Luke 17:37 may be the most overlooked Bible prophecy verse in the entire Bible. I have not seen many Bible prophecy commentators address Luke 17:37 in my many years of study.
Despite being overlooked, Luke 17:37 may be one of the most important Bible prophecy verses in the Bible. In fact, studying Luke 17:37 caused me to reevaluate many assumptions I had about the end times and caused others to reevaluate everything they were taught about the end times.
In this article, I will highlight Luke 17:37 while discussing several important end time passages.
The Days of Noah
Christ compared the time of His Coming to the days of Noah. Christ discussed how people in Noah’s time lived life unaware of their impending doom before the flood. Similarly, many people in the end times will be living life unaware of their impending doom before Christ’s coming. Christ also added that some will be taken away while others will be left behind when He comes.
“(37) But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (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 Noe entered into the ark, (39) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (40) Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (41) Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” (Matthew 24:37-41)
Many assume that the righteous will be taken away while the wicked will be left behind. But is that assumption correct?
Luke 17 also describes Christ talking about the days of Noah. Luke adds that the disciples asked Christ about the destination of those who will be taken. Christ gave a really interesting answer to His disciples’ question:
“(26) And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (27) They 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. […] (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. (35) Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (36) Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (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.” (Luke 17:26-27, 34-37)
Luke 17:37: The Destination
Luke 17:37 says “Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together”. The same statement is found in Matthew 24:28 except that the word “body” is replaced with “carcase”.
“(27) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (28) For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” (Matthew 24:27-28)
We can deduce from Luke 17:37 and Matthew 24:28 that those taken will be sent to a place where there will be birds flying over dead bodies.
The Gathering of Birds
Where else in the Bible can we read about a gathering of birds to prey on a bunch of dead bodies during the end times? Ezekiel 39:17-19 and Revelation 19:17-18 each describe birds gathering to feast on wicked people who are about to be slaughtered:
“(17) And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. (18) Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. (19) And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.” (Ezekiel 39:17-19)
“(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; (18) That 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.” (Revelation 19:17-18)
Could it be possible that those taken are wicked people who will be sent to their doom?
The Harvest at the End of the Age
The idea that the wicked may be taken seems quite strange in an age where many teach that the wicked are the ones left behind. The righteous will indeed be taken at some point to meet Christ in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). But, the passages above indicate that those taken will be sent to a place where birds will be ready to feast on a bunch of dead bodies.
Is there any other place in the Bible where we can find evidence that the wicked may be taken? There is…
Christ described the end time harvest of the earth in the parable of the wheat and tares. Christ described the wheat (the righteous) and tares (the wicked) both present on Earth until the harvest (at the end of the age):
“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.” (Matthew 13:30)
“(37) He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; (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; (39) The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” (Matthew 13:37-39)
Notice in Matthew 13:30 that the tares will be taken first: “gather ye together first the tares”. The tares will be taken to their doom according to Matthew 13:40-42:
“(40) As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. (41) The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (42) And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:40-42)
Putting the Pieces Together
Here are the key facts we have gathered up to this point:
- Luke 17:37 and Matthew 24:28 indicate that some will be sent to a place where birds will be flying over dead bodies. Meanwhile, others will not join them on this journey (Matthew 24:40-41 and Luke 17:34-36).
- Revelation 19:17-18 and Ezekiel 39:17-19 each describe a scene where birds will gather before a great slaughter of wicked people that have assembled.
- Matthew 13:30, 37-42 indicate that the wicked will be gathered first at the end time harvest of the earth and will be taken to their doom.
Piecing these facts together, it’s likely that Luke 17:34-36 and Matthew 24:40-41 refer to the wicked who will be taken to their doom. The wicked will get slaughtered and become food for the birds that will gather to feast on dead bodies.
Who are the wicked? I propose that the wicked are those with the Mark of the Beast, and their slaughter will fulfill the promise given by the third of three angels mentioned in Revelation 14:
“(9) And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, (10) The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:” (Revelation 14:9-10)
The wicked being taken in Matthew 24:40-41 and Luke 17:34-36 are likely those who did not already assemble to the battlefield described in Ezekiel 39:17-19 and Revelation 19:17-18. They will be taken to the scene so they can join others in their doom.
