Remnant Testimony

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We would like to consider the remnant testimony in God's Word briefly for our encouragement. We never need to be afraid of conscious weakness. The Apostle Paul says, "When I am weak, then am I strong." I believe that an affected piety is even more dangerous than recognized weakness among us.
HEZEKIAH
In 2 Chron. 30:1515Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 30:15) we read, "Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the Lord." Then notice 2 Chron. 30:18-2018For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one 19That prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 20And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. (2 Chronicles 30:18‑20): "For a multitude of the people even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God the Lord God of his fathers; though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people." In this we find a picture of divine grace. However, it evoked scorn on the part of the enemy.
You find that in 2 Chron 30:10, 11: "So the posts passed from city to city, through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless, divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem." They came to the divine center. So at the very beginning we find here a remnant testimony. Beloved, we are weak and we confess it. We own it-we are part of the ruin. Even in the time of the Apostle Paul, in Acts 20, it would seem that he could not commend those few disciples gathered around him to any one but, "to God, and to the Word of His Grace.”
JOSIAH
Now notice Josiah. 2 Chron. 35:1, 21Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord, (2 Chronicles 35:1‑2): "Moreover, Josiah kept a passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord." The happy result is in 2 Chron. 35:1717And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. (2 Chronicles 35:17) and 18: "And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites." I suppose some would say, "What presumption there; this man was despised, too." What characterized the testimony of Josiah? When we read carefully through this portion we find in the testing of Josiah the value of the authority of God's Word. Of course, with that went faith, for, "Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
There is a prophetess who comes in here by the name of Huldah. "And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum." 2 Chron. 34:2222And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect. (2 Chronicles 34:22). And what did she say? This seems a weak affair, but there is a mighty truth enshrined in what she has to say in 2 Chron. 34:2727Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord. (2 Chronicles 34:27): "Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest His words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humblest thyself before Me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before Me; 1 have even heard thee also, saith the Lord.”
As one moves among God's beloved people, wherever they may be, we find a general weakening a- general rejection of fundamental things. Beloved, it is a picture of the closing moments of this age and we want to encourage our hearts. Here is a prophetess and she speaks wonderfully to him. She noticed that he humbled himself and that tears were being shed. Josiah shines brightly here, not because of any special accomplishment, but because of his tears, because of his humility and because of his nothingness.
DANIEL
Now look at the case of Daniel. Dan. 2:17-1917Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: 18That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. (Daniel 2:17‑19): "Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven." Where did Daniel get his power? From the God of heaven. There was faith there, and trust. "Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are His: and He changeth the time and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings: He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things.... But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living." Dan. 2:30, 20-2230But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart. (Daniel 2:30)
20Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: 22He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. (Daniel 2:20‑22)
. Isn't that lovely? God got the glory for this. So we find in the testimony of Daniel that he got his power from the living God.
We may beat around the bush in our service for Christ. I had been guilty of it in South America until one day the Lord came to me-just as if He put His hand on me and said, "Is this work yours or Mine?" I said, "Lord Jesus, it is Thine."-"Whose power is it?" I said, "Thine."-"And whose glory is it?" I said, "It is Thine, Lord." That was the beginning of the testimony in the Southeast of Bolivia. That was when God came in, and cruel men bent low at the feet of the Lord Jesus.
NEHEMIAH
Let us consider the testimony of Nehemiah as regards the building of the wall. The enemy said in Neh. 4:33Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. (Nehemiah 4:3), "If a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall." A strong wall it was indeed. It was a wall of separation. Then when they saw that it was not possible to deceive Nehemiah, they proposed a meeting there on the plains of One. (Neh. 6:22That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. (Nehemiah 6:2).) Beloved, let us be careful about compromising on the plains of One, and just say, "O, no!" The testimony of Nehemiah is just that-"O, no!" It was a lone testimony, shall we say, but God was with him.
MALACHI
In Malachi we find another remnant testimony. It is interesting to read the whole book when you have time. Here is a testimony that is rather remarkable. Mal. 2:1717Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment? (Malachi 2:17): "Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?" Now Mal. 3:5-75And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. 6For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. 7Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? (Malachi 3:5‑7): "And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers... and against those that... fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?”
There is one bright light indeed in the darkness, in the midst of the confusion. Notice that there is a remnant in Mal. 3:1616Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. (Malachi 3:16): "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name." A book was written. Even in Solomon's time, no book was ever written like that.
Who was the writer of that book? God was the writer! God had a book of remembrance written here concerning this little weak testimony, a remnant testimony. "And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not." Mal. 3:17, 1817And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 18Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Malachi 3:17‑18). And so there is a remnant testimony.
SIMEON AND ANNA
When we turn over to the New Testament, we see a little group in Luke 2, Simeon and Anna, waiting for that blessed One to come. It was a remnant testimony. If we turn to Rev. 3:88I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. (Revelation 3:8), we have a little group, a little remnant. "A little strength." Just a little strength, beloved. We have nothing to boast of. May we keep His Word, and not deny His name!
Paul said to Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:11Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1), "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." How can we be strong if we never read God's Word, and then get on our knees and pray, and walk in separation from this world, its sin and its system, in obedience to God's Word? How can we be strong if we never feed on it? "The Word of God, that liveth and abideth forever!" Walter Scott, that dear old man, used to hold it up and say, "Brethren, this is open in our hands tonight and it will be open in heaven forever; it shall never pass away!" How blessed it is to believe it. "Forever, Oh Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven." Psa. 119:8989LAMED. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89). It is the privilege and the responsibility of this little remnant to keep His Word. E.F. Smith