Firstborn Sonship of Christ

Volume 27 Chapter Four
April 2002
The New Birth


Article 33 Continued




      Here in Isaiah 53, a brief sweep of the life of the Servant Messiah is given from birth as a human to the resurrection birth of that human body into a glorified (divine, deified) state of being. The body of the Messiah was merely a human body until His resurrection birth. In the resurrection of His body, He became the Firstborn from the dead, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5. The Holy Spirit moved both Luke and Paul to quote from Ps 2:7 of the resurrection birth of Christ, Act 2:25-35; 13:29-33.
      The writer of Hebrews also quotes in Heb 1:5 from Ps 2:7 of the resurrection birth of Christ. In Heb 1:6 Christ is called God's Firstborn, as in Ps 89:27 and Col 1:15. Again in Heb 5:5-6, Christ's resurrection birth is associated with His divine priesthood after the order and symbolism of Melchizedek's priesthood. See also Ps 110:1-4; Heb 5:7-10; 6:20; 7:1-28.


      "He shall see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities," Isa 53:11.
      Observe the following about justification which is a major theme throughout both Old and New Testaments.

1. The Correlation of Righteousness, Glory, Life, Holiness, in "all the Fullness of God."

      God had the Scriptures written in such a way that those who are lukewarm and careless will misunderstand the strait and narrow way. Yet God provided a trail of obvious scriptural landmarks, and has given His Holy Spirit to guide us in the pursuit of His divine fullness.

      a. God promised divine life in the tree of life.

      In the tree of life, God promised divine life beyond the human life Adam and Eve possessed. To receive the divine life promised, Adam and Eve had to obey God by eating of the tree of life, and were explicitly warned not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – to eat of it they would die a death which included many very terrible and eternal punishments. However, though God's grace (God's help, Heb 4:16) was fully sufficient, and in order to show His love, compassion and mercy on vessels of mercy (Rom 9:22-23), God permitted Adam and Eve to be tempted by Satan and make the wrong choice, Gen 3.
      God immediately extended His mercy by providing a way of redemption through the Seed of the woman. God provided a "last will and testament," whereby He as the Seed of the woman would be the Testator, who must become the vicarious Substitute for Adam and all his descendants. God, as the Testator, would thereby become human through a virgin birth and then live a perfect life as the Second Adam.
      As Testator and Redeemer, He would then have to experience just wrath against sin and the sins of the human race, and also experience the death resulting from sin. Not only must the Testator Seed of the woman experience death, He must further conquer death by rising from the dead. By experiencing all of this, the divine-become-human Testator would righteously qualify for all that He promised in the tree of life. That promise was to share all the fullness of God's divine nature, Gen 15:1; Job 19:25-27; Ps 17:15; 110:1-4; Dan 7:13-14; 12:3; Zec 12:14; Eph 1:22-23; 5:31; Col 1:19; 2:9-10; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; 2Pe 1:4.

      b. Perfect righteousness was and is required by the covenants or last will and testaments.

      The righteousness discussed by the Scriptures and required by the Law Covenant is God's righteousness, which is one of the divine attributes of God's divine nature, Isa 46:13; 51:5-6,8; 54:17; 56:1; 64:6; Rom 3:20-22,24-25; 9:30-31; 10:1-3; Phi 3:9. All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa 64:6; Ti 3:5), and we are to be constantly and diligently seeking (pursuing) God's righteousness, Mt 5:6; 6:33; 25;31-46; Gal 5:5; Phi 3:9 (7-14); 1Ti 6:11; 2Ti 2:22: 4:8; Heb 12:1-11; Rev 19:7-8.
      None of these Scriptures is addressing mere moral goodness, but the divine righteousness of God which is an attribute of God's divine nature. Many people attain to moral goodness, but God's righteousness can be obtained only through the new birth which will take place when Christ returns, Phi 3:9 (7-14,21).
      At an early adult age, Paul had gained great status, but when he was converted, he counted it all but dung in order to win Christ. Gaining Christ was everything: all else was eternal loss. Paul then "followed after" "pursued" (dioko) that righteousness, "forgetting those things which are behind." Observe the strong language of the whole passage, Phi 3:7-17. The word dioko means to pursue with great urgency and sacrifice, as the passage indicates.
      Paul sacrificed every needful and necessary thing on a daily basis in order to gain Christ and God's divine righteousness (God's divine nature) which is obtainable only in the body of Christ in a resurrection birth into a divine body like His, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; 1Co 15:1-3,44-50. Being made the righteousness of God in Christ (2Co 5:21; Phi 3:9) is a future resurrection birth into that divine righteous state of being. We are only metaphorically counted as having that birth in water baptism, Jn 3:5; Ti 3:5; 1Pe 1:3-9,23.
      "By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many," Isa 53:11. This is the new birth when Christ returns. Justification, as we experience it in this life, is God crediting His righteousness (His divine nature) to us by faith and in the covenant position. Everyone who properly by faith enters into the covenant position (a true local church in this age) is credited with God's righteousness – with His divine nature. The body of Christ is now deified, and those who are metaphorically counted as members of His deified body are also counted as deified members of that deified body, Rom 6:2-13; 1Co 10:12-13; Gal 3:27-29; Eph 4:11-24; Col 2:9-21; 1Pe 3-9; 1Jn 3:2-3. Observe the new birth in Isa 53:10-12.

      c. God promised His glory to His obedient covenant people only.

