Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The story of Jesus

This is a blog entry about the big picture. In reading a verse last night and studying about it, it kind of put a punctuation on the last bit of the picture that was unfinished in my mind.

We know that God has a plan. We know it involves sin and redeeming humanity after the Fall from Grace that occurred in the garden. We know that He is alive and working in our lives and on earth. But what is the summary of the plan? Here it is.

God made the universe and He made the earth. He made the creatures and He made man and woman. (Genesis 1-2). He joined them together in marriage and He walked with them in the Garden. (Genesis 3:8).

Adam and Eve had no sin in them and our Holy God had a personal relationship with them up close, because they were holy too.

Then sin was found in them and God cursed them. He cursed the earth, He cursed childbirth and He cursed labor. He cursed satan, who brought the sin. (Genesis 3:14-24).

But God was not finished with man. He maintained His relationship with them, and further, He promised to redeem them by sending a Savior. God said to the serpent that the promised savior will crush the serpent under His heel. (Genesis3:15).

Man’s evil grew worse and worse, until the only righteous man left in the world was Noah, and Noah’s sons and wives. God had promised to redeem man, and though He was grieved He had made man, (Genesis 6:6) He planned to save Noah and his family through the coming judgment.

After the Flood God selected Abraham to begin the process of redemption by building a nation through Abraham. (Genesis 12). The God selected Moses to begin the process of delivering the Law and then He sent the Prophets. The Law stated that a Messiah would come, (Psalm 2:7) and the Prophets were used by God to remind people of that, so they would have faith unto their God and live righteously. (Romans 7:12)

Until the time of Jesus’s physical presence on earth, the Old Testament faithful looked forward to the Messiah, and had faith that He would come. (Isaiah 11:2, Isaiah 61:1)

Then Jesus was born on earth from a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) and lived a sinless life on earth. He fulfilled the Law and He fulfilled the wrath of God regarding the sin in the world. (Romans 1:18).

Jesus preached the New Covenant, the one of Grace through faith in Messiah who has come. Jesus overcame sin, healed the sick, made the blind to see, raised the dead, and triumphed over the demons.

When He ascended into heaven after His resurrection, Jesus was still active, just not on earth. The Holy Spirit is on earth, He points to Jesus. Every person who responds to the drawing of the Spirit by repenting is forgiven by Jesus and enters the Kingdom an overcomer (Revelation 3:21, 1 John 5:5). One by one, He redeems humanity and one by one the kingdom enlarges. The believers in this present age of Grace have the bible as their guide for righteous living instead of the Law. But sin is still present on earth.

In Revelation 1-3 we see final warnings had been sent out to the churches, and in Revelation 4 we hear the call to the raptured believers to come up hither, (modeled in Jesus's call to John) and in Revelation 5 the believers are singing about their salvation through His redeemed blood. (No other group can say that about their salvation). In Revelation 5:2-5 John records,  “And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

In verse 1 it says the scroll has writing on both sides. This meant it was a legal document. The next moment in Revelation is one of the most momentous in all of the bible. "Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne." (Rev 5:7).

It is this moment that Jesus takes the scroll, which is a title deed to the earth, and He begins His next and most active phase of taking earth and all its contents back from sin. He begins the process of crushing the rebellion. He starts judging earth and opposing satan through those judgments. He starts the wheels turning to an even greater degree of putting down the last enemies. (which are sin and death.)

Revelation 6 opens with the unleashing of the first Four Horseemen. The rest of Revelation through chapter 19 shows Jesus taking it back through His successive judgments. He is putting down the rebellions, one after another. Then the 1000 year Kingdom comes, known as the Millennial Kingdom, and even then, Jesus is still in process of taking earth back and putting down rebellions. He takes back kingdoms. He establishes His authority on earth. He rules with an iron rod. If all was perfectly peaceful He would not need to rule with an iron rod. (Psalm 2:8-12). Rebellion still exists.

At the end of the 1000 years, satan is let out of the abyss where he has been locked up. He deceives the nations once again, and a great army marches against Jerusalem. But fire comes down and smites them all. Satan is thrown into the lake of fire.

In Revelation 20 a final judgment takes place. When that is concluded, in verse 14 we see death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire. That is the last enemy! Sin has been put down! Sinners have been judged!. Death and hell are in the lake of fire with the antichrist, false prophet and satan!

