ITERO 2020 – The Christian Life – Week 3
Losing the Soul-life, Participating in the Rapture of the Overcomers, and
Receiving the End of Our Faith the Salvation of the Soul
32 Remember Lot’s wife.
33 Whoever seeks to preserve his soul-life will lose it, and whoever loses it will preserve it alive.
34 I tell you, In that night there will be two on one bed; the one will be taken and the other will be left.
35 There will be two women grinding together; the one will be taken but the other will be left.
36 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.
1 John 2:15-17, 27-28
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him;
16 Because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vainglory of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.
17 And the world is passing away, and its lust, but he who does the will of God abides forever.
27 And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you; but as His anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true and is not a lie, and even as it has taught you, abide in Him.
28 And now, little children, abide in Him, so that if He is manifested, we may have boldness and not be put to shame from Him at His coming.
Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt because she took a lingering, backward look at Sodom. That look indicated that she loved and treasured the evil world which God was about to judge and utterly destroy. She was rescued from Sodom, but she did not reach the safe place that Lot reached (Gen. 19:15-30). She did not perish; neither was she fully saved. Like the salt which becomes tasteless (Luke 14:34-35), she was left in a place of suffering shame. This is a solemn warning to world-loving believers.
If we love the Lord and are warned by the case of Lot’s wife, we shall not care for material things or set our hearts on them. Instead of preserving our soul by loving material things, we shall be filled up with Christ as the heavenly air. Then we shall rise in rapture. (Life-study of Luke, pp. 336-337)
In Luke 17:34 and 35 the rapture of the overcoming believers is revealed. It will occur secretly and unexpectedly, at night to some believers who are sleeping and in the daytime to some sisters grinding at home and to some brothers working in the field. They are chosen because they have overcome the stupefying effect of this age.
In 14:25-35 the Savior charges us to pay the price insofar as we are able that we may follow Him. In 16:1-13 He charges us to overcome mammon so that we may serve Him prudently as a faithful steward. Here in 17:22-37 He charges us to overcome the stupefying effect of self-indulgent living in this age so that we may be raptured into the enjoyment of His parousia (presence, coming). These charges are all related to overcoming in the believers’ practical living.
In both 17:34 and 35 the Lord says that “the one will be taken.” The Greek word for “taken” literally means “taken with.” This word denotes the rapture of the overcomers, who do not preserve their soul life by loving the worldly things of this age. Those who are taken in this way will be raptured before the great tribulation (Matt. 24:21), which will be a severe trial upon the whole inhabited earth (Rev. 3:10). To be thus raptured is to be kept out of the hour of trial which is about to come on the whole inhabited earth, to try them who dwell on the earth (Rev. 3:10).
The words “grinding” in Luke 17:35 and “in the field” in Matthew 24:40 signify working for a living. Although the believers should not be stupefied by the necessities of this life, they need to work for a living. Any thought of giving up proper work for a living is another extreme of Satan’s tactics.
In Luke 17:34-36 we see that some who are sleeping will be raptured in the night, and some sisters grinding and some brothers farming will be raptured in the day. Here we see that the rapture will involve saints who are in different places at different times. When the rapture takes place, some will be raptured in the night, and others will be raptured in the day, depending on where they live on earth. Perhaps the saints in the Far East will be raptured in the night, and the saints in the West will be raptured in the day.
In these verses we see that not all those who are sleeping, grinding, or farming will be raptured. This indicates that not all the believers will be raptured at once. The Lord says that two will be on one couch, and one will be taken and the other will be left. The same will be true of two grinding at the same place and of two laboring in the field. In each case, the one who is left may not know the whereabouts of the one who has been taken. This is the rapture of the watchful believers. (Life-study of Luke, pp. 338-339)
Further Reading: HWMR The Christian Life, the Church Life, the Consummation of the Age, and the Coming of the Lord – Week 3, Day 3
Corporate Reading of “The Mystery of Christ” Chapter 9 – Sections: The Anointing And Prayer Of The Elders
(c) Living Stream Ministry, 2016, used by permission