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The End Time Remnant in Revelation Ekkehardt Mueller, Th.D., D.Min.

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Presentation on theme: "The End Time Remnant in Revelation Ekkehardt Mueller, Th.D., D.Min."— Presentation transcript:

1 The End Time Remnant in Revelation Ekkehardt Mueller, Th.D., D.Min.

2 ●Survivors ●Those who are subject to judgment ● A faithful remnant Scholars have distinguished between: ●A historical remnant ● A faithful remnant ● An eschatological remnant The Remnant Concept in OT and NT

3 In Revelation, for instance, the following individuals and groups present a faithful remnant: ●John the apostle ●The overcomers ●The martyrs of Rev 6 ●The 144,000/the great multitude ●Those whose names are in the book of life ●The few (oliga onomata) in Rev 3:4 ●The loipos in Rev 2:24; 11:13; and 12:17 The Faithful Remnant in Revelation

4 In the Church of Thyatira (Rev 2:24) a kind of split occured. While the church was found in an apostate position, a group called the remnant was faithful to God. Thus, Rev 2:24 provides a paradigm for the later end time remnant. The end time remnant occurs in Rev 12:17 under the term loipos and is a faithful remnant. It is not limited to Rev 12:17 but is found throughout the central vision of Revelation, however under other terms. The Faithful Remnant in Revelation

5 The Central Vision: Battle with Evil Forces Temple Scene (11:19) The ark of the covenant Temple Scene (11:19) The ark of the covenant Basic Prophetic Description (12:1-13:18) The woman, the dragon, the beast out of the sea, and the beast out of the earth Basic Prophetic Description (12:1-13:18) The woman, the dragon, the beast out of the sea, and the beast out of the earth Spotlight on Last Events (14:1-13) The 144,000 and the three angels’ messages Spotlight on Last Events (14:1-13) The 144,000 and the three angels’ messages Glorious Climax (14:14-20) The harvest of the world Glorious Climax (14:14-20) The harvest of the world

6 The Central Vision: Battle with Evil Forces This vision has to be interpreted historically, i.e., reaching through the centuries from the birth of the Messiah and his ascension to God in the first century A.D. to the second coming of Jesus at the end of time. A preteristic as well as a futuristic approach do not fit the passage. An idealistic interpretation falls short of the dynamics of the texts and disregard the time element.

7 The ark of the covenant is connected to a number of important issues which are also found in Revelation’s central vision. ●Salvation: It was covered with the mercy seat (Exod 25:21; cf. gospel and faith Rev 12:11; 13:10; 14:6,12) ● The Law: It contained the Decalogue (Deut 10:1-2; cf. observance and rejection in Rev 12:17; 14:12; 12:4,15; 13:4,6,8,14,15; 14:11) ● Judgment and Worship: The Day of Atonement and the presence of God is alluded to (Lev 16; cf. true and false worship in Rev 14:7; 13:4,8,12,15; 14:11) The Ark in the Temple Scene

8 Dragon, Woman, and Remnant in Rev 12 AThe woman, the son, and the dragon (12:1-6) BMichael and the dragon (12:7-12) A'The woman, the remnant, and the dragon (12:13-17)

9 1.Description of the beast and the reaction of humanity1-4 a.Description of the beast including the deadly wound and its healing1-3a b.Reaction of humanity: Worship 3b-4 2.Actions of the beast and reaction of humanity5-8 a.Actions of the beast including authority for 42 months and5-7 war against the saints b.Reaction of humanity: Worship8 3.The threefold “If anyone...” and the the saints: “Here is...”9-10 Sea Beast and Saints in Rev 13a

10 Connection between Rev 12:17 and Rev 13a Rev 12 The dragon went to make war against the remnant(12:17) Rev 13 It was given to him [the sea beast] to make war against the saints (13:7)

11 Land Beast and Non-Worshippers of Rev 13b 1.Description of the beast 11 2.Actions of the beast including pressure to worship12-17 3.Those who understand: “Here is...”18 The dragon, the sea beast, and the land beast form the satanic trinity, also called Babylon, that is opposed to the remnant.

