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The Redemption Of The Purchased Possession





Ephes. i:13, 14; Rev. xii

We find in these words a truth revealed, which is quite often
overlooked by readers of this great Epistle. It is this: The purchased
possession, that which has been purchased for us, is yet to be
redeemed. There is a future redemption of the purchased possession.

The divine statement includes this fact, that believers are sealed with
the Holy Spirit of promise, and that He is the earnest or our
inheritance until the time when the redemption of the purchased
possession takes place.

And where do we find these words in this great chapter? If this
chapter is at all to be divided, it must be divided into two parts.
The first fourteen verses make the first part and then follows the
great prayer of the Spirit of God through the Apostle. The statement
which is before us for consideration is found at the end of the first
part, preceding the prayer of the Apostle.

And what precious truth this chapter up to the fourteenth verse
contains! It is indeed God's highest revelation concerning believing
sinners saved by Grace. There is nothing higher than that, which is
revealed here, and it is safe to say that God could not tell us
anything better and more precious than what He has told us in this
chapter.

First stands the greatest doxology of the Scriptures. "Blessed be the
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every
spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ." This takes it all
together. We are as believers of Christ united to Him, One with Him
and therefore we possess every spiritual blessing the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ is capable of giving. Then follows the great
facts connected with our redemption in Christ. Here we find election,
predestination, adoption, or putting into the Son-place, Redemption,
the source of redemption as well as the prize of redemption.

Let us glance briefly at those glorious steps which lead up to our
verse. They are just seven.

We can only name them, much as we would like to ponder over each. 1.
We are chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. He thought of
us and loved us before ever a single thing had been created. 2. Marked
out for the Son-place through Jesus Christ. According to the good
pleasure of His will He has given us the place of a Son. 3. He has
taken us into the favor in the Beloved. In that beloved One we are
beloved forever accepted in Him. 4. We have redemption through His
blood, the forgiveness of offences, according to the riches of His
grace. 5. Then we have the knowledge of the mystery of His will,
according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself for the
administration of the fulness of times, to head up all things in the
Christ. 6. In Him we have obtained an inheritance; and then the last
step, the seventh, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, the
earnest of that inheritance which we have obtained.

Now let me just say this little word on the last great fact. The
authorized version reads "after that ye believed ye were sealed with
that holy Spirit of promise." This translation is misleading and gives
ground to an error which is becoming more and more widespread. It is
the error that the Holy Spirit is not given at once when the sinner
believes, but that the Holy Spirit is received in a definite experience
after we have believed. It is an error; the passage before us does not
teach this but the very opposite, for it reads, "in whom also
believing, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit." Every one who has
believed received in the act of believing the Holy Spirit. And this
blessed gift, not an influence, but the person of the Holy Spirit, is
both the seal and the earnest. A seal makes secure and denotes safety.
By that seal we are owned by God. We are His property, we belong to
Him. Then the Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, the
pledge of it. We give an earnest when we buy a property, it is an
advance payment, the first installment. So is the Holy Spirit from the
side of our God the earnest of the purchased possession. How happy and
full of joy we should be with the knowledge of all these precious
truths, with the seal and earnest of our possession.

But the earnest (not the seal) is up to a certain time and that time is
when we come into the full possession of our inheritance "until the
redemption of the purchased possession to the praise of His glory."
This brings us to the whole matter before us.

