The Elect and The Saints

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This page is meant to address the several pivotal points in Bible prophecy where the term “elect” and “saint” are used. Because both Israel and the church are called both “elect” and “saint,” we must be careful looking at Bible prophecy to not forget the differences between how God deals with Israel and His church as well as the different promises for each group.

This is not to say that there is any difference between Jew and Gentile when they believe in Christ. Romans 10:12-13 This means that currently there are Jews who believe in Christ who I believe are a part of the bride of Christ as well because they live by faith as any other Christian does. They just have a better background and are part of the natural branches grafted on. However, Bible prophecy by definition is focused on events in relation to existing in a universe which is in space-time. The Bible clearly deals differently with national Israel and the church through history. Romans 11 is a big indicator of this. While both wild (Gentile) and natural (Jew) branches are grafted to the root, which is Christ, they are still described as wild and natural. It also reveals how living within the dimension of time changes the perspective we must look at these relationships because Israel, as a nation, is blinded from the truth until the “fullness of the Gentiles.” This means that Israel as a nation won’t accept Christ until the fullness of the Gentiles has arrived. My study of scripture leads me to believe that this fullness and un-blinding of Israel will be the result of Christ catching away His bride to the marriage of the Lamb before God’s wrath comes.

The bottom line is that both terms “elect” and “saint” refer to those who live by faith in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, and the promises He has made to each of us. Some promises are for national Israel who are currently blinded from the Truth of Christ, such as the land they live in and the fire they will be refined through, Zechariah 13:8-9. Some promises are to the church such as the promise to escape the time of God’s wrath on the earth. Luke 21:34-36 God’s wrath came once by water in the flood and will come by fire in the end-times. Luke 12:42-49

The Elect

The church is the elect, and so is believing Israel. We just don’t have the benefit of foreknowledge to know what Jews will accept Christ yet. This is where time has a big part in interpreting Bible prophecy. We have scriptures talking about how there is no difference between Jew and Gentile in Christ. However as I mentioned earlier, Israel will be blinded as they have been since the triumphal entry almost 2,000 years ago. Romans 11:25 National Israel will not come to Christ until after the “fullness of the Gentiles.”

I believe the “fullness of the Gentiles” is the point that Christ catches up the believing church in the “harpazo.” I also believe scripture is clear that the harpazo is before God’s wrath comes upon all them that dwell on the whole earth. Luke 21:34-36 From my research, I believe the harpazo is after the abomination of desolation, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, and before the first trumpet is blown, which begins the day of the Lord and God’s wrath.

The main scripture that brings confusion is Matthew 24:15-22. It says that these days of great tribulation will be shortened for the “elect’s” sake. This leads many people to focus this passage on Christians because Israel doesn’t accept Christ. However, we must remember that Christ also said that “all of Israel shall be saved.” Romans 11:25-26 Therefore, even those not taken in the harpazo of the bride are still “elect,” including all of Israel.

So let’s examine where scripture talks of the shortening of the days for the elect and see how the order of events has the focus of these “elect” in this verse being national Israel.

Matthew 24:15-22
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:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Only those in Judea are told to flee to the mountains. If this passage applied to all Christians around the world, why is it just Judea who is the focus of Christ’s warning to flee? What most people don’t take into account from this passage is the description of the great tribulation as a time unrepeated in all of history. Logic then dictates that any other passage claiming the same claim MUST be speaking of the same time. So let’s examine those passages.

Jeremiah 30:4-7
And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Notice that again here is a time that is so great that there is none like it in history. Who is the focus of this passage? It starts off stating that these are the words of the Lord concerning Israel and Judah. This would eliminate the possibility of it being Gentile because a Gentile is defined as a non-Jew. This is clearly defining Israel as the focus. We also get another title for this time, the time of Jacob’s trouble. Jacob was renamed Israel and it was his 12 sons that made up the 12 tribes of Israel. This is also in the Old Testament, before the Gentile church existed.

Another key section of this passage is the promise that he (Jacob/Israel) will be saved out of this time. Notice that this promise is existent in Matthew 24:15-22 as well. It is a promise to the elect that they will be saved from this time through the shortening of the days.

