Who or What Is It?
NCW 72, July-August 2001
by James Robertson
Click here for Part 1
The scriptures which teach us that at the end of the age a "remnant" will be preserved. Romans 9:27 states: "Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved." (NKJ) Recognizing that there are various dimensions in the original all of which are translated "saved" in the English, it seems to me that while all "who call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved," (Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13) the remnant are those who "overcome to the end" and will rule and reign with Christ (the Messiah) (Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21, 11:7, 13:7, 17:14 and 21:7 all refer to those who "overcome").
I cannot expressly right now put my finger on a specific passage of scripture which succinctly defines the remnant but, a quick search on the word "remnant" produces a list of scriptures many of which relate to a very small remnant surviving in different ages and which seem to indicate that the same will apply in this age. These are listed in the appendix.
Isaiah chapter 4 verses 1 to 6 provides a useful summary of the events that are now unfolding on the earth:
"In that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying,"We will eat our own food and wear our own apparel; Only let us be called by your name, To take away our reproach. In that day the Branch of Yahweh shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped. And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy-- everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then Yahweh will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain." (NKJ)
Verses 2 and 3 refer to "those of Israel who have escaped" and to "he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem" while verse 4 tells us that this will follow after Yahweh has "washed away the filth" and "purged the blood" from Zion and Jerusalem "by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning". Verses 5 and 6 then seem to speak of the New Jerusalem. As noted in the previous teaching, verse 1 tells us that seven times as many women as men will survive.
So we see a period of intense judgment or tribulation purging the church of her uncleanness with a remnant escaping.
As I have pondered this in recent weeks, I have wondered about the characteristics of this "remnant". I have not undertaken an in depth scriptural analysis and do not feel impressed to do so, but I do feel impressed to try and summarize what I have on my heart in terms of characterizing the "remnant".
In what follows, I will cite many scriptures but not by chapter and verse. My belief is that those who listen to this message will generally be familiar with the scriptures that are cited.
So, I would now like to catalogue what I believe Yahweh has laid on my heart in terms of beginning to understand what this remnant will look like, who will comprise the remnant, what the attributes of the remnant shall be and, in particular, what God expects of us should we desire to be part of the remnant that is saved.
1. THE REMNANT WILL LOVE THE TRUTH MORE THAN LIFE
Firstly, and it seems to me perhaps most importantly of ALL the points that have come to my attention as I have considered this subject is that the remnant will love the truth more than life. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 states:
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (NKJ)
The implication is that those who DO have the love of the truth WILL be saved.
This essentially sums up the message on The Wrath of God for the Church - there is so little love of truth that most can argue at length over completely opposite interpretations of scripture with no apparent fear that they could be wrong, only a dogged insistence that they are right.
Until we have a Godly fear of believing and acting on lies instead of the truths of God and are prepared to turn to Him through the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) for revelation and to set aside our preconceived ideas and doctrines to receive what He gives us, NO MATTER how contrary to our beliefs, we will not truly serve God rather than man.
The remnant will recognize that in this life they will never understand "every jot and tittle" of God's Word. They will also recognize the truth of the "Seventy Facets of the Torah's Jewelled Words" of Jewish tradition. They will therefore understand that, were they to live for a thousand years, they would still not know all there was to know about the Holy Scriptures. Accordingly, they will accept the fallibility of man and, instead of preaching against error, they will have compassion on those in error and CONSTANTLY SEEK TRUTH! They WILL NOT JUDGE.
2. THE REMNANT WILL LOVE GOD AND SO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS
The second principle that comes to mind is that the remnant will Love Yahweh and Love Yah'shua (Jesus) so much that it will be impossible for them to think of not keeping His commandments. This will not be a legalistic thing, simply that they will be so in tune with the Spirit of God that they will want to do what He indicates to them is pleasing to Him.
It is essentially a different facet of the previous point, Yah'shua (Jesus) is THE TRUTH, we cannot love the truth without loving Jesus and we cannot love Jesus without loving the truth.
