1. Redemption was actually a matter of gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and by so doing preparing for a new spiritual church. (Continued)

Gaining control of the hells, restructuring the heavens, and then establishing a church can be illustrated by various comparisons. They can be illustrated by a comparison with an army of looters or rebels who invade a country or a city, set fire to the houses, plunder the citizens’ goods, and divide the spoils among themselves, enjoying and glorifying themselves because of it. Redemption itself can be illustrated by a comparison with an upright monarch who attacks these invaders with an army, puts some of them to the sword, imprisons the rest in labor camps, takes the stolen goods away from them to give back to the citizens, and then restructures the country and gives it protection against attack by similar assailants in the future.

It could also be illustrated by a comparison with wild animals that have formed packs and are charging out of the forest attacking flocks and herds and even people. The people do not dare to go outside the walls of the city and cultivate the land, so the fields are becoming deserts and the people in the city are about to die of hunger. Redemption could be illustrated by analogy with killing some of the wild animals, driving away the others, and protecting the fields and plains from any further attack of the kind.

It could also be illustrated by locusts that are consuming every green thing in the ground and then by the means of stopping them from going any farther. Also by caterpillars at the beginning of summer that strip the leaves off the trees (thus preventing the fruit from coming) so that the trees stand as naked as in midwinter; and then by the act of shaking the caterpillars off and restoring the garden to flowering and fruit-bearing.

The church would have been in a comparable situation unless the Lord through redemption had separated the good from the evil, had cast the evil into hell, and had lifted the good to heaven. What would it be like in an empire or a country that knew no justice or judgment? Justice and judgment take evil people away from the company of the good; they protect good people from being violated so that they may live safely in their own homes and, as it says in the Word, sit in serenity under their own fig tree and their own vine [1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4].

from True Christianity, Section 117

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