Paul R Phelps (2 Jan 2012)
"End-time Remnant"


Hi John, 

I taught this at a recent church retreat and am sending it to Fivedoves thinking that others may find this topic interesting. 

Our church is Mandarin speaking, so I’m sending the files in both English-text and Chinese-text, if you want to post both. 

Blessings in Christ,  //  Paul Phelps

…………………………………………………….

 

Prophecy notes by Paul Phelps regarding a Remnant Refuge for some last-day believers. 

 

Apostle Paul said that in the last days, we will be caught up to God (1 Thes. 4:13-18).  But the Bible also says that we will return to earth with him to assist in ruling the nations in his earthly kingdom (Rev. 2:26). 

 

Presently there is a lot of discussion among Bible students about when the “catching away” of the Saints will be.  This subject is complicated by several questions of theology, some of which are hard to resolve; nevertheless God’s promise is true and we can be confident of it.  A more useful question for us is: What should we do to prepare for the last-day events that we find ourselves in? 

 

Jesus said the last days will be like the days of Noah (Matt. 24:37), and these days may be starting now because a confirming sign has just happened.  A team of explorers from Hong Kong has recently found remains of Noah’s Ark upon Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey, and taken proof photographs and samples.  Carbon dating of these samples confirms Bible dating of Noah’s Flood—over four-and-half millennia ago.  http://www.noahsarksearch.net/eng/

With this discovery, we are alerted to give serious attention to our Lord’s prophecies about the last days.  Luke 21:34-36,

34  Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness

and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 

35  For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth

36  Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen,

and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man. 

 

The Bible says clearly that God will protect some of his elect remnant through this end-time tribulation.  Matthew 24:21-22,

            21  For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—

            and never to be equaled again. 

            22  If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect

those days will be shortened. 

 

There are clear Scriptures that some true believers will survive through the tribulation into the Kingdom.  Zephaniah 2:3,

            Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. 

Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger. 

 

Revelation Twelve shows last-day events in symbol, wherein a “woman(kingdom gospel, “our Mother,” see Galatians 4:26-27) is pictured on earth as a surviving remnant in a safe place of God’s protection.  Satan, the dragon, tries to kill the woman, 16 “But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 

17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring —those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” 

(NOTE: the “desert” of verse 14 should be wilderness, signifying a place of refuge away from population.) 

 

The Revelation plagues taken together will reduce the world population in the tribulation to one third, and Zechariah 13:8-9 confirms this:

            “In the whole land (earth),” declares the Lord, “two-thirds will be struck down and perish;

            yet one-third will be left in it. 

            9   This third I will bring into (through) the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. 

            They will call on my name and I will answer them;

            I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” 

Based on this text, a world population of two-billion-plus will survive to the Kingdom at the return of Jesus and there will be a remnant of elect believers among these end-time survivors.  This is Gods remnant

 

Joel’s prophecy will have a final and complete fulfillment in the end-time—leading up to the Lord’s return.  Joel 2:28-32,

            28  And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

            your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 

            29  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 

            30  I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 

            31  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 

            32  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved;

            for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said,

            among the survivors whom the Lord calls

 

As believers in Jesus with New Covenant promises, our deliverance is in the Heavenly Zion (Rev. 14:1-5) and New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-4), and clearly—some believers are predestined to survive the tribulation.  2 Kings 19:31, and Isaiah 37:32,

            For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors

            The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. 

(NOTE: In prophetic texts, all Israeli names have symbolic meaning for New Covenant spiritual believers.) 

 

The last-day remnant is international, and the appointed places of refuge (of Rev. 12:14) could be many.  Jeremiah 23:3-4,

            3  “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them

            and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number

            4   I will place shepherds over them who will tend them,

and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord. 

(verses 5-6 continue about the return of Jesus as King)

 

The final ‘catching away’ described in 1 Thes. 4:13-18 involves resurrection because the saints of earlier generations have died.  The first resurrection happens when Jesus comes back to set up his kingdom.  Rev. 20:6,

            Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection

            The second death has no power over them,

            but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. 

 

The resurrection of believers is a new body to fit the new world.  Both heaven and earth are renewed, and the bodies of us all, both dead and living, will be changed to fit the new world—we will all be changed.”  1 Corinthians 15:51-52,

            51  Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed

52  in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. 

For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 

 

The nature and glory of new world bodies will be determined by the inheritance appointed to each person.  2 Timothy 2:20-21,

            20  In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay;

            some for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 

            21  If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes,

            made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 

1 Corinthians 15:38,40,

            38  But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 

            40  There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but

            the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 

 

 

末日神的余民的避难所

 

使 徒保罗说在末日我们将要被提见神(帖前41318)。 但 圣经也说我们将和主一同回到地上与他一同治理地上万国 (启226

现 今圣经学者之间有许多关于圣徒何时被提的讨论。这个题目因为一些神学观点上的疑问变得更复杂。有些是非常难解的。然而无论如 何神的应许是真实的,我们可以完全信靠。一个对我们更切身的问题就是:我们因该如何为我们将要面对的末日做好准备?

