Firstborn Sonship of Christ
Vol 27 No 2
The New Birth
Series Number: 33
INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT
CORRELATION OF FUNCTIONS
This article will briefly look at the life and ministry of Jehovah's Servant (from the Old Testament) from His human birth, and leading up to Isa 53 which includes the new birth of His human body into the divine state of being. Though His current New Covenant ministry as High Priest is somewhat cloaked in the Old Testament, it is nevertheless obvious from a correlation of various Old Testament passages. The Son of God (Seed of the woman, Son of Man, Ps 2:7-8; Gen 3:15; Dan 7:13-14) was prophesied be seated at the right hand of the Father for some period of time (Ps 110:1), interceding for His New Covenant people after the order of Melchizedek, Ps 110:1-4.
THE GLORY OF THE LORD
37 "But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him,
38 "That the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?'
39 "Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
40 "'He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.'
41 "These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him," Jn 12:37-41; Isa 6:1-10.
As Abraham desired to see the day of the Lord (the Millennium day of the Lord) and saw it and was glad (Jn 8:56), so Isaiah saw the glory of Jehovah Messiah beforehand in His deified human body on a heavenly throne in Isa 6. Perhaps the prophecy of Enoch (Jude 14-15) and the vision of Abraham were passed on down to Moses and David, even to Isaiah and Daniel. It appears so from the vivacious tenor of the book of Hebrews, Heb 11:8-16. Isaiah had learned well from the prophecies of those before him, especially from the many prophecies of David.
Isaiah clearly understood 1) that the Seed of David would be God in a human body, Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; 2) would live a perfect human life, Ex 12:5; Isa 49:1-2; 50:4-10 53:9; 3) would die as the Lamb of God for the sins of the world, Gen 3:15; Lev 4 & 5; Isa 53:5-10; 4) would be raised in a divine body, Gen 3:15; Isa 25:6-9, 5) would ascend back to heaven to intercede for the covenant people, Ps 110:1-4; Isa 53:12; 6) would then descend back to the earth and deify the faithful covenant people, Isa 54; 55; 60 thru 65; and, 7) would sit on David's throne and rule the world for the seventh Millennium, Isa 2:1-4: 11:1-9; 65:17-25. We see this throughout the book of Isaiah, as indicated below.
In Isa 2:1-4 Isaiah prophesied of Jehovah Messiah on the throne of David in Jerusalem ruling the world in the Millennial kingdom. This is the Jehovah whose glory Isaiah saw in Isa 6:1-10 according to Jn 12:37-41.
Isaiah prophesied of this same Jehovah Messiah many times over, as God in a human body on David's throne, Isa 2:1-4; 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:1-9. This is the Jehovah "Servant" of which Isaiah prophesied in Isa 42 thru 53, who would bring the faith seed of Israel back to God and rule all nations, sending the law of Jehovah from Jerusalem to establish and maintain a utopian Millennial kingdom, Isa 4:1-7; 49:1-7.
JEHOVAH SERVANT AND HIS
14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel," Isa 7:14.
23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, ‘God with us,'" Mt 1:23.
We do not mind calling these verses up as witnesses again and again. That is what every man, woman, boy, and girl in Israel should have been doing daily since Moses wrote the book of Genesis, which clearly states that the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent, Gen 3:15. And that is also a major problem with us: we do not understand the Scriptures as we should because the Scriptures are not constantly flowing through our minds. We need to study the Bible intensely much like playing a chess game. Some of us have never played chess, but we understand that each chess player must be steadfastly studying (much ahead of time) every move the opponent will be able to make, as well as his own anticipated moves. Each move is very important far down the line.
The key move here is that God would be born into the human family in a human body free from sin, because no sinner could die vicariously for the sins of the human race. And die for the sins of the world is what the Seed of the woman would have to do, Gen 2:17; 3:21; Rom 5:12; 6:23. This God-man would furthermore have to grow up day by day and year by year and live and learn as a human free from sin. This is what every animal sacrifice required: the animal had to be without blemish (without defect), and every crumb of unleavened bread also testified that the Seed of the woman must live an unleavened, sinless life, Ex 12:1-20.
