[* NOTE.  The following writings, by A. L. Chitwood, are edited.  Additional notes are also added where the editor believes they are necessary. 

The author’s writings are from: ‘Prophecy on Mount Olivet,’ (Chapter Ten, pp. 117-127).]



One Taken, Another Left



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 your Lord doth come.  But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh:” (Matt. 24: 40-44).




The Lord’s reference to one taken and another left is the first of four parallel parts in the Christian section of the 0livet Discourse.  Each part actually has to do with the same thing, but from a different perspective.  Each has to do with the Lord’s dealings with His servants (Christians) during present and future times, with the coming [millennial] kingdom in view.  In this respect, all four parts viewed together (in the light of the parable of the fig tree and the days of Noah [which lead into and set the tenor of thought for all which follows]), present a complete, composite picture - a threefold fashion: (1) the Christians’ present responsibility, (2) the Christians’ future accountability, and (3) the relationship of both to the coming [millennial] kingdom of Christ.



Christians have a responsibility to live their lives in a manner which reflects their high calling.  Salvation is for a purpose, and that purpose has to do with the coming kingdom.  Christians have been called unto His kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2: 12; cf. 1 Peter 5: 1, 10; 2 Peter 1: 3).



The Biblical picture of one’s salvation is not so much saved from (“from hell”) as it is saved unto (“unto his kingdom and glory”).



Responsibility,” in turn, demands accountability.  Every Christian will one day appear before the judgment seat of Christ to render an account concerning how he carried out his responsibility.  All things will be revealed in the presence of a righteous, omnipotent and omniscient Judge (Rev. 1: 12-20).  The previous works of the ones being judged* will come under scrutiny, and the results will have a direct bearing on the Christians’ [entrance into (Matt. 5: 20) and his/her] position in the [Messianic] kingdom which follows.


[* NOTE 1.  Judgment is before Rapture and Resurrection, (Num. 14: 21-23; 1 Cor. 10: 11):  It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment:” (Heb. 9: 27, R.V.) – Ed.]


The purpose for the judgment seat, in this respect, is in keeping with the purpose for the entire present dispensation.  God is today calling out the rulers who are to reign as co-heirs with His Son during the coming age, and the decisions and determinations rendered at the judgment seat concerning these individuals will have to do with their being placed in or being denied one of the numerous proffered positions which the co-heirs will occupy with Christ.*


[* 2.  NOTE well the attached condition to this divine promise: “… Joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed…:” (Rom. 8: 17b, 18, R.V.).  No suffering now for righteousness sake; then no future glory in the “age” to come!  Luke 20: 35.  See also, 2 Tim. 2: 12, 13: “If we endure, we shall also reign with him: if we shall deny him, he also will deny us - [reigning with Him]: if we are faithless, he abideth faithful; for he cannot deny himself.”  If we ignore and disregard His conditions, we will have disqualified ourselves from reigning “when the Son of Man shall come in his glory:” (Matt. 25: 31. R.V.)! See also, Luke 9: 26; 1 Pet. 1: 7; 4: 13. - Ed.


A Christ-likeness can come through pain and sorrow that would never have come through joy; and Christlikeness in character and experience creates Christlikeness in reward.  Joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also GLORIFIED WITH HIM (Rom. 8: 17). ]



Accordingly, the end or goal toward which everything moves in the Christian section of the Olivet Discourse is the coming kingdom.  It is the kingdom with its glory to which Christians have been called, and any Christian [i.e., regenerate believer] failing to realize his calling therein will have failed to realize the very purpose for his salvation.



The coming kingdom is not only the end or goal toward which everything moves in the Christian section of the Olivet Discourse but in the other two sections as well.  God’s dealings with the Jewish people in the first section (24: 4-31) occur during and immediately following the Tribulation and lead into the kingdom, and God’s dealings with the Gentiles in the third section (25: 31-46) occur at the end of the Tribulation (at the conclusion of God’s dealings with all the others) and also lead into the kingdom.