As I mentioned, many assume that the righteous will be taken away while the wicked will be left behind when they read Matthew 24:40-41 and Luke 17:34-36. The passages I shared in this article suggest that the wicked will actually be taken first. I am not the only one who has reached this finding. I know of others who came to a similar conclusion and had their end time viewpoints completely transformed by it.
I know it’s not easy to accept the idea that the wicked are the ones taken in Matthew 24:40-41 and Luke 17:34-36. It took me over two years before I was ready to accept a proper view of these passages. I hope you will not take as long as me to reach the same conclusion I have.
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Hi Wayne, I am now rethinking the disciples question regarding, Where, Lord? regarding the eagles and the taken. The greek word used for taken here is paralambano (sp) and it means to take along in a close way, like a companion. The idea of being given an office of some type is within this word.
I believe the scriptures teach post trib. For awhile I held the idea that the taken are the wicked. I just today learned of the definition of paralambano and realize that it doesn’t fit the context of those being destroyed.
This doesn’t in any way nullify a post trib rapture, but I do seek correct understanding, especially since I have taught/shared with people my view that I’ve held till now.
What are your thoughts on this?
I’m not swayed by the definition of that Greek word. It’s an argument I’ve seen before… The reason is that Matthew 13:30 is definitive about who is taken away first. It’s the tares who are taken first. Not the righteous. The wicked are not left behind in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. They’re taken to their destruction…
Hi Wayne, Thank you for responding, I appreciate the dialogue! I frequently go to the greek and hebrew word origins so I can’t let it go just yet lol.
I did some more digging and discovered that the greek word for body in Luke 17:37 is “soma” which means a living body, while the greek word “ptomos” in Matthew 24:28 means corpse. The greek word aetos can mean eagles or vultures. Vultures eat carrion, but eagles do not. I wonder if perhaps Jesus’ reply to the disciples question “Where, Lord?” might have more layers to it, as Jesus’ replies sometimes do! Might it be possible that Jesus was referring to both the shielding of believers and the destruction of the wicked happening simultaneously? Which seems to be around the sixth bowl judgment.
Correction: Eagles do eat carrion. My apologies!
If you must look for a potential mitigating view, you could explore the possibility that the “taken” are the righteous and those that are “left” are those who did not accept the Mark of the Beast, but are not taken up as part of the Rapture because they are not believers by that time. These are those who will be judged during the Sheep and Goat Judgment. They will be judged based on how they treat the righteous during the tribulation, particularly the great tribulation.
Wayne is correct. The people of the world like to change the meaning when Yahweh the father and Yahshua the son are not the authors of confusion.
These simple people asked a simple question where are these people being taken? Yahshua responded by saying exactly what the scriptures say it says.
Here is another example:
38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day.”
Another example: Yahshua is the Son Yahweh the father of 2 different individuals. How do we know this first off everyone calls him the son and then the other the father but to put everything to rest the bible is clear. Matthew 24:36
Matthew 24:36 is clear.
*Yahshua (son) doesn’t know the day or hour not do the angels “only” the father Yahweh
The Day and Hour Unknown
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father.
The reason ministers like to manipulate these meanings is that they didn’t know the bible. They are all following the world rather than seeing exactly what the bible clearly says it says.
These people were simple-minded people he was speaking to just like the 12 Apostles they were told only they were to understand not the people until the people repented from their sins.
People today are not allowed to see because of their sins and fail to repent until their heart is right they will not see.
