The Pre-Millennial Predictions Part 8

Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jun 19, 2009 - 11:37:50 AM

Portions of the “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24
We are obliged to look, closer, at Verse 31 in our consideration of the Lord’s Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24:
31. “And he [the Son of Man] shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together [in one place] his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Our closer attention is to focus on “His Elect.” They will be those who “His angels” gather-together in one place. It will be a very discriminating gathering. Those who are to be gathered will be “His Elect;” not all of the saved. The “Elect” comes from the Greek word, “Ekletos.” Strong’s definition is, “picked out, or chosen.” “Fausset’s Bible Dictionary” says, “ekletos, chosen to be office holders.” According to “Nelson’s Bible Dictionary,” the word, “elect,” means, “ekletos = eminent, valuable, choice, i.e., object of special favor for rendering special service to and for Him.” The “Elect” will be those who were chosen for special service, or work, or office “New Unger’s Bible Dictionary.”
“His Elect” will be a very elite troop. Many, if not all, of the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” (Heb. 12:1), who are cited in Hebrews Chapter Eleven, will make up this select crowd. Just imagine all of those who will be the “gathered-in-waiting” for the Lord Jesus to descend from heaven. Great Names of the faith, gathered in mass—God’s Hall of Fame, no less! Along with those who were not named, such as the “… others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” (Heb. 11:36-38). These un-named heroes will have been well-known, by name, throughout the long Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. They will have received and enjoyed their promises during this Day of Christ. Not only that, but they will have had prominent places of service in the Government of Zion’s Hill.
Just as there are among His callings, an elite group referred to, Scripturally, as “His Elect,” so too, are there a group of “Elect angels.” According to “Thayer’s Greek Lexicon,” we note that, “Angels are called ‘eklektoi,’ as those whom God has chosen out from other created beings to be peculiarly associated with him, and his highest ministers in governing the universe: see:1 Tim 5:21.”
“I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the ELECT ANGELS, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.”
Those who make up the Church (Ecclesia) over which Christ Jesus is the Head          (Eph. 1:22-23) will not be part of “His Elect” mentioned in Matthew 24. The “Elect” of our calling are given very “high orders” to follow as we make our way through this life as sojourners.
“Put on therefore [our Spiritual apparel], as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Col. 3:12-13).
The “high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14) is God’s present Elect. We are waiting for Christ to call His Church into session. In today’s church-world, we have no status; we have no acclaim; if we are known, then, we are misunderstood. By and large, members of the Church, which is His Body, when known ─ are rejected; we have no standing in the Christian- world. It is as if our service and ministry to the Lord Jesus Christ is part of some underground movement. But, we are not dismayed! Why? Because, we are “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). In our small “world,” we (you and I) are known and recognized by true yokefellows and fellow laborers. But, in the “church-world,” many of us have been denounced, excommunicated, castigated, maligned, vilified, and evil spoken of. Yet, we all wear these insults as a badge of honor.
Members of this Church, who recognize Jesus Christ as our Head, embrace the truth that we have died, and our life “is hid [‘krupto’ kept secret] with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). Now, get this; “our life is hid.” For something to be hid, it must be present!  Dear friends, we are “hid in plain sight.”
“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye [you and I] also appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4)
In plainer words, whenever Christ is made visible, our life with Him shall become visible in His glory. We, as His Body, who were hid, will be disclosed, uncovered, or unveiled when Jesus Christ is suddenly and, unexpectedly, made manifest.
32. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender,and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:”
33. “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it [He] is near, even at the doors.”
 The Lord Jesus utilizes the parable of the fig tree in His Olivet Discourse to caution those who will be left behind after the angels are to be sent forth to gather-together “His Elect” to a certain place (Matt. 24:30-31 & Mark 13:27).
The Lord Jesus warned  those who will be left-behind, that is to say, those who were not part of the troop of “His Elect.” Many will become lax in their everyday life and will be unprepared for His “Parousia.” When they see the events mentioned, previously, they will recognize that He was even at the door—meaning his “Parousia” was “at hand.” The Left-Behind-Believers (the non-Elect), in that day, had better be ready. There will be consequences to be paid by those who are not “toeing-the-line.”
MATTHEW 24:36-39
36. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
The “day” and the “hour,” spoken of, refers to the “Parousia” of the Son of Man as mentioned in Verse 37.
37. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming [Parousia] of the Son of man be.”
Bible students should notice that, again, the Spirit of Truth employs an Extended Simile by using the words, “as” and “so.” “AS the days of Noah were, SO shall also …” The “AS” and “SO” strengthens the Simile, emphasizing the exactness in the comparison between the “days” of Noah and the future days of the “Parousia” [Presence] of the Son of Man.
38. “For 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.”
Over the years, as I would read and ponder the phrases: “they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,” a great effort was made to make the phrases take on a meaning that was not really germane to the subject. I finally concluded that the expressions were a Metonymy of Adjunct where the “eating and drinking” and etc. is put for simply living and being alive (Exodus 24:11 and Genesis 16:13 in the OT, and Noah in the NT). That is to say, those who are not part of “His Elect” will be ignoring the impending crisis and continue on in their routine of life’s chores and pleasures.
The idea, here, is that those who will not be living in view of the times will not be prepared for the coming of the Presence of Christ. He will have sent His “Elect angels” to gather-together “His Elect” from one end of heaven to the other. This gathering ought to be an alarm to the left-behind-ones that “He is at the door.” But, their life goes on as though their salvation is assured. (Consider the foolish virgins in Matthew 25:1-13).
“The Amplified New Testament’s” rendering of Matthew 24:38 is instructive; “For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, [men] marrying and [women] being given in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah went into the ark.”
