You Are A City On A Hill-The Remnant Church, The Remnant People

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A few months ago the Lord gave me a nudge to read Matthew 25:1-12 – the illustration about His sleeping bride.   As usual, I had no idea He was going to take me on a journey that became incredibly personal. I believe His heart is torn on those He loves, those He calls by name….who are not willing to leave the ‘old ways’ behind and surrender to His last call.   As these verses indicate, the church is moving in a direction where His lamp stand is ‘required’ to be lit before He reveals the details of His final plans (marching orders).  This article will begin with instructions from the above verses and then they will be applied to our church today. Please read until the end so we can be united in the last days-the final great harvest.

As most of you know, the original inspired word written by Mathew did not have chapter and verse numbers, they were added later (1277 AD had chapters divisions and by 1551 the entire Bible had chapter and verse selections). Thus, Mathew 25 was an extension of the sermon prior to it, Mathew 24-noteable one of the greatest teachings in the Word of God on end time prophecy.
Mathew 24 is packed with prophecies and events taking place in the world right before the return of Christ. The beginning of Mathew 25 gives the condition of the 10 virgins during this time, representing the final church or bride just prior to His return. Before we compare the church in Matt. 25 with our present day church, let’s highlight some teachings found in Math. 25:1-12.

Matthew 25:1-13 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

Notice:
1)  All 10 virgins were waiting for the bridegroom, thus all 10 were considered ‘brides’ (vs. 5). Scripture indicates the bride of Christ is the church.

Revelation 19:7  for the marriage of the Lamb (Jesus) is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Revelation 21:9 … Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

Mark 2:19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them.  See Eph. 1: 22-23, Jn. 3:29, 2 Cor 11:2, Is. 54:5, 62:5

Even though Israel was considered the Lords chosen in the Old Testament (Dt. 7:6) the Bible is still honest about their behavior, both in obedience and disobedience (Dt 28, Ex. 32, 1 Kings 8:1-11).  Likewise, the New Testament mentions the full range of the churches behavior….as show in the following verses.

2) Verses 2-5 simply states there were two groups of virgins (potential brides), or two groups within the church in the latter days. Those who were wise with oil, and those who were unwise and did not collect their oil.   As many of you already know, the oil represents the Holy Spirit whom we obey so we can abide in Christ. (Is. 61:1-2, Luke 4:18, Acts 10:38).    Those 5 virgins that used wisdom had enough oil to the be able to enter His presence when He returned. (vs 10- The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet)
Obviously, the ones without the oil were not able to do so….no matter how hard they tried. (vs. 10-12 And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’)
Many of us have listened to sermons and teachings on these passages and pastors have been correct to warn us to be ready in the end times. What happens next however I believe will grieve your heart as does the Lords. We in America have stopped short of teaching the true condition of  today’s church.

3) All 10 virgins, both those who are wise and unwise are sleeping. vs. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
No where in the Word of God does it teach sleeping spiritually is a quality the Lords desires. The Word explains just the opposite. It jeopardizes the condition of our soul (below verses), blinds us and gives no light to the lost around us.

Isaiah 29:10 For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.
Romans 13:11-12 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near
Ephesians 5:14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” See Rom 8:11, Is 56:10, Matt 24:43-44, Rev 3:2.

To be sleeping in the Bible means we are ‘out of touch’ with what is happening around us! The sleeping virgins in Math. 25 thus indicates ‘sleepers’ will be unaware of the prophetic teachings in Mathew 24  (both chapters from the same sermon).  They will be unaware of the Lords purpose, direction and guidance  in the approaching days.  As explained below, quoting scripture and having a general idea we are in the end times does not make us awake, prepared, focused and united to the direction for the end times in the Lord.

In your sleep you can breath, dream and turn over but you can also be easily overtaken…not just for you but also for your loved ones. As the above verses teach us…spiritual sleep is dangerous, it is a serious condition to be in.
The Lord is teaching us most of the organized church is in a state of sleepiness.   Half the traditional church will not have oil (no evidence of the Lords light) and will experience the Lords judgment vs. 10-12.  The other 5 did have ‘reserve oil‘ to enter the Lords presence, but still were sleeping.   When awoken, they had to turn on their lamps to see vs. 6-7 .   Thus, they were  totally unprepared for the disaster  that came upon the world vs. 6.   They were not heeding the warnings in this sermon (Matt. 24) to stay awake and ‘watch’ for over 100 different signs and events given in this chapter Matt. 24:33. 

