Firstborn Sonship of Christ
Vol 26 No 7
The New Birth
Series Number: 31
INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT
Each reader will be benefited considerably by reading again the beginning of this article in the May issue of The Midnight Cry. A brief review is given below:
1. A covenant may or may not be a "last will and testament," yet each of the "covenants of promise" (Eph 2:12) in the Bible was and is "a last will and testament" type of covenant. In a "will" the "testator" must "die" before the "will" becomes effective. God's first covenant with Adam was not a "last will and testament" because there was yet no sin in the human family, and without sin there is no death or need of redemption.
2. In Rev 5 there is a little scroll in the hand of God the Father, sealed with seven seals. A search was made for one worthy to break the seals, reveal the contents, and execute the terms of the "will." The search at first was fruitless and John "wept much." Then one of the elders, who evidently was one of the official witnesses to the writing and sealing of the scroll, told John not to weep for One had been found worthy of the tribe of Judah (a human) and of the seed of David (the King of prophecy). When John looked, he saw "a Lamb as though It had been slain." This requires that the scroll in the hand of the Father was a last will and testament.
3. Obviously the scroll is a "last will and testament," which was written and sealed before the foundation of the world as we know it, 1Pe 1:18-20; Eph 1:4-5; 2Ti 1:9; Ti 1:2; Jn 17:24. The witnesses are the twenty-four elders and the cherubim, with perhaps other angels. See Jeremiah 32:6-16 for an example of this type of redemption document, sealed, with witnesses, and with and "open" copy of the sealed document. The "open" copy of the scroll in the hand of the Father is evidently what we have at least generally in the Old and New Testaments.
4. Christ is the Testator who must "die" before the "last will and testament" could become effective, Heb 9:12-17. He is the prophesied Son of David of the tribe of Judah, Isa 9:6-7. He is worthy to open the seals and execute the terms of the "last will and testament," because He is God in a human body, was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, suffered God's wrath on the cross against our sins, died, was buried, and raised from the grave in a divine resurrection birth.
5. All the covenants of promise contain, at least generally, the same content as the "scroll" or "last will and testament" of Rev 5. According to Jer 32:11-14, there is a sealed document and also an "open" document that is not sealed. Both documents contain the same content, witnessed to by the witnesses. Christ is the Testator of all the covenants (last will and testaments) from Adam on. And as the Testator of each of the last will and testaments, Christ was predestined to "die" from before the foundation of the world, Act 2:23; 1Pe 1:18-20.
6. The Holy Spirit is the Executor of all the "last will and testaments," according to the direction of the heavenly count, Gen 6:3; 1Sa 16:14; Ps 139:7-12; Zec 4:6. This includes all the Old Testament covenants or "wills," in which "wills" the sacrificed animals represent Christ as the Testator of each of last will and testaments. In all the covenants the Holy Spirit is the Executor of each of the "wills." Christ has the seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God, which indicates fullness or the full ministry of the Holy Spirit, Zec 4:1-10; Rev 1:4; 3:1-2; 5:6.
7. Christ is the Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15), born of a virgin to be God in human flesh and without the sin nature of man, Isa 7:14: 9:6-7; Mt 1:18-25. Of course, the Seed of the woman had to live a perfect life as portrayed by each sacrificial animal "without spot or blemish," (Gen 7:2-3; 8:20; :Ex 12:5; Lev 1 thru 9; 1Pe 1:18-20), and He had to do this as a human. It was man that sinned and a sinless God-man must die for man's sins.
8. Christ is the Father's divine Avenger of blood, Gen 3:15. He is the Avenger who has already lived the perfect life, endured the cross, conquered death, and stands qualified to crush Satan's power, Col 2:14-17. But Christ is also the divine Avenger who will punish all mankind who reject Him. Not only this but He will judge all faithful covenant people with less or greater divine life according to their degree of diligent service to Him. All who are faithful in covenant standing are laying up treasures in heaven (Mt 6:20-21), but conversely we are constantly losing some or all of what we have wrought, 2Jn 8; Rev 3:11.
9. Animal sacrifices in worship was a major part of all the Old Testament covenants. God revised His initial covenant with Adam and made it a "last will and testament," which required the death of the Seed of the woman, who was also the testament Testator. This death was symbolized by the slaying of animals, their bodies being burned on an altar, and their skins providing clothing for Adam and Eve, Gen 3:21. All of this was obviously demonstrated by the Testator before the eyes and ears of Adam and Eve while they were still in the Garden of Eden. The vital instruction symbolism would not have been complete if the Testator had thrown the bodies of the animals aside or buried them. For the symbolism to be complete the bodies of the animals, which symbolized the death of the Testator, also had to be burned upon an altar.
