The Daily Word of Righteousness

The Purpose of the Great Tribulation, #7

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:22)

There will be many lesser tribulations during the worldwide witness, as we understand the Scriptures. But the severest of all tribulations, that which—except for the elect's sake—would threaten all life on our planet, will not take place until every nation has heard the Gospel of the Kingdom and has seen the power of the Lord Jesus.

Because there will remain an elect on the earth, the days of tribulation will be shortened.

The above verse reveals clearly that God's elect will remain on the earth throughout the great tribulation. For those who maintain that the elect are Jews and not Gentiles, let us answer by saying that this teaching is anti-Semitic, unworkable in practical terms, and totally unscriptural. It is time for every conscientious believer to flee from the anti-Semitic teachings of Dispensationalism.

As for who the elect are:

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (Colossians 3:12)

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; (Titus 1:1)

The "elect" are all those whom God has called in Christ and they will be on the earth throughout the great tribulation. The days of the great tribulation will be shortened for their sake.

For the people of the Lord, the great tribulation will result in the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, a fulfillment that will continue throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age. It is the Day of Reconciliation to God (Leviticus 23:27).

The Day of Atonement was a Levitical ceremony that portrayed the forgiveness of the sins of Israel, and also the removal of sin from the camp (Leviticus 16:21). So it is true that physical suffering removes sin from the believer in Christ:

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (I Peter 4:1)

After the saints have been reconciled to Christ through means of the trials and dangers of the great tribulation, there will come a most glorious spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34). God in Christ will enter the holy remnant in a manner similar to the indwelling of the Father's Glory that the Lord Jesus experienced during His ministry on the earth (John 14:10,23), and always does experience.

The spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles is our hope. Our participation in the Tabernacles experience will attain its climax when the Lord appears from Heaven and gives us bodies fashioned from eternal resurrection life. Such supreme glory is not possible until every vestige of sin and rebellion has been purged from us.

The twenty-fourth chapter of the Book of Matthew teaches that the elect of God will be on the earth throughout the period of trouble known as the great tribulation. The Lord's elect will be gathered together after the great tribulation (Matthew 24:31).

The elect are those who have been called of God to participate in His Kingdom. The elect are not distinguished as having been Jewish or Gentile by physical birth, for such a distinction is against the express teaching of the Scripture (Galatians 3:28). Rather, the elect are the branches of the cultivated olive tree (Romans 11:24).

To be continued.