RMS BIBLE ENGINEERING

THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

Three End Time Events

The RAPTURE of the Church is a common and much discussed issue among Christians in these last days. It is evidently important to our Lord Jesus Christ that we know the details of his coming for us. This issue is one that separates Believers doctrinally with some Believers taking even militant attitudes over this issue. This Bible Topic Study assumes that the Believer is aware of the impending Prewrath Rapture or Pretribulation Rapture of the Church and is concerned about the exegesis of scripture in that regard.

For those Christians who adamantly oppose the idea of a Prewrath Rapture, I suggest that you migrate to such web-sites that support that teaching. This study is not intended to persuade a non-Rapture Believer to accept the Rapture concept but is intended to call attention to the details of our Lord"s discussion of HIS return in these two Gospel accounts.

The Jews in Jerusalem and Judea were for the most part ignorant, uninformed, and unexpecting of HIS first coming 2000 years ago. It would not be unparalleled if we Gentiles didn't"t follow in the same footsteps and are found to have failed "TO WATCH" prior to HIS second coming.

Our focus in this study is to examine end-time events as described in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In Matthew 24 and Luke 17, we will observe both similarities and differences about the end-time events.

MATTHEW 24 (NKJV)
1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.

The discussion begins with the DISCIPLES. In Luke, it begins with the Pharisees. That being the case you would think that Matthew would have more to say about the Rapture of the Church than Luke. You"re exactly right!

2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

The Disciples" view of the Beautiful Temple is changed to view the Destruction of the Temple. Our Lord prophesies of the soon coming destruction of both the temple and the city of Jerusalem which did occur in 70 A.D.

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

It is by private revelation that the Holy Spirit works in the heart of a Believer to reveal the mysteries and truths of scripture.

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.

Jesus is talking now about the AGE of Deception. This is OUR Age, the CHURCH Age ! ! ! We are living in the age of deception. Although there will be deception during the Tribulation period, He is not talking about that in this verse.

Eph 5:6
Let no one DECEIVE you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

2 Timothy 3:13
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, DECEIVING and being DECEIVED.

This is happening in this CHURCH age, or Age of Grace as it is referred to.

The wrath of God comes at the END of this Age - - -

5 "For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many.

Many Bible expositors assume that HE is talking of False Christs or False Messiahs in this age. However, this is NOT what He"s talking about. He simply means that Teachers/Preachers in this Church age will profess Jesus as Lord and Saviour and on that basis will proceed to DECEIVE Christians. The average Christian today probably could not name three people who claim to be the Jesus Christ of the Bible. We do NOT live in the age of False Christs or False Messiahs.

I realize that there are some individuals today who claim that they are Jesus Christ, but they are a minority and do not reflect the overall characteristic of this age.

While listening to your car radio, you are not likely to be drawn away by someone claiming to be Jesus Christ on your way to your local Church. However, tuning in to the teaching of a so-called Christian Preacher/Teacher is much more likely.

Rom 16:18
For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech DECEIVE the hearts of the simple.

Here are the False Teachers and NOT false prophets. We do not live in the age of Prophets. These False Teachers will teach in the name of Jesus Christ and will deceive many. Most of the epistles give warning to this. What exactly is the deception that HE is talking about? The deception parallels that of the Tribulation period where SIGNS, WONDERS, and MIRACLES are taking place.

Rev 19:20
Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked SIGNS in his presence, by which he DECEIVED those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

The progression of the Church will climax in the latter days of this AGE with characteristic Signs, Wonders, and Miracles being taught, promoted, and practiced. (See Bible Topic Study - The Church at Thyatira)

6 "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Wars with great devastation will be characteristic of this age. The prophet Daniel said the same thing - - -

Dan 9:26
"And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.

7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

Along with wars will be great natural catastrophes.

8 "All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The birth pangs have begun - - -

9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name"s sake.

The JEWS will be hated especially at the end of this age (Anti-Semitism) and especially during the last half of the Tribulation period.

10 "And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

The word "offended" is more clearly translated "stumble". This word carries the idea of deception. This means that they will be deceived into performing a WORK that they would not ordinarily do. The work that they will do is be at war with each other either literally or from the heart.