10. "A burnt sacrifice," and other offerings "made by fire" are so consistently a covenant requirement that it appears inconsistent to think that the Lord did not demonstrate this "last will and testament" worship requirement immediately in the Garden. As a "last will and testament," it would not be effective until the symbolic death and symbolic burning of the body of the Testator. The burning of the body of the animals (symbolizing God's judgment upon the body of the Testator) signified: a) testing – Christ was still being tested on the Cross, Ps 22; Heb 2:10; 12:2, b) punishment for our sins, 1Pe 2:24; 3:18, and c) God's satisfaction and final approval, Gen 4:4; 8:20-22; Isa 53:11-12.
11. Sacrifices and offerings were primarily symbolic of the human now deified body of Christ – "a body you have prepared for me," Ps 40:6-8; Heb 10:5-10. This is not merely a New Covenant application, but must be applied from Gen 3 throughout both Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament saints were partakers of Christ (of the body of Christ) by grace through faith as they sacrificed animals and offered other burnt offerings along with all their worship in their daily lives based upon the same.
12. Death must be swallowed up in victory by the resurrection of the body back into its original state that is free from sin and death. Adam and Eve sinned and died in that they became sinners and were separated from God and from the divine life of the tree of life, with the destiny of physical death, hell, and the lake of fire into the ages of the ages. God did not leave Adam and Eve and their descendants without knowledge of these things. The death of the Testator promised resurrection back into a sinless state. But more than a sinless state of being: the tree of life held the promise of divine life, for which the Testator would qualify to receive as well as putting Satan (the tempter) out of power and into his appointed place of punishment. This last will and testament provided for the faithful covenant people to likewise receive the divine life promised in the tree of life. This is the inherent fulfilment of Gen 3:15.
13. Adam's statement of the institution of marriage that the two would be "one flesh," (Gen 2:24) was based upon the Testator's exposition promise of "oneness" with God," Eph 5:31; 1:22-23; 3:19; Col 1:19; 2:9-10; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; et al. This "oneness with God" runs through all the covenants (last will and testaments): all the faithful covenant people were to be obedient by grace through faith, and would thereby be partaking of Christ into this covenant promised "oneness with God." As we read and study through the Bible it becomes more and more obvious (necessarily so) that God instructed Adam and Eve about qualifying for this "divine oneness." Observe as we continue from last month's article on Gen 3 and related passages on the first "last will and testament" covenant.
THE PROPHECY OF ENOCH
14 "Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands (myriads) 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,'" Jude 14-15.
The life promised in the tree of life would result in the state of being of which Enoch prophesied. This prophesy is the same as that of Zechariah which states that Jehovah will come with myriads of saints to execute judgment, Zec 14:5. Malachi also wrote that Christ will arise as "the Sun of righteousness" (Mal 4:2), signifying a divine birth brilliance
David said, "As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness," Ps 17:15. Daniel saw the Testator of all the last will and testament covenants ushered in before the Father in heaven (obviously in great glory) to receive the throne of David and establish the kingdom of God on earth, Dan 2:44-45; 7:13-14. Daniel also wrote of the saints shining as the brightness of the firmament, Dan 12:3. And the Spirit moved Paul to draw from this promise when Paul wrote that Christ will be revealed from heaven with the angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on the ungodly, 2Th 1:7-9.
The harmony runs through the Scriptures from the prophesy of Enoch who was contemporary with Adam for the last 250 years of Adam's life. We would be remiss to think Adam left the Garden in darkness with regard to this "oneness with God." "The two shall be one flesh" indicates a divine marriage throughout the Scriptures as we will continue to observe. In conjunction with God taking a rib from Adam and creating Eve, God had explained to them His far reaching purpose of the marriage relationship; that is, that those of Adam, Eve, and their descendants who would believe and obey Him would be conformed to God's divine image and would be "one" with God. Observe as we continue.
THE MOTHER OF ALL THE LIVING ONES
"And Adam called his wife's name Eve (life), because she was the mother of all the living ones,"
Adam called his wife's name "life"
because she was the mother of all those who are living. This statement came after Adam and Eve had sinned, after the Testator had nearly finished his exposition of the last will and testament, and after He had told Adam and Eve that their bodies would return to the dust out of which they were created, Gen 3:19-20.
