FIRSTBORN SONSHIP OF CHRIST
THE NEW BIRTH IN THE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Article 49 (continued)
THE FLOOR OF THE TABERNACLE
17 "The priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water," Num 5:17.
The sun-baked desert ground furnished the floor of the tabernacle. This provided a striking contrast to the shining silver sockets, serving as the foundation for the gold covered boards and posts of the walls and curtains, the golden table of showbread, the golden candlestick, the golden altar of incense, and the white fine linen curtains and ceiling with angels artistically embroidered on them.
Even the ark of the covenant, which represented the throne of God, also rested on the bare earth in the most holy place. And after the Millennium, the New Jerusalem with the throne of the Father and the Son will come down upon the new earth, Rev 21.
God could have arranged for a gold covered flooring for the tabernacle, but chose the dust of the ground. Obviously this was done as a prophetic witness of man's relationship with the earth and the dust of the earth: "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return," Gen 3:20.
In the resurrection, Christ will reclaim the bodies of the faithful saints from the dust, and give them a new birth out of the dust into His own divine image and likeness, 1Co 15:44-58. In their heavenly, divine body, they will be able to traverse the entire universe (with its myriads of galaxies, millions of light-years apart) in a single moment of time. Furthermore, the saints will reign together with Christ over the whole creation, and will obviously often visit the domains (even fiery domains) of righteous angels over which the saints will rule. Heat, cold, fire, water, gravity, distance, time, etc., will have no harmful or obstructive effect on the deified saints or the righteou angels.
Christ, as the promised Redeemer (Gen 3:15), and as the Son of God (Isa 9:6-7), came down from heaven, and was born of a virgin into the earthy earth-bound human family, Isa 7:14. Then, as the spotless Lamb of God, He fulfilled the redemption cycle, and was "born again" out of the earthy grave into a heavenly divine body, filled with all the fullness of God's divine nature, Col 2:9. Now He is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for the covenant firstborn sons (Isa 53:10-12), and awaiting the appointed time when He shall return to raise those faithful firstborn sons out of the dust and give them a divine birth into the precise image and likeness of God, Dan 12:1-3; 1Co 15:44-50.
3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
4 "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
5 "Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
6 "To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved," Eph 1:3-6; 1Jn 3:24; 4:13-16.
This was God's purpose from eternity that He would redeem to Himself a divine sonship of firstborn sons in His own image and likeness, Gen 1:26. And now, in a true local church, we are metaphorically reckoned (credited, Rom 4:17), as being crucified, dead, buried, and divinely born again from the dead – as members of His divinely born again body, Rom 6:2-23.
THE SERPENT AND THE DUST
14 "So the LORD God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life,'" Gen 3:14.
18 "And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven,'" Lk 10:18.
Satan and his angels have already been cast out of heaven once, and that will happen again three and half years before Christ returns. Satan regained access into the presence of God when Adam sinned, at which time Adam became Satan's servant and all his promised possessions became Satan's property. The whole creation was promised to Adam and a firstborn sonship which would proceed out of Adam's descendants, Gen 1:28-30; Ps 8:3-6;. However, after Adam sinned, God renewed His promise of that inheritance through the Seed of the woman Redeemer, Gen 3:15. This redemption process qualifies the Seed of the woman to cast Satan out of heaven a second and last time through Michael and his angels, Rev 12:7-12.
9 "So the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him," Rev 12:9.
Satan was permitted by God to use the specially crafty serpent to deceive Eve, then relegated the serpent to a loathsome state of life in the dust. God was righteous in doing so, even as He subjected the whole creation to "the bondage of corruption" (Rom 8:19-22), to woefully frustrate and humble mankind at every turn in life with hurricanes, tornados, floods, droughts, earthquakes, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, etc.
God, through the Holy Spirit, is currently using the heavens, the earth, and the church to "convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (Jn 16:8), "that the world through Him might be saved," Jn 3:17. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the Holy Spirit is revealing God's love, mercy, goodness, patience, righteousness, justice, and eternal judgment to every rational human being. The Holy Spirit is able to do this, and is doing it so that no one will have an excuse for not believing and obeying God's Word, Ps 19:1-6; Jn 1:9; 12:32; Act 14:16-17; 17:26-28; Rom 1:18-20.
God has permitted Satan and many of his fallen angels to remain on earth among all nations to perform all kinds of deceptions, yet the Holy Spirit, with infinite knowledge and power, has worked and is working to the extent that every rational person is provided sufficient knowledge and grace to believe and obey God's will. As prophesied, God will bring the serpent Satan down below the dust, to the bottomless pit for a thousand years, and then to the lake of fire forever, Rev 20:1-10.
