The Chosen Path
Feb 09, 2010
I have tried to show that the two Mandates of Genesis 1:26-28 are the two halves of the Birthright. The Dominion Mandate represents the divine calling (election) to rule as God's representative in the earth. The Fruitfulness Mandate is the responsibility that comes with divine authority, and it is the responsibility to "be fruitful and multiply." The intent of God was not merely to produce fleshly offspring, but to bring forth children in the image of God.
In other words, those placed in authority were responsible to come into the image and likeness of Christ.
It is plain from the Scriptures, even in the OT, that this idea of being "chosen" is based primarily upon the law, not upon genealogy. Genealogy takes a back seat to the law, because God reserved the right to remove Israel's Dominion over the nations whenever they fell into idolatry. In putting other nations in authority over Israel, in fact, the situation was reversed, and it can be said that in a legal sense, the dominant nation had become "chosen" (at least temporarily).
It is self-evident that those other nations would fail to live up to the responsibility that comes with divine Authority, because they too were carnal. So their "chosen" position was only a temporary opportunity. But yet in the bigger picture it was the intent of God to prove that NO FLESH--not even Israelite flesh--could succeed in bringing forth the sons of God.
The manner in which this authority and responsibility are to be fulfilled is made much clearer in the NT than in the Old. This is to be expected, seeing that the NT was written under the greater anointing and inspiration of Pentecost. So what were types and shadows in the OT are greatly clarified in the NT.
The bottom line is that God does not intend to let anyone rule His Kingdom by the power of the flesh. Without Christ, no one will rule His Kingdom, nor indeed will they even enter into it. The idea that someone is chosen on account of their genealogy, while rejecting Jesus Christ, is a total illusion based upon the glorification of carnal flesh.
Israel was certainly given the revelation and calling to rule, but whenever they proved their unworthiness, God did not hesitate to strip them of their favored position ("election") and put them into captivity to other nations.
Paul tells us that this was done under the principle of "jealousy." In discussing Israel's fall from election and her captivity to Assyria, Paul says in Romans 10:19,
"But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? At the first Moses says, 'I will make you JEALOUS by that which is not a nation, by a nation without understanding will I anger you."
God is a "jealous" God (Ex. 34:14). So when Israel preferred idols and false gods, God became like a jealous husband. Israel provoked God to jealousy, so God provoked Israel to jealousy in return by seeming to prefer other nations. He did this by putting Israel under the authority of other nations, treating them as if those other nations were "chosen."
This policy was designed to provoke Israel to jealousy. In the book of Judges, we find that it worked, because after living some years in captivity, the people repented and turned back to the true God. Unfortunately, the next generations had to learn the lessons all over again.
The problem in the OT was that they had received the law in its external form, and so it was being imposed upon them against the will of their flesh (carnal mind). Until the law could be written on their hearts, the flesh will always fight against the Spirit in the attempt to get its own way (Rom. 8:7). And so we read in Rom. 8:7 that "those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
God gave the flesh ample time throughout the OT to prove that it was incapable of pleasing God by the will of the flesh. Only a few individuals had genuine faith in God, and in such people the law of God was written in their hearts. So ultimately, God brought Israel into captivity to Assyria, never again to return to the old land and the old Jerusalem. It appeared as if the Birthright would be lost forever.
But God had another plan that had only been given in hints and suggestions in the OT. The plan was that God would cast down Israel in order to reconcile the world (including Israel). Jesus' death and resurrection brought a New Covenant, through which the whole world would be saved. This New Covenant employed a new method. Instead of imposing the law from the outside upon a carnal mind that would obey only grudgingly, the New Covenant gave the Holy Spirit by which the law would be written on the heart.
Further, the blessing of the Covenant was opened up to all men. It took awhile for even the disciples themselves to understand this important factor, but God assisted them by using the temple priests to scatter them abroad (Acts 8:1). Then He called and trained the most exclusive minded zealot among them, a man named Saul, and gave him the clearest revelation of God's plan to break down that dividing wall and to make of all men "one new man" (Eph. 2:15).
No longer would God allow men to build a wall that kept women and non-Jews farther away from God in the temple. The New Covenant was for all men, Jew, Greek, Roman, and Israelite alike. To be "chosen," one first had to have faith in Jesus Christ and then start down the path of Pentecost into the full image and likeness of Christ (feast of Tabernacles).
Those who overcome are destined to rule. Those who simply believe in Jesus but who do not attain to the feast of Tabernacles are the citizens of the Kingdom. While those of certain genealogies or nationalities have been privileged to hear the gospel first, they cannot use their genealogy as a "pass card" into the Kingdom. Jesus Christ is the only Door to the Kingdom (John 10:9), and all men have equal access to Him.
The first Covenant (under Moses) became "old" with the introduction of the New Covenant, as we read in Heb. 8:13,
"When He said, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear."
God still has a plan for Israel as revealed by prophecy. God has plans for all the nations. But no nation and no individual person will inherit the Kingdom apart from faith in Jesus Christ. All men are equally capable of having faith in Him, though every man has a different level of knowledge and understanding. The only distinctions are based, not upon genealogy, but upon their progression in their faith-life, going "from faith to faith" (Rom. 1:17). They must move from Passover Faith to Pentecostal Faith and finally to Tabernacles Faith.
No one will attain the Kingdom through the Old Covenant, because it is not possible to discipline the flesh sufficiently to imprint the image of Christ upon it. The sentence of death is already upon the old Adamic man, and it can do nothing but die. The "new man" of Eph. 4:24 must be put on, because only this "new man" will inherit the Kingdom.
This New Man is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). It has been begotten in you by the Father through the seed of the gospel (1 Cor. 4:15). It is this spiritual man(child) that is the new creation man. The new body of spiritual people being raised up are the inheritors of the Birthright. They will be given authority to rule, because they have been proven worthy and responsible by fulfilling the Fruitfulness Mandate. These are the sons of God who fulfill the divine plan that He contemplated from the beginning.
Dr. Stephen Jones