Firstborn Sonship of Christ

Vol 27 No 1
January 2002
The New Birth
Series Number: 33



      We continue correlating the functions of the Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament from the December 2001 issue.


      9 "And they made His grave with the wicked – but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth," Isa 53:9.
      Isa 53 is indeed one of the most beautiful chapters in all the Holy Scriptures. It is completely Messianic and should include the last three verses of Isa 52. It presents a portrait of the "Servant" Messiah from birth to His second coming, though specifically mentioning neither. It primarily presents His humble humanity, His "without blemish" suffering as our sin bearer, and His final glory, which is yet to be revealed in irresistible and divine majesty over all creation.
      Both His death and burial are mentioned in verse 9. This death and burial would last only three days, according to prophecy (Jon 2:1), that His body should not "see corruption," Ps 16:10. During these three days the Messiah would be engaged in a delightful mission into the heart of the earth, Deu 30:11-14 (Rom 10:6-8); Ps 68:17-18; Lk 23:43; 2Co 12:1-3; Eph 4:7-11.
      "Now the Lord had commanded a great whale to swallow up Jonas; and Jonas was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights," Jon 2:1. LXX.
      Evidently in Mt 12:40 Jesus quoted from the Septuagint, and said this was a "sign" – a type, or prophetic and symbolic testimony of His death, burial, and resurrection. We may ask how that experience of Jonah's could be understood and interpreted as a "sign" which prophetically pointed to the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah? That is the work of the Holy Spirit. He gives understanding of the Scriptures to those who properly respond to His leading.
      Though Jesus was God in a human body, He lived as a human, studied the Scriptures as a human, and learned divine truth as a human. The Spirit taught Him from the Scriptures who He was and what His mission on earth was as the Messiah, Isa 50:4-10; Lk 2:40,52. As our substitute and example, He had to live and learn the Scriptures the same way we do – by a godly life and diligent, tenacious study of the Scriptures.


      9 "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," Ps 16:9-10.
     This was a very important part of the Messiah's redemption work. His body was buried, but He in the Spirit descended on down into Paradise (Lk 23:43), a part of Sheol until that time. Sheol was divided into two major parts: one was a place of punishment, and the other was Paradise, Lk 16:19-31; 23:43. Both are places of holding until future resurrections and judgments.
      The Messiah (Jesus), transported by the Holy Spirit (1Pe 3:18-20) and accompanied by a vast host of angels (Ps 68:16-17), was probably observed and heard from both places in Sheol. He obviously proclaimed to all, among other things, 1) who He was as the Messiah and Testator, 2) what He had done on earth, and 3) how He was fulfilling the last will and testaments, 1Pe 3:18-20. A major part of His mission in Sheol was to move Paradise out of the heart of the earth and into the presence of God in the third heaven, 2Co 12:1-3; Eph 4:8-10. This was in fulfillment of the Scriptures, Deu 30:11-14 (Rom 10:6-7); Ps 68:17-18; Eph 4:8-10.
      The spirits of the faithful Old Testament saints were held in Paradise, but were still in captivity until Christ and His angels transported them to the third heaven, Ps 68:17-18. Paul was later caught up to Paradise in the third heaven, 2Co 12:1-3; Rev 6:9-11.


