FIRSTBORN SONSHIP OF CHRIST
The New Birth in the Old Testament
Article 47 (Continued)
THE GRAIN OFFERING (Continued)
THE METHODS USED IN PREPARING THE GRAIN OFFERING
17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning," Ja 1:17.
The grain offering was primarily a voluntary thanksgiving offering. The covenant people were to recognize God as the giver of every good and perfect gift. The terrible experiences of the martyrs, and such experiences as Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, and David having to flee for his life for years from king Saul did not, at first, appear to be good gifts from above. Yet their eternity will be greater and more wonderful than we are able to ask or think, Eph 3:20.
The suffering of Jesus in Gethsemane, before the Sanhedrin, before Herod, before Pilate, and His enduring God's wrath against our sins in His own body on the cross, did not and does not appear to the world to be "victory." But the world has not seen Him in His divine new birth resurrection glory.
The fire that burned the grain offering and the other sacrifices to ashes speaks also of the fiery trials of the last will and testament training. Israel's trials in the desert wilderness reflects the norm of covenant discipline, 1Co 10:1-13; Heb 3 & 12.
9 "For My name's sake I will defer My anger, and for My praise I will restrain it from you, so that I do not cut you off.
10 "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 "For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another," Isa 48:9-11.
The grain offering was prepared and offered as follows:
1) Wheat grains which were ground into fine flour and brought to the priest, who then took a handful of the flour, put oil, frankincense, and salt on it and burned it on the altar. The rest was eaten by the priest.
2) The fine flour was mixed with oil and salt, and baked in an oven, a pan, or a frying pan. The bread was then brought to the priest who would burn a memorial of it on the altar. Then the priests, who represented the covenant people, would eat the remainder. This signified that each of the faithful last will and testament people will partake both of Christ's sufferings and of His new birth glory. Each covenant person must endure and overcome in the sufferings of Christ (required covenant training) in order to be glorified together with Christ.
24 "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church," Col 1:24; 2Ti 2:11-13.
Each member of the body of Christ must suffer together with Christ. That means each member must endure and overcome in the prescribed covenant or last will and testament training. This is required of every covenant person in order to receive the last will and testament inheritance of the divine firstborn birthright, Heb 9:11-17; 5:8-9; 12:1-17; Rom 8:17-18; 2Ti 2:10-13.
3) Green grains were taken from full heads of wheat and were roasted by fire. Oil, frankincense, and salt were added, with a memorial of it being burned on the altar by the priest. The remainder was eaten by the priests who represented the covenant people, and thereby portrayed the covenant people eating the grain or food offering. This in all cases represented partaking of Christ.
16 "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 "For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
18 "Observe Israel after the flesh: are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?" 1Co 10:16-18.
Those who ate the sacrifices were partakers of the altar, 1Co 10:16-18. Eating the sacrifices symbolically portrayed partaking of Christ, both in His sanctified life (Heb 2:10-15; 3:14; 1Co 10:16-19) and in His human body resurrection into the fullness of God's divine nature, 2Pe 1:4; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; 5:31-32; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23. Furthermore, the Levitical priests represented all of the faithful Covenant people enduring and overcoming in the same covenant training in order to qualify for the same divine fullness, 1Pe 2:5-9; 2Pe 1:3-11; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:1-10; Ph 3:7-14, 20-21.
THE INHERITANCE PROMISED IN THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
27 "Do not labor for the food which is perishing, but for the food which is enduring into age (or divine) life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him," Jn 6:27.
32 "Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father is giving you the true bread from heaven.
33 "'For the bread of God is He who is coming down from heaven and is giving life to the world.'
34 "Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.'
35 "And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who is constantly coming to Me shall never hunger, and he who is constantly believing into Me shall never thirst.
36 "But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.
37 "All that the Father is giving Me will come to Me, and the one who is constantly coming to Me I will by no means cast out," Jn 6:32-37.
The food offering represented Christ as our food offering. His life, death, burial, and new birth resurrection is 1) food for our minds that we may grow in spiritual knowledge and discipline, 2) food for our passions and aspirations that we may order and prioritize our pursuit of the divine lifestyle, 3) food for our faith that we may have assurance and joy in fellowship with the Spirit of holiness, and 4) food for our will that we may stand fast in the faith of Christ and not be so quickly drawn away by the cunning devices of Satan and sin.
