Remnant/Residue/Few and Election: Extracted from Galatians 2:6 — Ponder for just a moment: What if John Calvin, the Protestant Reformers, and many others in church history, including the authors of this article, are correct. That is, the acronym T. U. L. I. P. is a right understanding of the teachings of the Holy Bible – best represented by the King James Version or equivalent preceding text-type.. This “hard doctrine” stands for Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace and Perseverance of the saints. In essence, man was totally corrupted in mind, body and spirit as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve which left him capable but unwilling to choose the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob revealed to us in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation from His future judgment and wrath – and we inherited these very tendencies. Because of this sorry state, in the infinite secret counsel of God, with no conditions attached, He chose only a very small remnant or residue for salvation and thus, while the work of His cross is applicable for anyone, it is only effectual for His chosen or elect. Since He chose these individuals before the foundation of the world and His will is immutable, the chosen will not resist His extended grace. These people, now legally designated “saints”, irrespective of behavior, will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and persevere to the end. In this article, we will focus on Unconditional election and Limited atonement.
As an aside, but most important, is to settle this question: Just what is this “remnant according to the election of grace” – a term used throughout this “Pilgrimage”? Now, consider the word “remnant”. It is the English rendering of the Greek “leimma”. As noted, it is seen only in Rom. 11:5, and is the noun version of the verb “leipo” – to leave, leave behind or leave over. Thus, “leimma” refers to something left over or a residue. Of interest is that the word “residue” is the translation for “kataloipoi” – derived from the same “leipo” and the word used by James the Just in Acts 15:17 when quoting Amos 9:12. The Hebrew word there is “sherit” – “remnant”. Furthermore, Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word “residue” as “that which remains after a part is taken, separated, removed or designated” – making it essentially synonymous with “remnant”. Let us use an illustration of how small a remnant or residue can be: Think of a rock which contains gold. About 99.73585 per cent of the extraneous ore is smelted down and what remains is pure gold. That is the remnant or residue. You might ask, “Why did the authors use this percentage in particular?” Well, consulting I Kings 19:9-18 we read of Elijah the Prophet in the days of King Ahab who reigned over Israel from Samaria from 874-853 B.C.. The Prophet had fled from Ahab’s wife Jezebel and had gone as far as Mount Horeb. He felt all alone: “I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away”. The LORD’s response was for Elijah to continue his work and added these words of encouragement: “Yet, I have left Me 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him”. Paul, of course, uses this passage in Rom. 11:1-5 and its larger context to explain the reason for the poor Jewish response to the gospel. So, using the illustration of smelting to extract the gold: If the Lord were to remove all the “extraneous ore” (idolatrous nonbelievers) from Israel at the time of Elijah the Prophet there would remain only .2734375% of the population or 7,000 believers. The next question would be: “Where did you get that number?”. Well, we cannot get that exact figure for the time of Elijah, but we do have a record of a census taken by David near the end of his life, which would have been about 962 B.C., or about 80 years prior. Now, in II Sam. 24:8-9 we read: “So when they [Joab and the captains of the host] had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave up the sum of the number unto the king [David]: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men”. One must assume that these numbers are approximates. However, after the reign of Solomon, the kingdom was divided (about 922 B.C.). So we can only use the 800,000 figure when computing the Israeli population. Let us add another 800,000 for the women, 800,000 for children under the age of 18 years, and 160,000 or 20% for those over 60 years. Adding the figures together gives us an Israeli population of about 2.56 million people. Next, divide 7,000 by 2,560,000 and that equals about .0027344. Expressed as a percentage, it would be .273445%. Please understand that this is 1/4 of 1%. That certainly describes a remnant!!!
It must be addressed that there is the parallel passage written in I Chron. 21:1-6 with different census numbers – again, all of which have to be approximate: 1,100,000 “men that drew sword” in Israel and 470,000 “men that drew sword” in Judah. Perhaps the 800,000 number in II Samuel did not include the 288,000 “chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any manner of the courses, which came in and went out all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand (24,000 x 12 = 288,000) listed in I Chron. 27:1-15. This would make the figures about equal in both II Samuel and I Chronicles – at least for Israel. If we were to apply the same mathematical formula to these numbers: 1,100,000 men, 1,100,000 women, 1,100,000 children and 220,000 or 20% for those over age 60, the would add up to 3,520,000 people. Now divide this number into 7,000 and we get .001988636. Expressed as a percentage, it would be .1988636%. Obviously, that is even a lower number!
We see Paul is referring to Jews only in terms of a “remnant”. Can this illustration be applied to the Gentile world as well? We wish we could say “yea”. But closer scrutiny “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (I Cor. 2:13) indicates “nay”. What are the authors talking about??? Well, refer to James’ statement recorded in Acts 15:13-18 in response to the controversy surrounding Gentile inclusion in the predominately Jewish early church: “And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon [Peter] hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles [refer to Acts 10], to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue [“kataloipoi”] of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world”. James is paraphrasing Amos 9:11-12. As mentioned, the word used in the Hebrew text is “sherit” – remnant. Now, about the passage spoken by James: The last king to reign over Judah of the house of David was Zedekiah, who was carried away to Babylon about 586-587 B.C.(II Kings 25:1-7; Jer. 39:4-7; 52:10-11). The “tabernacle of David” is fallen down. There was no more Israel or Judah as a political entity to rule over. That reality would remain until the miraculous creation of Israel as a nation in 1948. Now, as foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (4:4) “of the house of David” (Lk. 1:27-29). “Behold, thou shalt conceive in they womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end”. Before His crucifixion, in clarification as to the nature of His kingdom, He declared to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered up to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto Him, Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone who is of the truth heareth My voice” (Jn. 18:26-27). “But now” suggests that the time will come when our Lord Jesus will “rule in the midst of His enemies” (Ps. 110:2b) on earth. The King is reigning at present “not from hence” – and in fulfillment, among many prophecies, of Amos 9:11-12. Our King will gather His “elect from the four winds” (Matt. 24:31; Mk. 13:27), the “other sheep [Gentiles],,,which are not of this fold, them also [He] must bring, there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd” (Jn. 10:16).