Hi Wayne, On reading end time prophecy here and in other webs. I have one problem with them! The Beast(Antichrist) will not be the image set up to be worshipped! Satan’s fall was because he wanted to be God and to be worshipped. Right? Satan want’s to be God. So why does everyone say the Beast(Antichrist) will be worshipped and not Satan? Rev. 13:3, says one of the heads of the Beast(Antichrist) will appear to die, but did not. In v.4 this head is called the dragon, ie, Satan! Therefore the image, mark, and the number of the beast is about Satan. Not about any human man! Yes, Satan gives the Beast(Antichrist) his power, kingdom, ect for the first half of the tribulations. But Satan has to be worshipped, not the Beast(Antichrist). In Rev. 16:13 there are 3 evil parts of the Great Tribulation and at the end. (See: Rev. 19:19 & 20: 1-3,7-10). The head must be taken over by Satan! So Satan will be worshipped as God for the last part of the tribulation, thinking he has won against Jesus Christ and God. There are 3 good: God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. There are 3 evil: The Dragon(Satan), the Beast(Antichrist), and The Beast(False Prophet). So the Beast(Antichrist) can not become Satan! As most web say. I have been studying for over 40 years because I found out I was not being told the TRUTH of the scriptures. It was very hard at first to let go of the lies, yet with studying the scriptures, with God’s help, I have learning sooooo much. I am still learning! You can read a scripture over and over. Then the next time you read, you find where you missed a word, a few words, or even most of the words. I have learned to read slowly every word, then to read it again and again. I bless all the webs where I have received help in my studies. All the scriptures I have found here have been beautiful in being TRUTH and easy to understand. Bless you for all the time you have put into your TRUTH. I know in God’s kingdom here on earth at it’s time, you will be greatly bless!
The wicked will worship the dragon and the beast (Rev 13:4). I envision it as Antichrist setting up a dragon image or statue in the Holy of Holies when the abomination of desolation takes place. Antichrist and the False Prophet will likely direct people to worship Antichrist (it won’t be hard for them to get since Antichrist will appear as if he’s been risen from the dead to the people of the earth) but they will also really emphasize that people should worship the dragon who gives power to the beast. Satan will ultimately get the worship of the people of the earth through the use of the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
In a discussion of Luke 17:20-37, Pastor Chuck Smith said it might be best not to be dogmatic (taken to be with Jesus or taken to be destroyed), at least until there was more information, but we should be prepared and ready for Jesus no matter what the case is. This I think is best.
He may not be taking the Parable of the Wheat and Tares into account with that position. Matthew 13:30 of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares eliminates the possibility for a Pre-Trib Rapture to take place. The wicked are gathered first at the end of the age.
I see two problems with making Luke 17:37 about the end of the great tribulation.
#1 there will little eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building and getting married at the end of the age. Everybody is full aware what is going on (Rev 6:15-17) as the end comes nearer. They are hiding in a cave and freaking out (Luke 21:26). Whereas in Matt 24:39a they oblivious, unaware as to what is happening.
#2 “will be taken” in Greek means to take and receive. The same root Greek verb is used in John 14:3 where most translations use “receive” instead of destroy. The flood “toke” them all away is not the same verb. Airo means to take and destroy.
I think Luke 17:37 means we leave our flesh on earth and our spirit/soul is taken at the pre-trib rapture. Life is good (eating, drinking, etc), then there is a flash of light and we leave our corruptible body on earth. Those who die before the pre-trib rapture do not need another body. They currently have a heavenly body in heaven (1 Cor 15:40, 2 Cor 5:1-8).
We will need an earthly (glorified) body at the second coming (1 Thes 4:13-17, 1 Cor 15:50-52).
1. There will be plenty of eating, drinking, etc. at that time. Revelation 11 tells us that the world will be celebrating the deaths of the Two Witnesses, who tormented them.
2. Pre-Trib fails to take into account the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, which tells us that the wicked will be gathered BEFORE the righteous and that the wicked and the righteous will remain on the earth UNTIL the harvest at the end of the age. Taking the righteous away first would violate the order to gather the tares first.
Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
and makes his nest on high?
On the rock he dwells and makes his home,
on the rocky crag and stronghold.
From there he spies out the prey;
his eyes behold it from far away.
His young ones suck up blood,
and where the slain are, there is he.”
I agree with you. I thought this passage in Job was interesting also.
Thanks for sharing!
John 14:1-3 – “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Having a post-trib rapture view does indeed ask a few questions in regard to this scripture. Where is the Father’s house? If it is in Heaven, then Jesus must first receive us to Heaven before coming back to reign on the earth. If His Father’s house is not in Heaven, then where is it and why did Jesus ascend to Heaven if he said was was going to prepare a place for us?
There are many other issues to be addressed, but I feel those are a few that the post-trib view doesn’t quite address.
I don’t see John 14:1-3 as an issue for Post-Trib. Christ could be referring to New Jerusalem, which will be the home of the saints in the Millennium and beyond. New Jerusalem will hover the earth during the Millennium. Christ will have a presence in New Jerusalem.
