1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of Luke, The Kingdom of God, Part III - Lesson 195

 

Luke 17:26-37, And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27They 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. 28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31In 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. 32Remember Lotís wife. 33Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  37And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
 

We enter the study of this passage knowing that it is taught as a result of the Pharisees wanting to know when the kingdom of God should come.

 

We have seen that the Pharisees had a kingdom of God in mind in accordance with their belief system however Jesus quickly told them that the kingdom of God would not come with observation. 

 

There would be no check off list as to when this would occur.

 

The Pharisees had neatly arranged their minds as to the when and how of the kingdom.

 

However, by saying the kingdom would not come with observation, the Lord Jesus Christ inferred that they would not recognize the coming kingdom.

 

They would not recognize the coming kingdom because they had false preconceived ideas of what the King and the kingdom must be like.

 

They expected the kingdom to be like the kingdoms of this earth only more powerful and righteous according to the law and their traditions for they were fully engaged in the building of that kind of kingdom.

 

When the Lord Jesus Christ failed to meet these ideas, He was rejected as a false prophet and the Jews used the Romans to put the true Messiah to death.

 

The Pharisees were looking for a kingdom that would conform to their standards but that kind of kingdom would never come.

 

And as Jesus said, they had not seen it in Him, even though He stood in their midst, even though His message was consistently about the kingdom of God, and even though John the Baptist, had been the forerunner of the King.

 

We see how thorough the blinding of religion is, for religion uses sight whereas God requires faith! 

 

Here was the king of the kingdom standing in their midst but they could not see for their eyes were blind to spiritual things. 

 

Except ye be born again ye cannot see the kingdom of God.

 

Jesus then turned to his disciples and instructed them about the danger of zealousness as to the when and how of the kingdom, but instead to be zealous about the building of the kingdom by the preaching of the good news of the king.

 

The emphasis of our Lord is not on us finding or discovering Him and His coming kingdom, but on how He will find us when He comes.

 

We ought not to be chasing after every self-proclaimed messiah, but we should be bringing others to the true Messiah, by faith.

 

He later asks this question in Luke 18:8,  ÖÖÖ Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

 

On many occasions, some of which we have studied, Jesus urged His disciples to be faithful and to be found occupying when He returned.

 

By this lesson we are to focus our attention and our efforts on being found faithful carrying out the task which He has given us, and that is faithfully proclaiming the Gospel until He comes.

 

He then tells us that the kingdom will come in a time where normal life is going on. 

 

He implies that worldly pre-occupations, will engage most men and women at His coming. 

 

The hymn that we sing challenges us to: 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
 

But this is what will be lacking when Christ comes the second time for we are given a picture of that time and that picture includes all of those normal life activities which focus upon self and self alone.

He mentions, eating and drinking and marrying, and buying, and selling and planting.

 

The day to day pre-occupation of normal life which focus on self always diminishes any desire for God or his kingdom.

 

It dims any view of the reality of Godís kingdom, and dulls any desire for it to come.

 

But when our life is found in Christ, and we give up our worldly desires and goals, then and only then we will eagerly await His return, and be busily engaged in the seeking of souls for the kingdom.

 

The world is engaged in the accumulation of possessions for possessions sake.

 

But possessions are not given to possess us but they are given to further Godís kingdom.

 

Treasures laid up on earth produce hearts which are focused on earth.

 

Only when we lay up treasure in heaven, do our hearts turn toward heaven. 

 

Our daily life determines if we will have a hunger for heaven and that hunger is directly proportional to where we lay up treasure for where your treasure is there will your heart be also.

 

Put your treasure in heaven and youíll be a lot more interested in going there, wonít you?

 

Lotís sons-in law and his married daughters could not leave the treasures of Sodom and so they perished in Godís judgement.

 

Lotís wife looked back at Sodom because that is where her treasure was and God turned her into a pillar of salt. 

 

So as we see in verse 30 this condition will again occur at the time of Christís coming for he says.

 

30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31In 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. 32Remember Lotís wife. 33Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. 35Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.  37And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

 

Christís message is clear. 

 

Those whose life is wrapped up in stuff will lose their life. 

 

When the time comes those who look for the kingdom are to look for the kingdom and not their stuff. 

