Hide for a Little While


20 Come, my people, enter into your rooms And close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while until indignation runs its course. 21 For behold, the LORD is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; And the earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer cover her slain. (NASB)

The 'rooms' here is compared to the inside of the redemption of Christ. 'Enter' means that we should enter into Christ, both inside and outside of whom the Holy Spirit works for our redemption. The inside of the 'rooms' is the inside of Jesus, the same as that of the 'inner room' in Matthew 6:6, "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

The inside of the redemption of Jesus is the inside of the remission, the inside of the justification and the inside of the connection to God, just like the inside of Noah's ark. In verse 1 of this chapter, "He sets up walls and ramparts for security," 'walls and ramparts' means the boundary of the salvation of the Second Adam which absolutely limits His salvation of humans, in the same way as there was no way to survive outside the Noah's ark. God defined the boundary inside which He predestined His salvation, that is, inside which the divine-human nature in one Person redeemed us vicariously; this is the salvation expressed in Psalms 91:9, "For you have made the LORD, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place."

God had foreshown from earlier days about the vicarious redemption of Jesus Christ in many instances: He said to Adam regarding the woman's seed; Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions, and the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering, which signified beforehand the Lamb who is Lord Savior of divine-human nature in one Person that takes away the sin of the world, but for Cain and his offering He had no regard; in later days God prescribed to His people that four major sacrifices―sin offering, trespass offering, burnt offering and peace offering―be offered with animals which foreshadowed the vicarious redemption of Jesus Christ.

It was also indicated by John the Baptist calling Him the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. And after Jesus had worked the merits of the vicarious redemption of the cross, the Holy Spirit of God instructed us in documents of the Old and New Testaments to avoid provisions of the animal sacrifices.

"Enter into your rooms." The 'room' here means the redemption of Christ and also means Jesus Himself. This room is the place we should be in―"You will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you," and "Abide in Me, and I in you." Now we are told to close our doors. We can see what is inside the room when the door is open, but we can see nothing inside except the door when the door is shut. This means we should take as our refuge the vicarious redemption of Jesus and enter into the redemption, and we should keep and see nothing else but the redemption; this is the same message written in another place, "One died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf."

Jesus, who is both true God and true man, gave up all divine riches and honor and human body and life, and gave us three kinds of vicarious redemption. We are what He bought through the redemption, so we will be His naturally if we receive His vicarious redemption as ours. What does it mean to receive His redemption? We should present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is of natural manners (in old translations) or reasonable service (in recent translations). What has happened to save us vindicates and justifies the Law.

It is natural for us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, or to offer ourselves completely to Him as His possession. So we say "for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's," and "Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." We should come to see only the vicarious redemption of Jesus when we are clothed with the redemption, so that we cannot but say we will live for the Lord only as we are the Lord's, redeemed by His blood. Now that we have received the redemption of Christ, we must live inside His redemption looking to His redemption only, just like a fetus facing the wall of its mother only, high or low, front or back and right or left. This is 'closing' the door behind us.

"Hide for a little while until indignation runs its course." 'Indignation' exists outside the redemption of Christ. "For behold, the LORD is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity." We live in the world which is the outside, and we live where the LORD punishes iniquity and His indignation runs its course. We will have difficulty unless we have the right view of the world. The present world is where God destroys us for the wages of sin. We are being punished because we opposed God and violated the covenant with Him. In what way is He punishing us? God is destroying and slaying us; outside Jesus all are being destroyed and slain. We should realize the world is the outside of the redemption of Christ and there is nothing but whole death. The world is where God, who had proclaimed the covenant, pours His indignation upon.

"Hide for a little while." The time for us to hide is short, for we are in the world just for a while. Yet we perish the moment we come out of the room to the world, and the moment we come out of the redemption of Jesus. The duration of this slaughter is short for those who have been redeemed. And in this material universe there will be no death caused by the indignation of the LORD after our lives have ended and the kingdom of Jesus has come, when the evil spirit along with iniquity, death and curse will abide in the lake of fire and brimstone, where no God, nor grace, nor anything else but punishment will be found; the place will be outside this universe. At that time there will be no divine indignation, punishment for iniquity, nor the evil spirit inside the material and spiritual systems. The kingdom is everlasting, and we are told to hide keeping this country in mind.

As soon as they are conceived in wombs, those who are not elect begin to have the graces that they are allowed of God destroyed for their original and actual sins. Their life was basically dead, and their life now is what remains only to die gradually and it is dying indeed now. Life means the power connected to God and glory means the enjoyment of what the connection brings forth, and all these will end completely in this world. What they do living one hour will be exhausted that much from their portions. What they use, gather or contact in a day will be that much destroyed, completely disconnected from them thereafter.

