Be God’s Remnant

No matter how spiritually dark it ever gets, there is always a small number that remains true to God. We can learn how to be part of that group from a single Old Testament verse.
Be God’s Remnant
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

For some reason Elijah felt he was the only one left that took a stand for the one true God and lived for Him. Elijah had just been used by God in one of the most spectacular miracles recorded in the Word of God, which you should read about in 1 Kings 18. The event culminated with the slaying of over eight hundred prophets of Baal and Asherah and then the ending of a drought.

An enraged Queen Jezebel threatened Elijah’s life and he fled to Mount Horeb (Please read 1 Kings 19:1-17.) The following happened once he was there (1 Kings

19:9-18):

Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of YHVH came to him, and He said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 10 He said, "I have been very zealous for YHVH, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."
11 So He said, "Go forth and stand on the mountain before YHVH." And behold, YHVH was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before YHVH; but YHVH was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but YHVH was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but YHVH was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 14 Then he said, "I have been very zealous for YHVH, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."
15 YHVH said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. 18 Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him."

Verse 18 will be the focus of this message as the greatest need that any of us can have is to be redeemed by Christ and remain in Christ. To that end we will see four things about being part of God’s remnant, and we will touch upon a few things during what had been the darkest time of history for the Church and the church {1}. We will take the verse somewhat in reversed order.

I. Refuse The Fellowship

“. . . that has not kissed him.”

Kiss may speak of friendship, and friendships can be had in varying degrees. Given the whole counsel of the Word of God we must breakoff any friendship when it interferes with our relationship with God. This, though, is somewhat tedious for those who are married and they have an unbelieving spouse or a spouse who has fallen into sin. While we are to love our spouses, we are to love God first, walking in holiness with Him. Consider the following passages:

1 Peter 3:1-2 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Those with marital issues should permit themselves to be directed by the written Word and the Holy Spirit. Go into spiritual warfare. For those that need more help for their marriage please see the link below {2}.

In marriage and elsewhere, determine and demonstrate that your obedience, devotion, loyalty, and fear (regard) belongs to God before family, friends, country, religious connections and everything else. Keep in mind that Jesus said (Mark 8:36), “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”, and that it is written in 1 Corinthians 10:21, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.” And the Holy Spirit bids me to present Ephesians 5:11 (ESV), “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

II. Refuse Agreement

“. . . and every mouth . . .”

Disciples of Christ need to avoid speaking like the world, otherwise one will eventually think like it if they are not already thinking like it. There are many examples I can give, but here are a few to add to what I have already mentioned in other articles. Personally, I try not to say “fortunately” or “unfortunately.” Christians are to be thinking about God’s blessings and not “fortune.” And, based upon Luke 16:18 which indicates once a person is married they are always married until physical death, it is good for us not to say “ex-wife,” “ex-husband,” or “ex.”

“God could not be everywhere so He made grandmothers” is an outright lie in regard to the omnipresence of God. And here is one I heard from a pastor of a large Pentecostal fellowship I used to belong to: “If God was going to err He would err on the side of mercy.” That pastor is falling into a mental trap of linking God with our human frailties! God never errs. One reason why God directed me out of that fellowship is because many of its ministers were thinking like the world in varying degrees.

It is good that every Christian avoid agreeing with anything wrong said by someone, whether they are tempted to agree vocally or just in their mind. Additionally, Christians ought to avoid going along with the crowd, agreeing with politics where it is wrong, and more. We ought to avoid agreeing with fellowships and denominations where they are wrong and definitely avoid ecumenicism.

III. Refuse Submission To Ungodliness

“. . . all the knees that have not bowed to Baal . . .”

Throughout the Holy Bible there are records of people staying true to God and not compromising, not giving in, not sinning. Many know about Hananiah (Shadrach),  Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abed-nego) in the book of Daniel {3}. Peter and John refused to yield to their religious authorities when ordered by them to stop proclaiming the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:19). Paul did not give into Rome and he was beheaded, and


John was banished to Patmos by Rome.