The kingdom is actually the end or goal toward which everything in Scripture moves, save events in the few references describing conditions during the eternal ages beyond the millennium (e.g. 1 Cor. 15: 24-28; parts of Rev. 21, 22).  Beginning with the opening chapters of Genesis, the emphasis is upon man holding the sceptre, ruling over a restored earth; and the emphasis never changes throughout Scripture.  Christ’s discourse on Mt. Olivet moves more to the end of the matter and presents summary information relative to concluding events in God’s dealings with the three groups of mankind (Jew, Christian, and Gentile), with the [Messianic] kingdom, as throughout Scripture, the main object in view.



It is clearly shown in the parable of the Householder and His servant and in the parable of the talents (Matt. 24: 45-51; 25: 14-30) that man ultimately placed in the position of ruler is the focal point (cf. 24: 47; 25: 21, 23).  And it is no different in the other two parallel parts in the Christian section of the Olivet Discourse (24: 40-44; 25: 1-13).



Note that each part begins in a similar fashion, referring back to the opening verses in this section (vv. 32-39): Then...” (24: 40-44); Who then ...” (24: 45-51); Then ...” (25: 1-13); “For it is just as a man ... [literal rendering, referring back to the parable of the ten virgins in vv. 1-13, and consequently back to the opening verses of the section]” (25: 14-30).  Then note that each part has been given to provide additional information which will help explain another part.  In this respect, the words Who then and Then,” opening the second and third parts, refer back to the previous parts as well as back to the opening verses of the section.



The first part (vv. 40-44), for example, closes with the exhortation to Watch, Be ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (vv. 42, 44).  The second part immediately following (vv. 45-51) opens with the words, Who then is a faithful and wise servant ...”  The allusion is not only back to the opening verses of the section (vv. 32-39), but also back to the preceding part (vv. 40-44).  The parable of the Householder and His servant has been given to provide additional information and help explain the preceding verses dealing with one taken and the other left.  This parable concerns the same thing - faithfulness or unfaithfulness on the part of the Lord’s servants, resulting in their being accorded or being denied positions as rulers with Christ in the kingdom.  And so it is with the following two parables.



This connection between the four parts can possibly be seen slightly clearer in the opening verse of the fourth part.  Note that the words, the kingdom of heaven is” (v. 14, KJV), are in italics, indicating that they are not in the Greek text.  The word as is a translation of the Geek word hosper, which is a connecting particle meaning ‘just as” or “even as.”  This is the same word translated as earlier in the Olivet Discourse (24: 37, 38), comparing the days of Noah with the day of the coming of the Son of Man.  The word is used in the same sense beginning the parable of the talents.  It is used as a connective to show that what is about to follow is like that which has proceeded, giving rise to the translation, For it is just as a man...”  The parable of the talents was given to help explain the parable of the ten virgins (or, for that matter, the two parts preceding the parable of the ten virgins as well), and it concerns the same thing - faithfulness or unfaithfulness of the Lord’s servants, resulting in their being accorded or being denied entrance into the marriage festivities and subsequent positions as rulers with Christ in the [millennial] kingdom.






The word “taken” (vv. 40, 41) is a translation of the Greek word paralambano.  This is a compound word comprised of para (beside,” or “alongside”) and lambano (“to take”).  Thus, the word goes a step beyond just simply taking.  It is taking the person alongside or to oneself (cf, Matt. 17: 1; 20: 17 where paralambano is used).  This would be the word used referring to the reception of an individual as an “associate” or a companion,” which is actually what is involved in this passage.  Then, the word left” (vv. 40, 41) is a translation of the Greek word aphiemi, which is used as antithetical to paralambano.  In the light of the way paralambano is used, aphiemi could possibly best be understood by translating the word, “turn away.”  That which is involved in this passage has to do with Christians being either received in an intimate sense or turned away in an opposite sense.  And the parable of the Householder and His servant, which immediately follows, is given to help explain these things.



Reference to the parallel passage in Luke’s account of the Olivet Discourse shows this same thing: Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (21: 36).*


[* NOTE 3.  So the pre-tribulationists, who are sure that all believers - even the grossest backsliders - will be rapt en masse into sudden glory before the Tribulation starts, overlook the warning of the Lord.  Watch ye at every season, making supplication, that ye may prevail to escape all these things” - He has just described the Great Tribulation, ‘days of vengeance’ (ver. 22) - “that shall come to pass” (Luke 21: 36).  The Old Testament type, which our Lord stresses as a warning to His disciples concerning His return, is extraordinarily illuminating:- “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17: 32).  If all believers are exempt from the coming judgments, the command ought rather to have been, - “Remember Lot.”  Lot’s wife had no part in the fire and brimstone that wiped out Sodom, yet in a moment she was turned to stone [salt] for ‘looking back’ – back-sliding.  Like Lot’s wife, the unwatchful believer escapes Hell [i.e., ‘the lake of fire], but incurs the lightnings of the Judgment Seat.  D. M. PANTON.]



