Just as our Lord and King, Jesus Christ, the Son of David- is a King in Exile, He also has a people – a remnant living in exile as well. This Remnant can be compared to the 13th tribe of the House of Isreal- that hidden tribe that was set apart from the other 12 tribes and required special preperation before the Lord.
During Jesus’s ministry on this Earth, there were always the multitudes who followed Him and sought Him out wherever He went. They sought Him for the loaves and fishes, for the miracles, and signs of wonders. They loved hearing His awesome messages that they couldnt hear from the pharisees and scribes. Jesus loved the multitudes yet He knew that they were not ready to follow Him in a deeper measure.
When Jesus climbed the mountains- there were certain ones who chose to keep following Jesus higher and higher until He came to the peak of the mountain. It was to this remnant of followers that He shared the Beatitudes.- a precious series of teachings directly linked with the Kingdom of God. The multitudes were not ready to hear such teachings. The remnant who was willing to follow Him all the way up the mount was.
In every age, God has a Remnant. This remnant is not aware of themselves as being included in this catagory. Their only focus is Jesus Christ, Himself, in thier lives. They live only for Him. There are also multitudes in every age as well. They follow Jesus up to a point, but basically only serve Him for how good He makes them feel, or what He can do for them. For a time, all of us are in this catagory and it takes a real response to the Holy Spirit to pull us out of this to a higher level of following after Jesus– not for His gifts any longer, but for Himself.– to follow Him for Himself and to come to that place in spirit where we finally give up all rights to ourselves.
Peter– one of Jesus’s close disciples , did not immediately come to this point in his life. For all of Jesus’s ministry, Peter followed Jesus on his own terms and though he loved Jesus, his love was not yet a mature unselfish love. It was later that Peter came to this point in his life-after Jesus was ressurrected, and after he had denied the Lord three times during Jesus’s capture by the Sanhedrin. In John 21: we see a very intimate scene between Jesus and Peter. Jesus had been raised from the dead, and He and His disciples had just finished breakfast when He presented Peter with some questions.
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to Peter. “Yes, Lord, you know that I love You.”, He replied. Then Jesus replied, “Feed My lambs”. Then a second time, Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, Son of John, do you love Me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord: you know that I love you.” He said to him then, ‘Tend My sheep”. Then a third time, Jesus asked Him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And by this time, Peter was getting a bit afflicted at the repeated questions, so he replied, “Lord, you know everything; yhou know that I love you.” Then Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep” “Truly , truly, I say to you , when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.” Then He said. “Follow Me.” Peter had denied Jesus three times, and now Jesus was asking Him three times if he loved him. Jesus was leading Peter to a deeper level of love where he would no longer embrace all rights to himself, but allow the Lord to lead him where by nature, he would not choose to follow. He did die as a martyr for the Lord, but this even goes beyond his martyrdom- and indicates the death of his self-life he would allow the Holy Spirit to accomplish in him, so that He would no longer think as unredeemed man thinks, but have the mind of Christ. He would no longer fall in satan’s traps and say things like He said to Jesus before His crucifixion, like “Lord this will never happen to you!” -and then the Lord had to rebuke him. He would grow beyond that level to a higher level of love and unity with Jesus.
In 1 Kings 6: 7, we read how the stones for the Lord’s temple were prepared. “When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry; so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the temple, while it was being built.” These stones were cut exactly to fit and size at the quarry before being brought to the temple. They were then fitted quietly in their alloted space in the temple without any attention or fanfare. These stones represent the Lord’s Remnant- They , like Peter, are being prepared quietly by the Holy Spirit, without any attention or fanfare and after their cutting and refining process, they will be fitted into the Lord’s House- His Temple and Invisible Church in the spot designated for them. Each living stone- each person allowing the Lord to prepare them spiritually- will be given thier own distinct area and responsiblity within our King’s Body- one in which they will have been prepared beforehand.
In the book of Revelations 14:1-5, we read of this Remnant again- “Then I looked, and lo, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His father’s name written on thier foreheads. And I heard a voice from Heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the sound of harpers playing on their harps., and they sing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the Elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is those who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are chaste. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever He goes; these have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are spotless.”
This 144,000 is not a literal number of only 144,000, but represents an amount known only to God. We recall how in the Old Testament, Isaiah cried out to the Lord how only he was serving the Lord- not one person in Isreal was responding. The Lord encouraged him that He had a remnant unknown to Isaiah who was faithful to the Lord. In every age, the Lord has a remnant, and this remnant allows the Lord to make them spotless- to take away all guile and lies within them. Their song to the Lord is the song of the Bride- the song of a soul who rejoices in sufferings and tribulations so that they can have Christ. they have the name of Jesus and the Father on their foreheads. This means that they have come beyond the point of thinking with thier own ways of thnking- but allowed themselves to have the mind of Christ in place of their own attitudes and values. They have allowed the Lord to make them a seperated people from all that would keep them from ascending higher with the Lord. They are chaste- not necessarily because they never married and had children, but because they denied themselves the values, goals and desires of this World, so that the would have total room to make the Lord the only love in thier hearts.
May we all allow the Lord to bring us to this condition where we can soley belong to Him and give up all rights to ourselves–becoming His bondslave of Love in this present life- so that we can be His special Remnant- His first fruits with the the special responsiblities He has pre-destined for us.
May Jesus , our King in Exile be Praised.