Firstborn Sonship of Christ

December 2002
Article 39
By Editor



      "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him," 2Co 5:21.
      The "righteousness of God" addresses God's divine nature. God's righteousness is one of God's divine attributes, and usually, as in this context, is generic of all the attributes of God's. We cannot have one of God's divine attributes without having all of them. The church, in the metaphor of being the body of Christ, is reckoned as or credited with possessing all the divine fullness of God, Eph 1:21-22; 3:19; 5:31-32; Col 1:19; 2:9-10; 3:10; 2Pe 1:4; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; et al.
      God did not initially create man in His divine image and likeness. The Scriptures emphasize again and again that only those who overcome in God's covenant discipline will be transformed into the divine image and likeness of God when the process of redemption is completed, Rom 8:28-30; 12:1-2; 1Co 9:16 thru 10:18; Heb 3; 4; 5:8-9; 12:1-11; et al. Covenant discipline is the major factor in this life on earth. We must not only believe, but we must continue believing and obeying by grace through faith throughout our lives, Heb 3:1 thru 4:16.
      By water baptism, we were baptized into the church, which, in the metaphor, is the physical-now-deified body of Christ. Christ had His church before He was crucified, and called it His body, Mt 26:26-28; Mk 14:22-25; 1Co 11:23-29. We observe the church as the body of Christ each time we observe the Lord's Supper: the bread and fruit of the vine represent the human body and blood of Christ, Mt 26:26-28; 1Co 9:16-17; 11:21-29. That body is now deified, and the church is counted (reckoned, credited) as being that divine body, 1Co 5:7.
      By water baptism we were metaphorically baptized into and thereby joined to the body of Christ, Rom 6:3-13; 1Co 6:15-17. Now, in the metaphor, we are to be constantly putting off the old carnal man and putting on the new deified man, Rom 12:1-2; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10. Circumcision represented the same thing, and baptism is thus called the circumcision of Christ, Col 2:11-17.
      The church being the body of Christ and the members of the church being the members of the body of Christ, must be understood as a metaphor, for we are not really the body of Christ or individually members of the body of Christ. It is in this metaphor that we continue putting off the old man and putting on the new man, which is created in divine "righteousness" (justification) and divine holiness (Eph 4:22-24). We do this daily and are constantly renewing our minds by feeding the food of the Word into our minds and living accordingly, Rom 12:1-2; 2Co 3:18; 4:6; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:1-10.
      This renewing of our minds is the Holy Spirit working the will of God in us, which is progressive justification. Each time we believe and obey by grace through faith, God credits more of His righteousness to us. The result is that the faithful covenant people will receive a greater harvest of God's righteousness (2Co 9:10), therefore a greater harvest of the full range of God's divine attributes, Jn 10:10; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; 2Co 9:10; 2Pe 1:11; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; et al.
      The new man is created in "righteousness and true holiness" (Eph 4:24), "according to the image of Him who created him," Col 3:10. Again, circumcision also represented putting off the old man and putting on the new man, Col 2:11-17. Both flesh circumcision and John's baptism teach and represent a circumcised heart, Deu 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4; Rom 2:28-29; Col 2:11-13. And a circumcised heart required and still requires a constant renewing of the mind in putting off the old man and putting on the new man.
      Christ created the "new man" in His resurrection; and in doing so He became the firstborn divine Son of God from the dead, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5-6; 5:5; 1Co 15:44-50; Rom 4:23-25. This is symbolically putting off the state of death Adam caused when he ate the forbidden fruit. It is also symbolically putting on the divine life promised in the tree of life, Gen 2; 3; Rom 5:12-21. Yet it is more than a symbol, because on the basis of this metaphor the Holy Spirit was given to the church on Pentecost, is dwelling in those in the church, and is aiding us to be constantly pulling down the strongholds of our sinful flesh nature, 2Co 10:3-6; Gal 5:17; Ja 4:4-10.
      Justification is with a view to the resurrection birth into God's righteousness and holiness; that is, into His divine state of being. It is not man's righteousness, but God's righteousness, holiness, and the fullness of His divine state of being that is credited to the covenant people in justification.
      Once more, receiving of the fullness of God (Eph 1:21-22; 3:19; Col 1:19; 2:9-10)), receiving the divine nature (2Pe 1:4), and being made "one" with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Jn 10:30-36; 14;8-11; 17:21-23), means receiving all the fullness of God – the full range of His divine attributes, Col 2:9-10. No one will receive only the attribute of divine "righteousness," or only the attribute of divine "life," or only the attribute of divine "holiness," or only the attribute of divine "glory."
      The "fullness of God" means the full range of God's divine attributes. Hence, in the current life (throughout both Old and New Covenants), the faithful covenant people have been and are being increasingly credited with the fullness of the divine image and likeness. And this is leading to a divine birth (new birth) of each of the faithful covenant people when Christ returns.
      20 "Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness," Eze 14:20.
      God credited Job with His own divine righteousness, and, as just emphasized, this includes the full range of God's divine attributes. God continues to progressively bring a faithful, disciplined covenant people into His own divine image and likeness, Gen 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6; 1Co 11:7; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10.


