Vol 28 No 3
April 2003
Article 42


      This is article 42 but it will probably be inserted as Chapter Two in Volume Six of the books on The Firstborn Sonship of Christ. It should serve more appropriately in the beginning of The Introduction to the Old Testament.


      6 “This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
      7 “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
      8 “And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one,”
1Jn 5:6-8.
      The Messiah (who is also the Testator, Redeemer, and Seed of the woman) came by the Holy Spirit, by blood, and by water. These three are the chief witnesses of the coming of the Messiah throughout the Old Testament times from the Garden of Eden to the baptism of John. These three witnesses continued to verify their testimony throughout Christ’s perfect human life, personal ministry, death, burial, divine new birth resurrection, and ascension back to heaven. Of course, these three witnesses are still bearing witness by the Holy Spirit through the Word, according to the will of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We will here briefly review the testimony of these three witnesses, according to their testimony through the Scriptures.


      8 “And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one,” 1Jn 5:8.
      The Holy Spirit was introduced into the Scriptures as hovering over the chaotic condition of the earth in view of preparing it as a life source habitation for mankind, and also to serve as the arena for creating a unique people to share God’s divine fullness, as His “bride,” Isa 54:5 (1-17); 2Co 11:2; Eph 5:31-32; Rev 19:7-8. In yet another figure, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as the triune God, are fashioning out of mankind a unique firstborn sonship; each individual of which will, of course, possess the same full range of God’s divine attributes. In both cases, the faithful covenant people are being fashioned into a divine state of being called the new birth, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; 1Co 15:44-50; 2Pe 1:3-4; 1Pe 1:2-9; et al. We may call these “figures,” but the reality of each will reveal a unique oneness with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in Their divine fullness, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 5:31-32; Col 1:19; 2:9-10; 2Pe 1:4; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; Rom 9:4.
      In the beginning, God permitted Satan to tempt Adam, and also permitted Adam to disobey and fall into a terrible state of sin and death, Gen 3:1-7; Rom 5:12. God gave Adam sufficient help, but permitted this to happen in order to demonstrate His justice and wrath against sinful disobedience; and, conversely, to demonstrate His mercy and forbearance toward those who would pursue a life of repentance and faith to qualify for a unique firstborn sonship, Rom 9:22-23; Gal 4:21 thru 4:5; Heb 12:1-29.
      The working of the Holy Spirit is always in coordination with the Father and the Son in heaven. Initially there was the literal and visible presence of Jehovah (the Son), as in the Garden of Eden (Gen 1 thru 3), and also with Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and others through the Old Testament. At other times Jehovah appeared in a vision (Gen 15:1; 28:12), and still at other times without a vision – only with a voice, as to young Samuel, 1Sa 3. Additionally, God often sent messages by angels, as with Gabriel, Dan 8:15; 9:21; Lk 1:26-27. Yet, the Holy Spirit was bearing harmonious witness and giving understanding in the human mind, in all cases, that the Messiah would come, and aid His covenant people to live and worship in view of qualifying for the divine firstborn sonship.


      2 “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters,” Gen 1:2.
      Within the Godhead are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: three distinct persons in perfect oneness in every way, Mt 3:16-17; 28:2-0. The Son is the second person in the Godhead, and is the one who visibly manifests the Father and the Spirit, Heb 1:3. The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead, and is the one who always executes all the will of the Father and the Son. The Spirit, as the Agent of the Father and the Son, dwells “at home” with and in the Father and the Son. In this same way and to this end, the Spirit dwells “at home” in those who are in covenant position as firstborn sons, qualifying them for the last will and testament inheritance of that divine Sonship. The Spirit dwells in those who possess the divine nature, which divine nature we are only credited as possessing under the New Covenant until Christ returns in glory.
      One of the missions of the Spirit is to convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, Gen 6:3; Jn 16:7-11. Another mission of the Spirit is to indwell and qualify the covenant people for the firstborn sonship of Christ. Still another mission of the Spirit was to prepare the way for the Son to come into the world as the divine Testator and Redeemer of all that was lost by Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden. This included the Son, as the Seed of the woman, being born of a virgin and fulfilling the “redemption cycle.” The Holy Spirit is still witnessing in the same way of the second coming of Christ.
      The Holy Spirit was involved, not only in convincing all the world down through the ages of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, but also of presenting, in many different ways, the appearance of the Messiah to fulfill the redemption cycle. The redemption cycle would be fulfilled within the first six millenniums of man’s existence, in preparation for the seventh millennium of “rest,” prophetically projected by the seventh day of creation rest, Gen 2:1-3.