Just a little differing perspective but the house (tabernacle) He resides in is us. He promised to place His Spirit within us when He ascended into heaven after His resurrection.
The house need not be a third temple built with human hands as so many teach and believe. I’m not sure which is the correct interpretation but I became aware years ago that it may be the wicked that are taken, and those in Jesus (our Ark of Salvation) that remain. Either way, each of us are living in our own last days.
Thank you for this study, I happened upon it while studying Jeremiah 19v7 as well as Deuteronomy 28:26, Matt 2:28 and Luke 17:37 and was looking online for the Revelation cross reference.
Thanks for reading Brother Jim. I’m glad you were able to find this study.
will you refer me to where I can find more info on New Jerusalem please?
Study the last 15 chapters of the Book of Isaiah. The parallels between Jerusalem of the Millennium described by Isaiah and New Jerusalem of Revelation are so numerous that a strong argument can be made that New Jerusalem will be on Earth during the Millennium.
The original King James Version 1611 included the Apocrypha but was later removed. Interestingly, 2 Esdras 13 speaks of the same prophecy as Luke 17 concerning a group of which some will be left behind and some will be taken away. It clearly indicates that the ones “taken away” die for they are in heaviness, caught up in the world. They die in the coming judgments. The rest (left behind) will endure and be purified for the Lord. They will be a part of the prophesied reunion of ALL Israel (all the tribes) in a second and greater Exodus. The “children” of Israel will return to the land promised to the “fathers” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is part of the restoration (“restore all things”). They will be led by the two witnesses of which one will be a prophet like Moses and filled with the spirit of Elijah which is the Holy Spirit who gives gifts to whomever He pleases. The Lord Jesus MUST remain in Heaven UNTIL restoration. God sent His Son first. Then, He sends the prophesied prophet like Moses to fulfill the restoration. (NOTE: Notice the word “first” in Acts 3:26. You don’t use the word “first” unless there comes a second.)
2 Esdras 13:15-24 (KJV): “15 Shew me now yet the interpretation of this dream. 16 For as I conceive in mine understanding, woe unto them that shall be left in those days and much more woe unto them that are not left behind! 17 For they that were not left were in heaviness. 18 Now understand I the things that are laid up in the latter days, which shall happen unto them, and to those that are left behind. 19 Therefore are they come into great perils and many necessities, like as these dreams declare. 20 Yet is it easier for him that is in danger to come into these things, than to pass away as a cloud out of the world, and not to see the things that happen in the last days. And he answered unto me, and said, 21 The interpretation of the vision shall I shew thee, and I will open unto thee the thing that thou hast required. 22 Whereas thou hast spoken of them that are left behind, this is the interpretation: 23 He that shall endure the peril in that time hath kept himself: they that be fallen into danger are such as have works, and faith toward the Almighty. 24 Know this therefore, that they which be left behind are more blessed than they that be dead.”
2 Esdras 13:39-42 (KJV): “39 And whereas thou sawest that he gathered another peaceable multitude unto him; 40 Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. 41 But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, 42 That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land.”
Malachi 4:4-6 (NKJV): “4 “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 6 And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
Acts 3:17-26 (NKJV): “17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. 25 You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
I had found this particular verse today and am do in g more research on it. There are plenty more verses to support “Post-Trib”. Even in Proverbs 10:30 it states “ “The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.” I do, however, love hearing all viewpoints but do believe there is very few evidences to fully support a “Pre-Trib rapture”.
Thank you, sir, for sharing with us.
That’s a very good verse. It fits with Luke 17:37.
Hi Wayne, can you say how Proverbs 10:30 fits with Luke 17:37? Luke 17:37 sounds to me like the bodies of the sinful are left on the (material) earth for the birds to feast on. Israel the spent 7 months clearing the pollution. I would have thought, just from Luke 17:37 that the righteous are lifted in spirit away from the material universe into heaven. But if the meek inherit the earth, where does this macabre ‘feast’ take place? It’s pretty confusing to me; the different verses about this.
Proverbs 10:30 fits the idea that the righteous do not go away to leave the wicked behind. The feast of the birds takes place just AFTER the end of the tribulation. The events of Ezekiel 39 take place largely after the tribulation (not before). The 7 months cleaning the land extends into the Millennium. Many want to put the events of Ezekiel early in the end time timeline. I do not find support for that:
This also corresponds to Matt 5:5 and the meek inheriting the earth.
