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In Chapter 3 you equate the Elect with the church only, but, Israel was also Elect.
Unger's Bible Dic. gives the definition of Elect as "choice" a "picking out".
This word in Scriptures has three distinct applications.
(1) To the divine choice of nations or communities for the possession of special privileges with refernce to the performance of special services. Thus the Jews were "a chosen nation," "the elect." Thus also in the NT, bodies of Chrisitan people, or churches are called "the elect."
(2) To the divine choice of individuals to a particular office or work. Thus Cyrus was elected of God to bring about the re-building of the Temple, and thus the twelve were cbhosen to be apostles and Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles.
(3) To the divine choice of individuals to be the children of God, and therfore heirs of heaven.
Paul even identifies Israel as the elect:
As concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. Romans 11:28
Since the 144,000 are chosen for a special purpose they are probably the elect mentioned in Matt.24:22
You know that my eyes has been opened on this subject, my friend, which I allowed to throw me into a depression that lasted weeks, I wanted and trusted and wanted that "escape" for various reasons, but now I understand the trust.
Thank you for bringing this book to us, I will save it to my PC.
As the truths of this book begin to unfold before your eyes and as you begin to see the biblical truths that have been set forth by the Word of God when interpretations are based upon the facts, you will begin to see why I write and why with the Lord’s help this book must go forth and teach those who are in darkness until now. First I must say that I was taught my whole life by God fearing, sincere men of God that Jesus could come at any minute. I stood and argued with strong convictions that the Bible taught that Jesus could come at any minute and that it would be in a manner that would be explained as a mysterious disappearance on a mass scale and the people that were left would wonder where we went or they would explain it away in some manner that would ease their conscience.
I believed with strong convictions that anybody who thought any different was ignorant and did not have a clue about Christ and His coming. After all, everybody that I knew and respected believed and taught that Jesus Christ could come at any minute even though there was not one verse in the Bible that states verbatim or even indicates that Jesus can come at any minute. Every time that I would seek for someone to show me this teaching in the Bible; they without exception would quote, “He will come as a thief in the night or in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”
The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and that inspired me to seek the answer to the question that was not being answered was a statement by one of the seminary instructors that I sat under while I was attending the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock Arkansas. He stated, “I can prove all three views on the rapture with the Bible.” As I pondered these things as a young man that had been called to preach I began to question what I had been taught my whole life about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. One thing I knew for sure was the simple truth that there was only one correct view concerning the rapture that was and is the view set forth by God Almighty in His word.
Now after 14 years of intensive study, much prayer and a desire to write this book I have decided to let you the reader see the questions and the startling answers to the age old question concerning Jesus Christ and his second coming. I must say in the beginning that no man can know the day or the hour, but we can know the signs of the times. Make no mistake about it, Jesus is coming back. He will come when it is time for him to come and his return will be according to his time frame. Read this book, study the scriptures found therein, and come to solid factual truths based upon the uncompromised, non-sugar coated truths of God’s Word God bless.
Before we can begin to study about the Second Coming of Christ we need to lay down a foundation of facts that we must base our conclusions upon. As with any document or book that is going to be open to interpretation you must base all conclusions upon known facts. If what you are interpreting does not agree with known facts then you must be honest and seek other conclusions. A good example would be a study of the Declaration of Independence. If during my conclusions I thought or tried to argue that the document had been signed by Apache Indians it would be obvious that I was wrong, based upon the proven facts outlined in history. My conclusion would be wrong and I would have to admit error and seek other conclusions that agree with the known historical facts. To properly and biblically come to correct conclusions about the Holy Bible we must look to some basic facts when we study and interpret scripture. For example, when we look to scripture in 1st Thessalonians a good fact would be to remember that Paul wrote this letter to the church which was at Thessalonica. Therefore we must base our conclusions on the fact that 1st Thessalonians is a church letter that has been written to a True New Testament Church. To say that it was written to a Roman Governor in Gaul would ultimately lead to other errors and faulty conclusions. My conclusions must agree with the fact that this is a church letter that has been written to a New Testament Church.
I am a firm believer that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck then it must be a duck. When you look to the Bible it is good to know who is speaking, to whom is he speaking, when is he speaking, what is the context, what do the words mean etc. As we begin to dig into the Word of God we must always remember that the most important tool of true biblical interpretation is context. Context, context, and I must say context. Without context anybody can make the Bible say anything that they want it to say. You can teach every error under the sun if you take scripture out of context. Taking things out of context will lead to faulty conclusions which will lead to a misapplication of the Word of God.
