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Author Topic: Two in the field and two at the mill ~written by Cornelius R. Stam  (Read 1123 times)
TreeBug
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« on: January 16, 2012, 05:26:38 PM »

Dear nChrist
Since I am still very new to the forum, my thoughts were not to question this article in the Bible Study area. It just seemed bad manners. I don't sign in all the time, especially to just read and enjoy your posts in the Daily Devotional, Two Minutes with the Bible, etc. And not just your posts, I have found interest in many, and I've learned some things too. Bible Study and a 'second set' of eyes were my main reason for joining. Please understand, it's not of my character to be confrontational in any manner. My life before Jesus took a firm hold on me was nothing but confrontation and drama, I lost the taste for it long ago and almost can't bear the thought of it.
When I first read the article I was curious, even though an alarm went up in my mind. I considered my raising, all I had learned in church; and most especially what I learned from my Grandmother. I took seriously Mr. Stam's statement that Matthew 24: 40-42 was a misinterpretation. There are many more learned in the Bible than I am! I read the article, I saved it as well. Some of these I send to my daughter, however this one I didn't as usual because it troubled me so much. I've kept it in my heart and thoughts and I've had my nose all over the Bible.
I'll copy the article here before I go on:

~~

 TWO IN THE FIELD AND TWO AT THE MILL
by Cornelius R. Stam

"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 you Lord doth come" (Matt. 24:40-42).

How often the above passage has been interpreted to apply to our Lord's coming for the members of His Body! At the rapture of the Church, it is said, two will be working in the field, when one will be taken to heaven and the other left to go through the day of God's wrath, and so also with two women who may be grinding side by side at the mill: one will be caught up to be with the Lord and the other left behind.

But actually this passage cannot have anything to do with the rapture of the Body to be with Christ.

First, the truth of our Lord's coming for the members of His Body was a secret first revealed by the glorified Lord through Paul (I Cor. 15:51-58; I Thes. 4:15-18 ).

But from Matthew 24 itself it is still more evident that the passage cannot refer to the rapture.

True, the passage says: "The one shall be taken, and the other left", but where and how will the one be taken, and what will be the lot of the one who is left behind?

From the verses immediately preceding, it is evident that the coming of Christ to earth to judge and reign is in view. This coming is likened to what happened in the days of Noah. The people ate and drank, married and gave away again in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, "and knew not until the flood came and took them all away". These people were not "taken away" to glory; they were "taken away" in judgment.

Since verses 40 and 41 are a continuation of this illustration, it is evident that the two "taken away" are taken away in judgment at our Lord's return to reign, while the two who are "left" are left to enter into His millennial reign. This interpretation alone is consistent with the whole context in which we find this passage.

How much confusion would be avoided if the truth of the rapture of the Body to be with Christ were recognized to be what it is: a divine secret first revealed to Paul concerning the Church of this present dispensation, the Body of Christ.

~~

Now, I've only read two versions of our Bible; one being the 1974 Living Bible which is paraphrased. I enjoyed that Bible and believe it to be a good 'starter Bible'. But even I recognized that it wasn't giving me all that I needed, so I went back to the KJV a while back.  I read all of Matthew ch.24 and did not see that those left would be those that would enjoy peace on earth and those taken would be those taken to judgement.
Certainly, I know that I take the Bible as it is, I read it plainly and take it as a whole Truth. I also know that there are mysteries of which we will know nothing until the end of days. But even in the context of the whole, I could not see the evidence that Mr. Stam says there is. Even in his referenced scripture of 1 Cor. 15: 51-58 and 1 Thess. 4:15-18 could I see anything that would uphold his understanding of what he read. Paul is in 1 Corinthians answering the question of how we will have bodies, be resurrected; to those who doubted. Yes, that's simply put; but that's what it is. "Death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?  And the first letter to the Thessalonians 4: 15-18 absolutely contradict what Mr. Stam has presented in his article. As unlearned as I am verse 17 is absolutely clear.
I would ask that you read Luke chapter 17, when Jesus teaches the disciples of the days of Noah and the days of Lot as an example of the way things will be. And too, Luke chapter 18 (as Jesus is still teaching), the parable of the unjust judge had meaning for me concerning this. As did Luke chapter 21. Verse 36 especially caught me. I suppose what I just remarked upon is enough, I know that you know the Bible. I have it in my thoughts that you may even be a pastor. So I am being pretty 'cheeky' to presume anything. I did read Daniel again from chapter 9, although my understanding of Daniel is not as good. I still understood it enough.
I am sorry to bother you with this. I had thought to just leave it alone, but I felt I had to go with my heart. If there is something I'm not seeing, I trust the Holy Spirit will point it out to me in due time. He may even use you to do it! (smiling here) However, there can be no other authority for me than God's own Word.
With the love of Jesus always,
Teresa
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nChrist
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 07:49:32 PM »

Hello Teresa,

First, I would wish to point out that disagreements on this matter should have nothing to do with loving fellowship among brothers and sisters in Christ.