Now, James indicated that there was a “residue of men [who] might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called”. So, we have a “remnant/residue of Jews” – a very small number comparatively who will seek for a Savior. What about the Gentile world, since neither “remnant” nor “residue” can be applied to them, and yet they are the overwhelming majority. The key word here is “few” as it is used by the writers of the New Testament. The Greek word is “oligos”, from which we get our English word “oligarchy” – defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as “a form of government in which the ruling power belongs to a few persons”. In other words, compared to the general population, there are only a scant or small number who hold this power – a ruling class or aristocracy. Now, our Lord Jesus, as recorded in Matthew and Luke’s Gospels, when translated by the writers to Greek, used this word “oligos” in speaking of salvation: “Enter ye in at the strait gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many [“polloi”] there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few [“oligoi”] there be that find it” (Matt 7:14 – see also Matt. 20:16; 22:14; Lk. 13:23). Later on, in His parable of the wedding feast (Matt. 22:1-14) as an illustration of the kingdom of heaven, our Lord states in conclusion, “for many [“polloi”] are called [“klektoi”], but few [“oligoi”] are chosen [“eklekoi”]. The call of the gospel goes out to everyone. The thrice holy God “commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30b). He would not be a holy and just God if He commanded some to change their minds about Him. He must command all, since all are capable of belief, though the overwhelming majority will not. So, many seek entrance to heaven. But, the “heaven” described in Holy Writ can only accessed through our “Complete” Lord Jesus Christ. There are many “false Christs” being preached who do not save to the “uttermost them that come unto God by Him” (Heb. 7:25). When compared to the “many there be which go in thereat”, there are only “few”, a very small number in comparison, “there be that find it.” Peter gave us further insight as to this word “oligos” when he penned this: “…when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few [“oligai”], that is, eight souls were saved by water”. The authors can only surmise that out of the entire population of the earth at that time, only eight were spared, That too, certainly would appear to be a “few” when compared to the “many” who would not be the recipients of God’s grace. It is not God who hath sinned and fallen short of the glory of man, it is man who hath sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!
If we were to apply this formula of the total population of a particular country times .0027434 as a guideline – irrespective of Jew or Gentile who have not bowed the knee to Baal or any other false god or “Incomplete Jesus” – to the actual number of people elected to salvation through our “Complete” Lord Jesus Christ, the numbers would be startling to those who believe in “cheap grace”, “decisions for Christ”, church membership, the Mass and so on as the sure ticket to heaven. The authors looked up the world population figure and census numbers for 15 countries, and excepting the world figure, it is for 2013. Please understand that this is just speculation and that current boundaries are typically political in nature and not based on ethnic groups, but we believe we have a solid basis for our findings as written afore:
So, the estimated world population as of February 14, 2015 is 7,224, 471,520 x .0027434 = 19, 819,615 elected individuals “from every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6b). That is truly a “remnant/residue/few” who, elected to salvation from all eternity, would seek for a Complete Savior – a Complete Jesus!!!
Now for the 15 Countries:
United States: 318, 860, 000 x .0027434 = 874,761
China : 1,361,512, 535 x .0027434 = 3,735,174
India: 1,251,695,584 x .0027434 = 3,433,902
Indonesia: 249,870,000 x .0027434 = 685,493
Brazil: 201,030,000 x .0027434 = 551,506
Russia: 143,700,000 x .0027434 = 394,227
Philippines: 98,290,000 x .0027434 = 269,649
Germany: 80,620,000 x .0027434 = 221,173
Iran: 77,450,000 x .0027434 = 212,476
Turkey: 74,930,000 x .0027434 = 205,563
France : 66,033,000 x .0027434 = 181,155
Italy : 61,470,000 x .0027434 = 168,637
Ukraine: 45,490,000 x .0027434 = 124,797
Canada: 35,016,000 x .0027434 = 96,063
Saudi Arabia: 28,830,000 x .0027434 = 79,092
Thus, it can be concluded that “at the present time” until the apparent outpouring during the Great Tribulation, there will always be a “remnant/residue for the Jew and a “few” for the Gentile, both “according to the election of grace”. And, as the LORD said to Daniel, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried, but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand…But go thy way until the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (Dan. 12:10, 13).
(Copyright © February, 2015 – All Rights Reserved – Includes “Broken Cross” image – Reprints can be obtained by contacting us at galatianspilgrimage.com)
(Note: Don’t let our “Broken Cross” image fool you into thinking this particular cross is pagan in its origin. Actually, designed by the authors, it is intended to depict what legalism and lies has attempted to do to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike other “crosses” you may see which carry a negative connotation, ours is a sign of victory for those “in Christ”.)