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Spiritual and Physical Gatherings

Elect is an English word that has been used to translate the original Hebrew and Greek words of The Bible which describe those who have been, or will be, elected, or chosen by God for a purpose: to become the "first fruits" of salvation. They will be spiritually gathered (resurrected, or transformed if alive that day) at The Return Of Jesus Christ. They will then reign with Him for the 1,000 years (the "Millennium"), after which the resurrection of the rest of humanity will occur (Revelation 20:4-6). The Elect will also serve as "kings and priests" (i.e. leaders and teachers) of a great physical gathering of God's people at the time of Christ's Return.

The "Elect" Will Be Gathered As Spirit Beings

Mountain The Elect will be gathered at the first resurrection (see Resurrections):

"I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast [see Who Is The Woman Riding The Beast?] which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations." And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints [see What Is A Saint?] and the blood of the Martyrs of Jesus." (Revelation 17:3-6 RSV)

"For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Then if any one says to you, 'Lo, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. For False Christs and false prophets [see The Great False Prophet] will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Lo, I have told you beforehand." (Matthew 24:21-24 RSV)

"Immediately after the tribulation [see The Seven Seals] of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken [see Signs In The Heavens]; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:29-31 RSV)

"For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 RSV)

A Physical Gathering Of Israel and Judah

One of the most misunderstood subjects of Bible study involves the total political division of "Israel" and "Judah" that occurred at the time of King Rehoboam. Before then, all twelve tribes of Israelites were a united kingdom through the reigns of David and Solomon, but after Solomon's death they split into two completely separate and independent kingdoms - the southern kingdom of "Judah," consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with part of Levi since the Levites were distributed among the other tribes (1 Kings 12:23) with their capital at Jerusalem, and the northern kingdom of "Israel," consisting of the other ten tribes (Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph was divided into Ephraim and Manasseh), with part of Levi since the Levites were distributed among the other tribes), with their capital up in Samaria.

Israel and Judah were never united again (see Kings of Israel and Judah). Surprisingly, they even fought wars against each other from time to time (see Jews At War With Israel). A very important fact that many do not realize is that Judah, that is, the Jewish people of today, are only one of the tribes of Israel - while all Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews.

Because of their forsaking of Him, God permitted the two kingdoms to be destroyed. First, the northern kingdom of Israel was gradually conquered by the Assyrians (see Ancient Empires - Assyria), and by 721 B.C. they had practically all been taken into exile to Assyria (2 Kings 17:1-23). The vast majority of them never returned, and have become known as the "Lost Ten Tribes of Israel."

Then, about 135 years later, by 586 B.C., the southern kingdom of Judah was completely conquered by the Babylonians (see Why Babylon?), and the people of Judah were taken into captivity to Babylon. The original Temple of God in Jerusalem was destroyed at that time (see Temples). The people of the southern kingdom of Judah however did return after the Babylonians fell to the Persians (see Ancient Empires - Persia), and their descendants have become the Jewish people of today - but that return in the time of Nehemiah, or the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948, were not the fulfillment of the many prophecies dealing with the future (as the context of the prophecies clearly show) gathering of all of Israel, Israel and Judah.

The Coming Gathering of Israel and Judah

There are many Scriptures which describe, in great detail, the future gathering of Israel and Judah. Examples:

"In those days and in that time, says The Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come; and they shall seek The Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion [see Who, What or Where Is Zion?], with faces turned toward it, saying, 'Come, let us join ourselves to The Lord in an everlasting covenant which will never be forgotten.' "My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains; from mountain to hill they have gone, they have forgotten their fold. All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, 'We are not guilty, for they have sinned against The Lord, their true habitation, The Lord, the hope of their fathers.'" (Jeremiah 50:4-7 RSV)

"Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who is in travail, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born. Hear the word of The Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands afar off; say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.'" (Jeremiah 31:8-10 RSV)

"Thus says The Lord God: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel associated with him; and I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, Thus says The Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides, and bring them to their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God." (Ezekiel 37:19-23 RSV)

Fact Finder: What is meant by "Living Waters"?
See Living Waters


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