Would it be applicable to preach that God is telling us to build an ark because he is going to cause it to rain and flood the world? Would I be right to stand behind the pulpit and preach that we need to sacrifice a red heifer in a whole burnt offering unto God? The answers to the above two questions is a resounding no. God promised He would never again destroy the world by a flood and even set His bow in the clouds as a token of His promise. The system of sacrificing animals was done away with and replaced with a better way. The sacrifice and shedding of blood was a picture, type and shadow of what Christ accomplished on the cross and was done away with by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By context we can see that if we tried to apply these two truths to our lives as they applied to Noah and the Levitical Priesthood then we would be misapplying God’s Word because we have ignored context.
Another consideration is the particular use of words by God. God has consistently used particular words in particular ways with particular application. One word that comes to mind is, holy and how God has used this word to always describe that which is consecrated, right and just in God’s eyes especially when it comes to the description of God’s nature and person. To say that it describes the workings of Satan directly contradicts the way that God uses the word. To say that demons are good also contradicts the way that the Bible uses the word good. We must be consistent with our use and understanding of words and to do anything less is against the way that God operates when it comes to the use of words.
Another aspect of interpretation is God’s use of timing. As we study and make conclusions we must consider the fact that God uses timing when it comes to the particular fulfillment of particular scriptures. To say that Daniel’s vision of Alexander the Great applies to Joseph Stalin in 1941 would not only deny the timing of Daniel’s vision, but would also be completely ridiculous. God is a God of timing and we must be consistent with the fact that God has particular time frames in which He has brought certain historical events to pass and will bring future events to pass. God works according to his own clock and when the clock chimes destruction then destruction will come.
For example, in John 7:6,8 Jesus states, “Then Jesus saith unto them, My time is not yet come… and, for my time is not yet full to come.” It is obvious that these 2 scriptural statements that Jesus makes are in reference to a particular point of time that was to be in his near future. In Mark 1:15 we see the following statement, “And saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the gospel.” The words that Jesus uses in this verse testify that the time had been fulfilled and right now God’s kingdom was at hand. Throughout the Bible we see verses that testify and prove that God is a God of timing and the world events that are leading the world down the path to a one world system, a one world religion, and a one world ruler are unfolding at a rate and time frame that has been preset by the God of Heaven. Everything that happens will happen according to the God of timing and without a doubt it will be on His time frame and not ours.
As we lay out the facts let us be honest and truthful that we might come to solid, sound, biblically justified conclusions. Many of the things I have listed we will study thoroughly and as we study we will build a list of facts. My prayer is that you will be honest with what we find and that you will be open to learning and instruction. Be honest and truthful and you will be lead by God to a greater understanding concerning Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto him.
I will say in all truthfulness that I do not even begin to claim that I know it all, because I don’t. I will say that there are a few things that I do know and if you will be honest and truthful with this study you will begin to see some astounding facts that will open your eyes. Pray and study this booklet along with the biblical facts found therein and open your eyes that you may “see.”
Chapter 2 Fact 1 What Age or Time Frame Are We In?
Much has been said and taught about ages, dates and time. As we begin to look to the Word of God we need to determine what time frame we are presently in. We know that as far as history goes this world has already experienced many different “ages.” Humanity has identified these “ages” and has given them very scientific names such as The Bronze Age, The Middle Ages, The Stone Age, The Ice Age, etc. Israel, as a nation, has gone through various stages of history that could be identified as ages. Such as the United Kingdom under David and Solomon, the Divided Kingdom when Rehoboam put Israel to greater tribute, the Period of the Judges, the Babylonian Exile etc. The only way we can determine what time frame we are presently in is to examine the Word of God.
To understand exactly what time frame we are in we need to begin with John the Baptist. John the Baptist fulfilled his earthly ministry and then, due to his stand upon the Word of God, was beheaded at the request of a woman who was of Belial. Let us look to Luke 16:16 which states, “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God ispreached, and every man presseth into it.” Jesus Christ himself states right here that the time frame labeled “the law and the prophets” endured until John the Baptist. John the Baptist came preaching, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is athand.” is a fulfillment of the second aspect of this verse in Luke 16:16 which is, “Since that time the Kingdom of God ispreached.”
