Article of the Month

November 2012

 

—  THE ELECTION 

 

No. This is not about the political elections of this month! But it IS related to the subject in an important and intriguing way.

The word ELECT (in various forms) appears more than twenty times in the King James translation. There is no question that ELECTION is a Biblical subject. Understanding it is an important step in understanding the totality of God’s plans and purposes. The thing that is DIFFERENT about man’s elections and Biblical elections is this:

     In the elections among  mankind, many people choose one person to fill an office.

     In Biblical elections, there is ONLY ONE who votes! It is God.  And He chooses many to fulfill the services He plans to establish.

But, like elections among men, people are chosen by God so that they might administer the blessings of good government among the populace. This is why God is “electing” a group of administrators for the Kingdom for which men have so long prayed: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth.”  (Matthew 6:10)

We have all heard the promise of Isaiah 9:6, 7 regarding Messiah:

“…the government shall be upon his shoulder; … of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end…”

This prophecy is no poetic platitude. It is a FORECAST of things about to happen in our near future. The Weymouth translation of Ephesians 1:8-10 reflects the same reason for the ELECTIONS of which we speak:

“…God’s merciful purpose for the government of the world when the times are ripe for it;…yea, things in Heaven and things on earth, to find their one Head in Him.”

The world has been plodding along in ignorance for thousands of years while God has been CAREFULLY electing those who will form that new promised government — both for the “in heaven” assignment, and the “on earth” assignment.
 

—  Two Elections  —
 

The Scriptures point out that two groups among mankind are ELECTED to fulfill the responsibilities of two different offices (or functions). One of those groups is the nation of Israel. The other is a numerically-limited group of Christians (144,000; Revelation 14:1) who constitute the true Church, the “body of Christ.”
 

—  Israel  —


Before Jesus’ first advent, Israel was EXCLUSIVE among the nations in that God dealt ONLY with them.  (Amos 3:2) Israel and God did not always get along well! Nevertheless, God ELECTED to set this people aside for eventual service to Him. (Isaiah 45:4) The Apostle Paul (Romans 11:28) points out clearly that this is NOT due to their own merits, but because of the faith of their fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) to whom the promises were made.  Meanwhile, God has been “training” Israel through its experiences for its future assignment.

The nation of Israel will soon become the vibrant center of God’s Kingdom on earth.  All nations will flow unto it.  (Isaiah 60)  As Zechariah 8:20-23 puts it, “…many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem;…ten men shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

Thus, Paul forecasts in Roman 11:26-29 that Israel will be saved from its errors and blindnesses as was COVENANTED with them.  Their ELECTION to this post is irrevocable — God will not back out of it!  Their being received again by God will bring about “LIFE FROM THE DEAD”!  (Romans 11:15)

So, this ELECTION of Israel to be the earthly visible cornerstone of Christ’s Kingdom was completed long ago in Old Testament times.  But their installation as a blesser nation is yet to be accomplished.


—  The Christian Age Election  —


During the intervention 2,000 years since Jesus’ first advent, God has been conducting another ELECTION — the “body of Christ” (or the true Church) which will constitute the “in heaven” part of the new government.  Most prophecies, of course, simply point to Jesus as the head or king of that new government.  But the concept of the Church’s reigning WITH HIM is very clear in Scripture. (See Revelation 20:4 and 6 as well as Revelation 5:10 and II Timothy 2:11, 12 for examples.) In other words, the new government will not be “a one man show.” It will not be Jesus alone.  He will have co-regents. The selection of those who will “reign with him” is the purpose of the Christian or Gospel Age ELECTION — the period between the two advents of Jesus. That age is specifically for the purpose of God’s ELECTING who will co-reign.

That Jesus is God’s ELECT for the pre-eminent post is clear in texts like Isaiah 42:1 and I Peter 2:6.  But most of the uses of the word ELECT in Scripture are regarding Jesus’ disciples — those who are (unless proven unworthy) to be the heavenly administrators of the new government which will bless all the families OF the earth, ON the earth.

The concept of ELECTION is so simple!  The elected ones SERVE everyone else.  It is hard to imagine how corrupted this concept has become among Christians!  So many have concluded that if one is not among “the elect,” then one will be destroyed!  How absurd!  If we fail to be elected to Congress, do we expect to be annihilated?


—  Election as Applied to the Church  —


The uses of forms of the word ELECT are varied, but consistent in their testimony that the saints ARE the ELECT—if they maintain their fervent faithfulness:

 

·        Matthew 24:24 shows that these will not, like others, be deceived.

·        Matthew 24:31 shows that at this end of the age, the ELECT are gathered via the clear sounds of a message of truth.

·        Romans 8:33 warns against falsely accusing the ELECT.

·        Romans 9:11, combined with I Thessalonians 1:4 and II Peter 1:10, show that (1) becoming part of this class is ONLY by invitation (i.e., God does the electing), and that  (2) just because we’ve been elected doesn’t insure success!  We must “make sure” our CALLING and our ELECTION!

·        Colossians 3:12 shows that those who are part of the ELECT must put on certain character traits.

·        II Timothy 2:10 shows how the Apostle Paul endured his trials for the sake of the ELECT.

·        I Peter 1:2 shows that this entire class was PLANNED IN ADVANCE by God.
 

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The world has never known such an important ELECTION as is now coming to a conclusion. The results will be glorious. Mankind, short of words to express their appreciation, will, in short, say:


“Lo, THIS is our God!  We have waited for Him…
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation!”
Isaiah 25:6-9

                         

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