Purchased on the Cross


The Late Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, argues in his discourse on salvation that “God chose the plan as a whole, not piecemeal” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible Themes, revised by John Walvoord, p 232). 

We read the following words in the book of Acts: “Known to God from eternity are all His works” (Acts 15:18, NKJV). 

Before God began the earth’s construction, He knew every detail involved, including the hour and the day that the construction would start and the day when the earth would be destroyed.  

The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the Church at Ephesus. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:3-5, NKJV).

Dr. Chafer says: “Although theologians have wrestled with these problems and often have failed to come up with conclusions, one possible solution is to recognize, to begin with, that God is omniscient, that is, He had knowledge of all possible plans for the universe. God chose a plan out of all the possible plans with their infinite number of variations. Having chosen a plan and knowing all its details, God could foreknow those who would be saved or elected and all the facts related to their salvation. The immediate problem that faces the interpreter, however, is that of human freedom”. (Major Bible Themes, p 232). Dr. Chafer is saying that since God gave mankind free will, he can make his own choices.  

Dr. Chafer added, “In the notable instance of Christ’s crucifixion, on which the whole plan of God hinged, Pilate freely made a choice to crucify Christ and was held responsible for it. Judas Iscariot freely determined to betray Christ and was held responsible for it. Yet the choices of both Pilate and Judas were essentially God’s program and were sure long before they made them” (Major Bible Themes, p. 233).

This means each of His programs had a time to be implemented, and in some instances, God chose wicked men and women to carry them out—God knew the hearts of all He created. Some of those programs had to be paid for by the blood of Christ on the cross before they could begin. All the details of God’s salvation plan are based on God’s sovereignty and love.

“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 64:9-10, NKJV).

The following programs are a significant part of God’s plan for the ages that had to be paid for by the blood of Jesus.  

A Propitiation for Sin

On the cross, Jesus became a propitiation for our sins, satisfying God’s wrath against Sin. “’To propitiate’ means ‘to satisfy the wrath of God against sin,’ ‘to turn away God’s wrath,’ or ‘to offer a sacrifice that appeases God’s just judgment and righteous anger against us and our sin.’ And note, Jesus is not simply ‘the propitiator’ but the ‘propitiation.’ He is what satisfies the justice of God” (Google).

The apostle John wrote, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:22, NKJV).  

“’Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool’” (Isa 1:18, NKJV).

Note: For a detailed study of what happened on the cross, see my post on the crucifixion. Just click “The Crucifixion.”

The payment for sins on the cross was a gift from God.  However, because of our free will, some have refused to accept His gift of salvation, and unless they repent, they will spend eternity separated from God in a place called hell.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23, NKJV).

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

If you want more information on how to be saved visit my forum on salvation. Click on “Salvation.”

Your He Satisfied God’s Law

When Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3: 1-7), they became spiritually separated from God. God killed two animals and used the skin as clothing for them because they realized they were naked. When God killed the animals, He shed blood, resulting in the first blood sacrifice.

At that time, He began requiring mankind to make animal sacrifices on an altar to cover their sins. The head of the family was required to make these sacrifices.

Later, when Moses led the Jewish people out of Egypt, he took them to Mount Sinai, where they entered the Mosaic Covenant with God. At that time, the sacrifices became more structured, and God created a set of laws that the people were to practice in their daily lives. These included several sacrifices, a priesthood, laws for worship, relationships, etc.

Over time, the Israelites broke God’s laws and turned to the worship of the Gentile gods, breaking the Mosaic Covenant. “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord” (Jer. 31:31-32, NKJV).

Jesus discussed the law in His Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17-18), NKJV).

Jesus said that we sin not only with our evil deeds but also when our thoughts and motives are not pure (Matt.5:19-30). “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7,KJV).

The Apostle Paus said, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23, NKJV).

In the book of Hebrews, we read these words about the law. “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? The worshipers, once purified, would have no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Heb. 10:1-4, NKJV).

“And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:11-14, NKJV).

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:2-4, NKJV)

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’” (Gal. 3:13, NKJV).

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4-5).

