Firstborn Sonship of Christ

Vol 29 No. 4
April 2004
Aricle 47 (continued)



      1 "Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
      2 "'Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them,
      3 "'if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the LORD for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering,'"
Lev 4:1-3.


      A man sins, and a specified clean animal is sacrificed in man's stead. Instead of the sinner dying for his sins, the animal dies in his place. This portrays substitution symbolically and prophetically: the animal dies for man's sin, thereby portraying the divine Kinsman Redeemer dying for man's sins. God ordained this manner of symbolic and prophetic worship to be constantly demonstrated before the eyes of all Adam's descendants throughout the Old Testament, and verified in the New Testament as well as by historic fact.
      Sin must be judged, and this means the sinner must be punished for all his sins, regardless of how great and how many the sins are, or how small and how few the sins are. The wages of sin is death, Rom 5:12; 6:23. There were many different sacrifices especially under the Law Covenant, from the Passover sacrifice (Ex 12:1-14; 1Co 5:7-8) to the drink offering (Num 29), to the red heifer offering, Num 19. And these offerings were sacrificed countless times over. However, each separate kind of offering emphasized an additional prophetic view of the broad redemption ministry of the divine-human Kinsman Redeemer.
      The major symbolic and prophetic emphasis among many similar ones is that the Redeemer would be the "one" divine yet human Substitute for all the sins of all mankind. Of course, this was taught and demonstrated in the Garden of Eden as follows:

1. The Redeemer Would be Human: the Seed of the Woman.

      15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel," Gen 3:15.
      The Lord spoke these words to Satan who had deceived Eve, which led to Adam's sin. We are what we are through Adam, and we are as guilty as he, Rom 5:12-19. Of course, Satan had to obtain permission from God in order to do what he did in the Garden of Eden, just as he did later in the case of Job, Job 1 & 2. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Heb 13:8. There is no variation or shadow of turning in His eternal purpose, Ja 1:17. Before creation, God's purpose included man's fall into sin, and the Lamb being slain to demonstrate God's wisdom, power, love, mercy, wrath, justice, etc., Act 2:22-36; Rom 9:22-23; Eph 1:4-5; 1Pe 1:18-20. This verse (Gen 3:15) reveals in the beginning that the Redeemer would be a human: a descendant of Adam, but through a virgin birth in order to be without the sin nature of Adam and his descendants.
      God gave authority over all creation to Adam – to man, Gen 1:26-31; Ps 8:3-6; Heb 2:5-17. But Adam lost it all to Satan, and now Satan is the god of this world, 2Co 4:4; 1Jn 5:19. Satan could offer it all to Christ (Mt 3:8-10), but that would make Christ the servant of Satan. Christ knew this from the Old Testament Scriptures, and thereby knew that Satan is the archenemy of all that is holy and right. With full understanding, Christ rejected Satan's temptation, in order to redeem mankind and the promised last will and testament inheritance of all things. This inheritance includes the fullness of God's divine nature (Ps 23; Ps 40; 45:6-7; Isa 53; Heb 9:11-28), as God had ordained from the beginning, Gen 1:26-27; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-23; 5:31-32; Jn 17:21-23.