When men finish living in the world, their portions of inheritance have been wholly destroyed; their spirits had died before once for all, and their flesh―mind and body―and all belongings to the flesh are giving up life and will not be allowed to connect to each other again. The world is where all things of men's lives and possessions are being completely destroyed. Those not elect spend hour after hour having their allotted possessions perishing and dying. For those not elect, the present world is nothing but the place where God destroys them for wages of sin. They are not granted to realize this truth; they suppose their lives are strengthened and their possessions are increasing when they prosper, but they will not contact eternally what they are related to in the present world―they will not have their lives again. Again, the world is where those not elect die, as the indignation of the LORD punishes their iniquity. They are all destroyed in short a while.

Christians, on the other hand, can earn eternal life if they have those in which they are engaged connected to themselves through life eternally; this is the treasures that do not wear out nor fail. Those who are elect were once iniquitous and the object of the indignation of God, but they have been saved by Jesus through His vicarious suffering of punishment, His vicarious performing and His vicarious reconciliating. Now we have been given the remission, justification and new life; our spirit has been given the redemption both legally and practically, but our flesh―mind and body and all belongings―has been given the redemption legally only and our flesh is actually under sin. Legally, we Christians have been given the redemption to become sinless, righteous and reconciled to God, but actually we are sinful, unrighteous and at enmity with God.

Now we have been given a way of grace to have what is under sin and death live again through our reality thanks to the redemption of Jesus; we have only to enter into our room. All we have to do is to take our mind and body along with all the things that belong to them into the redemption of Jesus through our reality. It is in our reality that a dead thing is raised from death. Paul wrote that this happens "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,'" and "we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." This is how a dead thing becomes alive; meat that is already dead becomes blood and body of man that is alive.

We have been clothed with the vicarious redemption of Jesus, but it is for our spirit only; in Romans 8 it is written, "If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness," and "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!'", but our body and mind are in the state of death as "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."

Let us make sure that everything belonging to our mind and body that have been redeemed by Jesus is alive in a legal sense but not in actuality. The present world is where we who are dead can be raised from death through our reality, that is, we can be actually clothed with the redemption of Christ that has been given to us legally. Jesus saved us vicariously to give the legal redemption by restoring the first covenant, but as Adam and Eve had violated the very first covenant with God, our mind and body will betray God in our reality, which will render the legal redemption of Jesus naught. The world is important to us; it is only in this world that what is dead can be raised from death, what is dead is raised from death, what is raised from death can be killed, and what is raised from death is killed.

Jesus says to us, "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death." Functions, or skills, of our mind and body engaged in individual sanctification may die, failing to make the legal salvation given by Jesus essentially ours; then what has been raised from death dies actually. We are hurt by the second death, which is not to be restored by the redemption of Jesus.

It is written in Hebrews 6, "it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame," and in Hebrews 10, "if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins." Jesus redeemed the first offence but not the second one; which means first of all only the elect are to be saved, and secondly even the mind and body of the elect will not be raised from death when they commit sin again. What can be raised by the redemption can die, which is referred to as to be hurt by the second death.

For those who are not elect the world is where everything falls into death; they have nothing but death. For those who are elect the world is where what is dead can be raised from death and what can be raised from death dies of the second death. We are offered two choices, whether to choose death or life, and it is our mind and body that have to decide. Legally we belong to life through the redemption of Christ but we may die completely should we betray God a second time; or what is under death may be actually clothed with what it has been clothed with legally only, so that it does not betray God in its reality, resulting in eternal life.

The world provides us with a reality in which we can be raised from death, as well as a reality in which we are hurt to die the second death. We believe in Jesus seemingly all alike in this world just as we all have our houses, or works, built, but our works are not the same but different according to what they are built with―gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and straw. Our spirit is master and mind and body servants, and our mind and body are the house of the spirit. In other words, our sanctification is the house, or work, which we build throughout life. The quality of this house is to be tested with fire, and individual houses are said to be preserved for a test of fire.

Some of us build their entire lives that are to be condemned at the judgment of the word of God, while others build their lives with gold, silver and precious stones. The work that is built with gold, silver and precious stones will remain when tested with fire, and the person whose work remains will receive a reward, but "if any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire."

Those who are not elect live in the world as they are dying in it, outside Jesus and His redemption, inside iniquity, living without righteousness and living not connected to God; they are being destroyed and they are perishing. And it is foolish of us to view a life as successful and glorious that is improving in worldly positions at the expense of being disconnected to God and offending the Bible; let us not be absurd enough to thank God for giving us success as grace when something good comes as we put off the redemption of Christ; the success has died in the corresponding reality, never to be related to us again. What we have been related to in Christ, if ever, will last eternally, having relationships with us in the everlasting world.

Those in which we have been engaged in the outside the redemption and inside the world―joys we had, relationships we made, or power or love we had―have passed us by and we are not to encounter them again since they perished completely and eternally.