Scripture: Revelation 12:17.
Key thought: “REMNANT OF HER SEED”.
Under severe attack.
1.What is “her seed”?
2.What is “the remnant”?
3.What are the “identifying marks”?
The answer can be derived from:
a. An understanding of Revelation12.
b.An understanding of the remnant of OT Israel.
The late Dr.Gerhard Hasel wrote before his fatal accident:
“Adventists in general have a definite sense of identity, a strongly developed self-understanding as the remnant people of God. But recently in the ‘first world’
Adventism of North America, Western Europe and Australia, the concept of the Adventist movement as the final remnant in history has weakened significantly”.
(AA fall 1993, page 3)
In spite of that observation we have fundamental no: 13 unchanged in SDA Believe
Second Ed.2005 which declares clearly that:
i. there is a last day remnant of God’s people,
ii. this remnant is recognizable by specific characteristics
iii. this remnant is on a special mission for God.(Proclaiming theThree Angels messages)
The Dragon will be wroth with the woman and the remnant.
This gives sufficient reason to want to know, WHO ARE THEY?
ONLY TWO PARTIES!
Rev.12 deals with two parties only, in particular during the end of times.
“There are only two parties upon this earth. Those who stand under the bloodstained banner of Jesus Christ and those who stand under the black banner of rebellion. In the 12th chapter of Revelation is represented the great conflict between the obedient and the disobedient”. (Ms.16, 1900/SB p.506).
This must be a visible group of people. Even Matthew Henry with his limited understanding of the book of Revelation, wrote:
“The devil thus defeated in his designs upon the universal church, now turns his rage against particular persons and places; his malice against the woman pushes him on to make war with the remnant of her seed. Some think hereby are meant the Albigenses, who were first by Dioclesian driven into barren and mountainous places and afterward cruelly murdered by popish rage and power, for several generations; and for no other reason because they kept the commandments of God and held the Testimony of Jesus Christ. Their fidelity to God and Christ, in doctrine, worship and practice, was that which exposed them to the rage of Satan and his instruments; and such fidelity will expose men still, less or more to the end of the world when the last enemy shall be destroyed”. (Matt.Henry Vol.VI p.1161/2, written in 1706AD)
In less forceful language current Bible commentaries
admit that a group of people is described, loyal to God and
Loyalty must be visible.
Jesus said, “Let your light shine”, Matthew 5; 16
and in vs.14: Ye are the light of the world”.
Light is and must be visible.
This underlines the idea of a so-called, “visible remnant or church”. It must be clearly seen who serves God and who does not.
REVELATION 12 UNVEILED.
This is the longest vision in historical scope.
The span of time is from the war in heaven (vs.7) until the last war in the end of times (vs.17).
The chronology is not verse by verse.
vs.7 The beginning with war in heaven.
vs.8 and 9 Outcome of war in heaven, Satan and his angels cast out.
vs. 10-12 Satan’s final separation from heaven. Lost for ever and he knows that he has but a short time,fully aware at the time of Christ’s atoning sacrifices on the cross.
1-5 A woman with child.
The woman is ready to deliver the child.
Satan, as the Dragon through the Secular Roman Empire is ready to destroy.
Christ’s to prevent His work on earth and ascension into heaven.
6, 13-16 Satan’s persecution of the woman/church is through Rome, imperial and papal.
17 This is Satan’s last attack against the remnant or against the seed or offspring of the woman. This must be the end of time, last day struggle over worship, according to Rev.13:12-15.
False worship is not specifically identified. It is complex, multiple,
plural, confused of a Babylonian nature.
The remnant is clearly identified. It’s important to investigate truth, not error.
Identification number 1. The remnant is Commandment keeping.
Identification number 2. The remnant is having the Testimony of Jesus.
To find the remnant, only look for these two items.
REMNANT IN OT TIMES.
There is consistency regarding remnant in OT times.
1.In Elijah’s days.
1 Kings 18:22 Elijah thinking he was alone.
19:14 I am only left.
18 7000 left, as a remnant.
The Lord knows His people.
2 Tim.2:19 The Lord knows them that are His.
2.In Daniel’s time.
Daniel and his friends are a faithful remnant among the captives.
Chapters 1, 3 and 6 of Daniel show their loyalty and faithfulness.
No compromise in lifestyle.
No compromise in worship.
3. The remnant was special.
Isa.4:2, 3 They are called holy.
Zeph. 3:13. They do not do iniquity.
They do not speak lies.
They have no deceitful tongue.
