THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODIES
I need to explain to you how I received this message. I was at a revival meeting one night and I had a open vision. I was in a storm, like a hurricane; it was first coming to land with its wind and darkness. Then, I was taken above the USA and saw the storm just coming onto land, covering the whole East Coast. As I looked to the northern USA, a storm was coming down from the north. Then, I looked to the West Coast and a storm was also just coming on land. When I looked to the south, a storm was coming up from the Gulf. I watched the four storms come together in the middle of the USA and form one large hurricane over land. The entire USA was covered under the darkness of these clouds. I asked the Lord for Scripture on this and He gave me Isaiah 63:4, “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redemption is come.”
I knew that the storms were more than literal rain and wind, but much worse for the nation. There were four hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean at one time in the summer of 1998. This was to be a sign of things to come, for this has never been seen before. It was to warn us of God's judgments that are about to come. The Lord is going to punish the sinful, but bless the righteous with His glory. The next day, I was studying my Bible and Ephesians 1:14 (KJV) jumped out at me. “(The Holy Spirit) is the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance until the (full) redemption of the purchased possession.”
Jesus said in Luke 21:28, “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” For now, we only have the down payment of the Spirit, but when the fullness of time comes, God will give the fullness of His Spirit to us in great power and glory for us to become the adopted sons of God. "And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:23). As Christians our best day is coming. We must not be preparing for the tribulation or the rapture, but for the coming of His presence to change us into His likeness! This is the redemption that we all long for.
OUR FULL REDEMPTION IS COMING!
Right now only our spirit has been redeemed. This is what is called, "the down payment of His Spirit." But one day, we are going to receive the full possession that was paid for by the blood of the Lamb. According to Isaiah 60, it is going to come at a time when the world is in deep darkness. "And His glory shall appear upon you, and nations will come to your light." You must admit that something very spectacular is going to happen to us if nations are going to come to "OUR" light!
We are going to be changed by His power. "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself" (Philippians 3:20-21). This is not only going to happen to those who have died and gone to heaven, but to those who are alive on the earth when Jesus comes in His glorious presence. Listen to the words of Paul the apostle:
"And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory, O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING" (1 Corinthians 15:49-54)?
We are going to be so radically changed that death will not even have a hold on our bodies. For the last enemy to be destroyed is DEATH! "Our full redemption" means to have full deliverance from this body and our sinful tendencies. For our Proclamation of Emancipation has been signed by God and we are no longer going to be slaves to this body or the devil because we will be like Him! "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is" (1 John 3:2). Death, sickness, and poverty will no longer have any control over Him, and neither will it over us: for we shall be changed!
The Apostle Peter said it this way, "Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation (deliverance) ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:5). This great deliverance from our flesh is going to be uncovered in the last days.
The writer of Hebrews says, "So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him" (Hebrews 9:28). The Amplified Bible says, "To bring to "FULL" salvation those who are waiting for and expecting Him." There has been salvation from our spiritual enemies, but a FULL salvation from our flesh is coming. But we must be eagerly waiting for Him, by repenting of all sin and living a holy life. We must be expecting Him to come and change us or we will miss out on one of the greatest events in history.
THE PLACING OF SONS
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not" (1 John 3:1 KJV).
According to this verse we are “called” the sons of God, not placed or set in the office as a as sons yet. Think of it as a father and sons business. The sons cannot have authority in the company until they grow up in maturity. The Lord desires to make all born again people His sons, those in rulership with Him. Think of the sons of God as you would the bride of Christ or the overcomers, because they are all one and the same. The truth of the matter is, only those who overcome all that the Lord has allowed in their life shall become His sons. "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son" (Revelation 21:7).
This is why Jesus said to each of the seven churches in the Book of revelation; "To him who overcomes" I will give them a special reward over all else. The greatest thing He promised to the Church was Revelation 3:21: "He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." God is not going to grant this just to anyone, but only to those who have passed the tests God has given them and have come into the likeness of His Son, Jesus! Let me ask you, would you allow your three-year-old child to run your household? Of course not, for he has not matured yet. Most people die without ever becoming spiritually mature. Ephesians 4:13 says we can become mature sons while on this earth. "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (NIV) The Apostle Paul said it this way, "Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect (mature), but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12). We will never become fully like Jesus while in this body on earth until He changes us. That is why Jesus is coming back to make us like His glorious body. But that does not mean we cannot press on like Paul to the high calling in Christ Jesus. For if the high calling was just to go to heaven, why did Paul not leave when he had the chance? "But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better" (Philippians 1:23). The high calling is to become like Jesus in our character and actions, through suffering.
THE POWER TO BECOME SONS
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12 KJV).
When we were born again, God gave us the power to become the sons of God. Not that we are placed as sons yet. But we will become sons if we use the power that has been given to us through the Holy Spirit to overcome. "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).
You might be asking yourself, "I thought the Bible says we are sons?" It does! God calls things that are not, as though they were. "As it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU" in the sight of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist" (Romans 4:17). Even though Abraham was not a father, God called him one and he became a father of many nations. And as well, we shall become the sons of God through our obedience unto death. It was through the resurrection of Jesus' body that He was declared the Son of God. "Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:4). We, too, shall be declared sons of God through our bodily resurrection.
THE ADOPTION OF SONS IS COMING
"And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body" (Romans 8:23).
"In order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:5).
The word adoption means, "to be placed or declared as sons." According to Scripture we have not yet been placed as sons, but we will be, "IF" we are waiting and expecting Him in holiness and righteousness! How can you expect and believe for something if you don't know it's coming? That is why Paul called this the "Blessed Hope."
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds" (Titus 2:11-14).
Again we must be looking and preparing for the "Blessed Hope." You might say, this blessed hope is the rapture of the Church! Prove it! According to Paul's writing in Romans 8:24-25, which follows verse 23, this hope is for the adoption of sons and the glory of God to come.
"For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it" (Romans 8:24-25).
"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:15).
The Holy Spirit is that Spirit in our heart that cries out and groans within us for this adoption. Does not your heart cry out for more of Him? You may have been in some of the greatest revival meetings of our day and still you cry out, "MORE LORD!" There is more, much, much more. Believe it and receive it. Strive with everything that's in you for more of Him! If we have received the down payment of His Spirit in our bodies on the earth, certainly we shall also receive the fullness of His Spirit in our bodies on this earth also.
WHO ARE THE SONS OF GOD?
"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14).
If you are learning to follow the voice of His Spirit and are obeying Him through all your difficulties, you are in training to become a son. He must lead us through our spirit and not we, ourselves, trying to think our way through with our minds; this would be double-mindedness. This is where many have missed it: they haven't followed the Spirit's leading because it was too hard on their flesh and they quit following Him. Suffering has a way of proving those who will follow God's leading no matter what. How badly do you want the Glory? Are you willing to pay any price that God puts before you? If your answer is "yes," you shall truly receive all that God has put in your heart.
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:17-18 KJV).
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him..." (2 Timothy 2:12 KJV).
Don't despise the day of your sufferings, but rejoice in them! God is preparing you for sonship, to become joint-heirs with Jesus throughout eternity. A joint-heir is one who will not do something without the other. Like in a marriage, if you buy a house together, you cannot sell it without the consent of the other. This marriage with Jesus is being offered to all sons of God, the overcomers. "For as a young man marries a virgin, So your sons will marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you" (Isaiah 62:5). This offer has been given to all generations that have lived before us, but especially to the last generation. Of all the seven churches in the book of Revelation, Jesus made a great promise to the last one, which many believe is our generation. "He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Revelation 3:21).
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