And recently you've subtly let it be known that you are seeking disciples for yourself. (Mt 24:23-26) This is why I don't trust you Sol.
Not so subtly I would argue, and in fact not so recently. Rather openly I would contend, and basically right from the start. Moreover the confusion being demonstrated in connection with the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:23-36 on the part of someone I personally recognize as anointed and very well intentioned is a perfect example of the reasons I always feel very motivated to teach my dear brothers and sisters.
Bear in mind first of all that Jesus himself in this very same account you cited prophesied of future times in which divinely "APPOINTED" ministers of Jehovah would be tasked with doing exactly that in connection with his "domestics" or "brothers." (Mt 24:45 25:40) (Re 11:3) This would required in the foretold time frames in which an "apostasy" on the part of Jehovah's appointed theocratic shepherds (identified specifically as a broken "holy covenant") would serve as a kind of "thief in the night" that would in effect steal the "CONTINUAL sacrifice" or Christ right out from Jehovah's earthly temple and by extension its corresponding salvation, leaving even the anointed ones qualifying now as completely devastated spiritual "widows" and "virgins." (Mt 24:15, 16, 43, 44 25:1, 2) (Da 11:30-32) (Ga 4:27) (Isa 54:1-4) Compare (1 Cor 3:16, 17)
When even the anointed ones generally speaking have found themselves in a situation in which THEY THEMSELVES are in desperate need of being spiritually "clothed" and "fed" by these "prophets" or "two witnesses" the Apostle John also foretells in Revelation 11:3, 7, 11, 12, do we imagine for even one moment they are in a position to preach the good news of "Jehovah's salvation" (the exact definition of the name Jesus) to people "OUT OF all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues…"? (Re 7:9, 10)
It is extremely important for the anointed in these time frames to understand that the "holy covenant" is what ALWAYS qualifies them as spiritual Jews or otherwise as true Christian ministers IN THE FIRST PLACE. In other words, it qualifies them as the earthly "camp" of God's NATION or KINGDOM. (Song 6:13) It is precisely for this reason that the "LEAVING of the holy covenant" and its corresponding FORFEITURE of divine authority and power on the earth now requires this figurative "man of noble birth" to "appoint slaves" to CARE for his "domestics" while he once again "travels abroad TO SECURE kingly power for himself" on the earth. (Da 11:30) (Lu 19:12) This is simply another symbolic representation of the Christ or "continual sacrifice" being "removed" from the earthly portion of Jehovah's "sanctuary" by these foretold "apostasies" and being replaced with a "disgusting thing" that the Apostle John later identifies also as a REPLACEMENT anointing or "ANTI-Christ." (Da 11:31) (1 Joh 2:18) (Strong's #473 #5547) Just as prophesied rather explicitly by the Apostle John at the end of the first century at the very same time that yet another arrival of this "antichrist" was announced, the theft of this Christ in Jehovah's temple is the theft of its corresponding SALVATION. (Re 13:8)
In other words Bobcat, this is more specifically the covering or "CLOTHING" that Jesus is speaking of here in Matthew 25:36 as opposed to merely the spiritual feeding and watering. The figurative theft of Jesus in Jehovah's earthly "sanctuary" or otherwise the causing of him to "travel abroad" with the objective of once again "ARRIVING" or "COMING" in kingly power in turn means that until he DOES SO, none of us are experiencing the COVERING atonement of his earthly sacrifice. This in turn is precisely why we find the Apostle John foretelling future occasions when this very same priestly service of Jehovah's prophets of once again ministering, being put to death, and subsequently being