1. In the first place what is "our inheritance" mentioned here? We
find the word inheritance three times in this chapter. "In whom we
have also obtained an inheritance" (verse 11). Then in the 14th verse,
"The earnest of our inheritance." We find it again in the 18th verse.
"So that ye should know what is the hope of His calling and what the
riches of the glory of His inheritance in the Saints." The inheritance
is, according to these passages, twofold. Believers constituting the
church have an inheritance and we are His inheritance. The inheritance
we have, our inheritance, is nothing less than the inheritance of the
Christ. He made Him Heir of all things. He is the Heir of God. The
same is said of us as believers. We are heirs of God and joint heirs
with the Lord Jesus Christ. God has put us, according to the good
pleasure of His will in Christ, in the place of sons and because He has
made us sons He has made us heirs. The inheritance of the first
begotten from the dead is the inheritance of all who are by Grace
constituted sons in Him. And what is His inheritance which we shall
share in all eternity? We find in it the preceding verses, "having
made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good
pleasure which He purposed in Himself for the administration of the
fulness of times; to head up all things in the Christ, the things in
the heavens and the things upon the earth." In other words, He is the
heir of all things and these include both the heavens and the earth.
All is put under His feet. And this glorious inheritance belongs to
us; we shall share it with Him in all eternity. What mind and heart
can grasp it! It is unspeakable and unfathomable. Our inheritance is
often lowered in that people speak about the earth as being the
inheritance. Certain passages from the Old Testament are quoted in
support of this. "The meek shall inherit the earth," "the earth has He
given to the children of men." But this does not at all refer to our
inheritance, but rather to the inheritance of an earthly people in the
millennium. Our inheritance assuredly includes the earth, but the
heavens are the supreme place for the church. As He is now far above
all principalities and power and might and dominion, in the heavenlies,
so will the church occupy the heavenlies with Him, the glorified Head,
and in the ages to come God will show in this very position and
possession He has given to us His exceeding riches of His Grace.

But here we read not only of an inheritance, which belongs to us, but
it speaks of "the purchased possession." There is no difference at all
between these two terms "our inheritance" and "the purchased
possession;" they are one and the same thing. The inheritance, the
possession of the heavenlies and of the earth is acquired or purchased
and the purchase price is the blood of the Son of God. The precious
blood of the Son of God has not only redeemed us and made it possible
for us to share His inheritance to the praise of His Glory, but it has
also purchased both the heavenlies and the earth. The heavenlies as
well as the things on earth have been defiled by sin and needed the
purchase; the blood of the Son of God alone could accomplish that. In
the same sense we read in the first chapter of Colossians of the
reconciliation of all things, the things in heaven and the things on
the earth.

It is an interesting fact that we find the same word "the purchased
possession" as it is translated here at four other places in the New
Testament. Twice in Thessalonians, once in Hebrews and once in 1st
Peter. Each time it refers to the future.

1 Thess. v:9. "God has not set us for wrath, but (literally) unto
acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has died for us
that whether we may be watching or sleep, we may live together with
Him. The "acquiring of salvation" is future and corresponds to the
"purchased possession."

2 Thess. ii:14. "Unto which He called you through our Gospel, unto an
acquiring of the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Peter ii:19.... "A people for an acquisition;" that is, a people
formed for a possession corresponding to Isaiah xliii:2. "This people
have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise." This is
spoken, of course, concerning Israel. It also finds an application in
the church, the royal Priesthood. In the possession of our inheritance
we shall make known His excellencies, His Glory.

Hebrews x:39. The word is likewise found also relating to the future,
"the preservation of the soul," the same as salvation in the future
sense.

2. And now we reach the main thought of the Scripture before us. The
purchased possession, the inheritance, though it has been fully paid
for, is completely purchased, is yet to be redeemed. While we said
that our inheritance and the expression "the purchased possession" are
the same, it is not so with "purchase" and "redemption." These are two
different things. The purchase is by blood, but the redemption here is
by power. The purchased possession is to be redeemed by power.

Now as this is so the inheritance must be in a state of alienation from
God; some power has hold of it who has no right to it. If this were
not the case it would be impossible to speak of a redemption by power.
It is just like the possession of some land in a frontier state. A
person purchases a large tract of land. It is his, he has a perfect
title to it. But now he comes and looks over his purchased possession
and he finds a number of people who settled upon it. They have erected
houses and make a claim that it belongs to them, but they have no right
to it at all. Either by law or by force they are to be evicted from
the property to which they have no right. At a certain time the owner
comes and claims his ownership and casts out these people. And even so
that which the Lord has purchased and which belongs to Him and to the
sons of God with Him, His inheritance and our inheritance is possessed
up to this time by evil, God opposing powers and they have still
control of it till the hour of eviction comes. All things are indeed
put under His feet, but we see not yet all things put under Him, though
we see as a pledge that it shall be so, "Jesus who was made a little
lower than the angels for the suffering of death crowned with glory and
honor." The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, and yet the
earth is still in the grasp of that mighty being, who had shown to our
Lord the kingdoms of this world claiming them as his own and offering
the same to the Lord. The father of lies spoke the truth then, for the
kingdoms of this world are in his possession and they are still his.
He is still the god of this age, the prince of the world. The enemies
of Christ seen and unseen are not yet made His footstool, nor will they
be till the power of God does it in that mighty act of a future
redemption. Still there is the groaning of all creation, waiting for
something better to come, waiting for the deliverance from the bondage
of corruption, waiting to be brought into the glorious liberty of the
children of God. The deliverance of groaning creation takes place when
the sons of God are manifested, and that is the time of the redemption
of the purchased possession. And we also who have the first fruits of
the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the
redemption of the body. And the redemption of the body belongs to the
redemption of the purchased possession.