3. THE REMNANT WILL HAVE A REVELATION OF THE COMING JUDGMENT AND WILL KNOW THE TERROR OF YAHWEH
2 Corinthians 5:10-11:
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences". (NKJ)
It becomes increasingly apparent to me that until we have a revelation of the coming judgment and have a Godly fear of being found wanting on THAT DAY, we cannot truly love the truth, we cannot truly love God. We must honour Him, respect Him, reverence Him and fear His judgments if we are to serve Him faithfully -- if we are to be part of this remnant.
4. THE REMNANT WILL BE PASSIONATE IN PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Their praise and worship will be without inhibition and without holding back. They will be lost in His presence and in His Glory.
This is a desperately important point and one that is extremely difficult to articulate. If we are truly completely and utterly in love with Yah'shua (Jesus), we WILL lose ourselves totally in that love when we come to praise Him and to worship Him.
5. THE REMNANT WILL SEEK HOLINESS AND SANCTIFICATION AT ALL COSTS
They will come out and be separate. They will have no difficulty in choosing who they will serve.
6. THE UNITY OF THE REMNANT WILL BE SO REMARKABLE THAT THE WORLD WILL BELIEVE IN YAH'SHUA (JESUS) AND THAT GOD SENT HIM
John 17 verses 20 to 23, Yah'shua (Jesus) speaking:
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me." (NKJ)
The remnant will come into such unity and harmony and oneness of thought, word and deed with Yahweh and Yah'shua (Jesus) and therefore with one another that the WORLD will know that Yahshua (Jesus) is indeed the Messiah. The world will never have seen unity like it before.
7. THE REMNANT WILL LOVE LIKE YAH'SHUA (JESUS) LOVES
The remnant will walk in the love spelt out in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away." (NKJ)
The remnant will love their enemies, do good to those who hate them, pray for those who despitefully use them, turn the other cheek, when reviled will not revile in return, will go the extra mile, will not judge, will love their neighbours as themselves.
The remnant will lay down their lives for their friends. They will give and not count the cost. They will not seek to save their lives but will willingly give their lives in service and in death.
8. THE REMNANT WILL KEEP THEIR EYES ON YAH'SHUA THE MESSIAH (JESUS CHRIST)
The remnant will know that Yah'shua (Jesus) is "the way, the truth and the life" and that no man comes to the Father but by Him. They will keep their eyes on Yahshua and seek to be imitators of Him in every way.
9. THE REMNANT WILL DEPEND ON YAHWEH COMPLETELY FOR DIRECTION AND PROVISION
They will give no thought to the morrow. They will seek only His guiding by His Spirit.
10. THE REMNANT WILL BE QUICK TO REPENT AND QUICK TO FORGIVE, THEY WILL SEEK A BROKEN SPIRIT AND A CONTRITE HEART
The remnant will constantly examine themselves in the Word of God. They will judge themselves, and recognizing their inability to judge themselves, they will ask Yahweh to judge them severely and correct them harshly that they may serve Him more perfectly. They will be quick to repent and, in repentance, will seek a broken spirit and a contrite heart with true turning around and walking away from sin.
They will be quick to change when they are shown error in their lives or in what they believe.
They will be quick to forgive and their forgiveness will be total and absolute no matter what the atrocity is that has been committed against them.
I am reminded of a story I read recently of an elderly woman whose son and then subsequently her husband had been brutally murdered by oppressive police activity in a police state situation. The oppression was so bad that after her husband had been away from home without trace for two years the persecutors brought him back to her. They took her to a wooded area. Bound her husband on a pile of timber. Poured petrol over him and set him alight as she watched. And as he died he said "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing".
Some years later, after a change of regime, the murderers were brought to court. And, after they had been found guilty, the elderly woman was asked if she had anything to say to the judge concerning their sentence. And she said "your honour, I forgive him. I no longer have a son and I no longer have a husband and I am old. And I am blind, and I ask only that you will rule that he will visit me in the ghetto twice a month that I may pour out the little love that I have left that I have no one else to give it to."