I appreciate you sharing your findings. As a teacher and Bible student I am always looking to insure I am understanding and walking in truth to the best of my ability. I am open to changes in my interpretation of what I have always believed.
The major problems I see in your new understanding of this verse is #1 Your assumption is that when the disciples asked, “Where Lord?” They were talking about those taken as opposed to those left and that Jesus was referring to those taken as opposed to those left in His answer. The scriptures for taken referring to the righteous being removed are so overwhelming. In fact the Greek word used for taken here is “paralambano” which is to take to oneself and is used in places such as where Jesus says he will return and receive us. It does not refer to the wicked at all.
#2 In your effort to support yourself, you used the harvest at the end of the age, but instead of supporting your idea, without realizing it you actually supported even more the idea of the righteous being taken. In Matthew 13:30 the tares were gathered first yes (on the earth – in the same place), not TAKEN. They were left in binds to be burned. However the wheat was removed altogether and placed in the safety of the barn. In the same way as Lot and Noah were removed from the rest and brought to safety before the destruction of the wicked. These stories are included in the context for a reason.
Historically speaking, when people would go out to harvest and separate the tares from the wheat, they left the tares after gathering them and only took the wheat with them. This is a more accurate picture of the verse.
That which is not good, is always left outside for burning and destruction. Where else can it be taken but to a different location on the same earth. The word TAKEN implies more than a removal from one place on earth to another. It means a different place altogether from the earth. Also you would not need to be removed necessarily to be killed. You could be killed wherever you were. Wherever you were, the birds would find you.
In the Parable of the Wheat and Tares Christ tells us that the wheat and tares will grow together until the harvest at the end of the age. Matthew 24 indicates that the end of the age or (end of the world) begins after the end of the great tribulation:
Do you think it’s possible that the Mark of the Beast could be holding cell phones in your hand or the wearing VR goggles, perhaps glasses will soon give the capability, like google glasses? It mentions the forehead and the hand. And so I suppose that if two were lying in bed, and one person had a phone and the other did not, perhaps the one with the “mark” would be taken away and the other left? It is just a thought I was having. I know that it is suppose to be some kind of tattoo or something, though right? I was just thinking that the technology might almost be there to allow for such a thing. What do you think?
I don’t believe those technology items constitute the Mark of the Beast. The Mark of the Beast’s main purpose is to show loyalty to the Antichrist. These technologies exist or are about to come into existence without the Antichrist on scene. I believe we’ll have a good idea of what the Mark of the Beast is when it finally shows up.
Hi Bro. Wayne,
I appreciate your comments above and your less-formal theological training and tend greatly to be suspicious of those who are so-trained. I know Spirit-led Christians can come from anywhere, but there is so much junk whirling in the air (so to speak) and satan (the prince of the power of the air) is a faithful devil, so I consider no one (myself included) is beyond potential reproach, except the Lord/Holy Spirit at this point. Peter had it right on with hearing God the Father in minute, and then a few moments (seconds) later was exactly off course and listening to the devil. There is truth to be refined, training to be practiced, and grace to be received if we desire to follow the Lord like Peter or the other apostles/disciples did.
I think a key prerequisite to sorting through last-days prophecy (and probably seeing straight all the time in everything) is a “an agape love for truth,” even if it takes someone too their death ahead of their plans for old age, retirement, etc (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). That is to say, to be guided in all truth by the Holy Spirit, we must be willing to hear truth, truly; the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth). Said from another couple of Bible perspectives, we must be willing pursue and wait for the still, small voice of God, and that includes seeking His kingdom and His righteousness first, even all the time.
If we are not willing to practice this mindset 24×7, then we are making the inadvertent concession of picking and choosing the truth we want to and ignoring what the Lord might be trying to tell us at any given moment in time. This is frankly even a subtle form of idolatry common in Christians’ hearts and since it is also a form of double-mindedness, it also commonly hinders or undermines Christians’ prayers, insight, and operations of the Holy Spirit.
This is, I believe is a needful precept to present to those who want to start managing an diminishing their unbelief, to discern truth more clearly, and be ready for times that we are racing into.
