Firstborn Sonship of Christ
Volume Six Chapter One
The New Birth
INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT
GOD WANTS US TO KNOW
Article 41 in the articles on the subject of The Firstborn
Sonship of Christ. It is inserted much earlier than other
articles, because it appears more appropriate here in the
introduction to the Old Testament.
JEREMIAH'S REDEMPTION DOCUMENT RESEMBLES A LAST WILL AND
"So I bought the field from Hanamel, the son of my uncle who
was in Anathoth, and weighed out to him the money – seventeen
shekels of silver.
10 "And I signed the
deed and sealed it, took witnesses, and weighed the money on the
11 "So I took the
purchase deed, both that which was sealed according to the law
and custom, and that which was open;
12 "And I gave the
purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, in
the presence of Hanamel my uncle's son, and in the presence
of the witnesses who signed the purchase deed, before all the
Jews who sat in the court of the prison.
13 "Then I charged
Baruch before them, saying,
14 "'Thus says the
LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Take these deeds, both this
purchase deed which is sealed and this deed which is open, and
put them in an earthen vessel, that they may last many
15 "For thus says the
LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Houses and fields and
vineyards shall be possessed again in this
land,"' Jer 32:9-15.
The law of redemption by a
near kinsman is found in Leviticus 25. We find it utilized in
Ruth 4, in the above passage, and in Revelation 5. The laws of
redemption include, 1) the objects of
redemption concern the covenant people and their property,
2) the redeemer must be a near
kinsman, 3) the redeemer must be able
to pay the redemption price, 4) the
redeemer must be willing to pay the redemption price,
5) the redeemer must pay the
redemption in full, 6) the price was
determined by the number of years remaining until the year of
jubilee, 7) at the year of jubilee all
persons went free, and all property was returned to its original
Jeremiah redeemed his
cousin's property in view of prophecies of the Babylonian
captivity for seventy years and of the greater scattering of the
whole nation into all nations until the return of Israel to their
own land, which we have witnessed, with the final regathering
when Christ returns. The purchase deed was formally signed and
sealed before witnesses who also signed the document, with an
open copy that was not sealed.
A SCROLL OF REDEMPTION, WRITTEN, WITNESSED, AND SEALED WITH
1 "And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the
throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven
2 "Then I saw a strong
angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the
scroll and to loose its seals?"'
3 "And no one in heaven
or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll,
or to look at it.
4 "So I wept much,
because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or
to look at it.
5 "But one of the elders
said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose
its seven seals.'
6 "And I looked, and
behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living
creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though
it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are
the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the
earth," Rev 5:1-6.
This scroll is clearly a
redemption document that was written, sealed, and witnessed by
the heavenly court which includes the Godhead, the twenty-four
elders, cherubim, and angels, Dan 7; Rev 4 & 5. In this case,
the scroll or redemption document is also a last will and
testament, verified by the Lamb that was slain, and by the Lamb
being the only one found worthy to open the seals and execute the
provisions written in the scroll. The sealed scroll further
reveals and verifies the validity of the open document, which
obviously is the Scriptures. Both the Scriptures and the sealed
scroll are mutually complementary and testify to the "redemption cycle." The redemption cycle
includes the Son of God 1) becoming a
human by the virgin birth, 2) living a
sinless life as a human, 3) dying for
the sins of mankind, 4) being buried
as all humans are buried, 5) arising
out of the grave into a divinely reborn body, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5;
Act 13:29-33; 1Co 15:44-50. All this was done vicariously in
order to redeem God's creation and create a special firstborn
nation of divine firstborn sons, who are also called His
"bride" people, Isa 54:5;
Jer 3:14; 31:32; Hos 2:16,20; 2Co 11:2; Gal 4:21 thru 5:5; Eph
5:31-32; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; Rev 19:7-8.
This scroll thus testifies
that Christ is the Kinsman Redeemer and the last will and
testament Testator. We have shown the basis for this transaction
in the Law Covenant in Lev 25. There it has a fifty year Jubilee
redemption requirement, which testifies of the Millennial liberty
and glory of Christ and the firstborn sons, Rom 8:18-23; Heb 3
& 4. In the case of Boaz (Ruth 5), there is no clear
indication of a written document mentioned, though there may have
been one. Then with Jeremiah (Jer 32:9-16) there was a written
document, very similar to the one in Revelation, Rev 5:1-5.