BORN, DESTINED TO BE BORN AGAIN
6 "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this," Isa 9:6-7.
God would be born into the human family, into a human body, destined to be born again as the firstborn from the dead into a divine human body, Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; Ps 2:7; 40:6-8; 89:27; 16:7-11; Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; et al. God would be born into the human family as the Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15), and would also be born into Israel as the Seed of Abraham, Gen 12:3; Gal 3:8. But He must die, be buried, and His body had to be raised from the dead in a divine birth into a divine human body, Ps 2:7; 8:3-6 (Heb 2:6-13); 16:7-11; 89:27; 110:1, was destined by prophecy to reign forever on the throne of David, Ps 2:7-9; Isa 9:6-9.
These are prophetic landmarks that should by no means have been overlooked by the humblest of the covenant people. Yet, the poorest of the people are the most likely to understand such landmarks, which become as giant billboards along the strait and narrow way, Mt 5:1-12; 7:13-14.
That human body of Jehovah Messiah must be born again into a divine state of being, in order to crush the head of the serpent as the Seed of the woman, Gen 3:16,20; Ps 40:6-8; 16:7-11; 8:3-6; 2:7-9; 110:1; Act 13:29-33; 1Co 15:4-50. He must inherently possess divine power as the Seed of the woman to perform this mission of redemption and fulfill the initial promise to Adam and his descendants of divine life – promised in the tree of life, Gen 2:9; 3:20-24.
JEHOVAH SERVANT IN HIS CHILDHOOD
9 "But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust (hope) while on My mother's breasts.
10 "I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God," Ps 22:9-10.
1 "Listen, O coastlands, to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar! The LORD has called Me from the womb; from the womb of My mother He has made mention of My name.
2 "And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, and made Me a polished shaft; (arrow) in His quiver He has hidden Me," Isa 49:1-2.
Jehovah's servant was born without sin, and without the sin nature life draws life from the holy fountain of life: from the Word of God. Mary, the mother of Jesus, nursed the body of her holy child from her breasts, but she nursed His ears on the Word of God. Read the verses above again and again. Consider how the Holy Spirit moved Mary and Joseph to teach Him "from the womb" His name, who He was, and what His mission was, from the prophetic Word. How very thrilled Joseph and Mary must have been as they remembered what was told them, correlated the prophecies, and nurtured Him on the living Word. And yet, from His birth, He learned much faster and much more thoroughly than they did, Ps 22:10; Isa 491; 50:4-5; Lk 2:40,52.
In fact, the sinless Child took to the Word of God, as normal children take to candy, ice cream, and cookies. From the verses above and similar ones, it is clear that His understanding and emotions were keenly awakened and sharpened morning by morning, day by day, all day long as He found His greatest delight to be the Word of God:
"It is the Spirit who is giving life; the flesh is profiting nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life," Jn 6:63.
Read again the above verses and others that we will submit. It is nearly impossible for us to understand that it was not the nature of a sinless child with a sinless nature, directly and constantly being taught by the Holy Spirit, merely to play. May the Lord graciously help us to understand that "the thought of foolishness" floods our sin nature from birth to the throes of old age, Pro 24:9; Eph 5:4.
9 "But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts.
10 "I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God," Ps 22:10.
The Holy Spirit was moving the baby Jesus to trust while on His mother's breast. The Spirit was not idle, neither in the mind of the infant, nor in the mind of the mother and father. Consider the words of Gabriel to Joseph (Mt 1:18-23), to Mary (Lk 1:26-38), the words of Elizabeth (Lk 1:41-45), the words of Mary, (Lk 1:38,46-55), the words of the angels (Lk 2:8-14) the words of the shepherds (Lk 2:15-20),the words of Simeon and Anna (Lk 2:25-38), from the wise men (Mt 2:1-11), and what Joseph and Mary already knew and continued to learn from the Old Testament.