Daniel 12:1
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Here again is a time unparalleled in history, and once again it is directed at Israel. Daniel is the one receiving this information and he is told that the focus is on his people. Daniel was a Jew and it would then follow that his people would be referring to Israel.

So this is the third passage which associates an unparalleled time of trouble in all of history with Israel, and promises salvation from it for some. None of these passages can be mistaken for the church because of the clear pre-church origins of the warning and promise. It’s time and time again associated directly with Israel. And so is the italicized portion that states they will be saved from this time, those written in the book.

So since the term “elect” is used for both Israel and the church, and these three passages about the time of Jacob’s trouble clearly are not speaking of the church, the term “elect” in Matthew 24:15-22 must be talking about the 1/3 of the Jews who will be taken on two wings of a great eagle into the wilderness to a place prepared for her. They are still elect even though they aren’t taken in the harpazo because “elect” isn’t a church-exclusive term. Israel is called God’s elect as well. Isaiah 45:4

Revelation 12:13-16
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Israel is the woman of Revelation 12. What happens when she is taken into the wilderness and protected?

Revelation 12:17
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The dragon is still wroth at the woman, but he can’t get her. So he goes after her remnant and those holding the testimony of Christ. So up until she is protected from the dragon, the dragon is only after her. Why? I believe it is because Christ cannot return according to Bible prophecy, until Israel as a nation accepts Him as their Meshiach Nagid and petitions His return. If Satan can wipe out Israel, then God has to be true to His Word and won’t return.

Matthew 23:37-39
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Of course Satan can’t thwart the rest of God’s plan, but why wouldn’t he try? He hates humanity anyways.

Put all this together and a distinct picture is painted from scripture for us. The time of Jacob’s trouble is a short period of time. It is not the whole “great tribulation,” but rather the first part of it. We know this because the time of great tribulation starts with the dragon giving the beast his power for 42 months at the abomination of desolation. We know also then that the great tribulation is 1260 days. That’s exactly how long Israel is protected from the dragon. But we know the dragon still gets the woman, so the times are offset. This actually works out ok because Daniel 12:11 states that from the abomination of desolation is 1290 days, an extra 30 days. This means that the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” when Israel ISN’T protected from the dragon is only 30 days long, but it’s also cut short as we saw in scripture.

Understanding that Matthew 24:15-22 is specifically the time of Jacob’s trouble opens new understanding for Matthew 24:29-31 as well.

Matthew 24:29-31
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Notice that verse 29 doesn’t say immediately after the great tribulation nor does it say immediately after Satan is done persecuting believers.

I would also like to point out that since the “great tribulation” is defined at the start by the antichrist getting power from the dragon and going after God’s people (Jew and Gentile believer), the end must be when he no longer has that control, which is 1260 days after the abomination of desolation. We also know that he is destroyed and therefore his power taken away when Christ returns in glory.

Revelation 19:20
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

So how can the sixth seal happen immediately after this point if that would coincide with Christ defeating the armies at Armageddon? All seven seals on the scroll are broken before the first of the trumpets are handed out. Revelation 8:1-2

What Matthew 24:29 DOES say is that the sixth seal is “immediately after the tribulation of those days.” What days? We don’t need to jump through scripture to figure it out, it’s in the same chapter of Matthew 24. It’s the great tribulation that I just pointed out was focused on the Jews and is cut short from 30 days. Matthew 24:15-22

We also can’t ignore the idea of the “powers of heaven being shaken.”

Isaiah 13:10-13
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

Here Isaiah associates the shaking of the heavens with God’s wrath. What’s interesting is that he also places it after the sixth seal. This lines up with Joel 2:31 which states that the day of the Lord is after the sixth seal.

Matthew 24:30-31 continues to describe Christ’s return in glory, but notice it’s after the sixth seal and God’s wrath is poured out. Just looking at the seven trumpets and seven bowls, it’s clear that they are God’s wrath. They must all come before Christ returns to earth at the petition of Israel.