      "So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them (his children), and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, ‘It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.' Thus Job did regularly," Job 1:5.
      8 "Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has," Job 42:8.
      We will not here address the deep, crushing trial of Job, but emphasize the priestly ministry and godly devotion of Job and of his three good friends, including Elihu, with a brief additional consideration of the burnt offerings. It is clear throughout the book of Job that these were all upright and knowledgeable servants of God. God said Job was the most upright man on the earth, and it is obvious that these friends were devout and spiritually taught companions of Job; their misunderstanding of Job's bitter trial to the contrary notwithstanding.
      Also, these friends of Job were obviously accustomed to offering "burnt offerings." Through the book of Genesis and much of Exodus there is no specific mention of sin offerings, trespass offerings, peace offerings, and food offerings, all of which were also burnt offerings made by fire.

1. The Burnt Offering Was Associated with Sin.

      Job offered these burnt offerings because his children may have committed sins more and worse than normal, Job 1:5. God required Job's three friends to offer burnt offerings because they had not spoken properly of God as Job had done, Job 42:8. Apart from sin there would be no burnt offerings. The burnt offering, offered properly, provided atonement for the one who brought the sacrifice, Lev 1:4. Observe also that the sinner who brought the burnt offering laid his hand upon the head of the sacrifice, signifying "oneness" with the offering (Lev 1:4), which signified becoming "one" with Christ.

2. The Burnt Offering Spoke of Death Because of Sin.

      "Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.
      5 "He shall kill the bull before the LORD; and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting,"
Lev 1:4-5.
      In the burnt offering and other burnt offerings where animals were sacrificed, the animal died, and was burned on an altar. The death of the animal signified the suffering and death of the Seed of the woman Kinsman Redeemer. Job and other Old Testament prophets, priests, and saints understood this to be so: see Job (Job 19:25-26), Simeon & Anna (Lk 2:25-39), others, Ps 40:6-8; 22; Zec 12:10; Isa 53.
      Also, the animal for the burnt offering had to be a "clean" animal "without blemish," which signified the sinless birth and life of the Messiah, Isa 53:9. This led to the judgment and eradication of sin in the vicarious death of the Messiah, and further to the divine resurrection birth of both the human body of the Seed of the woman and of the faithful covenant people.
      The sinner and the sinless Kinsman Redeemer become "one" in life, in death, and in resurrection. The resurrection is always understood to follow in all the types, ceremonies, feasts, sacrifices, washings, etc., of both Old and New Testaments. We will emphasize this in the numerous studies in this extended series on the firstborn sonship of Christ in the Old Testament.