called to heaven being REPEATED by "two witnesses" also on FUTURE occasions. (Re 11:3, 7, 10, 11) If the ones who "believe" in Jesus would ALWAYS be experiencing this spiritual "clothing" or salvation of Jehovah from 33 CE forward, why would the Apostle John and for that matter Jesus HIMSELF be foretelling FUTURE times in which it would suddenly become so necessary? (Re 7:10) (13:8) As the Apostle Paul explicitly pointed out in 2 Thessalonians, a "parousia" or "coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" is not necessary unless an "APOSTASY" HAS MADE IT SUCH. (2 Th 2:1-4) "New Jerusalem COMES DOWN" or is otherwise restored to the earth because true Christianity and its commensurate Jesus/salvation or "continual sacrifice" has "BEEN REMOVED" and a very "disgusting" COUNTERFEIT anointing or "Christ" has been "PUT IN PLACE" of it. (Re 21:2) (Da 11:31)
You see the "APPOINTING" of "slaves" that Jesus is foretelling for future times here in Matthew 24 and 25 is actually a symbolic reference to the INITIAL PHASE of a "coming of God's kingdom" that he himself identifies as "not coming with striking observableness." (Lu 17:20, 21) He is speaking of the times of the arrival of Jehovah's prophets or "appointed slaves" to perform exactly the ministry that he and John the Baptist ("two witnesses") were performing yet again at that very moment for the FIFTH of the "SEVEN times" it was foretold to occur in the "appointed times of the nations" or foretold period of "captivity and exile" ALONE. (Lu 21:24) (Jer 1:3) On this FINAL foretold occasion in OUR time which would involve an "EIGHTH king," we actually have good reason to recognize that there would initially be only ONE prophet of Jehovah for this ministry directed at the gathering of what was represented as the HUMANS into the figurative "ark" as opposed to what was subsequently represented by the animals. (The theocratic shepherds as opposed to their flock's) (Zec 11:14-17) This is not merely for the reason that this period of time would unfold AFTER the "seven times" or "appointed times of the nations" in which "two witnesses" would always be part and parcel, but also because Jesus associated this somewhat unique "day of Jehovah" specifically with the ministry of the ancient NOAH. (Mt 24:21, 37-39)
Nevertheless in stark contrast with the notion of gathering together even many MILLIONS of repentant ones or otherwise a "great crowd" of "OTHER sheep" which would NOT be pictured with the "seven others" that would ultimately join Noah in entering the "ark," and correspondingly would NOT involve a ministry that would very much appear as "carefully concealed sacred secrets" to all but a "few" of the anointed that Jehovah would ultimately come to recognize as more "faithful and discreet," what we are always dealing with in these time periods is a very exclusive ministry directed ONLY towards what would now qualify as "LOST sheep of the HOUSE of Israel." (2 Pe 2:5) (Col 2:3) (Mt 10:5, 6 13:11) We need to understand that terms such as "those in Judea" or those of the "HOUSE/TEMPLE/SANCTUARY of Israel" is specifically a symbolic reference to the spirit anointed ones, whether they be deemed as "foolish" or "discreet" in these time periods. (Mt 24:15, 16 25:12) Just as demonstrated for us also in the time period of John the Baptist and Jesus, the more "discreet" among them at some point became "DISCIPLES" of Jehovah's prophets. Once they came to be RECOGNIZED as such by Jehovah's appointed slaves, the teachings that initially seemed (as you say) not so "straight forward" or perhaps even "mysterious" were then explained very openly and simply to them "IN PRIVATE." (Mr 4:34) But something that is likely even much MORE important would always coincide with this moment in which these "few" would finally begin to actually and truly "LISTEN" to Jehovah's prophets in these time frames. (Hag 1:12) (Mt 22:14) What was this?