John the Baptist was a transitional hinge pin between the time frame which was and is labeled “the law and the prophets” and the time frame which is and shall be known as the Church Age which is an enduring, all age encompassing period of time during which God the Father shall receive glory and praise through his True New Testament Churches and through the great High Priest who is none other than Jesus Christ himself.
It is a proven Biblical fact that Jesus Christ started the first New Testament Church while he walked upon this earth. The very nature of the word ecclesia, “called out ones”, is exactly what took place when he called his disciples out from men and began to teach them. The disciples, having been prepared by John the Baptist, which had included their baptisms, compiled a group of people who were sinners who had repented of their ways and had proven their faith by outward evidences. After having been scripturally immersed they were a prepared people ready to be called out by the master church builder. Note Mark 1:4-5, Acts 1:5, Luke 3:2-8 and John 1:33-51. In these verses we see John the Baptist had been sent to preach the coming of the Kingdom of God and that men should repent because the axe is laid to the root. John preached that before he would administer baptism the people had to bring forth fruit which would prove that they had been reborn. After proving their inward faith by outward evidences John the Baptist would administer scriptural water immersion. Jesus then calls these men out and begins to teach them. From that day on they are referred to as the disciples of Jesus.
It is equally proven that Jesus Christ empowered the first church on the 50th day when the Holy Spirit of God came down upon the believers who had gathered together in one place and were in one accord. Note Acts 2:1-4. Jesus had promised to give them a comforter and a guide that would guide them into all truth. The Holy Spirit would not only lead and guide us into all truth, but he would also convince the world of sin and judgement. As comforter in the church the Holy Spirit would also provide conviction and light that we might see. The Holy Spirit would also seal and testify of God’s servants. These are found in none other than the Holy Spirit. Note John 14:16, 26, John15:26, John 16:13, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30.
To deny the fact that Jesus began the first True New Testament Church is contrary to scripture and is pure blasphemy. Knowing the fact that Christ started the first church and then empowered that church on the 50th day let us look to Ephesians 3:21 which states, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” In order that we might understand this scripture to the fullest extent we must look intently into the 4 facts that blare loudly from this small verse that was written to the church which was at Ephesus.
The first thing we notice is that this scripture says, “Unto him beglory.” Who is him? The only logical answer is the Heavenly Father based upon the context of the verse and the fact that Jesus is mentioned as the medium through which the glory is to flow. So, unto the Father belongs glory. Additionally the word glory comes from the Greek word “” which is pronounced as doxa, andcarries the idea of honor, praise and worship. By context and language we can see that the very first part of Ephesians 3:21 tells us that all honor, praise and worship is to be directed at the Heavenly Father.
The second part of this verse states, “In the church by Christ Jesus.” The word translated by in this verse is the Greek word which is also the word for “and,” and is followed by which is the Greek word for “in”. The second part of this verse states the following, “in the church and in Christ Jesus.” So if you add the first truth and the second truth of Ephesians 3:21 you get the following: Unto the Father belong honor, praise and worship in the church and in Christ Jesus
Now let us look to the third truth that we can glean from this verse. The next part states, “Throughoutall ages, world without end.”All is conclusive of all when used in context. The glory, honor, praise and worship will be directed unto the Heavenly Father through true New Testament Churches and Jesus Christ throughout all ages. The word ages comes from is a variation and literally means “generation.” So throughout all generations, glory, honor, worship and praise shall be directed unto the Heavenly Father through True New Testament Churches and Jesus Christ.
The last truth that we can glean from Ephesians 3:21 is a look into the last statement of the verse which states, “world withoutend. Amen.” Any man, woman or child that cannot understand the statement “world without end” needs to go back to school. A world without end is exactly that. The word for world here is and carries the idea of an age with emphasis upon perpetuity. We also know that this must be true because the bible also teaches in Revelation 21:1 that God brings forth a new heaven and a new earth because the first heaven and the first earth must pass away and there shall be no more sea. Logical conclusions tell us that since all glory will be directed unto the Heavenly Father through true New Testament Churches and Jesus Christ throughout all ages-generations and a world without end, then the new world must be included.
