Turning the World Upside Down

By: Dr. Dillon Burroughs

Contents

1 Who are “the elect” referred to in Matthew 24:31?

Dr. Renald Showers: The question here is this: “Who are the elect that he gathers with a great sound of a trumpet from the four winds of heaven? Are they the Church saints?” I’m convinced that they are not. Let me tell you why. For one thing, if you’re going to say these are Church saints, you’re overlooking some extensive revelation that’s given to us in the Old Testament. What kind of revelation? There are passages in the Old Testament where God calls the whole nation of Israel “His chosen,” literally “His Elect.”
Then there are prophetic promise passages in the Old Testament to the effect that in the end times He would gather together His chosen ones, His elect, particularly the believing remnant of Israel from all corners of the earth, gather them together even from the four winds, gather them together again so that they could go into the Millennial Kingdom with the Messiah whenever He reigns.

 

Let me read to you a fascinating promise that God delivered to Israel through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 27:12-13: “O ye children of Israel, and it shall come to pass in that day that the great trumpet shall be blown and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria and the outcasts in the land of Egypt and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount of Jerusalem.” God here was promising toward the end times if you read the whole context that He’s going to re-gather His scattered people of Israel from many different places around the world and He will do that in conjunction with the blowing of the great trumpet. Matthew 24:31: “He shall send his angels with the sound of a great trumpet and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other.”

In light of those Old Testament parallels, I’m convinced that the elect here in Matthew 24:31 are not Church saints but the people of Israel who have been scattered throughout the world, perhaps even more specifically the faithful remnant of Jews who have become believers in the Lord during the seven year Tribulation period and are still alive on the face of the earth at His glorious second coming back to the earth immediately after the Tribulation period. He will gather together this faithful remnant of Jews from all over the world back to the land of Israel with the sound of a great trumpet.

Now, there’s a second reason I’m convinced this is referring to the elect of Israel and not to the Church elect or Church saints. The whole context of Matthew 24 is a Jewish context, not a Church context. Jesus, as we saw in verse 15, speaking ahead of time to Jews of that future Tribulation period, said, “When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in your holy place.” Well, who had the holy place? The Gentiles? No, the people of Israel did. That’s a reference to a temple of God in Israel, “standing in your holy place, then let them which be in Judea [these are Jews living in their own land of Israel] flee unto the mountains. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house,” etc., and then He says to them that they really ought to be concerned that their flight not be on the sabbath day, verse 20, “but pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.” He’s talking here about Jews and how this will affect Jews. The whole context is a Jewish context. And so I take it that the elect here are Jewish people whom He will gather together through His holy angels from the four winds, really the idea is from all four directions, under the heavens here on planet Earth back to their homeland of Israel in conjunction with His second coming.

4. When Jesus comes in relation to the tribulation indicates two events

  • Rapture: Jesus comes to rescue Christians before the hour of trial
  • Second Coming: Jesus will come after the Tribulation to rule the world.

Dr. David Breese: Well, the Bible teaches that Christ is coming at the end of the age (that’s at the end of the Tribulation) “in power and great glory” and He’s coming with “ten thousands of His saints.” And that will be the great denouement of history whereby He establishes His Kingdom. But the Scripture then teaches that preceding that glorious return of Christ there will be a seven-year period called “The Tribulation,” but it’s about the Tribulation the Scripture says to Christians: “…because you have kept the word of my patience, I will keep you from that hour of trial [temptation, tribulation] that will come upon the whole world to try them that dwell on the earth.” Therefore, we see in Scripture that the Bible says that Christ will come for His saints before the beginning of the Tribulation and take all believing Christians up to be with Him in Heaven. Spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 4, “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, the trump of God: the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” [1 Thess. 4:16-17].

Paul expands on this a little bit in 1 Corinthians 15 saying to the Corinthians, he says, “Behold, I show you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last trump: the trumpet shall sound, the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed.” So we can assure every believer within the sound of this voice that there’s coming a moment when they will be caught up in their physical bodies into the presence of Jesus Christ so as to ever be with the Lord. Perhaps in short we might say that Christ is coming at the end of the Tribulation with His saints but before that He is coming for His saints. We will then be formed into that army that shall return with Him to the conquest of earth.

