Firstborn Sonship of Christ

Vol 24 No 12
December 1999
The New Birth
Series Number: 14

      This is article thirteen on this subject. The titles of the articles have been changed as indicated below:
      1. Resurrection, a Birth
          November 1998.
      2. Jesus Christ, Born Again
          December 1998.
      3. Travailing in Birth
          January 1999.
      4. Slave Sonship
          February 1999.
      5. Dichotomy of Sonships
          March 1999.
      6. Hebrew Dichotomy
          April 1999.
      7. You have Come to Mount Zion,
          May 1999.
      8. Partaking of Christ, a Birth,
          June 1999.
      9. Eating Christ's Flesh Drinking His Blood,
          July. 1999
      10. Partaking of Christ's Resurrection Likeness,
          August 1999
      11. Partaking of Christ, a Future Promise,
          September 1999
      12. So Is Everyone Who Is Born of the Spirit,
          October 1999
      13. Moses Lifted Up the Serpent In the Wilderness,
          November 1999

      The title of article 13 has been changed, and article 14 for December is new though it bears the title article 13 did for November.
      Each reader is encouraged to read and study each of the above articles in order. These articles are progressive in the truths they present, and will not likely be properly understood even by knowledgeable traditional brethren unless studied in the order given above.


      15 "That whoever is con-stantly believing in Him should not perish but have eternal life,".
      16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever is constantly believing into Him should not perish but have everlasting life," Jn 3:14-16.
      These verses, in part, and many others like them, have been incorrectly translated and interpreted based on Protestant theology. This will become increasingly obvious as we proceed.
      1. The word "believeth" is present active participle in the Greek text and should be translated in these and similar verses as, "is believing," or, with emphasis "is constantly believing." This emphasis placed on the progressive nature of the present participle is quite common. This amplification is required by these verses (Jn 3:15-16) and throughout the Scriptures, as demonstrated in this study on the firstborn sonship of Christ. Furthermore, the progressive nature of the participle is often vague and even lost by current theological emphasis to the contrary when translating the word "believe."
      The present participle shows action in progress, which action can be habitual and characteristic, or can be temporal and be terminated. In these verses it requires a firm mind-set – a constant "believing" that characterizes one's lifestyle after the faith of Abraham (Rom 4; Heb 3:12), or better, after the image of Christ, 2Co 3:18; Gal 2:20; 1Pe 2:21. This progressive, believing faith and its promise can be forfeited, and will be if the saved person stops believing and continuing to bear the proper fruit, Jn 15:1-11; Rom 11:11-22; 1Co 9:23—10:13; Gal 4:19---5:4; Heb 3:6— 4:11; et al.
      2. The Amplified Bible consistently translates the present participle for "believe" by a strong progressive amplification.
      3. Observe Kenneth Wuest's translations of Colossians and 1 John, where both the present tense and present participle are repeatedly tran-slated, in harmony with the context, using the words "habitually," "constantly," and similar words. See also his comments and translation of Gal 3:5. His doctrine, however, and that of many others unfortunately, normally prohibits translating that same present participle with the same "continuous" emphasis when it comes to the word "believe."
      4. Vincent says on Eph 4:16 "The present participles denote present, continuous progress." See also his comments on Jn 1:12; 2Co 3:18.
      5. Vincent also gives an excellent four page "Additional Note" on: aivwn, aivw/noj, zwh. aivw,nioj, and o;leqroj aivw,nioj,, in his Word Studies in the New Testament, 2Th 1:9. He says the words aivwn and aivw/noj do not within themselves carry the idea of eternal or everlasting, as we will further observe shortly.
      6. Robertson on Col 2:19 says, "Being supplied.....Present passive participle (continuous action).....Knit together.....Present passive participle also (continuous action)....."
      7. Alford on the same verses says, (Eph 4:16) "Note the present participle–the framing is not complete but still proceeding." (Col 2:19) "See on Eph. Notice, as there, the present participles, denoting that the process is now going on."
      8. "Young's Literal Translation" consistently translates zwh. aivw,nioj as "life age-enduring." Indeed, there is good reason for doing that.
      9. Although the present participle normally indicates continuous or characteristic action, its relation to the main verb often requires action contemporary with that of the main verb. That "continuous" action is terminated when one makes "shipwreck of faith," 1Ti 1:19-20; 2Pe 1:9; Jn 15:1-6; Rom 8:13; 11:11-22;Gal 4:21--- 5:4; Heb 3:6-19; 6:4-8; 10:25-31; 12:1-17, etc.
