The last book of the Bible speaks of a group of people who will follow God to the very end. He identifies them as the “remnant” that “keep the commandments of God” (Revelation 12:17).

Is it an arrogant claim? How about another question—the remnant of what? Revelation’s first eleven chapters don’t mention “the commandments of God.” So where does this commandment-keeping remnant come from?

In John’s gospel Jesus directed His disciples to “keep His commandments” if we “love Him” (John 14:15). Elsewhere John explains that we “love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). If we place these verses in order it looks something like this:

God will have an end-time people who will keep His commandments

Because they love Jesus

Because Jesus first loved them—Allelullia!

Do you see the pattern? Commandment keeping is the fruit of the remnant church not the root. The love of God motivates them. That’s why Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples if you love one another” (John 13:35).

“By this shall all men know that you are My disciples if you love one another” (John 13:35).

Revelation 12 brings us the same picture if we look more closely. We are the remnant of the seed of the woman pictured first in Revelation 12:1. Prophetically a woman represents a church (2 Corinthians 11:2). Likewise, her apparel reveals the kind of woman she is. This woman is clothed with the sun, which represents the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Malachi 4:2).

Righteousness is right-doing or doing what is right. Okay, now none of us have any right-doing to bring to God. That is why the woman, God’s church, is clothed with a special garment. It is Christ’s righteousness given to us as a gift (Romans 6:23). Knowing that we have all sinned and continue to come short of Gods’ glory, Jesus came to this world as a man and lived a perfect sinless life (Romans 3:23; 5:6-10). He then topped that off by taking our sin and guilt upon Himself and dying as our substitute to satisfy the just requirements of God’s law (Romans 3:19-26). Jesus’ love compelled Him to live a perfect life, meet the law’s standard, and die as our substitute and surety, satisfying divine justice in our place (1 John 2:1, 2). This is the love of God (John 3:14-18). This is why we love Him, because He first loved us and lived and died to redeem us from the wages of sin. And love is why we keep His commandments.

We are the Remnant

Of the Seed

Of the Woman

We are loved, deeply loved. This love has been manifested in the eternal gift of Jesus’ perfect life and substitutionary death, the clothing of His righteousness.

His love compels us to love.

Yes, we are the remnant church, the remnant of God’s love. Amen.

James Rafferty
Co-Director at Light Bearers

James is Co-director of Light Bearers, pastor of the Cascade SDA in Bend, Oregon and president of the North Pacific chapter of ASI. With a special interest in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, James has spent the last 30 years preaching the gospel around the world in revival seminars and evangelistic meetings. He and his wife Risë have two children, Jeiel and Kierra.