The Nature of the Remnant Church

By John Thiel

We are considering among the many different aspects the nature of the remnant church, the nature of the people, the type of personalities and qualities they are to have. This nature is beautifully expressed;

Zephaniah 3:13 The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make [them] afraid. 

Here is the kind of character that the remnant church is to have. The remnant of Israel, the remnant church will do no iniquity, there will be no sin. Do you measure up? They are not affected by the fallen churches;

Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, [being] the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

This is the 144,000, the remnant who are to stand before God in the last days. As you read these words and you realise you want to be among that number, it is daunting.

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

What is to be seen upon us? The glory of the Lord, his glory. The Lord shall arise upon thee and his glory shall be seen. Gods glory. We know do we not what that glory is? What is meant by the glory of God? Is it not his character? We are to have the character of God to be the remnant. Many sink in dismay at this concept. We are to be among the remnant and many I have studied with who said your study on the 144,000 leaves me out, I give up. They say I’m never going to be part of the company because I cannot see that I’m going to be perfect and have Gods character. That overwhelms many a soul. If you ever toy around with such thoughts, think not along this line. The quotes I have been reading are the finished product, we may not be like that yet, but the remnant are going to display the glory of God and be without fault but aren’t going to be from this moment on. For us to reach that condition and be among the remnant church in reality is found in Malachi.

Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he [is] like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3 And he shall sit [as] a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

We are to offer God an offering, a character that is perfect, that is righteous, that is pure, but for those people to stand there as the faithful remnant is as a consequence of his refining purifying exercise. We are not to bow out before we give him a chance to purify us.

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God.

Here are a people who will worship and acknowledge him to be their God. What causes them to say it? The fact that he is refining them and trying them as God is tried, they are being brought through the fire.

Isaiah 10:16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. 17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; 18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. 19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. 20 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.

What kind of remnant is mentioned? How many? So few that a child can COUNT them. When the fire has gone through to purge and cleanse, it will burn away all the dross all the thorn and briars in the forest. The bible says Gods people are like trees in the forest, there is going to be a fire through that forest and a few trees left. Those trees will be burnt and all the thorns and thistles will be burnt off. Those trees that can’t take the fire will burn. This is the scenario here.

The soul that is transformed by the grace of Christ will admire His divine character. . . . The less we see to esteem in ourselves, the more we shall see to esteem in the infinite purity and loveliness of our Saviour. A view of our sinfulness drives us to Him who can pardon; and when the soul, realizing its helplessness, reaches out after Christ, He will reveal Himself in power. The more our sense of need drives us to Him and to the Word of God, the more exalted views we shall have of His character, and the more fully we shall reflect His image. {AG 229.7}

What is in store for us as we go on to be part of the remnant church? We need to be purified. How will that happen? We will view our sinfulness and we will feel so totally unworthy and instead of saying I’m lost, it’s too bad, and I’m too weak and sinful, instead of that, what should we do? The majority of people do what Jobs wife said to him. Curse God and die, you’re not going to make it, you’re finished and sinful. What will those who are going to be purified and cleansed do? With a deep sense of their sinfulness they will be driven to him who can pardon.

Stop trying to protect poor little me who wants a good sense of not being so bad after all. Someone puts you down and you want to rise against the fact you have been put down? If you have been put down flee to Christ. If you have been totally depraved, flee to Christ. If you feel you are not going to make it, flee to him, he can pardon. As you see yourself as wretched, miserable poor blind and naked, this is the Laodicean people, this is us, we are the Laodicean church. If the Lord makes us aware of our wretched condition, praise the Lord. Flee to him.

He will reveal himself in power. As the more our sense will drive us to God, what will transpire in our heart. The more exalted views we will have of his character and the more fully we shall reflect his image. When you feel unworthy, you feel too bad and you come to the Lord and he loves you and forgives you, what start happening inside of you as you feel rotten? Don’t you see then he is a most wonderful character? What character is he to forgive a wretch like me? If you don’t runaway like Adam and eve and see your sins, and his character forgiving you, you see a character that begins to mould your life.

The divine Teacher bears with the erring through all their perversity. His love does not grow cold; His efforts to win them do not cease.. {Ed 294.2}

Think about it. Here is a person so unworthy who feels shot and Jesus never stops trying to win his trust.

With outstretched arms He waits to welcome again and again the erring, the rebellious, and even the apostate. His heart is touched with the helplessness of the little child subject to rough usage. The cry of human suffering never reaches His ear in vain. Though all are precious in His sight, the rough, sullen, stubborn dispositions draw most heavily upon His sympathy and love; for He traces from cause to effect. The one who is most easily tempted, and is most inclined to err, is the special object of His solicitude. {Ed 294.2}

Who does he keep on reaching out to? The people we are ready to cast out. When God sees the most wretched person, his love goes out to him more. This is Gods character.

The Lord loves us, and bears with us, even when we are ungrateful to him, forgetful of his mercies, wickedly unbelieving {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 9}

As you look back at your life and in this church, you realise the many different circumstances that have happened and I’ve been terrible here and there and you are still here. Think back of all the horrible experiences that you’ve gone through because of your character defects and the Lord is still holding you. Doesn’t that warm your heart? You say I’m not going to give up. Because I’m not going to let go of this love because he is not going to let go of me. This beautiful personality we look at here and every time you see yourself and he is reaching out, no I’m going to come. Apostate. Those who are wickedly unbelieving you are on some aspects, don’t give up, fly to his arms.

He wants to remove all these things from us but how can he remove them, by showing us he loves us and that is he prepared to help us. As you view that character, you will begin to reflect that character. That character he showed Moses.

Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

You know what it’s like when you feel so rotten, you don’t want to go to someone like that because you think you’re going to upset him, he says no, I want to cleanse you from this, you will receive my character. This is the purifying exercise. As we undertake the study of the prophetic sketches that we intend to study of the remnant churches.

All the light of the past, all the light which shines in the present and reaches forth into the future, as revealed in the Word of God, is for every soul who will receive it. The glory of this light, which is the very glory of the character of Christ, is to be manifested in the individual Christian, in the family, in the church, in the ministry of the Word, and in every institution established by God’s people. All these the Lord designs shall be symbols of what can be done for the world. They are to be types of the saving power of the truths of the gospel. . . . {AG 229.2}

We are going to be looking at the prophecies, the prophecies from the past but fulfilled, we’re going to be looking back, the prophecies for the present, we are going to be studying the characteristics of the remnant people.  We are going to study the glory and light of this truth. As we see that glory, we are going to see these prophecies past present and future. It will affect us this beautiful glory. Those people who pick up on that glory are to be symbols of what can be done for the world. Here are to be a people in the home as individuals, they are to be symbols of what can happen to others to do what they have done. People can see if that is what the gospel can do to these people, then I have hope.

God has enjoined the duty upon His human agents to communicate the character of God, testifying to His grace, His wisdom, and His benevolence, by manifesting His refined, tender, merciful love. . . . {AG 229.5}

This beautiful love we have just been reading about that touches us to run into his arms, causes us to testify of his grace, wisdom and benevolence. It will be manifested by those people.What I have been reading here about him will indeed be us because we have been treated so mercifully by him, we will be merciful to each other. When we see character defects in each other, we will treat others how God treated us with our defects. This is the story, this is not just a theory, or a doctrine to be taught, this is a living ministry. We don’t have this nature naturally.

Jesus, who died for us, loves us with a love that is infinite; and we must love one another. We must put away all selfishness, and work together in love and unity. We have loved and petted ourselves, and excused ourselves in our waywardness; but we have been unmerciful toward our brethren, who are not as faulty as ourselves. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 9}

This is a reality that I see constantly. People are complaining about others and I see those who they are complaining about are worst than those who they are complaining about. How can we complain when God is in his mercy is not shutting me out but continues to love me. As I see this, will I be loving patient and kind to my brothers and sisters. Will I be patient to their faults when my faults are so bad? That kind of frame of mind is going to produce Gods character.

Not looking at other people.

…how we hurt and wound one another when we should love as Christ has loved us. Let us make a complete change. Let us cultivate the precious plant of love, and delight to help one another. We must be kind, forbearing, patient with one another’s errors; we must keep our sharp criticisms for ourselves, but hope all things, believe all things, of our brethren. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 9}

How is God’s word speaking to you looking honestly at yourself? Seeing as God sees you. Is there any right that any of us have of rubbing shoulders with each other and exercise sharp criticisms and lack of forbearance when God is so patient with me? As you travel along you see more and more of your sinfulness and the more you will love your brothers and sisters as he is so merciful. Can you see how Gods character will be manifest in his church?

By beholding the goodness, the mercy, the justice, and the love of God revealed in the church, the world is to have a representation of His character. . . . {AG 229.3}

The world has to look at the church and see the church exercising the mercy of God. As the world sees this enacted upon one another and will say this is God, Gods character is in this church.

In order to manifest the character of God . . . we must become personally acquainted with God. If we have fellowship with God, we are His ministers, though we may never preach to a congregation. We are workers together with God in presenting the perfection of His character in humanity. {AG 229.4}

This is the loud cry that God is waiting for. He is waiting for his people to preach although they never preach in the congregation.

He is waiting for a remnant company who is displaying a character that is the character of God and putting up lovingly and patiently of everyone around us. When he has a people like that, then the remnant is there. He will use them as they will not display doctrinal argumentation but love.

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Did God receive him or reject him with all our sins upon him? He received him.  That is what the world is dying to see. The remnant people of God must have that. You and I must have it. What does it mean? You and I must know God so well that you will see yourself hopeless and instead of running away from God, you will run into his arms. Because you will run more and more to him. The more you see it, the more compassionate and loving you will be in the family and the church. Then you will be perfect like the 144,000. That is what we are coming to camp together to contemplate. All the light of the past reaches forth into the future. May we receive it. This company of people that finally display that glory are the people in Christ Object Lessons.

When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. {COL 69.1}

God grant us to absorb the light of the past present and future and minister to his glory. The argument is who is Gods church? Everyone claims to be Gods church. What is Gods church?

It has been made too light an affair to rein up a brother, to condemn him, and hold him under condemnation. There has been a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. If each would set his own heart in order, when the brethren meet together their testimony would be ready and come from a full soul, and the people around that believe not the truth would be moved. The manifestation of the Spirit of God would tell to their hearts that you are the children of God. Our love for one another should be visible to all. Then it will tell. It will have an influence. {1T 165.2}

What sort of testimony? A loving compassionate life. Who are the people of God? Seventh Day Adventists? Reform movement? The International Missionary Society? Who is? The people will see what? The manifestation of the spirit of God in the testimony of a people who will not condemn their brethren that will have a zeal of the Lord according to the knowledge of God. Each will have a zeal in his heart and lovingly put up with each other. This is the latter rain. This is that the people are Gods people, Gods church. To be Gods church means to have his character. To have his character is to be patient and loving with others as he is with you. Let God take this message home to us.


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Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 06/09/2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes, The Church of God and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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