by David Leach
Do you think God is with the crowd or with the remnant?
Isa 1:9 Unless the LORD of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.
Throughout the history of mankind the tendency of the vast majority of God’s people has always been to turn away from God. However in the midst of this recurring apostasy or backsliding there has always been a remnant of God’s people, sometimes extremely few in number, who have remained completely faithful to God. Often it is out of such a remnant that God then rebuilds a people. Let’s consider some of the Bible’s examples of remnants:
Noah :1 Pet 3:20 ...In the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared (100 years) in which a few, that is, eight souls (out of millions?), were saved through water.
Joshua and Caleb: Num 14:29-30 …All of you who were numbered (over a million who came out of Egypt) according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above, except for Caleb…and Joshua …you shall by no means enter the land…
Elijah and the 7000: Rom 11:2-5 God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"? But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant…
Three Hebrew Men: Dan 3:12 There are certain Jews…Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up. Obviously the rest did bow.
Remnant out of Babylon: Ezra 2:1-64 Now these are the people…who came back from the captivity…whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon…The whole assembly together was forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty (out of about four million that went into captivity).
God’s people reject their Messiah: John 1:11 He (Jesus) came to His own (The nation of Israel), and His own (as a nation) did not receive Him. Only a remnant did receive Him.
Many disciples turn away from Jesus: John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Only a remnant remained with Him.
Asia turns away from Paul: 2 Tim 1:15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me….
Only Timothy can Paul rely on: Phil 2:19-21 I hope that I will be able to send Timothy to you soon, He is the only one who is like-minded and who really cares about you. Everyone else is concerned only with his own affairs, not with the cause of Jesus Christ. TEV/NKJV
The Dark Ages – is an expression actually coined by the opponents of the Church to reflect the perceived dominance of the Church during the period 600 – 1500 AD and the absence of scientific enlightenment and reason. But this term more accurately depicts the spiritual darkness of this era in which the Pope reigned supreme, people were denied access to the Bible, Christianity was a front for politics, superstition replaced spirituality and many evils like the crusades and the inquisition were done in the name of Christianity.
Only a remnant of God’s people carried and proclaimed the gospel during these centuries.
The Age of Reason Over the last 150 years or so scientific discoveries, an explosion of knowledge, and massive social and economic advances have championed the widespread view that man’s intellectual powers of reason are supreme and make redundant the simple child like heart faith that is central to Christianity. This heralding of the human brain over the human spirit has hindered many from coming to Christ.
It has also swelled the ranks of those who say they are Christian but in fact have never been born again as Christians. If my head can simply reason that I’m a Christian why do I need to believe in my heart a revelation directly from God of His word that Christ died for my sins? Hence the true Church is but a fraction or remnant of the professing Church.
Reason replaces faith in the Church Even within the true Church while heart faith in a spiritual revelation of the truth of God’s word is the universal first step in every real Christian’s life, after that, for the vast majority of Christians reason has usurped faith as the way of approach to God and His word. This has resulted in a Church that has had little or no spiritual growth after salvation.
Consequently, without further spiritual light with which to see, a vast number of false teachings are widely prevalent in the Church, such as; fatalism, eternal security, the inevitability of sin, everyone has the Holy Spirit, a limited atonement, viewing the Bible as a rule book, perceiving God’s ways as not knowable and prayer therefore as uncertain, making no distinction between man’s two natures (flesh and spirit) and treating the dark kingdom of wicked spirits that rule the earth as an irrelevance.
1 Sam 3:1 …And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation (of the word, and this, sadly, is true again today).
The Holy Spirit is reasoned away. Many of these false doctrines have arisen because of the reasoned assumption that a Christian receives the fullness of the Holy Spirit at the new birth instead of, and as the scriptures teach, only after a full consecration of life and will to God.
Without the fullness of the Holy Spirit to reveal, teach and impart the scriptures to a believer’s heart, the scriptures can only be reasoned and therefore their true life, light and power remain largely unknown. Only a small remnant of the true Church have refused to allow their growing heart faith in the knowledge of God to be displaced by head reasonings with all of their associated errors and their inability to develop intimacy with God.
John 15:3 (Jesus to the disciples) You are already clean through of the word which I have spoken to you (already born again by believing the word of God - 1Pe 1:23)
John 20:22 (Later on; Jesus also to the disciples) And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit”.
What were the characteristics of Israel’s remnant – and of the remnant returning to Christ?
Neh 1:3 The remnant that are left of (came out of) the captivity…are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire (our wills compromised and our consciences seared by hypocrisy 1 Tim 4:2)
Ezra 9:8-9 And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage…to repair the house of our God (renew our spirits)…to give us a wall in…Jerusalem (save our souls).
Isa 10:20-22 And it shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel…will never again depend on him who defeated them (on our human nature, or the world, and behind them the devil), But will depend on the LORD…in truth. For though your people O Israel (Church) be as the sand of the sea (only) a remnant of them will return.
Isa 35:8-10 A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it…But the redeemed shall walk there, And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion (a spiritual city made up of the spirits of those made holy) with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isa 37:31-32 And the remnant who has escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant.
The remnant’s mission, to expand God’s Kingdom, can only succeed through God’s Spirit.
Zech 4:6 "This is God's message to Zerubbabel (a leader of the remnant that came out of Babylon) : 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty - you will succeed because of my Spirit, though you are few and weak.' TLB
Zech 4:10 Do not despise this small beginning for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin…(exposing false teachings and restoring the doctrine of the Holy Spirit) TLB
The remnant’s message won’t appeal to the crowd, by revival God will build a new crowd
2 Tim 4:2-4
2. Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
3. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear (and it will always excuse ongoing sin) NLT
4. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths (false teachings as today)
Ps 85:6 (O God) Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?
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