19 "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart," Lk 2:19.
We would not think for a moment that Mary kept all these thing secret from Jesus. Mary no doubt repeated these thing over and over to Jesus, as mothers always sing to their babies. See how much Elizabeth already knew when Mary visited her, Lk 1:41-45. Read again the words of Mary to Elizabeth, (Lk 1:46-55). Dare we say she had no understanding of what she said? We may look at Lk 2:50 and make an immature judgment that Joseph and Mary did not know or understand much. God did not choose ordinary believers when He chose them. They were godly, of good understanding of the Scriptures, and faithfully taught Jesus the Scriptures. May we not relegate God's choice to poor judgment. There were other godly and virtuous young men and women, but we can be assured that these were of the most faithful and of the best teachers in example and in word to rear the Messiah.
THE EARLY LIFE OF JEHOVAH SERVANT
2 "And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, and made Me a polished shaft (arrow); in His quiver He has hidden Me," Isa 49:2.
5 "The Lord GOD has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away," Isa 50:5.
40 "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him," Lk 2:40.
48 "So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.'
49 "And He said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?'
50 "But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
51 "Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.
52 "And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men," Lk 2:48-52.
How did the Spirit make the tongue of Jesus into a sharp sword and groom Him into a polished arrow of righteousness as opposed to sin as He grew up day by day? Simply by constantly feeding the Word of God (the Sword of the Spirit) into His mind, thereby fixating His mind (purpose of life and emotions) so that He constantly set His face like a flint to do the will of the Father. The Word of God (the Sword of the Spirit) became steadfastly the cutting edge of His innermost passions, His innate and habitual thought processes, His fixed will, speech, and conduct.
This spiritual posture was set in the mind and will of the Messiah, in Jehovah Servant, from His birth, and continued throughout His youth and early adulthood. Sufficient is written in the verses above to reveal His passion for the Word of God, His clear knowledge from the Scriptures as to who He was, His love for righteousness as opposed to sin, and the unblemished life He must live. He was not unaware of the pain of rejection by those He loved so much.
And though He was God in a human body, yet He learned as a human from the Scriptures of the inexpressible richness of the glory and joy that was set before Him beyond the cross, Heb 5:8-9; 12:2. His youth and teenage aspirations and guiding will were firmly fixed by the constant flow of the Scriptures through His mind, Ps 22:9-10; Isa 49:1-2; 50:4-10; 50:1-12; Ps 119.
JEHOVAH SERVANT IN HIS PERSONAL MINISTRY
1 "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles," Isa 42:1 (1-7); Mt 12:17-23.
1 "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound," Isa 61:1; Lk 4:18-21.
1. Messiah Servant and the New Covenant.
4 "The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind: ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek,'" Ps 110:4 (1-4).
For the Messiah to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek a new covenant was required, and a new priesthood was required, as well as other major changes, such as the victory of a divine resurrection birth over sin, death, hell, the grave, and over all the natural laws of the universe, Heb 7; 1Co 15:44-58; Rev 1:18.
31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah," Jer 31:31-34; Isa 40:3-5; Mal 3:1-6.
Jehovah Servant was now ready for His personal ministry charted so well throughout the Old Testament's multiple "last will and testaments." He was now ready to follow through with the establishment of the New Covenant to replace the Law Covenant, and which would also modify and incorporate the Adamic and Abrahamic Covenants according to God's eternal purpose, Eph 1:11; 3:11; Heb 9:16-17; 1Pe 1:18-20. Though the New Covenant replaced the Law Covenant, it still incorporated the many things symbolized, prophesied, and otherwise required under the Law Covenant and earlier covenants which would not conflict with the divine, heavenly freedom of Christ which we have under the New Covenant.
Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized by him, for this baptism replaced the whole body washings (louw) of the Law Covenant and served as the initiatory ordinance into the New Covenant. John, in sincere humility, hesitated:
15 "But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he allowed Him," Mt 3:15.
The word "thus" (outos) means in this way, in this manner, like this – which pictures the burial and resurrection of one who has lived and died. Therefore physical birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection are all portrayed in baptism. The birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of the human body of Christ is first to be understood. Then the "oneness" of the faithful covenant people in a daily crucified life, death, burial, and resurrection must follow.
But God's eternal purpose was and is to bring the faithful covenant people into a divine "oneness" with Himself, and also to demonstrate His divine attributes of love, compassion, mercy, etc. This required God to permit man to choose disobedience and experience death (separation from God) with its eternally and wretchedly impoverished state of existence, rather than choose obedience and experience eternally the unsearchable riches of divine life in Christ.
We must be understood that God provided sufficient grace or help for Adam to make the right choice, but permitted Adam to make the wrong choice in order to demonstrate the fullness of His divine attributes. His redemption plan was already bound in covenant within the Godhead, Gen 3:15; Act 2:23; Eph 1:11; 3:11; 2Ti 1:9; Ti 1:2; 1Pe 1:18-20l.
With John's baptism and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Jesus received the initial phase of the ordination as High Priest of the New Covenant because He 1) was Jehovah in a human flesh body, 2) was born of a virgin without the sin nature, 3) had lived a sinless life as the Lamb of God, 4) must take of the prepared covenant people and build a living New Covenant temple of God, 5) must confirm the New Covenant with the prepared covenant people, 6) must die to fulfill all the sin and death requirements of Old Testament last will and testaments (Gen 3:20-21; 15:8-18; Ex 24:8; Heb 9:18-22), and, 7) must arise from the dead into a divine human body constituting the new birth (Ps 2:7; 16:7-11; 89:27; 110:1-4; 2Co 5:16-17; Eph 2:10-16; 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10) and completing His ordination as High Priest of the New Covenant – a heavenly priesthood, Ps 110:1-4; Heb 9:23-28. This fulfilled the type of the second anointing of Aaron after the sacrifices were offered and Aaron was anointed the second time, Ex 29:7,20-21; Lev 9:10-12,30.
2. The High Priest of the New Covenant.
4 "Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent My strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely My judgment is with the LORD, and My work with My God.
5 "And now, says the LORD that formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob again to Him, though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be My strength," Isa 49:4-5.
a. Jehovah Servant (the Messiah) appeared to have failed in bringing the covenant people back to God; instead, the covenant people (the bride people, the children of the bride-chamber, Isa 54:5) despised and rejected Him, Isa 53:3-4. Jesus knew the Scriptures well, and though He knew beforehand the rejection and grief He must bear so painfully in all His emotions, He still wept sorely and prayed with agonizing prayers on their behalf and ours, Lk 19:41-44; 22:44; Mt 26:36-45; Lk 22:39-46; Heb 5:7."He came to His own, and His own received Him not," Jn 1:11.
b. Jehovah Servant is still performing His High Priestly ministry in perfect fulfillment of both Old and New Testaments, Isa 49:7-9; (2Co 6:2); Hos 1:10; 2:23 (Rom 9:25-26). Though Israel as the bride people has been under bitter punishment through these two thousand years, the Servant High Priest, through the Holy Spirit, is still laboring hard (Rom 8:26-27; Ja 4:5) through the church to discipline and qualify firstborn sons out of the Gentile nations, Isa 42:1,4,6,10; Hos 1:10; 2:23; Rom 9:25-33.
As the covenant High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Ps 110:1-4), Jehovah Servant will succeed in having His priesthood bride clothed in fine linen clean and white, which represent the righteousness of God, Rev 19:7-8. This righteousness resides only in the divine nature as one of the attributes of deity (Isa 53:11; 54:17; 61:10), and will be possessed only by those who qualify for the firstborn sonship of Christ, Heb 5:8-9; 12:1-29.
