Redemption - Part 2

By Lloyd Ellefson

In this paper I want to continue to share about redemption and further explain what it is. We want to see who is redeemed and how this is accomplished.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:1-5) In Genesis 1 God began His work by calling light to come forth. That was the light of enlightenment - not the natural light of the sun. His Word reveals who God is. "Let there be light..." Let there be enlightenment, let there be redeemed understanding!

Evening and morning were called a day in Genesis 1. The same God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness in the beginning as recorded in Genesis, has shone in our hearts to give us the knowledge of Jesus Christ. "For God, who said, `Light shall shine out of darkness,' is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." (2 Cor. 4:6) This light cannot be measured in days, times, seasons or years. This light came out of God, bringing enlightenment in stages. The mind of God is expressed in the Word, and the Word produced forms. The Word produced the progression of a counsel or plan that was implemented by God. "The Word was God." God and the Word are synonymous, or the same!

No human being was present to hear God say, "Let there be light". Nobody heard that voice when it was registered in the letter; nor were those words spoken in a particular language. God simply implemented everything through His spiritual realization. However, Christ was there because He is the Word and all things were made by Him. He is the Son of God, the first-begotten of the Father, the Lamb slain from the disruption of the world! God REVEALED to Peter that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God! (Matt. 16) God reveals Himself to us as the Word, the light, the anointing, the Christ, the Son, the Holy Spirit. They are the manifestations of one mind, one God, one Father of all things; all things were produced by His Word. Everything was made by Him, and nothing was made without Him!

"In Him was life, and His life was the light of men." The Word has life in whatever form (Father, Son, the Holy Spirit) it takes, and this life is the light of men. How can life be the light of man? Light brings enlightenment. It brings us an understanding of what the Word meant and what it is producing - at least to some degree. In the Word was life. The Word is the first-begotten of God. Obviously there wasn't anything that was begotten before the Word. In the beginning was the Word and this Word is Christ. The scriptures make this very clear.

"And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it." (Jn. 1:5) This was the light that was in Him! It was not the natural light of the sun, moon and stars, nor humanity's natural understanding. And the darkness was not the natural darkness of the night. The light was life, and it was a revelation of God's mind. It was the greater light that only dwelt in God; it did not dwell in the forms of His creation, but in Himself and in His Word. The darkness that was in mankind did not understand it. It could not comprehend the life that was in Christ, the Word of God. Man's ignorance separated him from God. He was unable to find and understand God. Man with his natural mind and five senses did not really know what God was doing. His natural conception of God kept him from seeing the light in Christ.

It is very difficult for man to believe that his natural conception of God is wrong, so he is unable to lay it down and give it up. He has to know that the spiritual promises of God are true before he can repent of his wrong ideas. He won't take a leap of faith if there is nothing to land on. In order to believe that his natural concepts of spiritual realities are false, he has to believe that Christ is the truth! Then he can repent and turn from his dependence on self, and let God's light come into his darkness! His understanding will then be enlightened! Christ's life was the light of men!

Hearing the voice of the Son of God brings us an understanding of what He is saying. This brings life and causes us to live. (John 5) In Rev. 3:20 it says, "BehoId, I stand at the door and knock; if any one HEARS My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me." Hearing the voice of God means that we comprehend it, understand it and act upon it! God doesn't speak like humans do; He speaks to us in our spirit. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts as the heavens are higher than the earth. To receive His higher thoughts, we have to relinguish our own lower thoughts. Our problem is that we want to receive knowledge about God and what the Bible says about Him, according to our own understanding. And that is our darkness! But we do not want to believe that we are in darkness! We think we see, so our light is actually darkness. It's like Jesus said, "If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" (Matt. 6:23b) So the light that is in the Adamic man is actually darkness when it comes to comprehending the things of God!

"There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John." (Jn. 1:6) This is John the Baptist. He was of priestly Levitical descent, and should have functioned as a priest in the temple. But God called him out of that! He called him into a lonely desert life so that he might learn God's ways. At the right time he entered the public ministry to preach repentance - the fruit of the law. People were to recognize that their sense of being and appreciaton of God were wrong. They were to turn away from that sense of being and receive a new one. The law was to have prepared them for this by showing them that their own righteousness was inadequate! John brought in a new declaration of the covenant by introducing Jesus Christ to them.

