Who are the Elect in Mt. 24?
If you haven't already, read the lesson ‘The Post-trib Rapture view doesn’t work’.
Because Paul and Peter referred to believers in Christ as the elect, and Jesus in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 said after the Tribulation of those days he will send his angles to gather his elect, the post-trib view says this is proof for a post-trib Rapture. But is it? Are the elect Jesus referred to the Church as the Post-trib views says? Well, let’s see.
Matthew 24: 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. NKJV
Mark 13: 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.
There’s actually two different Greek words for ‘elect’ and ‘Church’.
First let’s look at the word ‘elect’. The Greek word translated elect here in Matthew and Mark is the Strong’s Greek Lexicon G1588, eklektos. Meaning, chosen. Now look at the Greek word used by Jesus when he addressed what we call today the Church. .. Mt. 16: 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. .. The Greek word here translated Church is the Strong’s Greek Lexicon G1577, ekklesia. Meaning a calling out. Two different words, addressing two different groups. Jesus for addressing the New Testament Church again used the same Greek ekklesia in Mt. 18:17. We see Paul in his letters used both eklektos and ekklesia. Look how he used eklektos for addressing the Jews. 2 Tim. 2: 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. … You have to look at how he was using the word and who he was addressing. It’s the same with Peter in his letters.
We know from throughout the Old Testament that the Jews were the chosen people of God. We see now under the New Testament that all, Jew or Gentile, who believe on/in Jesus, who put their faith in Jesus are called out into a chosen people of God. Eklektos, addressing the Jews, Ekklesia, addressing the New Covenant Church of Jews and Gentiles as now one people of God.
But there’s more to indicate that here in Matthew and Mark, when Jesus referred to the elect he was not meaning or addressing the Church age believers.
Now to the gathering of the elect. Here are just a couple of the Old Testament Prophets that foretold this.
Isaiah 11: 12 He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.
Jerimiah 31: 8 See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth.
Do you see what Isaiah and Jerimiah said? This is the gathering of the Jews into Jerusalem. The angels are sent to gather the elect, notice in Mt. 24 he said ‘he will send his angels with a sound of a great trumpet, it is after what he just said, after they have seen the Son of Man return. Remember, no one will see Jesus come in the air at the Rapture but they will at his 2nd coming.
Look at this from Isaiah.
12 In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, Israel, will be gathered up one by one. 13 And in that day a great (trumpet) will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.
Chapter 27 starts off with Isaiah referring to the tribulation, verse 1, In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword— his fierce, great and powerful sword—
Of the tribulation Luke said, Luke 21: 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.
We see with Isa. 27 v12 & 13 that Israel will be gathered with the blowing of a great trumpet sound. This will be the angels gathering the Jews back from around the world. The reference to the elect during the tribulation is referring to believing Jews. These elect will be of the whole house of Israel. They are being gathered back to Jerusalem. This is not the Rapture of the Church. With the Rapture of the Church there is no gathering by angels, only Jesus, the bride groom coming for his bride. See ‘The Jewish Wedding Custom and the Rapture’.
Because in 1 Thes. 4 v16 Paul mentions a trumpet call announcing the Rapture doesn’t mean it is the same trumpet as the trumpet in Mt. 24. You have to look at the context of both to see if they match, agree with what we are told concerning the Rapture. Of the Rapture Paul says there will be a trumpet call (before/with) the Rapture, (announcing) his coming for the Church, his bride, a command to come up here. The trumpet in Matthew does not announce his 2nd coming, but occurs after they see him returning and is for gathering the Jews that have come to realize the truth that Jesus is indeed the Messiah. Furthermore, from Jesus in John 14 we see with the Rapture the Church age saints are gathered, caught up and going back to heaven with him, but we see these elect being gathered to the earthly Jerusalem.
Mark also says from the ends of the earth, from the farthest part of earth. From the four winds could be referring to all over the earth. The ends of the heavens could be just saying that people will be gathered from all over the world, but the ends of the heavens, the farthest part of heaven could also be referring to those that have died for their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God during the tribulation and to those that died during the Old Testament times. We see in Revelation chapter 20 after Jesus has returned back down to the earth that those that died for the Lord during the tribulation are raised to life. We see from Daniel chapter 12 all the Old Testament saints are raised, come to life after Jesus’ 2nd coming also. If this in Matthew and Mark does include those that have died for the Lord during the tribulation and to those that died during the Old Testament times, then what we see from Jesus in Mt. 24 and Mk. 13 will take place after his 2nd coming, at the same time of the resurrection we see in Revelation chapter 20. You know, the post-trib view says there will be a resurrection with this trumpet, they just say it’s the rapture of the Church. But from what we’re told by Paul that the dead in Christ will rise first then those that are alive will be changed and caught up together with them, shows us that this gathering of the elect, this trumpet sound in Matthew and Mark and the resurrection we see occurring in Rev. ch. 20 cannot be the Rapture. Remember, in Rev. 19 we see the Church age believers, the bride coming with Jesus from Heaven. And the resurrection in Rev. 20 is after Jesus and the Church age believers have returned from heaven.
