The Remnant, v.3.
Calvin vs. Arminianism. Calvinism demands post-mil. Arm. demands pre-mil, pg. 3, 4.
See Christmas message, 12/23/90 for the development of this.
Christmas, Edersheim dates
This is out of Isaiah 7:14, and goes with it.
Micah chapter 5 offers the same hope as does Isaiah 7. There is promised the Messiah which will gather a remnant of His people to Himself, v.3.
V.1. The heathens are over the covenant people. With a rod is an obvious reference to the smiting of the Lord by the Gentiles.
V. 2. The announcement of the birth of the ruler in Israel. He is to be born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was the one of the smallest and most insignificant towns in Judah. In men's eyes, it was not worth even consideration. But here is the promise that the Ruler would come from this insignificant place. The 'smallness' of Bethlehem is emphasized, and contrasted with the greatness and glory of the Ruler which is to come from here. Not only was the city of David nothing in the world's eyes, but the family of David had fallen into poverty. See Matthew 2:1-11.
This poverty is emphasized in Isaiah 11:1 when it is called a root of Jesse.
A good point for us is that little in man's eyes is not little in God's eyes.
Also contained in this verse is the fact of the preexistence of this Ruler, who is Christ. Not only was/is He preexistent, but He is the preexistent King, Ruler over all heaven and earth. The Lord presents this fact above all doubt in the Book of Daniel.
V. 2 goes with 4:8 where we see little Bethlehem identified as the tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion. From this insignificant place will come the Ruler who has the dominion over everything. Notice that the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. This is the church, the body of Christ.
This tower of the flock is interesting. Edersheim, in his book, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS THE MESSIAH (-pg.186) makes an extremely important and significant point about the location of this tower of the flock and what took place there. He says:
"That the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, was a settled
conviction. Equally so was the belief, that He was to be revealed
from Migdal Eder [see marg. of Bible, "Or, Edar"], 'the
tower of the flock.' The Migdal Eder was not the watch-tower for
the ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheep-ground
beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem.
A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion, that the flocks,
which pastured there, were destined for Temple-sacrifices, and,
accordingly, that the shepherds, who watched over them, were not
ordinary shepherds.... The same Mishnic passage also leads us
to infer, that these flocks lay out all the year round, since
they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before the Passover--that
is, in the month of February, when in Palestine the average rainfall
is nearly greatest. Thus, Jewish tradition in some dim manner
apprehended the first revelation of the Messiah from that Migdal
Eder, where shepherds watched the Temple-flocks all year round.
Of the deep symbolic significance of such a coincidence, it is
needless to speak.
It was, then, on that 'wintry night' of the 25th of December (he gives a good argument for this date), that shepherds watched the flocks destined for sacrificial services, in the very place consecrated by tradition as that where the Messiah was to be first revealed. Of a sudden came the long-delayed, unthoughtof announcement. Heaven and earth seemed to mingle, as suddenly an Angel stood before their dazzled eyes, while the outstreaming glory of the Lord seemed to enwrap them, as in a mantle of light. Surprise, awe, fear would be hushed into calm and expectancy, as from the Angel they heard, that what they saw boded not judgment, but ushered in to waiting Israel the great joy of those good tidings which he brought: that the long-promised Saviour, Messiah, Lord, was born in the City of David, and that they themselves might go and see, and recognize Him by the humbleness of the circumstances surrounding His Nativity.
It was, as if attendant angels had only waited the signal. As, when the sacrifice was laid on the altar, the Temple-music burst forth in three sections, each marked by the blast of the priests' silver trumpets, as if each Psalm were to be a Tris-Hagion; so, when the Herald-Angel had spoken, a multitude of heaven's host stood forth to hymn the good tidings he had brought. What they sang was but the reflex of what had been announced. It told in the language of praise the character, the meaning, the result, of what had taken place. Heaven took up the strain of 'glory'; earth echoed it as 'peace'; it fell on the ears and hearts of men as 'good pleasure':
Glory to God in the highest----
And upon earth peace---
Among men good pleasure----"
He adds this interesting footnote to the three sections of the Temple-music. "According to tradition, the three blasts symbolically proclaimed the kingdom of God, the providence of God, and the final judgment (of God)."
