The purpose and intent of this site is twofold:

1. Share the Word of God as found in the Bible.

2. Comment on current events as they relate to Bible prophecy

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Redeemed Debt Note


When a person steals, his crime, according to scripture is considered a debt to be paid to the victim and this payment is called restitution.  If it is a crime that cannot be repaid such as murder or rape the instigator is put to death.  If the criminal guilty of theft, is unable to pay then someone may pay for them by redeeming their debt note.  When a human sins he owes a debt to God, but of course that human is unable to pay.  To be forgiven of sins of which they are unable to pay, they must be redeemed by someone capable of paying the debt note.  The debt note redeemer for sin must be without sin and thus not in debt themselves.  The person who paid the debt note for all people by His death is Jesus Christ.

In Leviticus 25:47-53 it is stated that a person who has sold himself as a servant or slave to another due to his poverty (or other reasons) can have his debt note redeemed by a kinsman – not by a stranger but only by someone of his kinship or linage.  Jesus fulfilled this legal aspect which is explained in Hebrews 2:14-16, by coming as a flesh and blood person as all others have come after Adam and Eve.

Hebrews 2:14-16 KJV  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  (15)  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.  (16)  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Leviticus 25:53 continues to say the redeemed is to serve or reconstitute his redemption as a hired servant.

Leviticus 25:53 NET  He must be with the one who bought him like a yearly hired worker. The one who bought him must not rule over him harshly in your sight.

As a citizen of the Kingdom of God, we have been redeemed from the life of sin and death and are now a servant of our Redeemer, which is Jesus Christ.  We are no longer a servant of the “god of this world” but are now a servant of the God of Heaven and according to Romans 6:18 we are a “slave to righteousness”.

Romans 6:16-18 NET  Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness?  (17)  But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to,  (18)  and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.

No person can sin so greatly and so often that their debt becomes unpayable.  In the Old Testament a person could lose their land, their family could be enslaved as payment of debt, and the actual person could also be enslaved for his many debts.  However, God enacted a divine redemption of almost unparalleled grace known as the Jubilee year which would release all servants and slaves including land back to the original owner.  However, this was actually never practiced by the twelve tribes of Israel throughout their time span until deported and slaughtered by first the Assyrians against northern Israel and next by Babylon against southern Judah.

All debt notes have a time period to be rectified before the debt note is finally due and foreclosure begins.  Judah’s idolatry in addition to a refusal to honor God and His laws including the Jubilee year had finally run in time limit and foreclosure was imminent.  God sent the Babylonian military as an act of foreclosure on Judah’s debt note.

King Zedekiah and the people of Judah prayed to God asking for mercy from the impending invasion of the Babylonian military.  The prophet, Jeremiah, related to Zedekiah concerning the impending doom and destruction.  He said that God would retract and rescind the invasion is the people of Judah would agree to honor the Jubilee and comply with its legal provisions.  The people originally approved to honor the Jubilee and released all servants and slaves.

Jeremiah 34:7-10 NET  He did this while the army of the king of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem and the cities of Lachish and Azekah. He was attacking these cities because they were the only fortified cities of Judah which were still holding out.  (8)  The LORD spoke to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to grant their slaves their freedom.  (9)  Everyone was supposed to free their male and female Hebrew slaves. No one was supposed to keep a fellow Judean enslaved.  (10)  All the people and their leaders had agreed to this. They had agreed to free their male and female slaves and not keep them enslaved any longer. They originally complied with the covenant and freed them.

However, when the Babylonian army withdrew their invasion, the Judeans changed their mind and took back their servants and slaves.  God also rescinded His actions and allowed the Babylonian military to continue as before.

Jeremiah 34:11 NET  But later they had changed their minds. They had taken back their male and female slaves that they had freed and forced them to be slaves again.

Seventy times seven is 490 years.  This is the length of time Judah did not honor a Sabbath year or a Jubilee.  The Judean survivors of the Babylonian assault were taken captive for 70 years before allowance was made to return and rebuild.

Matthew 18:21-22 NET  Then Peter came to him and said, "Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? As many as seven times?"  (22)  Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times!

After telling Peter to forgive seventy times seven rather than merely seven, Jesus then tells a parable concerning the Kingdom of Heaven (or God) and the principle concerning forgiveness.

The Kingdom of Heaven has a king which is God who decides it is time to settle accounts with his slaves (subjects of citizens of the kingdom).  The first subject to settle owed 10,000 talents which is a huge sum during the 1st century.  Some exegetes consider this debtor to be the nation of Judah specifically the capital city Jerusalem.  Unable to pay, the debtor, his family, his land, and all his possessions are to be sold for payment.  The debtor pleads for mercy (repents) and is released, along with his family, and forgiven of his debt.

Matthew 18:23-35 NET  "For this reason, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves.  (24)  As he began settling his accounts, a man who owed ten thousand talents was brought to him.  (25)  Because he was not able to repay it, the lord ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, children, and whatever he possessed, and repayment to be made.  (26)  Then the slave threw himself to the ground before him, saying, 'Be patient with me, and I will repay you everything.'  (27)  The lord had compassion on that slave and released him, and forgave him the debt.  (28)  After he went out, that same slave found one of his fellow slaves who owed him one hundred silver coins. So he grabbed him by the throat and started to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe me!'  (29)  Then his fellow slave threw himself down and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will repay you.'  (30)  But he refused. Instead, he went out and threw him in prison until he repaid the debt.  (31)  When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were very upset and went and told their lord everything that had taken place.  (32)  Then his lord called the first slave and said to him, 'Evil slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me!  (33)  Should you not have shown mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed it to you?'  (34)  And in anger his lord turned him over to the prison guards to torture him until he repaid all he owed.  (35)  So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart."

The forgiven slave then accosts a personal debtor and has him placed in prison.  When this incident was told to the king, he negated the forgiven debt and demanded it be paid in full.  The lack of Sabbath year and Jubilee observance by the Judeans which provided rest and forgiveness to servants, slaves, animals, and land owners which also led to their deportation for 70 years may be the main topic of the parable.

This parable is viewed by some as a loss of salvation if all is not forgiven.  This would mean that salvation is impossible because a completely clean slate of forgiveness is also impossible.  Since this answer contradicts the gospel message, there must be another logical solution.  There may be a possible answer by Dr. Stephen Jones, which I will submit although I am not presently certain of its validity, which will require further research.

There are two resurrections mentioned in scripture (although some say there are three).  The first is the harpazo (rapture [Latin], the gathering of the elect [Matt. 24:31], caught up together [1Thes. 4:31]) and the second resurrection is at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20: 5 and 12-13).

Dr. Jones has a name for each resurrection:  the first is called the Jubilee or Tabernacles resurrection; and the second is named the Passover resurrection and salvation.

They can lose part in the first resurrection, but they will not lose their justification, or their Passover-level salvation.  Dr. Stephen E. Jones, Creation's Jubilee, God's Kingdom Ministries

It has been my thinking that the first resurrection or rapture at the second coming of Jesus would be the righteous dead and righteous living and that the second resurrection would be the unrighteous dead.  Dr. Jones basically agrees but adds a caveat – the second resurrection would include the common Christian who did not live the life of an overcomer or true subject of the Kingdom of God.  This is not doctrine – just something to consider.

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