And how is it with the heavens? Surely here we cannot speak of some
evil powers holding possessions, and that it is necessary to redeem
that possession by power? It is exactly this which is mostly before us
in this epistle of the Heavenlies.

To some Christians this is almost impossible to grasp and yet it is
clearly revealed in the Scriptures that the heavenlies, the sphere
above the earth and way beyond, is in the grasp of the evil tenants
which under the headship of Satan form mighty principalities and powers
and dominions. He himself as head reaches into heaven and has access
to the very throne itself. He is not only the god of this age and the
prince of this world, but also "The prince of the power in the air."
How mighty he is as such, what powers are at his disposal, how vast his
kingdom is, how numerous the fallen beings with him and how the demons
fill the air, no saint has ever fully realized, nor shall we ever
realize it, till the God of peace has Satan completely bruised under
our feet.

Think for a moment of what the Scriptures say. There is the first and
second chapter in the Book of Job. Some call it fiction. We call it
one of the greatest revelations of the Word of God. There is the
throne of God, and to that throne comes Satan as the accuser of the
brethren. The New Testament verifies that this is still the case, and
that at the present time this mighty being still accuses the saints of
God before the throne of righteousness. And that is one of the reasons
why the Lord Jesus Christ as our advocate appears in the presence of
God for us.

Again we read the words of a prophet. "I saw the Lord sitting on His
throne and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right and on
his left.... And there came forth a spirit and stood before the Lord
and said, I will persuade him (King Ahab). And the Lord said unto him,
Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth and I will be a lying spirit
in the mouth of all his prophets" (1 Kings xxii:19-23). And
furthermore here in the Epistle to Ephesians in the last chapter we
read of the warfare of the Christian believer, which is not with flesh
and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the
rulers of the darkness of this world, against the wicked spirits in the
heavenlies. This passage alone is sufficient evidence to show that the
heavenlies are up to the present time tenanted by wicked spirits. They
hold possession of the heavenlies and have control there. But Christ
has triumphed over Satan and his wicked spirits and has purchased that
heavenly possession. It belongs to Him and to His church, and when the
right time comes the redemption of that possession will take place and
the heavenlies will be cleared from these usurpers.

3. This brings us to the third thought connected with this theme.
When and how will the purchased possession be redeemed by the power of
God? We are not left to speculation on this matter, for while we have
here just a few words concerning this great event we have in another
part of the Bible a revelation, which may be termed the complete
history of the redemption of the purchased possession. There we have
the when and the how we have asked completely answered. That book is
our great New Testament Book of Prophecy, the Revelation. The parts in
which the redemption of the purchased possession by the power of God is
revealed are chapters xii and xx.

The twelfth chapter is one of the great chapters in this marvelous
book. It is not only a great chapter, but also an important one. In
examining any exposition of the Book of Revelation one does well to
turn to this chapter and read what the expositor has to say on it. If
he is straight here his book is well worth reading; if not he must be
wrong in the greater part of the book. The great vision is the woman
travailing in pain to be delivered of a manchild. The catching away of
that manchild, which the red dragon was ready to devour. The casting
out of Satan after the manchild is with God and in heaven, the
persecution of the woman and her seed by the serpent. The erroneous
interpretation always concerns the woman. Many make her to be the
church, and then the manchild is a select company of the elect church,
overcomers, first fruits, or as some call them the 144,000.

The woman has nothing to do with the church. She typifies Israel and
this is easily verified from Old Testament passages. The manchild
destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron is Christ who,
according to the flesh, came from Israel. Satan hated Him and would
have devoured Him, but could not. The man-child is caught away and
then after He is in the presence of God all the other events come
rapidly to pass.