      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.
      The Messiah must be God, but He must be God in a human body, and this human body must be completely human. His body must be restricted to mere human experiences, except miracle working, prophesying, and other gifts of the Spirit during His personal ministry. His human body required food and drink, became tired and weakened, had to sleep and rest, be crucified, bleed, die, be buried, and arise from the dead the third day, Ps 40:6-8; 22:1-21; 16:9-11; Isa 53:8-9; Jon 2:1 – LXX.
      The human body of the Messiah had to be raised from the dead into a born again, divine state of being, Ps 2:7. And to be a divine body, the body must possess all the fullness of God's divine nature above all the natural laws of the created universe. All the works of God's hands were placed under Adam's authority (Gen 1:26-31; Ps 8:3-6) on a conditional basis of believe and obey, Gen 2:16-17. To disobey carried the penalty of "death," and to obey promised divine "life" in the tree of life, Gen 2:24 (Eph 5:31-32; Jn 17:21-23); Gen 3:20; 15:1; Deu 30:10-15,19-20; Ps 17:15; Dan 12:2-3.
      When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, he disobeyed God, was instantly caught in Satan's trap, and became the servant of Satan, Rom 6:16. Thus Satan became the god of this world, 2Co 4:4; 1Jn 5:19. However, God permitted this to happen that He might demonstrate His infinite love, mercy, justice, power, wrath, etc. (Rom 9:22-23) by means of a last will and testament, where the Son of God becomes the Testator, the Redeemer, and the Seed of the woman, Gen 3:15-21; Isa 54:5; Dan 7:13-14; Heb 9:16-17; Rev 5:1-10. As the Testator, Redeemer, and Seed of the woman, He must experience all the covenant required steps of redemption, one of which was to arise from the dead in a divine body possessing all the fullness of God, Isa 53:1-12; 54:5; Col 2:9; 1Co 15;44-50; Jn 3:8; Lk 24:31-43; Jn 20:24-28.


      17 "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands; the Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place.
      18 "You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts for men, even for the rebellious (all are sinners), that the LORD God might dwell there," Ps 6817-18.
      The covenant (last will and testament) required that Paradise be positioned in Sheol until the Messiah (the Son of God in a human body) perfectly fulfill all the testament stipulations being enumerated and verified in this writing from the Old and New Testaments. Sheol and Paradise are always addressed as in the Old Testament, whereas Paul in the New Testament addressed Paradise as in the third heaven, 2Co 12:1-4. Also, the spirits of the dead saints are described as now being under the altar in the presence of God in heaven, Rev 6:9-11.
      As Jesus was dying on the cross, He said to the repenting thief, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise," Lk 23:43. However, after three days in Sheol, Christ ascended out of Sheol, arose from the grave in a divine body, and moved Paradise from Sheol to the third heaven where Paul was later caught up, 2Co 12:1-3.
      When Christ, as the Son of God and Redeemer, ascended back to heaven, He received from the Father the Gift of the Holy Spirit, which He sent upon the church, Act 2:33 (1-33); Eph 4:7-10. The church was able to utilize these miraculous gifts until the inspired writings (the Bible) were finished, from which time only three spiritual gifts (faith, hope, and love) will remain until Christ returns, 1Co 13:8-13; Eph 4:7-14.


