Restoration of a Remnant

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Restoration of a Remnant

Dear Brethren,

Before Israel entered the Promised Land, Jesus Christ knew that they would not be able to keep His law perfectly, and would be carried away captive for their sins.  After wandering in the wilderness for forty years, Israel was promised by Jesus that after their captivity He would return and gather a remnant of His people together from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other:

Deuteronomy 30:3-4  Then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.  If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will He fetch thee:

Quoting Deuteronomy 30 in His Olivet Prophecy of Matthew 24, Jesus repeated the fact that He would restore a remnant of Israel at the end of the age for a very important purpose (Matthew 24:3).  Jesus said:

Matthew 24:31  He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

This theme of gathering the elect, and restoring a remnant, is an often repeated topic throughout the pages of the Scriptures:

Isaiah 11:11  It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt...

Jeremiah 31:7  Thus says the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.

Jeremiah 31:8-10  Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travails with child together: a great company shall return thither… He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.

Isaiah 11:16  There shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left…

Who are the ‘remnant’ so often spoken of in the Scriptures?  What is the purpose of a remnant and what are they a remnant of?  The remnant is also referred to as the ‘elect,’ but they are not the same as the saints of God who are resurrected at the last trumpet.  The survivors of the tribulation will be the physical remnant of Jacob, or as we see most often – the physical remnant of Israel.  We see how and when the saints are raised:

1Corinthians 15:52  In a moment [an instant], in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The Church brethren will become resurrected saints who will teach the Millennial peoples.  They are not the elect who are saved alive at the end of the tribulation.  We see again that the saints are caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air before Jesus returns on a Feast of Trumpets:

1Thessalonians 4:16-17 The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Jesus tells us that the Great Tribulation will be shortened for a certain group of people – the elect – who are still alive on earth at the end of the Tribulation:

Matthew 24:21-22  Then shall be Great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

God will seal some in their forehead (Revelation 7:3) for divine protection from what is about to befall all the evil inhabitants of the world just as He did in Ezekiel’s day.  God did not have to give us the details of the sealing process in Ezekiel 9.  God could have left the chapter entirely out of the Bible, and simply said, “The men that sighed and cried were spared.”  But, God wanted us to draw the parallel with the sealing of Revelation 7.

In Ezekiel’s day, the sealing mark in indelible ink from the inkhorn on their foreheads afforded them protection – and their lives were spared by God.  Notice what God is doing.  He will do the same for the elect (Revelation 7) – spare a remnant to survive the Tribulation:

Revelation 7:3  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Who are the elect of Matthew 24:22?  Many have felt that the elect referred to the Church brethren, and that the terrible Tribulation would be shortened for their sake.  However, those faithful saints who have overcome Satan will be in a place of protection (Revelation 12:14), having flown there at the beginning of the Tribulation – 3 ½ years earlier.  Other saints will die in the Tribulation, so the Tribulation could not be shortened for their sakes either.  Not everyone will die in the Tribulation.  These elect are a remnant of Israelitish stock with whom God will begin anew in the Promised Land in the World Tomorrow.  Those disciples hearing Jesus’ Olivet Prophecy knew Deuteronomy like the back of their hand – and they knew where the elect remnant would be restored to – the Holy Land.  In context we can see where the elect will be brought (Matthew 24:31):

Deuteronomy 30:5  The LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed [The Promised Land], and you shall possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

The soon coming World War will see so many of our young men and women carried away captive into all parts of the world – but an elect remnant will survive and be spared the horrors to become New Israel.  Beginning after the Tribulation, in the world tomorrow, there will be a small remnant of physical people who will multiply and fill the earth once again.

In today’s sermon we will look into the Holy Scriptures to see how a physical remnant of Israel will be able to survive the Tribulation, and to live-over into the world tomorrow.  We will survey the Old and New Testament to get a flavor of just how much God has prepared to spare a remnant through the Tribulation and restore a remnant for the beginning of the Millennium.  God will choose a selection of physical individuals who will survive the time of Jacob’s trouble and then begin to populate the 1,000-year Millennium.

Today's Sermon:  "Restoration of a Remnant"