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Heaven: Will those called Israel’s little flock be there?

Gary Googe Jan 08

This “little flock” is mentioned by our Lord in what people typically speak of as Luke’s gospel.

Luke 12:32

32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. [Emphasis added]

Sometime these people who are a part of this group are called “kingdom saints” or “messianic believers.” This is done to distinguish them from those of us who are called members of the Body of Christ.

Something we must realize is that God has a glorious and everlasting future for all His people. By that I refer to all those people who have accepted by faith His provision for their salvation. They are the ones who are truly His people. All others will find themselves suffering in a type of body that lives right on forever in the fires of torment. For them it is called in Scripture the resurrection of damnation.

John 5:28-29

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

This tells us there’s a coming a resurrection for both believers and unbelievers.

29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. [Emphasis added]

It is in this resurrection body that unbelievers will suffer forever. Those that have “done good” will be those who have accepted by faith God’s means and provision for their salvation. But in the writing of the apostle John, he’s speaking of regenerate [born again] Israel, not us who are spoken of today as members of the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many. [Emphasis added]

These promises are addressed to us today, not Israel. As you study your Bible, you need to recognize these differences. John’s ministry was directed to Israel just as Paul’s is addressed to us today. Failure to see and understand these distinctions and differences produces much misunderstanding. For instance, another example of this is to note that regenerate Israel’s future is in a kingdom of Heaven while ours is in a Kingdom in Heaven. That little preposition makes a difference. Altogether God’s regenerate people make up God’s kingdom. You may have heard the statement that we the Church which is the Body of Christ are God’s heavenly people whereas the nation Israel is God’s earthly people. It is the Bible that shows us these differences. Our home as believers today is said to be IN Heaven, not on a restored Earth as it will be for regenerate Israel.

Philippians 3:20

20 For our conversation [POLITEUO = citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: [Emphasis added]

This is never said of Israel or to anyone prior to the salvation of the apostle Paul. They will all have a home OF Heaven but not one IN Heaven. Note John the Baptist’s message to his fellow Israelites.

Matthew 3:1-2

1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [Emphasis added]

This kingdom would have come not long after Christ’s resurrection had Israel then accepted Him as their promised Messiah. Here’s what they were told.

Acts 3:19-21

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when [HOPOS = so that] the times of refreshing [a reference to the establishment of His kingdom on Earth] shall come from the presence of the Lord.

The command to repent was for the people of Israel to change their mind and accept this Jesus of Nazareth as their promised messiah.

20 And he shall send Jesus Christ [a reference to His second coming], which before was preached unto you:

21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things [a reference to the establishment of His promised (prophesied) kingdom on Earth], which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. [Emphasis added]

This kingdom for Israel is now even said to be reserved for them in Heaven.

1 Peter 1:3-4

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Again, Peter is addressing Israel, not us today as members of the Body of Christ.

4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, [Emphasis added]

This tells us the names of those believers in that former time were written in the records of Heaven.

Luke 10:20

20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. [Emphasis added]

This is why these people were said to be partakers of a heavenly calling.

Hebrews 3:1

1 Wherefore, holy brethren [fellow believing Israelites, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; [Emphasis added]

This is all said to be reserved for them where they will enjoy it in a specially prepared city.

Hebrews 11:16

16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. [Emphasis added]

This city is spoken of as the heavenly Jerusalem.

Hebrews 12:22-23

22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, [Emphasis added]

Please note that none of these passages were written by Paul, our apostle. This tells us these promises are not to us as members of the Body of Christ. As I often mention, all 66 books of the Bible are for us, but they are not all to us or about us. They are simply said to be for our learning.

Romans 15:4

4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. [Emphasis added]

This reminds us again of the tremendous importance of learning and applying the principle of what is called right division.

2 Timothy 2:15

15 Study [SPOUDAZO = be diligent] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [Emphasis added]

Without doing this we’ll be confused and claiming promises that are not ours to claim and not even having a clear and correct understanding of the means to our salvation. This is a part of why their gospel that belongs to Israel is called the gospel of the kingdom. God has given it this name.

Matthew 9:35

35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. [Emphasis added]

I’ve presented on this website other studies in both articles and videos how that our gospel message, the gospel of the uncircumcision, is a different gospel than the gospel of the circumcision which is also called the gospel of the kingdom.

Galatians 2:7

7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; [Emphasis added]

For more information on this verse and these gospels please see my article about it.

Gospels: Did Peter & Paul preach the same gospel?

Christendom has tried to combine these two gospel messages into one, claiming there’s just one gospel. We even see this in some Bible translations where this verse [Galatians 2:7] has been mistranslated. It is extremely important that you understand that these gospels are not the same. For instance, the gospel of the circumcision demanded circumcision, living by the Mosaic Law, water baptism and other things that ours does not. Please note what Peter told unbelieving Jews on the Acts 2 Day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:37-38

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Then please note how Peter answers this question. Is this that he says what we are to tell people today who ask about this? It is not!

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent [meaning for them to change their mind and accept Jesus as their promised Messiah], and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [Emphasis added]

Is that OUR gospel we are to present to people today? Again, it is not! Certainly, we are to believe Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah, but the apostle Paul clearly presents the gospel message we are to present today which includes more than accepting Jesus as the promised Messiah. Israel’s gospel required water baptism and more that were not optional for salvation. But here’s the message Paul calls “our gospel” in several passages [2 Corinthians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:14].  For more details on these two gospels, please see my articles about this.

Gospels:  Did Peter & Paul preach the same gospel?

Paul:  Do we make too much of him?

Paul:  What’s so special about his teaching?

