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The Remnant Principle


By Dr. Richard Ing

November 28, 2008




I recently received a newsletter from Craig Blackwood, written by Chip Brogden and entitled, The Remnant Principle.  It is an amazing validation of what we believe.  The following is a synopsis of his five-part newsletter with very few additions of my own.




Whenever the whole fails to represent God’s interests and will, He raises up a remnant to carry out His original intent for the Church.  The Church itself is supposed to be a remnant in the world, but when the Church fails to carry out God’s original intent, He raises up a remnant within the remnant to bear true testimony to the world and to fulfill His desires, will and purposes.  That remnant will fulfill God’s original and full thought for the whole.




What is God’s original and full intent for the whole?  It is to have sons and daughters in the image of Jesus and a perfect church so that Christ will be all in all - we in Him, and He in us.  In the end, there will be no more you and me, but only Christ.  Gal. 2:20.




A remnant is a person or persons who fulfill the Lord’s purpose for the whole when the whole either cannot or will not fulfill God’s desires and purposes. 




Noah is an example.  He alone became a remnant when all of the world was filled with violence and sin.  God judged mankind but spared Noah and his family and made a new beginning with them.  Noah and his family were the remnant.




Elijah is another good example.  When he complained that he was the only one left, God informed Elijah that He still had 7,000 that had not bowed to Baal or kissed him.  1 Ki. 19:18. Out of thousands upon thousands of God’s people, only Elijah and 7,000 others had remained faithful to God’s purposes for them.  God knew ahead of time and reserved 7,000 to Him.  He will always have a remnant.




When God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham asked God to spare these two cities if ten righteous could be found in them.  Sadly, there was none.  God will judge the whole world and His own people but spare the remnant.  There was no remnant in Sodom and Gomorrah, so God destroyed those cities.  God will look for a remnant even among the heathens.  Having a remnant can mean salvation or death.  Throughout history, God has always had a remnant.  When the Catholic Church ruled the world, God had His remnant in the mountains - the Anabaptists and other groups that remained true to the testimony of Christ.




God’s remnant is not an exclusive group chosen by God.  Anyone can be in that group, everyone won’t, but somebody will.   The remnant is not an exclusive, elitist circle of super-spiritual saints.  Anyone can be a friend of God and overcome.  In fact, overcoming is the normal condition of every Christian, but not all will overcome.  Everyone is not going to press in to God or seek His kingdom.  It is not that they cannot; they WILL NOT.  It is hard to understand why, but it is true.  All Christians are predestined to be conformed unto the image of Jesus, but not all will go for it.  Ro. 8:29.


The apostle Paul talked about the race to perfection in 1 Co. 9:24-27; Phil. 3:4-17.  We are all called to be in that race.  That is God’s desire and purpose.




Many are focused on their personal ministry, their own prophecies, flocks, and works.  But not many are focused on God’s purposes and desires for the Church and for every Christian.  Sometimes, their ministry becomes an idol and all they can focus on is their personal ministry.  But it is everybody’s ministry to overcome and be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.  Who you are in Christ in terms of being like Him takes precedence over personal ministry. 


(Our main ministry is not teaching the army of God, casting out devils, healing the sick or evangelism.  Our main ministry and your main ministry are being conformed unto the image of Jesus, first and foremost.  That is God’s desire, purpose and will.)


A person can be wildly successful in ministry, but never change his heart.  Saul, Samson, many modern televangelists fall in this group.  Famous evangelists with huge ministries often fall because they have not overcome.


David was destined to be king over Israel.  He was prophesied over and anointed by Samuel, the prophet to be the next king of Israel.  In a sense, being king was David’s ministry.  But David didn’t care about that.  He just wanted to be like God.  He was focused on overcoming.  He just wanted God’s desire and will for him.  Ac. 13:22.  That is why God loved David and promised that there would always be a son of David on the throne.  Jesus is the root and offspring of David.  Rev. 22:16.


Our personal ministry is secondary to letting God have His way in our life.  Success with God is not how many good works you did, but what your heart is like and how much like Jesus you have become and demonstrated in your life.  That is why love is the most important thing in the end times.  Love is a measure of how much you have become like Jesus.  God is love.  1 Jn. 4:8, 16.  Overcoming is not having a successful ministry.  Overcoming is demonstrating the kingdom of God in your daily life.




