The Elect and The Saints
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 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.
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.
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.
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
Israel is the woman of Revelation 12. What happens when she is taken into the wilderness and protected?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
“Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
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