Some articles that I have written clearly show that I believe the Pre-Trib Rapture Theory. When these articles got posted on raptureready.com, I received e-mails from people who believe in other theories (the Mid-Trib Rapture, Pre-Wrath Rapture, Post-Trib Rapture, etc.). Many of those e-mails said I am wrong and told me why the writer believes the church will go through part or all of the Tribulation Period. Virtually all of those who disagree with me mention the “elect” in Matt. 24 and say the elect is the church.
Jesus mentioned the “elect” three times in Matt. 24. He said, “And except those days [the Tribulation Period] should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the ‘elect’s’ sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:22). He said, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very ‘elect’ (Matt. 24:24). He also said, “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” (Matt. 24:31).
If I believed the “elect” in these three verses refers to the church, I would have to review my belief in the Pre-Trib Rapture Theory. But I don’t believe the “elect” refers to the church. I believe it refers to those who sincerely express faith in Jesus after the church is raptured (between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus).
It is important to know that the Scriptures identify two groups of “elect:” the “elect” of Israel and the “elect” of the true church.Matthew 24 must be rightly divided to know which group of “elect” is meant. For example, notice Isaiah 45:4a, “For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine ‘elect’ . . .” God clearly called Israel “mine elect.” The basis of Israel’s election is God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham and his seed after him in their generations (Gen. 17:7-13; Deut. 10:15).
It can be shown that the Scriptures also identify two groups of “saints” (Israel and the church; see Psa. 79:1-4). These correspond to the “elect,” but for the sake of brevity this is being ignored at this time.
Having said this, it is my opinion that the signs in Matt. 24:1-8 are signs of the Church Age that will have an ultimate fulfillment during the Tribulation Period. For example, famine and pestilence exist today, but the ultimate famine and pestilence will be during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 6:6-9); false Christs exist today, but the ultimate false Christ will be the Antichrist during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 6:1-19:21); earthquakes exist today, but the ultimate earthquake will take place during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 16:18); and wars and rumors of wars exist today, but the ultimate war will be the Battle of Armageddon during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 19:15-21).
Starting at verse 9, Matt. 24 is about Israel. The “gospel of the kingdom” mentioned in verse 14 will be preached in all the world by 144,000 Jews (Rev. 7:4-8), Two Witnesses, at least one of which will probably be a Jew (Rev. 11:3-12), and an angel (Rev. 14:6). The “holy place” mentioned in verse 15 will be in the Temple inJerusalem in Israel. Those who are in “Judea” mentioned in verse 16 refer to people on the West Bank in Israel. The “Sabbath” mentioned in verse 20 is the Jewish holy day. The “elect” mentioned in verse 22 is Israel (Isa. 45:4). Verse 28 is a parable (seeJob 39:27-30) about the Battle of Armageddon in Israel. Basically, it teaches that wherever the dead body (carcass) is the Palestinian Eagle gathers to devour the flesh (Rev. 19:17-18). Verses 29-31 are about the gathering of the Jews to Israel at the Second Coming (Isa. 11:11-12, 27:12-13; Matt. 8:5-13). Verses 32-33 are about the Fig Tree (Israel). Verses 37-41 are about the removal of the lost at the Second Coming not the removal of the church at the Rapture (Matt. 13:36-42, 47-50). The lost were removed from the earth in the days of Noah not the saved.
In conclusion, the verses in Matt. 24-9-51 do not prove that the Pre-Trib Rapture Theory is wrong or that some other theory is right. They contain teachings that are profitable for the church, but they are about Israel not the church.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck