Firstborn Sonship of Christ

November 2004
Article 52


      We come now to the tabernacle proper, which continues to provide a splendid array of hidden, yet obvious and profound symbolic prophecies. Every detail of the tabernacle structure and service pointed to Christ and the firstborn covenant people in a last will and testament environment. In all the last will and testaments the covenant people were and are required to qualify, by grace through faith, for the firstborn birthright inheritance, which includes the full range of God's divine attributes, except infinity, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; 5:31-32; Col 2:9-10; 3:10; 2Pe 1:4; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23;et al.
      That last will and testament people are found today only in true local churches, having the baptism of John. We are still striving earnestly to continue building God's living tabernacle or temple or house, according to the pattern given by Christ in the New Covenant. We are not under the Law Covenant, for that covenant or last will and testament was fulfilled in the person of Christ, and the New Covenant established. We are also, like the saints of the Old Testament, laboring earnestly to enter into the divine "rest" of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, promised in all last will and testaments, Heb 9;16-21; Heb 3 & 4; 2Pe 1:3-10. For instance, that "rest" was prophesied by shedding the blood and taking the life of every animal sacrifice burned on an altar. The Holy Spirit has been working in every case, to present this prophecy and promise to the covenant people from the Garden of Eden on, Gen 3:15 thru 4:4. Abel's offering (Gen 4:4; Heb 11:4) revealed that Christ, as the Son of God without beginning, would be born into a human body by a virgin birth, Gen 3:15; Ps 17:15; Isa 7:14; Gal 4:4. That human body of Christ was "born again" into a "divine body" in the resurrection of Christ, Ps 2:7; Act13:29-33; Col 1:18; 1Co 15:44-50.
      We were not born again when we first repented and believed, or when we were properly baptized. However, in the language of a metaphor, we were baptized into the crucified, dead, buried, and born again from the dead body of Christ, Rom 6:3-6; 1Co 12:12-13; Gal 3:27; Ti 3:5. Therefore, in the metaphor, we are said to be divine members of the divinely born again body of Christ. God speaks of "things which be not, as though they were," Rom 4:17.
      "The body without the spirit is dead..." (Ja 2:26). The human body without the human spirit is dead, while the human spirit remains alive and active after the body dies, Gen 25:8-9; Lk 16:19-31; Lk 23:42-43; Rev 6:9-11. However, while the body is alive, the mind of the human spirit functions through the human brain and directs the actions and emotions of the body. Therefore if the brain is injured, the function of the mind will be affected according to the extent of the injury of the brain, since the mind functions through the brain while the spirit is in the body. Let it be emphasized again, that our mind is an integral (a necessary, inseparable) part of our spirit. The brain of the human body may malfunction, and will thereby restrict the function of the mind of our human spirit. However, if we were really born again, our mind (as an integral part of our spirit) would be divine, and we could never sin again. It is clear therefore that we have been born again only in the language of a metaphor, being only reckoned as the crucified, dead, buried, and born again body of Christ, Rom 4:17; 6:3-5; 1Co 12:12-13; Col 1:18; 3:1-10.
      The true local church is called the deified body of Christ only in the language of a metaphor. Therefore, in the metaphor the members of the church are the members of the "born again" (glorified, deified) body of Christ – but only in the language of a metaphor. And based on that metaphor reckoning (Rom 4:17; 6:3-5) of being the born again (glorified, deified) body of Christ, we have received the Holy Spirit of deity, Jn 7:39; Gal 4:4-6; Rom 8;23.
      The Holy Spirit dwells only in those who, in the metaphor, possess the divine nature, Jn 7:39. Even now, under the ministration of the Holy Spirit (2Co 3), the Spirit is dwelling in those who are still qualifying under the last will and testament to become firstborn (divine) sons of God, Gal 4:1-9, 19-31; 5:11-5. The gift of the Holy Spirit is God's earnest pledge or guarantee that the faithful firstborn sons will receive the divine birth in the resurrection when Christ returns, 2Co 5:1-21. However, the Spirit's qualifying ministry is forfeited by those who do not sufficiently respond to that indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit. They will fail to qualify for the new birth when Christ returns, Eph 1:13; Jn 15:1-6; Rom 11:11-22; Gal 4:19 thru 5:5; Heb 3;1 thru 4:11; 6:4-6; 10:25-31; 12:15-17; 2Pe 1:3-10; 2Jn 8-11; et al.


      36 "You shall make a curtain for the door of the tabernacle, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver," Ex 25:36.
      7 "Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep,'" Jn 10:7.
      6 "Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,'" Jn 14:6.
      Christ is the door of entrance into the tabernacle. The church is the body of Christ, (1Co 12:27; Eph 1:23;), and believers are baptized into Christ by being baptized into the church, Rom 6:3-5. The local church is also the house and temple of God, on a qualifying basis, 1Ti 3:15; Heb 3:6; 1Co 3:16-17. But we can woefully reject Christ and the Holy Spirit, so that They are on the outside knocking at the door to obtain entrance back into Their own dwelling, Rev 3:20; Heb 3:6; Rom 8:26-27; Ja 4:5. If that disqualifying status is not corrected, the Lord will reject that church, and the members will forfeit the birthright of the last will and testament, Heb 3:6; 2Pe 1:3-10; Rev 2 and 3.
      The Laodicean church had lost the vital indwelling ministry of Christ through the Holy Spirit by a lukewarm attitude toward the doctrine of Christ which is the Word of God, Rev 3:14-20; 2Jn 8-11. We must passionately and persistently address our attention to a thorough study of the Scriptures, praying earnestly that we will permit the Holy Spirit to teach us, He 4:12-13. We cannot do this with our passions glued on the ways and things of this world.
      God has predestined that we must exercise our will in order to obtain salvation to the lesser or greater degree. However, we are hopeless slaves of sin, and have no power nor desire within ourselves to believe, repent, and obey the Scriptures, Rom 7:14-24. God could have made us to be robots, but He chose to create a firstborn sonship fashioned into His own image and likeness, Gen 1:26; Ps 17:15. However, God also possesses the attributes of compassion, patience, and mercy on sinful beings. This necessitates the existence of a miserably sinful circumstance as mankind has been enslaved in these six thousand years, Rom 8:22-23; Jn 3:16; Rom 5:6-12.
      It is immediately obvious that there was a great difference in the circumstance of the sin of angels, because Christ did not die for them, Heb 2:16. Angels did make a choice in a somewhat different circumstance: some made the right choice, and some made the wrong choice. It further appears obvious that angels were not born into a sinful state of being, but neither were Adam and Eve. Perhaps we can do little more than speculate for the most part beyond that.
      There was only one door into the tabernacle, as there was only one gate into the tabernacle court. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me," Jn 14:6. Christ is the only Savior. The apostle Peter said, "This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.
      12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved,"
Act 4:11-12.
      Paul also said. "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus," 1Ti 2:5.
      However, in harmony with this, the church is called the body of Christ, and when we baptize believers into the church, we are, in the metaphor, baptizing them into the "born again" body of Christ, and therefore they and we are counted as born again members of the born again body of Christ.
      12 "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
      13 "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free - and have all been made to drink into one Spirit"
– the Holy Spirit who dwells in deity, or in divine bodies, 1Co 12:12-13. The Holy Spirit is God's earnest (guarantee) that we will receive divine bodies in the resurrection, only if we walk according to the Spirit's leading, and thereby qualify for the firstborn sonship, 2Co 5:1-11.
      27 "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ," Gal 3:27.
      The Holy Spirit is divine and dwells only in divine beings, or in those in the New Covenant, where the covenant people are, in a metaphor, counted to be born again members of the born again body of Christ, Rom 6:3-13. The New Covenant provides for the Holy Spirit to dwell in our bodies, because we are counted to be deified members of the deified body of Christ, Eph 4:22-24; Col 2:9 thru 3:10.