Jesus has accomplished His mission for the Father! All sin, all governments, all kingdoms, any and all other authority except the authority of Jesus Christ the Holy Messiah are gone. Jesus reigns supreme!!

And then do you know what happens? Jesus gives it all back to the Father.

"Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all." (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

Jesus had been given charge of redeeming humanity and redeeming the earth. He was given charge to make an end to sin. He was given charge to take the earth back under His authority. ALL authority had been given to Jesus throughout all this time. (Matthew 28:18). And He accomplishes that, and in a holy act of humility He bows down and gives it all back to God.

God once again is all in all. God once again presides over a pure and holy creation.

"In the beginning..."

5 comments:

  1. This is a great post, but, this part puzzles me:

    "and in Revelation 5 the believers are singing about their salvation through His redeemed blood. (No other group can say that about their salvation)."

    I'm not sure God's salvation by grace through faith is only exclusive to the believers. No one in the history of mankind can ever live up to God's holiness, except Jesus who lived a perfect life. This means that there is no other way to get to heaven but by God's grace alone, no matter what time period you're born in. So whether it's Adam and Eve or the tribulation saints, the only requirement for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ, not man's works. It just baffles me when other people believe that the tribulation saints get saved through their own merits.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Anonymous,

    Thank you for the compliment!

    Anonymous said, “It just baffles me when other people believe that the tribulation saints get saved through their own merits.”

    If that is what I had meant, that indeed would be baffling! But that is not what I said... No one is saved through their own merits. Ever. :)

    What I was said was “and in Revelation 5 the believers are singing about their salvation through His redeemed blood. (No other group can say that about their salvation)" which means that no other group in history can claim the salvation by His own shed blood like Church Age believers can. The verse to which I was referring, Rev 5:8-10, says in context--

    “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 odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

    Only the church has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. Abel sacrificed. Abraham sacrificed. Moses delivered the Law and there were sacrifices on behalf of limited atonement was necessary component of salvation. Tribulation believers will sacrifice, because it is technically a resumption of the Old Covenant. Millennial believers will sacrifice. (Isaiah 56:6-8; Zechariah 14:16; and Jeremiah 33:15-18). Only Church Age believers are saved by grace through faith in His shed blood- without having to sacrifice.

    Why? It is part of the promise to show the incomparable riches of His grace (Ephesians 2:7). “Such was his love to those who were lost, that it would be an everlasting monument of his mercy, a perpetual and unchanging proof that he was good. (http://biblecommenter.com/ephesians/2-7.htm

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree that the tribulation period is an extension of the old covenant. People will offer sacrifices if only for ceremonial purposes, or perhaps to show their faith.

    But salvation is not obtained by the blood of animals. This Hebrews verse makes it clear:

    "But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption."

    The finished work of Jesus on the cross, His shed blood, is enough to cover all the sins of humanity from the dawn of time.

    And this is what the Bible means with the expression "the lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world." His blood encompasses all humanity, all dispensation. This is His special office in the Godhead, to act as mediator between God and man, through His blood. And when all creatures are restored to holiness, He will give up this office and reign with the Godhead forever.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous, it might be a good idea to stop putting words and thoughts into my mouth and then arguing from that stance. That method of conversation is called straw man arguments. I did not say that salvation is obtained by sacrificing the blood of animals. I'd said,

    "No one is saved through their own merits. Ever."

    About sacrifices in general, God required animal sacrifices to provide a temporary covering of sins and to foreshadow the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Leviticus 4:35, 5:10).

    The Tribulation is a continuation of the Old testament and therefore sacrifices continue, at least until the Temple is made desolate and unfit for worship.

    The sacrifices will also continue in the Millennium Isaiah 56:6-8; Zechariah 14:16; and Jeremiah 33:15-18, Ezekiel 43:18-46:24.

    The Millennium sacrifices are a memorial, a reminder of the horribleness of sin and serves as a sort of Lord's Supper, much the same as the Lord's supper reminds believers in the Age of Grace of Jesus's broken body and spilled blood.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really interesting stuff. Thanks for posting it. Not sure I understand all the comments and discussion, but good to think about these things.

    ReplyDelete

Paul's warm letters

These are the openings of all of Paul's letters, except Galatians. Please don't skip, read them through. I thank my God in all my ...