"He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him." (v.7) Jesus Christ is the light; He is the light of the world, and the world doesn't comprehend it. So God sent John to be a witness, that through his light and understanding of spiritual things, we might believe - and believing we might have life in His name!

"He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light." (v.8) John heralded the coming of the One who is light. "There was the true light which coming into the world, enlightens every man." Since Christ is the TRUE light, there has to be a FALSE light, otherwise it wouldn't make sense to talk about a true light. The false lights are believed to be light, but actually they are darkness. That is how the Bible identifies them.

"He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him." (v.10) Because of its ignorance, the world does not recognize the Christ! Ignorance caused Jesus, the Lamb of God (figuratively speaking) to be slain from the disruption of the world! We can only be redeemed by the precious blood of this Lamb. In reality, He was not a lamb, and His blood, even though it was spilled on the cross in the natural, didn't bring the understanding of salvation to anyone. It is the light that brings enlightenment, and this comes to us by the Holy Spirit.

"He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." (vv. 11-12) Those who receive Him receive the authority to become His children! When our understanding is enlightened, it suddenly dawns on us that we are the sons of God! This is the work of the Holy Spirit! The enlightenment of the Spirit gives us this realization. We are given the authority to confess this. We are to believe it, live in it, and grow in it!

Children of God are born of God. "Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (v.13) They are not born as the result of man's will, like our natural progeny is. The flesh does not will this - it can't. Children of God are not born of blood because they are spiritual beings. They are born of God! They are regenerated of God - brought into a spiritual understanding by God! This helps us to understand that we weren't born of natural things, but of God! If we, God's children, are living in fear of death, thinking that we are temporal, having an existence that is to end in death, we are living in the darkness and ignorance of the lie. The lie has brought us into a delusion. It is not the good news of the gospel of which we read in the Bible.

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (v.14) Obviously the Word is greater than the flesh! Yet it was the WORD that was made FLESH! The inherent characteristics of the Word were demonstrated in the flesh, operated in the flesh and used the flesh as a tabernacle for our enlightenment! The light that was in the Word of God lived in the flesh!

The Word is the central object - not the flesh. People have turned their attention on the flesh, the physical Jesus; they cannot see beyond the flesh that veiled His true being. Natural man could not see beyond it, so he could not see the Word that was the life and the light of all men. Nobody understood that until Jesus had divested Himself of His physical body, and God had given His Son to us in the Spirit.

The Word is the only begotten of the Father! The Word has produced the Son and the Word has produced creation! Everything happened through the Word! A great truth is revealed here. The only thing that was ever birthed or generated out of God is His Word. Everything else is produced in forms through the Word. The Word is identified as a Him. He is the light of the world. This is the Messiah Word that John the Baptist heralded.

Jesus went to the Jordan as an ordinary man living under the law; He went there as being in Adam, in the likeness of sinful flesh - in the form of a human being. But when He left the Jordan He had completely fulfilled all the law and the prophets! Some people josh about this, saying that if He fulfilled everything, why are we still like we are? It is simply because we don't believe!

We have to receive the understanding of the Spirit before we can grow in it! We cannot grow in it unless we are already regenerated into spiritual thinking and spiritual realization! Jesus, the Word of God, is light, but if we have not gone through the process of answering John's call to repentance and have not received the Holy Spirit, it has no effect on us. The pattern is given us in Acts 2:38-39 by Peter. He said, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself." So the Holy Spirit comes on the basis of a forgiven and cleansed vessel!

As long as we are in Christ, bearing His name, we have forgiveness of sins. The Holy Spirit only indwells a cleansed vessel. He comes to a regenerated person, one who has had his sins forgiven, because the Holy Spirit does not reside in the natural man! The natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit for they are foolishness to him. He resists spiritual knowledge by operating in the confidence of his own mind.

"And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" (Gal. 4:6) That is a wonderful start! Many are satisfied with the thought of having forgiveness and going to heaven as they seek to proselytize everyone into that same experience. That is not entering into the fulness of the gospel!

"John bore witness of Him, and cried out saying, `This was He of whom I said, "He who comes after Me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before Me."' For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ." (vv.15-17) Grace and truth are not the law! They do not bring condemnation, for they are not dealing with sin. They deal with the truth of who we were before we were enlightened by the Spirit, and who we are after we are enlightened by the Spirit! We begin to see the grace and mercy of God! Now everything else that thought we were and operated in, and the acts we did, come under the grace of God! They do not come under the punishment of the law!

"Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ...namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them..." (2 Cor. 5:18-19a) Just think, God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself! The world was not reconciled to Jesus - it was reconciled to God! He does not count our sins against us now! We know that Jesus is the truth and He does not lie. The good news of the gospel is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and He does not count our trespasses against us! This is the truth, folks, and it is up to us to believe this! Even though people are still sinning, it does not change that fact. If we don't believe this, it is our problem - not God's!

"No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God" (some manuscripts read SON), "who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." (Jn. 1:18) That is the Word! The Word, the Son, the only begotten of God, has life. The Son emanates from the Father and identifies Himself as being one with the Father. The Father is the source of the Son; they are the same in their essence. Christ declares the Father. It is ridiculous to think that Jesus has to stand in the gap to shield us from God's wrath - as though God does not love us. Jesus Christ is one with God in every sense of the word and in every sense of the ministry!

Jesus said, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." (Jn. 14:9b) Jesus came into the world as the light of God, but man's darkness didn't comprehend what the light was saying and revealing. This created a problem. Jesus looked so ordinary that people couldn't recognize His spiritual essence! He spoke in the vernacular of the day, but His words had a deeper meaning; they conveyed the enlightenment that was in Him through the Father! However the hierarchy (those in office) didn't like Him because the people were following Him. This bothered them. They were content with having Moses - he didn't give them any competition! So they sought to kill Jesus. The fact that the leadership wanted to kill Jesus is frequently mentioned. This proves that the crucifixion of Jesus was occurring in the hearts of people before He was nailed to the cross. But even before that, from the disruption of the world, man was crucifying the Christ. (1 Peter 1:18-20) That is why we needed a Redeemer!

"Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers." (1 Peter 1:18) The words REDEMPTION and RANSOM are both used in explaining our deliverance from darkness. REDEMPTION is sometimes translated DELIVERANCE. The Greek word actually means LOOSENING, and it means you are loosed, you are delivered. To be RANSOMED means you are bought back. God is sending us the message that we have been delivered, loosened, redeemed, ransomed or purchased back from the problem of our darkness! Our futile way of life did not come from God but from our forefathers. The things of the Spirit are foolishness to the natural man for he cannot understand them. The wonderful things God has prepared for us have never entered the heart of natural man, so he substitutes his own natural ideas of what will happen to us in heaven, etc. We must not pay any attention to them.

Heaven is the realm of the Spirit -- a realm in which God's voice and God's enlightenment operate. Since it is above the realm of the flesh, the flesh can't comprehend the enlightenment that is being brought to us in the spiritual realm. People could see the works of Jesus, but they could not understand them. Neither could they understand what He was saying! They thought He was blaspheming when He called God His Father. Claiming Him as Father automatically meant that He was the Son of God. So they sought to kill Him!

After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, God spoke from heaven saying, "This is My beloved Son." Jesus operated in that witness given Him from the Father. Peter also received this revelation, for He said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said, "My Father has revealed this to you." (Matt. 16:17) Peter had not received this through his natural mind but by revelation! Later, after Jesus was arrested, Peter flatly denied that he knew Him. To add emphasis to his denial, he even cursed! How could he deny knowing Jesus after the Father had revealed Christ's identity to him? At that time Peter had not yet received the Holy Spirit. He followed Jesus Christ, but even the revelation that came to him from God did not change him. It is the same for everybody. The revelation that comes to the natural man does not change him, for he cannot receive it. All who follow the Christian message of the church system in the sense that Peter did, will eventually fall, for natural man cannot conceive it in its reality. Since it doesn't register spiritually, it doesn't change him. It can be in his knowledge, and he can try to live up to it, but it doesn't work, because a spiritual message has to come to the spiritual man in order to change him!

"Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things...but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." (vv.18a,19) The blood and water that flowed out of the body of Jesus symbolize a spiritual truth. It flowed out of His side. And the church comes out of the side of Christ even as Eve was taken out of Adam's side. The Holy Spirit is symbolized by the water, and the consciousness that was in Christ by the blood - for the soul is in the blood. So it is a picture of the church being born of the Holy Spirit, having the consciousness that is in Christ! We are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ!

Only the physical Jesus has been seen by mortal eyes; Christ has never been seen. Jesus began to manifest the Christ at the Jordan River. Before that He lived under the law as an Adamic man, and went through the rites of circumcision, going to the temple and making offerings. His fulness of understanding and calling was not manifested until the Holy Spirit came on Him at the Jordan River. He then began to operate in the Christ - that is in the enlightenment that takes us out of the law, for Christ is the end of the law for all who believe!