      10. The present participle will harmonize with the immediate context as well as the whole Bible. That is precisely what we have in John 3:15-16 and many similar passages; that is, the believer in a true church may stop believing and "perish," as we will observe. To be "believing" in the Bible sense, one must be in the body of Christ, in the doctrine of Christ, and continue properly believing and obeying according to the doctrine of Christ, 2Jn 8-11; 1Jn 2:23-29; et al.
      11. Closed Communion requires that we do not eat the Lord's Supper with those who are outside the church, the body of Christ, for they are leaven to the body, 1Co 5; Mt 18:15-18; 2Th 3:6-15; Jn 15:1-6; Gal 5:1-4; Lk 7:28-29. Those cut off from Christ cannot be constantly munching on Christ's flesh and constantly drinking His blood (Jn 6:27-67), for they are no longer in the doctrine of Christ, Jn 15:1-6; Gal 5:1-4). Those who have rejected John's baptism have rejected the counsel of God against themselves, have rejected the circumcision of Christ (Col 2:11-13), and have therefore rejected the doctrine of Christ, Lk 7:29-30; Col 2:11-13; 2Jn 9-11; 1Jn 2:23-25. The Lord's Supper is therefore closed to them.
      The Bible and all Its covenants are by far predominantly concerned with the firstborn sonship of Christ. This is eminently obvious from the beginning of the book of Genesis to the end of the book of Revelation. See Gen 4:4.
      The word "believeth," in John 3:15-16,18,36, and in similar passages, should be translated "is believing," or better, "is constantly believing," because of the current Protestant emphasis that first faith qualifies all saved people for all the promises, even though many such people are so unfaithful they have forgetten they were once purged from their old sins (2Pe 1:9-10), and make shipwreck of their faith:
      19 "Constantly holding faith and a good conscience, which some having thrust away, concerning their faith, have made shipwreck,
      20 "of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme," 1Ti 1:19-20.
      Timothy was urged to hold fast to faith and a good conscience, which Hymenaeus and Alexander once had, but had thrust it from them, perhaps somewhat unwittingly at first, being enticed in many subtle ways. However, they had become hardened and fearlessly brazen to the extent their good conscience was replaced with bold blasphemy. The Spirit moved Paul to deliver them back to Satan.
      When the church (obedient to the Scriptures) purges out the leaven that is in it by scripturally excluding unholy church members, such excluded saved church members have thereby been delivered back to Satan, 1Co 5:5 (1-13); Mt 16:15-18; Jn 20:23; 2Co 2:6-7; Gal 6:1; 2Th 3:6-15. Paul was commissioned to "turn people from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me," Act 26:18; Col 1:12-13. However, here Paul had, by the Spirit, delivered these two saved church members from God back to Satan, 1Ti 1:19-20. Of course, the Holy Spirit was still working with these men, and they would be received back from Satan to God and Christ, if they learned not to blaspheme and properly repent of their blasphemy.
      These two saved but excluded church members had brazenly thrust faith and a good conscience from themselves to the extent they had to be put out of the church (cut off from the body of Christ). They had thereby made shipwreck of faith, and of "the faith," which is "the doctrine of Christ," and also the personal faith of Christ which church members have through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who works the faith of Christ (mind of Christ) in and through us, 1Co 2:16 (10-16); Isa 40:13-14.
      Saved church members who are scripturally delivered to Satan have made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience. They have made shipwreck of the doctrine of Christ, and therefore no longer have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 2Jn 9. As a further result they no longer have the divine "life" of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 1Jn 2:23-25; 5:10-13. Since they have stopped "constantly believing," they "perish" from the body of Christ, just as the branches that are cut off from the Vine, Jn 15:1-6. The same is true of those churches and church members who persist in going back under the Law Covenant, or otherwise faint under God's testing and training which qualifies us for the firstborn sonship of Christ, Gal 4:19—5:4; Heb 3:6-19; 6:4-8; 10:25-31; 12:1-17; et al.
      Let us test the use of the expression "shall not perish," Jn 3:15-16. For instance, the one constantly believing into Christ will never perish; however, the one who stops believing into Christ shall perish. The harmony of the Scriptures requires the understanding that most believers have or will make shipwreck of "faith," and also of "the faith," 1Co 9:27–10:12; Heb 3:6-19.