1. God's Inheritance in the Last Will and Testament.
5 "Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine," Ex 19:5.
16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.
17 "They shall be Mine, says the LORD of hosts, on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.
18 "Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him," Mal 3:16-18.
9 "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light," 1Pe 2:9.
These passages speak of the "oneness" of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in all the purpose and work of the Godhead. The Son, as an individual entity within the "oneness" of the Godhead, suffered, within Himself, the righteous wrath of the Godhead against all human sins in order to redeem out of the sinful human race a super special people created or born into the divine fullness of deity, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; 5:31-32; 2Pe 1:4; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23.
In an earthly last will and testament, the testator dies and lives no more in this life, but leaves his possessions to his heirs. In God's last will and testament, the Testator is the Son of God, who is eternally "one" with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And the last will and testament stipulates that the redemption cycle of the Son requires 1) a human virgin birth, 2) a sinless human life into adulthood, 3) performing an earthly ministry as the last will and testament High Priest, 4) suffering divine judgment against all human sins, 5) dying a vicarious human death and burial, 6) creating a divine "new man" in a resurrection birth into a divine human body filled with all the fullness of deity, 7) redeeming a vast host of faithful covenant saints into a fully divine "firstborn" state of being, and 8) putting down all disobedience, including Satan, all fallen angels, and all the unbelieving of mankind. This is a major inheritance of and for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. The Inheritance of the Faithful Last Will and Testament People.
16 "This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
17 "Today you have proclaimed the LORD to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice.
18 "Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments,
19 "And that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken," Deu 26:16-19.
This is a high and holy calling into the fullness of God's divine nature, 2Pe 1:4 (3-11); Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; 5:21-32; Col 2:9-10; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23. These will be firstborn sons of God, who will share a divine oneness with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to the last will and testament people as the earnest (guarantee) of that inheritance. The ministry of the Holy Spirit in His earnest ministry is to qualify a faithful firstborn people who treasure this "blessed hope" above all else in their earthly lives, Rom 8:13-30; Ti 2:11-15; Phi 3:7-14; Heb 11:1-40.
There will also forever be sons other than firstborn sons, with an immeasurable difference made between the two kinds of sons, Gen 4:4; 27:27-37; Ex 4:22-23; 10:5; 12:12,29-30; 13:12-16; 22:29; 34:19-20; Lev 27:26; Num 3:12-13. Run further reference though the Scriptures on the nation of the firstborn sons and its authority over the other nations.
God created the nations (Gen 11:7-9) with this perspective in mind, Gen 12:1-3; Ex 19:4-6; Deu 26:19. The faithful last will and testament people will be a nation of divine firstborn sons, while there will be other nations of sons who did not qualify for the divine firstborn sonship, Gal 4:3,9,19-31; 5:1-5; Rom 11:11-22; Heb 3:1-19; 12:1-29; 2Pe 1:3-10.
TWO KINGDOMS OF GOD
1. A Kingdom that Includes All Creation.
34 "And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 "All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?'" Dan 4:34-35.
Nebuchadnezzar here acknowledged that all creation is the kingdom of the God of Daniel. We read the same acknowledgment from king Darius in Dan 6:26. Again, in Dan 7:13-14, the heavenly Father gives Christ the Millennial kingdom that includes "all people, nations, and languages." This is the same kingdom (the whole earth) as in the case of king Nebuchadnezzar and king Darius, indicated above. These kingdoms include multitudes of people who have not been born again. The kingdom of Christ during the Millennium will include many unsaved people, who will rebel against Christ at the end of the Millennium, Rev 20:7-10.
2. A Kingdom of Born Again (Divine) Last Will and Testament People Only.
5 "Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God,'" Jn 3:5.
This kingdom of God will consist of born again people only. Unless one is born again he or she cannot enter this divine kingdom of God. As surely as there are two births, there are also two kingdoms. Our human birth brought us into God's general kingdom, which includes all creation as shown in 1) above. Being born again brings the faithful last will and testament people into a divine kingdom of firstborn sons – born again into the full image and likeness of God.
We have demonstrated many times that the new birth is a resurrection birth when Christ returns. Christ had a virgin birth to begin His human life, and His human body was born again into a divine body in His resurrection, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; 1Co 15:44-50; et al.