Israel often did forget their roots.
These roots were not biological, that was Abraham-Ishmael.
Their roots were spiritual, by faith, based on a divine promise, Abraham-Isaac and
Jacob, who was later, named Israel. He became Israel by re-birth.
One group like Ishmael after the flesh, the other, Isaac after the Spirit, Gal.4:22, 23,
The proper lineage is marked as follows:
Abraham man of faith, Gen.15:6
Isaac born after Sarah couldn’t bear a child anymore, Gen.18:11, 12
Jacob a born-again-man and who became Israel.Gen.32:28
Judah whose praise is of God, Rom.2:29
David a man after God’s own heart, 1 Sam.13:14
Not because of his sins but how he related to it in spiritual affliction, Psalms 51
Christ called Son of David, the seed, the perfect sinless One. 2Cor.5:21.
MANY CLAIMS ARE MADE.
1. One large group claims Abraham as their father through Ishmael.
2. Another group makes claim upon Abraham through Isaac, but “biologically”.
3. Many claiming Abraham through lip service, Matthew 7:21-23
4. God’s true remnant do claim Abraham as their spiritual father, through Christ the promised seed, Gal.3:7, 16, 29
THE REMNANT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. In Paul’s days. A remnant in Israel, who had accepted Christ as the Messiah,
2. Thyatira, the church of the dark ages, 1260 years.
Rev.2:24. The rest-remnant-in Thyatira did not follow apostate doctrine.
.Rest, remnant-Greek loipois- the left over, it means what remains.
When the church sank into deep spiritual darkness, a remnant remained
A specific identification item is mentioned of this remnant. “As many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the deep things of Satan as they speak.”
NASB “Do not hold this doctrine, who has not known the deep things of Satan, as
they call them”.
TCNT “All who do not accept such teachings”.
Two deep things.
1Cor.2:10 The deep things of God, means what is revealed in Scriptures.
The deep things of Satan must be outside the Scriptures, outside divine
revelation. Read also John 5:39
There is also the mystery of godliness, 1Tim.3:16
the mystery of iniquity, 2Thess.2:7 of which Paul said it does work already,
was already at work in his days..
The remnant in Thyatira is admonished, what you have, hold fast”.
From the above description we conclude:
In times of divers teaching the remnant remain loyal to divine teachings,
they enter not into the mysteries of Satan and
they do hold fast.
Dr.Gerhard Hasel comments: “Holding fast does not involve redefining themselves based on new socio-cultural observations. In place of adjusting to culture and its mindset, the remnant holds to the true biblical faith with ever new insights, holding firm and fast what they have received from Christ.” (AA Fall 1993 p.8)
3. Remnant in the last days.
Rev.12:17 The historical timing must be after the 1260 years or 2&1/2 times of vs.14.After the Earth, virgin land (USA) gave shelter to the persecuted woman/church.
This must be after 1798. Then the Dragon would be wroth with the woman-NT church- and her seed-spiritual offspring-and with the remnant of that seed, the latter part in the end of time.
THE PERSECUTED ONES HAVE A CLEAR VISIBLE AND READABLE ID CARD.
THE KEEPING OF GOD’S COMMANDMENTS
THE HAVING-Greek ECHOTON- OF THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS
They keep or practice the commandments of God and they have or are in possession of the testimonies of Jesus.
It must be visible if people do keep God’s commandments.
It must be visible if people are in possession of something, the Testimony of Jesus.
3a.What is the nature of commandment keeping.
SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS OR CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH ?
Old covenant commandment keeping or new covenant commandment keeping.
Both are visible.
The first, Old covenant, is human based, we will do, Ex.19:8; 24:3. 7
The second, new covenant, is Christ based, by faith in Christ’s power and by His
grace. Acts 26:18: Titus 2:11, 12
The first is salvation by means of self performance, legalism.
The second is because of salvation and by faith in Christ. Rom.14:23; Acts 26:18.
The transgressed law can never be a saving instrument.
Christ is the Saviour, creating a new creature for obeying God’s commandments
2 Cor.5:17 a new creature.
Rom.3:28 by faith without the deeds of the law.
Gal.3:11 no man justified by the law.
Eph.2:8-10. Through grace by faith unto good works
Phil.2:13 It is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
“The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account.
Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives ,pardons, justifies the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness.”( SDABC EGW on Rom.4:3, 5)
“While we are to be in harmony with God’s law, we are not saved by works of the law, yet we cannot be saved without obedience. The law is the standard by which character is measured.”