      No one outside a true church is in "the faith." The Scriptures, however, require that we be "in the doctrine of Christ," and remain "in the doctrine of Christ," in order to have and continue having the Father, the Son, and, of course, the Holy Spirit, 2Jn 9-11; 1Jn 2:23-29.
      The word for "perish" is from "apollumi" and means to perish, to destroy or be destroyed, to lose or be lost. This does not mean that saved people can be lost again and go to hell. Rather, they are destroyed from the body of Christ, from the covenants, from the high priestly ministry of Christ, and from bridal relationship with Christ. See the following examples:
      11 "And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish (apollumi) for whom Christ died?" 1Co 8:11.
      15 "Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy (cause to perish, apollumi) with your food the one for whom Christ died," Rom 14:15.
      Both of these chapters (1Co 8; Rom 14) concern believing church members eating things sacrificed to idols and thereby causing a weak brother in the church to perish (to be destroyed), from the body of Christ, and therefore from Christ's firstborn sonship. The word apollumi is used in both passages quoted above, as well as in Jn 3:15 and 16. The "brother" is a saved and scripturally baptized brother in the church.
     6 "But whoever causes one of these little ones who are constantly believing into Me to sin (to the point of perishing), it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea," Mt 18:6.
     14 "Even so, it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish" (apollumi), Mt 18:14.
      These passages emphasize that a young person who is believing into Christ (a lifetime process) or any other weak brother in the church can be caused to "perish" from Christ – from the body of Christ (Jn 15:1-6), from God's elect, 2Pe 1:4-10), and therefore, from the firstborn sonship of Christ, Gal 4:21---5:5. Such people are still saved from hell, but will be among the slave sons (Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-4), (the illegitimate or non-covenant sons, Heb 12:8), and has thereby forfeited the firstborn sonship of Christ with the aionion life that goes with the firstborn sonship, Gal 4:19-21; 5:1-4; Heb 10:25-31; 12:1-17; Jn 15:1-6; Rom 11:11-22.
      Jesus was talking to His disciples when He said:
      3 "You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you," Jn 15:3.
      Jesus has already told Peter, "He who is bathed (leloume,noj) needs only to wash (ni,yasqai) his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you," Jn 13:10.
      Peter and the other disciples had already had the whole body bath of John's baptism. They had thereafter obeyed the words of Jesus, had been organized into His church (which is the body of Christ), and had also just observed the first Lord's Supper with Christ, as His body, Jn 13 and 14; Mt 26:26-30. There is only one whole body washing in the New Covenant, and that is John's baptism.
      In this divine metaphor, the church is called the body of Christ, and church members are joined to Christ as the members of His human body, which is symbolized also in the Lord's Supper – eating His flesh and drinking His blood, Jn 6:27-67. They were joined into Him as the members of His body, in the metaphor, just as branches are joined to the vine. Judas was not properly clean (Jn 13:10-11), but the others disciples were clean. As branches of the Vine, they were drawing "life" (through the Holy Spirit) from the Vine, and to these same disciples (saved church members) He said:
      4 "Abide (remain, continue) in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides (remains) in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide (continue) in Me."
      This language would have no meaning if it were not possible for saved and scripturally baptized church members to stop bearing the proper fruit, and therefore be cut off from the Vine – from the flesh (now deified) body of Christ. The liability is very real – a whole church may be (and many, many have been) "vomited out of the Lord's mouth," and are therefore no longer "in Christ," that is, they would no longer be counted as His body.
      It is necessary that we recognize that God, throughout His Word, "is constantly calling things which be not, as though they were," Rom 4:17. God is using parables, metaphors, a myriad of symbols, along with traps, snares, and stumbling blocks (Rom 11:8-10) to conceal the true understanding of His Word from the wise and prudent of this world, Mt 11:25; Lk 10:21; 1Co 1:19-31. Being His covenant people and having the Holy Spirit, we have access to tremendous understand of these concealed yet revealed mysteries, Mt 13:9-18; 1Co 2:9-16.
      The basis for "God constantly calling things which be not, as though they were" is given to us in the same verse:
      16 ".....Abraham, who is the father of us all,
      17 "(as it is written, "I have (already) made you a father of many nations" (Gen 17:5) in the presence of Him whom he believed -- God, who is constantly giving life to the dead ones and is constantly calling things not constantly existing, as though they were constantly existing," Rom 4:17.
