The Remnant Church

The Remnant Church - Featured Image

According to the Scriptures, shortly before the return of Christ, there will be a church that embodies believers who are faithful to God. This church will be an organized body recognized by obedience to all of the commandments of God and the possession of a distinctive end-time gospel declaration. This church is known as the Remnant Church and is equated with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.

What Does the Bible say about the Remnant Church?

So let us look at what the Scriptures say about the Remnant Church.

The book of Revelation is a book of heavy symbolism. The reason was that the Roman authorities at that time were beginning to enforce the cult of emperor worship—Christians who held Christ, not Caesar, as Lord were facing increasing aggression. Therefore, the writer John had to write this letter to the Christians using symbolic language so that the Romans would allow its delivery to the seven churches. In Chapters 12 and 17, the church is depicted as a woman.

Revelation 12 unmistakably teaches that God has a remnant church at the end time. After revealing the history of the Christian church (under the symbolism of a woman), from the time of Jesus (the child mentioned in verse 5) to the end of the 1,260 years (538–1798 AD), Revelation 12:17 says: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Satan, the Devil, is depicted as the dragon.

The Remnant Church - Revelation 12:17

This verse leads to a time after the 1,260-year period (Rev. 12:6, 14) in the nineteenth century. Seeing that he could not wipe out God’s faithful people, Satan becomes angry with a group the Scripture describes as “the remnant of her seed”—[the remnant church]. At this point, the focus rests not on the woman (symbol of God’s faithful people throughout the ages) but on this particular group, “the remnant of her seed” or the remnant church.

Twice in this chapter, John mentions a “remnant” (or offspring NIV) of the woman. The first is the male child in verse 5 (mentioned earlier), the Messiah; the second is “the remnant of her seed,”
the remnant church. Both times John plainly identifies the remnant or offspring of the woman in verse 17, supporting the view that “the remnant of her seed”
encompasses the visible remnant church. Two identifying marks, or signs, of this remnant church are given: they keep “the commandments of God,”
and they have “the testimony of Jesus.”

Keeping the Commandments of God

Keeping the Commandments of God most undoubtedly includes the Ten Commandments. Hence, the first identifying sign of the remnant church is the loyalty to God’s Commandments—all of His commandments, including the fourth, the Sabbath Commandment. So if one were to paraphrase Revelation 12:17, it would read: At the end of time, God will have a church—the remnant church—, which will be recognized by the fact that they keep the commandments, including the seventh-day Sabbath commandment.

Remember that during the time of the apostles, or the early church, this would not have been a unique sign because they all kept the Sabbath. However, today, when most Christians “keep” Sunday as the day of worship, the Sabbath has indeed become a distinguishing mark.

The Remnant Church - The fourth Commandment

 

The seventh-day Sabbath, observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening, is an integral part of the beliefs and practices of the remnant church. These churches emphasize biblical references such as the ancient Hebrew practice of beginning a day at sundown and the Genesis creation narrative in which an “evening and morning” established a day, predating the giving of the Ten Commandments (thus the command to “remember” the Sabbath). They hold that the Old and New Testaments show no variation in the doctrine of the Sabbath on the seventh day. Saturday, the seventh day in the weekly cycle, is the only day in all Scripture designated using the term Sabbath.

The seventh day of the week is recognized as Sabbath in many languages, calendars, and doctrines, including Catholic,[1] Lutheran,[2] and Orthodox churches.[3] It is still observed in modern Judaism concerning Mosaic Law. In addition, the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches uphold Sabbatarianism, observing the Sabbath on Saturday and the Lord’s Day on Sunday.[4]

However, Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestant denominations keep the Lord’s Day on Sunday and maintain that the Saturday Sabbath is no longer required for Christians. Conversely, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and many Episcopalians have historically supported the view of first-day Sabbatarianism. They support this by describing the Sabbath as being transferred to the Lord’s Day (Sunday), the first day of the week, merged with the day of Christ’s resurrection, forming the Christian Sabbath. However, there is no Scriptural foundation to support this doctrine.

“Seventh-day Sabbatarians” are Christians who seek to reestablish the practice of the early Christians who kept the Sabbath according to standard Jewish practice. They usually believe that all humanity is obliged to keep the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath, and that keeping all the commandments is a moral responsibility that honors and shows love towards God as creator, sustainer, and redeemer. Christian seventh-day Sabbatarians hold beliefs similar to that tradition that the change of the Sabbath was part of a Great Apostasy in the Christian faith.