You may be asking, what is the purpose of the law? The Apostle Paul gives us the answer in his letter to the Galatians. What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator” (Gal. 3:19, NKJV).

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24, KJV).

High Priesthood

After Jesus paid for our sins, He became our High Priest. In the Levitical law, the priesthood represented the people before God. Their unique clothing was a type of Jesus’s attributes. However, after Jesus’s death, He became both our King and High Priest before God the Father, making intercession for us. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5, NKJV).

The writer of the book of Hebrews also tells us that Jesus has become our High Priest, whose role was patterned after the priesthood of Melchizedek “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated ‘king of righteousness,’ and then also king of Salem, meaning ‘king of peace,’ without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually” (Heb. 7:1-3, NKJV).

I have always been fascinated by David’s prophecy regarding Jesus’ priesthood, as presented in the Psalms.

“The LORD has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’” (Ps. 110:4, NKJV). David refers to Jesus’ future priesthood, bridging the gap between the books of Genesis and Hebrews.  

Now, back to the Book of Hebrews narrative. “Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek and not be called according to the order of Aaron?  For the priesthood being changed, of necessity, there is also a change of the law. For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar” (Heb. 7:11-13, NKJV).

The writer shows that the Levitical law could never bring salvation and that Jesus had to make the payment for sin. Jesus was not of the tribe of Levi but of the tribe of Judah – the Royal lineage. 

“For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For He testifies: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’” (Heb. 7:14-16, NKJV).

“Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also, there were many priests because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore, He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:22b-25, NKJV).

“Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Heb. 8:1-2, NKJV).

“For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore, it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’ ‘But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises’” (Heb. 8:3-6, NKJV).

The entire Levitical Law served as patterns of what Jesus fulfilled on the cross. God the Father put Him in charge of all things – He is our King, High Priest, and intercessor before God the Father.

The Bible says that Satan accuses us before God night and day. “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down” (Rev. 12:10, NKJV).

Every time Satan brings our sins before God, Jesus serves as our intercessor and says, “I paid for those sins on the cross.” Do any of those sins get too large for Jesus to handle? Are they too large for the blood of Jesus to wash away?  Some church groups say that major or mortal sins cannot be forgiven. However, we do not read anywhere in the Bible except once, where sin is too large for Jesus’ blood to cleanse. 

The Bible says that God cannot forgive only one sin: rejecting Jesus and refusing His offer of forgiveness and new life. This sin is called “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” It is unforgivable because it means we are saying that the Holy Spirit’s witness about Jesus is a lie (Luke 12:10).

Because of this, we must look at the doctrine of eternal security. Can we fall from grace? How large would the sin have to be? Some churches believe we would not go to heaven if we died while sinning. This would only be possible if Jesus were not our mediator for every sin.

However, we must raise two issues related to sin. First, if we have unconfessed sin in our lives, we can lose fellowship with God. We can also quench (Thessalonians 5:19) and grieve (Ephesians 4:30) the Holy Spirit. We are told to confess our sins unto God, and He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Deeds done during the periods in our life of unconfessed sins will not receive rewards in heaven (I Cor. 3:10-15). Neither will works that glorify us, earn rewards in Heaven – it is a heart issue. 

The second issue is that we may think we are saved but are not. Do we know that we have trusted in Jesus’s death for payment and forgiveness of our sins? Have we repented and made Jesus the Lord of our lives? We do not have to worry if we have the assurance of being saved. The Bible gives us a good test for
assurance in the eighth chapter of Romans. 

 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:14-16, NKJV).   

If we have ever experienced the Holy Spirit living within us, we can always be assured of our salvation and the that we have a high priest in heaven.  

Jesus is of the order of Melchizedek, which refers to His royal authority and the unending duration of His high priesthood (Heb. 7:1-24).

The New Covenant

The Mosaic Covenant has now been replaced with the “New Covenant,” and the dispensation of law has ended. In Jeremiah chapter thirty-one, God promised Israel a New Covenant. 

“’Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord.  ‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people’” (Jer. 31:31-33, NASB1995).

Although the New Covenant was promised to Israel, it has been temporarily given to a new group called “The Church.” Since Israel refused the kingdom of Christ presented to them, the kingdom was taken from them and given to another group.

