Friday, May 27, 2011

Little Flock...past and future

You once mentioned that those of the little flock who believed the kingdom gospel up to Paul were sealed.  So can you give more information about this?  

Are there parts of Hebrews- Revelation that were directly for the little flock of Peter's time and other parts that are directly for the Jews to come in the tribulation? 

How do you know which teachings are for which group?  

The little flock of Peter's time is of course gone and won't need instruction in the future...exactly which Jews have to persevere and endure to the end and which are sealed?

First, which Jews in the future must endure to the end, and which ones are sealed?

All the Jews in that future day must first believe that Christ is their Messiah and endure to the end. What does it mean to ‘endure to the end?’ To keep Christ's commandments and to not take the Antichrist's mark, aka the mark of the beast. Those who "fall away" will do so because of tribulation, among which you would not be able to buy or sell unless you take the mark of the beast.

Listen to what the Lord says...

Matthew 10:21-22
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

The Lord foretold about the different Jews of that day and how they would respond in the parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:18-23
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

So depending on the heart condition of the Jew who believed, he would be tested to see whether he would endure to the end or not. That is what happened to Simon in Acts 8.

Acts 8:13-23
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

So those Jews, whose hearts are right before God will endure to the end of their life or until Christ returns!

As to your question about the little flock who were trusting Christ as Messiah at the moment Paul was saved, I mentioned how they were sealed to the kingdom.

Romans 11:2-7
God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

Here, just like Elijah thought that God did not have any one in Israel who believed him beside himself, and yet Elijah was mistaken because God had a small remnant. So too, God had a small remnant of Jews left, when he saved Paul to begin the dispensation of Grace after the majority of the nation fell away!

Paul calls that remnant the "election" those who will serve him in the kingdom. They are not all that will go in because he will raise up more Jews in the future, but they were assured that they would be resurrected into that earthly kingdom.

Romans 11:5, 7
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

The election hath obtained the kingdom, but the rest of the nation was blinded and will not get in.

Paul refers to this remnant in other passages:

Galatians 6:16
 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Romans 16:7
Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.*

Colossians 4:11
 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.


So what about those who are sealed?

Well, God and his angels will know who those that are sealed are, but the people themselves won't!

They will have to endure by faith!

That sealing in revelation takes place from God's heavenly viewpoint, but those on earth don't know who is sealed or who is not!

Just like you and I today don't know who is truly saved in our church, but God knows.

2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

The Lord knows who is saved today, and we who 'name the name of Christ' should depart from the iniquity of not rightly dividing!

So although God knows those who will be sealed in the tribulation period, they won't know—they will have to endure by trusting his word by faith and not take the mark of the beast!

Hopefully this helps! 

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

*  As far as those said to being "in Christ before" Paul, just shows that they had faith "in him." Even in the kingdom program to Israel, the Lord made it clear that those members of his little flock were saved "in him."

Isaiah 45:17
But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

Isaiah 45:25
In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

John 6:56
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

John 14:20
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

1 John 4:13
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

1 John 5:20
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

All true believers are "in Christ," whether in the kingdom program of time past and the ages to come, or today in the body of Christ in the dispensation of grace.  ALL who trust him are said to be "in him." We today are in his "Body" which was a mystery until revealed to and thru Paul.

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