The redemption document in
Revelation (in correlation with other passages, Eph 1:4-5; 1Pe
1:18-20; Phi 2:5-11; et al), indicates that the time of the
writing and sealing of the scroll was before the foundation of
the world – or the earth as we know it, Job 38:4-8. It appears
that the elders, the cherubim, and the angels are the witnesses
of the writing and sealing of the scroll, and rejoice as
witnesses when the divine Lamb of God is produced as the only one
worthy to open the seals, Rev 5:1-10. It is a monumental landmark
in testimony that the Lamb is the only one found worthy to take
the scroll and open its seals. And the reason why He is worthy is
because He was Jehovah as the Seed of the woman who fulfilled the
redemption cycle projected from Genesis 3:15 throughout the
Scriptures, Phi 2:5-11. He is the only one found worthy because
1) He is God and therefore the only
One capable of exemplifying the zenith of God's love,
compassion, mercy, forbearance, justice, wrath, etc., (Phi
2:6-11), 2) the design of the Godhead
was that the Seed of the woman be properly worshiped as God (Rev
5:1-14), 3) God's redemption
purpose provided for Him, as the Son of God-Son of Man, to rule
all the works of God's creation together with His divine
bride people, Ps 8:3-6; Ps 82; 1Co 3:21-23.
The Bible is a book of two
major parts called the Old Testament and the New Testament. They
were named "testaments"
rather than covenants, perhaps because a last will and testament
is the predominant theme of the Scriptures, witnessed by the
overwhelming emphasis on death and redemption by the shedding of
blood in all covenants (Gen 3:21; 8:20; 15:7-18; Ex 24:7-8; Heb
9:13-17): when I see the blood I will pass over you (Ex 12:1-13),
without the shedding of blood there is no remission, and almost
all things are cleansed by the blood, Heb 9:16-26.
The Bible is a sacred
"last will and testament,"
and has, to a great extent, lost its inherent testament validity
in contemporary theology. This is a major hindrance toward an
accurate, full, and rich understanding of the Scriptures.
GOD WANTS US TO KNOW HIS LAST WILL AND TESTAMENTS
writings of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy, were written
2,500 years after the creation of Adam and Eve were created. The
50 chapters of Genesis covers that entire period of time, and
give us hardly more than a summary of what happened and what God
revealed to His prophets and faithful servants during that
interval. Of course, this can be said about all the Scriptures,
Jn 21:25. Yet, throughout the Scriptures, God gave us what He
wanted us to know within His purpose of hiding the mysteries of
the kingdom from those who are arrogant and self-willed.
Therefore, the things we need to know about God's covenants
(last will and testaments) are sufficiently written in full in
the Scriptures, 2Ti 3:16-17. The Holy Spirit guided the inspired
writers in such a way that the understanding is concealed from
the natural man, as the term "natural
man" is used in the Scriptures:
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the
Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know
them, because they are spiritually discerned," 1Co
2:14; Mt 11:25-26; 13:9-17.
It appears vitally important
that emphasis be placed on the fact that God has from the Garden
of Eden wanted all His faithful servants to thoroughly know the
contents of His covenants or last will and testaments. The
impression is left that, until the time of Moses, God's
people did not know much about God or His last will and
Hence, the intent of this
article is to demonstrate that God was not slack in revealing the
full contents of His covenants, and His prophets and faithful
servants well understood the testamentary and typological meaning
of animal sacrifices. God made sure they recognized their
Redeemer as God in a human body, who would die for the sins of
mankind, and be raised from the dead in a "divine" human body. Therefore they
walked before Him in the proper godly and well disciplined
manner, precisely according to His fully revealed testament
instructions. God wanted them to know, just as God wants us to
HE WILL SHOW HIM HIS COVENANT
"The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He
will show them His covenant," Ps 25:14.
The word "secret" in this passage signifies
counsel (intimate or close friendly counsel), and is tied in with
God fully revealing His covenants to those who love and fear Him.
God's compassionate disposition has always been and still is
to reveal His covenants (last will and testaments) to His
prophets and faithful servants.