This morning I found your passage while noting and pondering more evidence of at least two passages (for now) that seem to be saying a gathering of the wicked happens first vs. a at least two other passages saying the gathering of the righteous must happen first. I think today, after reading your comments above, you have led me to believe they are two separate events.
As I piece this (I trust) solvable puzzle together, I trust there will be grace to follow the Lord wherever He leads, but I think I cannot see the post-tribulation rapture to be a clear-fit of pieces yet. They would be in violation of the passages that clarify we are not called to be children of wrath (This also assumes, by the grace of the Lord, that we might be classified as “wise virgins” when that future day arrives).
Likewise, beginning before the judgment in Noah’s day arrived, there were those raptured (Enoch), those who were drowned in the flood (those who forgot God, with much help from the devil’s gang), and those whom God brought safely through the judgment (Noah’s family).
Yet again, in a rescue with similar considerations, Abraham’s decision to defer to Lot the choice of the beautiful land of the Jordon Plain (Sodom and Gomorrah); this meek choice saved his family and all he had from the two upcoming judgments against Sodom.
In the first judgment against Sodom, Lot lost everything when his king lost a war, but his Uncle Abraham rescued him (by the grace of God). Lot did then however, for whatever reasons, chose to stay there among the wicked people of Sodom (2 Peter 2:8). His wife clearly might have helped him make that unwise, albeit apparently comfortable choice, but we know that turned out for her (Genesis 19). Anyway, again when the angels came to rescue Lot’s family, they told Lot, “I cannot do any thing till you….” are (basically) out of here (Genesis 19:21-22).
The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever (God be praised for His word and bringing us to this hour along with His Word and Jesus and the Holy Spirit!). Anyway, it might make our last days puzzle more challenging to piece together, but I do not see a good connecting-of-dots for a post tribulation rapture, but I appreciate Bro. Wayne, your courage to follow truth wherever it leads you. This is the only way I believe we will find it.
Shabbat Shalom, and I will read later your post on the post-trib rapture.
Thank you for reading with an open mind. This article only contains a piece of many pieces which support the findings of this article.
Many critics of Post-Trib bring up how the Bible says we are not subject to God’s wrath. It is true that we are not subject to God’s “wrath”. We find that promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, Romans 5:8-10, and 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10.
But Post-Trib does not violate this precept at all.
Few are aware that there’s more than one type of wrath in the New Testament, and they are distinct. The differences are conveyed through the use of the Greek words “thumos” and “orge”. Thumos is kind of wrath that rises and subsides. Orge is long-standing wrath.
Regarding God’s wrath in an end time context, think of thumos as the wrath God will exhibit against the wicked as they refuse to respond to efforts encouraging them to repent. Meanwhile, think of orge as God’s longstanding wrath against the wicked, who He will punish with lasting consequences.
Orge wrath is the type of wrath that we are promised to not see. Orge is the Greek word that appears in 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, Romans 5:8-10, and 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10.
Orge wrath in Revelation does not appear until after the opening of the 6th seal, sounding of the 7th trumpet, and pouring of the 7th bowl judgment. The bowl judgments finish God’s thumos. Orge wrath begins with the sounding of the 7th trumpet.
The understanding of these types of wrath will help you to see that Post-Trib does not violate the promise that we will not be harmed by God’s (orge) wrath.
Just to add to what you said, Wayne, tribulation is neither thumos or orge. It is “thlipsis”. An entirely different concept, for it means persecution. The great tribulation is never called God’s wrath. That is simply a man applied appellation.
Excellent point Connie!
For so long I’ve sat and I’ve read these verses. On top of so many others! And i just can’t see how it’s so hard to see what the Bible is saying on some of these topics.
Literally a question is asked where did someone go and an answer is given. A child can understand that simple dialogue. I definitely don’t want to go where there are dead bodies. Why would anyone.
People just can’t come to terms with reading and not seeing and when you do finally see. It’s so lonely! And going back and forth is so pointless.
I’m so glad I stumbled across this site.
Because I knew before I read anything on how I was interpreting this. I knew i was right. I wasn’t even looking for this I was researching giants!
Phrases like the meek shall inherit the earth or persevering to the end, let me know we going to see a whole lot.
It’s not that hard to understand the spirit allows those to see.