3. The Burnt Offering Represented the Human Body of Christ.

      "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.'
      7 "Then I said, 'Behold, I have come - In the volume of the book it is written of Me - To do Your will, O God,'"
Heb 10:5-7; Ps 40:6-8.
      The bodies of sacrificial animals represented the body of Christ; whether the burnt offering or other burnt offerings such as the peace offering, sin offering, or trespass offering. These were all offerings made by fire, where the body or a part of the body of the animal was burned on the altar. In all these cases, the body of the animal represented both Christ and the person for whom the animal was being sacrificed as "one" – crucified, dead, buried, and raised together with Christ.
      This is also true with the Passover lamb, the manna, the unleavened bread, the showbread, etc. In all cases, the one who offered the sacrifice, the animal or bread, and those who ate the animal or bread became as "one," as we will continue to see.

4. The Burnt Offering Was an Offering Made by Fire – Trial and Punishment.

      "And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD; it is a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD," Ex 29:19.
      An offering made by fire spoke both of testing (fiery trials, 1Pe 1:7; 4:12) and punishment for sin, Isa 53; 2Co 5:21. The most severe trials of Christ were in Gethsemane and more so while suffering for our sins on the cross, Ps 22; Isa 53:10-12. He was made sin (2Co 5:21), and bore our sins in His own body on a tree, 1Pe 2:21-24. The Just suffered for the unjust, to bring us to God, 1Pe 3:18.
      It pleased the Father to bruise Him, to put Him to grief, and to make His body and life an offering for sin, Isa 53:10-12. It also pleased the Father to place in the last will and testament the same disciplinary training for all His covenant people: we must suffer with Him in order to be glorified with Him in a divine new birth like His, Rom 8:17-25; 2Ti 2:10-13.

5. The Burnt Offering Addressed the Matter of Redemption.

      "Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him," Lev 1:4.
      The person who brought the animal for the burnt offering, placed his hand on the head of the animal. This signified three major things: 1) the animal (representing the Redeemer) would take the place of the offerer in life, death, and resurrection (the Seed of the woman must die for sin, must conquer death by resurrection, and must crush the head of the serpent (Satan); 2) the offerer and the Redeemer (seen in the sacrificial animal) become "one" in normal human life, in death, and in resurrection life; 3) the divine life of the tree of life would be obtained by the resurrection of the human body of the Seed of the woman into the divine image and likeness of God. In the beginning (Gen 1:26-27) God created man with the intent of progressive transformation into the image of God during this life, with the new birth taking place when Christ returns, Rom 9:22-23; Gen 1:26-27; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:10; 1Co 15:44-50.

6. The Burnt Offering Pointed to a Resurrection Birth.

      "Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.
      10 "For You will not leave My soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
      11 "You will show Me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore,"
Ps 16:9-11.
      These verses were penned some 3,000 years after Adam, but they perfectly harmonize with Gen 1, 2, and 3, as well as point to the vicarious human life, death, burial, and divine resurrection of Christ as the Messiah. The Seed of the woman must die for the sins of man, represent by the death of the animals in the Garden of Eden. He must be raised from the dead in order to have victory over sin and death. He must be raised in power and authority greater than that of the Satan. Furthermore, He must be raised into the divine image and likeness of God, for that was God's intent in the beginning, Gen 1:26-27.

7. The burnt offering testified of the covenant people being completely conformed to the image and likeness of God.

      "Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
      27 "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them,"
Gen 1:26-27.
      God did not create Adam and Eve fully in His image and likeness in the beginning. The eternal purpose of God had Christ as a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, 1Pe 1:18-20. God purposed to permit Adam to sin and bring himself and his descendants into sin and death. He provided sufficient grace (help) for Adam to resist the temptation of Satan through Eve. Yet, in order for God to show His attributes of compassion, mercy, longsuffering, on the vessels of mercy, and His justice in punishing those who would not believe, God permitted Adam to sin and bring sin and death upon himself and all his descendants, Rom 9:22-23.
      Thus, in His mercy, God's purpose provided a last will and testament, in which His Son would become the Seed of the woman as the Testator and Redeemer. As the Seed of the woman, He would fulfill the redemption cycle which included the following: 1) be born of a virgin into a human body; 2) live a perfect vicarious life as a human; 3) perform a personal ministry on earth as a human; 4) die a vicarious death for the sins of the human race; 5) be buried and arise the third day to conquer death, hell, and the grave; 6) in His resurrection His human body be born into a divine body possessing all the fullness of God – the full range of divine attributes, promised in the life of the tree of life; and 7) at the appointed resurrection time give all the faithful last will and testament people the same divine birth into all the fullness of God's divine nature.