Well just as occurred with the SECOND of the "seven times" in which foreign "kings" would be included among Jehovah's "anointed shepherds," the anointed ones who had in effect "deposited" their figurative "silver monies" (themselves and their anointing) at the feet of Jehovah's prophets (Haggai and Zechariah holding the role of the "two witnesses" on this occasion) by actually "LISTENING" and paying heed to what they had to say, experienced a kind of "INTEREST" on this deposit. (Mt 25:27) (Isa 44:28 45:1) Jehovah suddenly now came to be "WITH THEM" in the same manner that he was ALREADY with his "APPOINTED slaves." (Hag 1:13) Just as demonstrated for us also in the early part of the first century, this figurative "interest" proved to be comprised of an ADDITIONAL anointing that was designed to authorize, empower and equip these ones to actually JOIN with the prophets in the very same ministry to "Christ's brothers" or "lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Mr 3:13, 14) (Ro 15:4)
This is precisely what Jesus is speaking of in accounts like Matthew 25:31-40 and it is extremely important the anointed understand that this is the ONLY way that is EVER held out to them to engage in the ministry that will ALLOW Jesus to recognize them as having actually "fed," "clothed" and cared for his "domestics" or "brothers" at the time of a SECONDARY phase of his "coming" or "arrival." This secondary phase can BY NO MEANS be described as the very humiliated and lowly one that would be associated with "no striking observableness." (Lu 17:20, 21) (Isa 53) (Mt 3:1-4) As we can discern by the setting and context found here in Matthew 25, this is the phase of the "coming" in which this figurative "man of noble birth" has once again "SECURED kingly power for himself" (as always by means of another renewed and inaugurated kingdom covenant) and is in a position to REWARD the slaves of his who shared in actually ASSISTING his prophets in ministering to his "brothers" who had once again found themselves completely devastated by the effects of yet another national apostasy. (Mt 25: 31-40) (Lu 22:28, 29) (He 9:16-18) This by contrast is a setting in which even the "APPOINTED slaves" would find themselves in a very "lonely, isolated, wilderness" condition in which they are continually receiving opposition, mockings and ridicule even from their own anointed brothers and sisters who they are endeavoring to sacrifice their very lives for. (Mt 3:1-4 24:45) (Mr 1:45)
Yes, a VERY significant and sudden change in the setting and context is what we are considering here. Among other things this marks the precise moment in which the "ministry to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" that occurs in a kind of "lonely" and oppressive "wilderness" setting suddenly consists of one to "people of ALL THE NATIONS." (Mt 28:18-20) As opposed to "coming with no striking observableness" or a ministry associated even with humiliation and shame, this phase of the "parousia" is associated with things like a "GREAT TRUMPET SOUND," "LIGHTNING that comes out of eastern parts and shines over western parts," great power and even "GLORY" in connection with its appointed shepherds. (Mt 24:27, 31 25:31) The "GREAT" flocks of "OTHER sheep" (as opposed to the "LITTLE flock which the father has approved of giving the kingdom") is gathered to the safety and salvation of the figurative "ark" (which at this point actually once again EXISTS) with a VERY DIFFERENT kind of ministry than the one that would immediately precede it. As the ancient Daniel said, its ministers would "shine like the brightness of the expanse, and those who are bringing the MANY to righteousness like the stars to time indefinite." (Da 12:3) (Joh 10:16) (Lu 12:32) The apostle Paul helps us to understand that particularly in the case of this "LAST trumpet," this would be for the reason that ALL these ministers would be comprised of "incorruptible and immortal" spirit beings in this case. (1 Cor 15:51-53)
With these things in mind Bobcat, I would encourage you to now take a closer look at the scripture you cited there in Matthew 24:23-26, and while doing so pay closer attention this time to the SETTING being considered. As opposed to a ministry to merely the "lost sheep of the house of ISRAEL," you might notice it is actually identified as the one that always causes "ALL THE TRIBES OF THE EARTH to beat themselves in lamentation" as they are compelled to recognize things like the fact that they had long been actually dealing with a "disgusting" COUNTERFEIT Christ and by extension "sacrificing to DEMONS" or otherwise (as Jesus worded it) "worshiping what they DID NOT KNOW." (Mt 24:30-31) (1 Cor 10:20) (Joh 4:22) In THIS setting which we are NOT currently experiencing, the "Christ" being spoken of here in verses 23-26 would most definitely NOT be found in an "isolated/humiliated" "wilderness" setting or a hidden "inner chamber" one. Any claims to the contrary would consist of a bold faced lie designed by Jehovah's enemies to deceive as many people as possible away from the salvation of Jesus Christ that is once again being held out to them very OPENLY and "PUBLICLY," with TREMENDOUS power and authority just as demonstrated for us also in the years between 33 and 98 CE before yet another arrival of the "antichrist." (1 Joh 2:18) (Ac 13:2 18:28) (Mt 28:18-20) Theocratically appointed shepherds in this setting would not even be EXPERIENCING the "hour of test that is coming upon the whole inhabited earth," as they would actually be among the "heavenly kings and priests" that are RENDERING OUT the judgments of Jehovah, whether good or bad. (Re 3:10 5:10)