To here in Christmas message, 90
Therefore... The Lord has given them up to the control of the Gentiles until the time of the birth of this ruler in Israel. He was going to break the power of the Gentiles, and this breaking started with His birth. Was it any wonder that Herod was so upset at the birth of Jesus that he killed all the children in this area? He believed this prophecy more than the covenant people today believe it. The believed it enough to kill to keep it from taking place.
As the King stood before Pilate, He told him that His kingdom was not of this world, John 18:36. The logical implication therefore, is that the kingdoms of men started to be smashed with His birth. Daniel is clear on this.
This Ruler will draw THE remnant of his brethren unto himself. Paul tells us who these brethren are in no uncertain terms.
Romans 8:15-17 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
We will notice that never are the Hebrews refereed to as joint heirs with Christ in His kingdom. This is beyond all question, the covenant people, those who are redeemed by the blood of the Sacrificial Lamb who's birth we celebrate. The remnant of Israel is the Church.
THE REMNANT (This is in Isaiah 7 also.)
Here is a point that I have overlooked every time that I have read these passages which tell about the remnant. This chapter makes mention of this three times, vs. 3, 7, 8. The point that I have missed is the word THE when talking about the remnant of Jacob, rather than the word A when talking about the remnant.
To me, this is Romans 11:25, 26. Before Christ, saved and unsaved could be a member of the literal nation of Israel, just as anyone can be a member of it today. But with Christ, the definition of Israel is more clearly restricted, although before Him, the basic definition was this: Only those who have exercised faith in His work on the cross in their place are the true Israel, Galations 3.
The Old Testament prophecies are not referring to a remnant, but the remnant. Thus, this remnant is not part of any other group, they are the group. In the Old Testament, the believers were, as a rule, part of the larger group, the nation of Israel. Within this nation were all kinds of peopleobedient, disobedient, believers, unbelievers, &c. Their sin brought the judgment of God against them.
But, since Christ, Israel only consists of believers. In other words, all Israel is saved, because the work of Christ established the true Israel, made up of believers only.
Romans 11:26, THE DELIVERER came and called unto Himself THE REMNANT of Jacob, as was foretold all through the prophets with Micah 5:3, 7, 8 being extremely clear. He destroyed the power of this world, the flesh and of the devil with His birth, life, death and His resurrection.
The major conflict in the New Testament was over the fact that THE REMNANT included the Gentiles as well as the Jews, and was based on faith. The Jews listened to Paul's testimony about his conversion until he told of God sending him to the Gentiles, Acts 22:21.
Paul appealed to Rome, and while Agrippa listened to him, Paul told that what he was doing was foretold, 26:6, 7. Our Lord delivered the same message after His resurrection to the disciples, Luke 24:45-48.
Thus, the remnant came out of the Old Testament Israel (Judah); therefore, the nation had to be preserved as Isaiah told Ahaz, Isaiah 7:14, and as Micah prophesied. And this remnant is not identified with any physical nation.
V. 4. This ruler will feed His people in the strength of the Lord. And He did this in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
Christ told His adversaries that He was the bread which came down from heaven (John 6:41), comparing Himself to the mana with which Moses fed their fathers in the wilderness, vv. 31-35. This caused them to murmur against Him. All of John 6 dwells on the point that He came to feed His people, vv. 48-58.
and they shall abide:... In our Lord's words, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand, John 18:28.
The greatness of this Ruler will be world-wide, for ever and ever.
V.5. This man shall be our peace...
Ephesians 2:11-22 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Colossians 1:19-21 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
V. 5, 6 speaks of a deliverer from the power of the Assyrians. The Deliverer is Christ; the Assyrians represent the Gentile powers. This Ruler will raise up mighty men, men of faith and works who will advance the kingdom of God into every area of the world.
They even peruse the pagans into their own land, with the sword. Now, there are some great men who claim that this must be physical warfare, Keil for one. Let me give some reasons why this is not a 'blood and guts' warfare.
1. V.5, and this man shall be the peace.. This Ruler is the Prince of Peace, Isaiah 9:6.
2. This Ruler is the ruler of all creation Who holds the hearts of the kings of this world in His hand:
Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
3. We use Psalms 76:10 to show that even the worse of men and their actions bring praise to God, but notice on down in this chapter, the last verse, v. 12 He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth. His terribleness to the kings of the earth apparently is His terribleness to their spirit.