 

Where is their heart?  Is it a kingdom heart or a heart wrapped up in stuff.

 

In this revelation of end times Jesus is speaking of the judgment side of the kingdom rather then the blessings of the kingdom.

 

We have no vision of streets of gold here but a vision of wrath, and suffering and the death of a sinful generation.

 

Men are not going to be prepared for it as they would be prepared for a hurricane or a flood. 

 

Those who are present at the time of this judgment must flee without any delay, without any turning back, without trying to save anything which they wrongly thought brought ďlife, that is, worldly possessions.

 

In this time of judgment, two men will be in bed retired for the night.

 

One will be taken and one will be left. 

 

We should not automatically think the worse about this as it was custom for family groups to sleep together. 

 

In the past it was not unusual for two men to sleep in the same bed anyway was it not, especially when they were traveling together. 

 

I remember a time in the early 1980ís when Dr. Hobbs, Howard Woods, Peter Foxx and myself went up to Camp Penial in Ohio. 

We had one motel room on the way up and one on the way back.

 

The room had two double beds so it was natural for us to share a bed. 

 

I look back on some of the things we used to do in this regard and in those days there was much less sensitivity about things like this than there is today. 

 

Jesus Christ also tells us of two women, both of whom are going about their daily duties in the grinding of grain. 

 

Also two men are in the field and like the women one is taken and the other is left.

 

Now the natural response of the disciples to what the Lord is teaching is to ask a question. 

 

They are puzzled as to what he is talking about and they want to know where the sleeping man, the grinding woman and the man in the field are being taken.

 

ďWhere are they taken to, Lord, they askĒ

 

There are some who answer this question by saying that the three that were taken are saved and are taken in the rapture.

 

And there are some who believe that this event refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A. D. but I donít agree with this nor do I agree that these are the saved since the Lord very clearly prefaced these remarks with the statement:

 

30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 

 

The Son of man is revealed in the tribulation when Christ comes and every eye shall see him. 

 

He is not revealed in the rapture for when he comes we will meet him in the air but the world will not see him. 

 

Neither was He revealed at the destruction of the temple in 70 A. D..

 

So I believe that in the context of this passage this takes place in the great tribulation when Christ comes to set up his kingdom.

 

This is judgment taking place on these two men and one woman. 

 

Note that in this small vignette we see that half the people mentioned are taken and half are left.

 

We are also given the answer of Christ as to where these are being taken. 

 

He is somewhat mysterious in his answer as he says:

 

Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

 

What does this sound like? 

 

It sounds like the bodies of these three will be food for the birds. 

 

It sounds like the three that were taken were taken in judgment.

 

Look at Rev. 19:17 at a scene where birds are being fed in the time of the tribulation.

 

Rev. 19:17,  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

 

Note also the percentage of the population of the earth that is killed during this terrible time of wrath and judgment that takes place during the tribulation. 

Rev. 6:8 tells us that 25% of the earthís population is killed after the seal of the pale horse is broken.  

Rev 6:8, 8And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

 

And we find in Rev. 9:15 that the third part of the remaining population is killed by the four angels loosed from the Euphrates. 

 

Rev. 9:15, 15And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

 

This third part consists of one third of the three quarters of the population which remained which is another quarter of the earthís population. 

 

So with the first quarter and this quarter 50% of the earthís population is killed during the tribulation. 

 

So Christís description of one half the people mentioned being taken lines up with what is foretold as to what takes place in the Great Tribulation. 

 

He gives us in this story a small sample.

 

So this is a judgment scene that Christ describes here for before the blessings of the kingdom come there must be judgment. 

 

Before the building up can be accomplished there must be a tearing down.

 

This is also true in each of our lives. 

 

Being born again implies the death of that which was previously born.

 

If you expect to get saved when the warning signs come you are mistaken for Jesus tells us in this passage that there will be no warning signs of the coming day of judgment

 

There will be no time to repent when that day comes.

 

That is why the Lord tells us that today is the day of salvation. 

 

Each of us have this moment but like the man in bed, the woman grinding, and the man in the field there will come a day of judgment which will come like a thief in the night, totally unexpected and without warning. 

 

So the message of Christ is to repent and put to death that old heart in order to have a new heart implanted by God.