The words, that ye may be accounted worthy,” could be better translated, that you may prevail over [in the sense of being strong and winning a victory]”; and the words, escape [lit. escape out of’] all these things,” refer back to the immediate context, dealing with “surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life” (vv. 34, 35).  This verse is, thus, exhorting Christians to watch and pray relative to deliverance from involvement in the ways and practices of the world (Eph. 6: 18; cf. vv. 10-17).



Weymouth, in his translation of the New Testament, captures the correct thought from the Greek text about as well as any English version presently available: Beware of slumbering; at all times pray that you may be fully strengthened to escape from all these coming evils, and to take your stand in the presence of the Son of Man.” Note also Wuest’s EXPANDED TRANSLATION: But be circumspect, attentive, ready, in every season being in prayer, in order that you may have sufficient strength to be escaping all these things which are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”*


[* NOTE 4. Watch and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things, that are coming to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”  Obey Jesus and you will escape.  Disobey, be prayerless, careless, heedless, at ease, and you will not escape.


God gives gifts by faith.  God gives rewards for faithfulness.  Behold I come quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every man, as his work shall be.”  Plainly, this is a judgment of rewards, according to works, to occur at His return.  God rewards only as God can.  We have a race to run and a crown to gain.  The race may be lost.  The crown forfeited.  To win Christ, Paul suffered the loss of all things.  Can you win Christ for less?]


The words “watch,” and “pray” are in a present tense showing linear (continuous) action in the Greek text.  The thought is that of Christians continually watching (always being alert, on guard) and continually praying for the strength necessary to escape out of the ways and practices of the world.  Ecape out of is the translation of an aorist infinitive in the Greek text, showing deliverance viewed as eventual (i.e. viewed as the result of Christians continually watching and praying) and viewed as a whole (as in Weymouth’s translation): and the goal of the entire process is Christians ultimately being privileged to “stand before the Son of man.”



Standing before, or in the presence of, the Son of Man in this passage is synonymous with being received in an intimate manner by the Lord in the parallel section in Matt. 24: 40-44.  The thought is similar to Psa. 24: 3, 4: Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”  This is a Messianic passage; and the expression, to stand before the Son of man in Luke 21: 36, is Messianic as well.  Ascending the hill [referring to the ‘kingdom’; note Psa. 2: 6] of the Lord or standing before the Son of man are reserved for associates or companions who will rule as co-heirs with Christ (cf. Heb. 1: 9; 3: 14.  Fellows” [1: 9] and “partakers” [3: 14] are translations of the same Greek word, which could be better rendered, “associates” or “companions”).






The account in Matt. 24: 40-44 of individuals being either received in an intimate manner or being turned away in an opposite manner repeated on another occasion by the Lord in a slightly different setting.  Luke 17: 34-36 records this same sequence of events following an exhortation to remember Lot’s wife and a statement pertaining to saving losing one’s 1ife [‘soul’]” (vv. 32, 33).



The Greek words paralambano and aphiemi, used in Matt. 24: 40, to show the manner of reception and opposite manner of rejection, are also used in Luke 17: 34-36.  Reception in Matthew is associated with being prepared for the Lord’s return through faithfulness and watchfulness (vv. 42-46).  A correct teaching drawn from the overall passage in Luke (vv. 22-37) shows the same thing, with the end result of the proper preparation through faithfulness and watchfulness being the salvation of one’s life [‘soul’]” (v. 33).  The inverse of this would, of course, be true concerning those turned away by the Lord.  That is, being unprepared because of unfaithfulness and not watching will result in the loss of one’s “1ife [‘soul’]” (cf. Matt. 16: 24-28; 24: 48-51; Luke 17: 33).