Compare this passage, Ps
25:14, with Mt 13:9-17. What was it the faithful of the Old
Testament desired to see, but did not see? They desired to see
the Seed of the woman in person. They desired to see Him as the
Kinsman Redeemer and testament Testator. They desired to see Him
work great miracles, feed thousands with a few loaves and fishes,
give sight to the blind, hearing to the mute, heal the lepers,
and raise the dead back to life. They desired to see Him as the
Lamb of God raised from the dead after being consumed by the
fires of God's wrath against our sins on the altar of burnt
offerings. They desired to see Him in divine glory, speak to Him,
and know Him face to face, as Moses knew Him, Ex 33:11; Deu
What was it they desired to
hear, but did not hear? They desired to hear Him teach as no man
ever taught, speak with the voice of God, and command demon
spirits with divine authority. They desired to hear Him bless
little children, bless the poor and broken hearted, speak words
of comfort and miraculous healing to the blind, the deaf, the
leper, and to those who were otherwise dysfunctionally impaired.
They desired to hear Him, as the divine Seed of the woman, weep,
pray together with, and comfort those caught in the grip of
anguish of whatever kind. They desired to hear Him, as the
promised Messiah, confound the Herodians, the Sadducees, and the
Pharisees with His questions and divine wisdom.
ABRAHAM WAS CALLED THE FRIEND OF GOD
"And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham
believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.'
And he was called the friend of God," Ja 2:23.
Enoch was a friend of God and
walked with God hundreds of years, Gen 5:22. Noah was a friend of
God and walked with God hundreds of years, Gen 6:9. Abraham was
very warmly called the "friend" of God, 2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8; Ja
2:23. Jehovah, in the Seed of the woman, is that Friend who
sticks closer than a brother, Prov 18:24. And was such a friend
to all who sought after Him from Adam on. He fully told His
prophets, priests, and faithful servants about His identity and
destiny as Kinsman Redeemer and testament Testator. He revealed
the secrets (the hidden things, the mysteries of the kingdom) to
them, Mt 11:25-26; 13:9-19.
To reveal His covenants to
them, He had to tell them accurately about what had happened
prior to them from the Garden of Eden, some of which was later
written by Moses in Gen 1 thru 4. He revealed to them the
understanding of the shedding of the blood, about the death of
"clean" animals, the burning
of animal bodies on the altar, about the Son of God Himself being
the Seed of the woman, the necessary resurrection of the Seed of
the woman in order to crush the head of the serpent (Jud 14-15),
and perfect the salvation of the new birth into the fullness of
the divine nature – into the full image and likeness of God, Heb
There are many friends who
stick closer than many brothers, but this Friend (this Seed of
the woman) is the Redeemer and testament Testator who will redeem
His faithful testament people into the glorious image and
likeness of God. Would we say God was not such a friend to Adam
and Eve? Enoch prophesied of Jehovah coming in great power and
glory in the clouds of heaven with vast hosts of brilliantly
shining and deified saints, Jud 14-15. How many hundreds of years
did Noah walk with Jehovah (Gen 6:9) and found Jehovah to be a
Friend who sticks closer than a brother, and reveals His covenant
to those who fear Him? Did Noah find the Lord to be a Friend who
gives detailed counsel of His infinite redeeming power and glory,
as well as His terrifying judgments. No doubt Jehovah also told
Enoch and Noah that He Himself was their "burnt offering" and their "exceeding great reward," Gen
SWEETNESS OF A FRIEND GIVES DELIGHT BY HEARTY COUNSEL
"Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness
of a man's friend gives delight by hearty
counsel," Pro 27:9.
"As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of
his friend," Prov 27:17.
When did God start revealing
His covenants to those who love and reverence Him? Ps 25:14. At
what time in the Bible did God start giving secret, hidden
counsel of His last will and testaments to His prophets, priests,
and faithful servants? Jehovah found great delight in walking
with Enoch, as His friend, revealing to him both the obvious and
the hidden secrets of His last will and testament, and giving him
hearty counsel in all the ways of holy worship and testimony. How
could Jehovah walk with Noah as a dear friend for hundreds of
years and not reveal the full details of His last will and
testament? Ps 25:14.
