MAY 2003
Article 42 (continued)

      6 "This is He who came by water and blood - Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
      7 "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
      8 "And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one,"
1Jn 5;6-8.
      This article is continued from the April issue (2003) of The Midnight Cry, and is entered as chapter two in volume six on the firstborn sonship of Christ. Volume Six was mailed last week. In many, if not most cases, each reader is strongly encouraged to review the April article in order to maintain the continuity of both articles.


      5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit," Ti 3:5.
      We will address four things from this verse; 1) we cannot save ourselves – all our works and our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and are completely unacceptable to God. Every moment of our lives is a part of our stewardship in serving God, and must be by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10); 2) the salvation under consideration is covenant or last will and testament salvation into the firstborn sonship of Christ, which requires a daily lifestyle of transformation into the image and likeness of Christ (Rom 12:1-2; 1Co 15:1-2; 2Co 3:18; 4:6-12; 2Pe 1:1-10); 3) the washing of regeneration is the washing of the new birth. The "washing" is a word which means a washing of the whole body. It refers to water baptism by which the believer is metaphorically baptized into the body of Christ (into the death, burial, and divine resurrection of the body of Christ (Rom 6:3-6); and 4) renewing of the Holy Spirit, which necessarily harmonizes with the giving of the Holy Spirit to the church on the day of Pentecost, Act 1 & 2. This renewing of the Holy Spirit in concert with the washing of regeneration brings us to the following discussion.


      37 "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
      38 "'He who is believing into Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'
      39 "But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing into Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified,"
Jn 7:37-39.
      The Spirit dwells "at home" only in those who are divine (who possess the divine nature). The disciples, though they were the church at the time Jesus spoke, were still under the Law Covenant, and were counted by God as slaves in position to become firstborn sons (divine sons) by overcoming the covenant discipline. Even now, in our sinful nature, we are still slaves of sin and also slaves of the elementary laws of the physical universe.
      Until Jesus passed through the redemption cycle, as our human substitute, and came out of the grave into a divine body, the members of His body could not be counted as divine, and therefore could not receive the divine indwelling of the Spirit. This is what Jn 7:39 is saying. However, when Christ's human body (the body itself) was glorified (deified, made divine), then the church could be counted as the glorified (deified) human body of Christ.
      Then all the members of the church could thereby be counted as glorified (deified) members of the glorified (deified) body of Christ. Also, at this point the church and the individual members of the church could receive the indwelling ministry of the Spirit. A major part of this ministry of the Spirit was and is to transform the lives of the testament people into the image and likeness of God. Hence this "earnest" ministry of the Spirit is for the discipline of each member of the church in view of qualifying them for the divine firstborn sonship of Christ.
      Thus John's baptism, like the washing of garments and bathing of the whole body (Lev 15), was a witness of the coming of Christ to perform the redemption cycle. The washing of one's defiled garments in water (Lev 15) represented the same thing as the figure of washing our robes in the blood of the lamb, Rev 7:14. This is also spoken of as fine linen which is the righteousness of the saints, Rev 19:7-8. The Scriptures teach that our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isa 64:6), therefore this righteousness is the divine righteousness of God, Mt 6:33; Rom 3:21-26; 2Co 5:21; Phi 3:9), one of God's divine attributes. Remember, God's righteousness is being progressively credited to the testament people as we walk in the steps of Abraham's faith, Rom 4:12-25.


