The Coming Intervention
Richard M. Riss
Apart from revelation, it is impossible for mankind to recognize
their desperate need of redemption. If they had the slightest
inkling as to how irretrievably lost they are, the relevance
of Jesus Christ and Christianity would never be questioned.
Our fallen state can be easily recognized. All have illnesses,
grow old and die. According to the Bible, physical death is
a direct result of the fact that we live in a fallen state.
Everyone therefore is in need of redemption through Jesus
Christ, whose defeat of sin and death became manifest in His
death upon the cross.
Apart from Jesus being physically raised from the dead, there
is no possible solution to the problem of sin and physical
death. Nor could the problem have been solved if Jesus had
had a human father. Without the virgin birth, eternal life
could not have been introduced to the fallen human race.
As a result of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, the entire
human race is under the judgment of sin and death. With the
advent of Darwinism in the mid- nineteenth century, it became
fashionable to disbelieve in the historical fall of Adam and
Eve. Those who continued to believe were increasingly held
in contempt as being anti-intellectual.
The Christian faith has no lasting value and purpose if there
is no need for redemption from this state of fallenness and
mortality. When western culture stopped believing that mankind
is fallen, it ceased to believe in the necessity of redemption,
and Christianity increasingly became irrelevant to modern
There is evidence of the fall everywhere. When the Bible
states that the ground is cursed, it means much more than
"farming" becoming more difficult than before the
sin of Adam. Everything is now much more difficult. We must
work very hard with meager results, whatever we do.
Jesus came to break the bonds of the curse and to set us
free from its effects that we might have life, and have it
more abundantly. Although He has given us certain signs and
foretastes of this redemption, for the most part, the physical
manifestation of redemption has yet to come because we are
yet subject to futility, illness, and death.
However, the resurrection of Jesus is a guarantee to us that
we will be set free from vanity, sin, and death. There are
those who think that when this redemption occurs, there will
no longer be a necessity for the existence of the material
world, or of its Christian inhabitants. One version of this
idea became widely circulated in the nineteenth century through
John Nelson Darby who borrowed it from the Irvingites.
According to the Bible, in the time of the return of our Lord
Jesus Christ, there will be a tremendous shaking, and as a
result of this, everything in heaven and on earth will be
made new. Due to the intervention of the Lord and the resulting
changes in the heavenlies, there will be a supernatural redemption
of our physical bodies and eventually, of all the material
When these things happen, we will thereby be ushered into
the age to come, but this will be accomplished, not through
man's agency, but by the supernatural power of God through
the intervention and return of Jesus Christ. Many are deceived
into thinking that mankind will somehow bring about this new
age through his efforts at peacemaking and his attempts to
rectify the problems of the world.
But our problems are a direct result of the fall. They can
therefore be rectified only by a full redemption of mankind
from that fall. Just as Adam introduced sinfulness to all
of humanity, so it is that through Jesus, redemption must
According to the Bible, this redemption will take place in
stages. The first part has already happened in the physical
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In the next stage,
God will bring redemption to the physical bodies of those
whom He has chosen as vessels for the manifestation of His
The Bible refers to this special group as "overcomers."
"To him that overcometh will I grant to
sit with me in My Throne, even as I also
overcame, and am set down with my Father
in His Throne" Rev 3:21.
There are many who are saved, but are not overcomers. If
we desire to be in this chosen group, then we must presently
give ourselves totally to Him. This is not something that
can be done in our strength, but as we call upon Him wholeheartedly,
He will cause circumstances to bear upon us, which will bring
us into the place of obedience.
No one knows exactly if they are among these overcomers,
although it is conceivable that the Spirit of God may give
hints, or glimpses into this. No organization on earth will
be made up solely of these, nor will any such organization
These "overcomers" will be partakers of the manifest
glory of God. They will be the first to have resurrected bodies,
no longer subject to decay and death. Contrary to popular
expectation, they will exist upon the earth in this state
of indestructibility and will be the vehicles that God will
use to bring about a further redemption. Collectively, along
with Jesus Christ who is pre-eminent among them, they will
fulfill the prophecies of the coming Messiah by bringing about
the knowledge of the true ways of the Lord to all nations.
However, having a belief in these things will not guarantee
our having a place among these overcomers, who sing their
"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; and hast made us unto our God
kings and priests: and we shall reign on
the earth" Rev 5:9-10.
Obedience, or the wholehearted effort to obtain the necessary
grace from God to walk in obedience, is absolutely essential
to those who aspire to be among these overcomers. This is
the key to our coming into His Higher purposes. It is God
who grants the desire to be among His chosen, and it is obedience
to Him in every matter that will enable each of us to make
our calling and election sure.
If the Lord is opening our understanding to these truths
and other related matters, we may be sure that He is calling
us to this, His highest and most holy purpose. Since the knowledge
of these matters alone does not constitute a guarantee of
our partaking of them, we should be diligent in following
the Lamb no matter where He leads, yielding up our own thoughts
and desires, giving ourselves totally to Him.