The Jewish Remnant
(This article was originally published as the second part of No 18 (now out of print) in the Time of the End series of booklets. It was compiled from notes of a message given by Mr Newton. The former part of the whole article - entitled The Christian Remnant - was included in the previous issue of Watching and Waiting).
At the time that Jewish worship in much outward acknowledgement of Jehovah will be re-established at Jerusalem; and when many a Jew, like Paul before his conversion, will stand in advantageous contrast to the blaspheming infidel who follows in the train of Antichrist, it might be deemed by many, that God would recognise at such a season even this Jewish acknowledgement of His Name. But no! The word still remains If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins (John 8: 24), and though many will be bowed and cry in agony (see certain psalms), yet they will never be owned as His until they have looked in contrition upon Him Whom they pierced; and this will only be when He appears for their national deliverance.
The means whereby they are humbled and finally brought into millennial blessing and the contrast between their history and that of the Christian remnant is clearly defined; as, when they are planted in the earth, the Christian remnant will stand upon the sea of glass; for they who suffer with Him shall reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12).
That there should be a spared remnant among Israel, preserved through the fires of the Day of the Lords appearing but who will not acknowledge Him until then, is necessary to the order which God has been pleased to prescribe to Himself in his dealings. They are intended to be the nucleus of Millennial Israel in the earth, and will be preserved from worshipping Antichrist or they could never be forgiven (Revelation 14: 11). They must therefore have an intermediate standing. Not antichristian, or they would be consumed. Not [overcoming]* Christian, for they would be reigning with Jesus. Whereas they are destined, after having passed through the fires, to be Gods witnesses in the earth, to blossom and bud, and to fill the face of the world with fruit (Isaiah 27: 6). Zechariah 13: 9 and 12: 9-10 show, that having rejected testimony during the acceptable time they are left to the refining of the fire, and will not believe until the day of visitation.
[* Luke 22: 28-30; Rev. 2: 26; 3: 21; 20: 4-6. cf. Heb. 10: 35-39; James 1: 12. 1 Thess. 2: 12; 2 Thess. 1: 4b, 5.]
Again, it must be remembered that it will be in their national character as Jews that this remnant will believe. At present, when a Jew believes, he is added to the heavenly Body where there is neither Jew nor Greek; his citizenship being heavenly only. This remnant on the contrary, will never believe except nationally; and as a believing nation will be accepted and owned. Accordingly in Isaiah 66, they are spoken of as a nation born at once, and are mentioned as trembling and bruised in heart and therefore despised by their self-righteous brethren (verse 5), but not comforted until the Lord come. Their condition is one of darkness and bitter anguish up till then.
Yet it must not be understood that God will bring no power to
bear upon their souls before. Many have
been conscious of a subduing power keeping conscience in the fear and reverence
of God and His Word, long before they have apprehended the ways of His grace in
forgiveness through the Blood of Jesus. Such
will peculiarly be the case with the remnant of
Accordingly in those Scriptures which describe the experience of that remnant during the time of their sorrow when brought low, we find expressions of righteous indignation at the abounding blasphemies and also of deep distress and anguish, but no thought of fellowship with Jesus! Their lamentations refer partly to the outward dealings of God in the circumstance of Israels desolation - by which they are perplexed, as not knowing what the end will be - and partly to their own dark and mournful condition, in which they recognise the wrath and indignation of the Lord (Psalm 89: 38; 74: 1; 79: 5). In this, they stand in marked contrast to the Christian remnant; for, while saying, We see not our signs, etc, they find in those self-same events the very signs and landmarks of their certain way - the indication that their redemption draweth nigh.
At the very moment when this poor ignorant Jewish remnant (though beloved for their fathers sake) are using the words of Isaiah 59: 9-11 and Lamentations 5 we walk in darkness, etc, - the Christian remnant will be walking in the very noontide light of the prophecy of Him Who has made them understanding ones and taught them to lift up their heads, for the time of their redemption draweth nigh.
But it is not only in their estimate of the external circumstances that there is a contrast, but also in the character of the sufferings through which they pass and their experiences in them; accordingly in Isaiah, Psalms, etc. we find the distinction clearly marked between those who suffer under the rebuke of God for their iniquities and those who suffer for righteousness' sake, in conscious fellowship of spirit with God.
Some of the psalms in their primary interpretation belong to the Lord Jesus only, but they have a secondary application to all who suffer, not indeed for the same end as the Lord - Atonement - but who nevertheless suffer for righteousness sake - Herod, Pontius Pilate and the Gentiles being specially marked in Scripture as types of the Antichristian confederacy of the latter day (Acts 4: 25-27). Such psalms would be vain and idle words in the lips of the Jewish remnant.
They do not suffer as Christians. Their most advanced state will be one of
waiting for mercies to be shown them when the Lord comes, not of rejoicing in
those already received. This
distinguishes psalms which belong to Christians from those belonging to the remnant of
It may be asked, Do these two
remnants co-exist in
During this season Christians remain in
Whenever the crafty power of Satan has succeeded in bringing
the nation close up to the point of apostasy which, when once reached, renders
forgiveness hopeless (Revelation 14: 9-11), then the power of God will certainly be put forth in
restraining those whom it is His sovereign purpose to save. Their consciences may revolt at the
abominations and their hearts sicken at the trampling down of
But there will be another kind of instrumentality God will use
- the sackcloth testimony of the two
witnesses (Revelation 11: 3). Testimony to
grace will leave
Their relation to the apostasy will be like Elijah against
Ahab and Moses against Pharaoh: both
Yet this doubtless, will be in the Lords hands the great instrumental means whereby He subdues and makes ready a people who will tremble at His Word; humble themselves and cry unto Him: and thus be prepared for Him when He cometh. They must cry and that by affliction, before He will consent to hearken, for it is only when He sees their power is gone, and they plead Spare Thy people and give not Thine heritage to reproach that He will pity and have mercy on them. Then and not till then will He pour upon them the spirit of grace and supplication, and cause them to trust in the Name of the Lord.
The ministry of John the Baptist made ready a people prepared
for the Lord; but his disciples, though taught to respect the Messiah, were not
avowedly placed under the shelter of His grace until He Himself came and
received them. So again will it be with
the remnant of