“I’ve been redeemed, by His love divine”. These words from an old song, proclaims one of God’s eternal truths. However, just what does it mean for man to know redemption? “Redemption”, is a word that has the meaning from the dictionary of, “a recovery of something pawned or mortgaged; a repurchase, deliverance upon payment of ransom, salvation from sin through Christ’s sacrifice”. Therein, through Christ’s sacrifice, the ransom paid in full and humanity repurchased for the purpose of our deliverance and full recovery. While most of Christendom maintains the belief that redemption is simply a going to heaven after death because they have believed on Christ, this belief is of a very limited understanding of God’s complete work of redemption. Just what is redemption? What does it really mean when man declares that redemption is his by God’s love? Could it be that the glorious work of Calvary has accomplished far more for us than a simple waiting around to go to heaven? To become a people that escape this very limited view of redemption, it becomes necessary for us to ask of God, to seek Him out with an honest heart filled with honest motives, that we might receive a greater understanding. Does your heart hunger for more of God than you have experienced? Could it be that God is calling you into a higher level in your walk with Him? The necessity of seeking for more understanding will become the beginning of our reality in expressing this greater experience, a greater walk in God.
Many people in the church are asking this question. If there is more for us in God this side of dying, why is it that we do not see those greater manifestations coming forth in the church today? Could it be that many of the people, by doctrine and tradition, are blind? For the most part, they have been limited to see only what the fundamental church has been able to show them. Nevertheless, God in the timing of His seasons will open blinded eyes that they might see. Is this the time that God has chosen to reveal His son to the people who desire to become like Him? To many, the mysteries of God are just that, a mystery. However, within our understanding it becomes important for us to see that God has purposely withheld and obscured these truths Himself. Dan. 12:4 reveals for us, “But thou, O Daniel, shut [close up] up the words, and seal the book, even to [until] the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge [calamities or wickedness] shall be increased”. “Many shall run to and fro” is a phrase that means to “apostatize, to rove, turn about, despise, hence, to do despite”. “Apostatize” has the meaning of “those who turn aside or revolters”. “Revolters” meaning “such as turn aside to lies”. This is speaking of a time and generation when the many, as spoken of above, shall come to a place where their lifestyle is one that follows lies or the promoted lifestyle that is the spirit of this world. A people who fulfill 2 Tim. 3:5 which says, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away”. While having a religious spirit, they are not willing to follow the progressive revealing truth of God’s word.
John also points us to a time when things sealed up would suddenly begin to open. (Read Rev. 10:1-7). In these scriptures, John is declaring that a time would come when those things uttered and sealed by the Holy Spirit would open. Notice that the sounding of the seven thunders from the angels were a mystery. With the number “seven” being God’s number for “fullness, completion, maturity and perfection”, this speaks to us of those things the “seven thunders” uttered. Though sealed, when revealed, they will contain a message of perfection, maturity, fullness and completion. This message of maturity, when yielded unto, will produce a life made complete and full in God. By being sealed, it also points us to the fact that this message will remain closed until God’s time of fullness, the sounding of the seventh trumpet or message. God, allowed both Daniel and John, to see something concerning God’s completed plan, but it is obvious that those things were not to be for their day. Leaving us with the understanding that a day would come, and even now is, when this message of the fullness of time will manifest in a perfected people unto God’s glory.
Always, a people have existed who are very much aware that those things that God begins, He will finish. Therein, God also shows that a time would come, when He would move by His spirit, to reveal those things shut up. When would this time be, as declared from scripture, prior to the days when the seventh angel or the message of God’s fullness of times begins to sound? In Rev. 10:7 we read, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall began to sound, the mystery [secret] of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets”. This is speaking of that time when the secret things of God that He withheld, until the messages of fullness are declared and then shall all these mysteries be finished. This word “finished” as used here in Rev. 10:7 means, “that which has reached its end, hence perfect”. This means for us that the things sealed by God and withheld shall no longer remain a mystery or secret. God shall reveal Himself and we shall begin to see the Christ as He really is. Does it not say so in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know [intuitively] that, when He shall appear [make manifest], we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is”.
A question many would ask concerning this time of manifestation is when will this revealing be? As shown to us in Rev. 10:1-7, this time is the time of the finishing of all the mysteries of God. A time identified with the sounding of the seven thunders, an event that takes place after the sounding of the sixth trumpet and as the seventh trumpet sounds. Remember, these seven thunders represent for us the time of the fullness, completion, maturity and perfection of God. Hence, this mystery, God’s secrets withheld from man, is to open for his understanding that he might become the expression of those thunders. This means a hearing of and a seeing of a part of God which man has not yet seen. This is necessary to finish making man into a complete, perfect and redeemed vessel. This is a bringing into maturity the whole man spirit, soul, and body.
With an understanding that at the opening of each of the seven seals revelation of truth to the church is given, so what happens when revelation comes to us progressively? As revelation comes forth from God, according to His timing for the season of His purpose, God intends for each truth to be manifest. God has no desire for man to make revealed truth into just another law or doctrine, into another gospel. This would simply cause one truth to resist any other further progressive truth. Could this be why we have so many different churches and beliefs with different names? Some people are remaining prisoners to one truth while others mature to accept the next progressive truth. Know that this progression shall continue until the time when the seventh trumpet sounds the message to usher in God’s fullness. At that time, the spirit of life will began to express itself in a full measure. Meanwhile, there remains a law that has the ability to maintain itself through carnal men who not only refuse to follow on after progressive truth, but they call their in-part truth the whole gospel. This continues to hinder a people from going on into that realm of perfection.
