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THE REMNANT

Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

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PROMISES TO THE CHURCH OR TO ISRAEL?

God’s promises to Israel

The Kingdom is repeatedly promised to Israel in the Old Testament. However, God also has “terms and conditions” to these promises. If they would obey, follow and worship Him, He will bring them the Kingdom. If they don’t, He will punish them. The promises of punishment and chastening on Israel have literally come to pass through the ages, for the literal nation of Israel. For the same reason, the promises of blessing will not be figurative and should not be spiritualized.

There will always be a small remnant of Jews, preserved by God’s sovereign grace that preserved, obeyed, and passed on God’s law. Through this remnant of Jews, God will honour the Abrahamic Covenant.

God will forgive them for their iniquities and they will receive Christ as their Savior.

To say that God has taken these promises away from Israel and gave them to the church, is nothing than taking away and adding to Scripture. Here are a few examples, mainly in Isaiah which clearly shows God’s commitment to His promises.

“If the LORD of hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomorrah. I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy. And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness.” (Isaiah 1:9,25-27)

“And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem,” (Isaiah 4:3)

“And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump*. (Isaiah 6:13)

*Note: Though most will reject God, the tenth, also called the “stump” and “holy seed,” represents the faithful remnant in Israel who will hear and believe.

“In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness. For the Lord God of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth. For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction. And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.” (Isaiah 10:20-23,25,27)

“In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, … He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth… And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant that remains of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.” (Isaiah 11:11-14,16)

“You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. “ Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. “ Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 12:1-6)

“And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 27:13)

“In that day the LORD of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,” (Isaiah 28:5)

“In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.” (Isaiah 29:18)

“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.” (Isaiah 30:20)

“Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention. until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” (Isaiah 32:3,15-17)

“And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 37:31-32)

“Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears! You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.” (Isaiah 43:8,10,21)

“This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel.”* (Isaiah 44:5)

*In the future age of Israel, belonging to the Lord and belonging to God’s chosen people will be synonymous, and it will be a badge of honour gladly worn without fear.

“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save. I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off, and my salvation will not delay; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory.” (Isaiah 46:3-4,13)

“You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forth I announce to you new things, hidden things that you have not known.” (Isaiah 48:6)

“Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I.” (Isaiah 52:6)

“But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65: 18,24)

“And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 39:29)

“And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel, and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hosea 2:21-23)

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.” (Joel 2:28-29,32)

Since the context is “your sons and your daughters,” “all flesh” best refers to the house of Israel only. The nations are the recipients of God’s wrath, not the effusion of his Spirit.

But in spite of the nation’s sin, God promised to fulfill his unconditional covenants (Noahic, Abrahamic, Davidic, and New) and some of the Tribulation saints will also be saved.

“I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob; I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men. He who opens the breach goes up before them; they break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king passes on before them, the LORD at their head.” (Micah 2:12-13)

“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.” (Micah 7:18-20)

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