      3 “And the LORD said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years,’" Gen 6:3.
      The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit work together in everything they do. The Father is represented on the throne of grace in heaven (Heb 4:16), while the Son is represented as being at the right hand of the Father, ministering as our Advocate, and interceding for the testament people, Rom 8:34. The Father and the Son are also represented as being with the Holy Spirit everywhere, Ps 139:7-12; Jn 8:29; 14:10, 23; 16:32. The Holy Spirit’s primary ministry is perhaps on earth, constantly working with the covenant people in the church, and using their minds and bodies as God’s primary visible witnesses on earth.
      From Adam to the time of Moses, the Spirit worked in the minds and bodies of priests, prophets, and individuals as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others. After the exodus of Israel from Egypt, the Spirit still worked through individuals and families, but chiefly through Israel as a nation in accordance with the many ordinances of the Law Covenant.
      The witness of Holy Spirit of the coming of Christ is abundant throughout the Old Testament. First, because the Holy Spirit inspired every writer of the Old testament to write what he wrote. Secondly, the Holy Spirit gave understanding to every faithful believer, Hebrews 11. No one can properly understand the Scriptures apart from the working of the Spirit within the covenant position, which is currently within a true local church, 1Co 2:1-16; Lk 7:29-30; 2Jn 9-11; Mt 7:21-27.


      28 “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
      29 “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God,”
Rom 2:28-29; Gen 17:14; Ex 4:24-26; Deu 30:6; Lk 7:29-30; Col 2:11-13.
      A circumcised heart is a heart that is taught and led by the Spirit to believe and understand, and one that is taught and led by the Spirit to continue studying, believing, and obeying. No one could or can understand God’s Word and have a circumcised heart except by the working of the Holy Spirit, 1Co 2:1-16.
      A circumcised heart is one that has been taught, and understands the “crucifixion cycle” from Genesis through Revelation. The crucifixion cycle in its major points of emphasis are, 1) the virgin birth of Jehovah into a human body as the Seed of the woman, 2) the perfect (“clean,” sinless) life of Jehovah in a human body, 3) the crucifixion and vicarious suffering of Jehovah in that human body on the cross, 4) the vicarious death for the sins of mankind, 5) the vicarious burial of that human body for three days and nights, 6) the descending of His Spirit into Hell and Paradise to proclaim His redemption victory and remove Paradise out of the center of the earth, 7) the resurrection and new birth of that human body into a divine state of being, 8) ascend into heaven, moving Paradise into the heaven, 9) intercede for the saints on earth until the seventh millennium of rest, and 10) descend back to earth to give the new birth to all the faithful testament people, and reign through the seventh millennium. With the covenant people this new birth includes both body and spirit when Christ returns. The unfaithful saved have never and will never experience this divine new birth.
      The covenant people under the Abrahamic Covenant and under the Law Covenant had to be circumcised in order to partake of covenant benefits and promises (Gen 17:14; Ex 4:24-26; 12:43-49), which are represented by the redemption and crucifixion cycles (these cycles are generally the same). Under the New Covenant one must be scripturally baptized into the body of Christ (a true local church) in order to share in the redemption and crucifixion cycles and qualify to receive the promised inheritance of the last will and testament.