      The amplification of the present participle makes the reading a little rough, but in the light of contemporary Protestant theology among Landmark Baptists, the emphasis is needed.
      God said to Abraham, "I HAVE (ALREADY) made you the father of many nations," when Abraham, at that time, had only the one son, Ishmael, Gen 17.
      God was referring to the Gentiles being made the covenant seed of Abraham by means of a persevering faith within the covenant position (in Israel, in the body of Christ, in the church), Rom 11:11-33; Mt 18:15-17; Eph 2:11-22; 3:6; Rom 2:14-29; 9:25-33. God was speaking of Abraham becoming the father of many nations before he had even one physical seed as a covenant son, Gen 17:21 (17-21) – God spoke of things which were not, as though they were. Repeat: Abraham was not yet the father of many nations, because God was speaking of things which be not, as though they were. Abraham will never physically be the father of many nations, though he is already metaphorically the father of many nations, Gal 3:29.
      This is simply yet precisely the definition of a metaphor. Webster says a metaphor is "a figure of speech containing an implied comparison, in which a word or phrase ordinarily and primarily used of one thing is applied to another (Ex.: the curtain of night, all the world's a stage)."
      We will add that a metaphor is when a person or something is called something he, she, or it, in fact, is not. A few other Bible metaphors are:
      1. Jesus is called a Lion (Rev 5:5), a Lamb, Rev 5:6,12) a Branch (Zec 3:8), a Root (Rev 5:5) a Vine (Jn 15:1), a Shepherd (Heb 13:20, a living Stone (1Pe 2:5,7,8), et al.
      2. The covenant people are called sheep, a flock, Jn 10; Lk 12:32; Act 10:28.
      3. We are called the salt of the earth, Mt 513; Mk 9:49-50.
      4. We are called the light of the world, Mt 5:14; Eph 5:8; 1Th 5:5.
      6. Christian virtues are called Christian armor, Eph 6:13-17; 1Th 5:8.
      7. Satan is also called a dragon, a serpent (Rev 12:3-9), a roaring lion, 1Co 5:8.
      8. The Pharisees and Sadducees were called a brood of Vipers, Mt 3:7.
      9. False prophets are called ravening wolves, Mt 7:15.       10. King Herod was called a fox, Lk 13:32.
      These are only a few of a myriad of metaphors in the Bible. The church is called the flesh (now deified) body of Christ, (Rom 12:4-5; 1Co 6:16-17; 10:16-17; 11:24-29; 12:12-27; Eph 2:14-16; 4:15-16; 5:30-32; Col 2:19), but the church is really not the body of Christ. Many if not most Bible metaphors are so common that many Christians are normally not conscious they are metaphors, or even know they are metaphors.
      The church being called the body of Christ expresses a unique metaphoric union between the church and the flesh (now deified, Col 2:9) body of Christ. This mystery of the body of Christ (Eph 3:6 – 3:1-12) is anchored in the Gospel (the crucifixion cycle) – briefly, the crucifixion, the death, the burial, and the new birth resurrection of Christ. This is, indeed, the very heart of the whole Bible. It is the heart of the Gospel of the Son of God, Rom 1:16-17; 1Co 15:1-3; 2Ti 1:10; 2:8.
      We cannot understand the Bible fully and correctly without understanding the mystery of this metaphoric union between Christ and the church as a local institution. It adds inexpressible richness to the oneness of the union and fellowship God has prepared for His firstborn sons as the bride people.

Continuing with Jn 15:

      5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who is constantly abiding (is continuing) in Me, and I in him, is bearing much fruit; for without Me (cut off from Me) you can do nothing.
      There are many saved people outside true local churches who are not "in" the Vine, because they have rejected John's baptism, and have thereby rejected the counsel of God against themselves, Lk 7:28-29. They are not in the Vine and therefore can do nothing within the counsel of God. Branches who are cut off from the Vine are in the same condition.
      6 "If anyone does not abide (continue) in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned," Jn 15:6.
      All these will be punished under the seven vials of God's wrath when Christ returns, and will be slave (illegitimate, non-covenant) sons into the ages of the ages, Rev 22:18-19; 18:4; 6:15; 2:20-22; 3:10; Lk 21:34-36; Mt 3:7; 24:51; 25:30,46; et al.
      The branches who are "clean," but do not bear the proper fruit, will be cut off from the Vine, will therefore perish from the body of Christ, and will lose aionion "life" (Jn 15:1-6). The branches who are cut off from the Vine, no longer draw "age-life" from the Vine.
