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EKKLESIA 02 - The Remnant Manifesto

The second part of our Ekklesia series by Pastor Taunja Hoole

These are exciting times!

We started a new foundational series last week where we're looking at what Jesus meant when he said, "On this rock, I'm building my church, and the gates of hell won't prevail against it."

 

What did Jesus mean by "church" when He used the Greek word "Ekklesia" to describe what He would build? Does what the church of the 21st century look like His original intent?

 

"The greatest, most exciting, and most fruitful days for the church are not in our past, they're right now, and they're in our future."

 

We are in a new era, a new period of history for the church. We are about to experience something that the church has never experienced before. The closest thing to it is the book of Acts, but it's going to be even more powerful because it will be global.

 

No other time in church history even compares with the era we have now entered.

 

In the past, there have been pockets of revival in different places…this is going to be revival fires burning everywhere. We are entering days of supernatural breakthroughs. It is not off in the distance; it is here…now. We are in a defining moment.

Defining moments are decided by who defines the moment.

Our King Jesus has called His church (His Ekklesia) to partner with Him and rise up and define the moment. Holy Spirit is asking City Gate Church, and each one of us individually, to grow in this season. He wants us to press towards Him in every area of our lives. We must push into our assignments. It's a season to press forward in what He's calling us to be and to do. He wants to mature you personally, and us corporately as a church.

  

There is a group that is dear to God's heart, and He's graciously giving us an invitation to be part of it. It is His Remnant Ekklesia. All through the Bible, God has always had a Remnant of people. A small group of people that He can use to change things, to make history, and to shift things. That sounds glamorous, but if you read the Bible, it’s hardly glamorous – it’s always hard work, obedience, sacrifice, and pushing through.

God works through a Remnant!

REVIEW:


Remnant Defined in Scripture:

1. A small portion of people left after a disaster or destruction

2. Those who remain faithful to God despite suffering and who ultimately experience restoration

 

Webster's 1913 Dictionary:

1. That which remains after a part is removed, destroyed, used up,

2. A small portion, a slight trace, a fragment, a little bit, a scrap

3. An unsold end of a piece of goods or an unused piece (cloth)

 

Remnant: A piece or part of the original. To be part of a Remnant means you are radically identified and connected to the authentic.

 

Biblical Examples of The Remnant: 


  • Noah and his family  
  • Joseph
  • Esther 
  • Ezra 
  • Nehemiah
  • Gideon – The Lord called Gideon to take on the enemies of Israel, but He didn't feel qualified at all. In fact, he was hiding when God called him. But Gideon responded to the Lord's request. He put together his army of 32,000 men, and then God whittled it down to just 300! That was a tiny remnant in light of the immense enemy army surrounding them, but a remnant is all God needed.

 

Honest Side Note: In our current context, with the pandemic and lockdowns, etc., it feels like God has whittled the church down to His Remnant! It could seem discouraging with so many in fear or getting out of the habit of going to church, but maybe God is just getting His Gideon's army right now? He's readying his Remnant. I want to be a Remnant that God can use to do what He needs to do right now.

 

  • Jesus started with a remnant of 12 disciples 
  • Jesus told the 500 to wait for the Holy Spirit to be poured out, but only 120 climbed the steps to the Upper Room and were there to receive. 

God wants everybody, but He never starts with everybody. He always begins with a remnant.

God puts into the Remnant what He wants everybody else to have too. God didn't need 32,000 men; He only needed 300. God isn't waiting for the entire nation to repent before He forgives our sins and heals our land. He's just wanting his Remnant to stand in the gap and take some steps of faith. It doesn't even have to be the whole church repenting on behalf of the land; it can be a remnant.

 

Not everyone in the church is part of God's Remnant church.

Not everyone who sits in pews or chairs in church on a Sunday is a part of the Remnant saying, "God, use me. I'm awake. I'm alert. I choose faith over fear in this hour because I believe you're about to do something amazing! You are a good God, and you want to pour out mercy on our land, not wrath. So, I will stand with you in prayer for what you want to do."