      13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who is sanctifing you,’” Ex 31:13.
      The Sabbaths refer to more than the seventh day Sabbath: they also included the monthly Sabbaths, the yearly Sabbaths, and the Sabbaths of the feasts. Furthermore, the proper keeping of the Sabbaths was necessary in order to be sanctified and remain sanctified, Ex 31:13-17; Isa 58. And we cannot be properly sanctified before God except by the Spirit, 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2.
      Moreover, keeping the Sabbath properly required reaching out to the poor, the sick, and anyone otherwise destitute, on the Sabbath and also through the week, Isa 58. All of these things were and are included within the ministry of the Spirit within and through the covenant people.
      The Sabbath testified (was a sign, a testimony, a prophetic witness, Gen 2:1-3; Ex 31:13; Hebrews 3 & 4) of the Millennial Sabbath rest, perfected by the Seed of the woman, who was also Testator and Redeemer. The true intent of the ordinance of the Sabbath was that these things be understood and faithfully taught on each Sabbath day.
      However, God’s righteous laws required that they be hid from the proud and the indifferent, Isa 6:9-13; Mt 11:25-26; 13:9-17. Therefore, though the Scriptures were preached, the Spirit had only a remnant who responded to the sufficiently merciful and righteous testimony and working of the Spirit. The Spirit is always the predominant witness, applying the testimony of all other witnesses to our hearts that we may understand.


      6 “This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and by blood. And it is the Spirit who is bearing witness, because the Spirit is truth,” 1Jo 5:6.
      17 “And the Spirit and the bride are saying, ‘Come!’ And let him who is hearing say, ‘Come!’ And let him who is thirsting come. Whoever is willing, let him take the water of life freely,” Rev 22:17.
      Again, the Holy Spirit has always been the chief witness on earth, and also applies the testimony of the water and the blood to our hearts. The Spirit has used the testimony of water and blood, because they are visible and appropriately unique in their testimony. Bread or food is another major and unique witness that the Spirit uses throughout the Scriptures. Fire, stones, and mountains are among other witnesses that are expressive and powerful in their testimony, as we shall see throughout our study.


      3 “And said, ‘My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.
      4 "‘Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
      5 "‘And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant.’ They said, ‘Do as you have said,’"
Gen 22:3-5; 19:2; Jn 13:1-17.
      Water not only cleans the feet, but also refreshes the feet, and to a measure refreshes the whole body and spirit. We wash our hands, wash our clothes, bathe our bodies, clean our house, and wash our cars with water as a common universal cleansing agent. How fresh things looks after a good rain! The rain cleanses the atmosphere, and the air smells so fresh! God intends for all this to represent spiritual cleansing on the basis of the blood of Christ. We shall observe that water is also used ceremonially to represent spiritual cleansing from sin and spiritual defilement.


      2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean,” Lev 15:2.
      5 “And whoever touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.
      6 “He who sits on anything on which he who has the discharge sat shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.
      7 “And he who touches the body of him who has the discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening,”
Lev 15:7.
      All sores, running issues, and diseases are a result of the curse God placed upon the earth, Gen 3:16-19; Rom 8:19-22. According to the Law Covenant, touching the body of any dead person made one unclean for seven days. The unclean person had to have the special “water of purification” sprinkled upon him on the third day and on the seventh day. And on the seventh day he must bathe his body and wash his clothes, or he would defile the whole sanctuary and would be cut off from the covenants, the covenant promises, and from the covenant people, Num 19:13,19-20.
      The sanctuary (the tabernacle or temple) represented the whole congregation of the covenant people, as the church is God’s temple today, Heb 3:6; 8; 9; 10. Israel was God’s house as the church is God’s house. One member can defile the entire assembly, 1Co 5. The individual and the whole assembly must follow the pattern of faith obedience according to the Scriptures or be cut off from the Lord and from His last will and testament, 1Co 5; Heb 3:6; Rev 2 & 3.
      The physical cleansing represented a spiritual cleansing. The physical outward cleansing did not completely and permanently clean up the inside. However, the physical outward cleansing did and does provide a temporary good conscience (a clean conscience) of faith obedience, which God gives through the working of the Holy Spirit. This was true throughout the Old Testament, and is true now. However, it did not remove the sin nature, and therefore did not provide a permanent good conscience. To maintain a good conscience before God we must continue in the doctrine of Christ, 1Ti 1:18-20; 2Jn 8-11.