Additionally, Seventh-day Sabbatarians hold fast to the Scripture in James 2:10, which reads:

10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Some of these, most notably the Seventh-day Adventist Church, have traditionally maintained that the apostate church formed when the Bishop of Rome began to influence the west and brought in heathen corruption. This influence allowed pagan idol worship and beliefs to enter, creating the Roman Catholic Church that teaches traditions over Scripture promoting rest from their work on Sunday, instead of the Sabbath, which is not in keeping with Scripture.

The Sabbath is one of the defining characteristics of seventh-day denominations. For more detail on the seventh day Sabbath, please read the Saturday vs. Sunday Worship article on this website.

The Testimony of Jesus

The second identifying mark is “the testimony of Jesus.” What does this phrase mean? The expression “testimony of Jesus” occurs six times in the book of Revelation (1:2, 9; 12:17; 19:10 [twice]; 20:4).

First, we look at Revelation 1:1, 2, and 9. In verse 1, the introduction to Revelation makes known the source, in particular, God, and the book’s content—the revelation of Jesus Christ. In verse 2, we are told that John bore witness to “the Word of God” and “the testimony of Jesus.”

We commonly understand “the Word of God” to refer to what God says, and “the testimony of Jesus,” in parallel to “the Word of God,”
must therefore mean the testimony that Jesus Himself presented. How did Jesus testify of Himself? While on earth, He testified in person to the people in Judea. After His ascension, He spoke through His prophets.

In Revelation 1:9, the parallelism between the “Word of God” and “the testimony of Jesus” is again clearly apparent. It reads: “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

“The Word of God” in John’s time referenced the Old Testament, and “the testimony of Jesus” referred to what Jesus had said, the truths He revealed as recorded in the Gospels, and through His prophets, such as Peter and Paul.

The Spirit of Prophecy

Concerning the Spirit of Prophecy, Revelation 19:10 reads in part, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy'” (NKJV). So, what is “the spirit of prophecy”? I discovered this phrase occurs only once in the Bible and in this text. We find the closest biblical parallel in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10, where Paul refers to the Holy Spirit, who, among other divine gifts, bestows the gift of prophecy, and the individual who receives this gift is called a “prophet” (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11).

The Spirit of prophecy is the gift of prophecy and is the work that the Spirit accomplished past, present, and future. The Old Testament prophets predicted the future. The New Testament prophets confirmed the past, addressed the present, and predicted the future.

All Christians are, in a way, prophets since they testify of their faith. For many of the believers mentioned in Revelation, it had meant testifying to their own deaths. For example in Rev 12:11, it reads:

11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

The word “prophecy” means more than seeing and foretelling the future, although in some cases, that is true (especially in the Old Testament prophets and in John’s case). The primary objective of prophecy is to convey God’s message.

These are the three significant marks of the Remnant Church confirmed in Scripture. There are more identifying marks to follow in upcoming articles.

Conclusion

When Christ returns for His church, He will return for the remnant church and the saints within who keep all of “the Commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Amen

Questions, comments, and concerns are welcomed below.

Blessings

 

 

 

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38 thoughts on “The Remnant Church”

  1. Nathaniel, the remnant church are true followers of Jesus Christ, not a denomination. Where is that in scripture that you say is the remnant church???

    1. Hello Linda – You are correct. The Remnant church consists of faithful followers of Christ. It is not a specific denomination, nor does the article state such. The article does mention denominations that teach and practice keeping all of God’s Commandments, including the seven-day Sabbath. The church is simply a body of believers. The original early church did not have denominations. They came later because of the infiltration of various teachings that fragmented the church. However, when Christ returns, He will not be looking for a domination but for true Christians that have kept all of His Commandments. To repeat the Scripture quoted in the article, Rev. 12:17 reads, And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Those individuals will make up the remnant church as a body of true Christians. If the article did not make this clear, I do apologize.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Thank you for the article. I’m glad you clarified that it will be the followers of christ, not just a specific denomination. 

    It was a good reminder of bthe testimony of Jesus and the spirit of prophecy. We are living in the last days and its time to be ready.

    I agree those that follow nand spread the word are the modern day prophets. Good job and thank you very much.

  3. The interesting thing about churches is that they ALL think that their re-interpretations of translated ancient texts have the absolute truth and that all others are damned for their sins. Even amongst the many denominations of Jesus followers, there is much disagreement. They all know themselves to be the “true” followers. 