Several verses in Luke, chapter seventeen are very similar to verses in the Jewish section of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew (cf. Luke 17: 23, 24, 31, 37; Matt, 24: 17, 18, 23-28), leading some expositors to believe that the section in Luke is “Jewish” rather than “Christian.”  This though cannot be the case, for these verses are set in a context which cannot be “Jewish.”  Scripture surrounding God’s dealings with Israel at the time of Christ’s return reveals events which are quite different from those revealed in this passage.  And something often overlooked is the fact that marked differences, for definite reasons, appear in several of these similar verses.






First, note that events surrounding the warning about returning to one’s house in Matt. 24: 17, 18 are not the same as those events surrounding the similar warning in Luke 17: 31.  The context of one has to do with the appearance of Antichrist, and the context of the other has to do with the appearance of the True Christ.  Israel is awaiting Antichrist, but Christians are awaiting the True Christ, which reveals the proper distinction between the way these similar verses of Scripture are used.



Second, note that a reference to false Christs and false prophets associated with days preceding Christ’s return (Matt. 24: 23-26; Luke 17: 23) would be just as applicable in Christian circles as in Jewish.  In fact, the false message to be carried to Israel by false Christs and false prophets during the Tribulation, which will be validated by signs and wonders (performed through the power of demons), is something which begins the end of the Christian dispensation and carries over into the Tribulation.



Third, note that the reference to lightning associated with Christ’s return in Luke 17: 24 is not the same as the similar reference in Matt. 24: 27.  Luke refers only to the lightning flashing from one part of the sky the other, but Matthew refers to lightning flashing from east to west.  The significance of this difference is easily seen.  In both instances, lightning shows the sudden, unexpected manner of Christ’s return; but only Matthew shows a time element by giving the directions out of the eastunto the west.”  Lightning is seen in the east following the storm, showing Christ’s return after the Storm, after the Great Tribulation.



Thus, Luke, through a reference to lightning flashing from one part the sky to the other, reveals only the sudden, unexpected manner of Christ’s return.  A time element, as in Matthew, is not given.  The verse in Luke pertains to the manner of Christ’s return to reckon with His servants (preceding the Tribulation), with the Tribulation itself, as in the Christian section of the Olivet Discourse, not in view at all.



Fourth, note that the reference to eagles hovering over a carcass in Matt. 24: 28 is not, as is often taught, a reference to Armageddon; nor is the similar reference in Luke 17: 37.  The thought in both passages, rather, has to do with bringing corruption to an end.  As the eagles devour a corrupting carcass, so will the Lord do away with corruption at the time of His return (cf. Psa. 18: 8).



The thought of bringing corruption to an end through Christ’s personal intervention would be just as applicable at events surrounding Christ’s dealings with Christians preceding the Tribulation as it would be at events surrounding Christ’s dealings with the world at large following the Tribulation, though events in each instance will be quite different.  An interesting difference in the two references is the fact that carcass is used in Matt. 24: 28 (the world, dead in trespasses and sins,” is in view), but body is used in Luke 17: 37 (Christians, those who have passed from death unto life,” are in view).



There is really nothing in Luke 17: 22-37 which would connect these verses with the Jewish section in the Olivet Discourse.  Similar verses to those in the Jewish section are used with passages which parallel those in the Christian section, and these similar verses are used in a context which is completely different from the context of the verses in the Jewish section.  Efforts to interpret Luke 17: 22ff as “Jewish” will serve only to produce confusion both here and in the Olivet Discourse.*



[* NOTE 5.  Watchful disciples, who “prevail to escapeand stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21: 36), will escape the Great Tribulation- (via a pre-tribulation rapture) – before the End Times set in: and others “that are left unto the coming of our Lord” (1 Thess. 4: 15, R.V.) at its end, must pass through them: and it will be only those who “endure unto the end” who will be saved at that time! – Ed.


Wesley himself lived every day, every hour, as though it were his last.  He said:-  Perhaps He will appear as the dayspring from on high, before morning light.  Oh, do not set us a time!  Expect Him every hour.  Now He is nigh, even at the doors.”  He wrote thus to Dr. Conyers Middleton in 1749. “The doctrine, as you very well know, which Justin deduced from the prophets and the Apostles, in which he was undoubtedly followed by the Fathers of the second and third centuries, is this: ‘The souls of them who have been martyred for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God and who have not worshipped the beast, neither received his mark, shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead shall not live again until the thousand years are finished.’  Now to say that they believed this is neither more or less than to say that they believed the Bible.”


