Redemption, just what is the meaning of this word as it applies to man and his daily life? What does the work of “redemption” fulfill? While most believers believe simply that we all go to a place called heaven after we die because of believing on Christ, this is a very limited view of the glorious work that Christ accomplished for us on Calvary. While this limited view has held many captive for so many years, we can escape this limited view as we begin to seek and ask of the Father God, with honest motives, to receive a greater understanding. It becomes necessary to answer the question often asked, why the need for greater understanding? In this, we need to understand that increased understanding is the beginning of a relationship in true reality in man expressing Christ.
In reading the scriptures, they tell us that the mysteries of Christ would remain hidden, for God has obscured them for His divine purpose until certain seasons to fulfill His purpose. Daniel 12:4, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase”. Rev. 10:4, “Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them”. With these, seven thunders speaking of the whole counsel of God, at the writing of the Revelation these mysteries were not revealed as yet; nevertheless, the promise is given that the understandings do belongs to us, the spiritual house of Israel. Deut. 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law [governmental nature of God]“. With the number seven being the number of fullness, completion, maturity and perfection, what these “seven thunders” have uttered is a revelation concerning the fullness of God. The fullness of this message, the revelation, God purposed not to reveal until a season called the “time of fullness” the “time of the end”.
As Daniel and John began to see something from God, it was obvious that these things uttered were to be “sealed up”. However, God also declares with a further word, that a time would come when revelation for understanding would come. This shall be a time of revelation, when God would purpose for the mysteries to become a visible manifestation among and through His people. Rev. 10:7, “But in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets”. To answer the question of, when shall these things be, it shall be in the days when the seventh angel shall sound forth the message of fullness. What does this mean for humanity? This means the removal of any confusion that exists among humanity, concerning the things of God. That which has been sealed and withheld shall cease from being a mystery because God shall withhold Himself no longer, but He will reveal Himself, to His people, which shall unveil the mystery.
Understanding, that at the opening of each seal, one through seven, progressive restored revelation of further truth comes to His church, His temple. To again answer, the question as to what happens when progressive revelation is given; it is God’s purpose for that truth to become a visible manifestation. Truth revealed is not to become just another law. Just becoming another law causes one truth to resist a progressive truth. Law has the tendency to call “a part” the “whole or full” truth. God Himself cautions us in denying further truth and settling for less than what God is willing to impart. Heb. 6:1 encourages us to “go on to perfection”, “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God”. With the helping hand of the Holy Spirit, we are to build upon each truth given and revealed.
What then is the purpose of God opening the seals in gradual disclosure? Eph. 1:10, “that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, in Him”. Dispensation is not a restricted period. It references the fact that God has a plan to gather the fragmented and alienated universe, so that human history ultimately culminates in achieving His purposes. There has always been an “appointed time” when all these things would be brought into Christ. Just what is Christ? In Him is life, glory, the promises, the inheritance, resurrection and life. In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Thus, in Christ (the head and His many member body), humanity can attain all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God. In Christ, we gain total and complete redemption.
However, in many religious circles of this day and time, we see “Ichabod [the glory has departed]” written over the doors of their many meetings and gatherings. Why is this so? Scripture declares that there is a way that seems right to men but their end is the way of destruction. Rev. 3:17 declares the error of many of these religious groups, “because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked”. These folks declare they are able to do for themselves, they have no need for divine assistance nor do they expect any. This is not so with the true church. The true church has been so chastened and trained, so weakened in the way, that they can do nothing of themselves. Jesus is calling for a fully separated people from the world’s value system to be totally committed to Him. They are to find the spiritual power source in their lives in Christ, not in occult or carnal practices. The believer is to gauge success by the measuring rod of God, rather than by the world’s social, financial, and religious standards. The true church must have the presence and direction of Christ or they are lost as to what they are to do next. This true church lives in a place of knowing. They know that they cannot live outside the presence of Him who is their life. This true church knows that they cannot live without Him.
The true church then is coming to the place of true redemption. Note that redemption does not come by obeying man’s ordinances and laws. True redemption comes because of Christ. Rom. 8:28-30, “and we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, and these He also glorified”. Even in hardship and suffering, even in bitter disappointments, even when wrongly treated, Christians can know that God will work amidst such situations to fulfill His good purpose in His people. God foreknew and predestined believers to be like Christ. Thus, He called and justified His people to finish that which he purposed. His ultimate purpose is to give a resurrected body to all who have become the justified. This purpose then speaks of the fact that during this present time, even in hardships, God is at work for the good of His people. The redemptive work of Christ cometh not by obeying man’s ordinances and laws but our redemption becomes a part of who we are because of Christ and the cross that crucifies until declared, “It is finished”.