      5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,” Ti 3:5.
      27 “Then Peter answered and said to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?’
      28 “So Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel,’”
Mt 19:27-28.
      We will discuss Titus 3:5 in a later article. At this point observe the correlation of the word “regeneration” in both passages with emphasis on the time factor, which both Jesus and Peter had in mind. The time of the regeneration will, of course, be when Christ shall return, reward His saints, execute wrath on the nations, and sit on the throne of His kingdom with his glorified saints ruling the nations and all creation, Ps 2:7-12; 8:3-6; 110:1-7.
      The word “regeneration” in the verses above means “new birth,” and refers to what will take place when Christ returns. Christ speaks of the “regeneration” as a major event that should be thoroughly understood by all who understand the Old Testament. Jesus spoke pointedly that Nicodemus should certainly have known about the new birth from the Old Testament (Jn 3:10), and rightly so, because the new birth is a grand and glorious commentary on the new birth and the redemption cycle; namely, 1) God would be the Kinsman Redeemer, 2) God would be the last will and testament Testator, 3) God would be born of a virgin to be the Seed of the woman, 4) would live a perfect life as a human, 5) would die a vicarious death as a human, 6) would be buried, but would not see corruption, and 7) would experience a divine resurrection birth as the Kinsman Redeemer and Testator. The whole redemption cycle is vicarious on the part of the Kinsman Redeemer and testament Testator. This is a general statement of the redemption and crucifixion cycles.
      The “regeneration” or “new birth” was demonstrated, preached, or portrayed in the creation week: God worked six days and rested the seventh day. The Sabbath day preached the “regeneration,” that is, the new birth. That is what Jesus had in mind when He said, “in the regeneration.” Every animal sacrifice portrayed and preached the redemption and crucifixion cycles into the divine birth of Christ. Furthermore, every animal sacrifice portrayed the covenant people becoming “one” with Christ in His crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection birth, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; 1Co 15:44-50. This brought the faithful last will and testamet people into an inheritance of divine “oneness” with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Jn 17:21-23; 14:8-11; 10:30-36; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:24; 5:31-32; Col 3:10; 2Pe 1:4.
      Paul personifies the whole creation as “groaning in birth pangs” waiting to be delivered from the curse into the liberty of the glory of Christ and the firstborn sons when Christ returns, Rom 8:19-22. This is the seventh millennium prophetically represented by the seventh day Sabbath rest, Heb 4:3-4.
      Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You,” and then asked, “Therefore what shall we have?” The answer Jesus gave placed the “new birth” at the return of Christ in divine glory. This is precisely where both Old and New Testaments place the regeneration (the new birth, the millennial “rest”). The new birth is primarily a birth into the divine nature of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
      “The liberty of the glory of the sons of God” (Rom 8:19-22) has at least two parts; 1) the deliverance of creation from the curse placed on the physical creation because of Adam’s sin (Gen 3:16-19) - this deliverance did not include distance, time, weight, heat, cold, light, darkness, hunger, sleep, fatigue, etc., and 2) the deliverance of the firstborn sons from the natural laws of the physical universe into the perfect freedom of the divine nature of God, Jn 8:31-32; 1Co 15:44-50; Gal 4:3,9,21 thru 5:5; Col 2:20 thru 3:10.


      5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,” Ti 3:5.
      The word “regeneration” in the verse above is translated from a word that means “new birth,” as in Mt 19:28. And the word “washing” is translated from a word that means whole body washing or bathing the whole body.
      When Jesus washed the disciples feet (Jn 13:1-10), He first used a word that specifically means to wash a part of the body, whereas in verse 10 (Jn 13;10), he used a word which means to wash the whole body. The only whole body water washing in the new Covenant is water baptism. Jesus said the disciples all had the whole body washing of baptism, and only needed the partial body washing of hands and feet, which applies to daily serving and edifying one another by the testimony and fruits of a proper godly life, Jn 13:1-17. In the ordination of the priesthood of Aaron, they first a whole body washing (Ex 29:4; Lev 8:6), thereafter they needed only to wash their hands and feet, with the very stern warning that not to do so meant death, Ex 30:21.
      In Titus 3:5 above, Paul is referring to the new birth symbolically portrayed in scriptural water baptism. The believer is not really born again at the time of being baptized into the body of Christ. The church being the flesh body of Christ is a metaphor, for the church is not really the body of Christ. The members of the church being the members of the body of Christ is therefore also a metaphor.
      Believers being baptized into Christ and thereby being joined to and becoming the members of the body of Christ is understood in the figurative sense of a metaphor. We are not literally baptized into the body of Christ, nor is the church literally the body of Christ.
      The bread in the Lord’s Supper is symbolic of the flesh or human (now divine) body of Christ, and the fruit of the vine in the Lord’s Supper is symbolic of the blood of the human flesh or human body of Christ. We do not literally eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ, but metaphorically or symbolically we do.
      This symbolic language is used otherwise of eating Christ’s flesh and drinking His blood, Jn 6:27-67. The symbolism is that we are (or should be) constantly feeding our minds and our whole psychological being on the Word of God. We literally feed information into our minds, and our minds grow in knowledge. The brain does not grow, but the mind does. If we feed our minds on the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God, we will have a good conscience that will guide us into the divine new birth when Christ returns.
      This same symbolization is seen in the Old Testament by eating the Passover lamb and drinking the Paschal wine. Wine or grape juice is called the “blood of the grape,” Deu 32:14. Drinking of blood is forbidden in the Bible (Lev 17:12-14), therefore wine or grape juice was used in the place of blood in the Passover, and is used in the Lord’s Supper, Mt 26:26-28.
      The church as the body of Christ is counted as having been crucified together with and in the body of Christ, died together with and in the body of Christ, been buried together with and in the body of Christ, and raised into a divine state of being together with and in the human-now-divine body of Christ. This creates a symbolic “oneness” with Christ, pointing to a literal divine “oneness” in the reality of being filled with the full range of divine attributes when Christ returns. This provides for the “at home” indwelling of the Holy Spirit.


