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Query for the Month

of October 1999

Next up-date: November 1st 1999 (God willing).

 


Query:

 

Response:

Because we are told in these verses that the redemption comes AFTER Christ’s return (it is NEAR, not present), it cannot apply to a present day situation.

The first mention of the word in the Bible is in the book of the law where it is applied to the land. God told the Israelites that they were not to sell their land completely, but always include a clause whereby it could be bought back, or redeemed. Any full sale was limited to the years until the end of an existing 50 year period anyway, because God said that the land actually belonged to Him. So for all practical purposes a sale was a lease for a set number of years and the price adjusted accordingly.

Leviticus 25:23-28

The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me. And in all the land of your possession you shall grant a redemption for the land.

If your brother be waxed poor, and has sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it; then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus to the man to whom he sold it; that he may return to his possession.

But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that has bought it until the year of jubilee: and in the jubilee it shall go out, and he shall return to his possession.

Thus the pattern is set for us. Redemption is that point of time when Jesus is able to take full possession of His own property again, that is, when He will be able to have all His saints back with Him again in body as well as soul.

The words "redeem" and "redeemed" are sometimes used in the Bible to denote this experience as if it has already happened, but that is because God’s word stands true. We ought to note that salvation and redemption are not the same thing. One occurs in its complete form at the beginning of the Christian life and the other proceeds over the duration of that life and finalises with the new body.

Put another way, redemption begins at conversion but is not complete until the resurrection.

It is written in another place:-

Psalm 130:7-8

Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Here redemption is spoken of as being from ALL our iniquities. Thus we know that while we are justified at conversion, we need to be sanctified during our lives after that point, and then redeemed from the grave when Christ comes. All these come with the Gift of Christ as Paul told the Christians at Corinth.

1 Corinthians 1:30

But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

Paul wrote further on these matters,

Romans 8:23

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Here justification and sanctification are spoken of as "firstfruits" with the main crop to come later. This is identified as the "redemption of our body", which is in line with the thought that it comes after the first sighting of the second coming. The text we are discussing says that "when these things BEGIN to come to pass" redemption is NEAR.

Therefore, the word here is referring to the fact that we shall receive personal "redemption" when we receive our new bodies. Not until that point is this "redemption" complete for the Christian.

Those who are alive at the second coming will see Christ first of all through their existing mortal bodies. Then there will be those who come up in the special resurrection to join them. Daniel 12:1-2. All of these will receive their new bodies by the voice of the Son of God when He calls the remainder of the righteous dead from their graves. "He spoke and it was done" in the original creation, and so here He will speak and it will be so. Psalm 33:9. This redemption then will confer on the saints of God the everlasting life in their new bodies which is what they have sought for during their lives on earth.

Have you ever contemplated that resurrection day? The saints will all come up from their graves in a new body and with a new heart, but their minds will be as they have always been, learning and being "renewed" every day. Romans 12:1-2. Those of us who have accepted faulty (and false) doctrines (probably most of us) and died in them will still believe them to be true. Jesus, as our Schoolmaster, will have to take us all in hand, from Abel through to the last saint to die, and explain the mysteries of salvation to us. For instance, those who believe in an eternally burning hell may find a surprise waiting for them.

Sorting this out may take a little while but with eternity staring us in the face, I guess it won’t seem that long. With all the Christians willing to consider others better than themselves there will not be any heat in the discussion either! But it may take some time to accept it all, even when Jesus is the Teacher. The disciples on earth found some of His thoughts hard to accept, and some impossible until after the crucifixion. Peter was willing to argue with Jesus over His understanding of the sacrifice that salvation required!

Although it is not spoken of in our text, there is one final act of redemption after that. The earth itself must be redeemed and transformed into the "new" world. That, of course, takes place at the third advent!

Conclusion:

So, the word "redemption" in this verse points forward to the time when the saints are resurrected into new bodies and Christ becomes the possessor of His purchase.

 


Spiritual Dictionary:

Redemption:

"Redemption" points forward to the time when the saints are resurrected into new bodies and Christ becomes the possessor of His purchase.


Next thought. To be discussed from November 1st 1999.