2. The Redeemer Would be the Son of God in a Human Body.

      14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel," Isa 7;14; 9:6-7; Mt 1:18-25.
      The Lord stated in Genesis 3:15 that the Redeemer would be the Seed of the woman, not the Seed of the "man." The "Seed of the woman" is emphasized as the Redeemer who would perform the redemption ministry. Of course, the Redeemer was predestined to be the Son of God in a human body, Phi 2:5-11; Act 2:22-36; Isa 7:14; 9:6-7.
      Obviously, this was revealed to Adam and Eve and their faith descendants from the Garden of Eden on. When Eve was created, Adam called her name "woman." They had eaten of the tree of "death" and passed from "life" to "death." And though they were then dead in sins, God renewed the offer of "life" (divine life) through the Seed of the woman, as a divine Redeemer. So Adam then appropriately gave her also the name of "Eve," which means "life," referring to regaining the promise of divine life through the Seed of the woman.
      The "Seed of the woman" speaks of redemption from death back to the promised life of the tree of life. The Seed of the woman had to die and then rise from the dead in a divine birth into the life of the tree of life. And thus "redeem" the faithful last will and testament people out of death into God's divine state of being, as projected in the beginning, Gen 1:26-27; Jn 17:21-23.
      6 "Therefore say to the children of Israel: 'I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the bondage of the Egyptians, I will deliver you from their slavery, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments," Ex 6:6.
      This is the greatest example of redemption in the Bible foreshadowing the redemption of the Gospel preached in Genesis 3:15. The covenant people were in bitter slavery in Egypt, and God brought devastating judgments upon all of Egypt in the process of redeeming Israel out of Egypt. And Jehovah Himself was very manifestly their Redeemer.
      God taught His covenant, its procedure of worship, and the meaning of the worship process to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and to all Adam's faithful descendants thereafter. How do we know that He did? "The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenants," Ps 25:14.
      Those whom God loves, He chastens (Heb 12:1-17), and the whole intent of chastening is to teach and guide the covenant people in the ways of righteousness. The covenants or last will and testaments are for instructions in the strait and narrow way that leads to divine life. The work of the Holy Spirit is chiefly to this end, and the Spirit is never idle.
      God has always made sure that His faithful servants know His covenants, Ps 25:14; Isa 1:18; 55:1-12. Luke chapters 1 and 2 give us the names of Simeon and Anna, who understood and spoke of the infant Jesus "to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem," Lk 2:25-38. We are assured that there have always been those who understood the redemption cycle quite well.
      One of the major reasons for God putting Israel through many years of bitter slavery in Egypt was to demonstrate that He Himself was and is their Redeemer. Of course, that is obvious, but God intended for the faithful of His people to clearly recognize that He (the Son of God, as the Son of Man, Dan 7:13:14; Zec 12; 14) would be the Seed of the woman, Gen 3:15. Throughout the Old Testament flows the testimony that the Son of God would be the Kinsman Redeemer of Genesis 3:15.
      Abel knew precisely what to offer in sacrifice to God, Gen4:4; Heb 11:4. Enoch pleased God and walked with God for 300 years, Gen 5. He also lived contemporary with Adam for 300 years of Adam's life. Surely, in 300 years Enoch learned much from Adam about God, about the Seed of the woman, about the last will and testament, about the meaning of animal sacrifices, about the whole redemption cycle of the Kinsman Redeemer. However, he obviously learned much more while walking 300 years with God.
     Enoch prophesied that "Jehovah," the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the divine Seed of the woman Redeemer, with Whom he walked, talked, and pleased so much for 300 years, would come with myriads of glorified saints to execute judgment upon the wicked, including Satan and his angels, Gen 5:22; Heb 11:5; Jude 14-15. Enoch pleased God so much that God took him that He should not see death, Heb 11:5. How much would we know if we walked with God for 300 years? Surely we would be full of questions every day!
      Genesis 3:15 says that the Seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent (Satan). Compare this passage with Zechariah 12 and 14, where "Jehovah" (who was pierced) comes with myriads of divine firstborn saints to execute judgment upon all, and to further perform His redemption ministry. And this includes crushing the head of the serpent, Gen 3:16.
    The Old Testament shows many times over that Jehovah would be pierced, would be sacrificed as the Lamb of God, be born again out of the grave, ascend back to heaven, sit and intercede at the right hand of the Father, and return to the earth to finish His redemption ministry.

3. The Redeemer Would be Born of a Virgin to be Without Sin.

      15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel," Gen 3:15.
      14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel," Isa 7:14.
      23 "'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, ‘God with us,'" Mt 1:23.
      These verses emphasize that the Redeemer of Adam and his descendants would Himself be a descendant of Adam – not another Adam created separate from Adam. Eve was created out of Adam, and was joined to him in marriage and childbirth, therefore all her descendants were also Adam's descendant, having his nature, except for the sin factor in the case of the redeeming Seed of the woman. Therefore God generated a life source in the virgin's womb that was nurtured by her after the normal birth pattern, and produced a direct descendant of Adam without Adam's sin nature.

4. The Redeemer Would Live a Perfect Life Without Sin.

      5 'Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats," Exo 12:5.
      22 "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth,
      23 "Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously,"
1Pe 2:22-23.
      5 "And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin," 1Jn 3:5; 2Co 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26.
      Genesis 3:15 says nothing directly about the Seed of the woman being without sin. Yet the whole context of Genesis 3, with the whole Bible, requires a sinless Redeemer. Only one sin on the part of Adam and Eve brought eternal doom, from which only an absolutely sinless Redeemer could redeem. Any rational human being is capable of saving another sinner out of many sinful situations, but none can save another from man's sinful state of being and from the sinner's eternal doom.
     Myriads of animal and fowl sacrifices were killed and burned as burnt offerings throughout the Old Testament. And a major and ever present requirement was that they be without blemish, to portray the Kinsman Redeemer as being without sin. Without exception, sin brought death that could be remedied only by the Redeemer being without sin, Rom 5:12; 2Co 5:21.