     Christ is the Vine while saved and scripturally baptized church members are the branches. Saved church members who walk after the flesh will be cut off from the body of Christ, and will therefore "die" and "perish" from the body of Christ, Rom 8:6,13; Gal 5:1-4; 1Co 9:27; 2Co 13:5. They are still saved from hell and will be among the nations during the Millennium and on the new earth.
      The Galatian churches were severely warned that if they persisted in going back under the Law Covenant, they would be "severed" from Christ, and Christ would "profit them nothing" in His High Priestly, (body of Christ, New Covenant) ministry, Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-4. They would lose the firstborn sonship, its birth-right, and the "age-life" promised to the firstborn sons within that covenant firstborn sonship, Rom 8:6,13; Gal 6:7-9; 2Pe 1:4-9; Heb 12:1-11; et al.
      Paul severely disciplined him-self lest after he had suffered and labored so much for Christ, he should become a "castaway" – that is, become disapproved (rejected) as a result of failing God's disciplinary training, 1Co 9:24-27; 10:1-13; Heb 5:8-9; 12:1-29. Paul then explained explicitly how the saved Israelites (God's covenant people) were tested and then rejected in the wilderness, because of their lack of persevering faith, 1Co 10:1-12. All those who fell in the wilderness forfeited, at least in type, the firstborn sonship and its promised "life," because they failed in the pursuit of this millennial "age-life" (divine life), which we can receive only by means of a believing, persevering faith, Deu 30:15-19; 1Co 9:27--10:12; Heb 3:6-19; Ja 1:12; 2Pe 1:4-11; Gal 5:7-9.
      But one will say, "eternal life is a gift!" Indeed, that is what Rom 6:23 says, but the preceding verse (Rom 6:22) says eternal (aionion) life is at the end of a holy (sanctified) life. A holy life can be lived only "by grace through faith," and therefore it is indeed a gift. Observe again that entering the narrow gate and walking the strait and difficult way leads to this gift of divine "life," Mt 6:13-14. Entering the strait gate and walking the narrow way cannot be done by flesh works – only by grace through faith works, 1Co 15:10; Phi 2:12-13; Mt 10:19-20; Heb 4:16; 12:28; 1Pe 4:10.
      Again, Paul warned the Roman churches and church members that they stood in this body of Christ, covenant, firstborn sonship, qualifying position "by faith," but would be disapproved (disqualified) and cut off from the body of Christ, if they did not maintain a persevering faith in God's goodness, Rom 11:11-22. We must possess a "constantly believing" faith to maintain this firstborn sonship and its promised divine "life."
      Believers must be baptized into Christ – into the body of Christ, (Rom 6:3-5; Gal 3:27-29; 1Co 12:13 [12-27}), and then remain (continue) "in the doctrine of Christ" in order to have and continue to have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 2Jn 8-11; 1Jn 2:23-28; Gal 4:19–5:4; 2Pe 1:4-10; Rom 11:11-33; Jn 15:1-6; Heb 3:6–4:11.
      The church is not really "the body of Christ," but God, who "calls things which be not, as though they were" (Rom 4:17), in a metaphor, is calling the church "the body of Christ," referring to the human (now deified) body of Christ, Mt 26:26-28; Rom 12:4-5; 1Co 10:16-17; 11:17-34; 12:12-26; Eph 4:15-16; 5:30-31; Col 1:18,24; 2:19; et al. The bodies of church members are called the members of Christ (members of the human, now deified, body of Christ), 1Co 6:15-17.
      As members of the body of Christ, our bodies are metaphorically credited as being crucified, dead, buried, raised, and deified together with Christ, Rom 6:2-14; 7:4-6; 2Co 5:16-17; Gal 2:19-20; 3:27; 5:24; 6:14; Eph 2:1-16; Col 2:9–3;11; 1Pe 2:24. In the metaphor (a figure of speech), our bodies are now the deified members of the deified body of Christ, Rom 4:17.
      16 "Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
      17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new," 2Co 5:15-17.
      We know Christ no longer in a mere flesh and blood body, but in a body that possesses in itself all the essence of deity – all the divine attributes of Godhood. In the metaphor, our bodies are credited as being, not corrupt members of the deified body of Christ, but divine members of the divine body of Christ.
