Gathering Together His Elect
This Olivet Discourse Deception study covers Messiah’s statement about the angels gathering the elect, that is recorded in Matthew 24:31.
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.
Mark 13:27 records it as:
And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
Note that the word ‘angels‘ in the Greek, aggelos; is a messenger; by implication, a pastor:—angel, messenger.
It doesn’t only point to heavenly angels, but to earthy leaders of the Church.
Mark 1:2 proves that the word angel can point to a human messenger. In this instance it is speaking of John the Baptist.
“As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger (aggelos) before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.“
The messengers in Luke 9:52 were probably James and John.
“And sent messengers (aggelos) before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.“
Given the context of Matthew 24:31, the angels no doubt refer to leaders in the Early Church.
The Early church had fled to the mountains before the time of tribulation for the Jews. The Roman siege of Jerusalem was over. Jerusalem lay in ruins, so there was no returning. The leaders now are being sent out to proclaim the Gospel, to continue their mission to all parts of the Roman world, to gather in the elect of Elohim.
The physical city of Jerusalem lay in ruins;
Now the bride of Messiah, Holy Jerusalem, was being built.
The physical temple was desolated, not one stone left on another;
Now Messiah is the cornerstone, the Apostles the foundation stones, and the saints the little stones that make up the walls of the new temple, in which Elohim dwells.
The High Priest (Sun) was removed from power;
Now Messiah intercedes for His saints as their High priest before the Father.
The Jewish priestly system (moon and stars) was darkened, it was ended;
Now the saints fulfill the role of the priests of Elohim, offering spiritual sacrifices before Him.
The Old Testament pointed to this time when Messiah would fulfill all that was demanded of the Israelites, and Elohim would indwell the temple made without hands.
The Gospel was set to explode across the Roman Empire with such a force, that it overcame the mighty Romans.
Luke 21:28 gives a different perspective than Matthew 24:31, speaking about their redemption.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
The Greek word for redemption, apolutrosis, doesn’t just point to our redemption by the blood of the Passover Lamb, but also to deliverance.
apolutrosis: from a compound of 575 and 3083; (the act) ransom in full, i.e. (figuratively) riddance, or (specially) Christian salvation:—deliverance, redemption.
Jewish Historian Josephus records that all of the elect were delivered from the judgment that was poured out on the unbelieving Jews. They were delivered from the calamity which befell the Jews, and that deliverance was at an end, it drew nigh.
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
Your redemption draweth nigh. This is expressed in the 31st verse thus: “the kingdom of God is nigh at hand“–that is, from that time God will signally build up his kingdom. It shall be fully established when the Jewish policy shall come to an end; when the temple shall be destroyed, and the Jews scattered abroad. Then the power of the Jews shall be at an end; they shall no longer be able to persecute you, and you shall be completely delivered from all these trials and calamities in Judea.
The kingdom of Elohim is not setup at Messiah’s second advent, but rather it was setup in the first century.
His bride, called Holy Jerusalem, is His city to rule in. His temple is made up of His people. Messiah is the High Priest, and with a trumpet blast He is sending out His Israelite priests to all the world to gather in the harvest of the elect.
After 70 A.D., the Gospel would spread rapidly worldwide and Messiah would gather the elect into His kingdom.
Satan used the pagan Roman Empire to try to wipe out the Early Church, killing 10 million saints by 313 A.D.; which is a testimony to how rapidly the kingdom of Messiah had expanded.
Bible scholar and historian Henry Grattan Guinness says that the Early Church interpreted the vision of the 1st seal of Revelation, as that of the crowned rider seated upon the white horse, armed with a bow, going forth “conquering and the conquer,” as a representation of Messiah going forth on His victorious mission.
Daniel 2:44 foretold that Christ would setup His kingdom in the days of the four beast. “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”
The fact that Messiah had founded a Kingdom whose power was greater even than that of Rome, become early apparent. The kingdom of Messiah expanded rapidly, by supernatural power, during the first few centuries; while He caused the Roman Empire to collapse.
Note: Other references to Messiah’s 2nd advent includes that the dead will rise first, which is missing from the text in Matthew 24:31, telling you that is not the proper context.