Another fact we need to consider is that the word church is used three times by Jesus himself and is spoken of in the present tense as used in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17. Jesus uses the word church to describe an entity that he himself is building and states in a solid manner that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Jesus is building churches world wide and nothing will ever have the ability to end the church building that Christ has done and will do. In the second set of scriptures Jesus teaches us that there is a manual and path we are to follow when it comes to church members who will not hear and make things right. Jesus said, “Tell it to the church” and “but if he neglect to hear the church” which tells me that Jesus, at that time, recognized that the church was a living entity and three times proves that the first church was alive and in action. Don’t forget that two or three witnesses are what God requires in order for something to be a proven true. We will stick with the same rule in order to prove our points. Notice Numbers35:30, Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15 and Matthew 18:16.
Briefly, let us look at what we know and try to summarize this chapter down to a few proven facts which have the weight of their testimonies based upon the eternal truths of the Word of God.
1) John the Baptist was a hinge pin between the time frame known as “the law and the prophets” and the time period known as an endless church age in which the Kingdom of God shall be preached. Notice Luke 16:16.
2) John the Baptist prepared the material that was to make up the first True New Testament Church which included the biblical water immersion of those candidates who had shown fruit that was indicative of repentance. Notice Mark 1:4-5, Acts 1:5, Luke 3:2-8 and John 1:33-51.
3) Jesus Christ himself called out the first true New Testament Church when he called forth his first disciples and began to teach those disciples the Word of God. Notice John 1:35-51.
4) Jesus makes reference three times to the church and all three references are made in the present tense. NoticeMatthew 16:18 and 18:17.
5) Jesus empowers his first True New Testament Church which included the giving of the Holy Spirit as comforter of the church and guide which will lead into all truth. NoticeActs 2:1-4, John 14:16-26, John 15:26and John 16:13.
6) From the day that the first True New Testament Church was started and for all ages to come in a world that has no end all glory, honor, praise and worship shall be directed unto the Heavenly Father through True New Testament Churches and through our High Priest, Savior and King, Jesus Christ. Notice Ephesians 3:21.
The only possible truth we can come to in light of the above facts is that the age titled “the law and the prophets” has come
to an end with the appearance of John the Baptist who came on the scene preaching, “repent for the kingdom of heavenis at hand.” After a period of time Jesus comes upon the scene and calls out the disciples that John had converted through the preaching of the coming Kingdom of God. You must note that these men that Jesus calls out to follow him have already been identified with him through biblical water immersion. Jesus then teaches these men the Word of God and from the day that they are called out by Jesus they are referred to as the Disciples of Christ.
After completing his public ministry which included the most glorious death, burial and resurrection He ascends to heaven to forever be at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. He empowers the first church on the 50th day with the giving of the Holy Spirit and right now we are in the period of time or time frame that can without error be labeled, “The ChurchAge.” This church age, started when Jesus called forth his first disciples, shall be eternal and not even the gates of hell shall prevail against it. NoticeMatthew 16:18
So, the first fact we can place on our list is, “WE ARE IN THE CHURCH AGE.” As we go on to establish more facts we must be consistent with the fact that we are in the church age and God is dealing with humanity by and through his True New Testament Churches.
Chapter 3 Fact 2 The Saints and the Elect Who are they?
From here on out we will list our list facts at the beginning of each chapter in order that we might continually remember the standards that we must use to properly interpret the Word of God. Our first fact is as follows:
Our 1st fact is that we are in the time frame labeled as “The Church Age.”
As we begin to look to the second fact we must ask our selves this question, “The saints and the elect, who are they?” This question must be answered and added to our list of facts. Then and only then can we move on to properly interpret the word of God when it comes to the thoughts and truths of God about the body presence of Jesus and our gathering together unto him. Much has been said and proposed about who the saints are and who the elect must be. We even see in our society religious groups who claim to have the ability to pray and have saints “made” and added to their list. The last time I checked it is God Almighty who determines who is and who is not a saint. The Word of God gives the proof of who is and who is not a saint, so let us begin there.
In the Old Testament the word saint carries the idea of one that is holy. Literally, “holy one” would be the best way to describe it. This word is used to describe Aaron the High Priest of God in Psalm 106:16 which states, “They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint (Holy One) of the Lord.” Aaron was the first high priest of God and was the first in the lineage of the Levitical Priesthood. Aaron was taken by God and set aside and separated unto the priest’s office. He was consecrated and holy unto the Lord. We know that Aaron failed the Lord a few times and it cost him the right to enter into the promise land, but the facts prove that Aaron was a righteous man before the Lord and, if he had not been, he would have surely died as he ministered and fulfilled the role of High Priest. Remember that the High Priest had to wear bells as he entered into the holiest of holies and if he was wrong before the Lord he would drop dead.
