Firstborn Sonship of Christ
Vol 25 No 12
The New Birth
Series Number: 25
INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT
The word, Elohim, signifies the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and yet there are times when the word Jehovah is used specifically of the Father (Ps 110:1; Isa 61:1) and other times specifically of the Son, Zec 12:10 and context; 14:5; et al. Therefore, Jehovah Elohim may signify either the Father or the Son or the Trinity. The words "Jehovah Elohim"(Lord God) are used often in the current articles to better associate Jehovah Elohim in the flesh with the Messiah in the Old Testament and with Jesus or Christ in the New Testament.
TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU
7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.
8 "‘Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
9 "‘You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel,'" Ps 2:7-9.
Let us briefly analyze these verses in the light of further correlation of scripture:
1. A Covenant Promise.
This is that promise made to the fathers just mentioned in Act 13:33. The promise was made many, many times in different words and types, but this is specifically referenced in Act 13:33. The resurrection of the human body of Christ into a divine body was and is vital in the eternal purpose of God.
46 "Then He said to them, 'Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.....
48 "And you are witnesses of these things," Lk 24:46,48.
2. A Time Related Action.
"Today I have begotten You," is an action determined before the ages, but not taken until after the ages (time) began. In God's purpose, Christ was a Lamb slain before the foundation (creation) of the world, and in God's foreknowledge and experience these things had already happened, and always had been. God's knowledge and experience have always been infinite. There was never a time when God grew into infinity, whether in knowledge or otherwise. Yet, the human birth, human life, crucifixion, death, burial, and divine resurrection birth of that human body came some four thousand years after Adam was created.
3. A Crowning Victory.
Other things were also vital, but this was the ultimate goal, the predestined climax, the crowning victory of Christ's first coming, which guarantees the same divine resurrection birth for Jehovah Elohim's faithful covenant companions.
Fallen angels of many kinds, often called demons, originally had their own dwelling places, dominions, and authorities, Jude 6. It appears that all angels passed through a period of testing; most of them stood fast and overcame, while others, failed, Jude 6. As a grand finale, God created man, with the design that Jehovah Elohim would become a human, undergo a prescribed and severe covenant training where man has failed, overcome that severe training, and create a divine human body – a divine man, fully in the image of God. The major emphasis in this mystery of godliness is seen in Rom 9:22-23. God's awesome and glorious purpose was and is to demonstrate His love, compassion, merciful forbearance, justice, wrath, etc., on those who refuse His gracious offer of mercy which may include both initial and special salvation. And at the same time demonstrate His love, compassion, mercy, power, and the riches of His glory on those who will, by His grace, believe, obey, and persevere in doing so, Rom 9:22-23.
4. Of Mature Age.
The normal reading of these verses (Ps 2:7-9) reveals that these words were not spoken to an infant, but to Jehovah Elohim (the Son of David) in a human body, following His crucifixion, death, burial, descent into hades, ascent out of hades, and resurrection birth. This is required if we follow the proper correlation of scriptures from Isa 7:14 and 9:6-7, scripture by scripture, on through to Ps 110:1; Zec 14:1-4; Dan 7:13-27. This correlation of scripture from the Old Testament was available to Nicodemus and all others in his day just as it is for us today. We can easily trace "God with us" from Isa 7:14 to Dan 7:13-14; 12:3,12, and on through to Zec 14:1-4; Dan 7:18-27 and through the obvious type of Gen 2:1-3. This will unequivocally establish the new birth of the human body of Jehovah Elohim as those prophetic Old Testament passages were fulfilled, and also from those Old Testament passages of the new birth of the saints in the future at the beginning of the seventh day (seventh millennium) of rest, Gen 2:1-3; Ex 20:8-11; Isa 56; 57; 58. See also Heb 4:3-4 (3; 4:1-11).
5. Having Been Perfected.
Jehovah Elohim (the Father) in this passage (Ps 2:7-9) is speaking to Jehovah Elohim (the Son) who has just been born from a mere human body into a divine human body. This requires "today" to be a day of fully qualified and consummate accomplishment. This could not be said to Christ until His human life-struggle was over, death, hell, and the grave were conquered, and His human body had passed through the divine threshold into a deified human body. This was and is the mystery of godliness according to God's covenant purpose.
8 "Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
9 "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him," Heb 5:8-9.