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16
Here’s some insight from the great theologians who wrote whole Bible commentaries before the futuristic deceptions crept into the Church.
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he shall send his angels, Not the angels, i.e. ministering spirits, so called, not from their nature, but their office, as being sent forth by God and Christ; but men angels, or messengers, the ministers and preachers of the Gospel, whom Christ would call, qualify, and send forth into all the world of the Gentiles, to preach his Gospel, and plant churches there still more, when that at Jerusalem was broken up and dissolved. These are called “angels”, because of their mission, and commission from Christ, to preach the Gospel; and because of their knowledge and understanding in spiritual things; and because of their zeal, diligence, and watchfulness,
With a great sound of a trumpet, meaning the Gospel; see Isaiah 27:13 so called in allusion either to the silver trumpets which Moses was ordered to make of one piece, and use them for the calling of the assembly, the journeying of the camps, blowing an alarm for war, and on their solemn and festival days, Numbers 10:1. The Gospel being rich and precious, all of a piece, useful for gathering souls to Christ, and to his churches; to direct saints in their journey to Canaan’s land; to encourage them to fight the Lord’s battles; and is a joyful sound, being a sound of love, grace, and mercy, peace, pardon, righteousness, life and salvation, by Christ: or else so called, in allusion to the trumpet blown in the year of “jubilee”; which proclaimed rest to the land, liberty to prisoners, a release of debts, and restoration of inheritances; as the Gospel publishes rest in Christ, liberty to the captives of sin, Satan, and the law, a payment of debts by Christ, and a release from them upon that, and a right and title to the heavenly inheritance. The Vulgate Latin reads it, “with a trumpet, and a great voice”; and so does Munster’s Hebrew Gospel; and so it was read in four of Beza’s copies:
and they shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other; that is, by the ministration of the Gospel; the Spirit of God accompanying it with his power, and grace, the ministers of the word should gather out of the world unto Christ, and to his churches, such persons as God had, before the foundation of the world, chosen in Christ, unto salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth; wherever they are under the whole heavens, from one end to another; or in any part of the earth, though at the greatest distance; for in Mark 13:27 it is said, “from the uttermost part of the earth, to the uttermost part of the heaven”. The Jews say, that “in the after redemption (i.e. by the Messiah) all Israel shall be gathered together by the sound of a trumpet, from the four parts of the world.
Coke’s Commentary on the Holy Bible
And he shall send his angels— This is all in the style and phraseology of the prophets, and, stripped of its figures, means, that after the destruction of Jerusalem, Christ, by his angels or ministers, will gather to himself a glorious church out of all the nations under heaven. No one ever so little versed in history needs to be told, that the Christian religion spread and prevailed mightily after this period, and hardly any one thing contributed more to this success of the Gospel than the destruction of Jerusalem falling out in thevery manner, and in the very circumstances so particularly foretold by our blessed Saviour. See Bishop Newton. Most translations, as well as our own, have greatly obscured this text, by rendering the word αγγελους, angels; for though it generally signifies those celestial spirits who are on great occasions the messengers of God to our world, it is well known that the word refers not to their nature, but to their office, and it is often applied to men, and rendered messengers.
Lightfoot’s From the Talmud and Hebraica
[And he shall send his angels, &c.] When Jerusalem shall be reduced to ashes, and that wicked nation cut off and rejected, then shall the Son of man send his ministers with the trumpet of the gospel, and they shall gather together his elect of the several nations from the four corners of heaven: so that God shall not want a church…
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible on Isaiah 27:13
The great trumpet shall be blown – Does not this refer to the time spoken of by our Lord, Matthew 24:31 : He shall send forth his angels – the preachers of his Gospel with a great sound of a trumpet – the earnest invitation to be saved by Jesus Christ; and shall gather his elect – the Jews, his ancient chosen people, from the four winds – from all parts of the habitable globe in which they have been dispersed.
The ‘gathering of the elect’ represents Messiah using His messengers, His leaders, to spread the Gospel and gather the elect.
It’s the ‘hope‘ statement of the Olivet Discourse, the promise that His kingdom would prevail in the midst of the mighty Roman Empire, despite all of the opposition.
Next Olivet Discourse Study: The Witness Of Josephus