Where Does the Gathering of the Jews (the Elect) Occur in the Book of Revelation?

Typical Pre-tribulation Rapture Timeline
Typical Pre-Tribulation Rapture Timeline

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.  (Matthew 24:29-31)

[*Semantics alert! As can be seen in the chart above, the pre-tribulationists call the entire seven year period–from their secret rapture to the second coming at Armageddon–the “Tribulation.”  I divide the time period into a “tribulation for the saints” (the first five seals), then the return of Jesus to gather the saints occurs at the sixth seal, and finally the “wrath of the Lamb” (the trumpets and bowls) is poured out on the earth beginning at the seventh seal.]

Those who believe the Bible teaches a pre-tribulation rapture insist that Matthew 24:29-31 is not referring to the church, but to the Jews. It is the Jews, they say, who are “the elect.”  They are the ones who will be gathered  “immediately after the tribulation of those days.”  They say the church won’t go through the tribulation, so this scripture can’t be about them.

If this is the case, how do they corroborate their theory with the scriptures found in the book of Revelation? Where is the Jewish gathering of the elect from the four winds, characterized by a darkened sun, falling stars, and angels found in the book of the Revelation?

According to the language of the pre-tribulationist, it must occur after the wrath of God is poured out (after what they call the “Tribulation”), but I don’t see any of the Matthew 24 signs occurring in Revelation after the seven year tribulation is complete.

The only place I see these same signs occurring are in Revelation 6:12-7:1. Yet the 144,000 Jews aren’t gathered to meet the Lord at this point. Instead they are sealed in preparation to remain on the earth as they go through the wrath of the Lamb.

The pre-tribulation folks make the mistake of calling the entire period after Jesus opens first seal the “Tribulation Period,” which, according to them, is a period which includes both the seals AND the trumpet judgments and bowls.  But this is a confusing and biblically inaccurate way to explain what is actually described in the Bible.  (They also make the mistake of mis-identifying the “elect” as the Jews, rather than the church.)

Isn’t it more true to the biblical account that the church (the elect) goes through the “tribulation of the saints” and then Jesus returns “immediately after the tribulation of those days” to gather us with him in the clouds, keeping us safe as the wrath of the Lamb is poured out on the earth, and bringing us back with him at Armageddon?

How can the rapture of the Jews, characterized by the signs found in Matthew 24, occur “immediately after the tribulation” (at the end of the seven year Tribulation, as defined by the pre-tribulationists), yet at the same time Jesus is returning with the church to fight at Armageddon–which is the completion of the wrath of the Lamb? Wouldn’t that mean the gathering of the elect  (Jews) would occur right after Armageddon? Why isn’t this Matthew 24 gathering pictured there?

At 4:40 minutes in the video below, Jimmy DeYoung says that Jesus will go to Mount Olive, build the temple (?), go to the battle of Armageddon, and then get the Jews from Petra. He never mentions that the Jews will be gathered to meet Jesus in the air at any point after the tribulation.

 

Revelation 7:1-8 explains that 144,000 Jews will be sealed on their foreheads and remain on the earth during the judgments of God (Rev. 9:4). Then Revelation 14:1 says that the 144,000 are with Jesus on Mount Zion. There’s no indication that a special gathering with the signs found in Matthew 24 occurs. Instead they merely meet Jesus at Mount Zion. They are kept safe on the earth through the wrath of God, but there’s no gathering in the clouds of the 144,000 Jews  pictured at this time in the scriptures.

There’s also no mention of a gathering in the clouds occurring for what the pre-tribulationists call the “tribulation saints.”  How do they come to be with Jesus? Since they missed the secret rapture, shouldn’t they be given hope that they will be gathered from the four winds and meet Jesus in the air, just as the Jewish “elect” are supposed to be gathered?  But, again, there’s no gathering of the tribulation saints, with all the Matthew 24 signs pictured, immediately before, during, or after Armageddon. And the pre-tribulationists claim the gathering that occurs in Matthew 24 is for the Jews, not for the church, so how do those left behind that become Christians during the Tribulation come to be with Jesus?

If the Jews aren’t being gathered to meet Jesus in the air at the sixth seal, when the sun is darkened and the sky is rolled back like a scroll, who is being gathered at this point? And why does the church appear in heaven, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb immediately after the sixth seal is opened and the 144,000 Jews are sealed in their foreheads?

How can the pre-tribulation position continue to stand? 

We may be in the “last days.”  We may go through an intense period of suffering and tribulation, yet most of the church thinks we will be gone, taken out in a secret rapture.  What if this isn’t the case? Will many Christians feel betrayed by the false teaching of their pastors and religious leaders?  I hope not, but I suspect they will.