12 "Blessed is the man who endures temptation (trials, covenant discipline); for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the
Lord has promised to those who love Him," Ja 1:12.
12 "Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been tested and approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him," Ja 1:12. NAS.
The substance of the above verses, applicable to the earthly ministry of Christ and His faithful covenant companions, is found throughout the Old Testament. Though Christ was Jehovah Elohim in a human body, He had to abide by the divine pre-creation covenant agreement within the Godhead, Phi 2:6-11; Eph 1:4-5,11; 1Pe 1:18-20; Rev 13:8; Jn 4:34; 17:24.
6. Emphasis on "Today."
We must not dissociate verses 8 and 9 from verse 7 and the decree that God declared, with emphasis on the word "today." Therefore, the Father, Jehovah Elohim, said to the Son, who is also Jehovah Elohim, in a new born divine human body:
"I will declare a decree: The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me...."
But a new born infant cannot understand and cannot talk. Nevertheless, what a monumental landmark in human history, that Jehovah Elohim should be born as an infant into the human family, Isa 7:14; 9:6-7! These two prophetic utterances should stand out and take such prophetic preeminence that no Bible student of the Old Testament could resist an insatiable urge to search out every prophetic utterance concerning the human life of God within the human family. The announcement that a "virgin" should conceive and bear a child should have been immediately associated with Gen 3:15, where the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.
It should be obvious to us that God was pleased to make a great many prophetic utterances, command many foreshadowing ceremonies, and was eager and ready to reveal the meaning of all these things to those who would passionately believed and obey His Word. Nicodemus could have known as Simeon apparently did. Indeed Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were believers, but secret disciples, recognizing Jehovah Elohim in human flesh, and responded with courage and compassion to His lifeless body on the cross, Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:43-46; Lk 23:50-54; Jn 19:38-42.
Again, "Ask of Me..." And the response is once more, an infant cannot understand and cannot speak. Had Nicodemus and Joseph more passionately traced and put those prophecies in perspective, they would have with greater conviction recognized the suffering Servant of Isa 53 and Ps 22 to be Jehovah Elohim of Zec 12:10; Ps 40:6-8; 16:7-11; 68:17-18; 110:1-4; 102:23-28; et al. They were disciples, though secretly.
7. "Ask of Me..."
Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations and the ends of the earth for your inheritance. Ask of me "Today"
you have fully qualified for this inheritance. Jehovah Elohim in a human body had also just qualified for the greatest inheritance of all: the justification, that is, the deification of an innumerable host of human companions, who in this life are qualifying to share the divine nature of His firstborn sonship, Rev 7:9-17; 14:1-5; 19:7-8. Perhaps second to this and along with it is Jehovah Elohim in His human body being raised up and placed "far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come,"
Eph 1:18-21. However, a much lesser, but still an important covenant promise, was that of sitting on the throne of David as the Son of David (as Jehovah Elohim) and ruling the nations for the seventh millennium as also promised, Isa 9:6-7; et al. At that time all nations will know and worship Jesus Christ as Jehovah Elohim on the throne of David in Jerusalem.
8. An Advocate with the Father.
"Today I have begotten You" also announces the arrival on a new plateau in our correlation: Jehovah Elohim will now serve as the fully qualified covenant Mediator, as the process of qualifying firstborn sons for the election continues with the Son at the right hand of the Father in heaven. This is obvious in the remaining verses of Psalm 2, Ps 2:10-12.
In conjunction with this higher plateau, the Holy Spirit through David in another Psalm says:
1 "A Psalm of David. The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool,'.....
4 "The LORD has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,'" Ps 110:1,4; Heb 5:5-10.
Nicodemus should have understood this also, because the seventh day (millennium) of rest must be figured in between Ps 110:1-4 and Zec 14:1-4, regardless of when the human life, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection birth should occur. Christ must sit for some amount of time at the right hand of the Father until He returns as Jehovah Elohim with all His saints at the end of the sixth millennium, Zec 14:1-4.