GOD KNOWS HIS THOUGHTS TOWARD US FOR PEACE AND HOPE
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the
LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and
12 "Then you will call
upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 "And you will seek Me
and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."
Here is a brief but excellent
description of God's will and desire for us to seek Him, find
Him, and know Him and know His last will and testament. The
Greeks had an altar to the unknown God, and Paul preached that
God to them. God made all nations of one blood, set the times and
boundaries of each people, and ordained that they should seek
after Him and find him, Act 17:23-27. Paul further wrote that no
one would have an excuse for not searching after God and finding
Him, because God's disposition and the working of His Spirit
is to reveal Himself, His power and glory, through His vast
creation, as well as to convince the world of sin, of
righteousness and of judgment, Ps 19; Isa 45:22; Jn 1:9; 12:32;
16:7-9; 17:26-28; Act 14:16-17; Rom 1:16-20. "Come now, and let us reason together"
(Isa 1:18). This is God's desire not only toward the covenant
people, but toward all mankind, 2Pe 3:9.
THAT I MAY KNOW HIM AND THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION
"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and
the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His
11 "If, by any means, I
may attain to the resurrection from the dead," Phi
Paul gave up all things that
he might gain Christ in the fullness of His divine nature. He
wanted to be found in the divine righteousness of God that is in
Christ, Phi 3:7-9. He urged us to be constantly looking into the
Word of God, beholding the glory of God that we may be being
changed into the same image and likeness from glory to glory, 2Co
3:18. His passionate desire was that the Spirit shine into our
hearts giving us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ, 2Co 4:6. Paul pleaded that we be
constantly putting off the old man and putting on the new man who
was created in Christ after the true image of God's glory and
righteousness, Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10.
Would Enoch walk with God for
300 years and not learn about putting off the old man and putting
on the new man? How did God and Enoch spend that long length of
time? 300 divided by 50 equals 5.88 times longer than a 50 year
old person has lived. This indicates that Enoch likely learned
nearly 6 times as much as one of us at 50 years old. Enoch
probably spent more time in talking with God and in meditating on
what he learned than we spend in direct study and meditating on
the Word of God.
IF ANYONE WILLS TO DO HIS WILL, HE SHALL KNOW THE
"If anyone is willing to be doing His will, he shall know
concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I
speak on My own authority," Jn 7:17.
This is a clear statement and
a steadfast promise that those who earnestly desire to be doing
the will of God (His last will and testament), will know the
doctrines (the contents) of the last will and testaments. Are we
to take this as a hyperbole or can we accept it as a steadfast
promise to all who truly believe and obey? The Scriptures are
filled with these encouragements to stringently live holy lives
and diligently search the Scriptures with an unrelenting desire
to understand, believe, and obey the Scriptures at all
THESE WERE MORE NOBLE IN THAT THEY SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES
"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that
they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the
Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
12 "Therefore many of
them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women
as well as men," Act 17:11-12.
The Bereans were more
pleasing to the Lord by their ready minds to search the
Scriptures to prove what Paul and his companions were preaching.
A ready mind is one that is alert, fair, ready to listen and
learn. Adam and Eve, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,
Job, and others like them before Moses, all had hearts or minds
that were eager to ask questions and learn more about God, His
angels, His creation, His last will and testament, His eternal
purpose in life, death, and life after death.
Their knowledge and immediate
relationship with God surely overwhelmed them with a desire to
ask questions and know more about all such things. This innate
posture of the human mind moves us to search out all things,
especially these things.
DOERS OF THE WORD MUST LEARN THE WORD FIRST
"But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving
yourselves," Ja 1:22.
We are deceiving ourselves if
we think we can do God's will without knowing God's will.
God ratified a last will and testament with Adam and his
descendants in the Garden of Eden by shedding the blood and
taking the life of clean animals and clothing Adam and Eve with
their skins, Gen 3:15-21. We can be assured that God gave Adam
and Eve reasonably full and detailed instructions of the last
will and testament, normally called a covenant in the
These instructions included,
at least, general details of daily life, and more particularly of
the manner and meaning of daily and Sabbath worship. This further
included God's record keeping and the resurrection and
judgment at the end of the sixth millennium, with the seventh day
of "rest" that will
COME NOW, LET US REASON TOGETHER
"Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD,
"though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white
as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as
19 "If you are willing
and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
20 "But if you refuse
and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of
the LORD has spoken," Isa 1:18-20.