      "For Mine own sake will I shew thee My wrath, and will bring before thee My glorious acts (of wrath of covenant discipline), that I may not utterly destroy thee.
      10 "Behold, I have sold thee, but not for silver; but I have rescued thee from
(ek - by means of, in this case) the furnace of affliction"(covenant discipline). The Greek word "ek," more often means "out of," or "from;" however, "by means of," best fits the context here.
      11 "For Mine own sake I will do this for thee, because My name is profaned; and I will not give My glory to another," Isa 48:9-11. LXX
      God's "glory" of the glorified (deified) body (Isa 48:1-12; Rom 8:10-30; Phi 3:7-14,21) belongs to Israel (Rom 9:4), and to no other, except as Gentiles are grafted into Israel, Rom 11:11-22. Rather than destroy Israel completely, God "rescued" a remnant of Israel by means of austere covenant discipline which all overcomers must endure by grace through faith, in order to qualify for the "glory" of God, Rom 8:10-30; 11:1-22; Phi 3:7-14,21; Heb 2; 3; 4; 5:8-9; 12:1-11.


Article 34


      "‘Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,' said Jehovah," Isa 54:1.
      This provided part of the basis for the allegory of Gal 4:21-31, which is drawn primarily from Gen 16:1 thru Gen 21:12. Genesis is the book of beginnings, and though this is not the beginning of the slave son existence in God's purpose; that began with the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden. Here, the distinction between slave sons and free sons is set forth explicitly. Once we see that distinction clearly, it becomes obvious throughout both Old and New Testaments, and will exist eternally on the new earth after the Millennium, 2Pe 3:13; Rev 21 & 22.


1. Abraham Had Two Wives.

      "For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a slavewoman, the other by a freewoman," Gal 4:22.
      This was the working of God: Abraham had one wife, but God did not permit Sarah to conceive and bear children until Sarah had given Hagar to Abraham to bear Ishmael. Sarah's intent was for Hagar to bear Abraham the promised son, but God's purpose was for Hagar to bear the slave son. In God's purpose the slave son must be born first. God permitted "slavery" in the world in order to teach and demonstrate a very profound part of His eternal purpose.

2. Abraham Had Two Kinds of Sons.

      God's purpose is to have two kinds of sons:
      a. Slave sons, who will be earth-bound sons, subject to all the physical laws of the universe. That is the condition the whole human race is in currently. We are slaves of time, distance, heat, cold, darkness, light, gravity, weight, food, water, fatigue, sleep, and in many other ways.

      b. Free sons, who will possess the divine nature of God. Free sons or divine sons of God will not be affected in any way by time, distance, heat, cold, darkness, light, gravity, weight, food, water, fatigue, sleep, or in any other way. They will be free indeed, free from all the laws of the physical universe. Being divine is a higher state of life than that of angels, who are spirits, and who are not bound by any of the physical laws of the universe.

3. The Two Wives Are Symbolic of Two Covenants.

      "For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.
      23 "But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
      24 "Which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar"
Gal 4:22-24.
      These two covenants are last will and testaments by the same (Messiah and Jehovah) Testator. They promise the same eternal inheritance of divine life, as promised in the tree of life, Gen 2:8-9,24; 3:20-24; Deu 30:10-20; Rom 10:5-10. Why did Adam call his wife's name "Eve," that is, "life?" Why did Adam say, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh?" Gen 2:24.
      Quite clearly, God had explained much, much more to Adam than is recorded in Gen 1; 2; and 3, just as Jesus taught and did much, much more than is recorded in the four Gospels, Jn 21:25. Jehovah, as the testament Testator taught Adam and Eve about the contents of the last will and testament, their daily conduct in life, and their manner of worship and its significance. Consider the commission the Testator gave to Israel through Moses (Ex 24:6-8; Deu 4:7-9; 6:1-9), and also the commission the Testator gave to the New Covenant or Testament people, Mt 28:19-20; 2Ti 3:15-17; Heb 9:11-28.
      The two covenants, the Old and New Testaments, represent the two kinds of sons. This is made clear in the allegory of Gal 5:21 thru 5:5. The Law Covenant represents the slave sons and the New Covenant represents the free (divine) sons. The divine firstborn sonship will will includes all the faithful covenant people from Adam to the end of the Millennium.
      The Law Covenant represents how all mankind is held in slavery under the elementary laws of the universe, especially the physical universe, Gal 4:3; Col 2:8,20-22; 1Co 15:44-50. The unfaithful saved will never receive the divine life, which is promised only to the faithful who continue believing and endure the covenant discipline, Jn 1:12; 3:15-16; 5:24; 10:27-36; 15:1-6; Gal 5:1-4; et al.
      The New Covenant represents the "new man," the divine, heavenly, spirit body, 1Co 15:44-50; 2Co 4:1-5,16-17; Eph 2:10-16; Co 3:1-10. The new man (divine man) is destined to be "one" with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23), filled with all the fullness of God, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 5:3o-31; Col 1:19; 2:9-10