      5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,” Ti 3:5.
      We will address four things from this verse; 1) we cannot save ourselves – all our works and our righteousnesses are as filthy rags as far as obtaining salvation is concerned. Every step must be by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10); 2) the salvation under consideration is covenant or last will and testament salvation into the firstborn sonship, which requires a daily lifestyle of transformation into the image and likeness of Christ (Rom 12:1-2; 1Co 15:1-2; 2Co 3:18; 4:6-12; 2Pe 1:1-10); 3) the washing of regeneration – the washing of the new birth. The “washing” is the word which means a washing of the whole body. It refers to water baptism by which the believer is metaphorically baptized into the body of Christ (into the death, burial, and divine resurrection of Christ, (Rom 6:3-6); and 4) the renewing of the Holy Spirit, which necessarily harmonizes with the giving of the Holy Spirit to the church on the day of Pentecost, Act 1 & 2. This renewing of the Holy Spirit in concert with the washing of regeneration brings us to the following discussion.


      37 “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
      38 "’He who is believing into Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’
      39 “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing into Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified,”
Jn 7:37-39.
      The Spirit dwells “at home” only in those who are divine (who possess the divine nature). The disciples, though they were the church at the time Jesus spoke, were still under the Law Covenant, and were counted by God as slaves in position to become firstborn sons (divine sons) by overcoming the covenant discipline. Even now, in our sinful nature, we are still slaves of sin and also slaves of the elementary laws of the physical universe.
      Until Jesus passed through the redemption cycle, as our human substitute, and came out of the grave into a divine body, the members of His body could not be counted as divine, and therefore could not receive the divine indwelling of the Spirit. This is what Jn 7:39 is saying. However, when Christ’s human body (the body itself) was glorified (deified, made divine), then the church could be counted as the glorified (deified, divine) human body of Christ.
      SAME AS ABOVE?? (REDUNDANT??)Then all the members of the church could thereby be counted as glorified (deified) members of the glorified (deified) body of Christ. Also at this point the church and the individual members of the church could receive the indwelling ministry of the Spirit. A major part of this ministry of the Spirit was and is to transform the lives of the testament people into the image and likeness of God. Hence this “earnest” ministry of the Spirit is for the discipline of each member of the church in view of qualifying them for the divine firstborn sonship of Christ.
      Thus John’s baptism, like the washing of garments and bathing of the whole body (Lev 15) was a witness of the coming of Christ to perform the redemption cycle. The washing of one’s defiled garments in water (Lev 15) represented the same thing as the figure of washing our robes in the blood of the lamb, Rev 7:14. This is also spoken of as fine linen which is the righteousness of the saints, Rev 19:7-8. The Scriptures teach that our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa 64:6), therefore this righteousness is the divine righteousness of God, Mt 6:33; Rom 3:21-26; 2Co 5:21; Phi 3:9), one of God’s divine attributes. Remember, God’s righteousness is being progressively credited to the testament people as we walk in the steps of Abraham’s faith, Rom 4:12-25.


