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One is Taken; One is Left By Dr. Stanley M. Horton
A Word Study On Idolatry by David Buttram
Proclaim His Glory By Dr. Stanley M. Horton
Wastebaskets Of Egypt By Lois Hoadley Dick
Word Study On Praise By David Buttram

One is Taken; One is Left


40"Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left.
41Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
42So be prepared, because you don't know what day your Lord is coming."

"SEVERAL TIMES RECENTLY it has come to my attention that some are trying to revive an interpretation of
Matthew 24:40, 41 that has been rejected by many commentaries (such as Pulpit Commentary) and by most Bible scholars.

This interpretation, which comes up from time to time, says that when one is taken and the other left, the one taken is the wicked one who is taken away for judgment, while the true believer is left. They refer this to a separation which they say will take place at the end of the Tribulation.

They do not refer these verses to the Rapture as such. Rather they connect it with the parable which speaks of tares first gathered for burning
(Matthew 13:30, 41) and they take Matthew 24:30, 31 to indicate a sequence where the wicked are judged before the elect are gathered.

It is not unusual for scholars to disagree about the meaning of words or passages in this way. But we must remember that scholars sometimes have preconceived ideas, and it is necessary for us to search the Scriptures before coming to a conclusion.

An examination of Matthew chapter 13 shows that the parable fits
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. The armies of Anti-christ must be judged before the shining forth of the believers in the Kingdom. The reference is not to the Rapture but to the time when we return with Christ.

Then a careful study of Matthew chapter 24 shows that here Jesus is not primarily concerned with what happens next. He deals with A.D. 70 (the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem), the course of this age, and the end of the age without indicating any step-by-step sequence. The word then in verse 30 is very general and means only that several things will happen in this general period but without indicating the order of their occurrence.
(See Acts 1:7.)

A careful study of the words in Matthew 24:40 shows that taken (Greek, paralambanetai, in the present tense here to show certainty) basically means "to take to oneself, take with, or take along." Some have said it also means "to take prisoner," but this is not a common New Testament usage. When the Bible speaks of solders taking Jesus, He was already arrested, and they were merely taking Him along with them
(Matthew 24:27; John 19:16).

Usually the word involves taking people and often involves close personal relationship. Joseph was commanded to take the young child and His mother
(Matthew 2:13, 20). Jesus took Peter, James, and John into the Mount of Transfiguration
(Matthew 17:1). Barnabas took Mark to Cyprus (Acts 15:39).

The word is also translated "received," but with the same personal meaning. We take Christ to ourselves
(Colossians 2:6; John 1:11). We take to ourselves the Word of God as truth
(1 Thessalonians 2:13). Jesus will come again and take us to Himself
(John 14:3).

All this is in strong contrast to Matthew 24:39 where, after Noah entered the ark, the flood came and "took" (Greek, airo) the rest of that generation away. "Airo" is a common word for "take up, take away, carry away, remove." Jesus commanded the paralytic to take up his bed and go home
(Matthew 9:6). The kingdom of God and the talent are taken away from the unfaithful
(Matthew 21:43; 25:28). The stone is taken away from the tomb
(John 20:1). The wicked are taken away and cast into outer darkness
(Matthew 22:13). So Noah goes first into the ark, and then the flood comes and takes away the others.

The proper parallel in Matthew 24:40, 41 then is that one is "taken along" with the multitude who rise for that great meeting with Jesus in the air
(1 Thessalonians 4:17), while the other is left behind
(Greek, aphietai, in the sense of being abandoned to the judgments of the Tribulation).

The context also shows that the point Jesus is making in
Matthew 24:39-42 is that it will be business as usual at the time He comes for us. It was business as usual for the world as a whole when the flood came. The people who were left outside the ark had their own plans made for the very day the flood came. They had no special warning other than the preaching of Noah.

When Jesus comes again for us, people will be going about their ordinary tasks the same as they would any other day. (Jesus means everyday duties when He speaks of going to the field and grinding the little hand mill.) There will be no special warning other than the preaching of the Word. Suddenly one will be taken to be with Jesus and one will be left behind.

Jesus concludes with the warning to watch
(Greek, gregoreite, "be on the alert, be wide-awake, vigilant"), for we do not know at what hour our Lord comes
(Matthew 24:42-44). This also fits clearly with the fact that Jesus will come for us before the judgments of the Tribulation begin to fall."

This article was quoted from the
September 16, 1973 issue of the Pentecostal Evangel Magazine, page 6.
STANLEY M. HORTON was Professor of Bible at Central Bible College at that time.

Gratitude is a
God honoring attitude

A Word Study On Idolatry
by David Buttram

"My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life"
(Proverbs 4:20-22).


"Idolatry is the worship of an idol or a deity which is represented by an idol.

Historical evidence shows that idolatry has been practiced since the days of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Roman Empire, and many other civilizations.

God speaking through His prophets and priests strictly prohibited worship of idols. And, generally speaking, the Hebrews obeyed. Yet, throughout Israel's history idolatry remained a national temptation.