"And your honour, I ask further, that someone will lead me to him now. That I may take him in my arms that he may know that I have forgiven him. That he may know that Jesus Christ died on the Cross that he might be forgiven and that he may receive that forgiveness now." -- the convicted murderer FAINTED!
THAT LOVE, I submit to you, is the love of Christ. That is the love that the true remnant will demonstrate towards those who persecute them.
11. THE REMNANT WILL LOOK TO THE THINGS WHICH ARE UNSEEN
The remnant will not look to "the things which are seen but to the things which are unseen". They will not lean to their own understanding. They will look to the things of the Spirit and they will seek "the Mind of Christ".
The remnant will be moved by the Spirit, and will shun the things of the flesh.
12. THE REMNANT WILL SHUN THE THINGS OF THE WORLD
They will not compromise with Satan. They will not partake of the things of unrighteousness. They will be sanctified and set apart for the service of Yahweh and Yah'shua (Jesus).
They will, in relative terms, "hate" their families, friends and employers compared to their LOVE for Yah'shua (Jesus). It will never enter their heads to compromise their commitment to Yah'shua (Jesus) in order to please a relative, a friend, an employer, a customer or anyone else. They will be willing to be prevented from buying and selling rather than compromise their beloved Saviour.
They will gladly accept poverty, persecution and all kinds of suffering rather than compromise their love or their testimony. They will truly COUNT IT ALL JOY!
The Joy of Yahweh will indeed be their strength and the love of God shall indeed be shed abroad in their hearts.
13. THE REMNANT WILL NOT BE MOVED BY "PEOPLE"
The remnant will not be moved by or fear the people. They will fearlessly do what Yahweh commands them to do with no thought for their comfort or safety and particularly with no thought for what man might think.
They will hide themselves when men seek to praise them or promote them.
They will take the lowest place and they will serve and not seek to rule. They will look to honour in the life to come as their hope and their reward. They will not seek honour in the present life.
In this regard, I was impressed last week to read the biography of Thérèse of Lisieux written by Michael Hollings, published by Fount Classics. It is a small book which tells the story of a French girl who went into a convent at the age of 15 and died a terrible and painful death at the age of twenty four. She was regarded as being of absolutely no report in the community of the convent in which she lived until, after her death, some notes that she had written at the instruction of the Mother Superior about her experience of the things of the Spirit were finally read. A level of humility and a level of intimacy with the Saviour was revealed which stunned and startled all who read it. Within months of her death, her notes were being published. Within thirty years she was canonized by the Catholic Church as a Saint and fifty thousand people attended the exhumation of her coffin for reburial in more auspicious surroundings.
And, subsequently, her writings have touched the lives of millions who have come to understand the truths about the walk of humility and hidden love of the Saviour which she so simply but so powerfully, articulated.
14. THE REMNANT WILL DO WHAT THEY SEE THE FATHER DO AND THEY WILL BE MOVED BY COMPASSION
Like Yah'shua (Jesus), the remnant will be so filled with the Holy Spirit and so close to the Father and to Yah'shua (Jesus) that they will only do what they see the Father do. They will be moved by the Spirit and will be led by the Spirit of God. They WILL be sons of God. They will not be moved by what they see or what they hear or what they feel with the natural eye.
They will experience deep compassion for the lost, the homeless, the broken, the widow and the orphan. And that compassion will move them in intercession and acts of ministry.
15. THE REMNANT WILL BE MEEK, HUMBLE, GENTLE, PATIENT, KIND; THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT WILL BE MANIFEST IN THEM
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." (NKJ)
The remnant will seek to be weak that Yah'shua (Jesus) may be found strong in them.
16. THE REMNANT WILL BE CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST (THE MESSIAH)
Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (NKJ)
The remnant will be entirely dead to self, dead to the flesh and to all soulish things at a level that will be self evident to those who meet them. They will LIVE FOR CHRIST and be dead to self. It will no longer be they that live but Christ (the Messiah) who lives in them.