5. The Redeemer Would Learn and Grow in Knowledge as a Human.

      9 "But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust (hope) while on My mother's breasts.
      10 "I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God,"
Ps 22:9-10.
      4 "The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.
      5 "The Lord GOD has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away,"
Isa 50:4-5; 49:1-2.
      40 "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him....
      52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men,"
Lk 2:40,52.
      It was the will of the Godhead that Christ as our Redeemer be restricted to the knowledge and experience of a "human" throughout His human life, except that He would be without sin. He was faithfully taught by godly parents and by the Holy Spirit. As our necessary "substitute" Redeemer, He could have no advantage above what was available to the prophets and godly people of the Bible. Except, of course, being without sin, gave Him tremendous advantage constantly.
      He was not influenced by a sin nature, nor by the sin nature of His parents, other children, teenagers, or adults. Read and reread the verses above. How fast and how well He could learn without the multitude of sly, cunning, subtle distractions that flow through the sin nature! As a child, as a teenager, and as an adult, His ever alert mind was thoroughly saturated and keenly polished with the Old Testament Scriptures. How well He knew that "the words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life!" Jn 6:63.

6. The Redeemer Would Perfectly Fulfill the Law Covenant.

      10 "And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.
      11 "For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
      12 "Therefore the Law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
      13 "Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful,"
Rom 7:10-13.
      The Law Covenant set forth the perfect righteousness of God, which righteousness was to be exemplified in the every day lives of the covenant people. Breaking the Law Covenant brought death, as stated in the verses above, and the continued daily breaking of the Law brought greater judgment or a greater intensity of death. Everyone from Adam on will be judged according to their works, Ecc 12:13-14; Jer 17:10; Mt 11:22,24; 2Co 5:10: Rev 22:12.
      The judgment will therefore determine one's state of being in an endless eternity. That state of being will be more severe eternally for those whose sins are more and greater. That will be true with the unsaved and also the unfaithful saved. Conversely, those who are the more faithful will receive a greater measure of the fullness of God's divine attributes than those who are faithful but less faithful – see verses immediately above and others like them. This all flows with the redemption or salvation of Genesis 3:15, which includes all the offerings.
      Christ fulfilled every jot and tittle of the Law Covenant which covered every aspect of human life. Where we failed, He succeeded; and has provided redemption into the divine life of the tree of life.
      13 "And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
      14 "Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
      15 "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it,"
Col 2:13-15.
      The triumph of the Seed of the woman was first over sin and all the effects of sin, but also over all the elementary or physical forces of the universe.

7. The Redeemer Would be Ordained as the New Covenant High Priest, and Would Establish the New Covenant.

      1 "A Psalm of David. The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'
      2 "The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
      3 "Your people shall be volunteers In the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth.
      4 "The LORD has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,'"
Ps 110:1-4.
      This has to be the Son of David (God in a human body, Isa 9:6-7), who is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, and will sit on David's throne in Jerusalem and rule all nations for a thousand years, projected by the seventh day of the creation week, Gen 2:1-3; Isa 11:1-9; Rev 20. He was the Son of God, born into the human race by the virgin birth (Gen 3:15; Isa 7:14; 9:6-7), which human body was born again into a divine body in His resurrection, Ps 2:7; Col 1:18; 2:9; Rev 1:5; Act 13;29-33; 1Co 15:44-50.
      He was ordained as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek with the baptism of John (Ps 110:4; Heb 7; Mt 3:13-17), at which time He received the anointing of the Spirit, Mt 3:13-17. This began His personal ministry on earth, during which time He established the church and commissioned it to perform the first phase of the New Covenant, Mt 26:26-28; 28:18-20; Act 1:1-8; Heb 7. John's baptism, for this age, is the required ordinance which initiates the believer into the body of Christ, Lk 7:29-30. See editor's book entitled "Christ In You."

