WILL ISRAEL’S LITTLE FLOCK BE PUT TO DEATH OR NOT?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Friend, if you are familiar with end-time prophecy Bible passages, you have probably noticed this “incongruity.” On one hand, some Bible verses teach that Israel’s Little Flock will suffer and die under the Antichrist. Yet, on the other hand, there are Bible verses that teach that God will protect Israel’s Little Flock from the Antichrist. How do we go about reconciling this discrepancy?
To begin, we cite the Lord Jesus’ words in Luke 12:31-32: “ But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Notice that the title “Little Flock” is the believing segment of Israel—it is not every descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. “Little Flock” is restricted to Jewish believers in Christ during His earthly ministry onward into the early Acts period (today’s believing Jews excluded). These are the Jews who will inherit the 1000-Year Kingdom (Millennium). They are not to be confused with the unbelieving Jews who will be destroyed in God’s wrath before that Millennium begins.
While it is far too in-depth to discuss here, please recall (or understand) that the prophetic events future from our day are a continuation of the prophetic program operating in Christ’s earthly ministry and the early Acts period. The people alive in Matthew through John, and early Acts, were anticipating in their lifetimes the final days of the prophetic program (namely, God’s wrath to cleanse the Earth, and the coming Kingdom of Heaven established on Earth). For more information, you may see Acts 2:16-21,29-36. With the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in Acts chapter 2, the next step in prophecy was the outpouring of God’s wrath. That wrath (particularly the Second Coming of Christ) is warned as imminent in Acts 2:34-36. By the time of Acts 7:55-56, the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) is standing at the Father’s right hand in Heaven, ever so close to returning and judging sinful Israel. However, before that wrath fell, and prophecy culminated with the earthly kingdom, God introduced a dispensational change, ushered in our 2000-year-long Dispensation of Grace, postponing that wrath even until now. (For more information, please see our study about Jesus Christ standing in Acts 7:55-56, linked at the end of this article.)
In light of the above points, you should see how the Little Flock (believing Jews) from Matthew through John and early Acts, will be continued in the future. That is, early Acts (Israel’s believing remnant there) loops above and beyond our Dispensation of Grace to link to the future (Israel’s believing remnant in seven-year Tribulation). Both groups of believing Jews are one “Little Flock” in the grand scheme of things. They all enter the Millennium at the Second Coming. However, for this study, we restrict our focus to the future extension of the Little Flock, those in the seven-year Tribulation.
Israel’s Little Flock—Messianic Jews living during the seven-year Tribulation—can be segmented into a few groups:
- There are the two witnesses, a couple of Jewish believers in Christ who will oppose the Antichrist (Revelation chapter 11). According to verse 7, these two are put to death once their ministry is over, about halfway through the seven years.
- Revelation chapter 7 talks about 144,000 male Jewish preachers from the tribes of Israel. They are briefly mentioned in the opening verses of chapter 14. These 144,000 will be taken up into Heaven sometime during the second half of the seven-year Tribulation. They are never recorded in the Bible as being harmed in any way or even dying.
- Matthew chapter 24 mentions Jewish believers living in the area of Judaea (the region surrounding Jerusalem). We will deal with these saints in detail shortly.
- Jewish believers will also be living in northern Israel, throughout other portions of the Middle East, and all around the world. We will deal with these in detail shortly as well.
As previously mentioned, in the Book of Matthew, chapter 24, there are Jewish believers living in the area of Judaea (area around Jerusalem). Observe the words of the Lord Jesus, excerpts from His well-known Olivet End-Times Discourse: “ 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: )  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” You will notice these are not only Jewish men, as in the case with the 144,000. This section of believing Jews involves men and women (cf. verse 19).
In Revelation chapter 12, we see a group of believing Jews fleeing into the mountains. The only logical conclusion is that these are the same people the Lord Jesus talked about in the previous paragraph. Read Revelation chapter 12 for yourself: “ And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days….  And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (This “remnant of her seed” is the non-Judaean, non-mountain-fleeing Jewish believers. Satan cannot get those Jews in the mountains, but, as we will see later, he can persecute those living elsewhere.)
God will protect the believing remnant hiding in the mountains for 1360 days (verse 12)—the last half of the seven-year Tribulation, terminating with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Antichrist and Satan will try to attack this group of wilderness Jews but Satan will fail. However, remember, the instructions to flee to those mountains are only given to those in the area of Judaea. Not all believing Jews will be protected in the mountains. Jews living throughout the Middle East and around the world will not have access to those secret mountain-hideouts God will prepare for some circumcision believers in the land of Palestine. It is these living outside of Judaea who will be imprisoned and martyred. Again, recall Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
In Matthew chapter 10, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of persecuted believers during the seven-year Tribulation: “ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves….  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;  And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” (Notice the Second Coming of Christ at the end, concluding the seven-year Tribulation and Antichrist’s reign.)
“ And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell….  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Here, we see believing Jews who will be delivered up to synagogues, to be imprisoned, and even sentenced to death, for refusing to follow the Antichrist. Revelation 20:4 speaks of those who were “beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands…..” After all, the Lord Jesus had warned in Matthew chapter 24: “ Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”
Revelation 13:15 says: “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” As well as Daniel 7:25: “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out [persecute] the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” And, Daniel 8:24: “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” Finally, Daniel 7:21: “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;….” Clearly, the Antichrist is killing some Jewish believers in Christ Jesus. They are the Little Flock who do not live in the area of Judaea; they were thus unable to flee to the mountains in Palestine. They are living in various cities outside of Palestine.
Revelation 6:9-11 tells us: “ And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” The Antichrist will mercilessly slaughter, kill, a good number of the Little Flock members. Of course, that will not destroy God’s plans for redeemed Israel. According to Revelation chapter 20, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to Earth to vanquish the Antichrist, He will simply resurrect all of His saints, that they go into that kingdom of Christ! 🙂