9. Jehovah Elohim and the Throne of David, Isa 7:14; 9:6-7.
Christ, (as Jehovah Elohim, "whom they have pierced," Zec 12:10) coming for His saints (Dan 12:1-3; Zec 12; Lk 12:36), judging them in the air before all creation (Dan 7:9-12; Rev 6:12-17; 1Th 2:19-20; 4:13-18; 5:23), fronting them before the Father in full divine dress (1Th 3:13; Rev 7:9-17; 14:1-5), and after singing praises before the throne (Rev 14:1-5), singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb (Rev 15:1-4), and thus briefly sharing in the marriage feasting in heaven, Christ will descend with the saints and angels to execute God's wrath from Jerusalem, Zec 13:1-5; Jude 14-15; 2Th 1:7-10. This must all be correlated with Dan 7:13-14,18,22,26-27, where Christ in His deified body receives the throne of David (Dan 7:13-14) – See editor's book, Heaven Standing Open.
This is the occasion (all of it public to all creation) 1) when the heavens are rolled back, Dan 7:9-10,13-14; Rev 6:12-17; Jn 1:51; 2) when God in the presence of all creation chides the nations for their unbelief, Ps 2:4-6; 59:8; Pro 1:26 (24-30); Rev 6:12-17; 3) when Christ receives the kingdom and throne of David, Dan 7:13-14; 4) when Christ and the angels descend for the saints – the faithful covenant people of all ages, Dan 12:2-3; Isa 60:1-3; 61:10-11; 62:1-3; 1Th 2:19-20; 3:13; 4:13-18; 5) when Christ deifies (justifies, gives birth to) the bodies of the saints, Job 19:25-27; Ps 17:15; Dan 12:2-3,12; Isa 40:31; 43:1-3,21; 46:13; 54:17; 55:12-13; 60:8; 61:1 thru 62:3; Rom 4:24-25; 1Co 15:35-58; 6) when the saints are judged, Ecc 12:13-14; Dan 12:2-3,12; Mt 24:36-51; 25:1-30; Rev 11:14-18; 7) when Christ presents the saints in holiness (deified bodies) before the Father, Isa 8:18 (13-18); Heb 2:13; 1Th 3:13; Rev 7:9-17; and, 8) when Christ descends with the bright shining (deified) saints and with the angels in flaming fire to execute judgment and purge the earth of the wicked rule of Satan and man for the seventh day (millennium) of rest, Zec 14:1-4; Joel 2:1-11; Zec 14:1-15; Jude 14-15; Rev 14:1-5; Rev 16:1-21.
FURTHER CORRELATION WITH PSALM 2:7
7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You," Ps 2:7.
1 "To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.
2 "He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.
3 "He has put a new song in my mouth -- Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD," Ps 40:1-3.
These are words of comfort, joy, and praise to God for His meticulous, severe, and yet victory producing covenant training of us throughout our lives. God's discipline will bring us through many difficult experiences where we can praise Him in the words written here. David had many experiences of this nature, and so did Jehovah Elohim in a human body, undergoing the same necessary covenant discipline.
Did Jesus ever sing the psalms? See Heb 2:12, quoted from Ps 22:22, which says He sang praises to the Father in His great assembly (Ps 22:25; 35:18; 40:9-10), which was the church, His faithful covenant people, His great assembly on earth at the time. In all probably, He sang the psalms many times in the synagogue before His personal ministry, with clear understanding as to who He was, Lk 2:40,49.
On Lk 2:40, A. T. Robertson from the Greek standpoint says: "Here in addition to the bodily development Luke has ‘filled with wisdom' (plhroumenon sofiai). Present passive participle, showing that the process of filling with wisdom kept pace with the bodily growth."
Without question, Jesus studied the Scriptures ardently and knew well the psalms from His youth, Lk 2:49. Jehovah Elohim became a human and lived as a human from conception through the cross as our human example Redeemer.
He started as an infant, grew as a human, dutifully and passionately studied the Scriptures, learned right and wrong, and at an early age learned who He was and His purpose in life as a human and as Jehovah Elohim all the way to the cross, His resurrection birth, and on. Moreover, He thoroughly understood all the prophecies that are still future to us today.
Though He was not anointed with the Holy Spirit as High Priest until the beginning of His personal ministry, the Holy Spirit was with Him training and teaching Him perfectly every step of His younger life. Also, He learned full and complete obedience by the things He suffered (experienced, endured, Heb 5:8), not only in His personal ministry but also in His earlier life.
As David was quite a singer and obviously spent His youth joyfully immersed in the Scriptures – please read the large number of psalms he wrote, and muse on their content. However, Christ spent more time than David in the Scriptures and in the psalms of David which very much reflect the human life of Jehovah Elohim – much more than we think.