We notice that a number of important things are passed over entirely in
the beginning of this chapter. They are implied, of course. Nothing
is said of the earthly life of Christ, nothing of His death and
resurrection. They are implied in His being caught away unto God.
There is nothing said of this present age and nothing of the church,
but she is likewise implied in this scene. The manchild does not stand
for the person of Christ alone, but for the completed Christ, I mean by
this the Christ, the Head and the Body, the church united to Him in
Glory. What is spoken of the Christ in resurrection is also spoken of
His church. The promise to rule the nations with a rod of iron is not
only to Him but through Him also to those who overcome. "And he shall
rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of a potter shall they be
broken to shivers, even as I received of my Father" (Rev. ii:28). It
is also significant that we do not read of the ascension here of our
Lord. If the word were here that the man-child ascended, I doubt if
then we could say the church is implied, for the word ascension is
never used in connection with the church. But it reads "Caught away,"
and the very same word which is used here is used in 1 Thess. iv.
"Caught up together with them in clouds." What follows next is the war
in heaven and the casting out of Satan. This will not take place till
the complete church, the Body and Bride of Christ, is taken up. Then
Satan will be completely bruised under our feet. In spite of his
malice, in spite of his power and accusations, in spite of his
challenge to God and fearful attacks, there is not one member of that
glorious body missing, all the redeemed are in the presence of the Lord
and then Satan is forced down to the earth by Michael and his angels.
In heaven there is a loud voice which declares: "Now is come salvation
and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ,
for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them day
and night before our God. And they overcame him by the blood of the
Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their
lives unto death. Therefore rejoice, oh ye heavens, and ye that dwell
in them." Then Satan as the accuser has no more place in heaven and
the advocacy of Christ concerning His own, as He said in His
highpriestly prayer, "I pray for them," has an end. They are all safe
with Him in glory.

The heavenlies are thus cleared of Satan and his hosts when the church
is brought in and the eviction is the redemption of the purchased
possession. It takes place by the power of God through the mighty
Being whose name is "Who is like God," Michael.

Satan the usurper cast out of the heavenly sphere goes down to the
earth having great wrath. How fearful must be the wrath of that Being!
Who of us can imagine it, what it will be? Surely the Lord would never
leave His church, His Bride on the earth, when that awful Being with
that great wrath comes down. Indeed what we have said shows clearly
that the great tribulation is impossible as long as the church, the
complete church, is not yet in glory. For to have the great
tribulation on the earth the old serpent must be cast down on the earth.

The redemption of the purchased possession begins then with the rapture
of the church to be with Christ in His Inheritance in the Heavenlies.
This is followed by Satan being cast out of heaven. And then a few
years more and the heavens open and the King of kings and Lord of lords
appears. The Son in all His Glory is manifested bringing many sons
with Him to Glory. It is then that we have the redemption of the
purchased possession completed. "And I saw an angel come down from
heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his
hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old Serpent, which is the
Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years and cast him into the
bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he
should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be
fulfilled, and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw
thrones and they sat upon them, and the judgment was given unto them,
and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of
Jesus, and for the Word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast,
neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads,
or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand
years" (Rev. xx:1-5).

Then all of groaning creation will be delivered and Satan will no
longer be the god of this age, the prince of this world nor the prince
of the power in the air. There will be peace on earth and Glory to God
in the Highest. Christ will reign and His church with Him in the Glory
above. What a time it will be when it comes. What singing in heaven
and on the earth. Then shall He have His full inheritance which we
share and also have His inheritance in us His Saints, and He will be
admired in all them that have believed. And all this is near.

Just a little while longer and we shall hear His shout which calls us
and all His redeemed into His presence, with bodies redeemed by His
power to enter into our inheritance, the purchased possession.

And now two things need to be mentioned in closing. Our conflict is
with these evil spirits, the usurpers, both in the heavenlies and here
on earth. May we be victors through the power of the Christ in us and
His Spirit. The conflict is becoming hotter, especially for those who
enter into their privileges and realize in faith their place and future
glory.

Let us also walk worthy of our calling. Let it be seen that we are
sealed by the Holy Spirit and have Him as the earnest of our
inheritance. A Christian who professes to have such an inheritance and
who professes to wait for the redemption of the purchased possession
and who grasps after the honors of the world and runs after its riches
is a sad spectacle indeed.





Next: The History Of Satan

Previous: The Ten Virgins Or The Midnight Cry



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