We were born again metaphorically at the time of scriptural water baptism. The real new birth will take place when Christ returns, if we have been faithful by grace through faith, which is the working of the Spirit in and through us. The church is not really the body of Christ, yet in the metaphor (a figure of speech) the church is the body of Christ. Therefore, as the body of Christ (metaphorically), the church and its members were 1) crucified together with Christ in the human body of Christ, 2) died together with Christ in the human body of Christ, 3) buried together with Christ in the human body of Christ, and 4) born again out of the grave into divine bodies together with Christ when His human body was divinely born again out of the grave.
On this basis (a metaphor) of being divinely born again, we have the indwelling presence and working of the Holy Spirit to qualify us for and guarantee us a real divine birth when Christ returns. The qualifying requirement is that we (by the Spirit) bear about in our bodies the dying of the Lord that the life of Christ may be manifest in our daily lives, 2Co 3; 4; 5.
Many hundreds of thousands of animals and fowls were offered in sacrifice in the Old Testament. Each animal and fowl represented Christ, and each sacrifice also represented the person who brought the sacrifice. The offerer laid his hand on the head of the sacrifice symbolizing the offerer becoming "one" with Christ in His death, burial, and new birth resurrection.
The whole ceremony of the sacrifice ended by the priests eating part of the sacrifice which symbolized 1) the divine new birth resurrection of Christ, 2) the divine resurrection birth of the person or persons who brought the sacrifice, and 3) the divine resurrection birth of all the faithful last will and testament people. The offerer, the sacrifice, God's part, and the priest's part – all represent the divine birth of the faithful testament people when Christ returns. This is the whole prophetic testimony of the food offering and all the animal sacrifices. The divine Seed of the woman had to pass through this redemption cycle from human birth to divine birth in order to redeem a divine firstborn sonship.
Therefore, in scriptural water baptism, every true believer is baptized into this symbolic divine state of being, and receives the Holy Spirit on that basis, Jn 7:39; Gal 4:4-7; Rom 4:17; 5:21 thru 6:23; 8:1-30. The church is not really the "body" of Christ, was not really crucified together with Christ, did not really die together with Christ, was not really buried in a grave together with Christ, and was not really been born again out of the grave into a divine state of being together with Christ. This is a metaphor (a reckoning, Rom 4:17; 6:3-5), and is the basis for the church (the last will and testament people) receiving the Holy Spirit, Jn 7:39; Gal 4:1-7. Of course, all the faithful testament people from Adam on will be included in this divine resurrection birth.
Again we will reference the fact that God has two kingdoms: 1) a general kingdom, which includes all creation, and 2) a divine kingdom which includes only firstborn sons, divinely born again into a divine state of being – into the fullness of the image and likeness of God, Gal 4:4-7; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10; 2Pe 1:4.
TWO HOUSES OF GOD
1. A Great House Which Includes Both Firstborn sons and other sons.
19 "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,' and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.'
20 "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.
21 "Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work," 2Ti 2:19-21.
In this general house there are both kinds of sons: firstborn sons and other sons. This house has in it, sons like Ishmael and Esau: Ishmael who was a slave son and Esau who loved the things of this world more than the promised birthright, Heb 12:15-17. Neither one of them qualified as progenitors of the lineage of the firstborn sonship.
However, tracing their descendants as far as Job indicates that many of them faithfully taught their immediate descendants. Although it appears that most of them were not spiritually minded, took wives of the Canaanites, did not sufficiently purge out the things of dishonor, did not qualify as vessels of honor, and were eventually rejected from the firstborn sonship entirely.
Many of them, like Job, indeed did qualify for the firstborn sonship, though not of the covenant lineage. Along with these were some under the covenant with Adam, such as Melchizedek, Jethro, and others who worshiped God acceptably.
God's covenant with Adam continued until the Law Covenant was given (Lev 23:23-26), from that time all outside the Law Covenant were counted as "unclean." And now, under the New Covenant, to be counted as "clean", one must believe and be baptized into a true local church, which is called the body of Christ, Lk 7:29-30; Rom 6:3-6; Gal 3:26-29; Col 2:11-13; et al.