      36 "You shall make a curtain for the door of the tabernacle...," Exo 26:36.
      A wire fence would likely have a wire or metal gate. A wood fence would likely have a wood gate. A house or building would likely have a wood or metal door. The door of the tabernacle was made of fine twined linen, hung over five pillars at the front entrance of the tabernacle. This bore, and still bears, a practical application to the daily lives of the covenant people and to their future state of being.


      Fine linen is rated with the finest of garments; by kings, by high officials, by the rich (Gen 41:42; Est 8:15; Mk 15:46; Lk 16;19; Rev 18:16): and indeed by the Lord. We see this throughout the tabernacle, the tabernacle court fence; the garments of the Levitical priests (Ex 25 thru 28; 35; 36); the garments of angels (Dan 10:5; 12:6-7); and the garments of the bride of Christ, Rev 19:7-8.
      Spiritually, fine white linen represents the righteousness (the divine nature) of God, which is credited to the faithful covenant people by each act of faith. This is the righteousness of justification, addressed especially by Paul in Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and by others in all the books of the Bible.
      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.
      9 "And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness of God by the faith," Phi 3:9.
      4 "By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust...
      10 "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never fall;" 2Pe 1:4.10; (1:3-11).
      The righteousness or divine nature of God is reckoned or credited (and therefore progressively promised, 2Pe 1:4) to the faithful covenant people with each act of faith, Rom 4; Ja 2:17-26; Jn 10:10; 2Co 9:10. The righteousness of God is generic of all the attributes of God's divine nature:
      9 "For in Him is dwelling all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
      10 "And you have that fullness in Him, who is the head of all principality and power,"
Col 2:9-10.
      In view of this divine fullness, Jesus said, "I am come that you may have (divine) life and have it more abundantly," Jn 10:10. In this same respect Paul further wrote:
      10 "Now may He who is suppling 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.
      So the fine linen speaks of God's righteousness (the fullness of God's divine nature), and reaping or harvesting more abundantly of that righteousness or divine fullness when Christ returns.
      "... I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly," Jn 10:10.


      36 "You shall make a curtain for the door of the tabernacle, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver," Exo 26:36.
      These three colors (blue, purple, and scarlet) are mentioned in this order over two dozen times with emphasis in building the tabernacle, as we have seen already on the court gate, and will have occasion to reference them at least twice more on the second curtain and on the first of four coverings of the tabernacle.


      The "blue" speaks of the heavenly character of the tabernacle and its contents. This addresses God's dwelling place on earth. And in its revealed future projection, the New Jerusalem, with the throne of the Father, the Son, and other thrones, will have its foundations rest on the new earth, Rev 21 & 22. This appears to indicate that the center of the universe and of God's kingdom activities are projected to be on and from the new earth.
      The stated size of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21) indicates that the new earth will be much larger than the current earth. Man has not yet found the outer edge of the universe, and we are told that astronomers continue to find more galaxies of star systems many light years farther out into space. The creative works of God are obviously far greater and more wonderful than our human minds can grasp. Furthermore, the Bible speaks of "ages of ages" to come, more than a dozen times in the book of Revelation. The future holds perhaps an endless number of ages and eons in which God will demonstrate His infinite knowledge, power, glory, goodness, and numerous other divine attributes.
      33 "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
      34 "For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?
      35 "Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?
      36 "For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen,"
Rom 11:33-36.
      Jesus knew who He was before He was twelve years old, Lk 2:49. Joseph and Mary had doubtless told Him over and over many times what they had seen and heard from the angel Gabriel, from Elizabeth, from the shepherds, from the wise men from the east, from Simeon, Anna, and no doubt from still others. Most of all, He knew from the Old Testament Scriptures, for He had learned them well, Lk 24:25-27. He rebukes His disciples for not knowing and proved to them who He was by His knowledge of the Scriptures and by His many miracles. Obviously, He knew what the color "purple" in the tabernacle signified.
      1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
      2 "As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
      3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
      4 "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
      5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was,'"
Jn 17:1-5.