8. The Redeemer Would Establish the Local Church as His Official Kingdom Embassy During this Age.

      18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this Rock (Christ Himself) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
      19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven,"
Mt 16:18-19.
      28 "But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.
      29 "And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,"
Lk 22:28-39.
      12 "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
      13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,"
Col 1:12-13.
      The church is the embassy of the kingdom (Mt 16:18-19; 18:15-18; 2Co 5:16-21), and is also, metaphorically, the physical now deified body of Christ, 1Co 6:15-17; 2Co 5:16-17; Eph 5:31-32; Co 1:18,21-22,24. Being counted (metaphorically) as Christ's body, we were crucified, died, buried, and born again out of the grave together with Christ into His divine kingdom, 1Co 15:1-4,44-50; 2Co 5:16-21; Col 1:12-14.
      Saved people who are grossly unfaithful in the church must be put out of the divine kingdom back into the current kingdom of Satan, 2Co 5:5. Their works will be burned, yet they will be saved "so as by fire," 1Co 3:15. They have lost the firstborn sonship, and all that uniquely goes with it. Still they will be servant sons (Gal 4:21-31), and must pass through fiery judgment, Mt 18:8-9: the word translated "hell" here is gehenna, not hades. Gehenna is for the unfaithful saved, 1Co 3:15. They will be the "nations" of "servant sons" on the new earth, whose praise and worship will be brought into the New Jerusalem before God by the firstborn sons, Rev 21:23-26. Gehenna will be discussed in a later series of articles.
      We are not yet literally in that divine kingdom. Positionally and metaphorically we are in the divine kingdom by being in the deified body of Christ. The body of Christ is a divine body, of which we are members metaphorically, not actually. The "new man" is Christ in a deified body, but we are still in the "old man" state of being. In our minds we are to be constantly "putting off the old man and putting on the new man," Rom 121:1-2; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:1-10.

9. The Redeemer Would Send the Holy Spirit as the Divine Administrator of the New Covenant.

      1 "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles," Isa 42:1.
      1 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound,"
      2 "To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn,
      3 "To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified,"
Isa 61:1-3; Jer 31:31-34; Joel 2:28-29; Jn 7:39; Rom 8:23.
      Jesus quoted the above verses (Isa 61:1-3) when He began His personal ministry as High Priest of the New Covenant. He was first baptized by John the Baptist, at which time He received the Holy Spirit, Mt 3:13-17. Next, He was tempted by Satan as Adam was, but Jesus answered Satan each of three times with the Scriptures. Satan tempted Jesus three times with "If you be the Son of God," and Jesus rebuffed Satan by identifying Himself indeed as being "the Son of God," and therefore being Satan's God also.
      Luke's Gospel is the clearest here, Lk 4:1-12. Jesus knew at the age of 12 that he was the Son of God (Lk 2:42-49), and had obviously proven this fact from the Scriptures many, many thousands of times in the 18 years or so since He was 12 years old and was already fully assured of the fact.
      Jesus was the Son of God, therefore He could receive the divine indwelling of the Holy Spirit immediately with His ordination as High Priest of the New Covenant, Mt 3:13-17. However, since the church was metaphorically reckoned as being the body of Christ, the church could not receive the divine New Covenant indwelling of the Spirit until the body of Christ was glorified, Jn 7:39.
      After the human body of Christ was born again into a divine state of being, then the church (being reckoned as the actual virgin born body of Christ) could receive the indwelling of the firstfruits of the Spirit (Rom 8:23), as the guarantee that those who are faithful in the church would also receive divine born again bodies when Christ returns, Gal 4:1-7; 2Co 5:1-5,21; 1Co 15:1-3,44-58; Act 2:33.

10. The Redeemer Would Die and be Raised from the Dead to Conquer Death and be fully Qualified for the Life of the Tree of Life.

      17 "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die," Gen 2:17.
      18 "I am He who Is living, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of hades and of death," Rev 1:18.
      Adam and Eve did eat of the tree of "death," and they did die. As a result, all their descendants, except Christ, have been born into a state of sin and death, Rom 3:9-23; 5:12. Christ had to die in order to conquer death: He had to bear our sins, endure God's just wrath against our sins, and rise from the dead, and thereby conquer sin and death in order to qualify as our Kinsman Redeemer.
      It is from this state of death and its consequences that Christ as the Seed of the woman must redeem those who are of faith, as well as the whole creation that Adam yielded up to Satan when he ate the forbidden fruit, Gen 3:1-7; Lk 4:5-6. In order to redeem Adam, his descendants, and his possessions, Christ had to die the death of the cross, be buried for three days and nights, and be raised from the dead into a divine body possessing the full range of God's divine attributes, Gen 1:26-27; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; 5:31-32; Jn 17:21-23; et al.