So Bishop Coke, who had charge of all the missionary work of the first Methodism, wrote:- “The period of time which yet remains we know is short, who can tell?  We ought to be in constant expectation of it.  At the coming of Christ to deliver and avenge His people, the faith of His coming will be in a great measure lost.  The doctrine of the Millennium was greatly believed in the first three and purest ages; the doctrine lay depressed for ages, but sprang up again at the Reformation.”]






The verse leading into the Lord’s warning, Remember Lot’s wife,” states: In 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” (v. 31).  An almost word - for - word reference appears in the Jewish section of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24: 17, 18).  In Matthew, the reference is to a literal return back into the house.  However, in Luke this cannot be the case.  The context plainly shows that the Lord referred to these events in an entirely different sense, a figurative sense.  Contextually, in the verses both preceding and following, the return is back toward the ways and practices of the world rather than moving ahead, away from the world system, toward the goal of one’s calling.  The thought drawn from the context is to keep one’s eyes fixed on the goal out ahead, with the implied warning, Don’t look back!”


[See notes 3. & 5. above.]



Two very significant things stand out concerning Lot’s wife: (a) she was delivered from Sodom along with Lot and her two virgin daughters before judgment fell, but (b) she looked back* and was turned into a pillar of salt (Gen. 19: 16, 26).  And Christ drew from this account to teach His disciples great spiritual truths concerning saving or losing one’s 1ife [‘soul’]” (v. 33), which is associated contextually with being either received in an intimate manner or turned away in an opposite manner (vv. 34-36).


[See notes 3. & 5. above.]



Lot, his wife, and his two virgin daughters were told, Escape for thy life [‘soul’]; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed [consumed ‘in the iniquity of the city’]” (Gen. 19:17; cf. v. 15).  However, Lot’s wife looked back toward Sodom.  She looked back toward the things of the plain (signifying the world, which was about to be destroyed) rather than ahead to the mountain (signifying the kingdom,* which would endure beyond the destruction of the cities of the plain).


[* See Dan. 2: 35, 44, 45: “…the great God hath made known to the king (Nebuchadnezzar) what shall come to pass hereafter.” - Ed.]



Christ stated during His earthly ministry, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9: 62). The word looking* in the Greek text, as the words watch and pray in Luke 21: 36, is in a tense showing continuous action.  A man beginning a task (putting his hand to the plough) and looking back after the fashion described by the Lord would be continually turning away from the task.  He would be headed in one direction but continually looking in another direction.  Rather than keeping his eyes fixed on the goal ahead, he would be continually turning away from this goal.  Christ declared that such a man would be unfit for the kingdom ** (cf. James 1: 8).


[NOTE 6. * We do well to remind ourselves that the words of Dr. A. B. Simpson.  There are two ways of looking for the Lord’s Coming.  There is a looking for and there is a looking at it.  It is possible to look at it with a keen intellect and profound interest, and yet have it meaning nothing to us personally.  It is possible to know but little of the theology and exegesis of the subject, and yet have a deep and holy longing for our Lord to appear.  When a wedding is about to occur, the public are looking at it, but the bride - [i.e., those whose presonal high standard of righteousness, will qualify them rule with Him] - is looking for it.  Oh, that this great theme may not only be our study but our personal hope, for “unto them that look for Him shall He appear a second time unto salvation.”


** NOTE 7. It is most significant that this man, though looking back, still has his hand on the plow: it is a disciple still in the active service of Christ, and to all appearances a devoted servant of God.  What does the backward look mean experimentally?  Have we not all felt moments when every fibre of our being called us back?  The furrow we are driving is so narrow; the Christless philosophies of the world are so comforting and wide - aye, and so remunerative; the ground we plow is so hard and stony; the Christian service is so solemn, and the refusing of fleshly and worldly desires so stern.  But there can be no martyr’s crown without martyrdom: we can never win the ‘well done’ unless we unremittingly do well.  “If he” - my ‘righteous one,’ a truly saved soul - “shrink back, my soul hath no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10: 38).  “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, - this man had said, ‘I will follow thee, Lord’ - “shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will” - the flawless furrow – “of my father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7: 21).  No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, IS FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”  The Kingdom of God on our Lord’s lips, and in all literal passages, has but one meaning - the coming ten golden centuries of God’s reign on [this] earth; and no king can rule wisely and well without a fitness for royalty produced by character and experience.  – D. M. PANTON.]