THE HUMAN BODY AND THE DUST
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being," Gen 2:7.
Each of us is a human spirit living in an earthy human body that was formed of the dust of the ground. God made the human body of the dust, then breathed the spirit of life into that body, Gen 1. The human spirit was thereby created and placed into the human body as its house.
We are a two-fold being: spirit and body. The human spirit was not made out of the dust. It was breathed by God into the lifeless human body, and both spirit and body then became a living human being. The human spirit does not die when the body dies, but lives eternally, and was created to be clothed or housed by the human body, 2Co 5:1-11.
The human body of the faithful covenant people will be born again into a divine body in the resurrection, whereas the body of the unfaithful will remain a mere earthy body forever. These people of the saved nations will continue to exist under the laws of the physical universe, Gal 4:3,9,21-31; Col 3:8,20.
The "mind" is an integral part of the spirit and is inseparable from the spirit. When the spirit is in the body, the mind resides in the brain and governs the functions of both spirit and body. When the spirit is separated from the body in death, the body dies (Ja 2:26), but the "mind" goes with the spirit, because it is also spirit, and is an integral and governing part of the spirit, Lk 16:19-31; Rev 6:9-11.
The human spirit, like the body, has a head in which the mind resides. The spirit of man also has eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, hands, feet, etc., just like the body does (Lk 16:19-31; Rev 6:9-11), has the same form as the body, and evidently is the same size as the body. The human head has a brain where the mind resides while the spirit is in the body. The body is therefore the house or clothing of the spirit (2Co 5:1-10), and both spirit and body are predestined in the covenants (last will and testaments) to an incomparably higher plane of divine existence.
HOLY GROUND AND THE DUST
5 "Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground,'" Exo 3:5.
15 "Then the Commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, ‘Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.' And Joshua did so," Jos 5:15.
The Lord is holy, His presence is holy, and even the ground in the presence of the Lord is holy. Thus Moses and Joshua were commanded to take their sandals off their feet in the presence of the Lord. It appears that this is the reason the priests were barefooted and were constantly washing their hands and feet at the laver, as they ministered in the tabernacle and before the altar, Ex 30:18-21.
On the other hand, the Son of God in a human body wrestled as man to man with Jacob, Gen 32:30. Moreover, the Holy Spirit is God dwelling in the frail human bodies of the faithful last will and testament people (Act 2), serving as an earnest or guarantee that they will receive divine bodies in the resurrection, 2Co 5:1-5,21. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is based on the metaphor that we are the crucified, dead, buried, raised, and glorified or deified body of Christ.
However, both our body and our spirit are still dead in sins: as stated many times, our mind is an integral part of our spirit, and all the sins we commit are governed by our sinful mind. It is necessary that we understand that our mind, and therefore our spirit, is still sinful and has not been born again. We are credited (counted, reckoned) in a metaphor as being the crucified, dead, buried, raised, and deified body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit is given to us because we are counted as being the deified body of Christ, which metaphor is true only with those in a true local church. It is not true with believers who are not in true local churches. See editor's book entitled, "Christ In You." True churches can become false churches (Heb 3:6; Rev 2:1-7; 3:14-17), lose the firstborn sonship, and thereby lose the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is passionately jealous over us with Godly jealousy. He grieves and groans with words that cannot be uttered in human language, because of our sins, Ja 4:5; Rom 8:26-27.
"Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents," Lk 15:10. Of course, it follows that the angels continue to rejoice as sinners continue to repent of their sins and walk by faith. Surely, angels were keenly aware, and many were invisibly present and filled with joy as Enoch and Noah walked with God day by day, Heb 11:5.
THE ANGELS AND THE DUST
11 "Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven," 2Ki 2:11.
Chariots of fire and horses of fire: what a wonderful demonstration of God's love and care for Elijah, Elisha, and for all of us! This was a marvelous revelation of God's pleasure in Elijah, and also a striking display of God's answer to Elisha's request for a double portion of the spirit and power of Elijah, 2Ki 2.
17 "And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.' Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha," 2Ki 6:17.
Angels were not made of the dust, but were created to be unique and worthy ministers of the divinely born firstborn sons. We are of the dust, and though angels are not of the dust, they are fully and constantly aware that they were created to be ministers to the firstborn sons, and were obviously put through testing (as we are being tested) in order to overcome the testing and qualify for this high and holy calling of ministering to the divine firstborn sons.
The mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all round the city where Elisha was. Elisha was aware of the army of Syria around the city (2Ki 6:8-12), and was also well aware of the immeasurably greater army of angels, chariots, and horses of fire standing poised for Elisha's protection.
Of course, there were, no doubt, demons (fallen angels) all around, but the Holy Spirit, and the righteous angels at the Holy Spirit's bidding, kept the fallen angels in check. Not only are the eyes of Him with whom we have to do constantly upon us, but the eyes of both fallen angels and righteous angels are also fixed upon us at all times: for destruction on the part of fallen angels, and for God's glory and our protection on the part of the righteous angels.
7 "And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire,'" Heb 1:7.
43 "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Mt 13:43.
The angels have life, authority, and power many times beyond anything known to man. Man's most destructive nuclear device cannot, in the least, affect an angel. Also, fire is an attribute of God, of angels, and will be an abiding attribute of the glorified saints – even the angel's, chariots, and horses possess the attribute of fire as a part of their essential being.
5 "For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.
6 "But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, or the Son of Man that You take care of Him?
7 "You have made Him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor, and set Him over the works of Your hands.
8 "You have put all things in subjection under His feet.' For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him,"Heb 2.
God has not put the world to come in subjection to the glorious and holy angels, but to those of the human race who qualify for the firstborn sonship, who will be joint heirs with Christ and will reign with Him over all creation, Rom 4:13; 8:17,32; 1Co 3:21-23; Heb 2:6-11. Currently, the righteous angels possess an immesurably higher state of being than we do, but the inheritance promised in the last will and testaments will reverse the relationship and elevate the firstborn sons to a divine state of being immeasurably higher than the angels. The righteous angels overcame their testing, were obviously aware all the time of the state of life for which they were qualifying to obtain, and are now thoroughly satisfied and are very pleasantly and fully active in the ministry assigned to them.
THE DIVINE BODY AND THE DUST
1 "For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (That body is the glorified body of Christ, of which we, in a metaphor, are the members)
2 "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
3 "If indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
4 "For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
5 "Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee," 2Co 5:1-5.
The gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost was and is God's earnest, pledge, or guarantee that our earthy bodies will be further clothed with divine life when Christ returns. But we must walk worthy of being the members of the human, now divinely new born body of Christ. If we, by the Spirit, do not walk worthy as members of the deified body of Christ, Christ will profit us nothing in the firstborn sonship, Gal 4:21 thru 5:5.
Christ became our Kinsman Redeemer by being born of a virgin and thereby receiving a sinless human body made of the dust. This was an earthy human body made of flesh and blood out of the dust. In His resurrection, that earthy body was "born again" of the Spirit into a divine state of being, possessing all the fullness of God's divine attributes.
Christ was the Son of God all the time He was in that earthy human body, but by the will of the Godhead, He was restricted to the life, growth, and learning process of a human, in order to qualify as a Kinsman Redeemer. As a sinless human being, He overcame the required and severe last will and testament training, and thereby created the inheritance of the last will and testament, for which we are being trained and tested Heb 9:11-16; Eph 2:10-16.
Therefore He received a new birth resurrection, by which He created a new human, divine, spirit body, possessing all the divine attributes of God, 1Co 15:44-50; 2Co 5:17,21; Eph 4:22-24; Phi 3:7-14,20-21; Col 1:18-19; 2:9-10; 3:9-10.
THE REDEEMER AND THE DUST
7 "I will bless the LORD who has given Me counsel; My heart also instructs Me in the night seasons.
8 "I have set the LORD always before Me; because He is at My right hand I shall not be moved.
9 "Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 "For You will not leave My soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore," Ps 16:9-11.
The Son of God did come down to the earth, was born of a virgin (as the Second Adam) into an earthy (though sinless) human body, lived a perfect human life, died as the Lamb of God for the sins of the world, was buried, but arose the third day without seeing corruption. Having thus satisfied all holy and righteous requirements, Christ's human body was "born again" out of the grave into a divine body, possessing all the divine attributes of God,Col 1:9. Having thus tasted "death for everyone" and paid their sin debt in full, He now ever lives, possessing "the keys of hell and of death," Rev 1:18.
