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.
WHEN GOD RAISES A REMNANT
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.
GOD’S ORIGINAL AND
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.
WHAT IS A REMNANT?
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.
SODOM AND GORMORRAH
When God wanted to destroy Sodom
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.
OUR TRUE MINISTRY
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
(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
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
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
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.
WHEN THE CHURCH IS IN
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.
ON THE OFFENSE
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.
HIS PURPOSE AND END
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
Perfection in Christ is not knowing about the life of Christ
in us, but living it.