Sunday, October 25, 2015

OUR KINSMAN GOEL, OUR REDEEMER: JESUS the LAMB of GOD

The biblical study of salvation is known in seminaries and in the volumes of Systematic Theology as soteriology; within this study is contained all of the many aspects of what salvation is and what it means to the believer of Jesus Christ: atonement, redemption, propitiation, justification and sanctification, and glorification. All of these sub-groups are a part of the over all act of salvation which is provided and purchased by the blood of Christ, the LAMB of GOD Who takes away the sin of the world (JOHN 1:29).

The redemption of sinful man can only be accomplished by a qualified redeemer, and none are qualified except for the LORD Jesus Christ. Why is this? you may ask. In the specifics, we will examine the why's and wherefore's of this doctrine; may it prove to be a blessing to the saints, and increase our understanding and appreciation, love and devotion to our LORD for what He has done, is doing, and will do for us! Amen.

The idea of a kinsman redeemer is throughout the Old Testament; the Hebrew word is go-el, and this refers to "specific situations where a righteous man would do for a near kinsman (a relative) what they could not do for themselves. From the  web site HEBREWS4CHRISTIANS we have the following article for your consideration.

A KINSMAN REDEEMER:

1) May purchase back a piece of property for a relative who sold it out of financial need.

2) Free an Israelite slave who sold his services to a master in times of poverty.

3) Avenge the blood of a murdered relative (the go'el haddam).

One of the first mentions of a kinsman redeemer is in LEVITICUS 25:25-26; the entire chapter is about redeeming land, properties, houses and relatives. Other references include (but not exhaustive to) these: NUMBERS 5:8; 35:19, 21, 24, 27; DEUT. 19:6, 12; JOSH 20:5, 9; RUTH 3:9, 12; 4:14; 2 SAM 14:11; NEH. 5:1-11; and ISAIAH 49:7. The entire book of RUTH is an eloquent example of the kinsman redeemer (Boaz) and how he redeemed land that belonged to his near kinswoman (Naomi) and her daughter-in-law, Ruth.

For an excellent resource that covers the length and breadth on this subject of the Kinsman-Redeemer is on the following web site: You will find charts, diagrams and plentiful Scriptures and explanations that will aid in your understanding of all of this, available to you here.

Note that the redeemer MUST be a relative; not a neighbor or a friend, but one who shares the same blood. What bond is there that is greater than the love of family - sure there may be feuding and quarreling, but the typical family will be there for all of it's members and help out of a heart of love and compassion.

The redeemer MUST be able to pay the debt, no matter how exorbitant it might be, and MUST pay the debt in full. This reveals the comparable wealth of the kinsman who has such powers as to make good on any debt.

The redeemer MUST be willing of their own accord to clear the debt for their relative(s); no coersion is permitted as this a mission of mercy.

The redeemer MUST also be prepared to take on the role as the Avenger of blood (See DEUT. 19:6,12 and JOSH 20:3,5,9 and seek retribution for family slain by an enemy.

The book of Ruth is the quintessential example of the kinsman goel in action, in this case, it's Boaz. Rather than relate the entire story here, let's just look at the essentials so that we may move on in our study. 
We turn to KOINONIA HOUSE and the concise but accurate appraisal of what a kinsman redeemer does, and all of the implications involved that will relate to the remainder of this article (NOTE: This author does not necessarily agree with particular assertions made by Dr. Missler, but in this instance, his exposition is excellent):

To review this article by K-House, go here - A Story of Bethlehem: The Kinsman Redeemer.

JOHN 1:14-15
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

The WORD Who is God and Who is with God (the Father; See JOHN 1:1-2) became flesh; that is, the Son of God became a man - and why? Because He would redeem the world and to do so He must, as a kinsman redeemer, become a human being and therefore be related to us all. Only a near relation could pay the debt of a relative.

We are all of us, indebted to God for transgressing His Law (we sinners, spiritually speaking have a 'debt to His holy society' that must be paid!):

ROMANS 3:19-20
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

GALATIANS 2:16
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, . . . for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

ROMANS 6:23a
 For the wages of sin is death . . .

We cannot possibly earn enough righteousness of our own (ISAIAH 64:6) to pay the insurmountable debt of sin we have acquired against the Eternal and Holy God, whose only rendering in justice against such sin must be death itself (not merely physical, but spiritual death! See EZEK. 18:4, 20; REV. 21:8). We cannot pay, because we are spiritually poverty stricken (MATT. 5:3).

Who could possibly accept the full weight of our Holy Almighty God's Eternal righeous judgment and the associated punishment that His justice demands? Only One Who is also Holy - absolutely pure of any sin of their own, Almighty and Eternal. 
If they even had one mark of sin upon their soul, then they would equally be a debtor to God along with the rest of us (JAMES 2:10) and disqualified as a Kinsman Redeemer. That is why no one else could be our Redeemer except for Christ, our Savior Who was able to bear our sin - the sin of the entire human race throughout all time and places in this world - the full weight of God's judgment and wrath!
Take a moment and read all 12 verses of ISAIAH 53; See also GAL. 1:4; HEB. 1:3.

