by James Fire
By the intent of God's holy will, He has revealed Himself intimately through His Word, the Holy Scriptures. It is the Holy Scriptures themselves, the Word of God that we turn to and learn of the four primary offices of the LORD GOD YHWH:
The offices of GOD as:
1) Creator God
The fourth office of these four, that deals with God as the Redeemer, is the one that we'll now address to complete this series. We will consider this thought as we pore over Scripture and discover what they tell us about God Who is the Redeemer of Israel and of all the world.
To watch the video teaching based on this last of the four articles, go here.
I would ask your indulgence for a moment, and follow me to the scene of REVELATION 20 where the Great White Throne is seen.
REV. 20:5, 11-15
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished...
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Imagine if you will, that you along with all the saints of God (If you are a saint, saved by the grace of God), are with the LORD Jesus Christ in the glories of celestial heaven, the domain of God. It is the end of the ages, the Great Tribulation is passed, as has the Millennial reign of the Messiah – we the church, along with the angelic heavenly host are suspended in the vast expanse of space, and witness the raising up of the dead, the unrighteous dead from the Earth, and the seas.
They are escorted by angels to form a line that leads to this enormous, blindingly white and brilliantly holy light that beams from the very throne of God. With but a spoken Word from the LORD, we watch in amazement as the Earth suddenly dissolves into nothingness, and the stars and planets throughout the universe are extinguished in an insurmountably powerful explosion – where the very molecular infrastructure of physical reality itself is undone (2 PET 3:10). There is nothing at all, but the very throne of the Holy Creator GOD of all, and He Who sits upon that throne: the LORD and Judge of all the Earth.
The Book of Life is opened, along with other books (Scripture tells us that these are books of recording, that list all of the deeds (no doubt thoughts and intents also)) of all the individuals present at this judgment (quite the voluminous library!; see vs. 12 above) which are set before the Judge Who then prepares to commence His Court in the session of the Ages.
One by one these unredeemed souls are led into the Holy, scrutinizing Light of the LORD by angels who compel them to approach the Judge. None can offer any defense on their own behalf, as they intrinsically know of their own guiltiness. They are miserably mute before His Holiness (ROM. 3:19) and listen in abject horror as the LORD declares that their names are not listed in the Book of Life, that He does not “know them” (MATT. 7:23); and that they are guilty of violating the Law of God, pronounced guilty as treasonous sinners against the King of all creation.
They are sentenced to the eternal, everlasting torment of the Second Death, the Lake of Fire, Gehenna, the very dwelling that has been denied by too, too many people in this world: hell.
The woeful and tragic reality is that these condemned souls will spend eternity in the forlorn and agonizing knowledge that they are suffering forever in this deplorably devastating domain UNNECESSARILY! That the blood of the LAMB was shed for them, for the forgiveness of their sin, and afforded them a place in glory, to live in sublime love and peace in the kingdom of God! But because of their wanton rejection of Christ, their willful and unrepentant hearts, and their intentional ignorance, they will have no part of God's kingdom, but remain forever in the confines of perdition, without even the slightest chance of parole!! Horrifying but true!
As mentioned before, God drags His feet to bring judgment, but sprints to show His mercy. There is coming a day, long in the waiting, when the Creator of the heavens and earth will cast aside His creation and only He, the Holy Judge remains, rendering judgment upon unredeemed humanity.
God prolongs His times of Judgment, longing for souls to come to Him for salvation. We have seen this in the Flood of Noah: of Methuselah, it was said that the Flood judgment would come after his death, and yet we recognize that Methuselah was the one who lived the longest of all people: a testament to the long suffering and grace of God!
Israel was wayward in their fidelity towards the LORD God, and began to worship the idols and false deities of the pagan nations that surrounded them. The LORD brought warning to Israel, His people via the prophets who besought them to turn back to the LORD, before His judgment came upon them. HUNDREDS of YEARS passed as God waited for His people to repent, but they never did until finally the judgment came and they found themselves removed from the land, and dwelt as slaves in Babylon.
It's been more than two thousand years now since the Christ, the Messiah of Israel, shed His blood to redeem mankind for His sins. He awaits souls to approach the cross of Calvary and receive forgiveness and redemption – and for all that waiting, only a relative few have come. The vast majority of mankind remains content to remain in their sins, either as partakers of hedonism, or in religious persuasion of various kinds or attendants of some self-designated philosophical morality. His indulgence will last only so much longer! There is coming the time of judgment, and once it arrives, there is NO TURNING BACK!
Prophecy tells us where we are on God's calender: the reforming of the nation of Israel “the second time” (IS. 11:11) is crucial in our understanding of “the times and the seasons” (1 THESS. 5:1-3) in which God's plan is elaborated in the pages of Scripture. Upon this singular prophecy hinges all other eschatological prophecies as recorded in the Holy Bible.
