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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Judaic-Christian Salvation, #6
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
It is not true, as we understand the Scriptures, that every believer will be raised when the Lord comes. Only the royal priesthood, only those who have attained victory over Satan, will be given back their bodies when the Lord appears. The remainder will be required to stay in the spirit realm until they are prepared to resume life on the earth (compare Revelation 20:4-6).
No person is ready to serve God as an eternal priest and king until he has been delivered from sin and self-will. The members of the elect must be delivered from the kind of behavior that brought the curse of corruption and death on the earth in the first place. After they have been delivered they shall rule and teach the nations of the saved. The Kingdom of God does not permit sin on the earth.
If we are to gain a true understanding of the nature and significance of the Judaic-Christian salvation we must go back to the Book of Genesis.
Adam and Eve were not in Heaven in the beginning. This is very important for us to understand, because salvation is redemption. Redemption is the restoring to a person what has been taken from him by some means. To redeem a person or thing is to pay the price of redemption and then to return the person or thing to his or its original condition.
Since Adam and Eve did not fall from Heaven, redemption does not return them to Heaven. Adam and Eve were driven from Paradise on the earth. The Divine redemption will restore mankind to Paradise on the earth.
The Scriptures have to do with the redemption of mankind. The Lord Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind.
The Divine Salvation Solves the Problem of Disobedience to God
What caused mankind to be driven from Paradise on the earth? Disobedience to God.
Therefore the Scriptures deal with two issues: (1) the payment of the price of redemption; and (2) the correcting of the problem that caused Adam and Eve to be driven from the garden, the problem of disobedience to God.
Christian scholars and preachers have done an excellent job of presenting the manner in which God Himself has paid the price of our redemption.
But there has not been the same clarity, in our opinion, in the presenting of the means God has provided for correcting the problem. The Divine means for correcting the problem of man's disobedience is the subject of the Scriptures, both Old Testament and New Testament.
Before we go further, let us set forth some concepts of the Kingdom of God, of the rule of God, of the means God has provided for the correcting of the problem of disobedience.
In the beginning, Heaven was on the earth—this present earth. All we associate with Heaven was located on the earth. There was a beautiful garden, a Paradise. The need for wearying labor was not present. The ground was productive and there were no weeds or destructive diseases or insects. Sickness and death were unknown. Best of all, God Himself was present.
Through disobedience all of this was lost to man.
To be continued.