It says that we are redeemed by the blood of Christ. This blood cannot be seen any more than His spiritual body can be seen. It is part of that which is beyond the veil. In Lev. 17 most translations say that the life is in the blood. Blood should not be eaten because the life is in the blood. The Hebrew word NEPHESH, which means SOUL, and is usually translated SOUL, is here translated as LIFE. So it is actually the SOUL that is in the blood. In the New Testament we have the same problem. For example, Jn 10:11 says, "...the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." The Greek word PSUCHE, usually correctly translated SOUL, is here wrongly translated LIFE. So actually it should read, "The good shepherd lays down His SOUL for the sheep...He gave His SOUL a ransom for many."

Many think a legal transaction took place when Jesus's blood was spilled onto the earth; that somehow this freed them from everything. Just saying, "the blood of Jesus" does not free people from their sin, their sin-consciousness and ignorance. Singing and talking about the blood is not enough. Jesus said, "You have to drink My blood." That certainly is not the blood that flowed from His fleshly body onto the ground. And eating His flesh does not refer to His physical body. He said we have to eat His flesh and drink His blood to receive life. This means we have to eat of Him spiritually, and drink His soul (participate in His nature). People have substituted communion - a wafer for His flesh and a little drink of wine for His blood. When Jesus ate the last Passover together with His disciples, He said, "I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." (Luke 22:16) And in Matt. 26:29 it says, "I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." Since the kingdom of God is within us now, we are partaking, together with Christ, of the same spiritual food and drink!

The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. It is "not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." The kingdom of God is IN the Holy Spirit so it is not in the seen realm. It is the rule of God within us; it is actually the rule of the Holy Spirit that is in Jesus Christ, and given to us through the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is for NOW as we live here on this earth to lead and guide us in everything!

"...but with precious blood, as of a lamb..." It says AS of a lamb; this is a simile. The Jews would understand this because they had to offer perfect lambs, without blemish and without spot. This means Jesus was spotless in His consciousness and in His relationship with God; He didn't have any blemish, any guilt, nor any sin-consciousness. His mind simply did not receive any wrong ideas.

Christ was slain from the foundation (disruption) of the world. The Greek word KATABOLE, here translated FOUNDATION, actually means CASTING DOWN or DISRUPTING. Its meaning is quite different, in fact almost the opposite of foundation. At the beginning, God's rule in man was in order, but when man sinned, His rule in man was disrupted. When man's pure and undefiled consciousness was destroyed, a consciousness of guilt was spawned by the lies of the enemy. A disruption of God's rule brings death, and this death was passed on to all of Adam's succeeding generations. So in Adam we all die. Man began to live in the delusions of the lie, and lies became his truth. Man became ashamed of God; his offspring became murderers, and all kinds of evil became evident.

But the Christ man, the Christ image of God or the Christ testimony of God that comes in the Word is pure. Jesus Christ came to restore His undefiled consciousness in us. The restoration of His consciousness in man constitutes redemption! We have to be spiritually-minded to grasp this. This restoration redeems us from our carnal mind of death. That is why Christ is our redemption! When He came, every man was dead in Adam. No Adamic human being is going to be saved, because he is dead in his sins and trespasses. Our old man has been crucified together with Christ on the cross, and he is not redeemed. The carnal mind is death; Christ, the Lamb of God, the light, the Word, dwelt in that death. He had to be raised from that mind of death. As we see this spiritually, He becomes our redemption.

In order to experience redemption we first have to recognize that in Adam we are dead. The image of Christ was marred in the hearts of men. Ever since the disruption of the world, Christ, like an innocent lamb, has been slain in the minds of men. Every man's conscience was full of sin. In redemption, we were crucified and raised with Christ. When Christ died, everybody died; when Christ was raised, we were all raised together with Him. He didn't die alone, nor was He raised alone! This is appropriated by faith! So in redemption our wrong image of Christ is being replaced by a true image of Christ, and we receive His consciousness - one which does not have a sin-consciousness!