7 Comments

  1. DAVID m STEWART on October 6, 2020 at 2:41 am

    the elect are those who have been justified in christ

    it does not matter that they are jew or gentile

    they are transformed in a twinkling of an eye through his grace, nothing else

  2. Henrietta on November 7, 2020 at 2:53 am

    Thank you for this teaching God bless

  3. kevin on January 10, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    The context helps to understand that they’re Jews. When it’s noted that they’re gathered “from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”, it’s clear this is a prophetic fulfillment of Isaiah 43:5,6 where it says…

    “Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the *EAST* and gather thee from the *WEST;* I will say to the *NORTH* give up; and to the *SOUTH,* Keep not back: bring my sons from *FAR,* and my daughters from the *ENDS OF THE EARTH”*

  4. Paul on August 3, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    The rapture is an event that both my wife and I look forward to each day. Our church is quite small with only 12-15 members, however, we all believe in the rapture of the (Church), the bride of Christ. This world is quickly erasing God from our lives, with advertisements such as “worshiping yourself as opposed to worshiping God. It is as though God need not exist as we are sufficient for all needs. The problem is none of us are that self-sufficient., we are however self-centered. The rapture is a gift, not a threat. We pray for all, in preparation for this extraordinary event. We pray for and love as best we know how, each and everyone. May God bless and keep you.

  5. Anton Liebenberg on September 28, 2021 at 8:34 am

    There is confusion regarding whom the “elect,” or also translated as “chosen,” of God is. There are those, such as Dr Thomas Ice, who say the Lord Jesus addressed His disciples in Matthew 24, who were Jews, therefore He does not address Christians in this chapter. From this premise, Dr Ice argues that when the Lord Jesus says in Matthew 24:31 that He will gather His elect after the Great Tribulation described by Him in Matthew 24:15-30, it does not apply to Christians. He argues the Lord Jesus will Rapture Christians before the start of the last one “seven” of Daniel and will therefore not go through the Tribulation, while not providing Biblical proof to support his argument.
    Dr Ice’s arguments that the Lord Jesus was addressing Jews must be scrutinised. Though the disciples were Jews (like the Lord Jesus), they were all Christians. However, the Bible will reveal the truth.
    In Matthew 24:22, 24, the words “the elect” appear, while verse 31 contains “his elect.” It is the Greek word “eklektos,” which means, “select, or (by implication) favorite.” Other translations render it, “chosen.” Verse 31 relates to when the Lord Jesus sends His angels to gather, “His elect.” All three are the same word, used 23 times in the New Testament, in books ranging from the Gospels, the Epistles and Revelation. The context of all of these verses is the elect people of God or the Lord Jesus, except two verses. One is First Timothy 5:21, which talks of “the elect angels” and the second is First Peter 2:6, which uses the word in the context of the Lord Jesus as the elect cornerstone, quoting from Isaiah 28:16. Therefore, from the wide use of the word throughout the New Testament, it can already be seen it applies to all those who believe in the Lord Jesus as Saviour and have a loving relationship with Him. Peter uses the word when writing to those Christians that were scattered throughout much of Asia Minor—Jew and Gentile alike.
    1Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen [eklektos] people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
    Hence, it can be concluded that it denotes all the people with whom God, the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit (being one) have a loving relationship, whom they elect as their favourites.
    Matt 24:30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they 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 loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect [eklektos] from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
    As a result, Dr Ice’s statement is rejected, as well as those who argue the Lord Jesus addressed only Jews in Matthew 24, while not presenting any Biblical evidence. The chapter includes Christians. “The elect” will also include those Old Testament Jews elected by God, such as Abraham, Moses and Daniel.

  6. Anton Liebenberg on September 28, 2021 at 9:22 am

    As to the comment of Dr David Breese on Revelation 3:10, the following:
    Rev 3:10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
    How must this section be interpreted? “… I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” This is a very serious question and merits a proper understanding. Many modern evangelists interpret it to mean these Christians, represented by the Philadelphian church, will not go through the Great Tribulation described in the last period of one “seven” of Daniel 9:27.
    If the Lord Jesus spares the Philadelphians the Great Tribulation, then why does He not likewise spare the church in Smyrna? What did they do wrong? Nothing. They suffer persecution to the point of death. This verse applied to persecuted Christians when John received this Revelation from Jesus Christ and it equally applies to all persecuted Christians throughout the church age including today. It also applies to Christians who will go through the Great Tribulation in the time described in Daniel 9:27. Most conservative scholars support this view. One such example is in MacLaren’s Expositions. He explains the Lord Jesus does not promise He will protect us against temptation, for that is not the norm in the Bible. Rather, as in the example of when the Jewish priests stoned Stephen, the Lord Jesus kept him from his hour of trial, so that he never faltered in his faith. Paul explains in First Corinthians 10:13 that the Lord will not allow us to be tempted beyond what can be endured, and that He will provide a way out, so that we can endure it.

    • CJ on October 9, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      Your interpretation that the saints of God (the church) wi go through the tribulation is absolutely false according to Jesus own words as noted in Revelation 19: 13- 14. States the armies in Heaven clothed in fine linen white and clean (the church saints)followed him on white horses. This is at the end of the tribulation period during the great war of Armaggedon he comes back with us following him to stop the antichrist. If we return with him during this time then that means we are not in the tribulation. We can’t be in 2 places at once.

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