4. The mighty men of God are called shepherds. This speaks of pastors, shepherds of the flock of God. They number seven, which is God's number of perfection. Added to this is the eight principal men. Elsewhere this speaks of civil power, Joshua 13:21, Ezekiel 32:30. The conclusion here is that Micah is talking about a great multitude of people, that no man can number.
5. These shall waste the land of Assyria... Assyria, the land of Nimrod. This was Babylon, and speaks of the world system which is in rebellion against God. This rebellion is taken out against the Covenant people.
6. The remnant are not on the defensive only, but they are actively engaged in charging against the very gates of Hell. The gates do not prevail against the power of the Spirit, and they give way. Then these people waste the "captured" land with the sword... This is interesting when we consider,
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Satan's goal is to waste the Church, the covenant people. We see here that his devices will be turned against him, and he and his people will be wasted by the covenant people through the use to the sword. It is important to see that this wasting of the heathens is with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This is what peruses the heathen into their homeland, and conquers them. The triumph over the world, flesh and the devil must be with the sword of the Spirit, for the ruler shall be the peace, v. 5.
This is a basic difference between Augisteenisn/Calvinism and Armenism. Calvinism (Biblical faith) sees that God is in total control of all things, including men's hearts. The Scripture teaches that the hearts of even the heathen are in the hand of God. This means that the Spirit of God, through the Word of God, has the power (and will) to turn the hardest heart to Himself.
On the other end is Arminianism. They see that the heart of man is more powerful than God; therefore, man can resist God in his heart. This means that the only way God can get their attention is with a terrible cataclysm. (But we have seen in the WTC tragity, that a terrible cataclysm will not do it either. Only the spirit of God will get a sinners' attention. September 19, 2001)
The two basic views demand a different outlook on the world. If we believe the Scriptures that God is in total control, then we must be Post-mill. If we refuse to admit that God is in total control of even the heart of men, then we must be pre-mil.
Is it any wonder that the Calvinistic churches stood against Darby's view of the Rapture and Mil. reign of Christ?
7. The spread of the kingdom is by the preaching and teaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Paul made this clear both in Acts and in 1 Corinthians 1:27-2:5. Notice 2:4, the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God is in this preaching of the Gospel, not in the effective use of the means of man, including physical warfare.
The Spirit and power of God goes into all of the Babylonian world. It peruses the unbelievers wherever they go. It conquers them, no matter where they hide. Why? How can this be? Because It works on the inside.
8. Then we have v. 10, which we will get to the cutting off of the means of warfare is by the Spirit of Grace and peace. See Ps. 45.
I am totally amazed at the blindness of men like Keil, who must see a physical warfare in order to conquer the heathens. The Scriptures clearly tell of the power of the God who created the worlds out of nothing, simply by the word of His mouth. Yet they cannot grasp that He has the power over men's evil heart.
Micah 5:7. the remnant of Jacob... We saw in v.5 that this is speaking of the Church, those who have come to Christ (see Joel 2:32). This term would correspond to the little flock, Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Where is this little flock located? In the midst of many people. They are located among the people of the world, world-wide.
In the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord. This is an illustration of the word of God or the Divine doctrine:
Deuteronomy 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
Thus, we see that it is the Gospel of Grace in the Lord Jesus Christ that is compared to the dew from heaven, small rain and showers upon the grass. The Apostle Paul, in Acts 14:17 tells us the same thing. The message of God is this rain and dew from God. It is not to be understood in a literal sense.
I like what Pusey says here. "Showers are so called from the "multitude" of drops, slight and of no account in themselves, descending noiselessly yet penetration the more deeply."
1) This describes the remnant of Jacob. They are scattered world-wide, not in one physical location.
2) They are compared to a gentle dew, as a shower. Their salt and light is what keeps the world in any kind of semblances of order. They quietly work as leaven does behind the scenes.
3) One believer by himself will not make much of an impact, many united together with a single purpose will.
4) One word from the Divine Source may not do much good on the cold, dry, calloused heart. Many words will break down the hardest heart.
5) As a dew... The dew doesn't leave mud puddles as does a good rain, but a good dew will keep the earth alive. Many times, we are disappointed because there are not "mud puddles" left standing when we get through talking to someone with the word of God.