      37 “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
      38 "’He who is believing into Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’
      39 “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified,”
Jn 7:37-39.
      Water is a life-giving source, as we have pointed out. In the wilderness water was brought forth from a rock and sustained the life of the Israelites and their animals. Paul wrote that they drank “spiritual water” from a spiritual rock, “and that rock was Christ,” 1Co 10:4. And Jesus said, "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life," Jn 4:14. About half of those who drank of that spiritual water were overthrown in the wilderness. It did not become in them a well of living water springing up into divine life.
      The water is associated with Christ, 1Co 10:4. The water is associated with the Holy Spirit, Jn 7:39. The water is associated with divine life, Jn 4:14; 7:37-37. The water springs forth out of the throne of God, Eze 47; Rev 22:1.
      The water represents divine life from a divine source. We are invited to come and take of the water of life freely without price, Rev 22:17; Isa 55:1. The world does not have enough money to buy this life, yet the cost is our life. Christ gave His life for us, and we must give our life for His divine life: our life for His life, Mt 19:21; Lk 923-24; 14:33.
      Jesus said “out of his heart will flow rivers of living water,” Jn 7:37-39. This refers, in part, to the faithful believer’s testimony, both by mouth and by his godly life. Here, water specifically refers to receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost by the church, Jn 7:39.
      Those who came to Christ in repentance, were baptized with the baptism of John (Lk 7;29-30) and of Christ (Col 2:11-13), stayed with Christ and the church, and received the firstfruits of the Spirit on Pentecost, Jn 7:37-39; Act 2. The giving of the Holy Spirit was God’s “earnest” or guarantee of that divine life new birth body when Christ returns in the day of redemption, 2Co 51-5; Rom 8:23-30; 1Co 15:1-2,44-50.
      Jesus invites those who are thirsting to be coming to Him and drinking of His word and of the Holy Spirit. The Word and the Spirit go together: those who believe and obey the Word of God will receive the Spirit, and will continue to receive the Spirit as they continue to believe and obey. Thus the Spirit will lead them and make their testimony to become rivers of living waters of life flowing out to others.
      Water, for one thing, refers to the testimony of the Old Testament saints and prophets, to the testimony of Christ, and to our testimony. We drink mutually of all, and thereby our testimony is compared to rivers of living waters (of divine life) flowing out of us mutually to one another and to others.


      1 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb,” Rev 22:1.
      In Genesis we are told that a river of water flowed out of the Garden of Eden, was divided into four rivers, and watered the earth, Gen 2:10-14. Nothing is said about these waters having special life-giving propensity beyond the current physical benefits. Also, we are not told that these waters were protected, as the tree of life was, or changed in any way after Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden of Eden.
      In Ezekiel a small amount of water flows out of the temple and out of Jerusalem, increases in quantity as it flows, and is divided into two rivers: one of which flows toward the Mediterranean Sea, and the other toward the Dead Sea, Zec 14:8. In this case the waters do have special healing powers beyond the normal waters we have today in our springs, rivers, lakes, and oceans. The banks of these rivers are lined with special trees that bear fruit every month. The leaves of the trees are for healing, and we are inclined to think the fruit would also have healing quality, but nothing is specifically written in this case about special healing power inherent in the fruit, though there may be, Eze 47:1-2.
      The New Jerusalem has “a river of water of life” flowing from the throne of God (Rev 22:1-2), very similar to what we read in Ezekiel (Eze 47:12) and Joel, Joe 3:18. There is nothing said about the river flowing outside the New Jerusalem, nor of the tree of life being outside the city. Conversely, the tree of life is specifically stated as being “in the midst of the Paradise of God,” Rev 2:7. The fruit of the tree of life is also specifically stated as being given for those who overcome the required and severe last will and testament training (Mt 7:13-14), and therefore only for those who overcome, Rev 2:1-7. This prohibits the fruit of the tree of life being given to the nations of the unfaithful saved, Rev 21:23-26; 22:1-2. The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing or household of the nations. The same Greek word is used in Mt 24:45 (KJV) and Lk 12:42 for the Lord’s “household.” This word will be reviewed more fully in a later study on Gehenna.


