Monday, November 12, 2012

God's Remnant People

The following audio message is from Pastor Zac Poonen as he review the books of Zephaniah and Haggai.

  • The main theme in the book of Zephaniah is the severity of God (towards sin) and goodness of God (towards the remnant).
  • There were recurring problems spoken of by all the prophets: pride; exploiting the poor; love of money; external manifestations of revival; God using heathen people to chasten His people; the need for God's people to wait in faith; the anger of God against sin; the certainty of judgment; and the existence of a remnant.
  • God brought out a remnant of people from the northern tribes in Israel and the tribes in Judah.  He is doing the same out of Christianity today.
  • The purpose of the remnant is to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.
  • Ask God for eyes to see through the falsehoods of hallow, external, "revivals" which do not call for a return to holiness and repentance from sin.
  • Judgment (on the earth, its nations, people) and Salvation (for the remnant) comes in the Day of the Lord.
  • We are living in the age of deception.  You must stand on the truths of the word of God to remain free from deception.
  • The remnant can become like Babylon in no time.  If you are not faithful, if you don't fight against your flesh, if you don't stand against the corrupt Christianity around you, then you will become like the false; prayerless, not knowing God's word, accumulating money to live in luxury, but with no anointing.
  • Those who are humble need to seek for more humility, and the Lord will protect you in the day of His anger.
  • The remnant will be taunted and made fun of, even by other professing Christians.  Accept that.
  • False leaders seek their own gain and profit.  The Lord has ordained for those who preach the Gospel to receive money.  It is not receiving money which is wrong, but coveting money.
  • The remnant will be purified, will be united together on love, will have no fear, and will serve the Lord.  All the proud will be removed.
  • They will rejoice because the Lord has removed His hand of judgment and the Lord Himself is living among them.  Cheer up Zion!  God does not rejoice over all people, but He does rejoice over His remnant, shouting over them with gladness and singing a song over them.

  • Haggai urges God's people to consider how things are going for them and do the Lord's work.  He is not talking about establishing the foundation again, but building the house.  This means going on to perfection after the foundation has been laid (Hebrews 6:1).
  • He starts by showing the selfishness of God's people in that they spend their living building up their own houses, but not the house of the Lord.
  • If we seek the Kingdom of God first, then He will take care of that which pertains to us.  If we honor God, then He will honor us.
  • We can spend lots of time "ever learning" - listening to tapes, attending services, reading book, etc. - but what is the spiritual condition of our homes? 
  • Many believers are coming to God with a vessel full of holes, asking to be filled with the Spirit, but God is saying to fix the holes first.  There are things in your life which need to be set right first.
  • Evangelism without discipleship is like laying the foundation without building the house. 
  • To become the Lord's messenger, you must first allow God to do a work in your life. The anointing is not on the message (i.e., books, tapes, etc.), but on the messenger.
  • God promises, "Take courage, for I am with you."
  • The glory of the latter house is going to be far greater than the glory of the former house.
  • The silver is the Lord's and the gold is the Lord's.  Money is no problem for the remnant.  God knows that we have need of it to do His work and He will provide as we trust Him. 
  • You cannot build the house of the Lord without emphasizing holiness because sin contaminates much easier and much more quickly than holiness sanctifies.

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