So the first clue into Old Testament saints teaches us that a saint is first and foremost a believer. Not only is a saint of the O.T. a believer, but a saint of God will also contain certain traits such as being holy, used of God, faithful and consecrated unto the Lord’s service.
Saints are also instructed to sing praises unto the Lord in the Old Testament. Notice Psalm 30:4 which states, “Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembranceof his holiness.”
Saints are instructed to praise God in the Old Testament. Notice Psalm 149:1 which states, “Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.”
Saints are instructed in the O. T. to bless the Lord, to be gathered unto God, to shout for joy, to fear God and to love God. Old Testament saints are believers who are consecrated unto God for his service and they are instructed to fear and honor God while singing and praising in the congregation of the saints. As a matter of fact, when you start looking at the facts, it appears that O.T. saints are a prime picture of what would be applied to New Testament saints during the church age.
Seeing how we have determined that we are in the church age let us go to the New Testament to examine the word of God and what it has to say about New Testament saints and who they are. The first mention of the word saints is used in Matthew 27:52-53 which states, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” This verse is given right after Jesus, on the cross, cries out and gives up the ghost. I find it interesting that the first time this word is applied in the New Testament is after Jesus yields up the ghost. The first application of the word saints is applied to those whose bodies are resurrected as they come out of the graves.
1st Corinthians 1:2 sets forth a qualification that must be found in someone’s life in order for them to be called a saint. Notice what the scripture states, “Unto the church of God whichis at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…..” We see by this scripture that Paul writes this letter to the church of God which is at Corinth. Not only does he direct this letter to a True New Testament Church, but he also gives us a little insight into what it takes to be called a saint. You must be sanctified in Christ Jesus in order to be called a saint.
What does it mean to be sanctified in Christ Jesus? Let us consider this word sanctified. The word sanctified carries the idea of “to make holy, to purify or consecrate or to be set apart as holy.” It is evident by this word and by the verse of scripture in 1st Corinthians that a quality found in New Testament saints is that they have been purified, consecrated and made holy in Christ Jesus. Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and born again would be a good way to look at it.
Philippians 4:21 puts this aspect of being sanctified in Christ Jesus in even simpler terms. Notice what this verse states, “Salute every saint in Christ Jesus.” This simple statement testifies that in order to be considered a saint in this present church age you must be found in Christ Jesus. To be found in Christ Jesus means that your body, mind and spirit must be found in him and in his righteousness according to his faith. Notice Philippians 3:9
As a matter of fact, take a look at the following statements about saints and understand that these are all church letters that have been written to True New Testament Churches.
Romans 1:7 states, “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
1st Corinthians 1:2 states, “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.”
2nd Corinthians 1:1 states, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia….”
Ephesians 1:1 states, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus….”
Philippians 1:1 states, “Paul, and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons…”
Colossians 1:2 states, “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse…”
Jude verse 3 tells us that the system of teaching found in the Bible has been delivered once unto the saints and in verse14 reminds us that Christ will come with ten thousands of his saints. By careful study of the Word of God and the above scriptures it is evident that during this time frame, which is the church age, that the saints are saved children of God that are identified with Jesus Christ. Not only are they found in Christ having been made pure, but they are also identified with True New Testament Churches. The saints are listed as the faithful brethren in Christ Jesus. The prayers of the saints are stored in vials in heaven before God. Notice Revelation 5:8. It is not wrong to say that the saints are saved, scripturally immersed church members. There are many other scriptures that we could use to prove that the saved are the saints but, for lack of space, we will stick with the above.
The next truth we must consider is the elect and who they are. I submit unto you that the elect and the saints are one and the same. As we look to the word of God we shall see that the elect are those who are in Christ Jesus. As a matter of fact the word elect is only applied to those who have exercised faith in Christ and in doing so they have been marked off as full grown children. Let us look to the scriptures and see what they say about the word elect.