      1 "The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'
      2 "The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
      3 "Your people shall be volunteers In the day of Your power; in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning (resurrection), You have the dew of Your youth.
      4 "The LORD has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,'" Ps 110:1-4.
      This is an explicit prophecy of the Messiah (God in a deified human body) having ascended back to heaven, being seated at the right hand of the Father, and interceding for the covenant people, Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25-28. This was a monumental prophecy of the priesthood of Christ that must supercede the Levitical priesthood. This striking prophecy should have been understood by the alert and faithful Jews of Nicodemus' day.
      The Son of David, Heir of David's throne, would be born into the tribe of Judah (Mt 1;1-17; Lk 3:23-38), and therefore would not be a son of Aaron. He could not be a priest in the priesthood of Aaron, because only Aaron's sons could serve in the Levitical priesthood, Ex 28 & 29; Lev 8; Num 3:1-10. This required a complete change of priesthood from the Levitical priesthood of the tribe of Levi to the Messianic priesthood of the tribe of Judah, which is by prophecy after the order of Melchizedek, Ps 110:1-4; Heb 6:20; 7:1-21.
      This further required a change of covenant from the Law Covenant to the New Covenant (Heb 7:12-22), in fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy that God would make a New Covenant with the house of Israel because they did not keep the Law Covenant, Jer 31:31-34. Israel's inability to perfectly keep the Law Covenant revealed the temporary status of that covenant – it could make nothing perfect, Heb 7:18-19,23-24; 10:1-2.
      We will here enumerate some of the reasons Nicodemus and others of that generation could have and should have recognized these clearly prophesied changes:
      1 A Change of Priesthood. David prophesied that God's "oath" would produce a very striking change of priesthood from that of Aaron to that of the Messiah, according to the symbolism of Melchizedek's priesthood – without beginning and without end, Ps 110:1-4; Heb 7:3,15-21 (1-28).
      2) A Change of Covenants. Jeremiah also prophesied there would be a change of covenants from the Law Covenant to the New Covenant – "For the Law make nothing perfect," Jer 31:31-34; Heb 7:8:8-10.
      3) Death Required a New Covenant. The Levitical priests died and the people also died, testifying that the Law Covenant made nothing perfect – death was not conquered. Death still reigned, Rom 5:12-21; Heb 7:15-28. And death still reigns in us, though Christ has conquered death, hell, and the grave (Rev 1:18), and the church is counted as being Christ's deified body, Col 1:18; Eph 2:13-16. Death still reigns in our mortal bodies on a conditional basis until Christ returns.
      God has predestined that we must undergo covenant training in the same way the Old Testament covenant people did. We must wage warfare in our sinful bodies against our sinful nature and against the evil forces around us, 2Co 10:3-6; Eph 6:12-18. In this warfare we must learn obedience by the things we suffer, in order to be overcomers and share the firstborn sonship of Christ, 1Co 9:23-27; Heb 3:1 thru 4:16; 5:7-8; 12:1-17.
      As with the Old Testament faithful, grace still reigns through faith; and is credited for God's righteousness into divine life (Rom 5:21) to all who walk in the steps of Abraham's faith, Rom 4:12; Gal 3:6-9. This is true only within the covenant environment of a true local church, Gal 3:27-29; Rom 6:2-23.
      4) A Remembrance of Past Sins. Every year on the day of atonement a remembrance of past sins was made in a very dramatic way, demonstrating that the conscience was never made perfect under the Law Covenant: the blood of bulls and goats did not really take away sin, Lev 16; Heb 10:1-4. The blood of animals therefore served only on a temporary credit-like basis until the Messiah offered His own human body as the true sin offering, Ps 40:6-8; Isa 53:10-12; Zec 12:10; Ps 22; Heb 9:11 thru 10:20.
      5) Clean animals without blemish. Clean animals without blemish constantly bore witness that the Messiah would be without sin, therefore a change of the priesthood was necessary, Ex 12:5; Isa 53:6-9; Lev 1 thru 9; Heb 7:26-28. The Law Covenant priests, including the high priest, were all sinners and all died (Lev 3:1-12; 16:6,11-14), therefore that priesthood must come to an end and be superceded by the priesthood of the Messiah who was not a sinner and could therefore die for all sinful mankind, Heb 7:23-28.
      6) Seated at the Right Hand of the Father. The Messiah would be seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven in a heavenly, born again, divine body, send the Holy Spirit as a special helper and guarantee of divine inheritance (divine life) to all faithful covenant people, while Christ intercedes in heaven for that same bride people on earth through this church age, Ps 2:7; 17:15; 110:1; Dan 7:13-14; 12:2-3; Mal 4:3; Eph 4:8-16; 5:31-32; Heb 7.
      7) A Kingdom of Priests. The Messiah and His kingdom of priests would comprise a divine priesthood, Ps 110:1-4; Ex 19:3-6; Isa 61:1 thru 62:3. This "royal priesthood" (1Pe 2:9) will constitute a divine kingdom of royal priests who will inherit and share Christ's firstborn sonship over all creation, Ps 8:3-6; Heb 2:5-18; Rev 20:4-6; 22:3-5.