Thanks for reading Natu. I’m glad you’re able to understand these verses clearly.
Is God’s wrath the bowl/trumpet judgements? I’ve always seen the seals as a precursor/preparation for God’s wrath via the bowl/trumpet judgements. The seals are opened by Jesus but they seem to set the world stage. The bowl/trumpet judgements are actively cast down from Heaven which made me think they were God’s wrath.
Hi Lauren. I know your question was for Connie, but I have a recent article on the wrath of God here:
I completely agree with Post-Trib after studying scripture for many years. Jesus has a second coming – which will be just one appearance when He comes at the end to gather the elect and destroy the earth + those left, not Pre-Trib and then He returns again YEARS later – that would be a “third” coming. “Why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the TRUMPET of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:16-17). This glorious event occurs when the TRUMPET sounds – the elect are removed from earth and the wrath is poured out as fire to destroy it all in one day. The following could NOT be correct: Jesus comes to remove elect, then tribulation years, then Jesus comes a 3rd time for the end of the world. The trumpet is for that ONE day: the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20) to gather the elect to meet Jesus in the air AND to destroy Earth. “But THE DAY OF THE LORD will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up…..We look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2Peter3:10-13). If I am still alive during the tribulation, I must listen for that trumpet and look UP for Jesus – not down on the earth, as I have not read any verses that state Jesus will set foot here. He will reign on the NEW earth. In between the old and new earth, final judgment will be completed. Revelation 20:11-15 ESV: “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
1. Tribulation years.
2. Trumpet sounds for THE DAY of the Lord – Elect taken up to Jesus in the air and the wrath of God destroys earth by fire.
4. NEW Earth (Those with names in Book of Life live forever with the Lord where righteousness dwells, no more sorrow or pain…).
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Brenda. I’m glad you’ve came to this conclusion after many years of study.
This summary is absolutely clear and correct. The bible teaches this!
I’m glad it’s clear for you. Others can’t understand it.
Your article gives confirmation to what is going on right now with the Q Anon movement. They predict that members of the new world order will be arrested, taken to Gitmo, and given Military Tribunals with execution for their Treason. This is pretty awesome Wayne.
I believe Luke 17:37’s ultimate fulfillment will come at the coming of Christ. For instance, Revelation 19:17-18, which I cite in the article, relates to the time of Christ’s coming to destroy the wicked.
Q is a controlled opposition movement, remember that the Antichrist will pose as the saviour and the angel of light, and will deceive everyone. Watch out for this — any movement that gains popularity is unlikely to be of God, for people will hate God and truth in the last days. You can trust me on this since I have been studying conspiracies for 15 years, which have eventually brought me to Bible. Watch out for the saviour figure that the system will try to push.
Here’s a question I have been thinking about, Wayne: In Luke 17:30-36, if those being taken are the ones w/ the mark, why do we see (for example) two people laying in bed together? It seems odd to me that a person w/ the mark would be bedding down (so to speak) with a person who doesn’t have the mark. Even more odd, in my opinion, is the thought that a believer would be laying in bed w/ someone having the mark. Am I missing/overlooking something?
It’s going to be very difficult to avoid death for enemies of the Antichrist during the great tribulation, but it may be possible for some to potentially bribe people with the Mark of the Beast to overlook them and possibly accommodate them. The reason I say it may be possible to bribe people is that Ezekiel 7 and Zephaniah 1 indicate that gold and silver will be valuable until the arrival of the Day of the Lord. The ability to use gold and silver will enable some to do things under the radar of the Mark of the Beast system. Perhaps Luke 17:30-36 is describing those who have successfully bribed some with the Mark of the Beast to let them stay with them. It would be very difficult to bribe someone undetected in a major metropolitan area given the surveillance that will exist at that time, so perhaps Luke 17:30-36 is describing people in more remote areas. If it’s a more remote area then the accommodations may not be so good, which could lead to what the passage describes.
Thanks Wayne I hadn’t considered that. This seems an increasingly complex passage the more I ponder it. When Jesus says no one on housetop should go down to get possessions inside, he seems to be addressing believers? If that is indeed the case, it almost sounds like those who do go back down could either be 1) killed 2) at risk of losing their salvation or 3) both?
