The Remnant of Israel: Introduction Lesson # 1
One of the great doctrines contained in the Bible which has received a great detail of attention in recent decades in the church is that of “the remnant of Israel.”
It is very important for the church age believer to understand this doctrine since it first and foremost reveals the faithfulness of God in fulfilling His promises to the Jews.
It is important because it will protect the church age believer taking Old Testament promises given directly to the Jews and applying them to the church.
Thus, it will protect the church age believer from the false doctrine that the church is the “new” Israel and has replaced Israel in God’s program for the ages.
What is the doctrine of the remnant of Israel?
It asserts that within the Jewish nation, God will always set aside a certain amount of Jews who will believe in Him in every dispensation and in every generation of human history.
It is based upon the unconditional promises contained in the Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic and New covenants.
All of which were given directly to the nation of Israel and not the church.
A member of the remnant must meet two requirements.
First, they must be Jewish meaning that biologically or racially, they are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob whose name was changed to “Israel” by God.
It is not enough to be a descendant of Abraham because two other branches of Arabs descended from this man and not just the Jews.
One branch of Arabs came from Abraham through Hagar and the other came from Abraham through Keturah who was Abraham’s wife after the death of Sarah.
The second requirement which must be met is that of trusting in the Lord.
During the dispensation of Israel under the Mosaic Law, in order to become a member of the remnant of Israel, a biological or racial descendant of Jacob must place their trust in the God of Israel who the New Testament identifies as being the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
During the First Advent of Jesus Christ, a biological or racial descendant of Jacob must trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
This holds true during the dispensations of the church, the seventieth week of Daniel and the millennial reign of Christ.
Fruchtenbaum writes “The doctrine of the remnant means that, within the Jewish nation as a whole, there are always some who believe and all those who believe among Israel comprise the Remnant of Israel. The remnant at any point of history may be large or small but there is never a time when it is non-existent. Only believers comprise the remnant, but not all believers are part of the remnant for the remnant is a Jewish remnant and is, therefore, comprised of Jewish believers. Furthermore, the remnant is always part of the nation as a whole and not detached from the nation as a separate entity. The remnant is distinct, but distinct within the nation. The concept of the Remnant of Israel was true from the very beginning of Israel’s history as they began to multiply. As a doctrine, the theology of the remnant begins with the prophets and the development of the doctrine continues through the New Testament.”
Pentecost writes “Even a casual survey of Israel’s recorded history will establish the principle that God dealt with a believing remnant within the nation. Caleb and Joshua (Num. 13–14), Deborah and Barak (Judges 4), Gideon (Judges 7), Samson (Judges 13–17), Samuel (1 Sam. 2), the Levites in Jeroboam’s day (2 Chron. 11:14–16), Asa (2 Chron. 15:9), the seven thousand faithful ones in the days of Elijah (1 Kings 19:18) all illustrate this point.… God preserved for Himself a faithful, believing, witnessing remnant in times of apostasy, persecution, and indifference.
During the dispensation of Israel, there was a certain number of Jews within the nation of Israel who trusted in the God of Israel.
God had also set aside a certain number of Jews within the nation of Israel who trusted in His Son Jesus Christ as Savior during the First Advent of Christ.
Also, often overlooked and not understood by even many dispensationalists, there is a certain number of Jews during the church age who have become a part of the remnant of Israel through faith in Jesus Christ.
Consequently, they not only are a part of the remnant of Israel but also they are members of the church as well.
Therefore, they are a unique group of people in history.
During the seventieth week of Daniel, there will be a believing remnant in Israel who will trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.
The Scriptures also teach that during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, there will be a believing remnant in Israel who will enjoy the blessings of this greatest time in human history.
In the Old Testament, in relation to the nation of Israel, a “remnant” referred to a certain number of the population of the nation of Israel who survived divine judgment in the form of the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions and deportations.
The concept has its roots in Deuteronomy 4:27-31; 28:62-68; 30:1-10.
In these passages, Moses warns Israel that they would be dispersed throughout the nations for their disobedience but would be brought back to the land based upon God’s grace and covenantal faithfulness.
The prophets subsequent to Moses continued this doctrine when teaching the nation of Israel during the time each lived.
The remnant doctrine appears in 2 Kings and is used in relation to the days of King Hezekiah when Sennacherib invaded Israel and threatened to destroy Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:13-2 Kings 19:37).
The prophet Jeremiah speaks often of the remnant in his day (Jeremiah 40:11, 15; 41:10, 16; 42:2, 15, 19; 43:5; 44:7, 12, 14, 28; 44:28; 47:4, 5; 50:20).
In Jeremiah 42:2 and 50:20 the remnant refers to those Israelites returning from the Babylonian captivity.
Jeremiah uses the remnant of those Israelites who will experience the millennial reign of Christ (Jeremiah 23:3; 31:7).
Zechariah also speaks of a remnant of Israelites during the millennial reign of Christ (Zechariah 8:6, 11, 12).
The prophet Micah also speaks of a future remnant of Israelites during the millennium (Micah 2:12; 4:7; 5:7-8; 7:18).
The remnant doctrine appears in the writings of Isaiah (Isaiah 10:20-22; 11:11, 16; 15:9; 16:14; 17:3; 28:5; 37:4, 31, 32; 46:3).
It is used in Nehemiah (1:3) and in the writings of Ezra of the returning Israelites from Babylon (Ezra 9:8, 13, 14, 15).
Haggai speaks of this remnant that returned from Babylon (1:12, 14; 2:2) and the concept of the remnant appears several times in the book of Zephaniah (2:3, 7, 9; 3:11-13).
There are only three major passages in the New Testament which refer to the doctrine of the remnant of Israel, namely Romans 9-11 and Revelation 7 and 14.
Matthew 3:7-10 and Luke 3:7-9 allude to this doctrine.
 Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (1994). Israelology: the missing link in systematic theology (Rev. ed., p. 601). Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries.
 Pentecost, Things to Come, pp. 291–292.