      2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them,'" Lev 4:2.
      The sin offering here concerns sins which were committed unintentionally. The Scriptures present four different areas of origin, and the sacrifice required in each case as follows:

1. When a Priest Sinned Through Ignorance.

      3 "'If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the LORD for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering," Lev 4:2.
      The priest (each priest) represented the whole nation as a nation of priests, Ex 19:6. In fact, all the priests served on behalf of (in the place of) the nation as a holy covenant people, an elect nation of priests above all other nations. The covenant people were qualifying to be a nation of firstborn sons above the other nations who were predestined by God to be earth bound sons under the covenant nation of divine firstborn sons.
      This looks beyond the seventh millennium into the new earth setting. God created the nations to exist eternally as servant sons under the firstborn sons. These people will be saved "so as by fire," 1Co 3:15. They will not be firstborn divine sons, but will be earthbound servant sons, Gal 4:21-31; 5:1-5; Heb 12:8. This was God's counsel and purpose from the beginning, Gen 4:4-7; 18:18-21; 25:5-6; 27:27-37; Ex 4:24-25; Gal 4:21-31; Eph 1:44-5; Heb 12:8; 2Ti 2:19-21; Rev 21:23-26; 22:1-2.
     When the priest sinned he was to bring a young bull without blemish as a sin offering. The priests were set in high rank of authority and ministry. Therefore the sacrifice being a "male" signified high rank and authority. And that priesthood, in turn, represented the New Covenant priesthood in its future divine state of being. The "young bull" without blemish spoke of the sinless Messiah being crucified in the prime of human life.
      The priest placed his hand on the head of the bull portraying in a metaphor that he became as "one" with the animal in sacrificial semblance. Furthermore, since the priest represented the covenant people, the type portrayed all the faithful covenant people becoming "one" (in experience and destiny) with Christ as our Sacrifice and Redeemer. In the metaphor, the last will and testament people were crucified together with Christ in His body, died together with Christ, were buried together with Christ, and were raised together with Christ in victory over sin and death in divine glory.
      The priest killed the bull and took some of its blood and sprinkled it within the tabernacle before the inner veil with his finger seven times which signified perfect cleansing from sin on the merits of the death and shed blood of the Redeemer. This appears to put special emphasis on rank and authority, because the blood of the sacrifice of the common people was not brought into the tabernacle, as we will see shortly. That rank and authority carries with it much greater accountability. Some of the blood was also put on the horns of the altar of incense which horns also spoke of the power, authority, and honor of Christ and the covenant people. The rest of the blood was poured out at the bottom of the burnt altar.
      The "fat," addressed as the best part of the sacrifices, was always offered in sacrifice with certain inward parts where the fat is found, such as the liver, kidneys, caul; etc., and was burned on the altar. Joseph, for instance, said to his brothers, "Bring your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land," Gen 45:18.
      The remainder of the bull of the sin offering was burned outside the camp:
      11 "For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp.
      12 "Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
      13 "Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach,"
Heb 13:12-13.
      Christ was considered an outcast by the ruling Jews of His day. We are to go to Him outside the gate bearing His reproach. And the more dedicated we are to Him and His Word, the more abundantly we will share in His reproach. Christ did walk the strait and narrow way, and so should we be willing to do.

2. When the Whole Congregation Sinned Through Ignorance.
      13 "Now if the whole congregation of Israel sins unintentionally.....
      14 "When the sin which they have committed becomes known, then the assembly shall offer a young bull for the sin, and bring it before the tabernacle of meeting,"
Lev 4:13-14.
      The process here is the same as that of a priest sinning, except the elders of the nation placed their hands of the head of the sacrifice symbolizing the whole nation becoming "one" with the sacrifice in death, burial, and resurrection into divine glory. Let us remember that this death of an animal sacrifice because of sin began in the Garden of Eden, and is directly associated with the sinner being clothed in the divine righteousness of the Redeeming Seed of the woman, Gen 3:1-21.
      This is the reason for placing the emphasis on "Substitution" at the beginning of this writing of the "sin offering." Even in the sweet savor offerings, the fiery judgment was designed to produce the end result of the divine image and likeness of God, Gen 1;26-27. Let us ever keep in mind that the fiery death of the sacrifices was and is meaningless and empty without the divine resurrection rebirth, required to crush the head of the serpent, Gen 3:15. This was demonstrated in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve being clothed in the skins of the animal sacrifices, Gen 2:15-21; Ps 17:15; 2Co 5:21; Rev 19:7-8.
      Here again the blood of the bull was sprinkled before the inner veil, and put on the horns of the altar of sweet incense. And we note that all the covenant people, including the common people discussed below, were included in this offering: the blood was sprinkled before the veil and applied to the altar within the tabernacle. The "fat," etc., was burned on the altar of burnt offering, while the whole animal otherwise was burned outside the camp.