The mention of Lot’s wife is drawn from Christ’s reference to the days of Noah and the days of Lot in preceding verses (vv. 26-31). These verses, along with verses thirty-two and thirty-three, form a parallel to Christ’s reference to the days of Noah in Matt. 24: 37-39.  The thought in these verses has to do with the dangers inherent in Christians becoming involved in the ways and practices of the world.  Such an involvement will gradually lead Christians away from the things of the mountain toward the things of the plain.”  Over a period of time, Christians involved in the affairs of the world will gradually find their attitudes and interests changing.  They will gradually become more and more interested in the things of the plain, while at the same time becoming less and less interested in the things of the mountain.  The path which they have been called to travel will be in one direction, but their interests will lead them in a different direction.  Rather than looking out ahead toward the goal of their calling, they will find themselves looking back toward a world diametrically opposed to this goal.



It is evident that such was the case with Lot’s wife.  Lot had dwelled with his family in the cities of the plain for many years.  In fact, Lot seated in the gate of Sodom (Gen. 19: 1) immediately preceding the destruction of the cities of the plain reveals his involvement in the internal affairs of the city.  The elders were the ones who usually sat in the gate of a city in that day, carrying on civil or legal matters; and it is evident that Lot had taken his place among them.*  Lot had settled down in Sodom to this extent, and related Scripture leaves little question concerning the fact that members of his family had settled down in Sodom to a similar extent.


[* NOTE 8.  Hence, politics, which broadly speaking is the collective activity and expedient administration of earthly governments, are by their very nature forbidden territory to one who belongs to the Father.  The strife and clash of opposing opinions among men seeking to rule without God clearly forbid the interference of one separated by Christ from the wisdom of this world.  The political arena is the breeding ground for the secret diplomacy that periodically hurls one nation at another.  It is an established fact that politics are a career, yet who would dare, nay who is competent, to say just what particular motive is driving a politician along a certain line of thought?

It is generally accepted that the aim of the politician is a healthier state of society.  But the lessons of history, one’s personal experience, and the decidedly unhealthy and dangerous conditions of the political arena of our own day do not support that view.  The determination to satisfy personal vanity and the wielding of personal power in the realm of power-politics seem to be much nearer the truth.  The gilded lie was never so much in evidence as in our own day.  Continental political giants have been striped naked and exposed as careerists and cowards, vultures living on the people.

It cannot be too strongly pointed out that the social righteousness advocated by the politician is a righteousness without God.  At best it is humanism that is wholly detached from the purity of God’s Righteousness as revealed in Jesus Christ.  Frankly considered, the case against the believer becoming enmeshed in the political confusion that so substantially contributes to the prevailing perplexity has been proved conclusively. – OWEN VOSS.]



Lot lingered in Sodom with his family after he had been warned concerning the impending destruction; and he, his wife, and his two virgin daughters had to be physically removed by the two angels who had been sent into Sodom (Gen. 19: 16).  Then, even outside Sodom and headed away from the city, Lot’s wife, contrary to God’s command, looked back.  She looked back toward a world (“the plain”) which was very familiar and away from a world (“the mountain”) which she apparently knew very little or nothing about.  Her life had evidently been wrapped up in the affairs of Sodom; and when she looked back, that was the end of the matter so far as God was concerned.  It was the climactic act in life which had been lived involved in the affairs of the world.



Thus, the Lord’s warning to His disciples concerning Lot’s wife is simply a warning concerning where involvement in the affairs of world will lead.  Though delivered from Sodom, she lost everything; and many Christians … will in that coming day, in like manner to Lot’s wife, lose everything because of their previous involvement with the world.






