Sonship, part 20: A heavenly father and an earthly mother
When we look at the conception and birth of the Pattern Son, Jesus, we find that He had a heavenly Father and an earthly mother. Looking at corporate Israel, we see the same thing. God is the Father of Israel.
Exodus 4:22 …Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
So if God is the Father of the Israel, who is the earthly mother? Answer: Egypt—which represents the world. Egypt is the earthly mother….. hmmm, could there be a splinter of truth in the pagans’ reverence for “Mother Earth,” misguided though it is? That Egypt is the earthly mother is borne out in Hosea, among other Scriptures.
Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
In the natural, in the process of childbirth, what comes forth from the mother besides the baby? What fluids? Blood and water, right? Therefore, at the birth of Israel, God’s firstborn son, we find the blood of the Passover and the water of the Red Sea, as the corporate son emerges from the womb of Egypt. Additionally, that verse in Hosea is a Messianic prophecy. Jesus personally fulfilled it when His parents fled with Him to Egypt to avoid King Herod’s attempt to have the Christ child murdered.
Matthew 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
So we have both the unique Pattern Son and we have the corporate nation of Israel being called God’s son, even His firstborn. Did it occur to you that if there is a firstborn; it implies there will be other sons as well? Consider this:
Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory,…
God is going to bring many sons to glory. Well, if the Israelites are the firstborn son, then logically, who will the other sons be? Obviously, non-Israelites! The modus operandi of God is progression. First, Jesus; then Israel; then all the race of Adam; then all creation. God is going to bring many sons to glory. What do you think that phrase, “to glory,” means?
In my series of studies on the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, we learned that there is a progression from the outside inward, that is, from the Outer Court to the Holy Place to the Holy of Holies. Those three parts of the Tabernacle represent our progressive growth from justification to sanctification and ultimately to glorification. But what does that glorification mean? It means vivification—resurrection to immortality and incorruptibility! That is our destiny!
We progress through the stages of salvation until we receive glorified bodies. Jesus is the Pattern Son. He went first nearly 2,000 years ago. Israel was called out of Egypt, out of the world. Israel, then, was predestinated to go first among mankind. Then, the New Testament church was called out of Israel to go first among Israel. Then, the Barley Company Overcomers, the firstborn company of sons, are called out of the church to go first among the believers, to walk the path and complete the progression and to inherit immortality.
Progression everywhere in God’s plan—not only progression through the stages of salvation, but progression by the various groups through those stages of salvation at their appointed times.
I was going to say it’s like a batch of cookies in the oven; but you can only get one batch in the oven at a time. So I think it’s more like a commercial pizza oven. There is a rolling rack and an unbaked pizza goes in at one end of the rolling rack. It is carried through the intense heat for what must seem like eternity to a green pepper on the pizza.
The heat is the trials and sufferings of this present life. It is the baptism by fire. But when that pizza finally emerges at the other end of the rack, its body has been transformed by the heat and it is fit food for the Master’s table.
But of course, with a pizza oven, there can be more than one pizza going through at the same time. They don’t all go in or come out at the same time, but they are in the heat, in various stages of processing at the same time. All of this of which have just been speaking is encompassed in this profound passage which Paul was inspired to set forth in Romans 8. It speaks of the heat in the oven. It speaks of some going first, and it speaks of the end result for all the pizzas in creation: the glorified body.
Romans 8:21 Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
And certain brethren will say: “But the Bible was written to Israel and for Israel. This belongs to us alone, to no one else. We get saved and everybody else dies and never lives again.” (…or everyone else suffers eternally in hell fire, according to other brethren.)
I’ve heard that attitude stated many times in one form or another. But one cannot come to that conclusion and be honest with the facts in this passage. Yes, the Bible was written to Israel and it is chiefly about Israel, and we know that Paul was writing this epistle primarily to dispersed Israelites living in Rome.
Nevertheless, Paul, by the unction of the Holy Spirit, was given to reveal that the glorious liberty of being released from the bondage of a sin-filled mortal body into a glorified body was not only for Israel (it was for Israel first, to be sure), but ultimately this glorious liberty will be extended to all creation! This is the restitution of all things, or universal reconciliation, as I call it. God is not going to permanently lose a single speck of His creation.
To summarize the a number of recent posts in this series, we have examined the concept of sonship from the standpoint of the firstborn son. To the firstborn son goes the birthright. But this right of primogeniture can be forfeited as we have seen happened frequently in the Old Testament. The true firstborn sons are those who have the faith of their father, and the character requisite for fulfilling the responsibilities of the firstborn.
These responsibilities include the authority and care of the family in the father’s absence, the care of the parents in their infirmity and old age, and the priesthood of the family; that is, keeping the faith and passing it on to the future generations. To carry out this mandate of the firstborn, he was given a double portion of the father’s estate, and in effect, he was given the power-of-attorney on behalf of the father.
We saw how these concepts played out first in Jacob-Israel’s own family, how the birthright was split, and how that foreshadowed momentous events in history; namely, the breach, the split in the kingdom of Israel into the House of Israel and the House of Judah. And remember, the name belongs to the ten-tribed House, not to the House of Judah. But even more momentous, the split in the birthright foreshadowed the two works of Jesus Christ. Two thousand years ago, as he expired on the cross, the savior said: “It is finished.”
We believe that. The first work, the work of the suffering servant was finished. The second work is still to be done. But it is not a work wherein He will die, for He lives forevermore. But at His second coming, He will receive the other portion of the birthright, the Joseph work; He will receive the kingdom.
As Joseph ruled Egypt under Pharaoh, his “father,” and as Joseph provided food for the world; so Jesus will rule the world with His overcomer body, and they will provide spiritual and material food for the world during the glorious kingdom age. The second work is not finished. It is just about to begin. Hallelujah, God speed the day! (Studies in sonship to be continued.)