1. Remnants are called; they are not the leftovers, and they are not the elite.

A Remnant is not the idea of “we’re the only ones left.” That thinking pushes a sense of elitism. Remnants are NOT elitists.


It’s also not the unnecessary distraction of “we are carrying the torch everybody put down!” This thinking leads to a small group of people holding onto an aspect of the past. Instead, it should be a chosen and called group pursuing something for the future.


• Remnants are called, prepared, positioned, and invested with blueprints for the anticipated future.

• Remnants have tasted what is coming and altered the menu for only that.

• REMNANTS ARE TRAILBLAZING PIONEERS WHO SCOUT AHEAD OF THE WAGON TRAIN. THEY ARE QUICK AND AGILE ON THEIR HORSES, SO THEY CAN GET AROUND EASILY OR SPOT DANGER QUICKLY.

The wagon train moves slower, often in the cloud of dust and not knowing exactly where they’re going. However, it is still moving forward (hopefully). We need Remnant pioneer leaders who can ride ahead, check out the land (in the Spirit), look for danger to avoid, and find the direction or strategy required.

We are pioneering in the Spirit!

2. Remnants are chosen and selected with specific strategic purposes, but must pass the test.

Remnants have a strong sense of specific purpose, and they reset their priorities to meet that purpose.

          

Remnants will walk through a difficult identity crisis to empty them of false expectations and wrong ambitions.


Many are called, but few are chosen. Not everyone makes it in terms of Remnant living and leadership. Many hear the call, but few answer it…because there are tests to take when you do!


God wants them all, but He initiates with a Remnant. 

He has in mind to include everyone in His strategy, but the Remnant is chosen because they’ll take the test! They put their head down and concentrate, and they get it done. They don’t walk out of class.


God uses the Remnant who passes the test to present the next season.    

They’re the riders on the horse, giving direction to the wagon train. This is not a job for the “leaders.” God is looking for a Remnant, who doesn’t put leading onto a few but carries it with them.


3. Remnants are clarified

Clarify:

  • To make a statement or situation less confused, to free of confusion.
  • To make things and more clearly understandable.
  • To grow or become clear or transparent, to grow bright, to clear up.
  • To become free from feculent impurities (Dirt, sediment, or waste matter).
  • To melt in order to separate (Butter – melting it brings the fat to the top in order to skim it off, clarified butter can be heated up hot and won’t burn).

Separation produces distinction

Distinction:

  • A difference or contrast between similar things or people.
  • Excellence that sets someone or something apart from others.
  • A marking off by visible signs; separation into parts; division.
  • The act of distinguishing or denoting the differences between objects, or the qualities by which one is known from others.
  • That which distinguishes one thing from another; distinguishing quality; sharply defined difference; as, the distinction between real and apparent good.

The sad reality...

  • Many Christians would rather play it safe and easy.
  • Some don't like God's strategy. They want the "get-out-of-hell-free" card but don't want to submit to the "get-the-hell-out-of-me" process.
  • Many insist upon getting God to empower their own strategy and way of doing things. "God, can you get on board with MY plans?"
  • Many simply demand to know "What's in this for me?"
  • Many don't wish to sacrifice themselves for the Remnant purpose.
  • Many insist "The way we've always done it" will eventually prevail. God's going to finally vindicate our faithfulness to the old wineskin! "Everyone will see that we were "right" all along!"


Gideon’s band of soldiers shrunk during the clarification process...A LOT!


Expect Remnants to experience that kind of shrinkage at first because not everyone wants to pay the price or make the changes necessary to participate in the Remnant assignment.


We look at Gideon’s army of 32,000 and see God take it down to 300, and we think that’s bad. God looks at it and says, “That’s all I need!” 


Remnants include everyone when the timing is right

The cool part of the story is the rest of the army didn't miss out entirely.


The 32,000 got to get in on the battle in the end. Once Gideon and his 300 men stepped out in faith, interceded, prophesied, lit the torch, made the decree, and got the victory, the others were invited to be a part.


Gideon could've said, "Oh, no way! Those 22,000 chickens, scaredy-cats, and the almost 10,000 sleepers that weren't paying any attention don't get to be victorious warriors with us."


