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ONE SHALL BE TAKEN AND ANOTHER LEFT
Continuing the above discourse on the things due during the day of the revelation of his presence, Jesus says: „I tell you in that night (before the day has dawned yet a part of that day) there will be two in a bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two will be grinding together; the one will be taken and the other left.” [Diaglott.]
A bed is a place in which to rest; it is here used, we believe, to represent the resting place of the church—the belief or creed. The same bed is here referred to as that mentioned last month described in Isa. 28:20. The prophet is speaking of the stumbling of the church (v. 13) and of the flood of trouble coming upon them (v. 18), and says (see margin): „When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it; from the time that it goeth forth it shall take you (The trouble will commence with the church); for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night (increasing like a flood of waters); and it shall be a vexation only until he shall make you to understand doctrine. [The church has largely substituted doctrines of men for those of God, and they will be vexed and perplexed by the spread of Infidelity, etc., until they come to understand God’s word and plan. Then their perplexity and trouble will be at an end, for they will see
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that the whole plan is working out gloriously to the praise of God and the good of his creatures.] For (the vexation is because) „the bed (creeds—belief) is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it.” The creeds cramp any who have any degree of development. When we were babes we could rest in them, but by reason of growth in grace and knowledge some are coming to find themselves in a very uncomfortable place—no rest there now; it will be quite a relief to get out of such a bed.
It is from this short bed that some will be taken in the day when the Son of man is present turning the light of truth upon error, and bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness. During this time before the sore vexation of the falling house comes, some will awaken and get out of such a short, uncomfortable man-made bed, into the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free, and some will be left; some will be so short that they will feel no inconvenience, and others so sleepy and drowsy as to not notice the matter, and will so remain until the Gospel house, beds and all, become a mass of ruins; then these will „come out of great tribulation.”
„Two will be grinding together.” Grinding is the preparing of food for the household—this, then, seems to refer specially to the teachers in the church; some of these will be taken and some left.
The disciples inquired where they would be taken to, and Jesus answered: „Where the body is there will the eagles be assembled.” The ones taken from the bed and from grinding are likened to eagles; they live high up above the world, in the mountains, far-seeing; having eyes adapted to looking at the light (How they represent the intelligently earnest Christians). What causes the assembling together of the eagles from various quarters? It is hunger, and because they see the prey—the food—a long way off—the food attracts them; they come to eat the carcass—the food.
Now look at the wonderful figures Jesus has given us. First, he will be present invisibly, as the lightning, and men will eat, drink, and know not in the days of the Son of Man; second, in this day all that are on the house-top should escape before the storm destroys the house (nominal church) and injures many in it; third, in the night, before the day has fully come, some, both of grinders and of those not at ease in the short bed will escape; fourth, these thus attracted away, will be like eagles; fifth, the thing which takes them away is a desire for food; sixth, such as thus seek food find it and meet the others similarly hungry and feed together.
How true this picture is; the church has more preaching and teaching and forms than it ever had, yet no food is found by the „eagle class”—the eagles are hungry, and it is their hunger which takes them away, and every such hungry one thus separated, the Lord will feed, and as they come to feed, they find others of „like precious faith” and character, who have forsaken all for truth—the food.
Thus the „gathering” of the ripe wheat—of the jewels—of the eagles is now in progress, and bye and bye these will be glorified with their head—Jesus—changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye from human and mortal conditions, to spiritual and incorruptible. Let us say in the words addressed to Lot; „Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain lest thou be consumed.”—Gen. 19:12-17.
— June, 1881 —