So since we witness Israel back in the land, we may rightly conclude that we are in fact, living in the last of the last days. The coming of "the lawless one" will be soon upon us, and the brief seven year reign of this Beast will come – only to pass and the Second Coming of Christ will be revealed! Judgment Day will not be long after that!
This fourth installment in this series focuses on God as Redeemer, and so we shall proceed in our examination of the Scriptures; yet I wanted to emphasize that this offer of redemption will last only so much longer - “whosoever will, let him come and drink of the water of life” that Christ alone can and will provide. COME WHILE HIS SUPPLY of GRACE LASTS!
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
It's understood that the Old Testament Scriptures are a portrait of Jesus Christ (as are all Scripture, truly! See PSALM 40:7; JOHN 5:39) and that the various passages describe functions and forms that were immediately applicable and pragmatic to the nation of Israel, but also expressed a foreshadowing of the One Who was to come, the Messiah of Israel. Such foreshadowing is readily seen in the forms of the Tabernacle which Moses built according to the vision he received on Mt. Sinai by the LORD God (and later, the Temple of Israel) and in such functions as the 'kinsman goel' (RUTH 3:9, 12), who is also given the appellation of “the avenger of blood”.
For more on this amazing subject, please take the time to procure an excellent book by Andrew Murray called The HOLIEST of ALL. For those who can't afford to purchase this book, you can read it online, here.
The story of Abraham and the sacrifice that God called him to, known among Jews as the Akeda is well known (GEN. 22:1-14), and note these verses carefully:
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
The idea of a sacrifice of one as an offering of devotion, of love, trust and faith is seen here. Of course we realize that God never intended for Abraham to cause any harm upon his son, that it was merely a test of faith to show Abraham his own willing heart in obeying the LORD – no matter the cost.
The LORD also gave insight to Abraham, who declared to his son that God would provide Himself a sacrifice – a prophetic utterance referring to the Lamb of God (JOHN 1:29); as the LORD Jesus said Himself, Abraham saw His day and rejoiced to see it (JOHN 8:56).
Compare GEN. 22:2 with JOHN 3:16 and you will see the connection. The LORD was demonstrating for Abraham, the very thing that GOD the FATHER would do with His own beloved SON, the WORD of GOD made flesh! Redemption is never without cost, or without sacrifice.
Old Testament sacrifices showed this truth to the people of Israel every time they brought a sacrificial animal as an offering in the Temple! For thousands of years, the Jewish people understood that the payment of sin is the death of a sacrifice whose blood was shed for the people.
The other aspect of redemption is that of the kinsman goel (as mentioned above) – and the responsibility and privilege of this person is the redemption of lost property or persons sold into slavery, or in some sort of peril. The story of Ruth fully expresses this office represented by Boaz, a near-kinsman of Naomi. From GotQuestions.org we have the following:
“The kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws of the Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. The Hebrew term (go el) for kinsman-redeemer designates one who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 6:6) or redeems property or person (Leviticus 27:9–25, 25:47–55). The kinsman who redeems or vindicates a relative is illustrated most clearly in the book of Ruth, where the kinsman-redeemer is Boaz.
“The story of Ruth and Boaz begins when Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, return to Bethlehem from Moab where they had been living. Naomi’s husband and both sons, one the husband of Ruth, had died, leaving the women penniless and without a male protector. Upon arriving in Bethlehem, Naomi sends Ruth to glean in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy relative of Naomi to whom they, through a series of divinely appointed circumstances, appeal as their go el. Boaz acquiesces, willingly takes Ruth as his wife, and together they bear a son named Obed who became the grandfather of David, the forefather of Jesus.
“Jehovah is Israel’s Redeemer, the one who promises to defend and vindicate them. He is both Father and Deliverer (Exodus 20:2). There are numerous Old Testament appeals to God as rescuer of the weak and needy (Psalm 82:4; Daniel 6:27; Jeremiah 20:13) and preserver of the sheep of Israel (Ezekiel 34:10–12, 22).
“In the New Testament, Christ is often regarded as an example of a kinsman-redeemer because, as our brother (Hebrews 2:11), He also redeems us because of our great need, one that only He can satisfy. In Ruth 3:9, we see a beautiful and poignant picture of the needy supplicant, unable to rescue herself, requesting of the kinsman-redeemer that he cover her with his protection, redeem her, and make her his wife. In the same way, the Lord Jesus Christ bought us for Himself, out of the curse, out of our destitution; made us His own beloved bride; and blessed us for all generations. He is the true kinsman-redeemer of all who call on Him in faith.”
This is why Satan and all of the fallen angels cannot be redeemed, as Christ did not become an angel to die in their place; He became a man, the son of Abraham, the son of David – the Messiah Who is of the nation of Israel (via Abraham) and also of the line of Kings (via David; MATT. 1:1).