Whether worshipping false gods in the forms of idols or making a material form of the true God, it is repeatedly denounced throughout the Old Testament and was considered an abomination.

The early church resisted the idolatry practiced throughout the Roman Empire because they saw it as a perversion of Christianity.

The New Testament writers saw idolatry more in a metaphorical sense. For example, we read that covetousness is an idol because it focuses attention on a person's desires and wants rather than God
(Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5).

The Greek word Eidololatrela means the worship of idols, or false gods. These idols or false gods can take many forms.

Dr. Walter Lewis Wilson warned, "An idol in the Christian's life is anything or any person that takes the heart and love away from the Lord or that comes between the child of God and God. It may be money, fame, pleasure, companionship, or even a religious activity."

Idolatry is among the seventeen fruits of the flesh Paul lists in
Galatians 5:19-21. Idolaters shall not inherit the kingdom of God he warns.

Paul continues by saying that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

Let us examine our lives to see if we are bearing the works of the flesh or fruit of the Spirit."

This article quoted from the
Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, July-August 1986, page 6

Never frown because you never know
Who is falling in love with your smile

Proclaim His Glory

"What do you talk about when you are with unbelievers?

David called on Israel to declare God's glory
(1 Chronicles 16:24). This did not mean that everyone had to be an orator or public speaker, however. The basic meaning of "declare" is simply to count in the sense of counting up or checking off. We must be able to tell the world what God's glory includes.

So often God's glory and presence were manifest in the Old Testament as intense and brilliant light, sometimes with the variety of color seen in a rainbow
(Ezekiel 1:27,28). Thus as white light is made up of many colors, so God's glory is made up of many components.

The word glory (Hebrew, kavod) originally meant "weight." Then it took on the meaning of weightiness and therefore of splendor, magnificence, power, authority, and honor.

But when the Bible speaks of the glory of God, the word still keeps the meaning of weight. His glory is actually the full weight of all that He is.
He is glorious in His goodness (Exodus 33:18,19),
glorious in His power (Psalm 63:2),
glorious in His grace,
glorious in His holy name (that is, in His holy nature and character),
glorious in His justice and mercy,
glorious in His work of creation,
glorious in His salvation,
glorious in His wisdom and knowledge,
glorious in His love.

The manifestations of His glory are manifestations of His presence and power in whatever form they may take. To give Him glory is to honor Him by recognizing the weightiness, the magnificence, the greatness of all that He is.

The greatest manifestation of His glory, a glory full of grace and truth, came when Jesus walked on this earth
(John 1:14). One of the greatest works of the Holy Spirit today is to reveal that glory so we may be continually changed as we begin to partake of it
(2 Corinthians 3:18).
We were created for His glory (Revelation 4:11).
We are going to share His glory (Colossians 3:4).

Surely if the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), how much more should we!
(See also Matthew 5:14-16.)"

This article quoted from the
Pentecostal Evangel Magazine, JANUARY 20, 1980, page 21
By Dr. STANLEY HORTON was a Professor at the Assemblies of God Graduate School, Springfield, Missouri, at that time

We will help you prepare
For your final exams

Wastebaskets Of Egypt
By Lois Hoadley Dick

"Who would dream that one of the most puzzling mysteries for New Testament students would be solved from a garbage dump outside an ancient Egyptian town?

Human nature was much the same in ancient times as it is today. Schoolboys copied lessons over and over, then tore the papyrus to bits and dropped them into a wastebasket.

Provoked ladies of the house wrote notes to careless maids: "Kindly dust behind the big vases in the hall, since you forgot them last week." And lazy maids shrugged and dropped the notes into wastebaskets.

Lawyers sent bills; citizens figured out their taxes; landlords wrote rent receipts; lovers exchanged poems; teenagers scribbled in diaries. And, of course, there were books of magic� even almanacs. They all ended up in wastebaskets.

Fortunately the ancient Egyptians did not burn their garbage. The contents of wastebaskets were simply collected and dumped over the edge of city walls where the wind-blown sands covered them� and preserved them� in a hot, dry land where rain was unknown. Some layers of the rubbish were hundreds of feet deep.

Meanwhile, Bible scholars puzzled for years over the great difference between the Greek language of the New Testament and other Greek literature. Josephus, the famous historian who lived during New Testament days, wrote in a classical, stilted type of Greek, a style long since outdated. Other literary men used Attic Greek, a language originating in Athens and noted for its elegance, but accessible only to learned persons.

Could it be that God invented a new language expressly for the purpose of giving His written Word to the world?

The garbage dump outside the town of Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, solved the centuries-old mystery. Digging at that spot about 100 miles south-west of Memphis, a pair of archeologists (Dr. Grenfell and Dr. Hunt) in 1896 discovered tons of papyri notes dating from New Testament days. All the scraps and torn bits were carefully sorted, pieced together, photographed, and finally published in volume after volume to amaze and further confuse Bible students.

The contents of Egyptian waste-baskets thus came to be placed on display in the University Library at Heidelberg, Germany.