The old law could not cleanse the conscience. Under the old covenant, sacrifices had to be made continually because they could not take away the consciousness of sins. (Hebrews 10) They could not make the people perfect. Those sacrifices constantly reminded them of their sins; people were never purged completely. But when Christ offered Himself, He took care of sin forever! All our sins have been forgiven, yet we think we need forgiveness every time we sin! We may think God is dealing with sin, and that He is putting pressure on us by giving us a guilt trip as an incentive to stop us from doing our own thing. But that does not come from God, because God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting our trespasses against us. It is our own heart that condemns us!

Here is the key. God is not dealing with the humanity that is in ignorance and darkness, and does not comprehend the light that is in His Word; He is not trying to improve that humanity with its mind of death - nor is He redeeming it. He is redeeming us out of it. We are put into Christ, and Christ is our redemption! God doesn't give us redemption; He IS our redemption and sanctification! He IS our life! He doesn't give us an allotment of eternal life to use as we please. That would not work because God is life, and life can never be separated from Him! That is why Christ said He was one with the Father. Redemption pertains to having the mind of Christ restored to us. This brings about a restoration of the relationship with God that had been lost to humanity. Christ is the redeemer! When we are in Him, we are redeemed. He is the resurrection! When we are in Him we are in resurrection. He is the truth! It is the Spirit of truth that leads us into all truth!

The judgments of God come on the earth through the law of sowing and reaping instituted by God. The evil is in the hearts of unregenerate men! That is where all evil, fighting and hatred originate. Therefore humanity can never get rid of its sins independently of God! The mind of Christ will never dwell in the flesh! Flesh and blood can never inherit the kingdom of God. The flesh lusts against the spirit, and that which is born of flesh is flesh. God has given us Christ, the truth, and those who do not believe are judged because of their unbelief! There is no condemnation in Christ - and God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself!

God is intent on getting us out of the Adamic humanity and putting us into the new man! This brings about a complete separation from the Adamic humanity! Through one man death entered the world, and death through sin. When we grasp this, we realize that God deals with the death of a man to bring us into Christ who is the resurrection, and then we are new creatures in Christ Jesus! Wow!

But what about our sin-consciousness? As we grow in Christ it disappears, just as light drives out darkness. When enlightenment comes, darkness goes. Growth takes place as we continually receive light; it's a progression. But we cannot grow from the old man into the new man; we cannot grow in it before we have been placed into the new man. We can't grow from a guilt-consciousness to a cleansed consciousness. We first have to understand and believe what we are in Christ in God, namely, that we are regenerated, reborn, sons of God, having received the Spirit! Then we can grow! Through the law is the knowledge of sin. If people keep preaching sin, they are preaching the law.

"For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you." (1 Peter 1:20) So His manifestation is for us! It was to bring us back into what He is! Christ went through the process of identifying with us to the extent of submitting to the baptism of repentance, then receiving the Holy Spirit. His manifestation took place in the flesh because there was no other way He could reach us, for natural man doesn't hear the Spirit! Man walks in total ignorance until someone who operates in the Spirit begins to testify what the Spirit is saying.

The Jews didn't like the spiritual testimony of Jesus Christ. It did not fit in with their own ideas, so they put Him away. But that didn't stop God's plan! In fact, He had planned all along to send the Holy Spirit for all those who believe. If we receive that, we begin to function in the mind of Christ, and begin to understand the enlightenment that is in the Word. "Who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." (1 Peter 1:21) We were raised together with Him! This is appropriated through faith!

"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart." (v.22) This is genuine love. "For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God." (v.23) Incorruptible seed can never be corrupted by sin! Never! It was not corrupted in the beginning, nor will it ever be! Christ is the incorruptible seed of which we were born! The Word of God, Christ Jesus, has regenerated us into a new creation and it has spiritual understanding! Therefore it is entirely separate from the Adamic man; it is a flawless new creation and cannot be corrupted!

In Rom. 7:17 Paul said, "So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me." He repeats this in v. 20. This is hard for us to understand, but it is true nevertheless. Furthermore, in Gal. 2:20 he said, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me." The life part is the Christ; the death part is the old humanity. We need to come to an understanding of our separation from death. The Word of God lives and abides forever, but flesh is like the grass, and the glory of man is the flower of grass, and the grass withers and fades away, but God's Word goes on forever. We live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!

"But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (I Cor. 1:30) Christ is made this in us and as us. Christ is our life and our existence! He is our everything! This is what God has done for us in Christ! The law could not do it, and natural man could not understand it.

There is so much more to know about the blood and redemption, but for now this is it. Take heed to what I say, and may God give you the understanding! Amen!

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