But Gideon knew the truth; GOD was winning that victory for them. It wasn't the little candles they held in one hand or the kazoos (basically) they were blowing. It was God.  


So, Gideon said, "Go get the other guys. Invite them to join us! Let them taste this victory with us."


The rest of the army got in on the fight too! However, they missed being part of the sound and carrying the torch of the Lord. They missed a significant adventure with God and each other. I DON'T WANT TO MISS ANY OF IT!


That will also happen in this epic battle and historical moment we're in right now. Many in the church will eventually get in on what God is doing because our God's grace is amazing. But the reality is, God will use a small Remnant to get the party started. I say, "Let's party!"

THE REMNANT MANIFESTO

The Remnant is radical – a return to original design and definition. 


The Remnant is a reset of the genuine that measures the existing with God's plumbline.


The Remnant has found freedom in the arms of a loving Savior who has forgiven their past and now has authority over their future.


The Remnant knows the I AM has now made them His.


The Remnant consists of those who feel like failures – the fatherless, the forgotten, and the freedom fighters – whose pedigree is that of a scarred Savior.


The Remnant rescues the hurting and defends the fatherless.


The Remnant cannot be defined by man's concepts because they find their value in the eyes of a Savior.


The Remnant has decided that, at all costs, they will not quit on the One who would not quit on them.


The Remnant chooses to let go of past hurts in order to experience the freedom that comes with forgiving and moving forward.


The Remnant chooses to leave a life of compromise for the Spirit of consecration and dedication.


The Remnant will not be swayed by the wind of compromise, will not stare into the eyes of revenge, and will not seek the crowd's approval.


The Remnant seeks holy justice with a passion for pursuing the fallen asleep with the knowledge of Him who is awakening the dead.


The Remnant seeks to gain nothing but always has everything to give.


The Remnant declares grace with justice, power with humility, and joy with accountability.


The Remnant understands the simple fact that true revival is not a gathering of the saved but a resurrection of the lost.


The Remnant are private worshippers with a public voice who seek only the revelation of God's kingdom and not their own empire.


The Remnant doesn't bow to culture but finds culture recreated by their passion for Jesus.


The Remnant walks among lost humanity, not screaming insults or provoking slander, but invading with light that which has only known darkness.


The Remnant includes the apostle with a worn-out uniform, the smiling prophet, the transparent pastor, the compassionate weeping missionary, the teacher with tools in hand, and the servant evangelist.


The Remnant understands the fruit of the Spirit is not a salad for a church potluck but rather the diet of a lifetime.


The Remnant knows the gifts of the Spirit are not for the evangelical, charismatic, and Pentecostal talent show. The gifts are weapons of a servant-leader who has died to self and chosen Spirit over flesh and freedom over slavery.


The Remnant stands on truth until the shifting sand of compromise slides from underneath their feet to reveal the rock of salvation. The Remnant does not walk in fear of people's retribution but rather in fear that people will never know the love of a Savior.


The Remnant always clashes with religion because they know, throughout history, religion has always tried to be the noose around the neck of a Holy Spirit movement.


The Remnant is not a public speaker but rather a resuscitator of life to those who have lost breath.


The Remnant doesn't need the stage but rather a place to call home to bring a weary guest.


The Remnant is satisfied at all times because they hunger and thirst after righteousness – and they shall be filled.


The Remnant does not walk in flattering circles but rather in the places where the unknown sojourner must be found.


The Remnant says yes to the cross and no to the applause, yes to the altar and no to arrogance, yes to the covenant and no to worldly concepts.


The Remnant has chosen to be the least of these to the greatest of them.


The Remnant hides in the shadows of intercession only long enough to embody the burden of restoration.


The Remnant doesn't mind seclusion, knowing it is where strength is found, as their peace comes from secret encounters and private glances with their Heavenly Father.


The Remnant has decided that, at all costs, they will not allow the next generation to speak of the last generation as a group that didn't want to see God's glory.


The Remnant is afraid of only one thing: that time will not permit all they feel called by God to do.