When Eve was created Adam made a prophetic statement of the marriage union that the two should become "one flesh,"
Gen 2:24. This speaks not only of a ideal marriage union between husband and wife, but also of an inexpressibly happy and divine oneness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit with all the truly faithful covenant people eternally, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 5:31-32; Col 1:19; 2:9-21; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; 1Co 6:15-17
The divine, heavenly "spirit"
body of 1Co 15:44-50 (6:15-17; Rom 8:9-11,23-25) is that unique "life"
promised in "the tree of life,"
and possessed only by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. At this point in the Testator's explanation of the "last will and testament,"
and as a necessary part of the last will and testament disposition, the Testator killed the lambs (witnessed to later by Abel's offering, Gen 4:4), built an altar, and burned their bodies on the altar. What otherwise would God do with the bodies that furnished the skins with which He clothed Adam and Eve? Gen 3:21.
During His disposition of the "last will and testament"
the Testator obviously demonstrated to Adam and Eve, how they and their descendants were to worship God. And as a necessary part of this, He explained the immeasurably excelling goal in His redemptive purpose: that of rigidly training a faithful covenant people whom He will conform to His own divine image
This last statement by Adam that Eve would be "the mother of all the living ones"
(Gen 3:20) points primarily to the Seed of the woman and to those who would endure the covenant disciplinary training indicated in the verses immediately preceding Adam's statement, Gen 3:16-19. And the Lord had just told them their bodies would die and return to the dust. The last will and testament would include explanation of the final deified state of the redeemed saints sharing the firstborn sonship with the Testator, and clothed in the divine righteousness of the Testator. This righteousness of the Testator (Rev 19:7-8) was symbolized by Adam and Eve being clothed with the skins of the animals, which animals by God's appointment from and even before this Genesis beginning, symbolized the Testator, 1Pe 1:18–20; Rev 13:8; Jn 1:29,36.
TRIUMPH OVER ALL PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS
14 "Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
15 "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
16 "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
17 "Which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ (the body of Christ).....
19 "And not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
20 "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations:
21 "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,"
The context of Gen 3 is one of covenant revision to include again the promise of divine "life"
that was lost by Adam's sin – the promise of divine life in the fruit of the tree of life continues in all the "last will and testaments."
The covenant with Adam was revised into a "last will and testament,"
which provides the same divine life offered in the tree of life, but now through the "death"
of the Testator, the Seed of the woman, the Kinsman Redeemer.
The Testator demonstrates His death by slaying the animals; however, He must crush the power of Satan who used the serpent to deceive the woman and thereby caused Adam to sin. The wages of sin is death and the Seed of the woman must die, but the Gospel of Genesis 3 is not completed with "death."
It still falls short at this point. Death still rules. The Seed of the woman, who is the Testator, must do something about "death,"
for in death alone all is lost and gone forever.
The Seed of the woman must arise from the dead triumphant over all principalities and powers in a divine body in which dwells all the fullness of deity (Col 2:9 thru 3:11) which also carries the inherent promise of divine life to all who continue believing and obeying to the end. The divine life of the tree of life is included in the revised covenant with Adam and his descendants, which covenant is a "last will and testament"
type of covenant, and all the following divine covenants include all the "last will and testament"
features, Heb 9:11-28; 10; 11; 12. As we look closely, we observe that these features were revealed to Adam far more than is immediately apparent in Gen 2 and 3.
As surely as there was a Redeemer promised in Gen 3:15, that Redeemer must both die and be raised from the dead in a tree of life kind of promised divine-life-body (and spirit). This Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15), the Kinsman Redeemer (Job 19:25-27), is virgin born (Isa 7:14), is God in a human body (Phi 2:6-11), and will sit on David's throne (Isa 9:6-7) to rule for a thousand years (Isa 2:1-4; 11:1-9; Rev 20) in a born again divine body, Dan 7:13-14; 12:2-3; Zec 12:10; 14:1-4; Mal 4:1-3; Jude 14-15.
DIVINE CLOTHING PROVIDED
21 "Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them," Gen 3:21.
7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
8 "And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints," Rev 19:7-8.