Read the psalms, of David especially, and in your mind try to picture the understanding and emotions of Jesus as He sang each one of those psalms. To do so will enrich our appreciation of the psalms. When the first person singular is used, apply it to Jesus because He said "I" when He sang or read each psalm where "I" appears. When "I" clearly refers to others, He no doubt used it in the proper perspective. In many, if not most, of the psalms the "I" can refer both to David (or the psalm writer) and to Christ.
As Jesus sang Psalm 40, knowing the Scriptures so well, what do you suppose was the greatest "pit" in His prophetic life that would surface in His mind again and again, and more so as the cross drew nearer? – "You will not leave My soul in sheol. You will not allow Your Holy One see corruption," Ps 16:7-11. Of course, the Father would deliver Him out of sheol and not leave His body in the grave to see corruption, Ps 16:7-11. Indeed, we can correctly apply most of Ps 40 to God delivering us from many painful experiences, and when Jesus sang this psalm He would do the same, but the greatest "pit" of all for Jesus was the one that resulted in His resurrection birth into a divine human body.
AGAIN, A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME
6 "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened (a body You have prepared for me,
Ps 40:6, LXX; Heb 10:5). Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7 "Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 "I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your Law is within my heart,'"
Compare this with Heb 10:5-10, where in verse 5, the Holy Spirit moved the writer to quote the Septuagint which says, "but a body You have prepared for Me."
As the body has ears, so an ear requires a body; and as the boring of the ear signified voluntary service, the ear also speaks of understanding. The ear is a door to the mind, and one of the functions of the mind is the "will."
BY THE WHICH "WILL"
9 "Then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.' He takes away the first that He may establish the second.
10 "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,"
"He takes away the first that He may establish the second"
– this refers to the removal of the first covenant that resulted in condemnation and slavery of the flesh body, and the establishment of the second speaks of the New Covenant which results in the sanctification (divine birth) of the flesh body in a new divine body like that of Christ. This is provided only for those who are faithful members of the body of Christ, a true local church.
The proper godly exercise of the "will"
is the primary intent of these passages, both in Ps 40:6-10 and Hebrews 10:5-10. Though the "will"
is the chief point of emphasis in the passage, the "body"
is vitally important throughout the Scriptures, for it is by the "body of Christ"
and His church as His body, that we are sanctified and have the hope of the new birth resurrection when Christ returns. It is our "will"
that the Holy Spirit uses to direct our bodies and our whole person into a sanctified state as members of the body of Christ.
Christ is clearly the One under consideration in Ps 40:6-8, therefore the psalm is a Messianic psalm, and we should consider how He would sing the rest of the psalm. Certainly this enriches the meaning of the "pit"
in the resurrection of Christ and the praise that follows.
GOOD NEWS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
9 "I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness in the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain My lips, O LORD, You Yourself know.
10 "I have not hidden Your righteousness within My heart; I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great assembly,"
Ps 40:9-10; 22:22.
The "good news of righteousness"
referenced above is God's righteousness – God's divine nature credited to the faithful covenant people throughout the Bible in progressive justification as they walk in the steps of Abraham's faith, Rom 4:12-22. This righteousness constitutes the divine wedding garments of bridal relations (Rev 19:7-8; Ps 61:10 thru 62:3) -- very fitting for the resurrection birth of the body of Christ out of the horrible pit into a heavenly deified human body – a glorious consummation into a grander plateau of ministry, Ps 40:1-10; 1Co 15:44-50; Ps 16:7-11; Phi 3:7-14,20-21.
These are words that we should all be able to sing heartily in the great assembly, but we should also be faithful witnesses of His resurrection birth and glory to those outside the assembly, which aids to attain that wedding "crown of rejoicing"
(1Th 2:10-20) and "hope of glory"
which the faithful covenant people have within the body of Christ, Rom 5:2; Eph 1:18; Col 1:5,23,27. These are also words that David could sing and did sing, and they are words that Christ sang and no doubt also sang in the assembly after His resurrection birth, Ps 22; Heb 2.
CHRIST CONFESSING OUR SINS
21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,"
What does that really mean? Did the Father really make Christ to be sin? But still what does that mean? And what does it mean to be made the righteousness of God in Christ? It means justification. And justification in this life points to the new birth into the divine righteousness (divine nature) of God when Christ returns -- a resurrection birth for the faithful covenant people, Phi 3:9; Mt 6:33; 2Co 5:21; 2Co 9:10; 1Co 15:29-58; Gal 5:5; 2Ti 4:8. But what does it mean for Christ to be made sin?
