And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
This passage is often used to depict a rapture, as in the angels will pick you up on the last day to meet Jesus in mid air.
I have already written about what it means about meeting Jesus in mid air and how Thessalonians actually tells us it is an event which took place in the past.
You can view them here.
Before I begin I would us to note that the occurrence of the elect being collected by the angels happened during the generation Jesus appeared. That is to say 40 years from the Olivet discourse.
Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
Note. He said, “this generation” meaning the generation which existed at the time of this sermon.
You would note also that this the same generation which shouted at our Lord when he was paraded in front of Pilate.
And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”
You will also see from a careful reading of the Scriptures that Jesus spoke often of how God would vent his wrath of past sins on that generation.
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.
Jesus even called his generation, the most evil of generations.
When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
He said they were even worse that Nineveh and Sodom.
But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”
You will already read about this gathering of the elect in Revelation 7.
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
You would note that John speaks about the gathering of the Jews and Gentiles.
It is imperative to note these two groups of people were then sealed and they had come out of the tribulation.
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Now one must realised that at the time of writing of Revelation, the tribulation had already started.
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Notice he had said he was already the partner with his readers in the tribulation. Jesus also said it would happened in that generation.
Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
So Jesus said it happened within that generation, and not within our generation.
This is imperative because Jesus spoke about an abomination that was coming at that time and that they should flee from Jerusalem when they see it.
“But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
While many point to you that is the antichrist, Luke says it’s the Roman army.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it…
Now what in the world was Luke talking about?
The First Jewish–Roman War began in the year 66 CE, originating in the Greek and Jewish religious tensions, and later escalated due to anti-taxation protestsand attacks upon Roman citizens.
In response to the Roman plunder of the Second Jewish Temple and the execution of up to 6,000 Jews in Jerusalem, a full-scale rebellion erupted. The Roman military garrison of Judaea was quickly overrun by rebels, while the pro-Roman king Agrippa II together with Roman officials fled Jerusalem.
As it became clear the rebellion was getting out of control, Cestius Gallus, the legate of Syria, brought the Syrian army, based on XII Fulminata and reinforced by auxiliary troops, to restore order and quell the revolt.
Despite initial advances, the Syrian Legion was ambushed and defeated by Jewish rebels at the Battle of Beth Horon with 6,000 Romans massacred and the Legio aquila lost – a result that shocked the Roman leadership.
Now when these things happened the Christians (predominantly made up of Jews at that time) remembered the warnings of Jesus about Jerusalem being surrounded by armies and fled Jerusalem.
This was how the elect was gathered.
When we read in Scriptures about the “chosen generation” we always read ourselves into it.
The “chosen generation” was about the first generation of believers, not us. These 2 groups of both Jews and Gentiles were then made the new temple of God, and became the new Jerusalem.
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
They would eventually become the new temple when the temple in Jerusalem is destroyed.
For further reading:
I hope you are blessed by this.