We see from the Old Testament scriptures that there will be a trumpet which will occur after Jesus’ 2nd coming to gather the Jews back into the city of Jerusalem. The use of a trumpet goes back to the Old Testament where trumpets were used for gathering the people of Israel as well as for announcing feasts and festivals. It will be the same for the Church with the Rapture and after Jesus’ 2nd coming, the gathering of the Jews back to Jerusalem. There’s a trumpet call to gather the Church age believers, and one for gathering the Jewish believers after his 2nd coming.
Mt. 19: 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Isaiah 27 with v12 said, In that day the Lord will thresh. This is a reference to the harvest in which they would harvest the fields but would leave the 4 corners, which would be harvested last, after the poor and the foreigner gathered what they could. It appears that Jesus used this example for gathering the Jews after the tribulation.
What takes place after Jesus’ 2nd coming.
Ez. 39: 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, (I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind). 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
In Matthew, Mark and Luke, notice the context, the mention of the holy place(the Temple), the abomination that causes desolation, those who are in Judea, flight not taking place on the Sabbath, city of Jerusalem, all of which are connected to the elect. All of these have to do with the Jews, not to the Church age believers.
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s(Jewish believers) sake those days will be shortened.
14 “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 17 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 And pray that your flight may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. 20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city(Jerusalem) get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land(Israel) and wrath against this people(the Jews). 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. NIV
Notice Luke adds, When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, Jerusalem will be trampled on and there will be great distress in the land (Israel) and wrath against this people (the Jews). All of this is connected to Jesus’ reference to the elect. It’s all addressing the Jewish people, the city of Jerusalem, the land of Israel, not the Church age believers.
The word ‘elect’ is used of the Jews during the O.T., it’s also used in the N.T. Paul referred to the Church as the elect while also referring to even unbelieving Jews as the elect. You have to take the use of the word elect, election, in the context in which it is being used as with Mt. 24 and Mk. 13 above.
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,
2 Timothy 2
10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
Old Testament: NKJV referring to Israel, the Jewish people as the elect.
4 For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.
9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, And from Judah an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there.
As I said above, you have to take into account the context in which the word elect is being used. The word elect at times is addressing the Church, at times as above is addressing the Jews.
We see that the context of Mt. 24 and Mk. 13 in which Jesus referred to the gathering of the elect, makes sense that he was referring to the Jewish people, who come to realize the truth concerning Jesus during the Tribulation, and not to the Church age believers. We see Old Testament scriptures that refer to the Jews, Israel as the elect being gathered with the sound of a great trumpet to Jerusalem as Jesus said in Matthew. We see that the trumpet in Mt. 24 does not match that of 1 Thes. 4 v16 announcing the Rapture. When you put all the scriptures together the only conclusion you can come to is that Jesus was addressing the gathering of the Jews as the elect. And as we saw from the lesson ‘The Post-trib Rapture view doesn’t work’, the Church being Raptured, gathered after the tribulation on the day of Jesus’ 2nd coming doesn’t work with the context of what we see from Jesus and Paul of what occurs with the Rapture.
I said this before, as is the case with researching anything, you must first determine what takes place with the Rapture before looking at any other scriptures. You must first lay the foundation. This is what you build on. Once you establish what occurs with the Rapture then you base all other scriptures on this. All other scriptures must line up and work with, agree with what we’re told concerning the timing of the Rapture, and what occurs with the Rapture. The scriptures cannot contradict each other. If a scripture does not line up and agree with what we’re told concerning the Rapture, then that scripture isn’t to be connected to the Rapture. As we see concerning who the elect are in Mt. 24 and Mk. 13. If your interpretation of scriptures doesn't line up and agree with what we are told concerning the Rapture then you must rethink your interpretation. Well, as you see, the post-trib view has scriptures not lining up, agreeing with what we are told concerning when the Rapture occurs and what takes place with the Rapture. The post-trib view ignores a lot of scriptures. In some cases changes a plain sense reading of scripture.
Check out the other Bible Lessons.
Maranatha, Our Lord Comes.