I agree with Pastor Stam completely. It's my opinion that Matthew 24 is talking about the Second Coming of Christ in great and holy wrath. The wicked will not be subjects in Christ's Millennial Kingdom. This is the easiest way I know of explaining it.

Many also disagree about the timing and sequence of the Rapture of the Church. First, I would point out that the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ are two separate and unique events. The Rapture is a joyous event where Christ catches up His Church to meet Him in the air. Christ doesn't come all the way down to the earth for the Rapture. As a contrast, Christ comes all the way down to the earth at His Second Coming and it is not a joyous event for most of the earths evil inhabitants. I personally believe that the Rapture of the Church is before the start of the Tribulation Period. More obvious and in less dispute, the Second Coming of Christ is at the end of the Tribulation Period. Another area of confusion regards some mixing the Church Which is the Body of Christ and Israel. The two are unique, and God has made separate promises to each unique entity. Further, Christ's Church did not replace Israel. God still has promises to keep for Israel, and He will keep them most perfectly.

Those in Matthew were awaiting the Messiah and the earthly Kingdom. The Mystery of Christ and His Church was not revealed to them. In fact, this mystery was not revealed to the Twelve until the Apostle Paul taught them. In other words, the Twelve were also awaiting the Messiah and the earthly Kingdom. As Christians, we already have our King and our Kingdom is Heavenly. The day will come when Israel will have her Messiah, and He will be accepted this time.

I hope this helps some. Please remember that disagreements in this area should be no reason for causing division or anger.
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TreeBug
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 03:51:57 PM »

Dear nChrist - and Hello!

Without some disagreement, there would be no questions. Without questions, there would be no learning. And in a loving fellowship, it should stand as such.  How can we teach and encourage otherwise? (smiling here) No worries here over divisions and anger. It's too prevalent in day to day life, to tolerate it among ourselves. Sadly, there's too much of it in churches as well.  I'll get off that soapbox before I get cranked up....

I have my little grandson today, so I won't be referencing the Bible. However, I think I can wing it. I agree that the Rapture and the Second Coming of our Lord are two separate events. I was raised and believe that the Rapture is also before the start of Tribulations, although there will be tribulations for us all before the Rapture. I also know that Israel and The Body of Christ are separate, insofar as promises and judgments. And Paul did reveal some of the mysteries of Christ's coming to Christ's Body (church) being the first to do so. All of this was firmly rooted in my heart as a child, as far as learning goes. (I'm the one who rebelled in my middle years. Thankfully, Jesus thumped me pretty hard on the head)
I have never read Matthew with the thought of it being the Second Coming. I will read it again in that regard. I'm still not settled about the matter, but I am a willing listener. (and I do know that the wicked will not be subjects of Christ's rein here on earth, it would be impossible to have a thousands years of peace.  Smiley )

As much as I know I'll spend the rest of my life reading my Bible, I also know that there shouldn't be any confusion concerning our Lord's timing in coming back. God's plan is a perfect plan and frankly, that's all we need to know. Jesus did tell us to be watchful and He taught us enough to know, even us simple ones; that we don't want to be caught asleep at the door. I believe that His Coming is soon, although things aren't as bad as the days of Noah, they're getting close. It could be our generation or the next, possibly the next....it shouldn't matter. Because it IS a sure thing that each of us face the first death in our own time, and we know not when that comes either.

I'll read and study more, maybe even attempt a deeper study of Revelations. I've read it and studied some, but my personal thoughts were that I should be more familiar with the Whole before I tried to understand the last. I'll get back to this again and let you know. I may have (!may? ~ will more like it) questions. Whether they can be answered or not is not the point, insight is. Thank you for taking the time with this and for being so gracious. Not something I'm used to. I hope all of the old timers are as rare a commodity as you are. From what I've seen so far.....(smiling here)


Love in Jesus always,
Teresa
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nChrist
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 06:33:06 PM »

Hello Sister Teresa,

You are most welcome. I just hope that I helped some. These are very difficult Bible topics, and I would be the first to say that there is much I don't understand. Various portions of the Bible are woven together and some aren't easy to understand at all. Daniel and Revelation would be two prime examples of difficult material. We could study the Bible several lifetimes and barely scratch the surface. Much we will have to wait for, and God will tell us at His appointed time.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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