In light of this concern, shouldn’t the church have a serious debate about this subject?

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6 Comments

  1. if you listen to the Jimmy deyoung again he says that Jesus will for a “period of time” build the temple, now I think he got off his notes and said” immediately after that Jesus would go to the valley of jezreel” which wouldnt be possible. other than that, mr. deyoung is right on target with scripture concerning the rapture of the church, the gathering of the jews etc., But as a christian we shouldn’t allow that to divde us, whether you are pretrib, posttrib or midtrib.

    1. I don’t think it should divide us, but on a subject where the first words out of Jesus’ mouth were “be not deceived . . . ” I think the church should be able to debate and seek out how to “rightly divide the word of truth.” For example, I wish someone would explain to me how the rapture could occur in Revelation 4:1 if the scriptures are to be interpreted literally as Jimmy DeYoung says.

      1. I agree that the church should have a debate but I feel everyone has pretty much made up their minds about where they stand on this subject. I have seen in the Bible what I didn’t see before till I started comparing scripture with scripture. I appreciate the scripture you had given me, Revelation 4:1, I didn’t notice this till today ,.. “And the voice I had first heard “speaking to me like a trumpet”…I have had a problem with the trumpets(Judgments) found in Revelation and 1Thess. 4:16, ” For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the “voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God”. But here I see that the voice of the Lord will be very loud to call believers to join Him in the air. Either way the Lord’s imminent return draws nigh and we should live lives that reflect Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:1-2 and John 13:35

  2. Diana,

    You are wise to question the dispensational nonsense that has been given far to much attention since it was introduced in the early 18th Century. The ancient and historic Church has seen itself as the true Israel since the majority of Jews rejected the Messiah. Both references to 144,000 in the book of Revelation are to the fullness of the Church (12x12x10x10x10) on earth and in heaven:

    Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God (Rev. 14:1-5).

    With the completion of the resurrection of the dead in Christ, the resurrection of the living in Christ begins. We see the Lamb standing on Mount Zion with one hundred and forty-four thousand virgins with God’s name written on their foreheads. The Lamb is Jesus Christ, Mount Zion is the New Jerusalem, and the one hundred and forty-four thousand virgins with God’s name written on their foreheads are the faithful living members of God’s Church on earth judged worthy to rise in the resurrection. The number of the faithful living is symbolic of fullness (ten times ten times ten) and of God’s Church, (times twelve times twelve). “And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven (Mark 13:27).” The physical resurrection of all of the faithful and worthy members of God’s Church, both living and dead, will be accomplished in an instant: Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (I Corinthians 15:51-53). That the resurrected living faithful are identified as the first fruits to God and the Lamb, reveals to us that there will be others who will become faithful and be judged worthy to follow in the resurrection; as the harvest of the Day of the Lord continues.

    After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed (Revelation 7:1-8).

    Before any other angels are allowed to trumpet the judgments that will befall the inhabitants of the earth, an angel having the seal of the living God is sent to seal the servants of God on their foreheads. This sealing is the Holy Spirit’s illumination and spiritual protection for those who will be joined to God’s Church on the earth during the Day of the Lord. That the number of those sealed is one hundred and forty-four thousand is again symbolic of fullness (ten times ten times ten) and the Church, (times twelve times twelve). That the total number is further defined by the names of the tribes of Israel is symbolic of the grafting back into the Church of those who had broken themselves off from the vine of Jesus Christ in the past; the Jews being first among them (see Romans 11:1-36).

    Among the baptized members of the Church, not all will be resurrected when the Day of the Lord begins. Those who lack the fruit of the Holy Spirit must produce their own, it cannot be borrowed from others. Through repentance and acts of love and mercy this fruit can be produced, making the heart capable of knowing, and being known by the Lord. Then He, in His perfect love and wisdom, will judge one as worthy to attain the resurrection to eternal life: “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard; ‘Behold the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming (Matthew 25:1-13).”

  3. Dear Diana, I greet you with grace and with a holy kiss of the sons of Elohiym. I amin deed happy to finally see a person who understands the prophecy of the book of the revelations, and I am really glad to read your article on the gathering. I would like to share a personal doctrinal newsletter which I am commanded to write and send to the churches and as many as I can, please send me an email, so I can send you this news letter, you will find one or two doctrines useful and thought provoking. I look forward to receiving an email from you. With Peace. Jo. [letters#tothesevenchurches.net]

    1. ok!… you were commanded to write letters to the churches? hmmm… what is your take on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? What are you advertising here? Explain the book of Revelation. Thank You

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