      "For I know that my Redeemer is living, and He shall arise at the last (days) on the earth;
      26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God,
      27 Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!"
Job 19:25-27.
      We now look at what Job should have known and what he obviously did know as seen in the above passage.

1. The Redeemer Must be the Seed of the Woman, and Thereby be a Kinsman Redeemer.

      We have the whole Bible, which Job did not have; yet it is clear from the Scriptures that God's desire and purpose has always been to reveal His covenants fully to those who truly hunger and thirst after Him and His Word. God has done so and will continue to do so according to the extent of our submission to Him: the more we draw near to Him by His grace, the more He draws near to us and reveals His covenants to us.
      Job understood that God was His Redeemer, and he also obviously understood that God would be the Seed of the woman, Gen 3:16. Job surely understood total hereditary depravity: all the seed of Adam are by birth depraved sinners, blemished, unclean, and are therefore unable to save themselves or serve as a redeemer of anyone or anything else.
      No seed of Adam could qualify, for we are all sinners, Rom 3:9-19. No angel could qualify because the angels were already predestined to be ministers of the heirs of covenant salvation, Heb 1:13-14; 1Pe 1:18-20; Eph 1:4-5. However, the second Person in the Godhead could be born of a virgin and be the "Seed of the woman," Gen 3:15; Isa 7:14; Gal 4:4.
      This made the Redeemer a Kinsman Redeemer, and paved the way for the faithful last will and testament people to be transformed into the precise image and likeness of God, Gen 1:26-27; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 5;31-32; Phi 2:2-10; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11l 17:21-23. We should not doubt that God made this clear to His prophets and priests from the Garden of Eden on.

2. The Kinsman Redeemer Must be Born of a Virgin in Order to be Without Blemish.

      "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man," 1Co 11:7.
      God placed Adam (man) as the head over the woman (Eph 5:22-33), as the head over the human race (1Co 15:45; Rom 5:12-19), and as the head over all the works of God's hands, Ps 8:3-6; Heb 2:5-13. When Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, nothing happened. Conversely, when Adam ate of it, both Adam and Eve and all their descendants immediately fell into a state of sin and death, Gen 3:1-7; Rom 5:12-19.
      However, God had already pre-pared a divine redemption through the woman: through a virgin birth. Clearly, the sin nature is passed through the man, not the woman. So the Seed of the woman would be a divine Redeemer and a divine last will and testament Testator. He would be a second Adam, a federal head of a new kind of man, 1Co 15:44-50; Rom 5:12-10; 2Co 5:16-17; Eph 2:10-16; 4:22-24; Col 3:1-10.
      The virgin birth was a necessity because God made it that way, and the virgin birth has been a matter of major emphasis from the Garden of Eden on. This would be a prime item of interest and research to every truly dedicated prophet and priest through the ages.

3. The Kinsman Redeemer Must Live a Vicarious and Sinless Life in Adam's Stead.

      "You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female," Gen 7:2.
      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.
      God had Noah take seven pairs of clean animals and fowl into the ark, and only two of the unclean. The extra clean ones were for sacrifice after the flood. The clean animals must have no lameness, blindness, scars, or defects of any kind. These animals and fowl portrayed the sinless state of life and pattern of life of the Kinsman Redeemer and divine last will and testament Testator.

4. The Kinsman Redeemer Must Suffer and Endure Divine Punishment for the Sins of Mankind.

      "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
      11 "He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
      12 "Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors,"
Isa 53:10-12 (1-12).
      This 53rd chapter of Isaiah (beginning with Isa 52:13) is perhaps the fullest and best description of the Lord from His birth as a human to His divine new birth into resurrection glory in all the Scriptures. It begins with His humble humanity, flows into His vicarious suffering and obedience, His flawless purity, His being made a sin offering, the Father's complete satisfaction with the Redeemer's perfect life in holiness, His justification (new birth resurrection), and the grand finale of justifying the faithful last will and testament people.
      This will give them the new birth into the divine state of being, where they will share the precise image and likeness of the Father and the Son, with the Holy Spirit providing a permanent indwelling "oneness" within the fullness of God's divine nature, 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; 17:21-31.

