Taken, the other left
Who is taken, and where, and who is left behind?
Traditionally, the passage about being left behind has been interpreted as being left behind to suffer tribulation, while the one who is taken is raptured.
But comparing Matthew and Luke, where Luke gives an extra detail, causes one to ponder more about the traditional definitions.
Mat 24:36 ¶ But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noah [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:41 Two [women shall be] grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Luk 17:34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two [men] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Luk 17:35 Two [women] shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Luk 17:36 Two [men] shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Luk 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body [is], thither will the eagles be gathered together.
Notice the Lord did not say the ones taken were raptured away to be with Him.
The ones “taken” end up with the “eagles.”
What do eagles do?
Notice in Luke that the Lord is asked where the people were taken. He answers, where the body is….the eagles will be gathered together.
Note, earlier in Matthew, Jesus also said:
Mat 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
If the person was raptured, their body would be in heaven.
If the person was not raptured, but taken elsewhere, it sounds like only the body is found after the “taking.”
This implies that the body is dead, or will be killed, and then eaten.
Birds of prey eat dead animals, or kill and then eat them.
Eagles are differentiated from other broad-winged birds of prey mainly by their larger size, more powerful build, and heavier head and beak.
Like all birds of prey, eagles have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong muscular legs, and powerful talons. They also have extremely keen eyesight which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance.
Normally, they eat fish or other small animals.
But, can they eat humans?
(1) Excerpt from this article:
Haast’s eagle which became extinct about 500 years ago, researchers said Friday. The researchers say they have determined that the eagle – which lived in the mountains of New Zealand and weighed about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) – was a predator and not a mere scavenger as many thought.
Much larger than modern eagles, Haast’s eagle would have swooped to prey on flightless birds – and possibly even the rare unlucky human.
They compared their data on the Haast’s eagle to characteristics of modern predator birds and scavenger birds to determine that the bird was a fearsome predator that ate the flightless moa birds and even humans.
Scofield said the findings are similar to what he found in Maori folk tales. "The science supports Maori mythology of the legendary pouakai or hokioi, a huge bird that could swoop down on people in the mountains and was capable of killing a small child," he said.
New Zealand paleontologist Trevor Worthy said the study did a good job of proving the eagle was a killer.
"They provide a convincing case that the body of this eagle has rapidly enlarged, presumably adapting to the very much larger prey it had access to in New Zealand, but that the brain size had lagged behind this increase," he said in an e-mail interview. "Convincing data shows beyond doubt that this bird was an active predator, no mere scavenger.
So it is possible that the bodies found, mentioned in Luke, are dead bodies and food for eagles.
(2) I found another account of how Tibetan priests feed dead humans to eagles in funeral rituals.
Wheat and tares
Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];
Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Notice that the tares are in a field that God intends to harvest. So the tares do not come from the unbelieving world. They come from the church.
The tares look very much like the wheat, so the farmer has to wait until harvest to distinguish them best.
The tares may think they are safe, being in the wheat field, with the true believers, but they aren’t. God is aware of who they are.
Being in with the wheat only protects them for awhile, until the harvest time.
Notice that the tares are taken first, and destroyed.
(1) God will judge the church before He judges the world.
The church will go through a purging, or tribulation of its own, before the wicked of the world experience the wrath of God.
The ones taken are those who are false believers in the church.
We need to question ourselves.
Are we true wheat, the true harvest?
Or are we the tares, pretending to be Christian, but unfaithful in our souls?
Are we tares, and don’t know it? Are we self deceived?
We need to examine the fruit in our lives.
It is a gruesome thought that false Christians could become food for birds of prey, or “burned” and destroyed.
They have the opportunity to hear and believe the Word, yet they mock it and the Christ with their lives, bringing others down with them.
It is time to check our hearts, to see if we are true or false before God, because our judgment will come first. And very soon.
(2). Where we are located physically, is not as important as where we are spiritually.
When the taking occurred, and the tares were removed, both those taken and left behind were in the same physical location.
I had been concerned about this somewhat when other predictions indicated that certain areas of the country, or world, would be at risk during natural or man made disasters.
There have been warnings to leave the east coast of America, to leave the New Madrid Fault line, to leave California, to leave the Gulf Coast, etc.
I have seen some predictions where all India would have to be evacuated, due to end time flooding, and Christians live there too.
If one looks up end time “flood maps,” one can see huge flooding in various areas.
One can also see maps of invasions, and bombing.
So where is the righteous to go?
These scriptures indicate that God will selectively protect the righteous, and allow the false believers to be plucked out. All in the same location, wherever it is.
On one street, in one church building, or in one village or town, some will die, and some will live.
So how do the righteous respond, and where do they go to protect themselves?
Isa 26:20 ¶ Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Isa 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
From Psalm 91
Psa 91:1 ¶ He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psa 91:2 I will say of the LORD, [He is] my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Psa 91:3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, [and] from the noisome pestilence.
Psa 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler.
Psa 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day;
*** or afraid of the eagles and other birds of prey assigned to eat the wicked!!!
Psa 91:6 [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday.
Psa 91:7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee.
Psa 91:8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Psa 91:9 Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation;
Psa 91:10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
Psa 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
The right location, then, for the believer, is under the protective “wings” of God.
It is not in South Dakota, Oklahoma, or Montana. It is not in Germany, Spain, or China.
The hiding place is in the Lord, not in the world.
There will be terror, evil, and death, all around us, but if we go to the Lord for refuge, we will be safe.
If we don’t, we could be harmed.
Those plucked out will be either
1. false believers
2. those who don’t look to God for protection.