11 "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Now we are in the Tribulation period for sure while we were not in verse 5 above. The false prophets will be performing signs and wonders to validate their authenticity. Some Jews will not be deceived and will flee to neighboring countries. Others will stay in Jerusalem and Israel under the delusion of peace and safety which will occur during the first half of the Tribulation period.

12 "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

Lawlessness means unrighteousness and it will increase because the light of the world is gone.

13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

The ones who flee Jerusalem and Israel or are hidden in that area will preserve their life until the coming of the Lord.

14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The Gospel of the Kingdom is being preached by the 144,000 who have been sent out into all the world as a witness of the Lord. The two witnesses in Jerusalem are witnesses to the residents of Jerusalem. The Gospel of the Kingdom is - - - (Mat 3:2)

REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND

We do not preach that message. We preach - - - (Acts 16:31)

BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND YOU WILL BE SAVED

15 "Therefore when you see the "abomination of desolation," spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand),

The Holy Place is in the Temple and is reserved for the Lord Jesus Christ. During this time, Satan will usurp His authority and will rule and reign from this temple. The temple will be rebuilt (or assembled) in troublesome times during the early part of the Tribulation period.

16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

This is the last and final call for all Believing Jews to exit Jerusalem. There is no time to wait now. Satan has ascended the throne with the intent of destroying all of God"s chosen people. Many Jews however, will not leave because of the atmosphere of peace and safety which will exist in Israel up until this time.

17 "Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.

18 "And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.

19 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

20 "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

Once the abomination of desolation is setup in the Temple, time has run out. Any Jews who decide to flee at this time have probably waited too late. The urgency is great that the Jews flee Jerusalem and vicinity. Any Jews seen traveling on a Sabbath day will be obvious to all. Likewise, traveling during bad weather will be obvious and they will be a target for destruction as they are caught trying to get out of the city or country.

21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

God"s judgment upon the earth has started - - -

22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect"s sake those days will be shortened.

The days are indeed literally shortened in order to fulfill the prophetic number of days remaining until the coming of the Lord to set up His Kingdom. The days must be shortened so that a remnant of Jews in Jerusalem and Israel will survive and thus make it until the end. How will the days be shortened?

Rev 8:12
Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.

(My guess is that an asteroid strikes the earth a glancing blow and the earth speeds up its rotation. Similar to a basketball player spinning the ball on his fingertip and periodically striking the ball to keep it going.)

23 "Then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or "There!" do not believe it.

Now we are back earlier in the Tribulation period where word is circulating that Jesus Christ has arrived and will soon set up His Kingdom. There is a parallel passage in Luke which warns Christians to abstain from the pursuit of Signs, Wonders, and Miracles.

24 "For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

The Jews will now get the signs they requested when Jesus confronted them. However, these will be lying Signs and Wonders.

2 Th 2:9
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all . . .

POWER, SIGNS, and LYING WONDERS

25 "See, I have told you beforehand.

God has warned the nation Israel of all things in advance through HIS prophet Jesus Christ.

26 "Therefore if they say to you, "Look, He is in the desert!" do not go out; or "Look, He is in the inner rooms!" do not believe it.

This passage is speaking not of the literal but of the false spirit within man to listen to the spirit of anti-Christ. The Jews are told that their King is in some place which they must SEEK. The parallel passage in Luke is where False Teachers in the Church are teaching that Christians can experience the power and glory of Jesus Christ through signs, wonders, and miracles, if they will follow THEIR instruction, buy THEIR materials, donate to THEIR ministry, etc, etc. The followers of these False Teachers are many.

27 "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

In contrast, Jesus is saying that when He does come, there will be no mistake about it. There will be no need to SEEK their Messiah. The False Prophets are proclaiming that the Messiah in in their midst and they can find Him if they search for him.

28 "For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

This verse actually goes at the end, because He is referring to the destruction of the wicked.

Job 21:30
For the wicked are reserved for the day of doom; They shall be brought out on the day of wrath

Ps 11:6
Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup

29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Not only will HE shake the earth but the Heavens also. This is in reference to spirits which dwell in the heavens and have influence over the wicked of the earth.

30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

His coming is unmistakable and is recorded in Zechariah. The tribes is referring to Israel which is scattered among the nations at this time as well as those in Israel.

Zech 12:10
"And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will MOURN for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

31 "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.

God has only stated numerous times in the Old Testament that He intends to gather all of the Jews from the four corners of the earth and bring them back to Israel.

