“And I will bring together the remnant of My flock out of all lands whither I have driven them, and will return them to their homes; and they shall be fruitful and multiply.” (Jeremiah 23:3)
The remnant will return, and be made fruitful. The word “remnant” means those who remain. It’s a promise at the heart of the Old Testament. Every time the people is captured by an enemy and carried away from their homeland, the Lord promises that he will preserve those few who remain faithful. He will take that remnant and return them to their land, and will rebuild His people from that small remnant. Even before the time of Israel, we see the same thing play out in the story of Noah. The entire world had become evil, and so the Lord sent a flood to destroy the world – but he preserved a few, those who had not completely shut off their interiors against Him. A remnant was saved, and from them, the earth was repopulated.
The Writings for the New Church explain that in a deeper sense, these stories about remnants being protected and restored represents the way that even in the darkest times of a church, the Lord preserves a few who have not completely destroyed their faith and love in Him. When the Lord raises up a New Church, it is raised up with that remnant of the old church, along with a people from outside of the church, who had not been able to twist the Lord’s Word because they had never heard it before.