12 1.The 144,000 and their Characteristics (14:1-5) 2.The Three Angels’ Messages of the 144,000 (14:6-13) The Spotlight on Last Events in Rev 14a

13 The Climax in Rev 14b 1.The One Like a Son of Man (14:14) 2.The Wheat Harvest (14:15-16) 3. The Grape Harvest (14:17-20)

14 Time elements in the vision of the satanic trinity are: Rev 12:6-1260 days Rev 12:14-3 1/2 times Rev 13:5-42 months This is the same time span counted differently. The Time Frame

15 This time span is found seven times in the Bible: (1) Dan 7:25  3 1/2 times: Persecution of the saints (2) Dan 12:7  3 1/2 times: Dispersion of the holy people (3) Rev 11:2  42 months: Trampling of the holy city (4) Rev 11:3  1260 days: The witnesses clothed in sackcloth (5) Rev 12:6  1260 days: The women in the desert (6) Rev 12:14  3 1/2 times: The woman in the desert (7) Rev 13:5  42 months: Actions of the sea beast directed against God The context requires to understand this prophetic period according to the year-day principle. A day stands for a year. The Time Frame

16 1.The time frame of Rev 12 (1)12:1-5-Early conflict between dragon and woman (2)12:6-Medieval conflict between dragon and woman (3)12:7-12- Conflict between Michael and the dragon in heaven (4)12:13-16-Medieval conflict between dragon and woman (cont.) (5)12:17-End time conflict between dragon and remnant, the woman‘s seed The Time Frame

17 2.The time frame of Rev 13a Rev 13a mentions the same time element that has already appeared in Rev 12. It is the 42 months that lasted till 1798 A.D. Since it appears that Rev 13:1-4 is parallel to Rev 13:5-9, we have to place the healing of the fatal wound after the 42 months. 3.The time frame of Rev 13b Rev 13:12,14 refers back to the healing of the fatal wound of the sea beast and considers it as having happened in the past. The Time Frame

18 4.The time frame of Rev 14 Whereas Rev 14:1-5 points to final salvation, Rev 14:6-12 relates a message that will be proclaimed shortly before the second coming of Jesus described symbolically at the end of chapter 14. The Time Frame

19 A.Propaganda of the beast out of the earth (13:11-15) B.Followers of the beast out of the sea (13:16-18) B'.Followers of the Lamb (14:1-5) A'.God’s last message (14:6-12) Message and Counter Message

20 Summary The dragon makes war against the remnant. He does this by using the sea beast and the beast from the earth.

21 The Woman The woman is a symbol of God’s true church. In the OT and NT God’s people is compared to a woman--Isa 54:5-6; Eph 5:25-32. As soon as God’s people separates from the Lord it becomes a harlot--Jer 3:20; Eze 23:2-4. In Revelation the faithful church (Rev 12) is contrasted with the harlot Babylon (Rev 17). Major Symbols of Rev 12

22 The Dragon In Rev 12:9 the dragon is also called the old serpent and is identified as Satan/Devil. This is the symbol most clearly revealed. He is the first part of the satanic trinity found in Rev 12-14. Major Symbols of Rev 12

23 The Male Child This son of the woman is Jesus Christ. Ruling with a rod of iron is taken from Ps 2, a messianic psalm. This expression is used in Rev 19:15, and there it is applied to Jesus. That the child is caught up to God and his throne points toward the ascension of Jesus and his inauguration at the right hand of God. Major Symbols of Rev 12

24 The Remnant Toward the end of Rev 12 and parallel to the birth of the male child, the woman brings forth a remnant, which is also pursued by the dragon. The remnant of Rev 12:17 is “the remnant of her seed.” Rev 12 reminds us of Gen 3:14-15. In both passages a woman, a serpent, seeds/descendants, and enmity between these parties is emphasized. Rev 12 refers to the fulfillment of the divine promise of Gen 3:15 that the woman’s seed would bruise the serpent’s head. The remnant is a faithful remnant and the last remnant in history. It stands in a special relationship to Jesus. Major Symbols of Rev 12

25 The Sea Beast The sea beast is modeled after the beasts of Dan 7. The reversed order of beasts in Rev 13 indicates that the sea beast of Rev 13 is identical with the fourth beast of Dan 7, although it may include elements of the other beasts. Major Symbols of Rev 13