  4. The Remnant Church is a place where we can go to have all of our questions answered. It’s a place where we can learn about the Bible, Jesus, and prophecy. The testimony of Jesus has helped me on my way to eternal life. As a Christian, I feel that The Remnant Church is doing the work of God. They have provided me with signs of the time and helped me know what I should do in my life.

  5. Although I am familiar with seventh day adventist, I have not heard about the Remnant Church before. Personally I think it is more important to practice and worship on a daily basis, rather than singling out a specific day. So whether the Sabbath is a Saturday or a Sunday, is not the important thing, but rather whether you are a sinner or not.

    If I understand correctly, the Remnant church is then basically the same as the Seventh Day Adventist? But please correct me if I am wrong.

    1. Greetings, LineCowley – Many thanks for your insightful questions. You are correct; worship should be a daily exercise and a lifestyle. As far as the Sabbath is concerned, the day is essential. It is so important to God that it is part of His moral Law. The fourth Commandment of the Ten Commandments reads in Ex 20:8-11,

      8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

      9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

      10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

      11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

      The Commandment specifies the seventh day, which is Saturday.
      This Commandment will become more crucial as the return of Christ draws near.

      As for the remnant church, it is not a specific denomination but consists of Christians who teach and practice keeping all the commandments of God, including the seventh-day Sabbath. However, the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination is the most prominent denomination of that doctrine.

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. Thanks for your post. I’m just wondering, with all of the variants of Christianity, how could so many people have gotten one message wrong? Each group claims they are the “correct” teaching.  Obviously, someone’s wrong.  Or maybe we’re all wrong.  After all, the bible has been translated over a period of hundreds of years.  In the end, I believe in the god of the universe.  The most high, who has created me, you, the earth.  That’s a fantastic start for me. 

    1. Greetings Shalisha – I am not sure which message you are referring to that people have gotten wrong, but despite the translations over time, the Word of God is still – the Word of God. The Remnant Church consists of Christians who teach and practice obedience to all of the Commandments of God, including the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath. The message is clear in the fourth Commandment of the Ten Commandments.

      Thanks for commenting!

  7. Good post. Being a pastor of the Calvary Chapel persuasion I found it very interesting. Calvary Chapel is also big on Bible prophecy so that resonated. So many church goers do not take prophecy seriously. Scripture is almost one third prophetic! It is the supernatural signature of God on His Word in my opinion. It also keeps us accountable to obey and evangelize, if the end is near its time to run the race to the very best of ability (Heb 12:1-2).

    1. Greetings, Mojovd – Many certainly turn a blind eye to prophecy. However, this is unfortunate because it definitely confirms the authenticity of Scripture. It certainly behooves mankind to pay more attention to both the fulfilled and yet-to-be fulfilled prophecies of the Scriptures.

      Thanks for commenting!

  8. I am not a religious person but I do believe in a presence around us. I come from a Catholic family though and I went to church regularly as a child. Once In awhile I like to read some biblical passages as after all, they are about love and that’s all that matters. I believe your words can help people though I don’t agree with all of it so keep up the good work and thank you.

  9. Thank you for your very informative article!  I am not a church goer but I am respectful to the beliefs and practices of others.  You can tell by the way you write how passionately you feel about the topic.  Your readers feel that passion too, regardless of their current religious standpoint.  Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and insights about this topic. Your efforts will be greatly rewarded.  Have a blessed day.

  10. Very interesting read. I had no idea the Sabbath actually meant a Saturday, but it does make a lot of sense. I love looking at all the different churches and I don’t belong to a specific one, but do go to certain ones in our area that give good sermons. 

    As some of the comments point out below, it is amazing all the different veiws of the different churches, and they all do believe that their view is the right one, and they all have their supporting verses in the Bible to prove it. However, the main focus of living a life with all the moral codes that the Bible teaches seems to remain the same. It’s all about developing your personal relationship with God with the use of bible study and prayer on a daily basis.

    1. Yes, Michel, the main focus must be on what the Bible teaches and being aware of the derivatives. That is how we develop our personal relationship with the Lord.

      Thanks for commenting, Michel!

  11. There are some many interpretations to the word of God. This is why we need to study the word of God prayerfully so that God can give us the correct interpretation. The says study to show thyself approved so that you can rightly understand the word of God. The remnant are those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Christ.

  12. Interesting article on the remnant church in the last days. When it comes to religion and within each religion itself you can find so many groups, who all believe that their way is the chosen one.

    Revelation is a book so covered/filled with mystery and prophesy and many people have their own take on many of it. I think only the Holy Spirit can enlighten one to understand scripture.