Before Abraham died, he gave "gifts" to each of the other sons, but "gave all that he had to Isaac" as the inheritance of the firstborn, Gen 25:5-6. This restricted the last will and testament with its firstborn birthright inheritance to the descendants of Isaac, then to the descendants of Jacob, Gen 25 thru 27:27-37; Rom 4:13; 8:17-32; 1Co 3:21-23.
The last will and testament with its firstborn birthright still belongs to Israel. However, Israel is currently under severe judgment until the Lord returns, and the church has been grafted into the covenant or testament position. Now, those who qualify in a true New Testament church will inherit all things jointly together with Christ, including the fullness of the divine nature, Gen 1:26-27; Gal 3:6-29; Col 2:9-17; 2Pe 1:4; Jn 17:21-23. This is for all the faithful testament people from Adam on; Rom 4:13; 8:13-32; 9:4; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; Col 2:9-10; 2Pe 1:4.
2. A Great House of Firstborn sons Who Faithfully Purge Out the Things of Dishonor.
19 "Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,' and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity...'
21 "Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work," 2Ti 2:19,21.
To be a vessel of honor, one must cleanse himself from the things of dishonor. The church is the house of God which purges out the leaven that is in it, Mt 18:15-19; 1Co 5; 2Th 3:6-15. No church or individual can be completely free from sin in this life, yet an "inactive church roll" is strictly forbidden according to these passages. A little leaven leavens the whole church, and Satan can take a very leavened church and make it look spiritual and on fire for the Lord. The Pharisees in the Bible looked very good to the Pharisees and to most of Israel, but the Lord spoke differently in Mt 23.
Leaven represents sin in our lives and in our church. And the verses above say that a little leaven (a little sin) leavens the whole lump. It will leaven our individual lives, our family, and our church. And we are commanded, as individuals and as a church, to be constantly striving to purge out all leaven of any and every kind from our lies, from our family, and from our church. Those who do not do this will not be firstborn sons and will not share in the firstborn birthright of the divine sonship. The unfaithful saved will be in God's larger household, but they will never share in the divine sonship of the firstborn sons, 2Pe 1:3-11.
God's overall house has firstborn sons and other sons; divine sons who are free, and slave or servant sons who are not free, Jn 8:34-36; Gal 4:21-31; Heb 12:8. The firstborn sons will be as free as the divine nature and will be above the righteous angels, Heb 1:14; 2:5; 1Co 3:21-23.
The slave sons will forever be slaves of the elementary laws of the universe which the Law Covenant represented, Gal 4:3,9,21-31; Col 2:8,20. The elementary laws of the universe are hunger, thirst, food, water, air, heat, cold, time, distance, height, depth, material substance, darkness, light, sickness, disease, death, and many other such things.
Many of these things will still exist during the Millennium even with the curse lifted (Rom 8:19-22), and also on the new earth because only the firstborn sons will have divine, spirit bodies. The divine nature is a promise for which we must faithfully overcome in order to receive the things promised, 2Pe 1:4 (3-10; Rom 9:4.
We must in this life persistently strive day by day to purge out the old leaven and all that corrupts and dishonors, in order to qualify for the firstborn birthright, which is the last will and testament inheritance, 1Co 5; 2Ti 1:19-21; Heb 9:11-17; 12:1-17. The vessels of dishonor will not share in the firstborn sonship, while the firstborn sonship will be honorable all in all. No vessels to dishonor will have part in the divine sonship, though they are in the overall household, 2Ti 2:19-21.
21 "Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work," 2Ti 2:21.
See also verses 19-20 above, where Paul says the foundation of God stands sure, and writes of some, who at one time did stand fast, were turning away or had turned away from the truth and from holy living which are required for inheriting the firstborn sonship, 1Ti 1:18-20; 2Ti 1:17-22. "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
This is necessary in order to be a vessel of honor and be prepared for every honorable use. It is also necessary in order to be firstborn sons and receive the inheritance of the last will and testament. This house will have vessels of honor only, while the overall house will also have the other servant sons who are not vessels of honor.
These will be sons of a servile, menial status. They will be the nations on the new earth who will never enter the New Jerusalem, and whose praise and worship will be brought into the city before God by the firstborn sons and their ministering angels, Rev 21;23-26; Heb 1:14.