A few centuries after the original apostles sin entered into the Church. Then it became that there was The Church, and there was also “the church", what eventually came to be called the Catholic Church and, in most cases, the Roman Catholic Church {4}. Ignoring the clear Word of God this apostate church taught infant baptism, purgatory, transubstantiation, salvation by works, praying to the departed saints, and other unscriptural things. However, there always were true Christians that withstood such shameful departures from Truth.

Though deep spiritual darkness dominated for centuries, resources and works like Martyrs Mirror {5} record there were always some who stood upon the Truth of the Word of God down through the centuries. For example, in the 6th Century there were a number of people who opposed infant baptism. Just before the middle of the 9th Century many withstood transubstantiation, infant baptism and other teachings of the apostate church.

The Waldensians developed in the latter portion of the 12th Century. They believed in, and taught, the all sufficient death of Christ and denied the existence of purgatory. They took a strong stand against the teachings and practices of the apostate church. The Waldensians continued past the time of Luther’s ninety-five theses. History records many more throughout all of these centuries who were God’s remnant, as foretold when Revelation 3:4 is considered in a portion of its prophetic truth: “But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.”

All of these refused to submit to ungodliness. They would not bend their spiritual knee and give in. Neither did they enter into fellowship nor agree. And so it is with today’s remnant, not only in regard to Catholic theology but also in regard to everything else that would woo a disciple to compromise or accept ungodliness. Think of a number of born again Christians that currently have taken a vibrant stand against pornography, abortion, gambling, drunkeness, homosexuality, and anything else that is sinful.

IV. Be God’s Remnant

“Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, . . .”

We might have more spiritual pressure than ever before, but we also live in more encouraging times than what Elijah lived in. Elijah did not have postal mail, email, churches to go to, Internet, nor the entire Holy Bible. By contrast, God’s servants of today have the entire Holy Bible, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and all of these past witnesses from Biblical times, through the Middle Ages, right unto the present.

Anyone truly born again has, in the least, a spark within them to remain loyal to God through Christ.  By the power of Christ within that spark can grow into a holy fire within as we learn not to agree with sinfulness, not fellowship with the sinful, and not submit to ungodliness. Out of love for God we ought to desire to be part of God’s current remnant.

When we think of the word “remnant” we often think of it in the sense of it being a minority. This is true throughout the written Word of God. There is much in the universal Body of Christ to be wary about. So, it is very good for each of us to keep our eyes upon Christ.

Be the part of the remnant now and enter into the promise and admonition of Revelation 3:5-6, “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Considering the phrase “I will confess his name”, let us heed the Savior’s warning in Matthew 10:32-33, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Confession and denial not only vocally, but in deed.

Notes:

{1} Here, and anywhere else in this article, I signal a distinction between the true Church and the apostate church.

{2} Please see Basic Help For The Marriage Under Attack at https://oasisofhope.neocities.org/ma02.html .

{3} Please listen to the message Be Fireproofed by selecting the first link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M281 . Ignore the link for the article for now until I am able to republish the article on ExpertsColumn.com . 

{4} A very brief account of history at this point is given in the article Christ In The Midst Of The Church at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/christ-in-the-midst-of-the-church .

{5} Research for a portion of this article was done by consulting Martyrs Mirror, by  Thieleman J. Van Braght [Translated from the original Dutch or Holland Language from the edition of 1660 by Joseph F. Sohm] (Mennonite Publishing House, Scottsdale, PA: 1938) used in conjunction with the online edition at http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm . You might be able to download the entire book from that site.

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by November 15, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M473 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 12-10-2017 79 2

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  • nbillett  19-10-2017
    God is the glue, the connection, in and for all relationships. Without God, no relationship can survive. We have to love God first, then ourselves, before we can love another person. I also agree with your message on marriage.
    reply 0
  • vpaulose  13-10-2017
    Living in God and being His remnant has been my aspiration. Thank you, Brother Pete for this enlightenment.
    reply 0
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