    It seems that you are passionate about what you believe as you can sense it in your writing.

    1. Yes, for sure, Dana, we need the Holy Spirit to understand Scripture. This observation is more apparent in some passages than others and is certainly true in the book of Revelation. The challenge is to rely more on the Spirit than our reasoning. I think that would lead to more uniformity in the interpretation of Scripture.

      Thanks for commenting.

  13. I appreciated the clean website. It is so nice to find a clean layout that is easy to navigate. Having a much different background I did not agree with the article on the Sabbath, however, it was well presented. I believe that its message is easily understood and very convincing.

    My experience is mostly in the Christian Church as a Pastor and teacher. I have great respect for everyone who tries to lead people into following the Bible more closely.

    Great job Nathaniel, I wrestled with your subject for a long time. I wish you continued blessings in your work for the Lord.

  14. I respect all your thoughts on the subject however, there is a debate in the Christian world over whether this commandment can be kept in another fashion. If it can, and the churches are keeping the other 9 and still respecting this commandment, then they too will not be excluded from the kingdom. Jesus died for sinners and expects holiness. It is dangerous to only accept our particular view of the word of God. Yes, it should not be open to changes but we must study and follow the Holy Spirit into deeper meaning. The first Christians met on the first day of the week and because they were also Jewish, they kept the sabbath but this tradition, as far as I know, was not kept or even encouraged for Gentile believers who converted to Christianity. 

    1. Greetings, Mr. Toplink – I’m not sure what you mean by another fashion. I agree that we should not only accept our particular view. That is why I believe in accepting the Scriptures for what they say and not my own view. Yes, the first Christians met on the first day of the week, but a close look at the context of those Scriptures containing that phraseology reveals that they were not meeting for worship but other reasons. They worshiped on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. The day of worship was changed to Sunday much later by a Roman Emperor. To my knowledge and observation, there isn’t a  Scripture that changes the day of worship or that any of the Commandments have been nullified. However, Scripture does state that “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” The Sabbath is the fourth Commandment of God’s moral Law, and God expects us to keep all of them. For more information on this topic, you are free to read the article, https://thechristianadvocate.o

      Thanks for commenting!

  15. Hi Nathaniel,

    I’m guessing you’re a Seventh Day Adventist ☺. Actually, I don’t have to guess; I know you are and that’s okay. I’m glad to have landed on your site even though I may not agree with you on a lot of issues. 

    The identity of the “remnant church” has been a hotly debated topic among theologians and scholars for as long as I can remember. It’s no wonder then that even Christian sects and denominations today are still hung up on this issue.

    I believe that every sincere follower of Christ would want to be a part of the “remnant seed/church” that John the elder referred to in Revelation 12:17. But at the very beginning of your post, you immediately equated it to the Seventh Day Adventist church. 

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it that the Seventh Day Adventist church did not exist until 1863? How could John be talking about a group that did not exist during his time? Unless you are claiming to have come from one of the existing churches when John wrote Revelation. 

    One more thing, if the Rapture happens before the Tribulation (Pre-Trib)  then the church, the Bride of Christ is already up in heaven with the Groom (Christ) while Revelation 12 is being fulfilled on earth. This just means that the remnant church, the true church of Jesus Christ is not what verse(17 is referring to. Rather, it’s referencing the Jews who remained faithful to Yahweh. After all, they are the “seed of the woman” that is the nation of Israel. 

    It’s the same seed of the woman that is mentioned in Genesis 3:15. 

    What do you think?

    1. Hello Alice – I appreciate your insightful questions.

      I mentioned in the article some of the various denominations that recognize the seventh-day Sabbath. Here’s what it reads:
      “The seventh day of the week is recognized as Sabbath in many languages, calendars, and doctrines, including Catholic,[1]
      Lutheran,[2]
      and Orthodox churches.[3]
      It is still observed in modern Judaism concerning Mosaic Law. In addition, the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches uphold Sabbatarianism, observing the Sabbath on Saturday and the Lord’s Day
      on Sunday.”

      The Remnant church is not a particular denomination. Anyone from any denomination can be a part of this group “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” This is the group John refers to in Revelation. The Seventh-Day- Adventist denomination is the most well-known segment of this group because of its name.

      When Christ returns, He will not be coming for a denomination but for true believers who have obeyed Him and His Father.

      Personally, at this point, I don’t believe that the rapture will be pre-trib but will take place when Jesus returns.

      Thanks for commenting!