      We cannot purge out leaven if we do not have any leaven; however, we are told to purge out the old leaven, while at the same time we are said to be unleavened, 1Co 5:7. In our sinful bodies we have leaven, but according to God's reckoning (according to the metaphor) we are deified members of the deified body of Christ and therefore we have no leaven.
      Metaphorically, then, we now have that divine life through "the first-fruits of the Spirit" (Jn 7:39; Gal 4:4-7; Rom 8:23), which gives us a foretaste experience of that "glorified" life by the Spirit's indwelling presence, Jn 7:39; Gal 4:1-7; Rom 8:23. The firstfruits of the Holy Spirit is God's "earnest" (pledge) that this earthy human body will be swallowed up of that divine "life" in the resurrection, 2Co 5:1-5,16-17,21; 1Co 15:1-2,44-50.
      But this is contingent upon our "bearing about in this earthy body the dying of the Lord Jesus," in order to receive that glorified "life" in the resurrection, 2Co 3:17-18; 4:7-12,17; 5:1-5,16-21. This also is contingent upon the indwelling New Covenant ministry of the Holy Spirit, 2Co 3:1-18.
      When the branch is cut off from the Vine (Christ), the branch can do "nothing," Jn 15:1-5. Likewise, when a saved church member is cut off from Christ (from the body of Christ), because he persists in trying to keep the Law Covenant along with the New Covenant, Christ will profit him "nothing," as far as Christ's New Covenant ministry is concerned, Gal 4:19—5:4. This requires that such a person is also cut off from the New Covenant, Gal 4:21—5:5; 2Co 3.
      Furthermore, when one is cut off from Christ, he is also cut off from the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is the Administrator of the New Covenant on earth, while Christ, as High Priest under the Father, is the Administrator of the same New Covenant from heaven. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit work together in a perfect, precision way. Christ does only the will of the Father (Jn 4:34; 5:30), and the Spirit likewise does only the will of the Father, Jn 14:26; 15:26; 16:13.
      17 "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
      18 "But we all, with unveiled face, constantly beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being constantly transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord," 2Co 3:17-18.
      God has predestined that we must be daily and progressively being transformed into that same image of Christ from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord, 2Co 3:18. See also Rom 12:1-2; Eph 4:22-24; Col 2:9-21; 3:1-11.
      Paul and his companions yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit as Administrator of the New Covenant on earth in order that they could bear about in their mortal bodies the dying of the Lord, and also that the glory of the deified life of Christ should be cumulated all the more in their own lives and in the lives of others, 2Co 3:17-18; 4:7-12,17 thru 5:5; 1Ti 6:12,17-19.
      Paul further revealed (Phi 3:7-14,21) that he himself had not yet attained to this divine (2Pe 1:4), glorious (Phi 3:21), better resurrection from the dead (Heb 11:35), but was counting all earthly things as loss, putting all other things behind, and pressing forward with singleness of mind, that, if by all means, he might gain Christ and be fashioned into His glory in this upward calling, Phi 3:7-14,21.
      True indeed, we can make shipwreck of faith (1Ti 1:18-20), be cut off from Christ (Jn 15:1-6; Gal 4:19 thru 5:4), and thereby forfeit that divine first-born sonship of Christ which includes divine "life," 2Pe 1:4; Heb 12:9 (1-17 or 1-29); Gal 6:7-9; Rom 8:6,13,23-25. This will place one in a slave sonship rather than in the divine firstborn sonship of Christ, Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-5; Heb 12:1-17; Jn 15:1-6; Rom 11:11-22; 1Co 9:27–10:12; Heb 3:6-19; et al.
      We currently possess this divine "life" (divine sonship, which provides for the earnest of the Spirit, Jn 7:39; Gal 4:4-7; Rom 8:23-25; 2Co 5:1-5) only in the person of the Holy Spirit in the covenant training (qualifying) status. If we do not continue believing into Christ, we will be disapproved (adokimos) and forfeit the divine sonship. We are given the "Firstfruits" of the Holy Spirit as an earnest of that divine inheritance (Rom 8:23-25; 2Co 5:1-5), but if we make shipwreck of faith, we will be cut off from Christ and lose that earnest or seal of the Holy Spirit, as many in Israel did in the wilderness, (Heb 3:6-19), as king Saul did,(1Sa 16:14), as David prayed would not happen to him (Ps 51:11), but this does happen to all who are cut off from Christ, Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-5; 6:7-9. More on Jn 3:18,36; 5:24 in the January issue of Midnight Cry.