耶 稣说末日将如同挪亚的日子(太2437)。 因为最近所发生的印证, 那 日子可能已经开始。一对香港探索者最近在土耳其东部的亚拉烈山上发现了据说是挪亚方舟的遗骸。他们影像和样本为证。炭定测试 这些样本符合圣经上的挪亚洪水时间,大约在4800年 前http://www.noahsarksearch.net/gbk/

谁 着此项发现,提醒我们认真关注神关于末日的预言。

路 加福音 213436

你 们要谨慎,恐怕因贪食、醉酒,并今生的思虑累住你们的心,那日子就如同网罗忽然临到你们;因为那日子要这样临到全地上一切居 住的人。你们要时时警醒,常常祈求,使你们能逃避这一切要来的事,得以站立在人子面前。

圣 经清楚地说神将在末日大灾难中保护一批他所拣选的余民。

马 太福音 242122

因 为那时,必有大灾难,从世界的起头直到如今,没有这样的灾难,后来也必没有。

若 不减少那日子,凡有血气的,总没有一个得救的;只是为选民,那日子必减少了。

有 清楚的经文表明将有一些真信徒会从大灾难幸存下来进入千嬉国度。

西 番亚书 23

世 上遵守耶和华典章的谦卑人哪,你们都当寻求耶和华!当寻求公义谦卑,

或 者在耶和华发怒的日子可以隐藏起来。

启 示录十二章用象征显示末日的事件。在地上有一位妇人(神国度的福音,我 们的母亲, 见加拉太书42627), 象征幸存的余民,在一个安全的地方受到神的保护。撒旦,那古龙,试图杀死那妇人。但是 地 却帮助妇人,開口吞了从龙口吐出来的水。龙向妇人发怒,去与她其余的儿女争战,这儿女就是那守神诫命、为耶稣作见证的。那時 龙就站在海边的沙上。龙向妇人发怒,去与她其余的儿女争战,这儿女就是那守神诫命、为耶稣作见证的。(启1216-17

(注:14节 里的旷 野意 指远离人群的避难所)

启 示录里的灾难加在一起会将世界人口减少到三分之一。撒加利亚书 1389 证实这点:

耶 和华说:这全地的人,三分之二必剪除而死,三分之一仍必存留。我要使这三分之一经火,

熬 炼他们,如熬炼银子;试炼他们,如试炼金子。他们必求告我的名,我必应允他们。

我 要说:这是我的子民。他们也要说:耶和华是我们的神。

基 于这段经文,大约二十亿的世界人口将幸存到耶稣再来时的国度。在这些末日幸存者中包括一批被拣选的信徒余民。他们是神的余 民。

 

约珥 的预言将在末日最终完全实现-引向主的再来。 约 珥书 22832

以 后,我要将我的灵浇灌凡有血气的。你们的儿女要说预言,你们的老年人要作异梦,少年人要见异象。在那些日子,我要将我的灵浇 灌我的仆人和使女。在天上地 下,我要显出奇事,有血、有火、有烟柱。日头要变为黑暗,月亮要变为血,这都在耶和华大而可畏的日子未到以前。到那时候,凡 求告耶和华名的就必得救;因为 照耶和华所说的,在锡安山耶路撒冷必有逃脱的人,在剩下的人中必有耶和华所召的。

作 为信靠耶稣拥有新约应许的信徒,我们的拯救在属天的锡安山(启1415

和 新耶路撒冷(启2114), 清楚的是有些信徒被预定要幸存大灾难。

列 王纪下1931 和以赛亚书3732

必 有余剩的民从耶路撒冷而出;必有逃脱的人从锡安山而来。耶和华的热心必成就这事。

(注: 在预言文字里,所有以色列的名字都有新约属灵信徒的象征意义)

末 日余民是国际性的,指定的避难所(启1214) 也会有多处。

耶 利米属 2334

我 要将我羊群中所余剩的,从我赶他们到的各国内招聚出来,领他们归回本圈;他们也必生养众多。我必设立照管他们的牧人,牧养他 们。他们不再惧怕,不再惊惶,也不缺少一個;这是耶和华说的。(接下去的经文预言耶稣以君王的身份再来)

在 帖撒罗尼伽前书41318中 形容的最后的被 提指 的是复活,因为过去的圣徒们已经死了。

第 一次的被提要 在耶稣再来建立他的国度时发生。

启 示录 206

在 头一次复活有分的有福了,圣洁了!第二次的死在他们身上没有权柄。

他 们必作神和基督的祭司,并要与基督一同作王一千年。

圣 徒的复活是要有一个可以适应新世界的新身体。天地都要更新,我们不论活着的或是死了的,

身 体都要改变以适应这个新世界-我们都要改变

哥 林多前书 155152

我 如今把一件奥秘的事告诉你们:我们不是都要睡觉,乃是都要改变,就在一霎時,眨眼之间,

号 筒末次吹响的時候。因号筒要响,死人要复活成为不朽坏的,我们也要改变。

新 世界身体的天性和荣耀将由指定给每个人的产业而定。

提 摩太后书 22021

在 大户人家,不但有金器银器,也有木器瓦器;有作为贵重的,有作为卑贱的。

人 若自洁,脱離卑贱的事,就必作贵重的器皿,成为圣洁,合乎主用,预备行各样的善事。

哥 林多前书 153840

但 神随自己的意思给他一個形体,并叫各等子粒各有自己的形体。

有天上的形体,也有地上的形体;但天上形体的荣光是一样,地上形体的荣光又是一样。