He does not save us by law, neither does he save us in disobedience to law” (.FW 95/6)
Satan will not be at war with those who keep the law as their means towards salvation. He knows they won’t make it.
It is old covenant based.
Israel failed in the desert.
Once obedience becomes new covenant based, Satan’s fury is kindled.
New covenant commandment keepers belong to the seed of the woman and are the remnant.
Rev.14:12 and 22:14(in KJV version) confirm Rev.12:17 regarding obedience.
3b.They “have the testimony of Jesus” which is according to 19:10 the Spirit of
“The Greek phrase is kai echonton ton martyrian Iesou ,which literally translated is,
‘and having the testimony of Jesus.’ The term echonton is a present participle which does not mean ‘bear’, ‘maintain’, or the like but simply ‘having’ in the sense of ‘possessing’ The remnant
‘have’ or ‘possess’ the testimony of Jesus. The force of the expression indicates an ongoing experience. Twice in Revelation 19:10 we find the very phrase, ‘the Testimony of Jesus’, that is found in 12:17, and one of the phrases includes the participle ‘ having’. In no other place in the New Testament do we have this identical phrase , ‘having the testimony of Jesus’. Thus Revelation 19:10 and 12:17 are uniquely linked. Revelation 19:10 provides the definition of ‘the Testimony of Jesus’ in Revelation 12:17: ‘Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren who hold (lit. have) the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.’ For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy’. The phrase clearly refers to the testimony which Jesus Himself bears when He manifests Himself in a special way. ‘The testimony of Jesus’ is Jesus own testimony which he gives through the Spirit of Prophecy.
The remnant of the end time ‘have’, or better, ‘continue having’ the testimony of Jesus among them.
Since, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,’ the genuine remnant of faith in the end time continue having among them the Spirit of Prophecy.” (Hasel in AA.Fall 1993 p.11).
It is not the person, who writes the words, but the words written,
which constitutes the Spirit of Prophecy
The word of God, the Bible, is the real Word of God, and not the
40 authors who wrote the Word of God not the writers but what they wrote.
The writer is only an instrument used by divine inspiration.
and also not verbal but thought inspiration.
The vision comes from God; the writing is human work written in Hebrew
Aramaic or Greek language, and in case of E.G.White written in English
The writer may pass away, as all 40 Bible authors have, but the word of God
still remains among us, the Bible in whatever language.
So it is with E.G.White, she has passed away, but the Testimony of Jesus
is still among us through her writings..
But the visibility is not sufficient in having the E.G.White books on our bookshelves like we have our Bible on a book shelve.
The word of God must become part of us.
John 1:1, 14 Christ is the Word.
Col.1:27 Christ must be in us the Hope of Glory.
John 14:6 Christ is the Truth, the Way and the Life.
1 Peter 1:22 The truth must be obeyed
If as stated above the Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, then in this case also the Testimony of Jesus must be obeyed.
3c WHERE ARE THE REMNANT TODAY?
“Since there is no other religious body today outside the Seventh-day Adventists which uniquely and specifically has the characteristics of the remnant of faith and carries their marks, it follows that Adventists as they meet all the aspects of the remnant are the final remnant of faith of the end-time. (Hasel ib. p.13)
This is confirmed in the last question of our worldwide standard of the baptismal vow “Do you believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the remnant church of Bible prophecy…?
This is also confirmed in Sabbath School lesson September 11-17, 1988.
About a million people per annum are confirming this by their personal
baptismal vow and baptism into a new life with Christ and requesting member-
ship in the Seventh-day Adventist church.
The SDA church does not have exclusive right to heaven, but is the answer to
Bible prophecy for these last days and the identification marks of Rev.12:17.
It is the visible body of Christ, the remnant of the seed of the woman being
under attack by the wroth of the Dragon in the last days of time of the end.
1Cor.3:23 to belong to Christ, says Paul
1Cor.4:1, 2 you must be found faithful steward.
FAITHFULNESS TO OUR BIBLICAL PROPHETIC IDENTITY IS WHAT MATTERS, BECAUSE WE HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST AND HIS LAST DAY MESSAGE.
“God calls upon those to whom He has entrusted His goods to acquit themselves as faithful stewards.”
“A steward identifies himself with His master. His master’s interests become his. He has accepted the responsibilities of a steward and he must act in the master’s stead, doing as the master would do if he were presiding over his own goods.” (TMK 220)
Pastor Jan T Knopper
July 13 2000
Edited September 2010
Revisited August 2013