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Can 'The Very Elect' Be Deceived?
Is it possible to deceive the "very" elect (Mat. 24:24)?
Every human on the face of the earth is subject to being deceived! Satan has deceived the WHOLE world as shown in Rev. 12:9.
Also in Rev. 2:20, "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou (the church) sufferest (allow) that woman Jezebel, WHICH CALLETH HERSELF A PROPHETESS (a preacher or minister), to teach and to seduce (same Greek word as 'deceive') my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols (spiritual food that preaches another Jesus).
It is even possible that a person can deceive himself!!
I Cor. 3:
18 ∂ Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool (let him reject worldly wisdom and accept Godly wisdom), that he may be wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
21 ∂ Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
The way of God is foolishness to the people of this society, and God
says the ways of this society are foolishness to Him.
When we "glory in men", we begin to deceive ourselves. When we place our total trust in men whether they seem to be preachers of righteousness or not, we are deceiving ourselves.
The word 'deceive' in the above scriptures is from the Greek word that means "to deceive." It is not the same word that is translated 'deceive' in other scriptures that caution us about someone who is trying to deceive or seduce us to believe what they want us to believe. That word means deluding or seducing to draw us away from the path of God.
Now let's get to the scripture you asked about.
Matthew 24:24, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
When we take the context of the chapter, we can see that Jesus is warning everyone to be on guard and not be deceived by those who "come in His Name (christians), saying He is Christ (teaching that Jesus is Christ) and deceiving many.
He then gives quite a number of ways for us to NOT be deceived.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world (age)?
4 ∂ And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you(or spirit being for that matter).
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Many will preach that Jesus is the Christ.)
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (The beginning of the Great Tribulation).
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my nameís sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
Jesus then mentions a number of things that must come to pass before the end of the age such as wars and rumors of wars, famine and pestilence, brother (physical and spiritual) turning against brother because they have been deceived into believing in a false Christ!
12 And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold (including those in God's church as well as other churches).
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
There, above, He mentions one of the major keys to understanding when the great tribulation will start.
16 Then let them which be in Judaea (notice- those in Judaea, not the rest of the world) flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the electís sake those days shall be shortened.
Now, who are the elect? Part of that answer is shown in Isaiah.
Isa 45:4 "For Jacob my servantís sake, and Israel mine elect,
I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou
hast not known me.
Isa 65:9 "And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
Isa 65:22 "They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
This shows that all the children of Israel (Jacob) were chosen by God as His Elect. They were chosen to be an example to the rest of the world as to how God's Blessing caused a nation to prosper and grow. They weren't chosen because they were the smartest, most handsome, or greatest. They were chosen because they were the least of all the nations (I Cor. 1:26-30). God intended to show His greatness by blessing the nation of Israel to cause the rest of the world to desire those blessings and turn to God.
As has been said, there is a duality in the Scriptures pertaining to many things. Duality is also shown in the scriptures about Israel. There is a physical Israel (all twelve tribes), and there is a spiritual Israel composed of Spirit Begotten people who believe God and Jesus and accept Jesus as their savior.
Those are mentioned in Matthew 24:22:
"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the electís sake those days shall be shortened.
These are spiritual Israel as shown in the following verse.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
There will, of course, be those of the tribes of Israel that have not made a commitment to follow Christ. These will NOT be in that gathering of the FirstFruits. Only those who are truly Christian will be in that resurrection. Everyone else will either be dead, captive, or live on over into the Millennium.
Now, what about this group called "the very elect?"
The word elect is 'eklektos' meaning chosen by God to obtain salvation thru Christ. That word means the best of its kind or class, excellence, preeminence: applied to certain individual Christians.
There you have the definition of the physical elect, and the spiritual elect.
The elect were chosen by God to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ whenever they would repent and turn to Him as their savior. Those who repented and turned to Him are described as the best of its kind or class, excellence, preeminence. It is also applied to certain individual Christians.
There is the distinct possibility that within the elect is a group of certain individual Christians that are referred to as the very elect. That is also implied in I Cor. 11:
19 For there must be also heresies (sects "margin") among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest (shown openly) among you.
I don't know if there is a "very elect". It seems to be implied in several places, but I can't stand up and definitely say "yes, there is a very elect."
If this verse is referring to a "very elect" it is also saying that they can't be deceived about FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS. It DOES NOT SAY they can't be deceived about other things, since we have referred to those scriptures that show the whole world has been deceived and that the church has been subject to deception.
What everyone should do is KEEP THEIR NOSE IN GOD'S WORD and believe the Gospel!!!
When we know the scriptures, and understand them through the power of God's Holy Spirit, we won't be deceived about the salvational points of His Word.
If there is such a group we need to strive to be in it! It should cause one to stop and think, asking themselves "Am I really grounded in the Word of God? Could Satan take away my crown?"
It is possible, you know. The scriptures in Revelation 2 and 3 show there are people who are "holding on to what they have." There are also others who are doing the commission Christ gave us to do and producing fruit from our labors. This, of course, implies that there are others who are being deceived and could lose their crown (position in God's Family).
Let's pray we are a part of the "very elect" (if that group exists). Let's hold on to what we have and go forward preaching and teaching the True Gospel to this world!
I sincerely hope this answers your question.
If there is more, please write.
Please also refer to our article Can You Be Deceived ... Even If You Have God's Holy Spirit?