God wants us to know about
Him and His testaments, and desires passionately to share His
divine attributes with us. In one of His last prayers before His
crucifixion, Jesus prayed to the Father to protect, train, and
qualify the covenant people that they may be "one" with the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit, as They are "one" in each other in a divine oneness,
God has always from the
Garden of Eden been saying, "Come now,
let us reason together." But it appears that more
often than not, Israel and the Lord's churches have gone
astray, rather than fearfully and reverently reasoning with the
Lord and diligently searching the Scriptures in view of being
approved by God, 2Co 13:5; 1Co 9:23 thru 10:13.
THE FRAGRANCE OF HIS KNOWLEDGE IN EVERY PLACE
"Now thanks be to God who is always leading us in triumph in
Christ, and through us is diffusing the fragrance of His
knowledge in every place.
15 "For we are to God
the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among
those who are perishing.
16 "To the one we are
the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma
of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these
things?" 2Co 2:14-16.
God wants us to know. He
desires passionately that we understand, believe, and obey His
last will and testaments. The Holy Spirit can thereby diffuse out
from us the sweet fragrance of His knowledge and redemptive
purpose in every place.
THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM WHO CALLED US TO GLORY AND VIRTUE
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of
God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 "As His divine power
has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and
virtue," 2Pe 1:2-10; 3:18.
Again, how can we do
God's will if we do not know His will, and how can God expect
us to do His will if He does not reveal His will to us? We must
know in order to obey. God knows this much better than we do.
Therefore He has given us the written Word, and before Moses
began his inspired writings, God was making sure all His
prophets, priests, and faithful servants had sufficient knowledge
to do all His will.
God wanted them to know the
redemption cycle from the Garden of Eden to the virgin birth, to
the cross, to the resurrection birth, and to the crushing of the
serpent's head by the Seed of the woman. He wanted them to
know His testamentary purpose from start to finish from the
Garden of Eden to the return of the Testator in divine
resurrection new birth glory. God showed Enoch the end time, Ju
14-15. He showed Abraham the day of the Lord (Jn 8:56), and the
heavenly city (Heb 11:8-16), and He revealed to Job His divine
resurrection glory, Job 19:25-27.
BY THIS WE KNOW THAT WE KNOW HIM
"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His
4 "He who says, ‘I know
Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the
truth is not in him," 1Jn 2:3-4.
God wants us to know by
having book knowledge, as we use the expression, but God wants us
also to know by experience. He wants us to know by mental
perception, but also by experience. And we do know by experience
by the indwelling Holy Spirit, yet this experience must be by
proper faith obedience according to the last will and testament.
We have been given the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ that we
may experience the things of Christ more than by mere mental
The Holy Spirit works on us
and in us according to the doctrine of Christ, 2Jn 9-11. If we do
not keep the commandments of the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit, we transgress and are cut off from Christ, 2Jn 8-11; Jn
15:1-6; Rom 11:11-22; Gal 5:1-4; 1Co 10:1-12; Heb 3:6-19; et al.
God's compassion and mercy moves us in the direction of faith
obedience, but many transgress the doctrine of Christ and fail to
make their calling and election sure, 2Pe 1:4-10.
HOW SHALL I KNOW THAT I SHALL INHERIT THE PROMISES
"And he said, ‘Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will
inherit it?'" Gen 15:8.
Abraham asked, "How shall I know?" And God instructed
him what to do. That was important. Abraham wanted to have more
information and assurance, and God responded by telling him to do
such and such. Abraham faithfully obeyed, and God further
responded by giving him much more information. God gives us
information, and we are to believe and obey. If we do, God will
give us more understanding. He wants us to know more, but there
are conditions for us to meet.
IT IS GIVEN TO YOU TO KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM
"And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak
to them in parables?'
11 "He answered and said
to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries
of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12 "'For whoever
has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but
whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from
him,'" Mt 13:10-12.