5. The Kinsman Redeemer, as the Testament Testator, Must Vicariously Die, be Buried, and Arise from the Dead in Victory over Sin, Hell, and Death.

      "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
      5 "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
      6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
      7 "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth,"
Isa 53:4-7.
      Compare and see how the above verses correlate with Job's testimony in Job 19:25-27. Job obviously understood 1) that His redeemer was God, 2) that He would be the Seed of the woman, 3) that the body of the animals sacrificed represented the human body of the Redeemer, 4) that the Seed of the woman would be born of a virgin, 5) that the lamb without blemish represented the sinless human life of the Redeemer, 6) that the death of the sacrificial animals represented the vicarious death of the Redeemer for the sins of Adam's race, and 7) that the Seed of the woman would arise back to life in victory over sin, death, hell, and the grave. Redemption must accomplish these things – but more as follows.

6. The Kinsman Redeemer Must Arise from the Dead in a Divine, Born Again, Tree of Life Body.

      "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
      7 "You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions,"
Ps 45:6-7; 16:7-11; 40:6-8; Isa 53.
      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,"
Ps 2:7-8.
      1 "The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool,'" Ps 110:1.
      Jesus said in John 10:35 that "the Scriptures cannot be broken." This is true with the cycle of events given above which are required by Gen 1 thru 3 and all the Scriptures. God only could be the Redeemer and Testator of His own last will and testament.
      From the Garden of Eden on, one of God's chief witnesses has been the offering of animal sacrifices, portraying the redemption cycle from a vicarious birth of the Seed of the woman to His vicarious resurrection into the divine life offered and promised in the tree of life, Gen 2:9; 3:22-24; Rev 2:7; 22:2. This cycle includes the righteous reign of Christ with His saints and the disposition of Satan and all evil, Rev 21 & 22.

7. The Kinsman Redeemer Must Give a Divine Birth to the Faithful Last Will and Testament People to Transform Them into the Full Image and Likeness of God.

      "If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.
      15 "You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands,"
Job 14:14-15; 13:15.
      We must not think that Job was uninformed about the Testator's last will and testament, which was ratified by the death of the animals in the Garden of Eden immediately after Adam's sin. May God help us to return to this last will and testament emphasis of God's covenants with a special faith driven people. The covenants are testaments which require the death and divine resurrection of the Testator, Gen 3:21; Heb 9:16-17.
      The Testator was both Son of God and Son of man, and has eternally been so. If that were not so, then there would be a time when God was not infinite – but God is and always has been infinite in knowledge, in experience, in power, and in every other way. He is "I Am" eternally, with no beginning and no end, Ex 3:14; Jn 8:58.
      It is and always has been God's purpose to create a new kind of man, completely conformed to His image and likeness, Gen 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6; Heb 1:3; 2Co 5:16-17; Eph 2:10-16; Col 1:15; 2:9-10; 3:9-10; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; et al. Now Christ has passed through the redemption cycle from virgin birth to deification of His human body, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Ps 2:7; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5-6; 5:5; 1Co 15:44-50; Col 2:9. Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for the saints, and awaiting the appointed time to return to the earth and transform all the saints of the ages into the divine image and likeness of the Father, Ps 17:15; 1Co 15:35-58; Phi 3:7-14,21; Col 2:9-10; et al.
      This is precisely what Job had in mind in Job 13:15; 14:14-15; and 19:25-27. Job firmly believed that this resurrection "change" into the image and likeness of God was a confirmed part of the Testator's last will and testament. Job said that "after" his "skin" or flesh body would be destroyed, he would still in his flesh body see God. This requires the resurrection of his body, and its "change" into the divine image and likeness of God, Gen 1:26-27; Ps 17:15. This divine new birth resurrection flows like a river of life throughout the Scriptures, as we shall continue to see.


