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07/01/2007 - God’s Household



God's Household

Date: 07/01/2007

Issue No. 228

The Temple in Jerusalem was called God’s House, as Solomon indicated in 1 Kings 8:13, saying,

12 Then Solomon said, ‘The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud. 13 I have surely built Thee a lofty house [beth], a place for thy dwelling forever’ [olam, “indefinitely”].

(Incidentally, here the word olam is used, which does not mean “for all time.” Obviously, not only was the temple destroyed after only two centuries, but also the presence of God left that place in Ezekiel 10 and 11.)

The Hebrew word for “house” is beth. It is the same word also translated “household” in the sense of one’s family. For example, Exodus 1:1 reads,

1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household [beth].

Obviously, Jacob and his sons did not move their physical houses to Egypt. It was the people who moved.

In later years, the Kingdom of Israel was called the House of Israel, and the Kingdom of Judah was called the House of Judah. Here again we see the word beth referring to a collection of people—in this case, nations.

Adam: The First Son of God

In the genealogy of Luke 3:38, we read,

38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

This genealogy begins in verse 23, which says that Jesus was “the son of Joseph.” The Greek word translated “son” is huios, and it comes immediately after the voice from heaven declared Jesus to be “My Son, the beloved” when Jesus was baptized by John. This, then, is the last time the word is actually used in the genealogy, though it is implied in each succeeding generation. Thus, when we reach verse 38, telling us that Adam was the son of God, it literally reads, “of the Adam, of the God” (tou Adam, tou Theou). Although the word huis is not actually in the text itself, it is certainly implied, and so there is no problem using the word in the English translation.

The point is to show that Adam is said to be a son of God, and thus was part of God’s household. Households, however, consist of more than just sons. They also consist of the servants/slaves (Gen. 47:12) and even the physical building and its furnishings (Gen. 31:37).

In short, the household is broad enough to include all who are under the authority of the head of the house, along with the entire estate or property.

Adam was given dominion over all things (Gen. 1:26) and thus, Adam’s “household” did not exclude anything in creation.

Out of Him are All Things

Paul tells us in Romans 11:36,

36 For out of [ek] Him and through [dia] Him and for [eis] Him are all things. To Him be the glory for the ages. Amen.

It has been said that God created all things out of nothing. I am sorry, but God is not “nothing.” All things came OUT OF HIM. He created all things out of Himself, that is, His own substance. It exists THROUGH HIM, and it is all going back to Him, because it was created FOR HIM. It is His inheritance.

The only debate is the process by which this divine plan will succeed in the end. Most today do not believe the plan will succeed, because they are prejudiced against it, either by past teaching or by a negative emotional response. But the plan is marching on, regardless of who believes it and who rejects it. It is good to know that the plan is not affected by our response to it, for we are not sovereign.

Loss and Redemption

When Adam sinned, the debt incurred was more than he could pay, even though he was the wealthiest man in the world. He owned (under God) all things, but the entire creation was insufficient to pay the debt for sin. So, as the law specified in Ex. 22:3, he was “sold” for his sin.

And because there would be no way that his labor could ever pay the debt that he and his household owed, all would have to labor until the year of Jubilee, or until a near kinsman came to redeem him.

Jesus’ parable in Matt. 18:25 shows us the law that not only the householder, but also his family would have to be sold as debtors to sin, and their possessions would have to be sold as partial payment on the debt. Hence, not only Adam, but his wife, children, and all that He had were affected by Adam’s sin. This was by the law of headship and authority.

Yet by that same law of headship, we find that Jesus Christ came as a near kinsman with the right of redemption and is called “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45). By the same law, He had the right to redeem the entire household that was affected by the sin of the first Adam.

Most Christians today are taught that Jesus wishes He could save the entire household, but that His law and His justice prevents Him from doing so. That is simply not so. The law of redemption gives Him every right as a near kinsman to redeem all that the first Adam lost by sin.