      37 "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
      38 "'He who is believing into Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'
      39 "But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified,"
Jn 7:37-39.
      Water is a life-giving and a life-sustaining source. In the wilderness, water was brought forth from a rock and sustained the lives of the Israelites and their animals. Paul wrote that they drank "spiritual water" from a spiritual rock, "and that rock was Christ," 1Co 10:4. And Jesus said, "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life," Jn 4:14. About half of those who drank of that spiritual water were overthrown in the wilderness, and did not become in them a well of living water springing up into divine life.
      Water is associated with Christ (1Co 10:4), is also associated with the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:39), and is therefore associated with divine life, Jn 4:14; 7:37-39. Water springs forth out of the throne of God, Eze 47; Rev 22:1. and represents divine life from a divine source.
      We are invited to come and take of the water of life freely without price, Rev 22:17; Isa 55:1. The world does not have enough money to buy one iota of this life. This life is free, yet the cost is really our life. Christ gave His life for us, and we must give our life for His divine life: our earthy life for His immeasurably greater heavenly life, Mt 19:21; Lk 9:23-24; 14:33.
      Jesus said "out of his heart will flow rivers of living water," Jn 7:37-39. This refers, in part, to the faithful believer's testimony, both by mouth and by godly life. Here (Jn 7:37-39) water specifically refers to receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost by the church, Act 1 & 2.
      Those who came to Christ in repentance, were baptized with the baptism of John (Lk 7;29-30) and of Christ (Col 2:11-13), and stayed with Christ and the church, received the firstfruits of the Spirit on Pentecost, Jn 7:37-39; Act 2. The giving of the Holy Spirit was God's "earnest" or guarantee of receiving that divine life in a new birth body when Christ returns in the day of redemption, 2Co 5:1-5; Rom 8:23-30; 1Co 15:1-2,44-50. However, we must overcome the required covenant training in order to receive the divine new birth, 2Pe 1:3-10; Heb 12:1-17; Gal 4:21 thru 5:5; et al. Failing to make our calling and election sure by grace through faith, means forfeiting the Spirit as the guarantee of divine life, Gal 4:21 thru 5:4; Heb 3:6-19; 12:1-17; et al.
      Jesus invites those who are thirsting to be coming to Him and drinking of His Word and of the Holy Spirit. The Word and the Spirit go together: those who believe and obey the Word of God will receive the Holy Spirit, and will continue to receive the Spirit as they continue to believe and obey. Thus the Spirit will lead them and make their testimony to become rivers of living waters of life flowing through them and out to others.
      Water also refers to the testimony of the Old Testament saints and prophets, to the testimony of Christ, and to our testimony. We drink mutually of all, and thereby our testimony is compared to rivers of living waters (of divine life) flowing out of us mutually to one another and to others.


      1 "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb," Rev 22:1.
      In Genesis we are told that a river of water flowed out of the Garden of Eden, was divided into four rivers, and watered the earth, Gen 2:10-14. Nothing is said about these waters having special life-giving propensity beyond the current physical benefits. Also, we are not told that these waters were protected, as the tree of life was, or changed in any way after Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden of Eden.
      In Ezekiel a small amount of water flows out of the temple and out of Jerusalem, increases in quantity as it flows, and is divided into two rivers: one of which flows to the Mediterranean Sea, and the other to the Dead Sea, Zec 14:8. In this case the waters do have special healing powers beyond the normal waters we have today in our springs, rivers, lakes, and oceans. The banks of these rivers are lined with special trees that bear fruit every month. The leaves of the trees are for healing, and we are inclined to think the fruit would also have healing quality, but nothing is specifically written in this case about special healing power inherent in the fruit, though there may be, Eze 47:12.
      The New Jerusalem has "a river of water of life" flowing from the throne of God (Rev 22:1-2), very similar to what we read in Ezekiel (Eze 47:12) and Joel, Joe 3:18. There is nothing said about the river flowing outside the New Jerusalem, nor of the tree of life being outside the city. Conversely, the tree of life is specifically stated as being "in the midst of the Paradise of God," Rev 2:7. The fruit of the tree of life is also specifically stated as being given for those who overcome the required and severe last will and testament training (Mt 7:13-14), and therefore only for those who overcome, Rev 2:1-7. This prohibits the fruit of the tree of life being given to the nations of the unfaithful saved, Rev 21:23-26; 22:1-2. The leaves of the tree of life are for the healing or household of the nations. The same Greek word is used in Mt 24:45 (KJV) and Lk 12:42 for the Lord's "household." This word will be reviewed more fully in a later study on Gehenna.


      4 "And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ," 1Co 10:4.
      This Rock and its water will also be addressed more fully in a later article. For the moment let us look briefly at the testimony of the water of life. The water from the rock in the wilderness was used for sustaining physical life, yet the primary emphasis in this passage is on its spiritual testimony and application. The rock in the wilderness was no doubt an ordinary rock from which God provided ordinary physical water for the people and their numerous animals to drink, as well as for bathing and washing garments.
      However, that rock is called a "spiritual Rock," and the water is called "spiritual water," 1Co 10:4. We understand this to mean the same as the spiritual water of which Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, Jn 4:14. Jesus said this spiritual water would become "a fountain of water springing up into everlasting (divine) life" in everyone who believes and continues believing into Him, Jn 4:14; 7:37-39.