24 "Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness -- by whose stripes you were healed,"
Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree (on the cross). For emphasis, we again ask the question, what does that really mean? When did He bear our sins in His own body on a tree? On the cross, of course, during the three hours of darkness, Mt 27:45-46; Mk 15:33-34; Lk 23:44-46. Obviously, during these three hours Christ truly bore our sins in His own body on the cross.
During those three hours Christ was enduring the wrath of God against our sins – the most horrible experience that Jehovah Elohim ever endured was these three hours of inexpressible wrath from God against our sins in an otherwise perfectly sinless human body. It is difficult to imagine the constant, unrelenting torment of the rich man in hell (Lk 16:19-31), and of those in the lake of fire for ages of ages, Rev 14:9-11. It appears that sin is far worse than we are able to understand. Christ dreaded that experience with inexpressible agony before the cross, to the extent His sweat was mixed with His blood, Lk 22:42-44. "He made Him to be sin who knew
(had experienced) no sin."
Jehovah Elohim in His human body was made our "old man,"
in order to destroy our old man, which is our sin nature, Rom 6:6.
Jesus really bore our sins and the sins of the world, as the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29,36) in His own body on the cross. Jehovah Elohim became a human, kept the perfect Law of God, never sinned the least sin, yet bore our sins in His own body for three hours on the cross. He did this that we might become (be born into) the divine righteousness of God in Him, 2Co 5:21. Our sins became His sins, that His divine righteousness should become our righteousness in a divine birth when Christ returns. And we are earnestly waiting for that hope of God's righteousness, Gal 5:5.
Do you suppose that Jesus knew this during His lifetime? Is it possible that he prayed and talked with the Father about this sin-bearing experience during His lifetime? As our "sin offering,"
He made our sins as His sins and bore our sins as His own sins, when He really had committed no sin at all Himself.
A major part of the pre-creation covenant between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit was that Jehovah Elohim become a human and be made a "sin offering"
for the human race, Jn 1:29; 1Pe 1:18-20. Is it possible that this experience (and its consequence) was what He dreaded most in the garden of Gethsemane, Lk 22:37-46? Could this have pervaded His mind and psyche from His early life?
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,"
Isa 53:10-12 reveals that it was in the pre-creation covenant that Jehovah Elohim in a human body would be the "sin offering"
for the human race. The many multiplied hundreds of thousands of "sin offerings"
from Adam to Christ all pointed to Jehovah Elohim becoming a human "sin offering."
We can only expect to find this conscious awareness in the Messiah of Himself being the sin offering in these Messianic passages of the Old Testament. Is it too much to conclude that such was the mind of Christ as He sang Psalm 40:11-12?
"11 "Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD; let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve Me.
12 "For innumerable evils have surrounded Me; My iniquities have overtaken Me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of My head; Therefore My heart fails Me,
" Ps 40:11-12; Ps 68.
Indeed, how did Jesus sing these words? We are to read them, memorize them, and sing them as applicable to us. Being constantly aware that He was to be the "sin offering"
for the world, Jesus would sing them in perspective of bearing our sins in His own body on the cross. The Lord had to be constantly on guard in all moments of every day in order to love and choose righteousness and hate iniquity, Ps 45:6-7; Heb 2:8-9.
God loves the world and is not desirous that any should perish, yet He has prepared eternal punishment for those whom He knew would not repent. Jehovah Elohim died for the sins of the world and prayed for that motley crowd before the cross, fully aware that most of them would never qualify for the firstborn sonship.
BUY WITHOUT MONEY
1 "Ho! Everyone who is thirsting, be you coming to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price,
2 "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance,"
We are back to Isa 55 and the sure mercies of David which sprung us into a very revealing correlation of scriptures. It should be obvious that the sure mercies of David cover all the covenant promises which necessarily lead to the cross and death of the human body of Jehovah Elohim, and then to all the avenues of divine glory and blessings that flow from the cross and the resurrection birth of Christ.