      From these Scriptures also (Jn 3:15-16), the following words in their context indicate the following definitions: aivwn (aion), is translated "age;" aivw/noj (aionios), is an adjective and may properly be translated "age," as an adjective, as in "age-old," referring to the Millennial age; zwh. aivw,nioj, should be translated "age life," referring to divine life which will be visibly, constantly, publically, and predominantly with divine authority manifest through the divine bodies of Christ and all the glorified saints throughout the Millennial age, and, of course, eternally thereafter. Also, o;leqroj aivw-nioj, should be translated "age-punishment," referring to the punishment on earth during the Millennial age.
      The Scriptures are primarily (almost completely) concerned with the seven day creation cycle of Gen 1 & 2, clearly representing a seven thousand year cycle, six thousand years of which has constantly witnessed man's willful rejection of God, his insatiable lusts toward self-gratification, and his bitter life under sin and the curse it brought, Gen 3. During this six thousand years, God has been patiently selecting out a unique and discerning people specially for Himself (Isa 43:21; 48:9-12), with whom He will share His divine fullness.
      In these six thousand years, God has been meticulously training and qualifying this special, elect people (through a severe training program) to share a divinely prepared firstborn sonship with Christ, through the seventh millennium and eternally thereafter, Heb 3;5:8-9; 12; 2Co 3, 4, 5.
      The seventh millennium will be a grand crowning of the seven day, seven thousand year cycle. In this Millennium, God will roll back the heavens and will be seen visibly, will crown Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, and will publicly address all creation, Rev 6:12-17; Ps 2:4-6; 37:13; 59:8 Pro 1:24-33. Christ will then descend with the holy angels, gather the saints of all ages, and reward them publicly, Jude 14-15; 1Th 2:19-20; 3:13.
      The seven vials of God's wrath will be poured out (Rev 16), the Antichrist and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 19:20) while Satan and his angels will be bound for this final seventh thousand year period, Rev 20:1-3. The curse that has been on the earth for six thousand years will be removed (Gen 3:17-19; Rom 8:19-22), and the earth will rest in a utopian state, with Satan and all evil spirits removed. The nations, however, will still dwell in sinful bodies (Isa 65:20; Zec 14:16-19; Rev 20:7-9), in the divinely prepared grand finale of this last one thousand year cycle of man's history, represented by the creation week. This sets the stage for entrance into the ages of the ages to come, about which God has yet revealed so very little.
      During this seventh Millennium, God will rule mediately through Christ and the saints, who in their divine bodies will shine forth as the sun and rule the nations in a utopian state of divine love, mercy, and justice, Dan 12:3; Mt 13:43; Ps 1:7-9; Rev 2:26-27. "The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea," all animals, foul, and fish will be changed back to their original, harmless, pristine, Edenic state, Isa 11:1-9. All creation is represented as assiduously (patiently and eagerly) waiting for this seventh millennium when the glory of the firstborn sons of God will be revealed, Rom 8:18-22. Paul represents the firstborn sons of God as also waiting patiently and eagerly for the blessed hope of that glory and righteousness, which will come at the beginning of the same seventh millennium, Gal 5:5; Rom 5:2; Col 1:5,23,27.
      13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ," Ti 2:13.
      This seventh day – seventh millennium is predominantly the point in time and period of time toward which we are to be eagerly and patiently waiting. At the beginning of the seventh millennium all the saints (the faithful covenant firstborn people) will be crowned with the crown of righteousness (2Ti 4:8), the crown of life (Ja 1:12), with the crown of glory (1Pe 5:4), and with all the fullness of God's divine attributes, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; Phi 2:9-10; Jn 17:21-23.
      This seventh millennium is the day of "rest" (Gen 2:1-3; Heb 3:6—4:11), the day of the resurrection birth into the divine state of being for which all the saints are waiting who are holding fast and have held fast to the end, 1Co 15:1-2,44-54; Col 1:5,21-23,27; Heb 3:14; (3:6— 4:11. There is remaining a "seventh day of rest" for the faithful covenant people of God.
     This is the big day of the marriage feast when Christ and His bride will be joined together in marriage – into one kind of divine, spirit body (Eph 5:25-30; 1Co 6;15-17), only previewed briefly after Christ's resurrection birth. This seventh millennium will begin as the greatest day of fear, and also the greatest day of rejoicing ever witnessed by angels and men, Rev 6:12-17; 19:7-8.