      The "purple" color points to the divine and royal character of the tabernacle. Here was God's dwelling place among His last will and testament people on earth. Here God would meet with Moses and Aaron, and through them train and qualify His firstborn sons. This is also representative of God through the Holy Spirit dwelling in the church in this age, calling and training a uniquely special people for His name; a projected royal firstborn sonship out of the Gentiles, as well as out of Israel, Rom 9:22-33.
      1 "So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.
      2 "And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.
      3 "Then they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!' And they struck Him with their hands.
      4 "Pilate then went out again, and said to them, ‘Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.'
      5 "Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the Man!'"
Jn 19:1-5.
      "Behold the Son of God" from beyond the starry blue yonder. Behold our divine Kinsman Redeemer, Who was born of a virgin, lived a perfect sinless life, here standing on earth in a bloody earthy body, beaten almost to death. Pilate said, "behold the man .....I find no fault in Him," but the religious rulers and the deceived mob cried, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"
      He created the whole universe, and all authority in heaven and in earth was vested in Him. Yet He stood in supreme and perfect submission to the heavenly Father; on the brink of death, but with the worst yet to come. He still had to endure the inexpressible fury of God's just wrath against all the sins of mankind. Only to a very small degree can we understand the bitter throes of anguish He had yet to experience.
      None the less, the ever steadfast promise of the divine blue, purple, and violet was the supreme focus of His mind and heart. The "joy that was set before Him" (Heb 12:2) overruled every temptation, every reproach, and every moment or hour of agony that He had to endure. We need that mind-set, and the joy that goes with it. Jesus said to the disciples, "I have food to eat of which you do not know," Jn 4:32.
      8 "'But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'
      9 "Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
      10 "And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,
      11 "Who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven,'"
Act 1:8-11.


      The "scarlet" is a color signifying redemption from sin and all its terrible and eternal death consequences, into the supreme and ever increasing state of the fullness of God's divine person and glory. In fact, the blue, purple, and scarlet all witness of this last will and testament inheritance.
      18 "'Come now, and let us reason together,' Says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool,'" Isa 1:18.
      Scarlet and crimson both indicate a bright red color, and both, in the passage above, carry a flagrantly offensive meaning, referring to the grossly sinful condition of Israel, Isa 1:1-31. However, in spite of how blatantly sinful Israel had become, God would forgive them if they would truly repent and obey Him. A scarlet robe or similar attire was primarily considered as appropriate for kings and others of high office: that is why a scarlet robe was put on Christ when they mocked and cruelly beat Him before both Pilate and Herod, Mt 27:28.
      27 "Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.
      28 "And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.
      29 "When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
      30 "Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.
      31 "And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified,"
Mt 27:27-31.
      The word scarlet is also often used as a required ingredient in cleansing from sin and eternal death into the divine last will and testament inheritance, Lev 14:51; Num 19:6. We only too quickly lose our vision, or more accurately, never grasp the full extent of eternal death on the one hand, and of God's fullness on the other hand. This is infinitely more preponderate than we are aware.
      33 "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!" Ro 9:33.
      There will be no higher authority and there will be no other authority, than that which flows from the throne of God. Satan, sin, and death will be bound eternally under God's authority and power in the lake of fire (Rev 20:10-15). That punishing imprisonment will be somewhere, but surely not all over the face of the "new earth in which righteousness is dwelling."
      We look for "new heavens and a new earth" throughout all of which (except the lake of fire) the proper and prolific worship of God with peace, happiness, and unsurpassable understanding will constantly and most reverently flow into the presence of God in the new Jerusalem by the ministry of the firstborn sons and their ministering angels, 2Pe 3:13; Rev 21:23-26.