One shall be taken and the other left
The mid-Tribulation invasion of Judea and Jerusalem
By Craig C. White
In Luke 17:36 Jesus gave a prophecy that one day two men will be standing in a field. Then one man will be taken away and the other man will remain.
Luke 17:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
This passage might sound like it is describing the Rapture but it isn’t. Instead it is describing the invasion of Judea and Jerusalem by the Antichrist during the Tribulation period. First of all this prophecy was given to the Jews before the Church existed. Jesus gave this prophecy to his Disciples. Secondly this prophecy was given in the city of Jerusalem. It concerns the nation of Israel and more specifically it concerns the city of Jerusalem. Jesus also told us when this event will happen. It will happen on “the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:30). I know that the term the Son of man can refer to the Messiah but on this day the Antichrist will stand in the temple in Jerusalem showing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
The day when the Son of man is revealed is not a good day. It is the time period when God will allow Israel’s enemies to oppress them. God will first use Israel’s enemies to judge Israel. Jesus will then judge Israel’s enemies at the end of the seven year long Tribulation period.
Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
The second half of the Tribulation period is called Jerusalem’s “Great Tribulation” (Mat 24:21). The man in the field will be taken away at the beginning of Jerusalem’s Great Tribulation on the day that the Antichrist sits in the temple.
One man will be taken away and the other man will remain. Where did Jesus give this Prophecy? Luke tells us. In Luke 17:11 Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. Along the way Jesus met a group of lepers. He healed them and told them to show themselves to the priests at the temple in Jerusalem.
Luke 17:11-14 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
This is off of the subject of being taken or left but I cannot pass by these verses without saying something about them. Jesus sent the lepers to the priests at the temple. It was the priest’s duty to declare that the lepers were now clean (Lev 14:2). Jesus knew that sending the lepers would upset the priests. You see, no person had ever been healed from leprosy and then presented themselves before the priests. The health of the lepers proved that Jesus had the power to heal. The priests knew that the Prophet Isaiah said that the messiah would heal the sick.
Isa 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
Jesus used healing as a sign to prove that he was the Messiah. This was his message to John the Baptist.
Mat 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
After the lepers showed themselves to the priests Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees in Jerusalem. The Pharisees were a sect of religious leaders. So Jesus was in Jerusalem when the Pharisees challenged his authority. They asked him “when would the kingdom of God come?”
Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Jesus answered the Pharisees in Luke 17:21-25 and then went on to tell his disciples what would happen during the days of the Son of man. That is the day of God’s judgment of Israel and wrath on earth.
Jesus, his disciples, and the Pharisees were in Jerusalem at the time this was said.
Luke 17:26-29 And as it was in the days of Noe (Noah), 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. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
There is a day coming that will bring a terrible time of judgment for Israel. Things will be the worst in the city of Jerusalem. It is called Jerusalem’s Great Tribulation (Mat 24:21). Folks in Jerusalem will be going about their lives as usual. But then all of a sudden something terrible will happen. Jerusalem will be attacked by the Antichrist and his army. Half the people will be taken captive. One person will be taken and another will remain.
Jesus warns the people in Jerusalem not to return to their homes! Obviously they will be alerted to some sort of eminent threat. They have been warned by the presence of the Antichrist in the temple and by his plundering army. They will be tempted to return to their homes in order to retrieve their personal belongings. Jesus warns them to not go home!
Luke 17:30-31 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31 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.
This is the same day that is described in Matthew 24 below.
Mat 24:15-18 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
Jesus warns the citizens of Jerusalem and Judea not to go home because danger awaits them there. If they return to their houses they will be killed, abused, or taken captive. Does the Bible tell us about a day when the homes in Jerusalem will be in jeopardy, a day also when one out of two people will be taken away? Yes it does.
Zechariah 14:1-3 tells us that before the day of the Lord, Jerusalem will be attacked. The homes will be robbed, and the women will be raped. One out of two people will be taken away as slaves!
Zechariah 14:1-3 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
This invasion of Jerusalem will happen halfway through the seven year long Tribulation period. It will begin on the day that the Antichrist sits in the temple (2Th 2:4). It marks the beginning of Jerusalem’s Great Tribulation. Three and a half years after this invasion Jesus will return to defend Jerusalem.
In Daniel 11:44 this future invasion is likened to the invasion of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanies in 167 BC. Antiochus ordered his soldiers to kill people in their homes. Half of the people who survived were taken away as slaves. The future Antichrist will attack Jerusalem in much the same way.
Here is an historical account of Antiochus Epiphanies’ attack on Jerusalem in 167 BC.
2 Maccabees 5:11–14 When these happenings were reported to the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt. Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.
Like Lot’s wife who wanted to return home; anybody returning to their house on this day will be killed or taken as prisoner. Meanwhile away from home, two men will be standing in the field. One will be taken away as a slave and the other man will be left in the field. In this way one half of the people in Jerusalem will be taken away as slaves just as Zechariah 14:2 (above) tells us.
Luke 17:32-36 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 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.
At the start of the Great Tribulation the Antichrist will invade Jerusalem and his army will go from home to home taking every other person prisoner. In that way one half of all Jews found in Jerusalem will be taken away as slaves. The other half will suffer through the Great Tribulation inside of the city (see the end of Zechariah 14:2).
Luke 17:37 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.
Everywhere there is a Jew in Jerusalem their enemies will find them.
Read more about Jerusalem’s Great Tribulation and also about the day when the Son of man is revealed in my book Israel’s Beacon of Hope