God clothed Adam and Eve in the skins of the animals, and the animals represent the Kinsman Redeemer, the Testator of this last will and testament. God could have used any of many kinds of material to clothe Adam and Eve. Even wool from the sheep would not have required the death of the animals. But He shed the blood and took the lives of clean animals very purposefully to portray that this is a "last will and testament" which portrayed and promised that the faithful covenant people will be clothed in the divine clothing of the Testator and Kinsman Redeemer.
God used the animals to re-present Christ in life and in death, Jn 1:29,36; Heb 9::12-23; 10:1-20; 1Pe 1:18-20. God also made the skin and wool of the animals into clothing for Adam and Eve to further represent the prophetic picture lesson. Still, another major part of that prophetic picture lesson is that the covenant people, in a metaphor, are "one" with and in the body of Christ. This is not made so obvious in Genesis as it is from Exodus on; however, this metaphor is there in Gen 2, 3, and 4, as we have been pointing out in the "one flesh," "the mother of all the living ones," and being clothed with the "skins" of the animals.
And since the animals repre- sented Christ, their skins and wool, in the metaphor, represent the clothing or righteousness of Christ; that is, His divine righteousness which is credited progressively to His covenant bride people in progressive justification. The righteousness of justification is the "fine linen" clothing of the bride, Rev 19:7-8. This includes all the faithful covenant people fro m Adam on through the end of the Millennium, Rom 11.
The bride of Christ will be dressed in the righteousness of God, 2Co 5:21; Phi 3:9. The righteous acts of the saints (Rev 19:8) is the righteousness of God which is constantly being credited to the faithful covenant people in justification, as has been established many times in these writings.
21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him," 2Co 5:21.
Being made the righteousness of God in Christ refers to our bodies (and our spirits) being born into a divine state of being in the resur-rection, 2Pe 1:4-11. Paul, by inspiration, also describes this birth into God's righteousness as a resurrection birth when Christ returns:
7 "But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
8 "Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
9 "And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God by the faith;
10 "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11 If, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (a resurrection birth into a divine body).
12 "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13 "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.....
21 "Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself," Phi 3:7-14,21.
18 "Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
19 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous...
21 "So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness into eternal (divine) life through Jesus Christ our Lord," Rom 5:18-19,21.
We cannot separate justifica-tion from God's divine life – "justification of life," Verse 18 above. Observe that God's "grace" must "reign through righteousness into divine life," Rom 5:21. God's divine righteousness, and therefore God's divine life, are progressively credited to the faithful covenant people by each step of faith.
10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly," Jn 10:10.
10 "Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness," 2Co 9:10.
May we grow up accumulatively in each attribute of the fullness of God (Eph 4:11-24), constantly feeding our minds on the Word of God (Deu 6:4-9; 3Co 3:19), and bearing about in our bodies the dying of the Lord that we may be changed into His glorious image from glory to greater glory. His life will thereby be more abundantly exemplified in us and in others eternally, 2Co 4:7-12.
PARTAKING OF CHRIST BY FAITH-OBEDIENCE FROM ADAM ON
4 "But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,'" Mt 4:4; Jn 6:27-29-67.
As the body is nourished, grows, and maintains physical life on normal physical foods, our minds also grow in knowledge by the information that is fed into it by our senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
2 "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby," 1Pe 2:2.
In both these passages the Word of God is addressed as food for our minds. The Bible is the Word of God (Jn 10:35), and Christ also is the Word of God, Jn 1:1,14. The more we feed the Scriptures into our minds, the more like Christ we come to think, speak, and conform our character into the image of Christ. And the more our character is conformed to the image of Christ in our daily life, the greater confidence we will have that we will be transformed into His divine image in the resurrection or when Christ returns. The lack of this metamorphosis transformation in our daily lives, inevitably increases the ever present danger of aborting that divine birth.
53 "Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you," Jn 6:53.
We literally feed our minds, our psyche, and our conscience by studying, believing, and obeying God's Word, Jn 6:27-67; 1Pe:2:2; Heb 5:11-14. In the Lord's Supper, we portray that we are (or should be) daily eating Christ's flesh and drinking His blood "by faith." Jesus told the multitude not to labor for the food that perishes but for the food that endures into divine life, Jn 6:27. The multitude asked what they could do to do the works of God, Jn 6:28:
29 "Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you keep on believing into Him whom He sent,'" Jn 6:29.
Adam believed the words of the Testator, named his wife Eve, that is "life" (the Greek word for Eve is Zwh,, which means "life") and addressed her as the "mother of all the living ones," Gen 3:20.