Christ may be addressing anyone who will listen to Him. The events described in Luke 17:23-37 will find their fulfillment around the end of the 70th week of Daniel (tribulation). There’s going to be a lot heavenly signs appearing and extreme seismic activity taking place at that time. Going inside to retrieve possessions could kill someone if something collapses on them.
Good point. Thanks.
today I was reading Luke 17, as I have many of times, however, for the first time v37 really jumped out at me, and clearly not in the way I have believed after all these years. so you can imagine the shock upon research that so far your page is the only one to scripturally confirm what The Spirit most graciously revealed to me today. Which leads me to my next question Bro. Wayne. will we (believers) be caught up? and if so, is there any evidence based in Scripture on whether it will be pre or post trib? Thank you, God bless.
Hi Loni! I’m glad you found this article after reading from Luke 17:37. Yes, believers will be caught up as the Apostle Paul described. My many years of study and research lead me to believe that this will be a Post-Trib event. Luke 17:34-37 can be used as evidence to support this. Matthew 13 parables about the end time harvests of the earth can be used to support this. Even the Great Commission of Matthew 28:20 provides evidence supporting a Post-Trib scenario as I outline in this article.
Hi Wayne, you are in good company on this interpretation as Jack Van Impe also teaches that the one taken is (taken) in judgment. I also believe that it follows the math of Revelation since 1 taken and 1 left represents 1/2 are taken in judgment. The same ratio is found in the book of Revelation. In Revelation 6:8 we see 1/4th taken, and then in Revelation 9:15 we see another 1/3rd taken. This represents 1/2 when you consider the two together. To prove the math, hold up 4 fingers and then put 1/4th of your fingers down. you should have 3 fingers still up. Now of the 3 remaining, put 1/3rd down. How many are left? 2 fingers of the original 4 should still be up. This is 1/2 of the original amount. God bless all who read this and love Him.
I’m glad that you’re also able to see that the one taken is in judgment.
As Noah and his family went inside the ark, so it will be for the elect/saints prior to armageddon war, they will enter the ark of the covenant with the Lord.
Then the wicked will be destroyed at the coming of the Lord, though this time some will be spared, those whom maybe fit to live on through the millennium, like maybe the remnant Israel as prophetically promised, and some repentant and peace-loving gentile nations., as Jesus said it will be cut short so that there would be survivors.
Does cutting it short amounts to 7 or 3.5 years? That is quite a long time, given the gravity of the havoc that the antichrist will throw in the world, no one will survive.
There is no clear and obvious mention in scriptures, word for word, that the Great Tribulation will be for 7 or 3.5 years
Daniel 9:27 is about the New Covenant of Jesus declared during His 3.5 years of ministry on Earth. The last 3.5 years will be consummated at the end of the millennium, where in the New Covenant will be reiterated again to the nations through the two witnesses by prophesying again prior to Gog and Magog War at the end of the millennium.
another possibility for “cutting short” could mean that if the great tribulation were allowed to continue indefinitely there would be no one left, but for the sake of the elect it won’t continue indefinitely.
Could you give me the chronological events of the end times according to Luke 17 and beyond?
The passages in this article pertain to the end of the age, so think of the end of the tribulation (70th week of Daniel). Giving a timeline would be very difficult in this setting because there are so many end time events and I’d have to explain why I place certain events at certain times. That’s why I wrote Prophecy Proof Insights of the End Times. I share my full timeline in that book:
Thanks for the learning. Love to study Bible Prophecies. Keep posting, I am following. God bless
Thanks for reading Rod.
In Rev. 14 it puts the gathering of the righteous before gathering the grapes of the wicked to throw into God’s wrath. How do you fit that into things?
Revelation 14 describes the harvest of the earth twice from different perspectives. The first description focuses on the righteous. The second description focuses on the fate of the wicked.
My point was the order is to take the righteous first, then the wicked. This is the reverse of what you say the other verses teach, that the wicked are taken and the righteous left. Scripture gives it both ways. Could not they be happening simultaneously?
The harvest of the wicked and righteous is likely to occur practically at the same time-so simultaneously works. The importance of Luke 17:37, Matthew 13:30, and the other passages I showed is that they challenge many people’s conception of “left behind”.
I have to say, I never gave that passage much thought. Thanks.
I’m glad you’re noticing the verse now.