If Jesus did NOT save everyone, it would be by His own malicious choice—not because the law prevented Him. Yet we know from the law that Jesus Christ will receive His entire inheritance that the first Adam lost. Some will come in through the redemption process, while the rest will be reclaimed at the year of Jubilee when all remaining debts are cancelled by grace alone and every man returns to His inheritance.

And because God created all things out of Himself, as Paul says, God would be incomplete if they did not all go back into Himself. He must restore all things to Himself, or He will remain incomplete forever.

Conciliation and Reconciliation

So in that broadest sense, the whole of creation is part of God’s household. Though it is not yet reconciled to Him, yet has He conciliated the creation by His blood. Paul says in 2 Cor. 5:18,

18 Yet all is of God, who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation, 19 how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them, and placing in us the word of the conciliation. [Concordant Version]

The word translated “conciliated” is katallasso, which is a one-sided cease-fire in a war. When both sides stop fighting, there is reconciliation, as foreseen by Paul in Col. 1:20,

20 and through Him to reconcile [apo-katallasso] all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. . . . [NASB]

First God has conciliated the world to make peace by taking the first step. The goal, however, is reconciliation. In the interim, we have been given the ministry of the conciliation, authorizing us to tell the Good News to the world that God has conciliated them. We are to appeal to them to respond and thus be reconciled to Him.

Colossians 1:18-20 makes it clear that the purpose of the conciliation is “to reconcile all things to Himself.” Will God succeed? Or is this mere wishful thinking? Is God able to fill the whole earth with His glory? Or is man’s will capable of withstanding and stopping God’s intent?

When Israel refused to enter the Promised Land, God threatened to destroy them and rebuild a nation with just Moses. Moses then reminded God that the nations would say that God was NOT ABLE to bring those people into the Promised Land (Num. 14:16).

God then told Moses that not only was He capable of doing this, but also “as truly as I live, ALL THE EARTH shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.”

Not only was God fully capable of fulfilling His purpose with Israel, but He was also fully capable of doing it with the entire earth. Israel was only a small type and shadow of the ultimate purpose of God for the earth. In fact, if you take the Hebrew text, beginning with Gen. 1:1, and count every 521st letter of the text beginning with the first yod, it spells out: YESHUA IS ABLE in Hebrew.

This is one of the foundational truths established at the beginning in Scripture. God is sovereign, and He is well able to accomplish His purpose for creation. No man’s will can thwart His plan in the end. It is only a matter of time before all men bow their knees to Him and swear allegiance to Him to the glory of God the Father (Is. 45:23; Phil. 3:10, 11).

God will save no one until they bow their knees to Him. But there will be no unbelievers at the Great White Throne, where every knee will bow. The traditions of men say that it will then be “too late,” but there is not a single verse in the Bible which teaches such a thing.

It is true that it will be too late at that time to avoid “the lake of fire,” but that judgment is neither torture nor eternal. It is a time of learning righteousness (Is. 26:9) and it is only for an age (eonian) until such time as the Creation Jubilee cancels all debt to sin, and every man returns to his inheritance in God.

This great Jubilee will mark the final end of all sin and opposition to God and His plan. All things will then be reconciled to Him fully, and God will be “all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28).

Can Non-Israelites be of God’s Household?

Isaiah, who sees the divine plan with the most universal eyes of all the prophets, tells us in Isaiah 56,

3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely separate me from His people.’ Neither let the eunuch say, ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’ 4 For thus says the Lord, ‘To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, 5 to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.

Those who join themselves to the covenant of God will not be separated from His people. They will not have to stay at a distance from God, while genealogical Israelites draw near to Him.

The dividing wall in Herod’s temple, which was built by the traditions of men, rather than by the commandment of God, has been torn down in Christ. Eph. 2:14 says,

14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.