Abel believed and obeyed, and was credited with God's divine righteousness and life, Gen 4:4; Heb 11:4. These two verses reveal that Abel had an alert and keen understanding of the significance of offering the "firstborn ones of the flock." God sponded, not on the basis of Abel's works, but because Abel listened, believed, and obeyed "by grace through faith." He was therefore justified – credited with God's divine righteousness (Heb 11:4) in view of a resurrection birth into the divine state of Christ's resurrection birth.
THE CONSOLATION OF SIMEON
25 "And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26 "And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 "So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law,
28 "He took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word;
30 "For my eyes have seen Your salvation
31 "Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 "A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel."
33 "And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.
34 "Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against.
35 "(Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed," Lk 2:25-35.
Simeon was one more God-fearing Israelite like Zacharias and Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary, and other meek Bible loving Israelites in His day, though it appears he may have been even more tenaciously devoted to the study of the Scriptures than they. Simeon made exemplary use of the Scriptures and has blessed many with the depth and richness of his brief testimony. Nicodemus and all the Israelites of his day could have and should have understood as much. The words of Jesus in Jn 3:10 and of Simeon in Lk 2:25-35 should encourage our pursuit of the understanding made available to us.
1. A Just and Devout Man. See verse 25 above. This state of mind and being is more precious and more to be desired than all the riches, pleasures, and happiness this world can dream up. Simeon was evidently a man of much prayer and dedication to the study of the scriptures, and was given understanding of the things most important to know. He understood the Scriptures because he was just and devout.
2. Simeon Understood that He Would See the Messianic Testator before He Died.
"And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ," Lk 2:26.
The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he would see the new born Messiah with his own eyes before he died. Simeon's comments reveal that He understood the seventy weeks of Daniel (Dan 9:24-27), the virgin birth where God becomes human (Isa 7:14; 9:6-7), the human life, sufferings, and resurrection birth which would create a divine human body, as we will indicate below. Simeon knew from the Scriptures that the time for the Seed of the woman to be born was at hand, and his longing to see the Lord's Salvation was rewarded by the Holy Spirit.
3. Simeon Saw the Messiah in His Infant body, Lk 2:26-27.
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 Wonderfu.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.
Simeon saw the Testator of the last will and testament, and he knew Him when he saw Him. He knew what to look for. God does special things for just and devout people like Simeon, and prior to those special things is the harsh disciplinary covenant training He puts them through. In some cases He lets them be cut down at a youthful age by a jealous and hate driven brother as He did with Abel, then builds their divine treasures in heaven as He is still doing for Abel, Heb 11:4. He lets them be crushed as He did with Job, then restores them to greater godly usefulness than ever before, Job 42. God permits them to be sold into slavery at a youthful age as He did with Joseph, then shapes them in a furnace of affliction and uses them to kindly and without vengeance nourish the very ones who hated him. God lets them blunder into years of harsh and lonely circumstances where He is still constantly training them as He did Moses, then still under much stress uses them in miraculous ways to lead His chosen people. Simeon knew the Scriptures. He knew Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; Ps 22; Isa 53; and Zec 12:10.
4. The Messiah Was a New Born Infant.
"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.
The "Lord's Christ" was a new born infant. Was that what Simeon was looking for? Indeed it was, and he was not at all surprised or disappointed. Even the wise men from the east understood from the stars that the Messiah of Israel was born as an infant and traveled a long distance, brought presents, and worshiped Him. Simeon understood Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; Isa 53; Ps 22.
5. My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation – Your Redemption, Lk 2:28-32.
29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word;
30 "For my eyes have seen Your Salvation," Lk 2:29-30.
The word "Redemption" (lu,trwsin) is not used here, but it is in verse 38 of the same salvation. Salvation from hell and the lake of fire is provided by the last will and testament, but that is only a part of this salvation or redemption. There is still great loss and wrath which the unfaithful saved must experience and from which they are not redeemed.
We must revise our understanding to include what the words "redeemer" and "redemption" require when referring to Christ as our Redeemer. We recognize from Gen 3:15 and the rest of the Scriptures that this reference to the Seed of the woman required:
a. The second or revised covenant with Adam and all the following covenants were "last will and testament" covenants. We have observed unequivocally (beyond the shadow of a doubt) that Gen 3 and all the Scriptures require the death of the Seed of the woman as the redeeming Testator. The wages of sin is death, Rom 6:23; Ja 1:15. Adam and Eve had sinned: they had disobeyed God and eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and this brought "death." This meant the Redeemer must likewise "die" in order to destroy "death." Therefore the covenant was necessarily a "last will and testament." Simeon evidently recognized that the covenants were last will and testament covenants.
b. A virgin birth into a sinless infant human body. The Seed of the woman was predestined to be the Redeemer, and the Redeemer must be without sin. A sinner is already condemned, and could in no way be a redeemer of himself or of anyone else. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned," Rom 5:12.