As in the parables of the
talents (Mt 25:14-30) and of the pounds (Lk 19:11-27), everyone
in the church has been given a work (a ministry or function) to
perform as a member of the body of Christ. We are to grow and
increase in productivity. If we do, we will be redeemed from all
judgments against sin, and will increase in the measure of all
the divine attributes of God. If we do not perform acceptably, we
will be cut off out of the firstborn sonship and placed in the
servant sonship with its mere human status among the nations.
As the disciples heard Jesus,
they listened, believed, and obeyed by grace through faith. The
result was that Jesus continued to teach and prepare them in the
last will and testament ministry, Mt 28:18-20. This same
principle has been applied to the testament people through the
ages, as recorded in Deu 6:1-9 and otherwise throughout the
Scriptures. Growth in the grace and knowledge is promised to
those who will believe and obey. They will know and grow and
increase in all the fullness of God's divine attributes, as
promised in the last will and testament, Heb 9:11-17; Eph 3:8-19;
THIS GREAT NATION IS A WISE AND UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE
"Therefore be careful to observe them (statutes and
judgments); for this is your wisdom and your
understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these
statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and
7 "For what great nation
is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to
us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?
8 "And what great nation
is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in
all this Law which I set before you this day?" Deu
The Law Covenant was given by
God, and is a perfect governing economy for sinful people, as all
nations are. No one can add to it or take from it and thereby
make it better. It was, furthermore, a last will and testament
for the redemption of mankind, that cannot be excelled; except by
the New Covenant, which the Law Covenant required in its
typology, prophetic projection, and inability to make the anyone
perfect, Heb 7:19.
God wanted His covenant
people to be a wise and understanding nation, above all nations,
especially in His eternal redemption activities. We can be
assured that all His prophets, priests, and faithful servants
from Adam to Moses were also well informed of the redemption
cycle of God's last will and testament with Adam and later
YOU SHALL TEACH THEM DILIGENTLY TO YOUR CHILDREN
"Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one!
5 "You shall love the
LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with
all your strength.
6 "And these words which
I command you today shall be in your heart.
7 "You shall teach them
diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit
in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and
when you rise up.
8 "You shall bind them
as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between
9 "You shall write them
on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,"
God wants us to know His last
will and testaments. May God know us, as He did Abraham (Gen
18:17-19), so that we may also teach our children, grandchildren,
and others to keep the way of the Lord, that He may bless us with
His firstborn birthright blessings. God wants us also to know, to
believe, and to obey, as the faithful of the past (Heb 11) were
so diligent to do.
ISRAEL DOES NOT KNOW, MY PEOPLE DO NOT CONSIDER
"The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master's
crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not
4 "Alas, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, Children who
are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked
to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away
5 "Why should you be
stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is
sick, and the whole heart faints.
6 "From the sole of the
foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds
and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed or
bound up, or soothed with ointment," Isa 1:3-6.
In Isaiah's time, Israel
was in this very sickening state of gross ignorance and paralytic
indifference toward the true understanding of God's Word.
This is just the opposite of what it should be with Israel, with
the Lord's churches, or with all of us as individuals. Israel
did not know because they did not diligently and prayerfully
search out the true meaning of God's Word. God has made every
preparation for our spiritual growth and welfare, Eph 1:3; 2Pe
Beyond all else, immeasurably
so, God wants us to fully know the truth, and grow in all the
godly virtues that will transform us into His image and likeness,
2Co 3:18; 4:6-12,17; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10; Rom 12:1-2. Thus He
says, give all diligence to make your calling and election sure
by adding the godly virtues that produce the necessary spiritual
knowledge and growth, 2Pe 1:4-10.
IF YOU HAD KNOWN, EVEN YOU, IN THIS YOUR DAY
"Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,
42 "Saying, ‘If you had
known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that
make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
43 "‘For days will come
upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you,
surround you and close you in on every side,
44 "‘And level you, and
your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave
in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time
of your visitation,'" Lk 19:41-44.
Verse 41 provides for us the
underlying and perhaps predominate tone of the passage: when
Jesus drew near and saw the city, he wept over it. From eternity
God had chosen Jerusalem as the place of His special dwelling on
earth, and in the New Jerusalem eternally. From the throne of
David in Jerusalem, the testament Testator will rule the earth in
divine righteousness. We are in awe as we meditate on how God
has, through many emotional and memorable experiences, affixed
His love on Jerusalem, Ps 137:1-6.