Job 14:10-14
But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

The Saints

The saints are simply those who live by faith. Abraham believed God, and it was counted to Him as righteousness. If you do a search for the term “saints,” it is clear that this term generally applies to all those that accept and obey God. There is a question commonly brought up in the study of Bible prophecy because of the use of this term during the time of great tribulation when the dragon makes war on the saints. Some people believe the church is present because this is a war on the saints.

Revelation 13:1-10
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

This scripture by itself would indeed seem to place the church on the earth during this time. However, this is not the only scripture defining this time and the events that occur within it. To understand who these saints are, we must understand many other aspects about this busy time prophetically. First, the abomination of desolation begins the great tribulation, which lasts for 1260 days from that point.

Revelation 12:13-17
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

As we can see from the above passage, the initial action of the dragon is not world-wide. First he goes after Israel until that point that he can no longer get her. This is the time of Jacob’s trouble and Yeshua pronounced this when He warned those in Judea to run to the mountains at the abomination of desolation. Matthew 24:15-22

It is the time of Matthew 24:29 “immediately after the tribulation of those days,” which is the time of Jacob’s trouble, that the sixth seal takes place. Joel 2:31 places the day of the Lord after the sixth seal and it is this time that the wrath of God is poured out on the earth. We know this is the time Yeshua comes to gather His bride because we are promised escape from the wrath of God.

Matthew 24:36-39
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Luke 21:34-36
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Ephesians 5:1-8
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

We also have the parable of the ten virgins likened to the kingdom of heaven where of 10 brides-to-be, only five are prepared to attend the marriage and the other five are shut out of the marriage. Matthew 25:1-13 This is a result of the lack of oil in their lamps to go out to meet the bridegroom. The oil is the Holy Spirit and a relationship with Yeshua by His spirit. Without the oil, there can be no flame and therefore no light and we are the salt and light of the world. This is a life of obedience to God’s ways of love and communion in prayer with the Creator.

There are many who call themselves Christians in this world who don’t look or act any different than the non-Christians in the world. We are warned to set ourselves apart from the world and not to take part in the things they do. There are even those who cast demons out in His name who He doesn’t know.

Matthew 7:21-29
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Part of being a Christian is doing what the Bible says, not just believing it. Even the demons believe and tremble at His name. So what does this have to do with saints?

Revelation 2:20-23
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

There are some at the time of escape who will not have the oil in their lamps, who will have been caught up in the things of this world so that day caught them unawares, Luke 21:34-36. They chose to live like the world and so they will be given the judgments according to their works just like the rest of the children of disobedience who didn’t call Yeshua Lord. God is just and that is why He warns us to get out of the world system so we don’t partake in her sins and judgments for those sins. From the passages above we can see that part of the church, 50% according to the kingdom parable of the ten virgins, will be left behind to go through the great tribulation and God’s wrath because they chose to live like the world and not set themselves apart for God. They didn’t have a relationship with Him and so He never knew them. I believe they can still come to repentance and will be refined in the time of putting to proof.

Revelation 3:10
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Again, keeping God’s Word means being kept from the hour of temptation, in Greek meaning putting to proof. Those who do not live by faith before the day of the Lord will have their faith tested afterwards, when they may be confronted for their belief and killed for it. Those who seek to save their life will lose their eternal life and those who are willing to lose their eternal life for Christ’s sake will gain eternal life. These are the saints over which the antichrist will have power and war against. They won’t just be left behind Christians, but I’m sure there will be many non-believers who are left behind that come to reject the New World Order and instead put their faith in the promises of God.

Revelation 14:6-13
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

I urge you, if you have not yet, to make the choice to follow Yeshua. Read His Word, ask for guidance and watch and pray! You don’t have to be shut out of the marriage of the Lamb and I would rather that you join the bride in heaven than remain on the earth during this time. God knows your heart, He wants you to acknowledge Him in all your ways so He can direct your path. He has a plan for each of us if we only listen and obey. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, God forgives and forgets. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you look like, He created you that way for a purpose. The choice is your own to make. Get alone in prayer and just pour out your heart to Him and edify yourself with the Bible daily, He will teach you and you will become a saint and His elect. He takes care of His own.