  16. All Christians should be obedient to the Lord and focus on being part of the remnant church. Among the seven churches in Revelations, some churches are doing well, and some not so well. But it seems that in the time we are living, most churches seem to be like Laodicea. How sad!

    1. Hi Ann – Yes, we are definitely living in the Laodicean age and most churches are influenced by it. No doubt it is sad.

      Thanks for commenting! 

  17. I found this to be an interesting read. I came from a strong Christian background, and after studying many denominations was left amazed at how many churches have installed their own beliefs on top of the scriptures. I mention this in regards to your mentioning the Sabbath was never changed in scripture to no longer be the 7th day but instead the 1st.

    I see in one of the other comments it was asked how so many different branches and followers could have it wrong. Each group claiming the truth as divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. This perception goes back some time, in fact being one of the observations made by Joseph Smith who in his initial prayers asked God how he could know which line of belief had the correct answer.

    It seems clear to me that the answer, when in doubt, will always be found in the scriptures themselves. I also believe that there are many mysteries which it just isn’t within our ability to grasp and we must each come to terms with this limitation in understanding.

    For myself the prophecies, especially those contained in the book of Revelations are just such a mystery for myself. I accept this limitation and because of this don’t allow the many different interpretations by others sway me as I have no way of judging this matter correctly. The important part for all true believers is to stay true to the guidelines set forth in the bible, and not allow ones capacity to understand things like prophecy to undermine that connection we do have. 

    Through faith and humility, a spirit of gratitude and worship one has all the tools necessary to be a part of the remnant church you talk of.

    I appreciate this article as it touches on an issue many would prefer not to examine as it would lead to questioning the learned ones they follow. Many folks prefer to defer their salvation and relationship to an intermediate, when the bible clearly says the only one who is qualified to be such an intermediate is Jesus. 

    1. Hi Jason – You are correct; the answer is always in the Scriptures, and some mysteries are not within our ability to grasp. However, that is where the Holy Spirit comes in. Remember what Jesus said to His disciples when He introduced the Spirit, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” NIV   [John 16:13] The Spirit will guide us into the truth if we yield to Him, even the prophecies of Revelation. This way, you have the truth from the source. Even if He doesn’t reveal to you directly, He can lead you to a source that has the answers.

      We must pray for understanding whenever we approach the Scriptures, and we shall receive. Remember what Heb 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

      Thanks for commenting!

  18. Thank you for sharing this very interesting information.  I enjoyed reading the article and the comments.  In regards to the law, I feel it is important to remember that the Law of Moses and the ten commandments are not sufficient. Christ taught of a higher law that was based more on intent and mindset than outward actions  For example, the Savior expanded the commandments “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” by now commanding Christians to avoid even hatred or lust. (Matt. 5:28, 44.) Merely abstaining from adultery and murder was no longer sufficient. Christians must now change their very hearts, and this was more than the old Law had required.  There are also several examples of where Christ and his Apostles broke the expanded law of Moses as defined by the Pharisees of the day, but it was always to do good and progress gods work.  Keeping the law is important, but more important is where our hearts lie. 

    1. Hi Mike – You are correct; where our hearts are is very important. Our hearts must be in the right place to even attempt to follow the Law. But keep in mind that Christ fulfilled and expanded the Law; He did not do away with the Law of Moses. In Matt 5:17, Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

      The Crux of Christ’s message to mankind was love. When we exercise love, we are fulfilling the Law—the old and the new. Look at this passage in Rom 13:8-11

      8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

      9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

      10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

      Notice how much of the Old Law is contained in this New Testament passage. God’s moral Law is still in place, needs to be practiced, and is a requirement of the remnant church—the body of Christians that obey all of the Commandments of God.

      Thanks for commenting!

  19. Exceptionally intriguing read. I had no clue the time of rest really implied a Saturday, yet it checks out.

    As a portion of the remarks bring up underneath, it is astonishing all the different veiws of the different houses of worship, and they all accept that their view is the right one, and they all have their supporting refrains in the Good book to demonstrate it. Nonetheless, the primary focal point of carrying on with an existence with every one of the ethical codes that the Good book instructs appears to continue as before. Everything no doubt revolves around fostering your own relationship with God with the utilization of book of scriptures study and supplication consistently.

    1. Hello Katherine – It is interesting of all the different views that exist. However, there is only one correct truth. The important thing is to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and not our opinions and feelings but to stick to the truth. Remember, one of the functions of the Spirit is to guide us in “all truth” (John 16:13). With that approach, you can’t go wrong. So, we must pray before we study and meditate, not simply read.

      Thanks for commenting!

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