The baptism of Christ was a necessary preliminary part of His ordination as High Priest of the New Covenant, fulfilling the typology of the ordination of Aaron to the Levitical high priesthood, Ex 29; Lev 9. Aaron was anointed with the anointing oil after "putting off" his ordinary garments and "putting on" the high priestly garments, and before the sacrifices were killed and the blood applied. Then He was anointed again after the sacrifices were killed and the blood was applied, Ex 29; Lev 9.
The ordination of Christ as High Priest must therefore consist of two parts:
a. The initial anointing of the Holy Spirit when He was baptized by John the Baptist, Mt 3:13-17. John's baptism is the New Covenant whole body washing as Aaron had, Jn 13:8-10. John's baptism also represents a putting off of the old man and putting on the new man, Rom 6:2-6; 2Co 5:16-17; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10.
This anointing of Jesus at the baptism of John was particularly for His earthly ministry, which we may indicate in three parts: 1) His ministry to Israel and rejection by the nation, Isa 42:1-7; 49:1-4; Jn 1:11; 2) His ministry of establishing the church, which included teaching and training the church for the New Covenant ministry, Mt 16:13-19; and, 3) His enduring the sufferings of the cross and offering Himself on the cross as the Lamb of God, Isa 53; Heb 9:14.
b. The death, burial, and divine resurrection birth of Christ's human body, which replaced the Law Covenant and provided for the second anointing of Christ, and also for the anointing of the New Covenant people (the local church) for the current qualifying ministry of the New Covenant priesthood, Ps 2:7-9; 16:7-11; 110:1-4; Isa 25:7-9; 53:10-12; Jer 31:31-34; Rom 1:4; Eph 1:19-23; Gal 4:4-7; Rom 8:23.
The Messiah was therefore to have an earthly ministry as the official New Covenant High Priest, serving as the Lamb of God in a sinless human body. As the Lamb of God, the Messiah must fulfill all the Law Covenant requirements perfectly, and then suffer the wrath of God against sin, as represented in the burning of many millions of animal sacrifices and food offerings throughout the Old Testament.
3. The Qualifying ministry of the New Covenant High Priest.
5 "So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.'
6 "As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever ac-cording to the order of Melchizedek';
7 "Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
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,
10 "Called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," Heb 5:5-10.
21 "For they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: ‘The LORD has sworn and will not relent, 'You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,'" Heb 7:21.
The emphasis here is on verses 7 and 8 above: though Christ was God in a human body, He had to live, grow, learn, and overcome as a human, in order to qualify as High Priest and also be our example in life, in death, and in the resurrection new birth into the divine life promised in the tree of life in the beginning, Gen 2:9; 3:15,20-21; Ps 22:9-10; Isa 49:1-2; 50:4-10; Lk 2:40,51-52. The counsel and will of the Godhead was that Jehovah in a human body would be restricted to the help that is also provided for us by the indwelling and work of the Holy Spirit. He had no help beyond what we have and can have through the Holy Spirit.
All day, each day, and every day, Jesus continued doing right as the Law require – believing and obeying by the instruction and leading of the Holy Spirit. Therefore it is written that He continued growing "in favor with God," Ps 22:9-10; Isa 49:1-2; 50:4-10; Lk 2:52. How could God grow in favor with God, except God become "Immanuel" (God in a human body) and be restricted to awareness and knowledge obtained through the Scriptures? We are winners when we keep on doing right, but losers and are weakened when we fail to do right. Yet, in spite of our many losses, God is merciful to forgive us and will continue working with us as we repent & thereby allow Him to demonstrate His forbearance, Rom 9:22-23.
Though Christ was ordained as High Priest at the time He was baptism by John the Baptist, His earthly ministry in a human body was a qualifying must. He had to continue living without sin, even through Gethsemane....