 5-7 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out:  7 “Then all the virgins woke

4) The great alarm that wakes all the church up at once ( vs. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom!) is considered by many to be one of the great seals as described in Rev. 6 and Matt 24:4-10. Once the second seal is broken, peace will not return to the earth until Christ returns-we have to be ready and prepared (See Day of the Lord Rapture, Rev. 3:10 )

Revelation 6:4 And another horse came forth, a red horse: and to him that sat thereon it was given to take peace from the earth, and that they should slay one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

TODAY’S CHURCH 

Now we are going to add another bride (a church with it’s own condition, different that the two mentioned above) but so few in number-they simply don’t have a ‘count’ . Let’s go back to the first paragraph.  The Lord was giving me a nudge to review Math. 25:1-13.   He simply asked…how many churches to you find in the word. I stated….two Lord-as these verses indicate.  His leading then asked, there are three in the Word, where is the third church. Yes, I was stumped….lol. After a few moments however, a light bulb went off. Oh yes, the non sleeping church, the church that is awake. Kinda felt like how could I miss this??

1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 for ye are all sons of light, and sons of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness;  so then let us not sleep, as do the rest, but let us watch and be sober.

If we connect the dots with the mustard seed church (those that understand that the Lord has given the church the responsibility to bring down the Kingdom of God) Mat. 11:12  we can start to understand the ‘big picture’ or direction of the Lord (See 1st 4 articles Kingdom of God) .   As stated above, those that understand that the Kingdom of God church is like a ‘mustard seed’, they are the church that is awake. They are also the church that has a unified leading from the Lord, obviously, since they are alert they can  hear from Him in all major areas. They have very few disagreements  and are unified in purpose.

Jesus says a mustard seed starts out small, and grows to the biggest plant in the garden (Mark 4:30-31). So right now the church that is awake is so small not many notice their existence , but will grow so big it will accomplish great things. One of their major objectives is to fight the domain of darkness and with help from above, Satan is cast down as described in Rev. 12:7-11.  For the first time since the fall of Adam and Eve, the power of the heavenly kingdom will come to earth. We simply apply the victory that Jesus has given to us.

Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Ephesians 1:20-21 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

We have the same authority in Christ!

Ephesians 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, see Eph 1:3

Note:  For the sake of clarity I have ‘borrowed’ from  pastor Steven  Steward the name of the church that is awake-the Remnant Church.

THE LORD IS ON THE MOVE

What I would like to share with you is how I see the Lord is moving. I fully understand however that this perspective is a small piece of His big picture. When I listen and hear what others are saying across America (both the sleeping and the remnant church) I truly believe what I am experiencing in Florida is happening across America.

I. THE CHURCH WITHOUT THE OIL-THE 5 VIRGINS

These verses  teach that none of the virgins were in ‘trouble’ until midnight when the Lord returned.   Since we do not know the day or the hour of His return (we do know the season Matt 24:32 & 42) we always need to be ready for His coming (Lk 12:46). One is never considered foolish by having an accident, you become foolish because you make decisions after being warned otherwise.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

We become foolish when we do not  listen to one with authority or to those who know better-specifically The Lord. They are foolish because for years they have not heeded the warnings of God.

Prov. 15:32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

What I am seeing and experiencing is a fierce anger from the Lord to those who once have experience the way of the Lord and for years have not listened to His warnings.

Hebrews 6:4-7 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

His correction is quickly turning into judgment. They once knew the way and have not cleaned themselves with the Holiness of God, they have no oil in reserve…their darkness has now overtaken them.

As 2 Pet. 2:21 states, For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  See Jn. 15:6, Rom 11:22, Phil 2:12, 2 Tim 2:12, Heb. 6:26-31

There is a ‘last warning’ to them, it they do not repent, it will turn into an everlasting judgment (Matt 24:48-51). Remember, this group was counted as His bride, these are the ones in the church.