They will take up their cross daily and serve Him, no matter what the cost.
17. THE REMNANT WILL KNOW THE WEAPONS OF THEIR WARFARE AND THEY WILL USE THEM EFFECTIVELY
They will know that these weapons are spiritual for the tearing down of strongholds and everything that exalts itself above the knowledge of God. They will know, nurture, cherish and effectively use the Belt of Truth, the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Helmet of Salvation, the Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
They will pray at all times in the Spirit without ceasing.
They will constantly seek revelation in the Word of God and will regard the original Word of God as infallible and the final source of Revelation and guidance in all things. And, where things are not clear to them, they will turn to the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to guide and teach them.
The remnant will call no man teacher and no man lord.
18. THE REMNANT WILL DO GREATER WORKS THAN YAH'SHUA (JESUS) DID
John 14:12: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." (NKJ)
The dead will be raised, the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the bound will be set free, the lame will walk, the storms will be calmed, fire will be called from heaven and greater works than these will be done by this remnant.
19. THERE WILL BE SEVEN TIMES AS MANY WOMEN AS MEN IN THE REMNANT
Isaiah 4:1 appears to clearly indicate, and casual observation in most congregations of the world confirms, that there will be many times more women than men in the remnant. The translation in the Living Bible makes this particularly clear, referring to the passages of Isaiah that we've read previously, the partial translation of Isaiah 4:1 says "At that time so few men will be left alive that seven women ..." (TLB)
This speaks NOT of physical death, as we saw in the teaching on the Wrath of God for the Church. It speaks of spiritual death. Most men are, and will be, so caught up in the things of the world that they will not endure and overcome to the end.
20. THE MARRIAGES OF THE REMNANT WILL BE "HEAVEN ON EARTH"
Because they put the Word of God first, the marriages of those in the remnant who are married to believers, will be "heaven on earth". Wives will submit to their husbands in "everything" and husbands will love their wives as Christ loves the church. And because there will be seven times as many women as men, polygamy (polygyny) will be normative amongst them.
21. THE REMNANT WILL ONLY BE VISIBLE TO THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR THEM
In the same way that many were looking for the coming of the Messiah, including the Chief Priests and the Pharisees, many that were looking the hardest did not see Him when He came. Yah'shua (Jesus) repeatedly told those whom He had healed to "tell no one". Even when He healed publicly, many of those who were looking for the Messiah did not believe.
Those who did believe were people who, for the most part were not looking, for example, they were fishing when He got into their boat.
In the same way, when Yah'shua (Jesus) moves by and through the remnant, He will not move in publicly spectacular ways. The remnant will largely comprise ordinary men and women who serve Yahweh quietly and without fanfare. They will be former whores and pimps, longshoremen and fishermen, secretaries and tax collectors. They may include some members of the "Sanhedrin", the acknowledged leaders of the church today, but even these will be afraid of the people and will frequently not declare their allegiance publicly. And, therefore, will not be part of the "inner circle", the remnant of the remnant (analogous to the twelve).
22. THE REMNANT WILL OVERCOME TO THE END AND HAVE NO PART IN THE LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH
The remnant will overcome to the end and they will have no part in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone which is the Second Death (Revelation 21:8) and will "rule and reign" with Christ. They will be seated on thrones for eternity.
Others will be saved but many will be saved having been cleansed by fire:
Jude 1:22-23: "And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh." (NKJ)
1 Corinthians 3:12-15: "Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (NKJ)
And so we see that many will be saved as though through fire. In other words, they will have a part in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone which is the Second Death, but they will, indeed, inherit the Kingdom of God but in a place of relative lack of Glory. They will NOT rule and reign, they will serve in the Kingdom for eternity.
This contrast is made very clear in the visions of Rick Joyner described in the book, The Final Quest. If you've not read that book, I would urge you to do so in order to better understand the implications of the different rewards which are given to different believers in heaven.
A CRITICAL QUESTION: AM I PART OF THE REMNANT?