      13 "I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.
      14 "Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed," Dan 7:13-14.
      The "Son of Man" is here crowned as King of kings and Lord of lords over "all peoples, nations, and languages," and over all the works of God's hands, Ps 8:3-6; 102;25-28. His kingdom is an everlasting dominion that shall not be destroyed nor pass away, Dan 7:13-14.
      1) The Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14, God in a sinless human body) is the Son of God, who would be born into the human family by a virgin birth to be the Son of David, sit on the throne of David, and rule over all the works of God's hands, Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; Ps 2:7-9; 8:3-6; Heb 2:5-13.
      2) The Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14, God in a sinless human body) is the Testator who prepared the last will and testament and therefore had to qualify through a virgin birth, a sinless life, a vicarious death, burial, and a resurrection in order to regain what Adam lost, including a resurrection birth into the divine life offered initially in the tree of life, Gen 2:9,16-17; 3:15,20-21; Ps 40:6-8; Isa 53; Heb 9:16-17; 10:5-10.
      3) The Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14, as God in a sinless human body) is therefore the Messiah who will sit on David's throne and rule over all the works of God's hands, but must qualify as indicated in 1) and 2) above.
      4) The Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14, God in a sinless human body) is the Seed of the woman who will crush the head of the serpent Satan, Gen 3:15. To crush Satan's head (Satan's power), the Son of man, as the Seed of the woman, must be born into the human family without sin, live a sinless life as a human under covenant discipline, suffer the punishment for the sins of all mankind, die a vicarious death, be buried, and His body be born again into a divine state of being as the Son of God with divine power above that of Satan who is a created being and is not divine.
      5) The Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14, God in a sinless human body) is our Kinsman Redeemer, who, by many prophecies and types, had to qualify under covenant training and perform as stated in 1) thru 4) above. See also Lev 25 for the laws governing a kinsman redeemer.
      6) The Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14, God in a sinless human body) is also the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, and therefore must qualify and perform as stated in 1) thru 5) above.
      7) The Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14, God in a sinless human body) is the humble Servant of God who also must qualify under covenant training as indicated in 1) thru 6) above. The ministry and suffering of the Messiah as the Servant of God is seen in Isa 42 thru 53. His ministry as described in these chapters portrays Him as the Redeemer of Israel and puts Him on the throne of David, and the whole earth will wait on His law, Isa 42:1,4,6,10; 49:5-7.
      8) The Son of Man (Dan 7:13-14, God in a sinless human body), both here and in Ps 8:3-6, is given all nations and all creation as His kingdom forever with no end. A simple correlation of these prophetic passages requires this to be the throne of David, as both the Son of David and the Son of God, Ps 2:7-9; 8:3-6; 45:6-7; 89:26-29; 102:23-28; 110:1-4; Isa 2:1-4; 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Dan 2:44-45; 7:13-14,18,22,26-27; Heb 2:5-18; Eph 1:18-22. This phase of His kingdom will last 1,000 years, providing a utopian oriented "rest," and fulfilling the prophetic seventh day of creation "rest," Gen 1:3 thru 2:3; Heb 4:3-4 (3:1 thru 4:11).
      The Son of Man is to be seen here as the brilliantly shining "Sun of righteousness" (Mal 4:2), as He later appeared on the mount of transfiguration (Mt 17:1-2; Mk 9:1-3; Lk 9:28-29), as He appeared to Paul, (Act 26:13), and as the saints will shine as the sun in deified bodies eternally, Dan 12:3; Mt 13:43.


      12 "I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.
      13 "And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
      14 "Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place," Rev 6:12-14.
      Compare this with Mt 24:29. This terrible shaking of the physical universe, including crushing the power of Satan and fallen angels over the physical universe (Eph 6:12), will take place "immediately" after the two witnesses of Rev 11 are caught up to heaven. The heavenly court will be set in place in mid-heaven, the Father as Judge is seated, and the books are opened for official action to begin. This is a major session of the heavenly court, at least the beginning of which will be public before all creation, Rev 6:12-17; Dan 7:9-10,13-14; Ps 2:4-6; Pro 1:24-27; Jn 1:51.
      The first order of activity for the court is the crowning of the Son of Man as King of kings and Lord of lords over all the works of God's hands, Dan 7:13-14; Ps 8:3-6; Heb 2:5-17. Here the true Messiah, the true Christ, will be righteously, royally, and eternally honored and given authority and a name above every name before all righteous angels, demons, and mankind in heaven and in earth.
      The next activity of the court, as seen in Dan 7, is when God personally and publicly confronts all mankind, especially those alive on earth, and chides them because of their inexcusable and scornful disbelief toward His Word and the long-extended merciful and forbearing works of the Godhead on their behalf, Rev 6:12-17; Dan 7:9-10,13-14; Ps 2:4-6; Pro 1:24-27; Rom 9:22-23.