II. THE SLEEPING CHURCH-WITH THE OIL-THE OTHER 5 VIRGINS

Years ago I started noticing that many of my Christian friends  were  sincere in many areas of their walk but were not heeding the call for the end times church…or the church that is preparing for His return-His remnant. They seem to be ‘aware’ of the end times, claim we are headed for the ‘end times’ but are closed to the ‘purpose’ of the end times.  See  1st 4 Articles Kingdom of God

I truly believe if they were to pass from this life, they would be in the presence of the Lord. They simply were ‘following’ a routine in the church or mens traditions…(Mark 7:8-13).  They were  sleeping when it comes to being prepared for His return.  As one can tell when an individual does not know the Lord (they are ‘clueless’ of the things of heaven) His sleeping children seem to be clueless concerning the current direction from the Lord and His intense purpose for the church. They are numb to the true direction of the Lord (Ps. 25:14).  As mentioned before, it can be a dangerous situation. If they continue following the traditions of man (Col 2:8 ) it can mean disobedience to the Lord…and that can grow into darkness as stated above.  This is never a good state to be in.

Within this second group (those that are sincere) there seems to be a ‘range’ of severity….or depth of sleep. There are those that truly hear from the Lord in many areas, but as Ps. 51:6 states, may not be open to the Lord is this ‘particular area’ of their heart.  Counselors have noticed this Biblical truth, we can be open to truth in some areas but in denial in other ‘parts’ of our heart.

Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

The remnant church and the sleeping church with oil are in agreement in several aspects  of our Christian walk.   These sleeping saints however seem blinded in major areas in prophecy and direction from the Lord.  As mentioned earlier, the sleeping virgins in Matt 25 are asleep as far a prophecy in Matt 24 (the same teaching)So those who are not hearing correctly from the Lord about the last days are those virgins sleeping with oil.  See ‘The Way’.

The consequences of being asleep can be devastating. I believe this is the major cry for the church at this time…to awake the church-those sleeping but with oil…the sincere Christians not yet surrendering to the great call of God.  As stated earlier, the remnant church will be able to have unity as far a major direction from the Lord.  When we humble ourselves and fear His name, the Lord will teach us…

Psalm 25:14  The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

The remnant church knows we will go through the seals from the earth but not the wrath of the Lord (the two sets of judgments from heaven).   If interpreted  correctly, Rev. 3:10 teaches there will be a ‘general’ protection from the Lord-for those who are not sleeping and thus flee the punishment of mystery Babylon.

This teaching from the Word goes directly against the prominent teaching in the church today…the Pre-Tribulation Rapture which states the church will be taken before the tribulation seals from earth mentioned in Revelation 6.  Many want the easy way out and thus are not open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Word.  See Day of the Lord Rapture, Rev. 3:10

Lets stop for a moment and consider what the Lord is teaching. We have a group of people in the church who are sincere in most areas of their walk.  Depending on the church, at least half of them we have sincere fellowship with. Some of them we agree about many biblical principles. As mentioned in Ps. 51:6 however , they simply are shut down in one area of their heart…His purpose for the church-to join the awake (mustard seed) church and advance the Kingdom of God…

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. See Luke 4:43, 1 John 3:8

The Dangers of Sleeping 

First and foremost, if you are not in tune with the Lords purpose you will probably go along with the Pre-Tribulation rapture. You will say, I do not have to leave for the Lords  protection in  Rev. 3:10, or flee from the Lords destruction of mystery Babylon (Jer. 51:6, Rev. 18:4).  You will say, I do not have to worry  because I will be gone via the rapture.  Rev 18:8 and  Isa. 47:9  teach that cities will be destroyed in a moment, probably by nuclear attack. Millions will perish-those Christians that are sleeping their families will perish.

Revelation 18:4 & 8
 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues (8) Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

Yes, there is persecution in the seals, but the Lord has a general protection for those not sleeping. See Rev. 3:10.  Yes, many will be martyred during the tribulation, but if your family can make safety by His promise…then we have to try. There is not a day that goes by that I long to see my Christian brothers and sisters in the Lord wake up and heed His warnings. I have talked to Christians time and time again, consider the scriptures and ‘break through’ to the Lord and hear from Him.   Many  simply throw the warnings to the ground. They do not fear the Lord in this area and truly pray through. Their children are in danger and it concern is real. It is time to wake up.

By sleeping, it also eliminates the ‘bride’ from the remnant church. You will be in a church that constantly is fighting for the Lords anointing and always seems to be struggling for it. The cooperate anointing from heaven as Jesus promises-the church, His city on a hill Matt 5:14, will always seem to be out of your reach. Sadly, the great holy and glorious anointing that the Lord has intended  for His radiant church in the last days (Eph. 5:27) will continue to fade because many have discarded His true direction for the church.