Eze 37:21
"Then say to them, "Thus says the Lord GOD: "Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land;

32 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.

The fig tree is Israel and has come to life. The picture is that of transition from winter to spring. All leaf bearing trees appear dead in winter whether they are dead or alive. But in the spring, those which are alive put forth leaves.

33 "So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near--at the doors!

The birth of Israel as a nation is a sign that the end is in sight. However, the occupation of Jerusalem carries even more significance since you remember that this dialogue began with the Temple in JERUSALEM.

34 "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

These events preclude the coming of the Lord and will occur within their lifetime.

35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Judgment will be executed both in Heaven and on the Earth, but God"s word abides forever.

36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

That day and hour is not known by the CHURCH because the Church is not given a time frame specifically. Israel knows that He will arrive during the Feast of Trumpets, but the exact day cannot be foretold. The Jewish months are determined by the New Moon and therefore the start of each month is determined by the Jews as to which day actually starts any given month. By Gentile analogy, everyone knows when the 4th of July is. But on a Jewish calendar it could not be determined in advance EXACTLY how many days until the 4th of July. The preceding months could have 29, 30, or 31 days, because the first of each month can NOT be determined in advance. The Jews determine the FIRST day of the month by observation of the New Moon, and then would declare to the nation which day is the first of the new month.

However, after the peace treaty is initiated with Israel, the days are numbered as stated in scripture.

37 "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Now we are at the point just prior to the Tribulation period. The days of Noah were filled with extreme violence. This includes personal violence as well as wars. Divorce will be on the increase and is in this category also.

38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

The time before these events are "business as usual" in the sense that everyone is accustomed to the sign of the times in which they (we) live. Noah entering the Ark is representative of the Rapture.

39 "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

The Unbelievers did not and were not aware of the Rapture until AFTER Noah had entered the Ark and judgment upon the earth began. The phrase "took them ALL away" is referring to the exodus of the Christians via the Rapture. The parallel is that Noah was lifted from the earth as all Believers will be lifted above the earth to meet the Lord in the air when He comes.

40 "Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.

The two men in the field is referring to the sowing and reaping process that takes place in the field, (the world). The Gospel is being sown and souls are being gathered. We know He is talking about the Church age because the key word for understanding "one will be taken and the other left" is linked to the word "DAYS" back in verse 38. We are children of the day.

1 Th 5:5
You are all sons of light and sons of the DAY. We are not of the NIGHT nor of darkness

Both the Saved and Unsaved are busy in the Church spreading the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ to the world (field).

41 "Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.

The women are also working during the DAY. The phrase "grinding at the mill" is referring to preparation of Bread. The Bread is the Word of God. Both the Saved and Unsaved are teaching the Word of God in our Churches. The Churches are a mixture of wheat and tares, both saved and unsaved.

42 "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.

The word WATCH means "be saved" and so throughout the parables in Matthew. The Believers will be watching in that sense while the Unbelieving Church members will NOT be watching.

43 "But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

You are the master of YOUR house. For unsaved Church members, Jesus is coming as a thief in the night. Their house will be broken into.

1 Th 5:2
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a THIEF in the NIGHT.

The MASTER of the House is referring to every church member. Some are wheat and some are tares. Some are Believers and some are Unbelievers. Jesus is coming as Thief in the Night for the Unbelievers. What will He take from them? Their opportunity for Salvation will be snatched away. He is taking back His longsuffering and forbearance. They will be destined to enter the Tribulation.

Rev 3
10 "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the HOUR OF TRIAL which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.

For the Believers He is coming QUICKLY in the twinkling of an eye to take his Children home and dispense rewards to them.

Mat 16:27
"For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will REWARD each according to his works.

1 Cor 3:14
If anyone"s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a REWARD.

1 Cor 15
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--
52 in a moment, in the TWINKLING OF AN EYE, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Jesus is coming Quickly for his own but as a Thief to the Unbelievers who did not accept the Love of the Truth in order that they might be saved.

Rev 22:20
He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming QUICKLY." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

44 "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

There is no counting of days or shortened days for those who are in Christ.

45 "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?

Wise Christian Teachers/Preachers will be performing the same Miracle that Jesus the MASTER did when He broke the bread and fed the 5000 Jews and the 4000 Jews/Gentiles. The Miracle of the Breaking of the Bread or giving the understanding of the scriptures is what HE sees as important. That miracle of breaking bread is occurring today as the Word of God is taught throughout the world by the Churches.