Normal conception and birth produces a sinful human because we all sinned in Adam when He sinned. Simeon understood Isa 7:14 and 9:6-7, that the Testator would be born. Simeon also understood from Isa 52; 53; etc., that the Testator would live, die, and be raised again in a divine state of being.
c. A perfect life by the Seed of the woman. "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot," 1Pe 1:18-19. From the beginning, the Testator was represented by "clean" animals, "without blemish and without spot." The context shows that Simeon was not stranger to the writings of Isaiah.
d. The crucifixion of the Seed of the woman. "(Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed," Lk 2:35. It is refreshing to read of Simeon's full and precise understanding of the Scriptures. He knew Ps 22; Isa 53; Zec 12:10; and many other passages requiring the death of this infant Child in His later but early adult life, Ps 102:23-24; Act 2:25-32. Simeon was not looking for the glory coming of Christ with myriads of His glorified saints as Enoch prophesied, though it is obvious that he understood that prophecy also. Simeon understood that the humiliation and the Cross must come first, and later his throne of glory. See below.
e. The wrath of God against our sins on the Seed of the woman. The sword piercing Mary's soul alludes to the suffering and death of Christ. "Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?"
Isa 53:1. The arm of the Lord was revealed to Simeon and he believe God's report. He understood what the Lamb of God without blemish and without spot meant. He understood what the burnt offering, the sin offering, the peace offering, and all the burnt offerings represented.
f. The death, burial, and resurrection of the Seed of the woman. The sword must pierce through Mary's soul as she watched her Son's agonizing death, and Simeon understood this, though Mary did not at the time. However, the "death" of the Testator does not finalize the Redeemer's Messianic work. Death is still death until the Testator comes forth from the grave into a divine resurrection birth of His human body, appropriately suited to sit at the right hand of the Father in heaven, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; 2:25-28; Heb 1:5; Ps 110:1; et al.
1 "A Psalm of David. The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, yill I make Your enemies Your footstool," Ps 110:1.
18 "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death,"
g. A divine resurrection birth that qualifies the Testator to be the divine Avenger and Judge of all.
34 "Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against
35 "'(Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed,'" Lk 2:34-35.
Simeon said that the child Jesus was "destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel.....that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
These words are in perfect harmony with Gen 3:15. This is the work of the Testator of the last will and testament, who will be the divine Avenger, will crush the head of the serpent (Satan), and as Judge of all will sit on His throne of glory for that seventh day of divine rest, Gen 2:1-3; Heb 3:11-14; Rev 20.
ANNA, A PROPHETESS
36 "Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;
37 "And this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 "And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem," Lk 2:36-38.
1. The Holy Spirit and Anna.
The Holy Spirit brought Anna in as Simeon finished his testimony and prophecy, and caused her to testify and prophesy to all who were present (both angels and men), and to the myriads who would read these words in time and eternity. Anna "did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
" That is the kind of people the Holy Spirit delights to use. That is the kind of people we ought to be.
2. Anna Spoke of the Child Jesus.
"And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him," Lk 2:38.
The Holy Spirit rewarded Anna's resolute dedication to fastings and prayers and gave her under-standing of the the Scriptures just as He did to Simeon. Anna also was permitted to see the Seed of the woman, and though an infant is still an infant, there was knowledge, and glory, and redemption, and the hope of all that is good and perfect tied up in this Infant Testator of all the last will and testament covenants. Simeon and Anna and others like them understood that God would be born of a virgin and become the Testator Redeemer for all time and eternity.
3. Those Who Looked for Redemption.
38 "And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem," Lk 2:38.
The Infant Jesus was the Testator of all the prior "last will and testaments," and would be the Testator of the New Testament. Simeon understood that, and so did Anna. Either that is true or they did not understand what redemption includes or what a last will and testament is. But Simeon and Anna did know because they spoke of the Infant Jesus as the Redeemer, of His death, and of His future sweep of judgment activities. All of this addressed His virgin birth, sinless life,