I’m going to start with those who are most likely not the elect.
Matthew 7:15-20 – King James Version (KJV)
<15> Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. <16> Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? <17> Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. <18> A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. <19> Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. <20> Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
To be sure, there is a deep state and a deep church, led by the devil and his angel/demons. It still comes back to the individual, however, who yields either to God or satan.
There’s a poem I heard many years ago that fits pretty well with this question. It goes like this; “They let down the bars, they let down the bars. The sheep got out, but how did the goats get in? They let down the bars.”
Most churches today are overseen by the un-regenerated. They seek positions of power in all aspects of life, in local, state and national politics, not with the good of the people at heart, but their own lust for power. Unfortunately they creep into the churches as well. There is a real Church. It is the mystical body of Jesus Christ, those who have been saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. They may attend some local assembly but their membership is in heaven.
So both the elect and the wolves in sheep’s clothing can be recognized by their fruits. Lets look to see what fruits we are talking about.
Galatians 5:22-24 – King James Version (KJV)
<22> But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, <23> Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. <24> And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts
Ephesians 5:8-11 – King James Version (KJV)
<8> For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: <9> (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; )<10> Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. <11> And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
The first instance of the word ‘elect’ I can find is in Isaiah 42.
Isaiah 42:1-4 – King James Version (KJV)
<1> Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. <2> He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. <3> A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. <4> He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Isaiah 45:4 – King James Version (KJV)
<4> For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
Isaiah 65:8-9 – King James Version (KJV)
<8> Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all. <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.
Isaiah 65:22 – King James Version (KJV)
<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.
Now in the New Testament we find the Christian elect.
Matthew 24:21-22 – King James Version (KJV)
<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 elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Mark 13:14-23 – King James Version (KJV)
<14> But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand, ) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: <15> And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: <16> And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. <17> But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! <18> And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. <19> For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. <20> And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. <21> And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: <22> For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. <23> But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
I believe, and several scholars I have read agree, the last scripture has a compound fulfillment. In 70 AD the Romans sacked Jerusalem but the warning remains for the tribulation as well.
Mark 13:26-27 – King James Version (KJV)
<26> And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. <27> And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
Luke 18:7-8 – King James Version (KJV)
<7> And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? <8> I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
1 Peter 1:2 – King James Version (KJV)
<2> Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
So then, God knew who the elect would be from everlasting. This gets into the sometimes maligned doctrine of predestination, although it is clear enough in the scriptures.
Can the elect be deceived? Not according to God’s Word.
Matthew 24:24-25 – King James Version (KJV)
<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. <25> Behold, I have told you before.
IF IT WERE POSSIBLE.
~~Statue of Jesus teaching the children, Draper, Utah