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]

It is Paul who also gives us more details of what happened on the cross of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:18-21

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Yes, this means there’s a sense in which we are all in the ministry, not just some.

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

This being committed to us means that this is our commission.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ [meaning all believers are His personal representatives], as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

This command to be reconciled is fulfilled at the moment anyone accepts Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the sole basis for their salvation.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

It is THIS that is the meaning of justification by faith. When we believe this message, it is then that we become identified with the righteousness of Christ, rather than our own that is inadequate to save us.

Romans 5:1

1 Therefore being justified by faith [by faith in what Christ did for us], we have peace [speaking of our personal reconciliation, our having been His enemies in times past] with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: [Emphasis added]

These passages need to be pointed out to people and explained by us so that they don’t misunderstand. This is our message, our gospel, and our responsibility.

Every believer today has citizenship in Heaven where he we will someday live forever. But, again, this is not the case for the people of Israel in times past and those who will live in the coming seven-year period of what is called The Tribulation. It is important to realize that these people, the little flock and more, will not have an everlasting presence in Heaven as we will have. Their home will be of Heaven but not in Heaven. Numerous passages speak of this.

Matthew 4:17

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [Emphasis added]

Matthew 4:23

23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. [Emphasis added]

As I’ve mentioned, this kingdom on Earth would have come had Israel accepted Jesus as her Messiah. The people of Israel were even told to pray for it.

Matthew 6:9-11

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

This will be their prayer when they are suffering in the coming time of The Tribulation after the Rapture and before Christ returns to rule the Earth.

11 Give us this day our daily bread. [Emphasis added]

For more information about this prayer, please see my article about it—

Prayer: Is “The Lord’s Prayer” a model prayer for us today?

Even Moses spoke of this coming time of blessing for the nation Israel.

Deuteronomy 11:21

21 That your days [the days of the people of Israel] may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. [Emphasis added]

These days that were promised to Israel have not yet come, but they surely will after Christ returns to the Earth to rule and reign in a Millennial kingdom. Israel’s apostle John speaks of this.

Revelation 20:4-5

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast [a reference to the one called the antichrist who will live on Earth in the time of the seven-year period of tribulation that occurs after the Rapture and before Christ’s return to the Earth], neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. [Emphasis added]

This “first resurrection” comes in echelons. We will be in the first part of that. But this passage is talking about Israel in a later portion of it. The “little flock” speaks of those few [relatively speaking] of Israel who were responsive to Christ after His resurrection. It has nothing to do with us, nor does the book of Revelation which is a book of prophecy addressed to Israel. Even the “churches” of Revelation 2 & 3 are “churches” or assemblies of believing Jews who will live in the time of the coming seven-year period of The Tribulation.

Revelation 1:3

3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. [Emphasis added]

At the time of the Second Coming of Christ all those people who survive the Tribulation period will enter to reside in the coming New Jerusalem.

Revelation 3:12

12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. [Emphasis added]

Unlike the future of the regenerate people of Israel, our everlasting home will be in Heaven where we are even told that we will judge or rule over the angels.

1 Corinthians 6:3

3 Know ye not that we shall judge [KRINO = to judge or to rule over] angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? [Emphasis added]

We will do this in the Heavenly realm. We are not promised a home on the new Earth. That was promised to Israel.

Matthew 5:5

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. [Emphasis added]

Again, this includes the “little flock,” but not us. It was promised to them many centuries ago.

Psalm 37:9 & 11

9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. [Emphasis added]

Typically, such verses are taken out of context and given meanings that are incorrect. These passages all relate to Israel and not us today. Such is true with the little flock. The term is used for those believing Jews who lived when the earthly kingdom was offered but rejected by all but a few—the little flock. Our glorified state will be in the heavenly realm.

2 Corinthians 5:1

1 For we know that if our earthly house [our present body] of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. [Emphasis added]

Again, this is not promised to Israel. We will someday share in Christ’s authority in Heaven. Positionally we’re already a part of this, but in the future, we will experientially occupy such a wonderful place.

Ephesians 2:6-7

6 And hath raised us up together [as members of the Body of Christ], and made us sit together in heavenly places [positionally] in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [Emphasis added]

This is a description of the wonderful situation we as members of the Body of Christ will someday occupy. Colossians 1:5, 16-20 is another passage that mentions it. But always bear in mind that as members of the Body of Christ, we are not Israel in any sense of the term. We are a different people with a different future. Attempts to blend the two have created mass confusion in Christendom. This is very much why we have literally hundreds of church denominations. As believers today we have a glorious future. Although we know very little of what Heaven will be like for us, we know it will be wonderful and that we are the people who will live there.

Ephesians 1:20-23

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. [Emphasis added]

Although all the so-called Old Testament saints, including “the little flock,” have died physically, they currently reside in what is called the heavenly Jerusalem. Someday that marvelous city will descend to the Earth. Several passages speak of this.

Revelation 3:11-12

11 Behold, I come quickly [speaking of His Second Coming]: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. [Emphasis added]

Revelation 21:1-2

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [Emphasis added]

This is regenerate Israel that is “the bride of Christ,” not us. We today are not the “bride of Christ.” We are “the body of Christ.” They are not the same. The bride is Israel, and we are the body.

Revelation 21:10

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, [Emphasis added]

So, this city is in Heaven, but it doesn’t stay there. It will eventually descend to the Earth.

As you can see, it is quite a task to sort all these things out. But it is worth your time. These are all things God wants each of us to know or they wouldn’t be in the Bible. As Paul puts it, they are given for our learning [Romans 15:4] even though Israel’s future does not relate to us directly. One thing they do though is give us a better understanding and appreciation for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Someday we’ll live with Him and get to enjoy all He’ll provide for us in Heaven forever.

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