Jesus’ blood purchased the New Covenant. During the Passover meal in the upper room, Jesus passed the communion cup to His disciples and declared it part of the New Covenant.

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins‘“ (Matt. 26:27-28, NKJV).

The Mosaic Law was fulfilled on the cross. We recall that Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.  For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matt. 5:17-18, NASB1995).

The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians that Jesus fulfilled every letter of the law. “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal. 4:4-5, NASB1995).

 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE’” (Gal. 3:13, NASB1995).

The Levitical Law has now been fulfilled and superseded by a new order. The writer of the Book of Hebrews provides much information about Christ’s completed work.

“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.  Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?  But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.  For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:1-4, NASB1995).  

However, “all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22, NASB1995).

All sacrifices, before Jesus’ death, looked forward to His final sacrifice

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:12-14, NKJV). 

“But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD:

I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them”  (Heb. 10:15-17, NKJV).

Many today say that Christians are narrow-minded concerning the way of salvation. They claim that there are many ways to reach God and that Christians should not be dogmatic about their beliefs. However, looking closely at the Bible, we find its unique message. Other religions do not have the prophetic systems: statements, types, and shadows foretelling the coming of a savior. Other world religions begin with the founder of that religion. 

But there are over sixty direct prophecies in the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled during His first advent. Many of these prophecies give great details such as: “Born at Bethlehem,”; “Rejected by His own People,”; “Cast Lots for His Garment,”; “Not a Bone was Broken,”: “His Side was Pierced,”; and “Darkness over the Land.”  

Now we must ask the question: how do world religions deal with the sin problem?  A study of most systems of religion will show that man designed his own plan for salvation. However, the Bible says we have all sinned, and the sin debt must be paid.  We quickly and accurately see that Christianity is unique in answering this question. 

Jesus said: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB1995). 

“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18, NASB1995).  

“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:21, NASB1995).  

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6b, NASB1995).

Perhaps the apostle Paul said it best when he wrote, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17, NASB1995). 

This historical fact rests on the validity of God’s word and our hope for everlasting life in Heaven. Our response to this good news will determine where we spend eternity.

The Church

Sometime between six to nine months before His crucifixion, Jesus and His disciples make a trip to upper Galilee, to the foothills of Mount Herman, to a place called Caesarea Philippi. 

Jesus asked His disciples, who do you say that I am? “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God’” (Matt. 16:15-16, NIV).

“Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock [petra] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. ’Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah” (Matt. 16:17-20, NIV).

For the first time in Biblical prophecy, Jesus has revealed God’s plan for His church – a mystery hidden in the Old Testament. It will be built on a big rock, “Petra,” who is Jesus, and not on Peter, “Petros,” a little stone, as some church leaders have declared. “Petra” means an immovable foundation – the rock of ages.

Ten days before the feast of Pentecost, Jesus ascended into heaven. He instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. 

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4, NKJV).

On this day of Pentecost, The Church was born. Peter preached the first sermon about the crucifixion of Christ to the visitors at the celebration, and three thousand souls were saved. The Church grew numerically very quickly under the leadership of the new spirit-filled Apostles. 

The Apostles initially assumed that The Church was an extension of the Jewish program. However, since The Church grew quickly, it got the attention of the Jewish leaders and soon came under heavy persecution.

A young Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, led the persecution of the Church, and the people began to scatter. They ultimately spread The Church to areas outside of Jerusalem.

 Later, while on the road to Damascus, Jesus appeared to Saul in a blinding light and blinded him. This experience resulted in Saul being converted and becoming a movement leader within The Church. Saul’s name was changed to Paul, and God used him tremendously to fully understand the nature of The Church during the following years.  

Later, under Peter’s and Paul’s teaching, Gentiles began to believe and were filled with the Holy Spirit. The Apostles underwent extensive mind changes. About fifteen years after the crucifixion of Jesus, around 48 AD, the first church council was held in Jerusalem.  