One day a German pastor, Dr. Adolf Deissmann, was browsing through the mass of seemingly pointless scraps of ancient trivia. He was struck with the similarity between the type of Greek used and the New Testament Greek he had studied. After further investigation he realized it was a "koine" or "common" type of Greek written and spoken all over the Roman Empire by laborers, housewives, seamen, and children� everyone but scholars.

The koine Greek turned out to be a simple language of many countries, which began during the reign of Alexander the Great when he first started to colonize the known world. The koine was the popular trade lingo, absolutely necessary in international commerce. This common Greek continued to be used under Roman rule into New Testament days.

When God wanted to spread the gospel quickly by word of mouth and by Paul's letters, the koine was already available, understandable by anyone. The nuances and over-delicacy of classic Greek would have been wasted on the so-called "barbarians" whom Paul yearned to bring into the Kingdom of God.

Thanks to the wastebaskets of Egypt emptied outside city and village walls, the first examples of a type of Greek previously known only in the Bible came to light.

Some of the papyri notes were found between cracks in fallen buildings and under ruined cellars. Some were even wrapped around mummies.

Early Christian documents were found, though not added to the canon of Holy Writ. Fragments of the Gospels, portions of Genesis, Second Samuel, Amos, Revelation, and other books were unearthed in Egypt; probably they belonged to an ancient Christian community. These were older than the existing manuscripts. The documents were priceless� but the value of the garbage dump outside Oxyrhynchus lay in the discovery of koine Greek.

Many New Testament phrases became clearer when the koine was understood. For example, "Give us this day our epiousion (daily) bread" always puzzled translators since eminent Greek scholars, including Origen, insisted the word did not exist in the Greek language. The strange word was found on a housewife's grocery list, buried for centuries in the sand. The koine explained that daily bread was given to workmen and soldiers the night before it was needed.

One scholar suggested the meaning should be, "bread for going on, bread for the morrow and afterward." The koine helps us understand the Lord's unfailing provision for His people and His assurance He will not be late with it.

At one time there was a list of no less than 500 New Testament words which remained vague in meaning to translators.

Professor Deissmann, who later held the chair of New Testament exegesis in Berlin, summed up the significance of the discovery of the koine Greek by saying, "The foundations of our historical knowledge of early Christianity are unassailable."

This article quoted from the

Enjoy life
You could have been born a barnacle

Word Study On Praise
by David Buttram

"My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life"
(Proverbs 4:20-22).


"Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord"
(Psalms 150:6).

"Throughout the Bible we read of the praise and adoration to God from his people. In the Old Testament "Haiai" is translated "Praise."

This Hebrew word actually means to be bright, to shine, to celebrate, and to cause to shine. From this came the feeling of joyful worship and rejoicing of God.

The New Testament "Ainos" (Greek) generally means to praise God for benefits received or expected.

We are all recipients of God's great mercy and love. The writer of
Psalms 107 gives 15 reasons to praise. Surely we can think of many more. It's no wonder that Solomon says,
"Seven times a day do I praise thee..."
(Psalms 119:164). How much better to be continually in an attitude of praise such as Isaiah described in 61:3.

How can one wear a garment of praise? My father, Lester L. Buttram, is a good example. I would hear him say praises unto the Lord, unaware that anyone was around. Expressions such as: "Praise your name," "Thank you, Jesus," "Hallelujah," were constantly on his lips. The two way communication that existed between Dad and God resulted in spiritual blessings that few people experience.

Praise toward God can take several forms. Certainly song and musical instruments are Biblical. Testimonies, prayers, vocal utterances are scripturally sound. Praise may be corporate (as in a church service) where a body of believers is united in adoration or it can be very private where only inward emotions are involved.

When Jesus made his entry into Jerusalem people began to openly praise Him for his mighty work. When the Pharisees sought to quiet the crowd, Jesus expressed the importance of praise: "...I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out"
(Luke 19:40).

God wants our praise. If we fail to give Him the proper praise and adoration, the forces of nature will do so. Let us not be neglectful in returning to God that which He so richly deserves.

If you desire to learn more about this subject of Praise please write for our tracts on The Power of a Positive Praise Life and Praise Changes Things. Our God wants a people who will not only pray but also will praise Him. You can be one of those victorious people who are constantly in victory, because they are constantly in communication with God."

You can order these tracts from Gospel Tract Society.
This article quoted from The Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, September-October 1986, page 4.

If you have not already invited Jesus Christ to come to live inside of your heart then click on the above banner if you want to learn how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and receive spiritual encouragement in your heart and soul.

In some small way I hope that God has been able to encourage you through these articles.
shared with you by Kraig Josiah Rice

BOW Links to other words "in the original" to study

  • Some Hebrew words used in the study of witchcraft
  • Greek word used by the gnostics
  • Greek words used in connection with Christ's tomb stone
  • More (as in God's grace)
  • a word study on paraclete
  • The meaning of Daniel's Name in Hebrew
  • Index of Theological Studies

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    As of February 19, 2007