The Olivet Discourse (Part thirteen)

You must be ready and alert
Matthew 24:40 – “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. 42 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. 45 “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 46 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 47 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 48 But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ 49 and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 50 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, 51 and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Now I wish to show you this from 1 Thessalonians then we will discuss these passages:
5:1 – Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape. 4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. 6 So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. 7 Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. 8 But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. 9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Just so you understand once again. There were two questions asked by the apostles to Jesus. There are two answers given, but in a way that gives details that has left many confused and mislead. From verse 4 through 31 Jesus described the end of the known world at this time. Verses 32 through 51 describe His return.
Now note that in the first part this is mentioning of signs and wonders. The darkening of the sun no light from the moon. The stars hidden. Those of evil perform signs and wonders. These are all things that none can deny for all will see them. So how can the return of Christ be like a thief in the night? A surprise. It cannot.
So even though the return is spoken of by Christ.It actually occurs before the events he has just spoken of in the previous section. Yet there is mention of a type of rapture in the first part people will say and question at this point. Yes that is true, but the wording is very clear here as was shown in part eleven of this series.
There will be three raptures. The first is what is being referred to by Jesus at this time. The second will occurs at the midpoint of the Tribulation period when the third temple is desecrated by the anti-Christ. The third will occur as described in verse 31 and will deal only with the Jewish people.
How else can Jesus come as a thief in the night? It must be at a time when no one is looking or expecting him. It is as stated in the previous part of this series, like the times before the great flood. People will be living their lives as if nothing has changed. Nothing has occurred to give them pause or wonder.
Jesus Himself promised that those that are alert will not partake of the Tribulation (Revelation 3:10), but those of the tribes of Israel that have not accepted Jesus as the Messiah will. Why? Because they denied Him when He walked amongst them nearly two thousand years ago. It is those of the tribes of Israel that are called the elect that He will gather unto Him upon His return. For further confirmation of this, read the following:
Revelation 7:1 – Then I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds so they did not blow on the earth or the sea, or even on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel coming up from the east, carrying the seal of the living God. And he shouted to those four angels, who had been given power to harm land and sea, 3 “Wait! Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.” 4 And I heard how many were marked with the seal of God—144,000 were sealed from all the tribes of Israel: 5 from Judah 12,000 from Reuben 12,000 from Gad 12,000 6 from Asher 12,000 from Naphtali 12,000 from Manasseh 12,000 7 from Simeon 12,000 from Levi 12,000 from Issachar 12,000 8 from Zebulun 12,000 from Joseph 12,000 from Benjamin 12,000
These are the select, the elect, and the chosen. All from the tribes of Israel. These are those that verse 31 is referring to and no others. For those that left when Christ returned as a thief in the night are already gone. So how can they leave a second time? Then this is prove there will be multiple raptures. One for those that stayed alert. One for those that were martyred during the first half of the Tribulation and the third will be as mentioned above.

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