      Here we will briefly highlight God's purpose and redemption process as given in the first three chapters of the Bible.

1. The Image and Likeness of God.

      On the sixth day of the creation week (Gen 1:26-27), God created Adam and Eve and told them to multiply and fill the earth. God's purpose throughout the Bible was and is to elect out of mankind a special faith-obedient people, whom He will transform into His divine image and likeness.

2. Inherit and Rule All Creation.

      Adam was given authority over all the earth (Gen 1:26-30) on a trial basis, with the projection of qualifying as firstborn sons to rule over all the works of God's hands, Ps 8:3-6. To qualify, they were only required to believe and obey. And all the help they needed was provided to aid them to overcome in a testing process.

3. Six Days of Labor.

      The six days of the creation week addressed six millenniums of life under the curse, Gen 3:16-19. Keep in mind that Christ was as a Lamb slain "before" the foundation of the world, 1Pe 1:18-20. God's purpose provided for redemption in order that God could demonstrate His infinite love, compassion, mercy, longsuffering, justice, and wrath, Rom 9:22-23.

4. Seventh Day Rest.

      The seventh day of rest was given as a projection of the seventh millennium of "rest" from the curse (Gen 3:16-19; Rom 8:19-22), and from the laws and elements of the physical universe, Gal 4:3,9; Col 2:8,20. Indeed, the fullness of this "rest" is resident only in the divine nature, and is superior to the life of the righteous angels, Heb 1:13-14. This salvation is covenant salvation which requires overcoming under the covenant discipline, Heb 3; 4; 12.

5. Tree of Life.

      The tree of life carried the promise of divine life in the firstborn sonship of Christ, the Seed of the woman, Gen 3:15. We all failed this test in Adam, Rom 5:12-19. And though "the tree of life" will be resident in the New Jerusalem, it was replaced by "the Seed of the woman" in the last will and testament, Gen 3:15,22-24. Therefore the promise of divine life is still held out to those who believe and obey by grace through faith: grace and faith speak of the working of the Holy Spirit in and through us, 1Co 15:10; Phi 2:12-13; Mt 10:19-20; Heb 4:16; 12:28; 1Pe 4:10.

6. Tree of Death.

      Adam was sternly warned not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Gen 2:17. This is the covenant testing of the first covenant with Adam. Adam was given a choice between the tree of life and the tree of death. God predestined that Adam choose to believe and obey or disobey and fall under the condemnation of eternal punishment.

7. The Two Shall be One, Gen 2:21-24.

      Gen 2:4-25 are a part of God's work on the sixth day of the creation week, before God rested from all His work on the seventh day, Gen 1:26 thru 2:3. It was on the sixth day that Eve was created, Gen 1:26-27. God had explained to Adam His prophetic purpose of preparing a divine bride people for Himself. Adam's statement (Gen 2:24) is clearly based upon his knowledge of the prophetic purpose of God to prepare a bride people in His divine image and likeness, Gen 1:26-27; Eph 5:31-32.

8. Death and Punishment, Gen 3:1-8,19; Rev 21:8.

      This death, resulting from eating the forbidden fruit, brought immediate separation from God (Gen 3:1-8), brought on all the multiplied woeful effects of the curse (Gen 3:16-19), and the eventual death of the body (Gen 3:19), as well as punishment in hell (Lk 16:19-31) and in the lake of fire, Rev 21:8. But God's purpose provided a plan of redemption.

9. The Seed of the Woman.

      According to His eternal pur-pose, God immediately initiated His plan of redemption by promising a Kinsman Redeemer through the Seed of the woman, Gen 3:15. This constitutes a major prophecy of the virgin birth of the Son of God into a sinless human body (Phi 2:5-11), as seen below.

