JUNE 2003
Article 43 (continued)

      A little more to add to article 43 of last month's paper.


1. The General Kingdom of God Includes All of God's Creation.

      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 is one which shall not be destroyed,"
Dan 7:13-14, 26-27.
      In this passage the kingdom includes all the works of God's hands (Ps 8:3-6), with nothing left of God's creation that is not put under Christ, Heb 2:5-10. This includes Satan, all evil spirits, the lake of fire, and everything else.
      27 "For ‘He has put all things under His feet.' But when He says ‘all things are put under Him,' it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.
      28 "Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all,"
1Co 15:27-28.

2. This Kingdom Includes the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and all in the Firstborn Sonship: this kingdom includes Divine Beings Only.

      3 "Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.....
      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 3:3,5.
      Here the kingdom of God has a higher and restricted meaning. One must have a second and divine birth, in order to enter God's divine kingdom, made up only of divine beings. Without a divine birth, one cannot enter and have part in this kingdom. God's last will and testament requires the covenant people to endure and overcome specified covenant training by grace through faith in order to inherit and share divine oneness with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
      1 "At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?'
      2 "Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,
      3 And said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven,'"
Mt 18:1-3.
      These were the Lord's disciples, believers, saved and baptized members of His church. Indeed, they were the Lord's specially ordained apostles. Yet they were required to maintain a faithful, humble, godly life in order to enter and inherit this divine kingdom of God. Every living creature and every created thing is in the general kingdom of God, but only those who are faithful by grace through faith will enter and share the divine kingdom of God, Mt 6:33; Act 14:22; 2Th 1:4-5.
      We will end this article by calling attention again to the two kinds of sons of God: a firstborn sonship of sons who are born again into a divine relationship with God, and a servant sonship of sons who will not share the divine firstborn birthright, but will forever be servants under the physical laws of the universe, Gal 4:1-9; 4:21 thru 5:5; Col 2:9,20. (End of article 43).


Article 44


      We have previously looked at much of the prominence of the new birth in God's covenant with Abraham, yet there are additional correlations which will enrich our understanding according to John 3:10. Nicodemus should have understood the new birth from the Old Testament.


      18 "On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates,'" Gen 15:18.
      God had been in the process of making a specific covenant with Abraham from Abraham's initial call out of Chaldea (Act 7:1-4; Heb 11:8), and later from Haran, Gen 12:1-3. God's covenant with Adam was a last will and testament, requiring the death of the Testator, who was none other than the Son of God, and who personally and visibly ratified the covenant or testament with Adam in the Garden, Gen 3.
      The death of animals required in sacrificial worship thereafter bore witness to the birth, life, death, burial, and the divine resurrection birth of the testament Testator. To redeem fallen man, the Creator Himself had to 1) be born as the Seed of the woman (a virgin birth without sin), 2) live a perfect life as a human, 3) call out and prepare a New Covenant people to be joined as one with the Old Covenant people, 4) endure God's wrath against sin, 5) die the death required by sin, 6) arise out of the grave in a divine birth (tree of life) resurrection, 7) ratify the New Covenant by fulfilling the above, 8) give a divine birth to all who endure and overcome the required covenant (testament) training, 9) execute the judgements required by the testaments, and 10) personally rule the earth in righteousness for the seventh day (millenniuim) of "rest."
      God's covenant with Abraham included all that God's covenant with Adam included, as briefly indicated above. At first Abraham was fully obedient under God's covenant or testament with Adam. In His testament with Abraham, God presented His eternal purpose in fuller detail. The major emphasis of which was God's purpose to produce a special nation of divine firstborn sons who will inherit the divine life promised in the tree of life; and who, as joint heirs together with Christ, will rule over all the works of God's hands, Ps 8:3-6; Heb 2:5-18.
      There were two nations of people before the flood: the sons of men and the sons of God, Gen 4 thru 6. After the flood God divided the descendants of Noah into many nations (Gen 11), divided the land into continents (Gen 10:25), and promised to make the faith descendants of Abraham into a special great nation of divine firstborn sons, Gen 12:3; Rom 4; Gal 3; et al.


      8 "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed,'" Gal 3:8; Gen 12:3.
      The word "justify" in this verse is modified by the expression "In you shall all the nations be blessed." We are to understand, therefore, that the word "blessed" in Gen 12:3 signifies a great nation of firstborn sons who will receive the divine firstborn birthright. This firstborn birthright was indeed well known to Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, and others before the time of Abraham. This becomes obvious in the first sacrificial worship revealed after Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden.
      Adam and Eve, with their sons and daughters, had obviously offered many such sacrifices before Gen 4: probably Cain and Abel themselves had personally offered such sacrifices before Gen 4. Also, the events of Gen 4:1-15 are recorded as a result of Cain's presumptuous and insolent conduct in offering other than the testamentary requirement of a blood sacrifice, which testified of the Gospel, as numerated in 1) thru 10) above: also see further discussion below.
      These animal sacrifices represented the virgin birth, perfect life, vicarious death, burial, and resurrection of the human body of the Son of God into a divine firstborn sonship: and thereby creating that divine firstborn sonship. We must not think that this redemption cycle was not well taught and understood by many if not most of the faithful saints from Adam until Moses, and on down till Christ fulfilled the many types and hidden yet plain writings of the Old Testament.
      The expression "In thee shall all nations be blessed," means "In thee shall all nations be divinely born again." This has been demonstrated a number of times already, but see below for further consideration.