6) The dew could be likened to words of encouragement that makes the heart glad, and keeps the weak body going. Not heaps of praise, or rain, but gentle words of encouragement.
Showers... Let's look at some things here. This is an obvious reference to Joel 2:23 (through the end of the chapter), which we will not go much into right now. The rain is the message of the grace of God in the Lord Jesus. Jesus is this rain, or we should say, the Holy Spirit as sent by the Father in the place of Jesus is this rain. The very first recorded message that we have to the new church makes this clear, Acts 2:16 on. See my notes on the First Message. In it I cover many of these points in depth.
The last part of v. 7 tells us that the dew and rain from heaven does is not dependant on man in any way. In the Father's good pleasure, this was accomplished, Lk. 12:32.
V. 8. Compare with Isaiah 11:6-9.
The emphasis is that this remnant is among the Gentiles. They, as the dew and gentle rain, are every where. But here they are compared to a lion among the beasts of the forest.
Pusey sees this as a reference to the genteelness of the Child of God among the world with both love for his neighbor (as the dew) and wrath against evil and wickedness (as a lion). This may be right, but in the light of Peter's vision in Acts 10:9-18, I am more inclined to see this as the command to devour the unsaved for and with the gospel.
In Daniel 7:5, we have one of the world-wide kingdoms of men devouring much flesh. He didn't eat the flesh, he overtook many nations and peoples for his kingdom. The fourth beast of v. 23 does the same thing. This is telling us that these nations conquered the nations of the earth, and the word devour is used to describe their conquering.
Deuteronomy 7:16 speaks of consuming the enemies of God. There are a great many other places this thought is used to indicate conquering or subduing the nations around them.
Micah 5:8 is saying that even though the remnant is small, genteel as the dew and light rain, they are like a devouring lion. The obvious reference is to the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The remnant people here are the people of the Lion, who are commanded to devour the goats (marg. for sheep here in this verse), Matthew 28:19. They are commanded to tread down, and break in pieces.
None can deliver... Who can deliver the pagans from the Spirit of the Lord working through His obedient people? As the Apostles went out with the message that they had been given by the Lord, they conquered the heathen for the Lamb. The gates or strongholds of hell could not stand against the message that they delivered. The Lord said it best in Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Thine hand... The hand of the Lord or the hand of the remnant, it doesn't matter. Either way, the enemies of the Kingdom of God are cut off. He could also be speaking of bing spiritually cut off, joining the Kingdom, or physically being cut off as was Arius (who died in a construction worker's latrine). Either way, it is the glory of the Lord that does this cutting off.
This is Zechariah 9:10. See my study of that passage for a complete treatment of this. We will only say this about that. It is very significant that in Zechariah, His dominion is established through peace, not with the chariot, horse or battle bow. He, the man of peace, v. 5, destroys the weapons of warfare of the wicked; He cuts them off.
Here in Micah, we have the Lord cutting off thy horses, &c. There are seven I wills here through the end of the chapter. Unmistakably, this is the work of the Lord, the man of peace, v. 5. Notice what He is going to do He is going to remove any and all of the worldly means that His remnant, the Gospel Church, is depending on.
In v. 8, this remnant (the Church) is compared to a lion among the goats, the unsaved nations. But the consuming of the nations for the kingdom of God is dependant on the Church being purified, so the Lord can work through her with HIS power and might. The power of the Church to consume the world in the first couple centuries was no accident. The persecution kept her totally dependant on the Lord of glory. This total dependance kept her strong, enabling her to devour her enemies.
The Lord told the little flock that He would give to them the kingdom. Here, as in many other places in Scripture, is a prophecy that says the same thing. It is the remnant that He has kept safe that will claim the kingdom for the King. They must do this through the power of their King, but before they will do this, they must be striped of all worldly power, might and hope. Vv. 10-14 is one prophecy of this removal of all earthly hope as well as sin from His people.
Seven I wills. The Lord's number of perfection. He is the One who will strip this earthly hope in the worldly power. Paul describes this in 1 Corinthians 1:27-2:5. We have used this so many times that we will not cover it again now.
What will He use to strip from His church this carnal hope for victory that is in the world's means? Of course, we do not know, but history has shown that this cutting off is anything but pleasant. The methods the Lord uses are quite painful, but the results are glorious. In this case, the results is the subduing of the heathen to the Kingdom of God, v. 15.