse 15-31,and the second would be his coming for his church from verse 36-44,which shall precede the events listed from verse 15-31.And we have found this backward writing skill in Joel 2,with the great day of tribulation being mentioned first(verse 1-11 ),and the going back of the events that will lead to this horrible judgment from verse 12 to 32.