The Lord’s warning to remember Lot’s wife, His statement relating to saving or losing one’s 1ife [‘soul’],” and His statement relative to individuals being either received in an intimate manner or turned away in an opposite manner are placed together in Luke, chapter seventeen and refer to the same central truth (vv. 32-36). The experience of Lot’s wife (v. 32) would parallel the loss of one’s life (v. 33) or being tuned away by the Lord (vv. 34-36).  And the inverse would be true for an individual keeping his eyes fixed on the mountain rather than looking back toward “the plain.”  His experience would parallel the saving of his life (v. 33) or being received in an intimate manner by the Lord (vv. 34-36).



Saving or losing one’s “1ife [‘soul’]” is, contextually, placed within events following deliverance from the destruction which befell the cities of the plain.  This is a type of the deliverance which Christians will experience before the destruction which is about to befall this present world system, the coming Great Tribulation.  And the saving or losing of one’s “life [‘soul’],” insofar as Christians are concerned, would have to occur at the same time as in the type - following deliverance from the world before events of the Great Tribulation.



Eternal verities are not in view at all.  Saving or losing one’s 1ife [‘soul’]” has to do with events at the judgment seat of Christ.  It is here that Christians will either be received in an intimate manner or be turned away in an opposite manner.  Or, as revealed in Luke 21: 36, it is here that Christians will either be granted the privilege to stand before the Son of man or be denied this privilege.



Scripture elsewhere also teaches the same basic truths concerning saving or losing one’s life [‘soul’].”  Eternal verities are never in view, though many erroneously make such an association.  Teaching that the salvation of the soul has to do with the eternal salvation which we presently possess is foreign to any New Testament usage of the expression, and such an association will serve only to obscure that which Scripture actually teaches on the subject.



Notice three passages of Scripture by way of illustration: Matt. 16: 24-27; James 1: 21; 1 Peter 1: 9.  In Matthew, the saving of the soul is in connection with works which will be revealed and rewards which will be given at the time of Christ’s return (v. 27); in James, the saving of the soul is in connection with a justification by works for those who have already been justified by grace through faith (cf. 1: 21, 22; 2: 14-26); and in 1 Peter, the saving of the soul is in connection with a person receiving the end [goal] of his faith (works emanate out of faithfulness to one’s calling [James 2: 14-26]).*



[* NOTE 9.  It is to the reader’s loss, that the author of the above section has failed to teach the Intermediate Place and State of the Soul immediately after the time of death!  But “a careful reading of the context of these verses reveals that they speak to the regenerated man.  If, as many proclaim, that the regeneration we now possess in Christ is that which has taken place in the soul, why do the above Scriptures speak DIRECTLY of the soul being saved AT THE END OF OUR FAITH [in 1 Peter 1: 5]?

at death the [animating] spirit returns to God (Eccl. 3:1; 12:7; Lk. 23:46; Acts 7:59).  And, on the spirit vacating the body it dies and goes into the grave (James 2: 26; Lk. 23: 52 53; Acts 8:2).  Also in Luke 16: 22, 23, we were enlightened further about the death state.  There it was revealed what happened to the third part of our trichotomy, the soul.  Now it does not mention the word PSUCHE (soul) specifically in the context.  But having knowledge from the other Scriptures mention above, concerning the body, and the spirit, Luke 16: 22, 23 must then reveal the state of the soul at death.  It says of Lazarus the beggar that he died, ... and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.’  And of the rich man, that he died, and was buried; ‘... and in hell [Hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom’. (see also 12: 20).  The soul then, DOES NOT RETURN TO GOD [in Heaven] AS THE SPIRIT DOES AT DEATH.  It goes to a place, prepared for it (Job 30:23) - the unregenerate to one part, and the regenerate to another.  There the soul will remain until either the first resurrection when it will be united once again with its now glorified (spiritual) body indwelt by the already regenerated spirit which had returned to God at the death: or, in the case of the unregenerate - [and also many of the regenerate notworthy to attain to the resurrection [out] from the dead’ (Luke 20: 35; Phil. 3: 11)] -  in the second resurrection (which is a thousand years later) and to stand before the great white throne in judgment (Rev 29:4, 5, 11, 12).  The re-uniting of body, soul, and spirit of the regenerate person completes the ‘redemption of the PURCHASED POSSESSION.’

J. C. HULL.]