SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11

Sunday December 8, 1996

The Identity Of The Remnant

(Rev. 12:17; Rev. 14:12).

The biblical concept of the remnant deals with any group of faithful people who endure trial, apostasy, persecution, or some form of calamity. Noah and his immediate family survived the Flood. A remnant came out of Ur of Chaldees with Abram. A remnant did not apostatize in the days of Israel's and Judah's kings. The remnant in the last days will remain loyal to God, rejecting the mark of the beast (Sunday observance) despite persecution.

What proportion of people prove faithful to God? Matt. 7:13, 14 (compare Prov. 20:6).

Genuine conversion and righteousness are rare, not because they are so difficult to obtain, but because most people allow themselves to be overcome by pride and selfishness.

"If we ever attain unto holiness, it will be through the renunciation of self and the reception of the mind of Christ. Pride and self-sufficiency must be crucified. Are we willing to pay the price required of us? Are we willing to have our will brought into perfect conformity to the will of God? Until we are willing, the transforming grace of God cannot be manifest upon us." - Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 143.

What three things in particular characterize the remnant? Rev. 12:17; Rev. 14:12.

Faith of Jesus. The Greek of Revelation 14:12 may indicate "faith in Jesus" (J. B. Phillips; NASB). Such faith and the observing of God's commandments are major features of the Christian life. God's commandments reflect His character and describe His righteous standard. Jesus lived to show us what God is like. And in His strength, we are able to obey God, reflecting His image.

"The remnant church thus honors the commandments of God, and observes them, not in any legalistic sense but as a revelation of the character of God and of Christ, who dwells in the heart of the true believer."-SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 833.

God's last-day remnant keep the fourth commandment. The Sabbath is a sign of God's creative power and "the witness to His claim upon man's reverence and homage. The wicked will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator's memorial." - Our Father Cares, p. 228.