4. The Two Jerusalems Also Represent Two Kinds of Peoples.

      "For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children –
      26 "But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.
      27 "For it is written: "Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.
      28 "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise,"
Gal 4:25-28.
      The two Jerusalems represent two kinds of bodies, two kinds of people, or two kinds of man, as clearly described in 1Co 15:44-50. One kind are the descendants of the first Adam, the earthy man. The other kind of man is the heavenly, spirit, divine man, who are the descendants of the second Adam. The second Adam is, of course, Jehovah Messiah in a born again, Firstborn from the dead, divine flesh body, Col 1:15,18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Ps 2:7; Heb 1:5-6; 5:5; 1Co 15:44-50; et al.

5. The Covenant People Must Endure Covenant Discipline.

      28 "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
      29 "But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now,"
Gal 4:28-29.
      These two verses address covenant discipline, which we will see immediately in the application of the allegory, and also later in Isa 54, which is addressed to Israel as the covenant people. We, as Isaac was, are covenant people, and must overcome in the required covenant training.

6. Cast Out the Slave Woman and Her Son.

      "Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.'
      31 "So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free,"
Gal 4:30-31.
      The language here says Ishmael could not inherit of the covenant promises with Isaac. This first means that the line of covenant descendants could not flow through Ishmael. We will see immediately below, in the application of the allegory, that proper covenant people can lose their covenant standing and thereby be cut off from the firstborn sonship and its birthright which includes all the covenant promises. All of these are included in the divine resurrection birth, as recorded in 1Co 15:1-3,44-50.

7. Application of the Allegory.

      "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
      2 "Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
      3 "And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
      4 "You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
      5 "For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith,"
Gal 5:1-5.

      a. The book of Galatians, including these verses, was written to the churches of Galatia, Gal 1:2.

      This means that the book of Galatians, including these verses, was written to saved and properly baptized church members. Unsaved and unbaptized people are not under consideration at all in this passage or in the book of Galatians. It is necessary to understand that God has firstborn sons, and that He also has other sons who will not be divinely born again into the firstborn sonship. The firstborn sons will make up a special nation of faithful and divinely born covenant people. This nation of firstborn sons will rule over many other nations of saved people who are not divinely born firstborn sons, Gen 12:1-3; 18:17-19; 22:15-18; 27:27-37; Ex 19:4-6; Deu 26:16-19; et al. This will be so during the Millennial reign of Christ, when He will sit on the throne of David and rule all he other nations, Isa 2:1-4; 11:1-9; Rev 20. The same will be so on the new earth after the Millennium in the ages to come, Rev 21:23-26; 22:1-2.

      b. The Galatian Churches were being led back under the Law Covenant in an effort to keep both the Law Covenant and the New Covenant, Gal 1; 2; 4:21 thru 5:4.

      The Jerusalem church was a Law Keeping church throughout its history. The church was established under the Law Covenant, and was properly held under the Law Covenant until the death and resurrection of Christ. A few years later, stubborn Law-keeping Jews stealthily became members of the Jerusalem church (Gal 2:4), with the intent to take the church back under the Law Covenant. This is what Paul was fighting in the book of Galatians.

      c. Trying to keep both the Law Covenant and the New Covenant at the same time would cut them off from any covenant relationship with God, Gal 5:1-4.

      For the Galatian churches or any of the Lord's churches to try to keep the Law Covenant will, without fail, bring them under the curse, condemnation, death, wrath, etc., of the Law Covenant, Gal 5:3; 3:10. They would be cut off from Christ who is the covenant High Priest, from the Holy Spirit who is the covenant Administrator, from the new birth into the firstborn sonship, and forfeit the birthright with all the covenant promises. Christ would profit them nothing within the range of the birthright and the covenant promises.

      d. The Law Covenant is not of faith, but was and is a ministration of death, of condemnation, of wrath, of slavery, etc., Rom 4:15; 10:5 (Lev 18:5); 2Co 3:7-9; Gal 3:10,12; 4:21-31; Ja 2:10.