Jesus Who is God has the spiritual wealth that is required to pay this incredible debt in the light of God's Holy Light. He is holy (HEB 7:22-26), spotless (1 PET 1:19), and there is no claim by Satan the accuser or His adversaries had on Him as a sinner (JOHN 8:46; 14:30) that would rightly condemned Him if He were.

Because He is also a Man, He is our near-kinsman and is authorized to choose the option of paying that debt. And He was a willing sacrifice for us:

JOHN 10:17-18
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
See also LUKE 9:56; JOHN 1:29, 36; HEB. 1:3-8.

GOD Himself so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Who Himself took on flesh and as a Human being endured every test and temptation that the enemy could assail upon Him - and not once EVER FAILED! As stated previously, He remained totally pure and righteous, without even the slightest trace of sin any where in His heart, at any time in His Holy Life! And as our kinsman, out of love and compassion willingly took on the debt of sin Himself.
See 1 TIM. 3:16; HEB. 4:14-15.

This is why the fallen angels cannot be saved; because Christ did not take upon Himself the form of an angel and become a kinsman redeemer for them. Tragically, Satan's decision, and those angels who sided with him in the rebellion against God, is a final one and beyond remedy.

Our kinsman Redeemer - both of Jews of Israel and Gentiles of the nations of the world, is Jesus Who is indeed the son of Abraham - the father of Israel (MATT. 1:1) and the son of Adam (through His mother Mary, not Joseph His step-father*) - the father of the human race (LUKE 3:23, 38), has paid the penalty of our debt of sin; He has restored to us far more than we had ever lost:

[* It's important to understand that Joseph was not the father of Jesus, though Mary was His mother. The Father of Jesus is God Almighty - the Father, just as He is the Son. This brings up the valid question: Why Is The Virgin Birth So Important? Read this article from GOT QUESTIONS? at the link provided here.]

Whereas before we had merely the natural life of this world's domain, He has granted to us who have faith in Him, eternal life (JOHN 3:15; 6:68; 17:3; ROM. 5:21; 6:23)! Where we had merely the plans and purposes, temporal blessings and gifts of this life, He has granted eternal plans and purposes, blessings and gifts through His grace (JAMES 1:17; EPH. 1:8-10)! 
Where we might have the blessing of citizenship in a prosperous nation in this world, He has granted us citizenship and nationality of heaven's Kingdom (PHIL. 3:20; note: the word "conversation" in King James in this reference means "citizenship" refer to your Greek Lexicon dictionary for verification. See also REV. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6), to all who believe in the LORD Jesus Christ!

He has redeemed us, purchased us by His blood (ACTS 20:12), and so those of us who place our faith in JESUS for salvation now belong to Him and His Kingdom (1 COR. 6:19-20); He has paid the penalty of our sin freely; He has granted to us a glorious inheritance among the saints (EPH. 1:18; COL. 1:12); and yet He has one more function to perform . . .

Among His children, both Jew and Gentile believers: saints of the living God, many have been martyred - murdered in fact by the children of darkness. Throughout history Jews have suffered at the hands of their enemies who have mercilessly killed them. Likewise the church of Jesus Christ has had rivers of blood flow from their slain bodies throughout the centuries.

The Kinsman goel is known also as the Avenger of Blood and His duty will be to find every offender that has murdered His kin, and mete out justice by slaying them - and this is exactly what will happen when in these last days, the nations of the world will gather together against Israel to destroy her as a nation. The LORD Jesus Christ will appear just in time to save Israel and to wreak such havoc in slaying the wicked, according to His justice, that the river of blood of His slain will flow as high as the horses's bridle (about 6-7 feet deep)! See REV. 14:18-20; see also ISAIAH 59:16-21; 63:1-3; REV. 19:11-21.

Upon the Day of Judgment when the heavens and the earth are no more, every unrighteous sinner will likewise be judged by our Holy God according to His Holy Law (REV. 20:10-15); the ONLY way of salvation from that judgment is through Christ and the grace He offers from the cross of Calvary.

REVELATION 5:1-9
And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
8 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 odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

This concludes this study on the KINSMAN REDEEMER! For more Scripture to consider, here is a compiliation that the reader might review:

To redeem; redeeming

PSALMS 34:22; 44:26; 49:15;  72:14; 103:4; 130:8; ISAIAH 50:2; JER. 15:21; HOS. 13:14; GAL. 4:5; TITUS 2:14. EPH. 5:16; COL. 4:5.

Redemption:

PSALM 49:8; 111:9; 130:7; JER. 32:7-8; LUKE 2:38; 21:28; 8:23; 1 COR. 1:30; EPH. 1:7,14; 4:30; COL. 1:14; HEB. 9:12,15.

