LESSON 13
THE REMNANT CHURCH AND REVELATION 
(REVELATION 12, II PETER 1)

Copr. 1999, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  All scripture references
are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973,
1978, 1984 International Bible Society,  unless otherwise
noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of
Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found
within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a
blackboard or some other visual aid. This lesson can be
found at: <url:http://www.CameronLaw.com>

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
               taken?

                         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
          earth.

                         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
               Yard").)

                         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
                         gunsights?

                                             (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
               ages.)

                                   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
                    the offspring?

               C.   Do you want to be part of the "rest of her
          offspring?"

                         1.   How can you know whether you are a part? (Read
               verse 17)

     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
          of Jesus.

                         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
               problem.)

                         2.   Do most Christians that you know keep the
               commandments?

                                   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
                    context.)

                                             (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
                              Jesus?

     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
               spiritual needs.)

                         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
               us.)

                         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
                    remnant?

                                   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
                    traits.)

                                             (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.