Heb. 6:1-2 clearly declares that it is God’s desire for man to press on into that place of perfection, “Therefore leaving [having left] the principles of the doctrine of Christ [the word of the beginning], let us go on [be borne along] unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of (1) repentance from dead works [works of the old nature]. (2) And of faith [the living, divinely implanted principle] toward God, (3) of the doctrines of baptisms [not arguing over traditional laws of baptisms], (4) and of laying on of hands, (5) and of the resurrection of the dead, (6) and of eternal judgment”. We should note that these six principles are not our endings, but our beginnings. Note also that the principle of the resurrection of the dead is not speaking of a graveyard resurrection. The word “dead” as used in this scripture denotes “the persons who were once alive, but who are not alive no longer; dead persons as distinct from dead bodies”. The dictionary defines “person” as, “a living human being, especially as distinguished from an animal or thing. A person is the composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality”. Thus, distinct personalities that are no longer what they once were in their beginning from God. Therefore, man has to need for his God given characteristics to resurrect into a new creation.
This points us to the time when the first Adam died in disobedience to God, loosing his God-like nature. Thus, as we are all born from our mother’s womb, we are a part of that dead person realm. This is the principle of resurrection from the dead in this context (dead persons being distinct from dead bodies). Fallen Adam was a dead person, but walking around in his flesh and blood body. As we continue to speak of the first principles, in considering the principle of eternal judgment, we must understand that the word “eternal” is from the Greek word “AIONIOS” and is rendered “of or belonging to an age”. Thus, speaking of a certain age in God, when judgment would come forth concerning His will and purpose in each vessel. “Age”, as defined from the dictionary means, “the period of time during which someone or something exists”. Thus, God set forth a certain period of time when His righteous judgment would come forth concerning His purposes. This word “judgment” is defined as meaning “a discriminating appraisal; authoritative opinion”. This principle speaks of God’s opinion, His appraisal of His people, as He deals with them according to the age of His appearing. Herein He judges them according to His righteousness. Each one appraised and set forth according to God’s order, will and purpose for each vessel, with the understanding that in Christ we become the righteous.
With God hiding certain truths from His people until the timing of the revealing, what purpose does God have in opening each seal in the form of gradual disclosure? Does He not bring forth a people, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, causing each to grow up, to mature unto the time of their perfection? Eph. 1:10 states, “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him”. Let us take note of a few words or phrases, that our understanding may increase, as to God’s true purpose as He states them in this verse. The word “dispensation”, from the Greek word “OIKONOMOS” has the meaning of “administration, the work of a steward”. Thus, a certain administration released from God with vessels anointed as keepers that minister that administration according to what God has purposed for that certain time. The administration spoken of here is that which is called “the fullness of times”, a time when the seven thunders are being sounded to gather in one, all things in Christ. A time when all things have reached their place of maturity wherein perfection rules. The phrase “He might gather together in one” is a statement meaning “to sum up, to head up”. Thus, it speaks of a time when that which once ruled, rules no more.
Now a new administration established in and through a people to usher in the expression of a perfect God-like order. In God, there has always been an “appointed time” when all in Christ, according to that time, would be brought unto Christ. How and when will this time be? Col. 2:2-3 declares, “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. This speaks to us of a time when there would be more than just Christ in us, the hope of Glory. It speaks of a time when we would be in Christ. Just what are we and what do we have in Him? In Christ, there is life, glory, the promises, the inheritance, the resurrection and life, which we are to become because we are in Him. Note in Eph. 1:10 above that only those that are in Him will have part in the first resurrection. Thus, in Christ we gain total and complete redemption. Again, looking at the above scripture in Col. 2:2-3 lets consider three words and notice the progressive gradual revealing of the Christ. (1) “Understanding” meaning “native insight, capacity to apprehend; used of reflective thought”. (2) “Acknowledgement” meaning “precise or further knowledge, thorough acquaintance with, true knowledge”. (3) “Knowledge” meaning “knowledge acquired by experience”. Therefore, let us go on, that we might gain the full experience of complete redemption.
As we take note of the many religious circles around us today, honesty causes us to agree that the writing of “Ichabod” meaning, “the glory is departed” is over many, many, many of their gatherings. The reason, could it be that for the most part, they have moved into a mind-set that makes them think they are well able to do for themselves. Their actions speak to say they think they have no need for divine assistance nor do they expect any. In this they fulfill Rev. 3:17 which says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knows not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”. But in remembering Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel and who is a type of the true church, the condition we read about in verse seventeen is not so in the true church. The true church, dealt with like Jacob; it has been chastened, trained, and weakened in the way that they know that they can do nothing of themselves. They know the need of waiting before God. They know that they must have God’s presence and the direction of the Holy Spirit or they are at a loss as to what to do next. This true church lives in that place of knowing, that they cannot live outside the presence of Him who is their life. There is a knowing that they cannot live without Him and His manifest presence.
In Him, the Christ, is the only place of true redemption. This is a redemption that cometh, not by the obeying of man’s ordinances and by-laws, for this redemption cometh only because of Christ. Rom. 8:28-30 speaks loud in declaring, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate [foreordained] to be conformed [fashioned like] to the image [likeness] of His Son that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and who He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified”. In this, we understand that the cross only crucifies until it is finished. (Read Phil. 3:14-21). It is in Him that redemption becomes a way of life through the changing of these vessels. “Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself?” Therefore, our cry is that we may know Him and the power of His resurrection, fellowshipping His sufferings and being made conformable unto His death to attain the resurrection of the dead, a giving up of our old dead life willingly, that the resurrection power of God might restore us to that God-life which comes from within, our redemption.