Copr. 1999, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references
THE REMNANT CHURCH AND REVELATION
(REVELATION 12, II PETER 1)
Introduction: This entire quarter we have been studying how
God communicates with man. This week we look at what should
be the end result of all that communication! Let's dive in.
I. THE REMNANT
A. When you walk into a store do you say, "What have
you got in the way of remnants?" How about when
the waitress comes up to you in a restaurant?
1. What, exactly, is a remnant? Isn't it what is
left over after all the good stuff has been
2. Why would anyone desire, as a spiritual goal,
to be a "remnant?"
B. Let's read Revelation 12:10-12, 17. We pick up
where we left off last week. Satan and his evil
angels have been hurled (good word), thud, to the
1. What precisely, is Satan's attitude about
this? Is he taking it well?
2. Who should be worried? Who is happy? (Heaven
is happy, earth and sea unhappy. It is a
classic "NIMBY" problem ("Not In My Back
3. This is where "the remnant" comes in. Verse 17
in the NIV says that Satan is mad and he is
going to war "against the rest of her
offspring..." The King James Version says,
"war with the remnant of her seed." Let's see
if we can figure this out.
a. Who is the woman at whom Satan is mad?
(Read Revelation 12:5-6 and Isaiah 54:5-
6. In the Bible in general, and
Revelation in particular, a woman
represents a church, a spiritual power.
This can be either a good or bad
spiritual group. (Compare Revelation
17:1-6.) In the Old Testament, God
referred to Israel as His bride, and it
was sometimes good and sometimes bad. In
Revelation 12 we have a good woman
God's good church.)
b. When the Bible says (v.17), "the rest of
her offspring," (or for those who truly
like to be in the murk, "the remnant of
her seed") what is it talking about?
(1) Part of the good people? If so, how
do you get so unlucky as to be in
this crew who is in the Devil's
(2) Or does it mean all of the good
people? (This goes back to
Revelation 12:5. This woman is the
one who gave birth to the male child
who was snatched up to heaven. The
male child is obviously Jesus. So
the "rest of her offspring," refers
to those who are spiritual brothers
and sisters of Jesus.)
4. Can any one church lay claim to being this
woman? (The oldest church is the Catholic
church, but even it was not around when Jesus
was given birth. Israel would have the
strongest claim to being the woman, but that
does not seem to fit this chapter because the
Jews, as a whole, rejected Jesus. So the
woman seems to be God's people throughout the
a. Do we now have a problem if we say that
the woman (God's good people through the
ages) has given birth to "the rest of her
offspring" (Jesus' brothers and sisters)?
How could you give birth to yourself? How
do you solve this apparent problem? (It
seems that the woman is more akin to the
group as a whole, and the offspring are
the individual followers of Jesus.)
b. Does the passage of time or change of
events make it appropriate for any modern
day church to lay claim to being the
woman? How about a modern church being
C. Do you want to be part of the "rest of her
1. How can you know whether you are a part? (Read
II. GOD'S COMMANDMENTS AND THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS.
A. We find that the "offspring" of which we want to
be a part have two stated characteristics: they
obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony
1. If you believe in righteousness by faith, do
you find it unusual that God's people are
described as commandment keepers? (If you are
not keeping the commandments, Satan has no
reason to go to war with you. You are not a
2. Do most Christians that you know keep the
a. Which do they ignore? The Sabbath?
Covetousness? No other gods?
b. How about you, do you ignore any?
c. Is it "OK" to ignore some of the
commandments? It is common today for
supposed Christian leaders to say that
the commandments are no longer binding.
What does this text (v.17) suggest?
(1) Is it really possible that among
God's people there is a "remnant"
that is serious about obedience when
most are not?
B. What is meant by the phrase "testimony of Jesus?"
1. The Greek for "testimony" is "marturia" which
Strong's says means "evidence given." Do you
give evidence of Jesus in your life and talk?
2. This phrase, "testimony of Jesus" only appears
five times in the New Testament, and all five
are in Revelation. Let's read Revelation 1:2,
1:9, 12:17 and 19:10.
a. Let's look a minute at 19:10. Why does
John want to worship the angel? (Read the
(1) What reason does the angel give that
he should not worship him?
(2) Does this suggest that the angel and
John are co-equals? In what way are
they "fellow servants?" (They both
hold to the testimony of Jesus.)
b. The angel says that the "testimony of
Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
(1) Was John a prophet?
(2) Was the angel a prophet?
(3) Do you have to be a prophet to "hold
to the testimony of Jesus?" (I don't
think that is the angel's point. He
is saying that John should worship
God, not him, since he was a co-
laborer with John in spreading the
gospel. In particular, they were
both engaged in the work of prophecy
at the moment. This means that
prophecy is one way (among many)ways
to testify to Jesus.)
(a) What way do you testify to
III. AN EFFECTIVE REMNANT
A. Remember we decided that if someone did not keep
the commandments Satan had no reason to go to war
against that person? Let's explore more about
this idea of being an effective and productive
member of the remnant. Read 2 Peter 1:3-8.
1. Verse 3 says we are given everything we need
for "life and godliness." What needs are
being referred to here? ("Life" means your
physical needs and "godliness" means your
2. How does verse 3 suggest that we get this
power that supplies our needs? ("Our knowledge
of Him." This tells us that we must know God
to have His power. The way to know God is to
study His word. Studying his word makes us
"commandment keepers" because we realize how
important and beneficial His way of life is to
3. Do you have a natural desire to study the
Bible? What does verse 3 suggest can motivate
us to want to learn more about God? ("His own
glory and goodness.")
a. Do we just inherently know about His
glory and goodness? Or is this something
that we get from studying the Bible?
(1) If we say we obtain the desire to
study by studying, isn't this just a
circular argument? (The logic of
this is that we may not want to
study at first. But as we study,
and see the glory and goodness of
God, we are drawn to further study.)
4. What does verse 4 suggest is at the root of
"corruption?" (Evil desires.)
a. What, if anything, do evil desires have
to do with commandment keeping by the
b. What does this suggest is the focus of
the battle that Satan has with the
remnant? What is his logical point of
attack? (The mind, our attitude.)
5. In verses 5 and 6 Peter suggests that
Christians need several things in their lives.
Do these sound like commandments?
a. How would you characterize these "things"
that Peter says we need in our lives?
(These seem like attitudes or character
(1) In verse 5, Peter tells us to "make
every effort" to add these character
traits to our life. I can
understand how I could make an
effort to keep the Sabbath, but how
do I make an effort to add
"goodness?" (I think Peter is
building an argument one which
goes back to the idea that knowing
God releases divine power which
shapes our attitudes and desires.)
6. What is the end result of these life-changing
attitudes for God's end-time remnant? (Verse 8
says we will be effective and productive in
our Christian life.)
B. Friend, do you want to be effective and productive
in your Christian life? Do you want to be part of
that remnant that makes such a difference that
Satan considers you to be a brother and sister of
Jesus who is worthy of his attack?
IV. NEXT WEEK: We start a new study on THE NATURE OF MAN.