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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Remnant, #3
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. (Revelation 3:1)
In the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ the church in Sardis was a corpse. It was a corpse propped up and animated by the wisdom and energy of human beings. Apparently it was fundamental in its attitude toward the Scriptures and evangelical in experience. Otherwise it would not have had a reputation for being alive.
But its "life" was human rather than Divine.
However, there were a few believers, even in the animated corpse in Sardis, who were found worthy to walk with Christ in the white garments of righteous behavior. There was a remnant.
The name Sardis means "remnant," or "those who have escaped." Even in Sardis there was a small fraction of the mass of believers who knew the Lord Jesus and were following Him.
The concept of the remnant, of those who have escaped the sins and corruption of the churches, appears in the writings of the Prophets of Israel and also in the New Testament. The idea is that of the "Elijah" company—faithful individuals who serve God with a pure heart during a period when the people of the Lord are cold and backslidden.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. (Isaiah 10:21)
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: (Romans 9:27)
Speaking of Elijah, of the remnant, and of election, Paul states:
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (Romans 11:5)
The "remnant" are those persons, either Jewish or Gentile by natural birth, whom God has called—as Elijah—to stand before Israel and the world as the representatives of His Person, will, ways, and eternal purpose. The greater part of natural Israel have been given by the Lord "the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear" (Romans 11:8). The greater part of the Gentiles, those who have not been elected to the remnant, continue in spiritual ignorance and death.
From the days of Elijah to the present there has been a godly remnant. It is our understanding that the remnant will give an earth-shaking testimony of Christ during the days of Antichrist, as symbolized by the two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter 11, and that Antichrist then will overcome the Christian testimony so wickedness and rebellion can come to maturity in the earth.
Finally the remnant, the conquerors, will be lifted up to meet Jesus in the clouds in the full view of Antichrist and his followers. As soon as the remnant have been lifted up the vials of God's wrath will be poured on the wicked followed by the descent of the Lord Jesus and His army of conquerors from Heaven. They will return to the earth and set up the Kingdom of God, meanwhile delivering the nation of Israel (Zechariah 14:3-5).
To be continued.