10. Covenant Discipline.

      Adam and his descendants must life a daily life in which they are constantly being transformed into the divine image and likeness of God. God has set life and death before us, and is giving us grace to choose life over death, Gen 3:16-21; Deu 30:11-15; Rom 10:6-13; 11:11-22; 1Co 10:1-13; Heb 3:6 thru 4:11; 12:1-11.

11. Redemption Into Divine Glory.

      This redemption involves a twofold purpose, 1) to demonstrate God's attributes of compassion, mercy, forbearance, justice, wrath, etc., toward a sin enslaved people under the power and influence of Satan, (Rom 9:22-23), 2) to transform a faith driven people out of this enslaved condition into God's own image and likeness, for an ever increasing sharing of the divine essence.

12. Kinsman Redeemer Is Promised.

      The Redeemer must become human: kinship yields a much more meaningful relationship. God demonstrates this in His creation – birds of a feather flock together. God's purpose is that His firstborn sons share His divine fullness, and radiate that glory to all His creation. Hence, God is patiently and passionately preparing a special people, over and above His glorious angels (Heb 1:13-14), and over and above many nations of saved peoples, Ex 19:4-6; Deu 6:6-11; 26:16-19; Isa 43:21; Mal 3:16-18; 1Pe 2:4-9; Rev 21:23-26; 22:2.

13. Spotless Lambs Are Slain.

      Clean animals were slain in the Garden of Eden, but not without very meaningful and prophetic intent. The skins of the animals were used to make clothes for Adam and Eve, which in type points to the clothing of the bride of Christ, Rev 7:14; 19:7-8.
      But there is much more to the death of these animals: beginning here in Gen 3 and throughout the Scriptures, the bodies of sacrificial animals represented the human body of Christ as the true acrificial Lamb without spot and without blemish, Ps 40:6-8; Heb 10:5-10; 1Pe 1:18-20.

14. A Last Will and Testament.

      In God's first covenant with Adam, there was no blood shed, because there was no sin and death involved, only the warning not to eat of the tree of death. By disobeying God and eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam sinned and was immediately alienated from God and thereby stood in a state of death without any access to the life of the tree of life, Gen 3:1-7,22-24.
      Redemption required a Redeemer who would be likewise tested, but would overcome the covenant testing. Furthermore, that Redeemer would have to qualify as a Kinsman Redeemer, and would have to pay the price of redemption. That price was portrayed in the death of the slain lambs, the skins of which clothed Adam and Eve and covered their nakedness, symbolizing the covering of divine righteousness.
      This death of the animals and the clothing of Adam and Eve with their skins provided renewed access to God through the continued offering of animal sacrifices. And this constituted a revised covenant with Adam, and introduced the revised covenant as a last will and testament where the Testator must die.

15. The Divine Testator.

      Indeed, more was symbolically portrayed and prophetically declared by the death of the lambs. The death of the animals and their skins clothing Adam and Eve to provide renewed access to God, and required a divine Redeemer. All the descendants of Adam are sinners, and not one of them could serve as a redeemer. Angels were created before the earth was created (Job 38:4-7), and were already predestined to be ministers to the heirs of covenant salvation, Heb 1:13-14; 2:5,16; 1Pe 1:18-20; Eph 1:4-5. The Old Testament Messiah and the New Testament Christ are the same Person, and He is the God who confirmed the last will and testament with Adam in the Garden of Eden.
      Briefly, 1) the animals represented the Seed of the woman, 2) the animals being clean animals (verified by all the Scriptures) testified of the required sinlessness of the Seed of the woman, 3) the animals being slain bore witness to the death of the Seed of the woman, 4) Adam and Eve being clothed with the skins of the animals declared that the Seed of the woman would be raised from the dead in the "oneness" of the divine image and likeness, and 5) Adam and Eve being clothed in the skins of the animals speaks prophetically that the faithful covenant people would also be clothed in the divine image and likeness of God. God was working within His purpose of creating a bride people transformed into the fullness of His divine nature, 1Pe 1:4; Eph 3:19; Col 2:9-10.