39-42. “And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”
“AS” it was in Noah’s day, “SO” shall, also, it be in the days of the Presence of the Son of Man—this Extended Simile indicates an exact TYPE of people being “taken away” (Matt. 24:39).
A very popular interpretation of Matthew 24:39-42 is that these verses teach Jesus Christ comes to rescue His saints. By rescue, they mean “rapture.” They, conveniently, overlook the implication of the Extended Simile. Here is a single paragraph summation of their toxic doctrine of “Rescue/Rapture:”
“As you can see, Jesus might come to rapture <>  you when you are at work.  You might be taken and your co-worker might not.  It is like a train we are all waiting for, and the train is late.  If we step out and go to do something else, we might lose [correction by TLB – “miss”] the train.  The train will leave and we will be left behind.  So it will be at the time of Jesus coming to rescue his followers.” ( <> ).
This false doctrine is noxious. This is a deliberate distortion of Truth. The Apostle Peter used a phrase which is most appropriate; “damnable heresies”  (2 Peter 2:1).
We read that the “left-behind-ones” will be aware that God’s Elect were gathered-together by “His elect angels.” They will grow lax in their diligence, looking for the coming (Parousia) of the Son of Man. They will “have to make a living,” raise their kids, participate in worldly affairs, marry off their sons and daughters, take care of grandma and grandpa, get up early in the morning and go to work. The petty pace from day-to-day—eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage—creeps on UNTIL the big SURPRISE! Many will be TAKEN AWAY. As it was in Noah’s Day—the flood came and TOOK THEM ALL AWAY (Matthew 24:39).
We trust enough has been said that the context of Matthew 24:39-42 is understood to be that the scenes, described, take place “immediately after the tribulation of those days.”  (V. 29).
V. 39. “The flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming [Parousia] of the Son of man be.”
V. 40. “Then two shall be in the field; one shall be taken, and the other left”
V. 41. “Two women shall be grinding at the mill; one shall be taken, and the other left”
How do we interpret this? Those who “shall be taken”—are they rescued and raptured to heaven? “And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away…” (Matt. 24:39). What does this mean? Does this mean they were “caught up” to heaven? Let’s allow the Scripture to answer for us. Remember, it will be as it was in the Days of Noah; so shall it, also, be in the days of the Presence [Parousia] of the Son of Man. How was it during forty days of the deluge? The “flood came and took them all away.” Took them to heaven? Not hardly! What saith the Scripture? The explanation is found in Genesis:
“And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man” (Gen. 7:21).
If that is not conclusive, consider Genesis 7:22-23:
“All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”
We wonder why someone is so intent, to prove a point, that they will wrest [pervert, distort] the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Their toxic doctrine is to try to prove a secret pre-tribulation rapture.
“One shall be taken, and the other left” Those who will be taken will die; that is to say, “taken” away to die. No reward for them. They will be “taken” which means to be “destroyed.” Luke 17:26-27 are parallel passages to Matthew 24.
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).
The Bible doesn’t allow for a “rescue/rapture.”  What many perceive to be “rapture” is, in reality, destruction.
To further emphasize the consequences of not being ready, the Lord Jesus Christ, additionally, likens what will transpire to what happened in the day Lot and his family went out of Sodom.
“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife” (Luke 17:28-32).
The day in which the angels showed up in Sodom to deliver Lot and his family from the coming “fire-storm,” the Sodomites’ life continued as usual—they ate and drank, sold and bought, planted crops, and built buildings. The very day Lot went out of Sodom, “it rained fire and brimstone” and destroyed all of the Sodomites.
The warning—if you’re on the housetop, leave immediately, don’t go into the house to get your stuff. Likewise, if you are in the field, and you perceive it’s time to run, don’t return to the house for any reason. The sobering admonition is—REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE! After all, Lot’s wife only wanted one last look … “But his wife looked back from behind him, and SHE BECAME A PILLAR OF SALT” (Gen. 19:26).
This reminds us of the proverbial saying of Jesus:
Luke 9:62: “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Not being “fit for the kingdom of God” is one thing; perhaps, Demas was one who looked back and became disqualified; whereas, Lot’s wife was not even named in Scripture. She had a righteous husband (2 Peter 2:8). Ten righteous men were not found, even, in Sodom (Genesis 18). If ten righteous men had been found, God would not have destroyed Sodom. It was a godless city. Lot’s wife lived amongst them. She had a praying husband and had Abraham, the father of the faithful, as her uncle by marriage. She had special privileges of living in a family of faith; yet, it was of no avail. Sadly, we must conclude that she lived and died graceless, godless, impenitent, and unbelieving. Just as many, today, were raised and lived in a Christian-praying-Bible-believing home and never, personally, committed themselves to the grace of God. Just as Lot’s wife, today, many consciences have never been aroused, or quickened. They never manifested opposition to the family’s Bible-faith. Neither did Lot’s wife. Like Lot’s wife, they have lived in the wake of their parent’s faith, but their heart was never touched—REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE! The world is in their hearts, and their hearts are in the world. Lot’s wife lived all of her life in this state and, in this state, she died and was TURNED INTO A PILLAR OF SALT.
Will many awake, one day, as an old man, or old woman and wonder why they never became a true-believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? They will realize that their parents were Bible-Believing Christians, they were raised in godly homes, had Christian teachers, and Christian friends, and were taught the Bible, but none of this, ever, wore off on them—they never decided to walk with God.  When they are called upon to leave, will they look back for one more glance at the world?
It is never too late! Don’t have a heavy hand upon the world. Remember Lot’s wife!
Roman 13:11-12: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
(This issue concludes our studies on “The Pre-Millennial Predictions of Matthew 24.” We pray that these eight studies might be used to edify the Church, which is His Body, and that the lost might be enlightened to know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men).