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


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


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


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.

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