THE REMNANT: a Devotion for 4 August 2016 Anno Domini
8 Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries. Ezek 6:8 (KJV)
27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. Romans 9:27-29 (KJV)
The Israel of God has not changed since the calling, by grace, of Father Abraham. The greater number of those in the natural descent from Abraham did not receive, by faith, the promise made to Abraham of a Redeemer. There is no strain of blood or race that endears a man to God – it is all of Grace enforced by Faith. “26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” Acts 17:26-28 Do you truly believe that God would consider a people His very chosen if they reject the Seed of Promise (Jesus Christ) made to Abraham? The Church of our time is a continuation of the Old Testament Church of the Wilderness: “37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. 38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt.” Acts 7:37-39 (KJV)
It was Christ in the midst of the Pillar of Fire by Day and Cloud by Night; and it is Christ to whom Moses refers as coming in a time of God’s purpose. Note that the ‘father’s’ referred to by Paul are the Jewish leaders of all time, and including the contemporary period of the ministry of Paul and of our Lord. Though uncommonly kind and courteous to the sinner, Jesus strongly castigated the Jewish rulers: “43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
Matt 21:43 (KJV) All who, by faith, have received the Seed of Promise made to Abraham are more truly Israel than all unbelievers who may trace their bloodlines to Abraham. “6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Romans 9:6-8 (KJV) The effectual calling and election of God by His magnificent Grace results in our miraculous new birth just as surely as was that of Isaac a miraculous birth while Sarah was 90 years old (and Abraham 100) when the boy was born. You too have been born into newness of life by the unmerited grace of God. “28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” Gal 4:28 (KJV)
So how do these references above tie in with the Remnant of God? The fact is, those who have thirsted after and sought after God have never been overwhelming multitudes of men and women out of the world. The numbers of true followers of Christ have been a pitiful handful during each generation. The greater masses of mankind will never accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior, and Sovereign though they may put up a good front for purposes of respectability, sociality, politics, and business. But God has always preserved for Himself a Remnant from among the multitudes who will hear His voice and will follow Him alone. You will remember Noah and his family were the only ones saved during the Great Deluge – a total of eight souls out of many millions upon the earth. Our Lord has counselled that “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:26-27 (KJV)
You might consider, as well, the destruction of the cities of the plain – Sodom, Gomorrah, etc. Only Lot and his two daughters were spared among the multitudes of tens of thousands. So where will you be found on that fateful Day of the Lord’s Coming? Will you be pitifully standing outside the Ark of Christ pleading for admission as the fury builds?
Perish the thought! Respond to His voice while springtime and harvest endure!
I have in my office a pattern for a girl’s dress which I purchased as a prop in teaching my church. On the pattern are a number of outlines for various components of the dress. The seamstress may lay the material over the pattern and cut along those lines in order to get the proper parts comprising the finished dress. But those ragged edges that are outside the pattern are of no use to the seamstress. She bundles them up and cast them aside for the fire. That is an example of the modern Church. The whole cloth of it is treasured and coveted, but the remnant is discounted and cast aside – amazingly the remnant is the true composition of the Kingdom of God. The remnant is happy to be discarded rather than becoming part of a dress that is not dedicated to God. The world has no use for men and women of genuine faith for they are too uncompromising on God’s Word; but those who are polished, sophisticated, and wealthy usually are in the hierarchy of the worldly churches with their political denominations which exists for filthy lucre, and collective bargaining! Jesus would likely rebuke the modern Church with the same disdain with which He did the Jewish rulers of His time on earth.
Jesus Himself has told us that MANY false prophets would arise in our day. MANY is greater than a few, and I believe we see that happening clearly in our time. Men enter the ministry for profit making it a business career instead of the calling of God. They attempt to entertain by adopting stories of the world and its music as well, instead of the simple Gospel accounts of the Bible and the inspired words and music of the great hymns of the Church. They turn the Word of God upon its head, or disregard it altogether! They cause many to fail and famish of faith by their new age versions of the Bible which contort the Word of God, omit great doctrines, and lower the reverential language of Holy Scripture to the gutter level. Whatever social evils the world admits will be readily received by such men and their churches.
Jesus, with purpose aforethought, asks, “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?” Luke 18:7-8 (KJV) If the likelihood was great that a large part of the world would be found in faith at His return, why would our Lord posit that question?
The modern church is like the Mustard Seed which unnaturally grew into something bigger than normal – a tree – so that the birds of the air came to live in its branches (Matt 13:31-32) In the same chapter, our Lord tells us who those birds are: “3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up
Matt 13:3-4 (KJV) Who are these fowl (birds)? Jesus answers that question later in explaining the meaning of this parable of the Sower: “19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” Matt 13:19 (KJV) Do you see who the birds are now who dwell in the branches of the overlarge church? They are demons (the wicked one)!
Now, reader, should we concern ourselves with the ‘odds’ of our gaining admission to Heaven? I do not believe we should worry about such things if we keep our hearts fixed on Christ. Heaven is not a gamble, but rather a surety to those who believe. The Holy Spirit will inform you, if you have studied your Bible, whenever you get mixed up with the wrong church crowd. He will say, as our Lord teaches, “17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6:17-18
One last thought: “7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Rev 20:7-10 I live near an Army Fort (Ft. Rucker). It is not very large having only a population of 10-15 thousand; however, it was originally designated as Camp Rucker when its numbers were very small (in the hundreds). There is a big difference in a fort and a camp; and there is even a greater difference between a camp (Camp of the Saints) and the armies of all the nations of the world in alliance against that Camp. But who wins? Read the above text once more to see the clear result.
May every reader of this devotion make his calling and election sure, and may he be a soldier on the walls of the Camp of the Saints when our Lord returns.