Gathering the Elect

Writing to the Assembly in Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul refuted false claims about the coming of Jesus, arguing that the “Day of the Lord” would not come until the “Apostasy” and the “revelation of the Man of Lawlessness” occurred “first.” Moreover, that day would be when Jesus “gathered” Paul and his fellow believers to himself.

Paul described this same event in his first letter to the Thessalonians. The day was coming when God would raise the righteous from the dead, and together with those still alive they would “meet” Jesus “in the air” as he descended from Heaven - (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-8).

Assemble - Photo by Rita Vicari on Unsplash
[Photo by Rita Vicari on Unsplash]

Elsewhere, Paul identified the “
Day of the Lord” as the “Day of Jesus Christ,” the moment when he vindicated his saints but also judged their persecutors - (1 Corinthians 1:8, 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:14, Philippian 1:6-10, 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11).

The claim that Jesus will “gather his elect” upon his arrival did not originate with Paul. Jesus used the same language to describe the “coming” of the “Son of Man.” In doing so, he also applied language from key Old Testament passages that originally referred to the regathering of Israel.

Thus, the “sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from heaven,” and “all the tribes of the Earth will mourn.” On that day, he will dispatch his angels with the “sound of a trumpet to gather” his elect “from the four corners of the Earth.”

Likewise in 1 Thessalonians, the saints will be gathered to “meet” him in the “air” at the sound of the “trumpet” and the “voice of an archangel.” Thus, Jesus and Paul described the same final event – (Matthew 13:24-30, 24:29-31, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

  • And then will they see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then will he send forth the angels, and will gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven” – (Mark 13:26-27).

Christ’s description of the “gathering” of his saints echoes several passages in the Hebrew Bible about the “Day of Yahweh” and the regathering of the tribes of Israel. For example:

  • (Isaiah 11:10-12) – “And it will come to pass in that daythat the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his peopleAnd he will set up an ensign for the nations and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth
  • (Isaiah 13:10) – “The day of Yahweh is coming… For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.
  • (Isaiah 43:3-7) – “For I am Yahweh you God, the Holy One of Israel, your SaviorFear not, for I am with you. I will bring your seed from the east, and gather thee from the west. I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back, bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name.

The promise to regather Israel to the land of Canaan finds its intended fulfillment in the gathering of the “elect” by Jesus when he arrives from Heaven, this “gathering” will include all the saints redeemed from every nation and not just members of the nation of Israel.

  • The Last Days - (The Apostle Paul linked the commencement of the Last Days to the death and resurrection of Jesus, the hinge on which History has turned)
  • The Final Harvest - (The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost fulfilled what the feast symbolized and marked the start of the Final Harvest)
  • The Day of Christ - (Jesus will arrive on the Day of the Lord when the dead are raised, the wicked are judged, and death will cease forever)



Ekklésia - Assembly of God

Going on to Perfection