      4 “And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ,” 1Co 10:4.
      This Rock and its water will also be addressed more fully in a later article, for the moment let us look briefly at the testimony of the water of life. The water from the rock in the wilderness was used for sustaining physical life, yet the primary emphasis in this passage is on its spiritual testimony and application. The rock in the wilderness was no doubt an ordinary rock from which God provided ordinary physical water for the people and their numerous animals to drink, as well as for bathing and washing garments.
      However, the rock is called a “spiritual Rock,” and the water is called “spiritual water,” 1Co 10:4. We understand this to mean the same as the spiritual water of which Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, Jn 4:14. Jesus said this spiritual water would become “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting (divine) life” in everyone who believes and continues believing into Him, Jn 4:14; 7:37-39.


      6 “This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and by blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth,” 1Jn 5:6.
      The life of nature is in water, and where there is no water that life dies, but the life of the flesh is in both water and blood. Blood began its prophetic testimony before Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden of Eden. The Son of God shed the blood of animals in the process of revising His covenant with Adam into a last will and testament. God warned Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil lest he die. Adam disobeyed God, ate of the forbidden fruit, and immediately died a death that separated him from God into an eternally grievous state of being for him and all his descendants who persist in disobedience against God’s will.
      However, God, who has infinite knowledge and power over all things, permitted this to happen that He may demonstrate His love, mercy, and forgiveness on the one hand, and His forbearance, justice, and wrath on the other hand, Rom 9:22-23. God had a plan of redemption prepared in which He, as the Son of God, would revise His covenant with Adam into a last will and testament. This would require the Son of God to 1) become a human in order to be a vicarious Kinsman Redeemer, 2) be born of a virgin in a sinless birth, 3) live a life that would perfect the righteousness of God in a human body (Ps 45:6-7; Phi 2:5-11), 4) die as the Kinsman Redeemer and Testator, 5) be buried for three days and nights, 6) arise from the dead in a divinely born again human body, and 7) crush the head of the serpent.
      To ratify this last will and testament the Testator must die, but this would happen four thousand years later in God’s plan of redemption. In the meantime God’s redemption plan provided various methods of prophetically portraying the Messiah’s coming, His sinless birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial, and divine resurrection. This was initially done by the death and burning of clean animals. Clean animals were purposely killed for this means of sacrifice, therefore the blood of the animal was purposely shed in this required method of ceremonial worship of God. God killed the animals, and tanned their hides, and clothed Adam and Eve with the skins, which portrayed them and their faith descendants being clothed in God’s righteousness when Christ as the Lamb of God returns, Rev 19:7-8; 5:1-8.


      5 “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.
      6 “‘In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure,’”
Heb 10:5-6; Ps 40:6-8.
      God wanted Adam and all his descendants to know these things, just as He wants us to know them. He is faithful to show His covenants to those who love and fear Him, Ps 25:14. God was a friend to Adam and all his early descendants who loved and obeyed Him, just as He is to us, Pro 27:9,1-7. God’s promise is that He will bountifully teach and bless those who search for Him, and this has always been so, Jer 29:11-13; Jn 1:9; Act 14:16-17; 17:16-27; Ro 1:18-20. Of course, God makes the first move by giving us the conviction of His Spirit according to His last will and testament.
      We can be fully assured that God thoroughly taught Adam and Eve why the blood of animals was shed and why they were clothed in the animal’s skins. He clearly taught them about shedding the blood of the firstborn of the flock and burning their bodies in sacrificial worship. Otherwise, why would Abel bring the firstborn lambs of his flock, shed their blood, take their lives, and burn them on an altar as burnt offerings in worship to God? Abel’s sacrifice was so precisely accurate it reveals that he had been thoroughly taught in the full details of what to sacrifice and what the sacrifices represented.
      God accepted Abel’s offering (Gen 4:4) and credited Abel with divine righteousness as a result of his careful and precise response in faith obedience to God’s instructions, Heb 11:4. God had obviously taught Adam and Eve about sacrificial animal worship and the typology of the clean animals representing the Seed of the woman as their Kinsman Redeemer and Testator, and that He Himself (the Son of God) would be the Seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent.
      Likewise, this is why Noah offered precisely the proper blood sacrifices and why God was pleased with His thanksgiving worship, Gen 8:20-21. The shedding of blood in this manner of worship brought death to the animals, and prophesied of the future crucifixion, death, and divine resurrection of the Kinsman Redeemer. In order to crush the head (power and authority) of the serpent Satan, the human body of the Kinsman Redeemer and Testator had to be raised back to divine life with divine power to enforce His authority over Satan and all his host of fallen angels. This was the design and promise of the tree of divine life in the beginning. The shedding of the blood the burning of the bodies of “clean” animals prophesied of the vicarious birth, life, death, burial, and divine resurrection birth of the Kinsman Redeemer and Testator. This sacrificial worship occurred millions of times through the Old Testament. And every sacrifice prophesied of the same redemption cycle: the vicarious birth, life, death, burial, and divine resurrection birth of the Kinsman Redeemer and Testator.