      14 "Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,
      15 "To execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him,'" Jud 14-15.
      The Son of Man will return to the earth in irresistible majesty with His deified saints and the righteous angels to execute the judgments of God's wrath as described in Dan 7 and Rev 16, See also Zec 14:4-5; 2Th 1:7-9; Heb 1:14. The court of heaven will be in session and will be visible to all creation for at least part of this period of God's wrath which will last for 1,335 days, Dan 7:9-14,18, 22,26; 12:12,; Ps 2:4-6; 59:8; Pro 1:26-31; Jn 1:51; Rev 6:12-17. These are the first 1,335 days of the millennial reign of Christ: the seventh millennium, represented by the sabbath day of "rest" of Gen 2:1-3, Heb 4:3-4.


      We return briefly to the correlation of the Son of God, the Seed of the woman, the Son of Man, the Son of David, and the Branch of David, all as one and the same "Jehovah our righteousness."
      The throne of David and the Son of David go together and are a major theme throughout the Scriptures. We have also seen from many Scriptures that the Son of David and the Son of God are one and the same Person, Ps 2:7-9; 110:1; Mt 22:41-46. David understood this and therefore understood that the Son of God would be born into the human family, and thereby become both the Son of David and the Son of Man as well as the Son of God.
      To this end, David prophesied that the Father would make the Son to be a human in a human body, lower than the angels, Ps 8:3-6. By the virgin birth, Jehovah became the Seed of the woman, the Son of Man, the Son of David, Gen 3:15; Ps 8:3-6; Isa 7:14; 9:6-7. By His sinless life, vicarious death, burial, and divine resurrection, He became "Jehovah our righteousness," Jer 23:5-6; 33:15-16.
      Furthermore, God revealed to David that the human body of the Son of Man (David's descendant) was constantly being represented by the bodies of sacrificial animals that were being slain every day and offered in sacrifice before God by the covenant people, Ps 40:6-8; Heb 10:5-10. Therefore David prophesied of the death, burial, and divine resurrection birth of the human body of His Descendant, who would be the Son of Man, the Son of God, and the promised Redeemer and Messiah, Ps 16:7-11; 2:7-9; 110:104; Act 2:25-35; Mt 22:41-46.


      Isaiah was born some 210 years after David died, and served as a prophet until he was 80 years old. He prophesied that God (the Son of God) would be born of a virgin into a human body (Isa 7:14), and thereby become "God with us" as a human being, Isa 7:14; Mt 1:23. Isaiah further prophesied that God, born into a human body as a descendant of David, would reign on David's throne forever, Isa 8:6-7; 11:1-9. Isaiah did not use the term "Son of Man," but his prophecies required the Son of God to be "the Son of Man" (Isa 11:1-9; 7:14; 9:6-7), with all the glory and majesty of the Son of God.


      Jeremiah came on the scene some 400 years after Isaiah, shortly before Daniel, and was contemporary with Daniel most of his life, though Daniel was carried away to Babylon early in Daniel's life. Jeremiah obviously understood the Scriptures, and therefore with the writings of David and Isaiah concerning God (the Son of God) being born into a human body. He was well aware of the divine-human-divine pattern of prophetic events from the virgin birth of the Seed of the woman to the divine resurrection of the human body of the Messiah, Jer 23:5-6; 33:15-16.


      Daniel also made a prophecy of "the Son of Man" being ushered in before the Father (Dan 7:13-14) and given the throne of David about 150 years after Isaiah died. And Daniel's prophecy (Dan 7) was over 400 years after David died, after Jeremiah made his prophecies, Dan 9:2. Daniel was obviously well acquainted with David's prophecy in Psalm 8:3-6 and with its Messianic application. Daniel was very studious and was well acquainted with the writings of David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and all before him, and understood that the Son of David was predestined to rule the nations through the Millennium and eternally, Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Jer 23:5-6; 33:15-25; Dan 2:44-45; 7:13-14.