46 "Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

Jesus will be impressed to find some of his Servants properly dividing the Word of God and distributing the Bread of Life to His Saints at the right time. This means, in particular, correctly discerning the time prior to HIS arrival. This is why the issue of the Rapture is so important. This doctrine is one of many which will separate the men from the boys if you will.

47 "Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.

There will be special rewards for God"s Teacher/Preachers who are doing this work when He returns and laboring in the Word of God.

Mat 13:52
Then He said to them, "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old."

48 "But if that evil servant says in his heart, "My master is delaying his coming,"

Here, He is referring to the Tares or Unbelieving Church members who are NOT saved and do not realize that His coming is soon and are teaching to the contrary. Some are teaching that His coming could be decades away and perhaps thousands of years away.

49 "and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,

Here, He is referring to the Tares or Unbelieving Church members who are Teaching/Preaching HIS Word in opposition to the saved or Believing Wheat who are Teaching/Preaching HIS Word. The phrase, "eat and drink with the drunkards", is referring to believing and teaching the Word of God with no discernment. These folk do not have the Holy Spirit.

Jude
17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:
18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.
19 These are sensual persons, who cause DIVISIONS, NOT HAVING THE SPIRIT.

50 "the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,

This is Jesus Christ coming as a Thief in the Night to the unsaved Tares in the Church. The unbelievers on the street if you will are indifferent to HIS coming again.

51 "and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The tares in the Church ARE hypocrites. They look like Christians, act like Christians, and talk like Christians. These unbelieving Church members or Tares will not have an opportunity to be saved during the Tribulation period. Remember Lot"s wife who really was not a Believer. She was ultimately destroyed although it appeared she was on her way out with the other Believing family members. These Unbelievers are classified as HYPOCRITES and are described in the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25.

Now we turn out attention to a similar account in the Gospel of Luke - - -

LUKE 17 (NKJV)
20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation;

Here is the WARNING to Believers in this church age. The Kingdom or Church will NOT manifest itself through the GLORY and POWER of GOD in an observable and miraculous way. Salvation will be by PREACHING and not by any accompanying Signs, Wonders, and Miracles.

21 "nor will they say, "See here!" or "See there!" For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."

Jesus is saying that His disciples and properly instructed Teacher/Preachers will not believe, teach, or promote Signs, Wonders, and Miracles during this church age. The parallel is the same warning to the Jews in the Tribulation period to avoid the Lying Signs, Wonders, and Miracles.

22 Then He said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.

We are in a time when most Teacher/Preachers DESIRE that God would manifest Himself and His work through Signs, Wonders, and Miracles. However, those sound in faith will refrain from doing so. Those who get involved with these manifestations become guilty of Spiritual FORNICATION if they are wheat and truly saved. The unsaved or Tares in the Church will be guilty of committing Spiritual ADULTERY.

23 "And they will say to you, "Look here!" or "Look there!" Do not go after them or follow them.

The Church Teacher/Preachers who advocate believing, promoting, or practicing Signs, Wonders, and Miracles are to be avoided. They are committing Spiritual FORNICATION or Spiritual ADULTERY depending on their Salvation status. Their desire is for Christians to JOIN them. These people are members of the Church at Thyatira which exhibit these characteristics. Man has an inherent sin nature which desires the manifestation of God"s glory and power NOW. We are commanded, however, to have perseverance and patience in this regard.

24 "For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.

Here is the WARNING to Believers in this church age. The Kingdom or Church will NOT manifest itself through the GLORY or the POWER of GOD in an observable and miraculous way. Salvation will be by PREACHING and not by any accompanying Signs, Wonders, and Miracles. When our Lord comes, everyone will know it and will observe his power and glory.

25 "But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

Before the GLORY is the SUFFERING. This is our lot in this church age to go with him outside the city gate and bear HIS reproach. The manifested POWER and GLORY of our Lord will be manifested when He comes again, but

NOT NOW ! ! !

26 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:

Now we are at the point just prior to the Tribulation period. The days of Noah were filled with extreme violence. This includes personal violence as well as wars. Divorce will be on the increase and is in this category also.