The first thing I want us to notice is that our election which is of God can be known. Paul states in 1st Thessalonians 1:4, “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” This statement in Greek literally states, “Knowing brethren, beloved of God, your election.” First, let us examine this word Knowing. This word means “to know, to be aware of, to consider, to have knowledge and to understand.” Paul was aware of and considering the election in Christ that had been applied to the church of the Thessalonians. While knowing and understanding their election which was evident because of the labor of love, their work of faith and patience of hope, Paul was thanking God for them and continually making mention of the church at Thessalonica in his prayers. If Paul can perceive and understand the doctrine of election which has been applied to the members of the Church at Thessalonica then it is only fair to say that we all can know of our election in Christ.
Jesus Christ is the only standard that is found for determining what qualifies as elect. Notice in Isaiah 42:1 that Jesus is claimed as one of God’s elect. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.” Note the qualities of being named as one of God’s elect. God delights in his elect, God upholds his elect and God’s Spirit is upon his elect.
As we get into the New Testament we need to consider what God has to say about the elect. First of all we need to understand that our election is based upon the foreknowledge of God. Notice 1st Peter 1:2 which states, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ…” A couple of truths which blare loudly from this text are as follows.
Our election is according to the foreknowledge of God.
Notice 1st Peter 1:20 which tells us that Jesus was foreordained before the casting down of the world to shed his blood and die for humanity.
Our election is based upon the sanctification which the Spirit of God works in us through the sealing act which is described in Ephesians 4:30.
Our election is based upon obedience to the Word of God. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God as found in Romans 10:17
Our election is based upon the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” as found in 1stPeter 1:18-19.
In Matthew 24 and Mark 13 Jesus is teaching and instructing his disciples which are members of the first True New Testament Church. Notice Matthew 24:3 and Mark 13:3-5.
While instructing a group of his disciples Jesus tells them that in the latter days when false Christ’s and false prophets shall come working signs, miracles and wonders that if it was possible, these false workers of the devil would come very close to deceiving the elect, but for the elects’ sake those days would be shortened. Notice Matthew 24:24 and Mark 13:22.
Jesus goes on to teach his disciples, which we will call the first New Testament Church, that he will gather together his elect with the sound of a great trumpet. Notice Matthew 24:31 andMark 13:27.
As we continue our quest, let us notice more scriptures that give us more proof of who the elect are. Consider the following:
Luke 18:7 teaches that God shall avenge his own elect.
Romans 8:33 teaches that nobody can lay anything to the charge of God’s elect.
Colossians 3:12-14 teaches us that the elect of God are to have certain identifying traits.
Titus 1:1 teaches that Paul was an apostle based upon the faith of God’s elect. Remember that in Isaiah 41:2 Jesus is identified as one of God’s elect.
So, as we look to the Word of God, it is evident that the word elect is applied to the saved children of God who have obeyed the Word of God and, not only have they been covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, but they also have been sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God; and all this is done according to the plan of God, based upon His foreknowledge and predetermination.
We must always be very careful when we consider the foreknowledge of God that we might not get too Calvinistic in our approach. The Bible makes it clear that salvation is open unto all mankind as found in Titus 2:11, but Jesus will only save and redeem those who have exercised faith in him, which includes a knowledge of and repentance from sin. God the Father pre-determined that everybody who would come to Him through his Son Jesus Christ would be received as full grown children. Every soul that rejects the plan that God has set as the only way shall be cast from God into the lake of fire and shall burn for all eternal ages.
It is obvious that we can conclude that the saints are those men, women and children who have trusted into Jesus Christ as their savior. They are identified with Christ through biblical water immersion and are noted in scripture as members of individual churches. The elect are those who have been born again by the blood of Christ, they are sanctified by the Holy Spirit; they are obedient to the Word of God. The elect and the saints are one and the same. One word describes who we are as saints and the other word describes the cause and working of our sainthood which is our election process. Read carefully 2ndTimothy 2:10 to see what Paul said about the elect and how he endured all things that the elect might obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus.
The second fact is that the saints are the saved and the word elect is applied to the saints and describes our standing in Christ as “chosen.”
Chapter 4 Fact 3
The Consistency of God and How He Deals With His Word!
Let us again name the list of growing facts we must use in order to properly interpret the events that surround the body presence of Christ and our gathering unto him. Notice the following facts:
Our 1st fact is that we are presently in the time period that is known as“The Church Age.”
Our 2nd fact is that the saints are the saved. The word elect is applied unto the saints and is a word that describes our position that we have in Christ.