      8 "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed,'" (justified, born again) Gal 3:8; Gen 12:3.
      The words "Justify," "Gospel," and "blessed" all point to "justification." In justification God credits HIS divine attribute of righteousness to the person or persons being justified, Rom 1:16-17; 3:21-26; 2Co 5:21; Phi 3:9. And, as is true with God's "glory," "life," "the fullness of God," etc., God's "righteousness" is generic and includes the full range of God's divine attributes. To receive one of God's divine attributes is to receive all of them. See the words "fullness of God," "one with God," "oneness with Christ," etc. All of these signify a "oneness" in God's divine image and likeness, Gen 1:26-27; Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-23; 5:31-32; Col 1:19; 2:9-10; 3:10; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; et al.
      Of course, the firstborn sons will never be infinite in any way, as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are infinite. However, they will receive of the full range of God's divine attributes. God has predestined that His faithful covenant people of both Old and New Testaments will receive of all His divine fullness, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; 5:31-32; Col 1:19; 2:9-21; 3:1-20; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; et al.
      God's divine righteousness is only "reckoned" (credited) to the faithful testament people in this life. God credits a measure of His divine righteousness (divine nature) to each covenant person with each act of faith. These divine attributes are the treasures that we are laying up in heaven (Mt 6:19-21); however, these treasures (crown of righteousness, crown ot life, crown of glory, etc.) are fading away as we persist in putting on the old man rather than the new man, Rom 12:1-2; 2Jn 8; Rev 3:11; Eze 3:20; 18:24; 33:12-13.
      Abraham was credited with a measure of God's divine nature with each act of faith throughout his life before and after Gen 15:6. It is amazing to hear people insisting that Abraham was not a believer until Gen 15:6.
      It is equally amazing to find people continuing to insist that we cannot lose the crown of righteousness, crown of glory, crown of life, etc. "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown," Rev 3:11; Eze 3:20; 18:24; 33:12-13.


      56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad," Jn 8:52.
      10 "For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God," Heb 11:10.
      16 "But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them," Heb 11:16.
      Abraham desired greatly to see the Lord's day, and saw it and was glad. Perhaps that vision included the New Jerusalem – certainly a new Jerusalem with the Son of God as His divine Descendant sitting on the throne of David, with a vast host of brilliantly shining, deified saints (Dan 12:3; Mt 13:43), and with the angels as their invincible and thoroughly delighted attendants, Heb 1:14: 2:5-16.
      What are some of the things that Abraham did not see? He did not see a helpless Lazarus sitting at Jerusalem's gates begging. He did not see the poor and sick going unattended. He did not see the Sanhedrin ruling selfishly over the people. He did not see the Lord's people watching Hollywood productions, strip dancers, screaming entertainers, sports events and whatever else those who are crucified to the world (Gal 6:14) should not be engaged in.


      17 "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
      18 "Of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,'
      19 "Concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense,"
Heb 11:17-19.
      We may be wrong, but can easily conclude that Abraham saw the day of the Lord rather early after his call to leave his homeland, go wherever the Lord would direct, and live the separated life that he already knew God required. He remained aloof from the cities of Canaan in that land of promise, which was only a shadow of the new heavens and new earth, 2Pe 3:13; Rev 21 & 22.
      Abraham was not at all inclined to make the mistake that Lot made, but was faithful to God's vision of a better country than the earthy intermediate sin-cursed Canaan of this life. Heb 11:8-16 expressly states that Abraham and His faith descendants were looking for a heavenly city. Abraham taught his descendants well and with great faith and passion so that the heavenly city was ever resident in their heart as the premier hope beyond this earthy life, Gen 18:17-19; Heb 11:8-16.
      Abraham evidently well understood the significance of the animal sacrifices as he frequently took their life and burned their bodies into ashes on an altar. Children are full of questions, so are adults, and Abraham was no exception. "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and saw it and was glad," Jn 8:56.
     God had evidently already revealed to Abraham much about the Millennial seventh day of "rest" - as the day of the glory of the Seed of the woman, who would crush the head of the serpent, Gen 2:1-3; 3:15. This verse (Jn 8:56) shows Abraham's passionate desire to know more about that future and glorious day of Christ, and the same desire on God's part to show His covenants to Abraham and to all His testament people.
      Abraham asked, "Lord God, how shall I know that I shall inherit it," (the promised land), Gen 15:8. A part of God's answer was, "Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age," Gen 1515. Abraham would die at a good old age, but he would still inherit the promised land according to his vision of the glorious reign of Christ, Jn 8:56.
      In Abraham's vision of the day of the Lord, Abraham evidently saw Christ and all the saints, including himself, in glorified (deified) bodies. This required a resurrection and divine birth of the bodies of all the faithful testament people. There is an earthy body, and there is a heavenly, divine body, 1Co 15:44-50. God revealed this to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham and others from the beginning of human life, Jud 14-15; Job 19:25-27; Jn 8:56; Heb 11:8-16.