Scriptures speak abundantly of the kinsman-redeemer and these are in the main, an eloquent and accurate foreshadowing of the coming Messiah Who would be kinsman to Israel (as the Son of David) and to all mankind (as the Son of Man) and may stand in our place in payment of our sins as the sinless Lamb of God, and may fully represent the LORD as God the Son Who is well pleasing to the Father.
The LORD Jesus Christ came in the First Advent as the kinsman-redeemer Who would pay the price of our spiritual indebtedness. When He returns at His Second Advent, He will come as the Avenger of Blood – the other aspect of the kinsman, to mete out judgment upon all who persecuted and even murdered His kin – the people of Israel; throughout all of the ages past beginning with Egypt, the people of Canaan, Assyria, Babylon, the Muslim nations and on into our modern and recent history (such as Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia).
It's interesting to note that when a kinsman was slain their relatives would choose one among themselves to be the Avenger of Blood and he would pursue the slayer until caught and killed. The only hope for the slayer is to seek out and find a City of Refuge, and there, convince the city fathers that the slaying was accidental. If he can persuade them, he will be safe, but only as long as he remains in the City of Refuge. He will be liberated from that city, free to go with no fear from the Avenger of Blood when the high priest in Jerusalem dies.
A rather peculiar arrangement one might suppose, but consider these questions:
As Christians, who is our "City of Refuge"?
And who is our High Priest?
To recap this four part series:
We understand that the God of the Bible is the absolute and incontestable CREATOR of all – and as such we witness His almighty power, knowledge and wisdom. Yet such a God might be revealed as a sadistic and tyrannical God, but He revealed Himself as LORD – a righteous and holy Ruler and Most Noble above and beyond any earthly King. As the rightful Ruler and Creator He has established the Law of His 'Land' (creation itself, the heavens and the earth) which mirrors His own integrity as just and holy. As the Law-Maker and JUDGE He must mete out judgment upon even the least infraction against His pure Law and so, all of sinful mankind is found 'guilty as charged' due to our sins – treason against the Holy Throne of all creation and we must be so sentenced. However, just as God is Holy, He is also Love – and so He reveals Himself in His fourth office of REDEEMER and paid the penalty Himself on our behalf as our beloved kinsman-redeemer!
Why would the LORD God even permit Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit when He clearly commanded them not to do so? Why didn't He stop them?
They were given a choice to either freely love and obey the LORD their Maker, or likewise to freely rebel against Him: the choice was theirs to make. Love cannot be coerced, but must be given as an act of one's will. God would have no puppets in His creation that would parrot pre-programmed words of “I love You, LORD! I love You, LORD!” Love must be genuine and volitional if it's to be of any value.
So their decision was made – and its plunged the whole of creation: mankind and nature, into the destructive and damnable power of sin for the last six thousand years!
Yet even though they made that bad decision, God made a decision of His own: to come as 'the seed of the woman' (GEN. 3:15). the LORD Jesus Christ and be the Redeemer of mankind. The LORD in His wisdom allowed Adam and Eve to rebel, so that they would get themselves into a situation that they themselves could never remedy, in order that His grace would be manifested for all to see:
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
The LORD has faithfully and lovingly provided salvation in the redemption of our very hearts, that is, to instill in us a new heart (EZEK. 36:26) filled with the vitality of the indwelling Holy Spirit (JOHN 14:17; 1 COR. 3:16) – in theology this is known as justification and we are seen by God the Father positionally as having the same quality of righteousness as Christ His own Son (ISAIAH 61:10). Salvation is provided for all who will believe the Gospel by faith and receive salvation through Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection.
For those saved, the LORD then proceeds to redeem our minds, that is, the process of purifying our minds so that we become more and more Christ-like in thought and deed (ROM. 12:1-2; PHIL. 2:5) – this is known as sanctification and this process will be completed when we see the LORD, and then “we shall be like Him [completely]” (1 JOHN 3:2).
At the time when we see the LORD face to Face, we shall then have our bodies redeemed, so that the sin nature will no longer be present in us; we shall be liberated from the very presence of sin. This is known as glorification (ROM. 8:23; PHIL. 3:21).
In justification I am saved from the penalty of sin – death and hell; in sanctification I am increasingly saved from the power (influence) of sin – falling into diverse lusts and temptation will lessen as we grow in Christ; and in glorification I am saved from the presence of sin – the nature that is attracted to and partakes of sin will be removed from our beings.
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
This concludes this four part series on The FOUR PRIMARY OFFICES of GOD; I pray that it's been a blessing and edification for you all! Allow me to leave you with this awesome and celebrated hymn:
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
1. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
2. Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.