It was decided at that meeting that The Church was not a continuation of the Jewish program, but an entirely new program instituted by God and made up of both Jews and Gentiles. God temporarily set Israel aside and turned to this new group called “The Church” to be His witness to the world. Under the later teaching of the Apostle Paul, we learned the true nature and purpose of The Church.

The apostle Paul called the church a mystery that was hidden in God’s programs throughout the Old Testament.

“If indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already), by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel” (Eph. 3:2-6, NKJV).

The Church is a unique body made up of born-again believers consisting of both Jews and Gentiles. In its future role throughout eternity, it will be a separate exclusive group from the other two exclusive groups – one which is made up of the Jews, and the other made up of the Gentile Nations. Therefore, the roles of the three groups will be treated differently throughout eternity.

The apostle Paul declares: “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Eph. 2:14-16, NKJV). 

It was not possible for God to birth The Church before the cross as the shed blood of Jesus paid for it on the cross.

As we study the Scriptures, we learn that there are two categories or roles for The Church. In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul wrote about a universal Church and all its spiritual blessings. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3, NKJV).

The idea presented in Ephesians is that the universal Church is a living organism or union of all true believers in Christ made up of both Jews and Gentiles. 

It is a temple built of living stones. However, of the 109 references where the word “Church” is used, only 13 references seem to point to the idea of a universal Church. Those references are Matt.16:18, Eph. 1:22, 3:10, 3:21, 5:23, 5:24, 5:25, 5:27, 5:29, 5:32, Col. 1:18, 1:24, and Heb.12:23. 

The remaining 96 references point to local assemblies of believers or local fellowships. The primary emphasis in the apostle’s letters, as recorded in the New Testament, is on the mission and obedience of the members of the local fellowships.

The local church’s mission is to carry out Christ’s great commission. “Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” (Matt. 28:18-20, NKJV).

The local church’s work, with Christ as the head, is also to minister to the members of its congregation. They are to act as a family and as one body ministering to one another during their times of need. They are also told to go worldwide as missionaries, share the Gospel with unbelievers, and minister to their needs.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are spiritually born anew and are baptized into the universal Church, which is both earthly and heavenly. The universal Church will go into eternity as the Bride of Christ. 

However, the local Church is earthbound with heavenly leadership under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the local Church is composed of members who may or may not be members of the universal Church. Unfortunately, some local Church members have never received Christ and have not been baptized into the universal Church by the Holy Spirit. 

They are tares mixed with wheat, as Jesus spoke about in the parable of the “tares and the wheat” (Matt.13:24-30). The tares will be separated either when they die or when The Church is raptured into heaven. When we get to heaven, we will no longer be members of the local Church. Instead, all believers will be members of the universal Church, where we will be Jesus’ bride and joint heir.

In man’s eyes, all people listed on the local church rolls are members of The Church. However, in God’s eyes, only those truly regenerated are local church members. This means that through the eyes of God, many local churches may have fewer members than they think they have.

In heaven, the universal Church, which includes the regenerated local church members, is the Bride of Christ and will reign with him throughout eternity. 

Since the universal Church will not experience the wrath of God, they will be raptured before the Great Tribulation (1 Thess. 5:9). 

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus” (1 Thess. 4:13-14, NKJV).

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:15-18, NKJV)

 “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (1 Thess. 5:9-10, NKJV).

Jesus experienced the wrath of God in our place on the Cross.

Priesthood of the Believer

In the beginning, God created a group of people with whom He could have fellowship. He made them, man and woman, in His image (Gen. 1:27). He also gave them free will with the choice of obeying Him or disobeying Him. Unfortunately, as God knew they would, many chose to disobey Him and sin against Him. 

Before the earth’s foundation was laid, God had the plan to redeem man and woman and restore them to fellowship – some choose to accept His offer, and others do not. 

Before man and woman sinned, God fellowshipped with them in the beautiful garden that He planted for them. But, because of God’s justice, He could not fellowship with them after they transgressed.  

After that time, God required mankind to offer the sacrifices of animals to cover their sins until the day Jesus paid for them on the cross. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin (Heb. 9:22).

Since men and women could no longer have direct fellowship with God, He established the human priesthood to represent the people before Himself. 