      18 “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
      19 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
      20 “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,”
1Pe 1:18-20.
      This “mystery of godliness,” (the redemption cycle), has been hidden from the world, yet from the Garden of Eden it has been graciously revealed to those who persevere in their sincere hungering and thirsting after God’s righteousness. Abel did not carefully select the choice firstborn lambs from his flock, shed their blood till they died, and burn them to ashes on the altar without understanding the meaning of this required and symbolic worship. Abel understood the whole redemption cycle as surely as Abraham was sure that Isaac would walk back down the mountain with him after he sacrificed him and burned him into ashes.
      Abel obeyed precisely the prescribed procedure of sacrificial worship, and God credited Abel with His divine righteousness (Heb 11:4), which is generic of and inseparable from all the attributes of God’s divine nature. This was a demonstration of loving and reverent obedience, and God reveals His covenant (last will and testament) to those who love, fear, and reverence Him, Ex 33:11; Ps 25:14; Jn 7:17; Pro 27:9,17.


      13 “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt,” Ex 12:1-13.
      The Passover and its wonderful testimony of the new birth will be reviewed later. For the present we will emphasize the testimony of the blood of the lamb that portrayed the blood of the true Lamb of God. It very impressively testifies that the Messiah came by blood, and that God would send the virgin born Seed of the woman at the appointed time.
      This is a last will and testament provision to the covenant people who were already in covenant relationship with God. They had the oath of God to Abraham of covenant protection over them, Gen 22:15-18. The blood of the lamb must be over the door and on the door posts. As surely as it was, that household was preserved through that shocking judgment, which is also a prophecy of the coming judgment when Christ returns.
      The promise still stands today on the foundation of God’s oath: “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” But that oath applies only to those who believe and continue to believe and obey. Those who believe, but stop believing along the way, are no longer under the safeguard of the blood. We speak of the last will and testament salvation, which is over and above the salvation God has provided for the servant son nations on the new earth.
      The last will and testament salvation is the salvation of firstborn sonship. There will be many nations of servant sons on the new earth, Rev 21:23-26. When a proper saved church member (even a flesh born Jew) is excluded from the church, he is classed as a Gentile servant son and no longer a free firstborn son (who is a spiritual Jew), Mt 18:15-18.
      The Gentile woman who pleaded with Jesus for her demon possessed daughter’s sake, acknowledged that she was no more than a Gentile dog who was provided the crumbs from the children’s table, Mt 15:21-28. As a result, Jesus highly praised faith and granted her urgent request. She will be at least in the nations on the new earth (Rev 21:23-26), probably in the bride as a firstborn son.


      19 “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’
      20 “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.
      21 “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

      22 "Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue (God’s) righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2Ti 2:19-22.
      The last will and testament blood provides for sons outside the faithful covenant people. There are not only firstborn sons, but there are other sons, who are sons within the general house of God. The church must dismiss from its membership those who will not properly utilize the blood provided for qualifying for the firstborn sonship.
      However, within the general house of God, there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. The vessels of gold and silver represent the firstborn sons, while the vessels of wood and clay represent the other sons. The other sons being servant sons. This distinction is profoundly made in the allegory of 1) Abraham’s son, Isaac, through Sarah, and 2) Abraham’s son, Ishmael, through Hagar, Gal 4:21 through 5:5. The illegitimate sons referenced in Heb 12:8, are the servant sons portrayed in the allegory.