The redeemed:

EX. 15:18; 2 SAM. 4:9; PSALMS 106:10; 107:2; ISAIAH 1:27; 35:9; 43:1; 44:22;  51:11; 52:3; LUKE 1:68; 24:21; 1 PET. 1:18; REV. 5:9; 14:4.

The Redeemer:

JOB 19:25; PSALM 19:14; 78:35; PROV. 23:11; ISAIAH 41:14; 43:14; 44:6; 47:4; 49:26; 54:5; 59:20; 60:16; 63:16; JER. 50:34; 


Monday, October 12, 2015

JEWELS From The GOSPEL Of JOHN: THREE DAYS IN RAISING - JOHN 2:18-22

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints

Previously we witnessed the LORD cleansing the Temple of the money changers and their corrupt practices of 'ripping off the people' in God's Name (a talent that today's televangelists have perfected with unparalleled success!). The LORD in perfect temperance, vented His righteous anger and chased away these profiteers.

The religious authorities then challenged the LORD Jesus on His actions:


JOHN 2:18-22

18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

As per usual the Jews asked for a sign. There were times when the LORD denied them any such signs (MATT. 12:39; 16:4) and rebuked them for seeking such. Not this time however. This time He tells them point blank the sign that He would show them:

"Destroy this temple and in three days," He said, "I will raise it  up." The Jewish authorities misunderstood, naturally, quite likely because they happened to be standing in the Jewish temple at the time of the LORD's declaration. We have the inspired direction of the Holy Spirit however to set us straight on what the LORD meant (vs. 21).

He was speaking of His own resurrection - certainly ample authority proven for anyone who could perform such a miracle! Interesting how the LORD stated that He would raise Himself up from the dead.

Then in ACTS 5:30 Peter declared that it was the Father that raised Christ up from the dead. And in ROMANS 8:11 it says that the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead. Here we have the Trinity in cooperation in raising the body of the LORD Jesus up from the dead, with resurrection power and in a glorified state. We can find similar cooperation in the Trinity's work in creation, the inspiration of Scripture, the work of salvation, the indwelling of the believer and other work besides. 

The LORD provided this evidence of authority on the very day of His resurrection; today this evidence is free for any and all to examine. While skeptics have come up with many explanations for this incredible event, other than the supernatural one, none of them adequately explains away the reality of the resurrection
It's a fascinating study to examine all the places in the Scripture where "three days" are mentioned; where you find these references in the Word, consider how many of them in context, are inferences of the coming Messiah's resurrection - on the third day (For starters, here is a hint of one such place in Scripture: HEB. 11:17-19 in comparison with GEN. 22:1-8, esp. vs, 4).

This supremely profound event has cleft time in half between "BC" and "AD" and will be a focal point of judgment against those who refused to believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ, just as Peter proved on the day of Pentecost (ACTS 2:22-36). Yet for all of the evidences presented, there would still be those Jews who would never express faith in the LORD though He did rise from the dead because they never expressed true faith in the canon of Scripture (written through Moses and the prophets) that they were in possession of (LUKE 16:31)!

It was a sad state of affairs that even the temple building (whose expansion enterprise under Herod's direction) which took forty-six years to complete, was destroyed in 70 AD, and the Jews have been without a temple ever since - though they will have one soon enough, but even this will be defiled by the coming anti-Christ (2 THESS. 2:4). 

It is because of the truth of the LORD's resurrection that the Spirit of God is enabled to indwell believers, who themselves become the temple of the Holy Spirit (JOHN 20:22; 1 COR. 6:19). 

EPHESIANS 2:19-21

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Everything in the Christian faith hinges upon the resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ. Had He not risen from the dead, we would still be in our sin! See 1 COR. 15:17. Christianity would have never survived its first week after the LORD was buried in the tomb, if He had made such a proclamation but never made good on it!

Yet such a bold declaration was answered by an equally bold demonstration of power - and because Christ is risen, we are forgiven of our sins; we are indwelt by the Spirit, we have the promise of eternal life and have no need to fear death any longer.

We likewise will receive glorified bodies just as our LORD did, and dwell in the glories of heaven forever and ever: never aging, never getting sick or weak, but endowed with power and glorious abilities!

1 COR 15:42-44

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

May we herald the RISEN CHRIST to this dying world as evidence that the Holy Bible is the truth, that the GOSPEL is valid, that eternal life is free for the taking - to any and all who will repent of their sin, believe in and turn to the LORD for salvation!

May we also, as the saints of the LORD possess our temple in purity and righteousness, obtainable only by the enabling Spirit of Grace!

MAY THE LORD BLESS AND KEEP YOU ALL! Next time we shall examine JOHN 2:23-25 - "A VOTE of NO CONFIDENCE".