The waters of Isa 55:1-2 are the waters of life. We are bidden to be constantly coming and drinking and eating without money and without price. Yet there is a price – a very great price. That price is our life (the life that includes all that we are – all that we imagine, think, say, hear, do, feel, and aspire to). It will cost us our life. We must lose our earthy life for Christ's sake in order to gain Christ, who is the divine life that God has promised to the faithful covenant people, Lk 9:23-26; Rom 12:1-2; Phi 3:7-14,21.
But this is a price even the poorest can pay. One's life is more precious than all the riches, possessions, and pleasures of the world put together – yet even the poorest have life. And that life is easier for the poor to give than it is for the rich. In the place of one's human life, God has promised divine life to those who will deny themselves, take up the cross daily, and follow Christ, Lk 9:23-26.
The Holy Spirit is given to those in the Lord's church as an earnest pledge that this mortal body will be swallowed up of divine life when Christ returns IF we are willing, by grace through faith, to bear the reproach of the cross in this life, 2Co 4:7-12; 4:17 thru 5:5,14-21; et al.
Observe again that God set this requirement before the Old Testament covenant people:
15 "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil...
19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live,"
We must chose "life,"
that we may live in this life and qualify through God's covenant training for divine life in all ages to come. To those under covenant training the Scriptures say:
5 "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening
(covenant disciplinary training) of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 "For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and is scourging (is disciplining) every son whom He is receiving,"
The Old Testament covenant people were under covenant training for the firstborn sonship (Ex 4:22-23; 19:1-6; Deu 28; 30), just as we are, Rom 8:28-30,36; Heb 3; 4; 5:8-9; 11; 12:1-29. If we properly endure that training, we will be approved and accepted into that sonship and receive that new and divine birth in the resurrection, 1Co 15:1-2,29-58; Gal 4:19 thru 5:5; Heb 5:8-9; 12:1-29. If we are disqualified (1Co 9:27 thru 10:12), we will be cut off from the firstborn sonship (Gal 5:1-4; Heb 12:1-21), and will fall back under the illegitimate, slave son status, Gal 4:19 thru 5:5; Heb 12:8,15-21.
Therefore let us: "Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near,"
Isa 55:6. Faithfulness is required for election into the firstborn sonship.
FOR HE HAS GLORIFIED YOU
4 "Indeed I have given Him as a witness to the people, A leader and commander for the people.
5 "Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you, Because of the LORD your God, and the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you,"
The words "for He has glorified you"
are probably addressed to Israel, in contrast to the nations, for the glory belongs to Israel (Isa 46:13; 48:9-12; Rom 9:4), but the fact is also true with Christ first and foremost. The covenant people, Israel and the church, are predestined to be one and the same bride of Christ, as we will again see from Isa 54 shortly. And this will be true because of the divine "oneness"
that God has predestined between the faithful covenant people and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
21 "That they all may be ONE, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be ONE in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be ONE just as We are ONE:
23 "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in ONE, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."
1 "For both He who is constantly sanctifying and those who are being sanctified are all of ONE, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 "Saying: ‘I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You,'"
Being made ONE with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit equates receiving the glory (the divine nature) of God. Likewise, being IN the Father, IN the Son, and IN the Holy Spirit also means possessing the divine nature of God. It is on this basis of receiving the firstborn sonship that the Holy Spirit is given to those qualifying for that divine sonship, Jn 7:37-39; Gal 4:4-7; Rom 8:23-30; 2Co 4:17 thru 5:5,14-21.
As is the Son, so His faithful covenant companions will be in the resurrection. All the faithful covenant people have been grafted into God's Israel – into Israel's covenant position, (Rom 2:28-29; 11:11-22), and will be one and the same bride of Christ in the resurrection, Isa 54:1-5; Gal 4:19 thru 5:5.
We are still involved in the "sure mercies of David,"
(Isa 55:4) which include all the covenant promises, and which specifically include and are founded upon the unique and divine resurrection birth of Christ's (Jehovah Elohim's) human body, Isa 55:1-4; Act 13:29-25; 1Co 15:44-50.
GOD'S GLORY BELONGS TO ISRAEL
4 "Who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the service of God, and the promises,"
The glory, the covenants, the covenant promises, the adoption (the firstborn sonship) – all belong to Israel, Rom 9:4. That is what we see throughout both Old and New Testaments.
GLORY TO NO OTHER
9 "For My name's sake I will defer My anger, And for My praise I will restrain it from you, so that I do not cut you off.
10 "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 "For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another.