      The commandments of the Law Covenant are so integrated that breaking one of them is to break all of them, Gal 3:10; Ja 2:10. This means one must keep the whole Law Covenant perfectly. The Law Covenant was not of faith (Gal 3:12), but the Law led to faith when one brought the required sacrifice to atone for his or her sins. Faith entered in when one brought the required blood sacrifice, and that faith was perfected when one understood that forgiveness rested in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Testator. The "death" included the burning of all or part of the body of the sacrifice, which burning represented God's just wrath or judgment against sin.
      The "resurrection" was symbolized by eating the Passover lamb or other sacrifices, including the manna, unleavened bread, and other food offerings. For instance, a man brings an animal sacrifice for his sin – a "sin offering," "trespass offering," or even the "peace offering," Lev 4 & 5. The animal represents both the man as well as the Messiah Testator, and the death of the animal represents both the death of the man and the death of the Messiah Testator.
      But more, the priest who offers the sacrifice also represents the man who brings the sacrifice and "they two become one flesh" Num 3:12-13; 8:14-18. When the priest eats part of the offering, he is eating it representing the man who brought the sacrifice. The person who brings the animal sacrifice, the animal sacrifice, and the priest who eats of that sacrifice, represent three people in "one."
      In the case of the Passover lamb, all Israel (many thousands of people) ate the lamb that night (Ex 12), and were all represented as being "one" together with Christ -- "one" with Jehovah, the divine testament Testator, Rom 6:3-6; 1Co 12:12-27; Gal 3:27; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23.

      e. The Galatian churches were represented by Paul as eagerly waiting "by faith" for the new birth righteousness or divine nature of God, Gal 5:5.

      "For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith," Gal 3:5.
      This is still a direct part of the application of the allegory of Gal 4:21-31. It is also a vital and glorious part of Isa 54 (54:14,17) from which Paul quotes in the allegory.
      14 "In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you....
      17 "No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me," says the LORD,"
Isa 54:14,17.
      We must eagerly wait for righteousness. That righteousness is God's righteousness – one of God's divine attributes (Mt 6:33; 1Co 3:21-26; Phi 3:9), and we must eagerly wait for it, Mt 5:6; 6:33; 25:31-46; 2Co 9:10; Gal 5:5; 1Ti 6:11; 2Ti 2:22; 4:7-8; Heb 12:1-11. We must fight a good fight of faith, finish our assigned covenant training course in the faith, and this is done not by works of the Law which are the works of the flesh. Conversely, it is a lifetime of "by grace through faith" works – a constant daily walking or living by grace through faith. We must overcome throughout our lives in our assigned course of covenant training, 1Co 9:24 thru 10:13; Heb 11 & 12.


      We here continue our review of Isaiah 54, in coordination with Gal 4:19 thru 5:5. The wife or concubine who has children is Hagar, represents the Law Covenant and the covenant people (Israel) under the Law Covenant. The Law Covenant was a "a yoke of bondage" – of slavery. This yoke of slavery represented the first Adam in His sinful state of being after he sinned, but also in his natural state of physical enslavement before as well as after he sinned:

1. Slavery to Sin and the Sin Nature.

      The Law Covenant was a ministry of slavery to sin through our sin nature. Paul graphically describes this slavery in Rom 7:7-25, with the conclusion that, try as best we can, we still fall short of perfection. Those under the Law Covenant were required to strive toward perfection (Rom 2 & 7), and were also required by the Law Covenant to bring sacrifices for sin to acknowledge and confess their sins and receive forgiveness, Lev 3 & 4.
      Though the Law Covenant "was not of faith," (Gal 3:12; Lev 18:5) it required faith obedience throughout the life of every covenant person, Deu 30:5-20; Hab 2:4; Gal 3:11-12. Again, though the Law Covenant required faith for forgiveness through the Sacrifice, the Law still required every covenant person to continue striving to keep the Law Covenant perfectly, Deu 6; 28; 30; Jos 1:5-9; Gal 3:10; Ja 2:10.

2. Slavery to the Basic Laws of the Universe.

      "Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world," Gal 4:3; Col 2:8; 3:20-22.
      8 "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ....
      20 "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations.
      21 "'Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,'"
Col 2:8,20-21.
      The basic, elementary, or rudimentary laws of the universe refer to the laws of the physical universe, such as material objects, distance, heat, cold, light, darkness, hunger, thirst, fatigue, etc., including the laws of the universe under the curse of Gen 3:16-19, also referenced in Isa 11:6-9; 65:25; and Rom 8:19-22.