      6 "This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and by blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth," 1Jn 5:6.
      The life of nature is in water, and where there is no water that life dies, but the life of the flesh is in both water and blood, with emphasis here on the blood. Blood began its prophetic testimony before Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden of Eden. The Son of God shed the blood of animals in the process of revising His covenant with Adam into a last will and testament. God warned Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil lest he die. Adam disobeyed God, ate of the forbidden fruit, and immediately died a death that separated him from God into an eternally grievous state of being for him and all his descendants who persist in disobedience against God's will.
      Notwithstanding, God, who has infinite knowledge and power over all things, permitted this to happen that He may demonstrate His love, mercy, and forgiveness on the one hand, and His forbearance, justice, and wrath on the other hand, Rom 9:22-23. God had a plan of redemption prepared in which He, as the Son of God, would revise His covenant with Adam into a last will and testament. This would require the Son of God to, 1) become a human in order to be a vicarious Kinsman Redeemer, 2) be born of a virgin in a sinless birth, 3) live a life that would perfect the righteousness of God in a human body (Ps 45:6-7; Phi 2:5-11), 4) die as the Kinsman Redeemer and Testator, 5) be buried for three days and nights, 6) arise from the dead in a divinely born again human body, and 7) crush the head of the serpent.
      To ratify this last will and testament the Testator must die, but this was predestined to happen four thousand years later in God's plan of redemption. In the meantime, God's redemption plan provided various methods of prophetically portraying the Messiah's coming, His sinless birth, sinless life, vicarious death, burial, and divine resurrection. This was initially and dramatically done by the death and burning of clean animals. Clean animals were purposely killed for this means of sacrifice, therefore the blood of the animal was purposely shed in this required method of ceremonial worship of God. God killed the animals, tanned their hides, and clothed Adam and Eve with the skins, which portrayed them and their faith descendants as being clothed in God's righteousness when Christ as the Lamb of God returns, Rev 19:7-8; 5:1-8.


      5 "Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.
      6 "‘In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure,'"
Heb 10:5-6; Ps 40:6-8.
      God wanted Adam and all his descendants to know these things, just as He wants us to know them, and He is faithful to show His covenants to those who love and fear Him, Ps 25:14. God was a friend to Adam and all his early descendants who loved and obeyed Him, just as He is to us, Pro 27:9,17. God's promise is that He will bountifully teach and bless those who search for Him, and this has always been so, Jer 29:11-13; Jn 1:9; Act 14:16-17; 17:16-27; Ro 1:18-20. Of course, God makes the first move by giving us the conviction of His Spirit according to His last will and testament.
      We can be fully assured that God thoroughly taught Adam and Eve why the blood of animals was shed and why they were clothed in the animal's skins. He clearly taught them about shedding the blood of the firstborn of the flock and burning their bodies in sacrificial worship. Otherwise, why would Abel bring the firstborn lambs of his flock, shed their blood, take their lives, and burn them on an altar as burnt offerings in worship to God? Abel's sacrifice was so precisely accurate it reveals that he had been thoroughly taught in the full details of what to sacrifice and what the sacrifices represented.
      God accepted Abel's offering (Gen 4:4) and credited Abel with divine righteousness as a result of his careful and precise response in faith obedience to God's instructions, Heb 11:4. God had obviously taught Adam and Eve about sacrificial animal worship and the typology of the clean animals representing the Seed of the woman as their Kinsman Redeemer and Testator, and that He Himself (the Son of God) would be the Seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent.
      Likewise, this is why Noah offered precisely the proper blood sacrifices and why God was pleased with His thanksgiving worship, Gen 8:20-21. The shedding of blood in this manner of worship brought death to the animals, and prophesied of the future crucifixion, death, and divine resurrection of the Kinsman Redeemer. In order to crush the head (power and authority) of Satan, the human body of the Kinsman Redeemer and Testator had to be raised back to divine life with divine power to enforce His authority over Satan and all his host of fallen angels. This was the design and promise of the tree of divine life in the beginning.
      The shedding of the blood the burning of the bodies of "clean" animals prophesied of the vicarious birth, life, death, burial, and divine resurrection birth of the Kinsman Redeemer and Testator. This sacrificial worship occurred millions of times through the Old Testament. And every sacrifice prophesied of the same redemption cycle: the vicarious birth, life, death, burial, and divine resurrection birth of the Kinsman Redeemer and Testator.