16. A Vicarious Birth.

      Adam sinned as the federal head of the human race, and this immediately brought him and all his descendants into 1) Separation from God (Gen 3:1-7; Eph 4:18), 2) the loss of access to God (Gen 3:1-7; Col 1:212), 3) the curse upon man's domain (Gen 3:16-19; Rom 8:19-22), 4) condemnation to hell (Lk 16:19-31; Rom 5:112-19), 5) eternal condemnation to the lake of fire, Rev 20:11-15; Rom 5:12-10. This judgment was upon all of Adam's descendants, so that there was not one who could save himself or anyone else.
      Redemption had to come from God, because there was no one otherwise who could qualify. But the Son of God did qualify, and was already predestined to be our Kinsman Redeemer through a vicarious virgin birth into a sinless state of being as the Seed of the woman.
      Obviously, God taught this to Adam and Eve, and made sure it was taught to Cain and Abel, to Seth, Enoch, Noah, and to all the priests and prophets through the ages.

17. A Vicarious Life.

      The "clean" animals and fowl, required to be offered in sacrifices (Gen 7:2; 8:21-22), testified, 1) that the Kinsman Redeemer would be without sin in birth and in life, Isa 53; 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 1:18-20, 2) that the Kinsman Redeemer would live sinless life. No "unclean" animal or fowl could be offered in sacrifice for the sins of anyone. Jesus said, "which of you convicts Me of sin..." Jn 8:46. Pilate said, "I find no fault in Him at all," Jn 18:38; 19:4,6.
      26 "For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens," Heb 7:26.

18. A Vicarious Death.

      Blood was shed and the animals died in the Garden of Eden, but not in vain and not without full instructions detailing the cause of this shedding of blood and death. The lives of the animals were taken and they lay dead while their skins were removed and tanned to clothe Adam and Eve, Gen 3:21. The animals did not sin, but God used them and their death as instruments of instruction that the Seed of the woman must die vicariously for the sins of Adam and his descendants in order to redeem them from sin and death.
      It is obvious that God's covenant with Adam in Gen 1 & 2 is here in Gen 3 revised into a last will and testament, with the Seed of the woman being the divine Testator. The Redeemer will not only bring Adam and Eve and their faith descendants back into the state of being in which they were initially created, but also into His divine image and likeness.

19. A Vicarious Burial.

      The wages of sin is death, and in God's plan of redemption this includes the death of the physical body of the Seed of the woman and Kinsman Redeemer. God told Adam that he was created out of the dust and that he and his descendants would return to the dust, Gen 3:19. Redemption required the Seed of the woman to vicariously experience death and burial in order to conquer death, hell, and the grave to redeem the last will and testament people.
      Each one of these steps must be experienced by the Seed of the woman as Redeemer. We will keep in mind that the Redeemer had to be the Son of God, for no one else could qualify to be the Redeemer and Testator. A study of the book of Job reveals that Job had a very searching mind that would not overlook any of these matters. Furthermore, as the Scriptures emphasize over and over, God's intent and purpose is that His faithful people thoroughly know His last will and testament.

20. A Vicarious Resurrection.

      The Redeemer must experience the whole cycle of sin and death, except He must not commit sin Himself. This cycle of redemption includes resurrection out of the grave into a divine body in order to be fully in the image and likeness of God. This is clearly taught throughout the Scriptures, and it is beyond question that God revealed this Gospel before hand to His faithful covenant people through many blood sacrifices, ceremonial washings, feasts, etc.
      The disciples asked Jesus why he spoke to the people so much in parables. His answer was that God's purpose is for the faithful covenant people to know the mysteries of His divine kingdom. It was not given to those who are careless to know the Word of God, thus the Word is not understood by them, Mt 13:9-17.
      The prophets and righteous servants of God in the Old Testament did not hear and see the Son of God in a human body teaching and working miracles, but they could and did understand as Simeon and Anna did, Lk 2:25-38. These two came into the temple that day looking for the Messiah in the body of a human child, Who would be crucified and then rise from the dead to sit on the right hand of God in the heavens, Ps 110:1.

21. The New Birth - (Continued next month)