27 "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Unlike the account in Matthew, the focus is not on Noah, but is on those LEFT BEHIND and the impending judgment that will occur on all those on the earth during the Tribulation period and climaxes with the destruction of the ungodly.

28 "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;

It was "business as usual" up until the moment of destruction.

29 "but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.

The exodus of Lot typifies the Rapture, but the focus in Luke is on the events after the Rapture, mainly the Tribulation period. This is the only analogy to the Rapture event in Luke. Everything else in the remainder of the Chapter refers to events during the Tribulation period.

30 "Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

Jesus, the Son of Man, will reveal himself to mankind on the earth during the Tribulation period by judgment and not by mercy, lovingkindness, and righteousness which he has done up until then.

31 "In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back.

This is the warning to Israel to flee Jerusalem and Israel as also stated in Matthew. Many Jews will be reluctant to leave Jerusalem and Israel because of the peace and safety that is obtained during the first half of the Tribulation period.

1 Th 5:3
For when they say, "PEACE and SAFETY!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

It is the False Prophets who are encouraging the Jews to stick around because of the Peace and Safety that Israel is experiencing during the first 3.5 years of the Tribulation period.

32 "Remember Lot"s wife.

Lot"s wife was in the process of leaving Sodom with her husband, but had turned back in her heart to Sodom. Up until that point, it appeared she was one of the "SAVED". Her desire to return was premised on the fact that Judgment had not yet occurred on Sodom and therefore it would be to her advantage to return home. The analogy is that many Jews will return to Israel after deciding to leave. They are torn between the message to stay by the False Prophets and the peace and safety that is happening in Israel, and the warning to flee by those teaching the Word of God in truth.

33 "Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

The teaching by the false prophets in Israel at this time during the early part of the Tribulation period is based on the fact that there is peace and safety to stay in Judea. The wise will see the impending danger and impending events and will flee. Others will decide to come to Israel because of the safety it provides at this time. As a matter of fact the walls which divide Israel from the Palestinians will be removed. There is reference to this fact in the following - - -

Ezekiel 38
10 "Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:
11 "You will say, "I will go up against a land of UNWALLED VILLAGES; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates"--

34 "I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.

The key word for understanding "one will be taken and the other left" is linked to the word "NIGHT". The key word in Matthew was "DAY". Luke includes two in one bed while Matthew did not. The emphasis is on the Night and therefore will focus not on the Rapture, but on the events AFTER the rapture of the church. We are children of the day and not of the night. The "one will be taken" is referring to their removal from the earth at the end of the Tribulation period.

Joel 2
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand:
2 A day of DARKNESS and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, Even for many successive generations.

35 "Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left.

36 "Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left."

The above verses are referring to the Judgement at the end of the Tribulation period where the UnBelievers are removed from the earth. The Old Testament Saints will be resurrected to enter the Kingdom also at this time. This is the separation of the Righteous and the Unrighteous at the end of the Tribulation period.

37 And they answered and said to Him, "Where, Lord?" So He said to them, "Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."

Jesus is here telling that there will great carnage and destruction of the Unrighteous. These will be destroyed during or at the end of the tribulation period including Jews who did not flee Jerusalem or Judea but sought safety by word of the False Prophet and the work of the Anti-Christ.

Ps 145:20
The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will DESTROY.

CONCLUSION

The Gospel of Matthew deals a great deal with the events of the Rapture of the Church. Matthew 13 reveals the Kingdom of Heaven parables which we know relates to the Church Age and not to the 1000 year Age of Righteousness where our Lord rules and reigns over the earth from Jerusalem. It makes sense that the Gospel of Matthew which portrays our Lord as, "The King", and as such, His focus is on both his servants in the nation of Israel and his servants in the Church.

The Gospel of Luke deals a great deal with the events of the Judgment upon the earth for all of mankind who remain after the Rapture of the Church. Luke does not deal at length with the the Kingdom of Heaven parables as does Matthew. It makes sense that the Gospel of Luke which portrays our Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of Man, the Servant of God and as such, His focus is oriented towards the events of man and the events of the earth during the Tribulation period.

There is much discussion concerning whether or not the RAPTURE is pictured in Matthew 24. The above shows clearly that the RAPTURE is indeed described and emphasized in Matthew while in Luke, it is not...

There are many other passages which refer to the Rapture of the Church, but these passages were selected because they are not frequently viewed in light of the Prewrath or Pretribulation Rapture of the Church.

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