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LEFT BEHIND: A Study in Matthew Chapter 24


The Elect


Our study in Matthew 24 continues and we look at Jesus' elect. According to pre-tribbers, the elect  in verses 24 and 31 are the Jews. However, nowhere is there anything in scripture to support their view. Many pre-tribbers, however, believe the elect in verse 22 refers to the church. The word elect in Greek is elektos, which means "laid out, "chosen," or "choice." Elektos is translated elect in verses 22, 24 and 31 and throughout the New Testament. If the elect  in verse 22 are different than the elect in verses 24, then why is elektos used to describe these different groups, especially when they are used closely?

In letter to Titus, Paul used the word elektos which is translated in King James Bible "elect:" 

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect

Titus 1:1a                       

Paul is a servant of God and Christ's apostle according to the faith of God's elect. Clearly, the elect Paul refers to are those who are in Christ Jesus.   

Peter, in his first epistle, also used the word elektos which is also translated elect:

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ

1 Peter 1:1-2a                        

Peter called those who are strangers, or as we may call them missionaries, who are scattered throughout these countries "Elect" according to 

  • the foreknowledge of God the Father,

  • through sanctification of the Spirit, 

  • unto obedience AND sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

Again, Peter referred to those who are Christians elect.

Pre-tribbers also insist that Jews and Christians are separate in God's plan. They believe New Testament Christians up to the "pre-trib" rapture are not included in any promises relating to the Jews. Therefore the Christians must be raptured out so God can continue His plan for Israel. We will look at their claims and examine key scriptures and see if they are correct.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Just before Jesus' ministry commenced. John the Baptist confronted the Pharisees and Sadducees:

O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Matthew 3:7b-10

Notice above, John said "And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father" This statement was made before Jesus' ministry. These Jews, through their bloodline were sons of Abraham. But John had an entirely different meaning than being sons of Abraham through the flesh. He continues: "God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." There is a deeper meaning to being Abraham's sons. Notice further he says "And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. " He said now also the axe is laid unto the root  which is in relation to Abraham's sons. So therefore, the ones who are Jews from birth can be removed as Abraham's sons and they that do not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Notice, pre-tribbers, John said that God is able from stones to raise up children to Abraham. Isn't it also possible that He can use Gentiles to raise up children to Abraham as well?

During Jesus' ministry He confronted the Jews:

They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me...

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning...

John 8:39-42a, 44a

They claimed to be sons of Abraham. Jesus again had a different meaning than the Jews had in mind. Jesus clearly said 

  • If Abraham was their father, they would do the works of Abraham for Abraham did not seek to kill Him.

They claimed God was their father. Jesus clearly had a different meaning than the Jews. Jesus Clearly said

  • If God was their father they would love Him

  • They were of their father  the devil  and Satan's lust they will do.

  • And they sought to kill Him because the devil was a murderer from the beginning.

Jesus called Himself the Great Shepherd and His followers His sheep. He came to His people, the Jews. Many refused Him, many followed Him.

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

John 10:14-16

Jesus made one thing clear, He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. He first came to the Jews. The Jews who followed Him were his sheep. Notice He said He had other sheep and they were not of this fold. These sheep are Gentiles, and some of them could have been the Samaritans in John 4:39. Notice, He said He must bring them also and they shall hear His voice. Notice further, He said they will become one fold and there would be one shepherd. Jesus didn't  leave these two as two different flocks as dispensationalists contend, but He made them one flock with one shepherd.

Jesus said further to the unbelieving Jews:

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me...

John 10:26-27

Again it is clear the unbelieving are not His Sheep!

Paul wrote to the church in Galatia (Galatians 1:2):

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

Galatians 3:26-29, 4:28

Paul wrote to them they are sons of God through faith in Christ. Notice he said "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. " 

Notice further, pre-tribbers, Paul said "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." He didn't say that they are Abraham's seed because they were all decedents of him through his flesh. And he didn't say Jews can reject Jesus and still be in the fold.  Therefore, It is only through faith In Jesus that we are Abraham's seed.

Also notice Paul said that we, like Isaac are children of the promise. This is clear enough  that we are the true children of Abraham. So it's possible God could raise up Gentiles to Abraham after all!

Thishis study continues in Paul's letter to the Ephesians:

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

[And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.]*

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Ephesians  2:11-19

*-Isaiah 57:19

In the above verses who did Paul refer to? He referred to those who were formerly (in times past) Gentiles in the flesh, who were called "Uncircumcision" by those who were so called "Circumcision in the flesh made by hands," the Jews. These formerly called Gentiles when they were separate from Christ they were

  • aliens from the commonwealth of Israel

  • strangers to the covenant of the promise

  • and having no hope and without God in the world

But now by the blood of Christ, when they  were far off they were brought near because Christ is our peace and He made two groups (Jew and Gentile) into one! And Jesus Broke down the barrier of the dividing (middle) wall (partition) which is the Law of commandments through his death on the cross. By doing this that He may make these the two one new man thus establishing peace and they may be reconciled to God to one body. By Christ's death he put to death the enmity, the Law of commandments.

Paul quoted Isaiah: "came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh" The ones who were afar off  were the Gentiles and the ones who are nigh were the Jews!

Paul said to those former Gentiles: They are no longer strangers and foreigners but are fellow citizens and are of God's household.  

From what we examined, the Gentiles through the blood of Christ were reconciled to God. But beforehand they were excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and were strangers to the covenant of the promise. Now they are no longer strangers and foreigners. Therefore, the dispensational view that the Church is separate from the Jews or even Israel must be rejected. And it must accepted that through the blood of Christ, He made these two one.

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      Articles in this study

Left Behind-A Study in Matthew 24

Disciple
Daniel

Imminence

Take to One's Self 

 

My Father's House

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