As we look to the Word of God to establish the third fact in our list we need to understand the consistency of God when it comes to His Word. God is 100% consistent with His use of words. God does not change His Word and we need to understand the infallible, continual and constant stand that God makes upon His Word. Look to the following scripture and learn of God Almighty and His unchangeable stand.
As we in this brief chapter examine one aspect of the nature of God Almighty let us learn to be as consistent with our lives as our God is with who He is. Notice Malachi 3:6 which states, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” As we break this verse down and examine it in detail we can glean three solid truths which blare loudly and testify of the longsuffering, eternal mercy of God. Notice these three profound truths in this verse out of Malachi.
“For I am the LORD.” The word LORD is in all caps because it is the national name of God and one of the strongest names applied to God. The name LORD is (from) Jehovah and carries the idea of “one that is self-existent and eternal.” For I am the Self-Existent One would be the best way to consider the name of God. The fact that God Himself is the one who has life within Himself proves beyond a doubt that God is Jehovah, the Self-Existent One. This also gives testimony to who is speaking and can be none other than Jesus Christ himself.
“I change not.” This little three word statement testifies to us of the unchanging nature of God Almighty. This word change is only used three times in the Old Testament as found in the Hebrew. This word carries the idea of “to change, alter, repeat, duplicate, disguise” and a few other words of such caliber. God gets it right the first time and what He has settled is settled. History will unfold exactly as God predicted and planned. His ways of dealing with humanity by his Word and through Jesus are forever settled and nothing changes. God’s use of His Truth is forever settled in Heaven and God will not alter, change, update or remove one word from His Truth. He states, “I change not.”
“Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” This statement speaks volumes to the eternal mercy of God. Because of the first two statements in this verse, God can rightfully and truthfully say, “Therefore ye sons of Jacobare not consumed.” Because God is self-existent and because God does not change who He is, how he (don’t forget to make the list of things to look for right at the end – pronouns referring to God, capitalize) deals with humanity and the use of His Word, he cannot utterly destroy Israel. (Even though) Israel had completely whored away from God and had given themselves over to idol worship. Judah had slipped to spiritual adultery and had mixed the worship of God with idols. In view of the fact that God entered into a relationship covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he could not utterly consume the Nation of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. In view of the fact that God must remain true to His truth He can rightfully say, “Therefore yesons of Jacob are not consumed.”
The next verse we want to investigate is found in Psalm102:25-27 which states, “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the word of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” As we digest this scripture let us notice how many truths can be gleaned from these three verses. I encourage you to be honest with the Word of God that we study and that you are open to learning and instruction.
“Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.” The first thing we notice is God has laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens are the work of His hands. We know this is true based upon Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3. God created all things. As a matter of fact the Bible teaches that all things were created by Christ Jesus and for Christ Jesus. Notice Ephesians 3:9,Colossians 1:16, Revelation 4:11 and Revelation 10:6. The power behind creation is of the Father and the element of creation is Jesus Christ. We also know that the Holy Spirit was present and had his part as well. Notice Genesis 1:2.
“They shall perish.” The next thing that we notice about this text is that the earth and the heavens shall perish. This word perish means “to lose ones self and by implication to perish, to be broken, to be undone” and a few other words of like order. We know this to be true because scriptures tell of the destruction that is coming. Included within the destruction that is in the near future are the heavens and the earth being burnt and dissolved by the fiery judgement of God Almighty. Notice 2nd Peter 3:7-12: “The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” The earth and the heavens are being used up and are tainted by sin. God must bring forth a new heaven and a new earth so that He can dwell among saved men and women; a place wherein dwelleth righteousness. Notice 2nd Peter 3:13-14.
“But thou shat endure.” The next truth we can glean is that God shall endure. God is from everlasting to everlasting. He is eternal. He has always been and will always be. He has no beginning of life as we do. He is self-existent and shall endure for all eternity. Notice Psalm 90:2, Psalm41:13, Genesis 21:33, Psalm 93:2, Isaiah 9:6 and Habakkuk 1:12. God shall endure, and for all the critics that have come and gone to the grave and are still in the grave, God’s eternal Word is still being preached by the outcasts of society and lowly preachers.
“Yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed.” The last thing we notice is that the earth and the heavens shall wax old and need to be changed. The text testifies of the ease at which God will tear down and destroy the old while having the ability to remake the new heaven and the new earth. These truths are proven by other texts that are found throughout the Bible. Notice Isaiah 51:6, Hebrews 1:10-12 and Revelation21:1.