12 " Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last,"
Israel is God's called (His elect), and He will not give His glory to another. The church has been grafted into Israel by means of being the body of Christ. Christ is the Seed of Abraham and we (in the church) are seed of Abraham by being in the body of Christ – being "Christ's"
in this unique sense, Gal 3:27-29. Since God's glory, the promises, the covenants, etc., belong to Israel (Rom 9:4), these things also belong to the church because the church is now God's Israel, Rom 2:28-29; 11:11-22; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:10-22; 3:6; Heb 8:8-10; 10:16-25; 1Pe 2:5,9. Of course, the Scriptures are speaking of the faithful in Israel and the church – they alone are predestined by God through His Word as the faithful and spiritual descendants of faithful Abraham, Rom 4; 11; Gal 3; Eph 2:10-22; 1Pe 2:4-9.
FOR ISRAEL MY GLORY
3 "I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory,"
Isa 46:13; 54:17. Compare Rom 9:4; Jer 23:5-8; 33:15-16.
1. I Will Bring My Righteousness Near.
This is God's righteousness; all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, Isa 64:6. God's righteousness is an integral part of God's divine nature. God made Jehovah Elohim in human flesh to be sin, the One who knew no sin, that we should be made "the righteousness of God in Him" (in His body), 2Co 5:21. Being made the righteousness of God means being made divine – being born again. This is precisely what being justified means.
In this life, God's righteousness is only credited on the basis of faith to those in proper covenant standing with God. The covenant people will not actually receive that divine righteousness of the new birth until the resurrection, (Rom 4:22-25 (4:1-25)), but it is credited to them now on the basis of walking in the "steps" of Abraham's faith, Rom 4:12-22.
Rom 4 emphasizes at length the "steps" of Abraham's faithfulness – his by grace through faith works, his persevering by faith in spite of great odds and many years of patient waiting. Every step of Abraham's faith was credited for God's righteousness, but we can forfeit that new birth righteousness, Eze 3:20-21; 18:24; 33:12-13; 2Pe 1:5-10. Paul counted all things but loss in order to gain that divine nature, the righteousness of God, which is by faith, Phi 3:7-14,21. That righteousness of God's divine nature is promised only to the faithful seed of Abraham (Gal 3) -- to God's elect, who are the faithful in Israel (in the Lord's church in this age), Rom 4; 11; Gal 3; 2Pe 1:1-10.
A proper translation of Rom 4:22-25 is:
22 "And therefore it was reckoned (credited) to him for righteousness.
23 "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was counted to him;
24 "But for us also, in whom it is about to be vested, to the ones constantly believing on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead – (His resurrection birth);
25 "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."
In Christ's resurrection, His human body was divinely born into a deified state, which included the fullness of God's divine nature, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; 1Co 15:44-50; Col 2:9.
The NKJ says "because of our justification." But that is incorrect. Jesus was not raised "because of" our justification, but in order to procure our justification, just as is true of His life and death. Jehovah Elohim's human body was born again in His resurrection for the purpose of creating a divine human body in order that our bodies can be born into a divine state of life when Christ returns.
The KJV is accurate. Had Christ not been raised from the dead, there would be no justification or new birth. This passage must be correlated with the many others that point to the resurrection or to Christ's return as the time when the faithful will experience the resurrection birth into His firstborn sonship. To this end Paul wrote of His sacrifice of all things in order to "gain Christ" Phi 3:7-14,21:
9 "And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;
11 "If by any means I might attain to the resurrection (birth) of the dead," Phi 3:9-11 (7-14,21).
2. My Salvation Will Not Tarry.
13 "I bring near My righteousness; it shall not be far off, and My salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel My glory," Isa 46:13.
This salvation is explicitly special for Israel, God's covenant people. Of course, it includes salvation from hell, but it is specifically restricted to the faithful covenant people – the bride people of the firstborn sonship.
10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels," Isa 61:10.
Here the Holy Spirit associates the "garments of salvation," and the "robe of righteousness" with the appropriate attire of the Groom and His bride. As we see in these articles and throughout the Scriptures, God is dealing with Israel: He is preparing a special and faithful people out of Israel, and now (by the church) out of all nations, as a divine bride people, over and above all other nations, Ex 19:4-6; Deu 7:6-11; 26:16-19. We will later see in Isa 54 that the faithful in Israel and in the church will be one and the same bride people. The New Jerusalem is the city of the bride (Rev 21:2,9-11), and that city is promised to Abraham and his faithful covenant descendants, Heb 11:9-16; Rev 3:12; 21:12-14.