When Jesus died on the cross, the temple’s veil, which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, was ripped from top to bottom. This tearing of the veil, breaking down the wall of the petition, symbolized restored fellowship between God the Father and His people.

As stated above, at Jesus’ death, He became our High Priest representing us before the Father as our intercessor and mediator. As a result, born-again Christians are priests before God. We can now communicate directly with God the Father through prayer in the name of Jesus.

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:4-5, NKJV). 

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (I Pet. 2:9-10, NKJV).

Kinsman Redeemer

A Kinsman-Redeemer was someone who redeemed what was lost. This could involve another person’s property, their freedom, or even their name. The kinsman might also be called upon to exact revenge on someone who may have harmed their relative. The kinsman was a rescuer and a restorer.

Using this definition, Jesus served as a Kinsman-Redeemer in at least two ways. First, he redeemed mankind from their debt of sin by paying the price for their sins on the cross. 

Secondly, He also redeemed the earth from Satan. When Adam sinned against God, he passed the dominion of the earth that God had given to him to Satan. Therefore, under the Levitical Law, God planned for the redemption of that property through a Kinsman-Redeemer. 

Under the Levitical Law, the land was to remain within a family. If a family was required to sell the land due to hardships, they could later repurchase it. If the original family was not financially able to repurchase the land, then a member of the extended family, known as a Kinsman Redeemer, could repurchase the land for them.

This is the story of Boaz and Naomi in the Old Testament book of Ruth. Due to hardships, Naomi’s family had been forced to sell their land. When Naomi returned to Israel from Moab, with her daughter-in-law, Ruth, Boaz, as the closest of kin, was able to repurchase the land as a Kinsman Redeemer. We also know that Boaz later married Ruth.

When the land was sold, a new title deed was written for the new owners on a scroll that contained all the requirements for the repurchase of the land by the original family. This scroll would become part of the selling family’s legal papers.

Now let us apply this law to the ownership of the earth. When God created Adam, He gave him dominion and ownership of the planet. Later, when Adam and, his wife, Eve, sinned, Satan became the owner of the earth. Thus, after Adam sinned, he came under the dominion of Satan. From that time until now, Satan has remained the owner of the earth – He has authority over it. Therefore, he and his demons continue to control all the kingdoms on earth.

I believe that in this transaction, all the legal papers were stored in heaven by God the father.

When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he offered him all the kingdoms in the world.

“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matt. 4:8-10, NKJV). Jesus never challenged Satan regarding his ownership. 

In the tenth chapter of Daniel, the angel, Gabriel, was hindered by the kings of Persia from reaching Daniel. The context of the verses makes it clear that the prince of Persia was a demon and a servant of Satan. Perhaps each nation has a demonic leader.

“Then he said to me, ‘Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia’” (Dan. 10:12-13, NKJV).

Jesus paid the price on the cross to redeem the earth and defeat Satan. At that time, Jesus became the Kinsman Redeemer of the earth. However, He did not take procession at that time. Therefore, we must look at the book of The Revelation to learn when He will take possession.

“And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it” (Rev. 5:1-3, NKJV).

The scroll contained the title deed to the earth and all the instructions (judgments) required to redeem it. The requirements were described in seven seal judgments.

“So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals’” (Rev. 5:4-5, NKJV).

“And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne” (Rev. 5:6-7, NKJV).

The slain Lamb referred to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the Lion of the tribe of Judah referred to His future Kingship. As the Lion, He will judge the earth that He purchased with His blood on the cross. As He opens each seal of the scroll, His judgments are poured out upon the planet – each described in the book of The Revelation. Finally, when He fights the last battle, the Battle of Armageddon, the war will be over – evil will have been defeated.

“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10, NKJV).

Jesus will create a new heaven and a new earth where there will be no more destruction or sorrow.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom 8:18-21, NKJV).

Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® 2011 by Zondervan Corporation.  Used by permission. All rights reserved. Used with permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible, copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 Scripture quotations marked NASB1995 are taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1971,1977, 1995, by The Lockman Foundation, LA Habra, California.  Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked KJV are taken from the Kings James Version.

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