The body of the first Adam was made of the dust, thus all his descendants have bodies made of the dust. The Son of God, to qualify as the vicarious Redeemer of the human race, had to pass through the redemption cycle as follows: He had to 1) be born into the human race, into a body made of the dust, 2) be born of a virgin, to be without sin, 3) live a sinless life, 4) establish a new covenant (a last will and testament) with the covenant people, (Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:8-13), 5) establish the church as the active covenant people while Israel is temporarily cut off (Rom 9:24-33), 6) endure the extremity of God's wrath against the sins of the first Adam and all his descendants, 7) experience death where the body completely died and was buried, 8) rise out of the grave the third day so that His body would not experience corruption (Ps 16:7-11), 9) ascend back to heaven to intercede for the faithful last will and testament people (Ps 68:17-18; 110:1-4), and 10) descend back to the earth at the appointed time. to raise the bodies of the faithful covenant people and deify both their spirits and bodies, Dan 12:2-3; 1Co 15:44-50.
THE DAY OF THE LORD AND THE DUST
17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19 "I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20 "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 "They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 "They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 "They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
24 "It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,' says the LORD," Isa 65:17-25.
21 "Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now," Rom 8:21-22; Gen 3:17-19.
A "curse" of divine judgment was placed upon the whole creation, which God had promised to man, as a last will and testament inheritance, Gen 1:26-31; Ps 8:3-6; Heb 2:6-8. Of course, from before creation, this was God's will and purpose, Eph 1:4-5; 1Pe 1:18-20. This was and is the high and holy calling of the firstborn sonship, and God's eternal purpose included a circumstance where God would be able to righteously and gloriously demonstrate His infinite love, compassion, and mercy upon helpless and hopeless human beings, held miserably in the death throes of sin and shame. Even though we were born into this sinful state, we have all nevertheless sinned wilfully in Adam, and then by our own choice, Rom 5:12-19.
However, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever is constantly believing into Him should not perish but have everlasting (divine) life," Jn 3:16.
Remember, there will be nations of saved people who will not qualify for the firstborn sonship. These mere flesh-born sons will forever be slaves of the natural laws of the universe, Rev 21:23-26; Gal 4:21 thru 5:5; Heb 12:8; 2Ti 2:19-21; 1Co 3:15; Rom 11:11-22; Jn 15:1-6; 2Pe 1:3-10;et al. How can a person's works all be burned (preachers and all others in God's "field," "building," or "temple") and still be saved? Compare 1Co 3:15 and similar passages with Eze 3:20-21; 18:24; 33:12-13; 2Ti 2:18-20; et al.
We are all God's "field" and we are all God's "building." We are all builders, mutually building each other up in the faith in God's temple: men and women, adults and children — see Eph 4:16 and context, for instance. All can encourage and build up, and all can destroy and tear down. The proper love of every church member always works toward strengthening and building up the whole church.
THE MILLENNIAL THRONE OF DAVID AND THE DUST
6 "For unto us (made of the dust creatures) a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, 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.
The millennial throne of David will not be in heaven, but on the earth. The throne and rule of David in the past included only a few of the nations on the earth. During the Millennium, however, Christ, with the glorified saints, will rule the entire universe, even over all the works of God's creation, Ps 8:1-6. Likewise, the curse that God placed on the earth (Gen 3:17-19), was not limited to the earth, but also included all creation:
22 "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now," Rom 8:18-22; Ps 8:6; Heb 2:6-8.
This was the far reaching extent of the authority which God, from the beginning, intended for a firstborn sonship in the creation of Adam and the human race, Eph 1:3-6. God's purpose included a divine sonship of firstborn sons, and also a mere human earthbound sonship of other sons of the nations, Gal 4:21 thru 5:5; Heb 12:8,15-17. There will be "nations" of saved people on the new earth (Rev 21:23-26; 22:1-2; 1Co 3:15; 2Ti 2:19-21), but there will be no nations or national distinctions "in Christ" (in the body of Christ) Gal 3:28; Lk 20:34-37). All those in Christ will be one great nation of gods reigning over the nations in mere flesh bodies.
Those nations of saved people will be the other sons, not firstborn sons. Only the firstborn sons will be divinely born again when Christ returns, 1Co 15:1-2. The other sons, whose works will all be burned, will "be saved so as by fire" (1Co 3:15), and will be vessels "for dishonor" in God's overall house, 2Ti 2:19-21.
King David reigned over a small part of the earth, but the Son of David will reign over all creation from the earth. His throne will be on the earth, and the earth will be an even greater center of focus for a thousand years. The Son of David will reign over all creation until He has put all things under His feet, then He will deliver up the kingdom to the Father, 1Co 5:25-26.
THE NEW JERUSALEM AND THE DUST
1 "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2 "Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 "And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God,'" Rev 21:1-3.
The focus here is on the new earth. The New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven and will rest on the new earth, with the throne of the Father and the Son in it. It will be a divine city on the new earth, and will evidently be the heart and center of the divine presence, authority, and activity throughout all creation.