      18 "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
      19 "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
      20 "He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,"
1Pe 1:18-20.
      This "mystery of godliness," (the redemption cycle), has been hidden from the world, yet from the Garden of Eden it has been graciously revealed to those who persevere in their sincere hungering and thirsting after God's righteousness. Abel did not carefully select the choice firstborn lambs from his flock, shed their blood till they died, and burn them to ashes on the altar without understanding the meaning of this required and symbolic worship. Abel understood the whole redemption cycle as surely as Abraham was sure that Isaac would walk back down the mountain with him after he sacrificed him and burned him into ashes.
      Abel obeyed precisely the prescribed procedure of sacrificial worship, and God credited Abel with His divine righteousness (Heb 11:4), which is generic of and inseparable from all the attributes of God's divine nature. This was a demonstration of loving and reverent obedience, and God reveals His covenant (last will and testament) to those who love, fear, and reverence Him, Ex 33:11; Ps 25:14; Jn 7:17; Pro 27:9,17.


      13 "Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt," Ex 12:1-13.
      The Passover and its wonderful testimony of the new birth will be reviewed later. For the present we will emphasize the testimony of the blood of the lamb that portrayed the blood of the true Lamb of God. It very impressively testifies that the Messiah came by blood, and that God would send the virgin born Seed of the woman at the appointed time.
      This is a last will and testament provision to the covenant people who were already in covenant relationship with God. They had the oath of God to Abraham of covenant protection over them, Gen 22:15-18. The blood of the lamb must be over the door and on the door posts. As surely as it was, that household was preserved through that shocking judgment, which is also a prophecy of the coming judgment when Christ returns.
      The promise still stands today on the foundation of God's oath: "when I see the blood, I will pass over you." But that oath applies only to those who believe and continue to believe and obey. Those who believe, but stop believing along the way, are no longer under the safeguard of the blood. We speak of the last will and testament salvation, which is over and above the salvation God has provided for the servant son nations on the new earth.
      The last will and testament salvation is the salvation of firstborn sonship. There will be many nations of servant sons on the new earth, Rev 21:23-26. When a proper saved church member (even a flesh born Jew) is excluded from the church, he is classed as a Gentile servant son and no longer a free firstborn son (who is a spiritual Jew), Mt 18:15-18; 2Th 3:6-15; 2Ti 2:20-21; Gal 4:21 thru 5:4; Heb 12:8. Ishmael was Abraham's slave son, in God's predestined purpose of having sons who are not firstborn sons, Gal 4:21-31; Gen 27:27-37; Ex 4:22-23; Heb 12:23.
      The Gentile woman who pleaded with Jesus for her demon possessed daughter, acknowledged that she was no more than a Gentile dog who would very gratefully received the crumbs from the children's table, Mt 15:21-28. As a result, Jesus highly praised her faith and granted her urgent request. She will be at least in the nations on the new earth (Rev 21:23-26) as a servant son, probably in the bride as a firstborn son.


Article 43

      From the beginning, God's purpose has been to have two kinds of sons: 1) firstborn sons – these sons are the faithful covenant people who by grace through faith qualify for a divine sonship in the full image and likeness of God; and 2) servant sons – these are sons, other than firstborn sons, who will not share in the divine oneness with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These "illegitimate" sons (Gal 4:21-31; Heb 12:8), are mere flesh sons who will not share in the divine oneness. There are not only firstborn sons, but other sons who will not inherit the birthright of the divine firstborn sonship.


      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.
      22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue
(God's) righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." 2Ti 2:19-22.
      The last will and testament blood provides for sons outside the faithful covenant people. There are not only firstborn sons, but there are other sons, who are sons within the general house of God. The church must dismiss from its membership those who will not properly utilize the blood provided for qualifying for the firstborn sonship.
      However, within the general house of God, there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. The vessels of gold and silver represent the firstborn sons, while the vessels of wood and clay represent those sons who are not firstborn sons. The other sons are "servant" sons who are ruled over by the firstborn sons, Gen 27:27-37.
      This distinction is explicitly made in the allegory of 1) Abraham's son, Isaac, through Sarah, and 2) Abraham's son, Ishmael, through Hagar, Gal 4:21 thru 5:5. The illegitimate sons referenced in Heb 12:8, are the "servant" sons portrayed in the allegory of Gal 4:21-31. The firstborn sons are free sons, whereas the other sons are "servant" sons, Jn 8:30-36.