Observing Mary and others
weeping at the grave of Lazarus, who had been dead and in the
grave four days, Jesus groaned in His Spirit and "wept," Jn 11:35. When He called Lazarus
out of the grave as full of life and health as ever, many
believed, Jn 11:45. Jesus wept over the grievous state of
Jerusalem and over the long and bitter judgments the city and
people would pass through, because they did not know the
"unsearchable riches" (Eph
3:8) the Holy Scriptures hold for all who will humbly search Them
out, believe, and obey by grace through faith. How sad that they
did not know what God had so graciously and abundantly prepared
for Adam and Eve and all their descendants who truly love and
obey Him! God wants us to know and share in His testament
I AM RICH, AND INCREASED WITH GOODS, AND NEED NOTHING
"Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and
have need of nothing' -- and do not know that you are
wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked," Rev
We are so very confident that
we are OK, and these words do not apply to us. We know because
Landmark Baptist doctrine says that nothing can separate us from
the love of God and of Christ, Rom 8:28-39. We can walk in the
flesh, enjoy Hollywood, the sports world, all the lusts of the
flesh, and pay no attention to Rom 8:6 and 13.
We know we are OK because
nothing can snatch us out of the hand of Christ or the Father, Jn
10:28-29. We can ignore John's baptism, Lk 7:29-30. We can
make the doctrine of Christ (2Jn 9-11) look as good as the
Pharisees did the Law of Moses, Rom 10:1-3. We have "faith," and "faith" is everything. With faith we
don't have to be concerned about the doctrine of Christ. The
Pharisees had faith also, and so do demons, Ja 2:19. Our faith
must be based upon the doctrine of Christ, or we will be among
the servant nations on the new earth, and not in the heavenly
city for which Abraham and his faith descendants looked, Heb
We can outwardly have the
faith of Christ and the doctrine of Christ, and yet be as
doctrinally lukewarm as the churches in Ephesus (Rev 3:1-7),
Sardis (Rev 3:1-6), and Laodicea, Rev 3:14-22. God wants us to
know the true doctrine of Christ: Satan has prepared a system of
doctrines that looks very good, sounds very good, and feels very
good. Furthermore, he is much smarter and more powerful than we
are. Our only hope is in the Scriptures and in the Holy Spirit to
interpret the Scriptures correctly to our hearts. We cannot trust
the traditions of the elders, even though much, even the majority
of what has been handed down to us is correct.
QUESTIONS AND WORK TASKS FOR CHAPTER ONE
1. The Bible is a
covenant Book. Give evidence showing how we know this is
2. The Bible is a
book of last will and testaments. Define a last will and
testament, and show how this is seen in the Scriptures.
3. Understanding the
"redemption cycle" is necessary to understanding the
Bible correctly. Give the major steps in the redemption
4. God wants us to
know the Scriptures. Indicate from the Scriptures how we know
that God wants us to know His covenants.
5. God wants us to
know His covenants. Describe how this applied to Adam and Eve and
their early descendants.
6. The natural man
does nor receive the things of the Spirit, 1Co 2:14. Define the
difference between the natural man and the spiritual man.
7. Look at Psalm
25:14 and Proverbs 27:9,17, and delineate the benefits of the
hearty counsel of a true friend.
8. If any one is
willing to do the will of God, he will know the doctrine, John
7:17. Describe how this applied to those before the flood in
9. Abraham was the
friend of God, Ja 2:23. This was true with Abel, Enoch, and Noah.
Indicate how God revealed His covenants to them?
10. Study 2Co
2:14-16 and describe how this passage applies to all who lived
before Moses wrote the book of Genesis.
11. Review Isaiah
1:3-6,18. Explain the reason for this state of the people.
12. Examine Jeremiah
29:11-13 and describe how this applied to those who lived from
Adam to Moses, in view of a last will and testament.
13. See Jn 8:56; Heb
11:8-16; Jud 14-16; how much should those early servants of God
have known about a last will and testament.
14. Review Deu
6:4-9, and estimate how our generation compares.
15. Point out the
difference between a normal redemption document and a last will