All of this brings me to a CRITICAL QUESTION: "Am I part of the Remnant"? It seems to me that the above teaching adequately defines the remnant. But that then forces me to ask MYSELF the question: "Are you part of the remnant today? Am I part of the remnant today?".
Am I a wise virgin or a foolish virgin?
Am I a sheep or a goat?
Am I wheat or tares?
As I give this message, I have to say that I cannot conceive that I could be part of the remnant and I cannot think of a single person that I personally have contact with or have ever had contact with, or know of, who satisfies the above criteria or even some of them. On the first point alone, love of the truth, there is so much disparity and strife. If one considers all the groupings who profess the Bible as given by God and if one accepts that EVERYONE of those groups have some truth which the others lack, one has to accept that we do not even begin to know all truth.
Islam, Judaism, Catholics, Lutherans, Greek Orthodox, Church of the East, Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Seventh Day Adventists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Church of Christ, Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, etc, etc, etc ALL claim to accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God. All are looking or claim to be looking for the coming of the Messiah and the end of the age. Many of these groups regard some or all of the others as "The AntiChrist" and Satan Personified. Many will not invite the other groups into their houses or sit down with them to find out what they really believe. Very few indeed will measure what the other groups have to say against what they, themselves believe, AND QUESTION CRITICALLY WHETHER THE OTHER GROUP COULD BE CORRECT!
The remnant WILL be made up of people coming from ALL of these groups AND many others. The remnant WILL come to love the truths they lack that the others have preserved and the remnant will come to LOVE AND TO KNOW ALL TRUTH! They will also reach out to LOVE those who have preserved those truths, frequently in the face of vilification and abuse and persecution.
The remnant will truly know the terror of Yahweh and will fear His judgment seat and fear His judgments and fear being found wanting on THAT DAY. They will cease completely from seeking to force their opinions on others and will constantly seek to understand the beliefs of others they meet lest they reject the truth that others have which they lack. Where they have complete certainty about a truth, they will share it out of love and compassion for those who lack that truth and who will accordingly suffer on the Day of Judgment.
Right now, it appears to me that the remnant is so small as to be almost non-existent and those who may be considered by God to be part of the remnant today find themselves there ONLY by His Grace. Many will be saved by faith in the Name of Yahshua (Jesus) but they will be purged by fire on the day of judgment, but these are not part of the "remnant".
Love Yahweh your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your mind, with ALL your soul and ALL your strength.
Urgently seek a deep personal relationship with Him beyond anything that you have ever previously thought possible.
Measure yourself CONSTANTLY against Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
Seek His Truth NO MATTER WHAT THE COST.
Depart from ALL denominational labels. If you are first and foremost part of the Church of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) it seems increasingly to me that you cannot then apply any denominational label to yourself. Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself, said that a man cannot serve two masters. Therefore to apply a label to oneself other than simply to say you seek to serve the Lord Jesus Christ / the Lord Yah'shua the Messiah (irrespective of language, spelling or similar variation) must create division. If, when we meet, we label ourselves as different, we start from a point of difference, NOT from a point of unity.
Urgently reach out across denominational barriers to those who have truths that you lack and become desperately aware of how little you know of the things of Yahweh relative to what Yah'shua (Jesus) knows.
Fast and pray for the bridegroom is coming soon and there is not much time to fill your lamps with His Oil and His Love and be prepared for His return. There may be as little as three years left!
May Yahweh bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.
In the name of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) of Nazareth, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
As a closing remark, it is my ardent desire to be found to be part of the remnant at the end. And, for this reason, it is my hearts desire to communicate with any other person who truly shares that desire. And so, I would ask you, if you hear this message or read the transcript and you truly desire to be part of the remnant that you will contact me that we may share what we have in common and learn from one another where we have different understandings of the Word of God.
From a circular, by James Robertson, South Africa. Email addresses: [email protected] & [email protected] with slight modifications and adaptations by NCCG.
This page was created on 11 October 2002
Last updated on 11 October 2002
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