The Facets of Matthew 24
By Dr. Victoria Sarvadi
As of late, I’ve been asked about a different perspective and interpretation of Matthew 24 concerning the “taking away of one and another being left behind”. Ordinarily, in the past, these scriptures have been used to emphasize the catching away of the Saints or rapture.
Before I tackle this, it must be established first that Eastern or Hebraic thinking employs a concept called “block thinking” as opposed to western thinking which is defined as more of a linear type thought process. Due to these cultural differences of mindsets, most westerners appear a bit confused when reading various books of the Bible. The west is taught to collect information sequentially or in timelines. We want to start at point A and eventually expect to reach point B. This has caused much confusion when the writers of the Bible write in “block form”. This means the writer stops his linear processes and circles back to either the beginning or a different vantage point and seems to repeat information again as we see in Genesis 1 and 2 or throughout the books of the prophets and even the book of Revelation. Middle Easterners also look at life concepts as “2 sides of a coin” where 2 opposites can both be true. Westerns have difficulty with this concept as they often believe that opposites cannot both be true.
I like to call this conceptual thinking as “on the other hand”. If we stop and consider it, God is a God of mercy, grace, and love yet on the other hand, He is also a God of vengeance, judgement, and wrath.
So, now as we examine Matthew 24:9 we must see the starting point of Yeshua’s mindset, He begins with establishing that some believers will be delivered up (or taken) to be persecuted or put to death for His Namesake.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
“They will DELIVER or TAKE you”. Though His unveiling of this information is upsetting, He has told us ahead of time what is inevitable for some believers according to His Word which must happen at its appointed time.
He goes on to compare these days to be like the days of Noah when most were swept away. The idea being conveyed here is that the people were unprepared, not ready – even though Noah warned them of the judgment of God. He’s saying that as it was in the Days of Noah there will also be (in the End-times) those who will suffer and be swept or taken away.
7 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
In this scenario the idea of being left is actually that of protection. These inferences are not pertaining to the catching away of the Saints though these scriptures are often erroneously used for this later act of God.
However, “on the other side of the coin”, Yeshua goes on to say later in the chapter that after those turbulent and tumultuous times, He will then, with sound of an Angel’s trumpet, gather (take away) His elect from all over Earth (the 4 winds) as well as in Heaven to live forever in His Millennial reign.
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
It helps to see this chapter in this new light as it does prepare us to not be caught unaware of these coming dangers and warnings. Like Noah Yeshua is warning us to be spiritually ready, not just living a carnal, carefree life, not even heeding to His warnings.
Yeshua Himself says in verse 25:
25 Take note: I have told you in advance.
I believe He tells us this information so we will also know how to pray and to give us knowledge. Afterall, without knowledge we perish! Pray that you will be invisible to the evil one. That you and those you love will not be taken by the enemy. Also, may we not be swept away in judgement because we are spiritually unprepared. But rather may we “press in” to His Promises and rely on His Hand to be our protection in troubled days ahead.
The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9
Thank you Yeshua, for warning us ahead of time.