Remnant (Adventist)


Remnant (Adventist)

In Seventh-day Adventist theology, there will be an end time remnant of believers who are faithful to God.

The remnant church is a visible, historical, organized body characterized by obedience to the commandments of God and the possession of a unique end-time gospel proclamation. Adventists have traditionally equated this "remnant church" with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. Some modern Adventists speak of a remnant message or similar, with less emphasis on the remnant as an institution. Others emphasize social activism within this concept, or reject the concept entirely.

A distinct but related concept is the eschatological remnant, which will be manifest shortly prior to the second coming of Jesus. The "remnant church" is understood to act as a catalyst for the formation of this group. The eschatological remnant will consist of some (but not all) constituents of the present "remnant church", together with a cohort of believers from other (that is, non-Adventist) churches. Only members of the eschatological remnant will be saved through the end-times.

The Adventist doctrine of the end-time remnant is based primarily upon Revelation 12:17, which states:

:"And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the "remnant" of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (King James Version, emphasis added)

The New International Version and other modern Bible translations often use "rest" in place of "remnant", yielding "...rest of her offspring..." or similar.

Traditional position

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has traditionally identified itself as the end-time "remnant church" described in Revelation 12:17. ["Adventists frequently apply the expression 'remnant' to themselves." Richard Rice, "Reign of God" (2nd edn.), 261] Two of the identifying marks of the remnant listed in this verse are that they "keep the commandments of God" and have the "testimony of Jesus". It is held that the "commandments of God" refer to the Ten Commandments, which includes the fourth commandment regarding the seventh-day Sabbath. In addition, Revelation 19:10 equates "the testimony of Jesus" to the "Spirit of prophecy", which Adventists believe is a reference to the ministry and writings of Ellen G. White. The Adventist church is therefore unique in possessing these two identifying marks of the remnant church. [] Exegetically, the Greek word "remnant" ("leimma") is not found in Revelation 12:17 and thus it is not possible to read a "church within a church" into the verse. The translation "remnant" is an inaccuracy of the KJV upon which the doctrine was originally based. Theologically, Adventists insist that the remnant is merely a visible body within the wider "invisible church"; however there is no biblical or theological warrant for believing in the existence of an "ecclesiola in ecclesia", or "little church within the church". The concept of "remnant" in the New Testament, according to Hoekema, applies only to Jewish believers. The Adventist concept of the remnant resembles the error of schismatic movements such as Montanism, Novatianism and Donatism.

Hoekema finally concludes that the "remnant church" concept places Adventism among the cults, since it implies that the Adventist church is "the last true church left on earth, and all other groups which claim to be churches are not true but false churches." [Hoekema, "The Four Major Cults", 396-400] That is, it implies the existence of an "exclusive community", which Hoekema believes is a distinctive trait of the cults. However, because Adventists acknowledge that it is possible for non-Adventist Christians to be saved, they manifest the "cultist trait" in a "somewhat ambivalent manner" when compared to Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Scientists who teach that salvation "cannot" be found outside their organisations.

Remnant concept in breakaway groups from Adventism

The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement, which schismed from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 1920s, sees itself as the "remnant", the Adventist church represented by the "seed", and other Protestants as the "woman" in Revelation 12:17. [ [http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/Independent%20Ministries/SDA%20Reform%20movement.html Information on the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement] by Gerhard Pfandl. Biblical Research Institute. Accessed 2007-11-17]

See also

* Remnant (Bible)
* Seventh-day Adventist Church
* 28 Fundamentals
* Adventist baptismal vow
* Three Angels' Messages
* Criticism of the Seventh-day Adventist Church#Remnant church status

Bibliography

* [http://jewel.andrews.edu:82/search/dRemnant+Theology Search for "Remnant Theology"] in the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index (SDAPI)

Traditional position:
* " [http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=256&journal=1&type=pdf The Remnant Church] " by Gerhard Pfandl of the Biblical Research Institute (BRI). "Journal of the Adventist Theological Society", 8/1–2 (1997): 19-27.
* " [http://www.atsjats.org/publication_file.php?pub_id=115&journal=1&type=pdf The End Time Remnant in Revelation] " by Ekkehardt Mueller, also of the BRI. "Journal of the Adventist Theological Society" 11/1–2 (2000): 188–204.
* " [http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/remnantSDAchurch.htm The Remnant and the Adventist Church] by Ángel Rodríguez, on the BRI website.
* Clifford Goldstein, "The Remnant: Biblical Reality or Wishful Thinking?" (Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1994).
* " [http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/index.htm Seventh-day Adventists Believe...] " (1988) by the Ministerial Association. Chapter 12, " [http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-12.htm The Remnant and Its Mission] ".
* "A Remnant in Crisis" by Jack Provonsha (Review and Herald, 1993). ( [http://www.atoday.com/magazine/1993/11/remnant-apologetic-historic-adventism Review] by Ervin Taylor.)

"Broad" or "remnant message" position:
* "Questions on Doctrine" (1957), chapter 20 " [http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/qod/q20.htm Who Constitute the 'Remnant Church'?] ".
* "It's About the Survivors: Another look at the meaning of the remnant". Ross Cole. "Adventist Review" January 30, 2003

Liberal and sociological positions:
* "Remnant and Republic: Adventist Themes for Personal and Social Ethics", edited by Charles W. Teel, Jr (Loma Linda, California: Center for Christian Bioethics, 1995).
* "The Real Truth About the Remnant" ( [http://old.spectrummagazine.org/spectrum/archive16-20/17-1scriven.pdf old link] ) by Charles Scriven.
* "Growing Up With John's Beasts: A Rite of Passage," Spectrum 21.3 (1991):25-34
* Roy Branson, "The Demand for New Ethical Vision" in "Bioethics Today: A New Ethical Vision", edited by James Walters (Loma Linda, California: Loma Linda University Press, 1988), p. 13-27.
* "The Peacemaking Remnant" edited by Douglas Morgan (Adventist Peace Fellowship, 2005. ISBN 0977012603 [http://www.adventistpeace.org/templates/System/details.asp?id=39491&PID=471458 Publisher's page] ). Contributors are Charles Scriven, Charles E. Bradford, Kendra Haloviak, Keith Burton, Zdravko Plantak, Ryan Bell, Ronald Osborn, and Douglas Morgan.

To be classified:
* Hans LaRondelle. "How to Understand the End-Time Prophecies of the Bible" (Sarasota, Florida: First Impressions, 1997), 279–90"
* [http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/Prophetic%20Basis%20Adventism.htm Prophetic Basis of Adventism] " by Hans LaRondelle. "Adventist Review", June 1 – July 20, 1989
* "The Remnant and the Three Angels' Messages" by Hans LaRondelle in "Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology", vol. 12 of the "Seventh-day Adventist Commentary Reference Series"

References


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