In the Book of Revelation, the remnant is called the OVERCOMERS.  To the seven churches in Rev. 2 and 3, God makes a special invitation to those that would overcome.  Only Philadelphia qualified because of their love for one another.  Rev. 3:7-13.  The word Philadelphia means “brotherly love.”  Yet they were beleaguered and attacked by Satan.  A person that has no ministry and is not a leader in the church can become an overcomer.  Every Christian is called to be an overcomer.  It has very little to do with having a “ministry.”  It is every Christian’s calling.




Anyone or any group that runs the race will be resisted by the world and Satan.  That is a remnant principle.  The world and Satan are enemies of God’s desires and purposes.  They are actually used by God to perfect the saints.  In the story of Job, God seemed to actually invite Satan to test Job.  Satan is often used by God to test the saints.




In the Book of Daniel, only four made up the remnant:  Daniel, Meshack, Shadrack and Abednigo.  They alone maintained the testimony on behalf of the whole that will not or cannot maintain that testimony.  The spirit of antichrist will always seek to pollute what it cannot destroy, and destroy what it cannot pollute.  In Daniel’s day, Satan polluted the testimony.  Almost all of God’s people adopted Babylonian customs and religion.  Only Daniel and three others determined to maintain the testimony.  Today too.


The word testimony means to make public confession.  But the testimony of Jesus is much more than public confession; it is public demonstration of the truth.  Truth is not a system of thought or doctrine or philosophy.  It is an experience and can be demonstrated.  One can possess truth, know truth and assent to truth; but unless truth is lived, it becomes a lie.  Worse, it becomes hypocritical.


God will always protect His remnant and strengthen it to defeat the enemy that comes against it.  The very thing that is meant to destroy it actually strengthens it.  That is a spiritual principle.  Daniel teaches us to remain steadfast in the face of tremendous opposition.  Whenever the Lord seeks to recover His testimony by raising up a remnant, the enemy will test the validity of that testimony and either try to spoil it through compromise or destroy it altogether.  Daniel was tested many times but refused to compromise.




The Lord’s answer to a state of decline is to reveal Himself and His eternal purposes.  Once He has established for Himself a people that will represent His interests then He will move immediately to secure, protect, establish and strengthen the remnant. 


When we align ourselves with God’s thoughts, His kingdom and His will in Christ, we are invincible.  This is the secret to overcoming.  It is not asking God to come down to where we are and bless our little ministry or work.  Instead, we leave our ground altogether and come onto the Lord’s ground.  We leave our earthly position and align ourselves with Heaven.  We discern what the Lord’s eternal purpose is, and we set ourselves to cooperate with that.  When we are conformed to that purpose, all of Heaven is moved on our behalf.  When our ministry or work is in harmony with that great movement of God, then we cannot help but overcome.




In the fourth chapter of Daniel, we find that the remnant is not always in a defensive posture.  It is not always under attack but is just as much on the attack against Satan’s kingdom.  The remnant is to subdue all things to Christ, to put them down, to break them, to consume them, to decrease them.  The Lord is continually refining, purging, molding, chastening, disciplining, judging and conforming all things on every level.  Either way, sooner or later, the Rock wins. 




What is His End?  What is His purpose?  It is to “gather together all things in Christ.”  Eph. 1:10.  It is to have a people exactly like Him, to be like Him until He is all in all.  The breaking process has to take place, the tearing down, the constant whittling away, the continual process of trimming, reducing, decreasing, crucifying.  By the time you get to the end of the narrow way there is nothing left of you.  “Not I, but Christ.” Gal. 2:20.  The remnant principle is found in Ephesians 4:11-13 wherein God desires perfect sons and daughters and a perfect church to become the Bride of Christ.




Whenever we touch something of God’s purpose, a vision of heaven, something pertaining to God’s kingdom and will, we touch conflict.  We become the subject of intense resistance from elements in this universe that are opposed to that testimony.  The Bible calls it “antichrist.”  It seeks to destroy the testimony.  The testimony is demonstrating the Lordship of Jesus with the way we live – by overcoming sin, Self and Satan.  If we do not live the testimony, all the words mean nothing.  My testimony is not something I give, but something I live.




Perfection in Christ is not knowing about the life of Christ in us, but living it. 

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