3. When a Ruler Sinned Through Ignorance.

      22 "When a ruler has sinned, and done something unintentionally against any of the commandments of the LORD his God in anything which should not be done, and is guilty,
      23 "For if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a male without blemish,"
Lev 4:22-23.
      The priest was ordained in a place of high rank and authority. The whole nation of faithful covenant people were and are destined to be born again into divine sonship above all other nations, so a bull was sacrificed for the nation. Here is a ruler over the covenant people. He is of less rank than the priests, and less than the whole nation, but above the common people, so his offering was to be a male of the goats.
      Another large distinction is that the blood of his offering was not sprinkled within the tabernacle, but upon the altar of burnt offering, and also put upon the horns of that same altar. Furthermore, his offering was not burned outside the camp, as in the two cases just discussed, but on the altar before the tabernacle. Again, a part of his sacrifice was to be eaten by the priests (Lev 6:29), which was not true with the offering for the priest or for the whole nation, where the blood was taken into the tabernacle and sprinkled, Lev 6:30; Heb 13:11.

4. When Any of the Common People Sinned Through Ignorance.

      27 "If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty.
      28 "Or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed,"
Lev 4:27-28.
      An item of note is that the common people were to bring a female goat for the sin offering. They were under authority; however, as already stated, they were all included in the sin offering offered by the priest for the whole nation. Moreover, on the day of atonement (only once each year), the two goats served as sin offerings for all the people. The blood of one goat was brought all the way into the Holy of Holies, and sprinkled before and upon the Ark of the Covenant. Therefore, whatever symbolic application found in the offering for the priest or for the nation, were included otherwise for all the people as a firstborn divine people over all nations.
      Here again, all the fat with the liver, the kidneys, the caul, etc., were burned on the altar, with its blood put on the horns of the burnt altar instead of the altar of incense. The remainder of the blood is poured out at the base of the burnt altar. This appears to be associated with the drink offering, which we hope to address later.


      4 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
      5 "And have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
      6 "If they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame,"
Heb 6:4-6.
      26 "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins," Heb 10:26.
      One who does not know, may at first get the opinion that whoever commits a wilful sin is gone forever, with no hope of redemption. But that is not the case, and we will demonstrate that wilful sins may be committed many times by a person, and that person may still repent and be a very faithful servant of the Lord.
      Let us be aware, however, that every sin we commit will be brought into judgment and will affect our eternal state of being, Ecc 12:13-14; Jer 17:10; Mt 12:36-37; Lk 12:2-3; 2Co 5:10; Heb 4:13; Rev 22:12. More on this perhaps later. At this point, the willful sin will be reviewed briefly. A willful sin is one where we think, say, or do something that is wrong, and know that we are doing wrong. We may make light of it in our mind and emotions, but we know it is wrong.
      Joseph's brothers knew they were wrong when they conspired evil against Joseph. They planned to kill him, but sold him as a slave, Gen 17:18-28. Then, again, they knowingly deceived their father about Joseph's fate. They knew they were doing wrong, but their hatred of Joseph was so great they committed this great sin. However, though the Lord forgave them, and Joseph also forgave them, the Lord convicted and troubled their hearts severely, Gen 42 thru 45.
      David committed major willful sins of adultery, murder (2Sa 11 & 12), numbering Israel (2Sa 24); etc., for which he and Israel suffered greatly, but David was forgiven when he repented (2Sa 12:13; Ps 51:1-17), was, in the end, honored as the greatest of the kings of Israel, and was honored generally as a man after God's own heart, 1Sa 13:14.
      However, one may persist in sin willfully to the point he is cut off from the testament people, without any further access to forgiveness. These people will not be firstborn sons, but will be servant other sons.