26 The Sea Beast (cont.) Blasphemy, war against the saints, and the time span of 42 months (Rev 13:5-7) remind of the little horn power in Dan 7:20-21,25. There is a problem with the law in Dan 7:25, and there is a problem with the law in Rev 12-14, because the remnant are singled out as the ones who keep the law of God. Major Symbols of Rev 13

27 The Sea Beast (cont.) The time frame in Dan 7, the connection to the fourth beast, as well as the little horn’s character and activities point to the power of apostate Christianity during the medieval ages and afterwards. The sea beast of Rev 13 represents the very same power. Major Symbols of Rev 13

28 The Sea Beast Within the Apocalypse the sea beast is understood as an imitation, parody, and counterfeit of the Lamb: (1)The Lamb was slaughtered -One of the heads of the sea (5:6,9,12). beast was slaughtered (13:3). (2)Jesus has come to life-The sea beast has come to life (2:8; 1:18). (13:14). (3)Jesus sits with his Father -The dragon gave the sea beast his on his throne (2:28; 3:21). throne (13:2). (4)Jesus has authority (12:10).-The dragon gave his authority to the sea beast (13:4). (5)Worship is addressed to the-Worship is addressed to the sea Lamb and God (5:13-14).beast and the dragon (13:4). Major Symbols of Rev 13

29 The Beast from the Earth The beast from the earth starts out as a positive entity. Its coming from the earth points to the fact that it is a creation of God. It also resembles a lamb which is the symbol for Jesus in the Apocalypse. However, It develops a dragon like attitude and is an agent of the dragon collaborating with the first beast. It is called “ false prophet ” in the rest of Revelation (16:13; 19:20; 20:10). Major Symbols of Rev 13

30 The Beast from the Earth (cont.) It becomes active after the deadly wound of the first beast has begun to heal. As false prophet its major goal is to deceive humanity. For the end time Revelation predicts two antichrist figures. The two beasts of Rev 13 represent a false Christ and a false prophet, who claims to be the last spokesman of God. Major Symbols of Rev 13

31 The Beast from the Earth (cont.) The time frame of the vision, the description of the second beast as well as the change from a positive to a negative power suggest that the false prophet stands for the major political power of our days which exerts and will even more so exert a religious or quasi religious influence. The enforcement of universal worship of the first beast and its image alludes to Dan 3 and from our present perspective is still future. Major Symbols of Rev 13

32 The Beast from the Earth and The Beast from the Earth and Fire from Heaven This symbolic fire connected to the false prophet may be a false Pentecost experience. It may also remind us of the Carmel experience of Elijah. However, this time fire comes down on the false altar, that is, not on the side of God‘s people. Therefore, this experience is extremely deceptive. God‘s people have to rely on his Word indepent of feelings and evidence which seems to support apostate religion. Major Symbols of Rev 13

33 The remnant (Rev 12) The saints (Rev 13a) Those who did not accept the mark of the beast (Rev 13b) The 144.000 (Rev 14) This seems to be the same group Interchangeable Terms

34 I.The sea beast (13:1-10) 1.“I saw…” 2.Description of the beast and its activity 3.“Here is patience and faith…” II.The beast out of the earth (13:11-18) 1.“I saw…” 2.Description of the beast and its activity 3.“Here is wisdom…” III.The 144,000 and the three angels message (14:1-12) 1.“I saw…” 2.Description of the 144,000 3.“I saw…” 4.Three angels messages 5. 5.“Here is patience… faith…” Outline of Rev 13 and 14a

35 Rev 12:17 Keep commandments Testimony of Jesus Rev 13:10 Patience Faith Rev 14:12 Keep commandments Patience Faith of Jesus In Revelation 12-14 three texts are interwoven and describe the main characteristics of the remnant: Characteristics of the Remnant

36 1.Keeping the commandments (12:17; 14:12) 2.Having the Testimony of Jesus (12:17) 3.Faith (13:10; 14:12) 4.Patience (13:10; 14:12) Characteristics of the Remnant

37 1.Keeping the commandments (12:17; 14:12) By keeping God’s commandments the remnant demonstrate their love and loyalty. The most prominent of the commandments, next to the commandments to love God and neighbor, are the Ten Commandments. The ark of the covenant pointed indirectly to them (11:19). The observance of the commandments of God includes keeping the biblical Sabbath. The language of the Sabbath commandment is found in Rev 14:7. Characteristics of the Remnant