      9 "And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.
      10 "Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘"Cast out this bondwoman and her son...'"
Gen 21:9-10a; Gal 4:21-31.
      Ishmael was Abraham's son, but he was a servant son because his mother was a bondservant. God specifically kept Sarah from bearing a son, and again specifically permitted Abraham to first have a son by Hagar in order to provide this inspired and very explicit allegory as recorded in Gal 4:21-31. Abraham, therefore, had two profoundly different kinds of sons, which dramatically reveals the heart of God's eternal purpose.
      Symbolically, Abraham represents God, while Hagar represents the Law Covenant, the earthy Jerusalem, and enslavement to the physical laws of the universe in the mere physical state of being (Gal 4:3,9; Col 2:8,20-21); and, conversely, Sarah represents the New Covenant, the heavenly Jerusalem, and all that is included in the new birth into God's divine state of being.


      9 "And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.
      10 "Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son..."
Gen 21:9-10a.
      Sarah came down harshly on the bondwoman and her son, yet this was the working of God's eternal purpose, Gal 4:21 thru 5:5. Hagar represents permanent servitude, and Ishmael's "mocking" demonstrated the wrong spirit: that of Cain before (Gen 4) and that of Esau later, Gen 27. A little leaven leavens the whole lump (1Co 5), and the outcome of each of these sonships is poles apart, Gal 5:1-5.
      The allegory teaches that the unfaithful sons are cut off from Christ permanently, Gal 5:1-4. "Christ will profit you nothing" – "You have become severed from Christ," Gal 5:2,4. Paul applied this allegory and its terrifying judgment to the Galatian churches. This means bitter and permanent judgment upon unfaithful saved people who will eternally be sons of God, but sons other than firstborn sons, Heb 12:8. These sons are "illegitimate" sons, because they grow weary of the straight and narrow way (Mt 7:13-14) of the last will and testaments, and fail to make their calling and election sure, Heb 3.
      They are sons who will never be partakers of Christ in God's divine "rest," Heb 3 & 4. Indeed they are sons of God in God's general household (2Ti 2:20-22), but they fail to qualify for the divine firstborn sonship of Christ. This divine firstborn sonship provides for full and free access into God presence at all times, Eph 2:10-22.


      21 "That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
      22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
      23 "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me,"
Jn 17:21-23.
      This oneness is unique above all else:
      8 "Philip said to Him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.'"
      9 "Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
      10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
      11 "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves,"
Jn 14:8-11.
      Wherever Christ is, the Father and the Spirit are there in the person of the Spirit; wherever the Father is. The Son and the Spirit are there in the person of the Spirit; and wherever the Spirit is, the Father and the Son are there in the person of the Spirit. Likewise, wherever the deified saints may be, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit will be there in them in the person of the Spirit. All will possess the complete range of the divine fullness to the degree of the faithfulness of each in this life, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; Col 1:19; 2:9-10; et al.


      10 "Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman,'" Gen 21:10; Gal 4:30.
      Ishmael was Abraham's son, and Abraham had six other sons (Gen 25:1-4); however, before Abraham died he gave gifts to all the other sons and sent them away into the east country, but to Isaac he gave all that he had, including the land of covenant promise, Gen 25:5.
      "...for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac," Gen 21:9-10.
      Paul was writing to the Galatian churches, warning them that they would lose the covenant or last will and testament inheritance by trying to keep both the Law Covenant and the New Covenant. All who persisted in continuing under the Law Covenant were under the curse of that covenant (Gal 3:10), and would be cut off from Christ, Gal 5:1-4.
      The major part, immeasurably, of the inheritance of the last will and testament is inheriting the divine nature (2Pe 1:4) through the new birth in the resurrection, 1Co 15:1-2,44-58. The chief intent of the last will and testament is to conform a special people to the precise image and likeness of God, Gen 1:26-27; Rom 12:1-2; 2Co 3:18; 5:21; 1Pe 1:4-5,9; 2:Pe 1:4; et al.