  HINDRANCES TO BECOMING  REMNANT CHURCH

Note: I once believe in almost all of the below teachings. When we receive a nudge from the Lord however to be corrected, we have to follow His truth.

1) Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  Believing we will be ‘gone’ for the seals will give the church an excuse not to prepare and work to bring down the kingdom of God. We will be here until the Day of the Lord.   See Day of the Lord Rapture, Rev. 3:10

2) Rejecting the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I talked against this heavenly provision for 12 years…and I was wrong. This brings in His wisdom and power to accomplish His work See Baptism of the Holy Spirit

3) Pride, Lack of brokenness.    Having a corner of your heart not willing to surrender to Him

Psalm 25:9  He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.

4) Wanting to keep the connections to your friends and family -in your current church or simply wanting you keep things ‘your way’.

III. REMNANT CHURCH

NOTE: The Bible has several names for remnant church-or the church that will start out small and grow into the greatest move of God the world has ever experienced (Mustard Seed Church Mk. 4:30-32, Church on good ground Mk. 4:8, Church that is awake 1 Thes. 5:4-7, City {singular} Church on a Mountain Matt. 5:14)

I have noticed there seems to be many misunderstandings about the remnant church. One being they considered themselves ‘special’ or even ‘superior’. Nothing could be further from the truth.
To be awake means you are aware of what you are doing and your surroundings. It means you are aware how inadequate we are in our own strength (2 Cor 12:9-10).  It means we are aware we need His purity and guidance in our lives 1 Thes 5:23.
One of the easiest ways to view the remnant church is like  ‘boot camp’.  Those training in boot camp generally become aware how weak they are, not how strong. They know they are being tested for service…for a greater cause. They realize the leader is ‘pulling’ out the weaknesses for training in righteousness.  They are aware of who is in the boot camp and who is not, it is obvious. They are hearing from the same commander and have the same purpose. Their skills are different, but their purpose is the same. They receive the same memos from their commander.

Philippians 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

HOW TO ENTER THE REMNANT CHURCH

1) Sign up. In other words, get completely honest with your resistance and surrender everything to the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Stop hanging on to ‘my way, my church, my friends, my traditions’.

Go to the Lord with a totally sincere prayer…

Lord , I want you perfect will in my life, make my understanding, my beliefs your believes and not mine. I have to have your truth…your truth is the only way to help your children. Show me all the errors in my heart, especially ones that will lead my family into danger.

True revival (kingdom of God on earth) can be broken down in 2 categories, brokenness or humility and truly seeking the presence of God. Jer 29:11

2) Study the Kingdom of God, it’s purpose for the end time church.
Read about if from other pastors and under the site map here, commit to reading the first 4 articles on the kingdom of God. The remnant church will unite in the end times to be the greatest church to date. Mark 4:30-31, Matt 23:14, Eph. 5:27.

3) Be willing to shed your traditions , games and everything that hinders you from moving in the churches last call from the Lord. Pray and start seeking a remnant church

4) Signs of a Remnant Church

-They will have the correct teaching of the timing of the rapture See Day of the Lord Rapture          

-They will bring down the Kingdom of God Matt. 11:12 See Kingdom of God

-There will be an incredible genuiness about them, they will radiate from being connected to the Lord...a bright city on a mountain Matt 5:14

-They will eventually want to unite with other radiant churches Matt. 24:14, Rev. 12:7-11. 

-The power of the Lord will manifest..in love and great glory.   This will increase as more remnant churches combine Eph. 5:27, Matt. 11:12

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.

In summary-they simply will be ‘awake’.    You will hear from the Lord, so will they.   Their purpose will be the same-to advance the Kingdom of God.   They will be ‘one’ in Spirit and glory, not just in Name Jn. 17:21-22.   When this church is finally walking in His Radiance, in most instances…we will walk into a sleeping church and notice their slumber immediately.   Likewise-the church that is the city (singular) on a mountain that lights up the world-we will be able to instantly recognize the Spirits Glory.  See United Church, Prophecy

Thank you for reading this post. Lets unite in His glory and watch the Lords presence break through like never before..

God bless you all…

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