38 2.Having the Testimony of Jesus (12:17) The remnant have the testimony of Jesus. According to 19:10 this is the “spirit of prophecy,” the Holy Spirit that speaks through the gift of prophecy. In the parallel text Rev 22:9 the word “prophets” replaces the phrase “testimony of Jesus.” The remnant lift up God’s Word including the Book of Revelation which comes from Jesus and in which Jesus testifies about Himself. They treasure all genuine manifestations of the gift of prophecy (1Cor 12:7-11; Eph 4:11). Characteristics of the Remnant

39 3.Faith (13:10; 14:12) Rev 13:10 talks about the faith of the saints. In Rev 14:12 the remnant are identified by faith in or of Jesus. Some interpreters understand this phrase as saying that the saints have faith in Jesus and rely on him. Others translate the phrase as “the faith of Jesus” and suggest it to reflect Christian doctrine as it is contained in the NT. In any case, the remnant hold on to Jesus’ saving power which justifies freely and to his doctrine. Faith and keeping the commandments may point to saving faith and works of love that result from it. Characteristics of the Remnant

40 4.Patience/Perseverance (13:10; 14:12) In difficult times, when being harassed and threatened to be killed for not worshiping the beast and his image, the remnant do not give up, do not let go their relationship with God, and do not lose their hope in Jesus’ soon return, but overcome evil. The term’s vertical aspect is faithfulness to God, and its horizontal aspect is patient endurance of evil. Characteristics of the Remnant

41 Rev 14a furnishes some additional information about the remnant: (1)Property of God and Jesus (14:1,3-4) (2)No false worship (14:4) (3)Followers of the Lamb (14:4) (4)Truthfulness and blamelessness like sacrificial animals (14:5) (5)Worldwide proclamation of the three angels’ messages (14b) This includes: (a)Proclamation of the eternal gospel (14:6) (b)Call to worship God by fearing and honoring him (14:7) (c)Announcement of judgment (14:7) (d)Worship of the Creator (14:7,9-11) (e)Appeal to separate from Babylon (14:8) Characteristics of the Remnant

42 Following the Lamb implies imitating Jesus‘ example. 1.Jesus was the man of the Spirit (Matt 3:16-17). 2.Jesus was the man of prayer (Luke 9:28). 3.Jesus was the man of God‘s Word. He knew it, followed its teaching, used it against temptations, and employed it in his preaching (Matt 21:42; 4:4-10). 4.Jesus was a gentle person, merciful, pure in heart, and a peacemaker (Matt 5:38-45). He loved even his enemies, healed them, and prayed for them (Luke 23:34; 22:50-51). He advocated non-violence (Matt 26:52). Following the Lamb

43 Following the Lamb implies imitating Jesus‘ example. 5.Jesus lived for others and served others. He was unselfish, without prejudice, national and racial pride. He broke down the barriers between people, proclaimed the gospel, and healed humans (Acts 10:38). 6.Jesus did not strive for high positions but was the most humble person on earth (Phil 2:5-8). 7.Jesus wanted his followers to be one, united, to love each other, and—if necessary—to lay down their lives for brothers and sisters (John 17:20-21; 13:3.4; 1John 3:1-16). Following the Lamb

44 One final question is whether the remnant are scattered believers only that cannot be identified or if it is primarily an identifiable group. The following points support the second option: (1)The time sequence and the succession of the woman of Rev 12 (2)The characteristics (3)The contrast to Babylon and the call to separate from Babylon (4)The gift of prophecy (5)The worldwide commission Who is the Remnant?

45 Always God’s church is his church only because of God’s grace. At the same time the church acknowledges that it is called to live up to the ideal presented in Scripture exhibiting the characteristics of the remnant as well as to invite people from all nations, tribes, languages, and peoples to join God’s remnant. This does not mean that each member of the end time remnant is saved, neither does it deny that God has faithful children in various denominations and religions, which he wants to lead to true worship and joyful preparation for Jesus’ second coming. To these believers the call of Rev 18:4 is issued to leave end time Babylon. Jesus’ Remnant

46 On the other hand, each individual believer is challenged to live in closest harmony with God and to portray the characteristics of the remnant, just as the church is called to live up to its vocation and commission. Jesus’ Remnant

47 Jesus and His Remnant

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