11 "For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations," Isa 61:10-11.
Fall and winter speak of death while spring and summer testify of a resurrection birth and life. The Scriptures here associate the event of spring with the resurrection birth of God's faithful covenant people into His divine righteousness. We must remember that all our righteous-nesses are as filthy rage (Isa 64:6), and God's righteousness is credited to us – "their righteousness is of Me," Isa 54:17; Jer 23:5-9; 33:`5-16. Again, God's righteousness is one of God's attributes of deity, representing the whole of God's divine nature, as normally is the case with God's glory, life, holiness, love, compassion, etc.
3. A Brilliant Light.
1 "For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.
2 "The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name.
3 "You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God," Isa 62:1-3.
How does God's righteousness shine "as brightness?" How does His covenant salvation burn "as a lamp" or torch and thereby radiate light? Of course, the church is the spiritual light of the world (Mt 5:14-16), in the sense of righteous testimony in words and deeds.
But the glory of the Lord appeared as a pillar of cloud by day, and as a pillar of fire to give light by night as Israel left Egypt and journeyed forty years in the wilderness, Ex 13:21-22; 14:19-20,24. The glory of the Lord blazed brilliantly and furiously as a mountain on fire at Mount Sinai, Ex 24:16-17; 34:29-35. When the tabernacle was finished, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and Moses could not enter, obviously because the glory of the Lord shined so brilliantly, Ex 40:34-35; 2Ch 5:13-14. The glory of the Lord appeared – evidently shined forth with brilliant light at the door of the tabernacle, Lev 9:23-24; Num 14:10; 16:19,42. The glory of the Lord radiated before the ark of the covenant within the holy place, Ex 25:22. The glory of the Lord filled the temple of Solomon to the extent the priests could not minister in the temple, 2Ch 5:13-14; 7:1-3.
The Lord's human body was transfigured on the mountain and shined as brightly as the sun before Peter, James, and John, Mt 17:2. As Saul (Paul) drew near to the city of Damascus, the glory of the Lord shined upon him from heaven brighter than the sun at midday, Act 26:13. The Lord and his saints and angels will return in flaming fire and brilliant shining glory, 2Th 1:7-8; 2:8; Titus 2:13.
God says "Israel is My glory," and "I will not give My glory to another." As Gentiles, we can share in that divine glory only by being grafted into Israel; and that engrafting is done only by being joined to the body of Christ, a true local church, Gal 3:27-29; Eph 2:11-22; 3:6; 2Pe 1:1-10; 2Co 6:14-18. Moreover, we must continue very faithfully bearing much fruit, otherwise we will be cut off and fail to make our calling and election sure, Jn 15:1-6; Rom 11:11-22; 2Pe 1:1-10.
SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND
6 "Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.
7 "Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon," Isa 55:6-7.
These words were written to covenant people who had strayed from the Lord, and the Lord is crying, "Forsake your evil ways and return to the Lord." The first act of faith is a necessary beginning, but the Scriptures are concerned with us taking up the cross and following in the way that leads to divine righteousness, divine life, and divine glory, Mt 7:13-27; Mk 8:24-28.
33 "But be you seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you," Mt 6:33.
Note how this verse follows in the train of Isa 55:6-7. We are to busy ourselves all day long with the kingdom of God and His righteousness, His life, His glory, His holiness, His Word, His kingdom. We must give all diligence to make our calling and election sure, 2Pe 1:1-10.
Faithfulness (by grace through faith) is required in order to receive God's glory, Rom 8:6,13,17-30; Phi 3:7-14,21. We must persevere by grace through faith in order to make our calling and election sure and share in God's election, 2Pe 4:1-10; Rom 11:11-22.
THE LORD SHALL BE YOUR EVERLASTING LIGHT
1 "Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
2 "For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
3 "The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising," Isa 60:1-3.
The glory of the Lord speaks of the majesty, power, praises, mighty works, etc., of the Lord, but the glory, as we have seen, also speaks of the brilliant shining attribute of God's person. God demonstrated this attribute throughout the Old Testament, and includes it as one of the covenant promises to all the faithful covenant people, as seen in Isa 60; 61; 62; at al.