      17 "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
      18 "Of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called,"
      19 "Concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense,"
Heb 11:17-19.
      How much did Abraham understand about the resurrection, future judgment after resurrection, the future day of the Lord, the New Jerusalem, etc? Abraham was well informed in these prophetic matters, Jn 8:56; Heb 11:8-16. Furthermore, as quoted above, all of God's covenant with Abraham and all the promises of the covenant were bound up in Isaac. Abraham had this specifically in mind as he climbed the mountain with Isaac, built the altar, explained the matter to Isaac, bound him, and prepared himself to proceed as God commanded, Gen 22:8-10.
      Isaac was very dear to Abraham because he was Sarah's son and because through Isaac the divine Kinsman Redeemer would be born. Sarah had gone through perhaps forty years or more of barrenness, the bitterness of which grew worse every year and every day. Sarah also obviously understood that the Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15) would be the divine Redeemer, who would redeem the faithful testament people, and who would also be the seed of Abraham. With great pain in her heart she gave Abraham her maid in order to obtain the promised divine-human Seed who would fulfill all the testament promises of a divine inheritance, Gen 3:15; 12:1-3; 17:21; Gal 3:8.
      Abraham knew that he would die at a good old age, that Isaac also would die at a good old age, and that Isaac's descendants would multiply exceedingly. He obviously knew that the Seed of the woman would be the divine Redeemer, would be his descendant, and would also be the Seed of Isaac. These prophetic words of God were firm in Abraham's mind.
      Therefore, when God told Abraham to take Isaac and offer him as a burnt offering, Abraham's faith was greatly tested. This meant Abraham must shed Isaac's blood to the point of death, and burn him to ashes on an altar, while he himself watched and kept the fire burning. Abraham's faith stood firm in the supreme test. He would believe and obey precisely as God commanded.
      5 "And Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you,'" Gen 22:5; Heb 11:17-19.
      Abraham saw the day of the Lord, Jn 8:56. He rejoiced to see his Redeemer Seed and other descendants in divine bodies and was "glad." We can be sure he told Isaac and Jacob about it, and they told their descendants, Heb 11:8-16.


      13 "He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
      14 "And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant,"
Gen 17:13-14.
      14 "The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant," Ps 25:14.
      9 "Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel," Pro 27:9.
      56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad," Jn 8:56.
      Circumcision and baptism represent the same thing: putting off the old man and putting on the new man, Rom 2:28-29; 6:3-6; Eph 4:22-24; Col 2:9-21; 3:1-10, Likewise, eating the Passover lamb represented precisely the same thing that eating the Lord's Supper represents: partaking of Christ in bridal oneness with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All the faithful testament people from Adam on will be born again into a divine oneness with God in the resurrection when Christ returns. This is the promised inheritance of all the Bible last will and testaments.
      From Adam on, all the last will and testaments, ratified by the shedding of blood, promised joint inheritance and joint rulership over all the works of God's hands, Gen 1:26 thru 3:21; Ps 8:3-6; Heb 2:5-11; Rom 4:11-16. However, the unfaithful are cut off from the firstborn sonship of the last will and testaments and will be "servant" sons, but not "free" firstborn sons who qualify by grace through faith for the birthright of the firstborn, Gen 27:27-37; Rom 11:11-22; Gal 4:21 thru 5:5; Heb 12.
      28 "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
      29 "But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God,"
Rom 2:28-29.
      God knew that Abraham would teach his descendants well, Gen 18:17-19; Heb 11:8-16. Abraham lived 60 years into Isaac's life and 15 years into Jacob's life, and he taught them well of sin, of righteousness, and of life beyond the grave and after the resurrection. He taught his servants so well they exemplified profound faith in God, Gen 24. Abraham was God's friend and God communed with him in detail of 1) His last will and testament, 2) the full details of the redemption cycle, 3) the birth, life, death, burial, and divine resurrection of the Seed of the woman, 4) the glorious inheritance of divine life beyond the resurrection, and 5) the seventh day "rest" or "day of the Lord" (Jn 8:56) into eons to come, Heb 11:8-16.