Take note that Paul says, “who made both groups into one.” Jesus Christ did not come to be a Jewish Messiah, as many think. He did not come to be merely the King of Judah, nor even the King of Israel. He came to be the King of the World, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He bought the whole world, and He will not be satisfied until He gets the whole thing back under His feet.

Men may continue to make distinctions, because it tickles the flesh to think of one’s self holier than another person. Or, in the case of much of modern Christianity, they think of the Jews as “chosen,” i.e., better, more privileged, and more loved by God than other mortals.

Still others think of themselves as the true Israelites who were dispersed and scattered throughout the world in 721 B.C., and that this somehow makes them better, more privileged, and more loved by God than other mortals. Either way, such carnal thinking has reconstructed a dividing wall in the temple of His Body.

Know this, that all flesh has been disqualified through the first Adam. Any appeal to the flesh of the first Adam can only result in condemnation for Adam’s sin. It is only by appealing to the flesh of the Last Adam that one can be re-instated into a covenant relationship with God.

The Cross was the great leveler of creation, for it superseded all other claims of divine status. The only way for either a Jew or an Israelite or anyone else to come into a covenant relationship with God is through the cross of Jesus Christ. No one gets in except through Him, for “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

That word was given to Jews as well as to all others, and it was first spoken in Jerusalem. The idea of a Dual Covenant Theology is an attempt to rebuild the dividing wall in the Temple. You can be sure that if the Jews were to succeed in rebuilding a temple in Jerusalem today, they would rebuild that dividing wall to keep non-Jews farther away from God.

But such doctrines run contrary to Paul’s teaching in the New Testament. Paul says in Eph. 2:19,

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.

As a believer in Christ, I am a citizen of the Kingdom and part of God’s household. While I do not despise my genealogical heritage, neither do I use it to try to claim citizenship rights in the Kingdom. I will always honor my father and mother and all those in my past genealogy, but yet I will also recognize that they sinned and were part of the problem. My heritage in Israel means that my fathers worshipped idols and were cast out of the land and divorced from God (Jer. 3:8).

My heritage from Adam was no better. If I use my physical heritage to claim citizenship in the Kingdom, my claim will be rejected on legal grounds. My claim, therefore, must be based on a spiritual genealogy from Jesus Christ, the Last Adam. And this is the basis of citizenship for all mankind equally.

Failure and Success

It pleased God to create all things with the complete failure of the flesh in mind. In the beginning, God was not taken by surprise when Adam and Eve sinned, though many question His omniscience—that is, His all-knowing nature. The fact that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (Heb. 9:26; Rev. 13:8) tells us that God foreknew sin from the beginning.

Thus, while on the surface it looks like creation was a colossal failure, it was in the divine plan for it to fail, so that He could have opportunity to exercise grace and love. Without sin, God could not prove His character by manifesting grace and love. It takes resistance to put such things into practice.

Secondly, in similar fashion, God instituted the Old Covenant, which was designed to fail as well. In this Old Covenant, man promised to be obedient to the law, and the blessings of God were then based upon his ability to fulfill that which he promised to do. (See Ex. 19:5-9.)

Moses knew full well that Israel would fail to fulfill the law, and so he wrote in Deut. 31:29,

29 For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.

Moses knew it not only by revelation (31:16), but also by personal experience (31:27). The Old Covenant seemed to be a colossal failure, for Israel broke that covenant. So God replaced the Old Covenant with a New Covenant, as we read in Hebrews 8, concluding with 13, which says,

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.

Those who think that God will save Jews by the Old Covenant and Gentiles by the New Covenant are simply condemning all Jews, for how can a Jew be saved by a covenant that has become obsolete? Such theology is the firstborn son of the blind.

The Old Covenant was meant to fail, because it was based upon man’s works—man’s fleshly ability to perform what he had promised by the character and discipline of his own will. God designed it to fail in order to show us that man’s flesh is incapable of raising his own character to match the image of Christ.

Thirdly, the failure of Israel and Judah in the flesh was also part of the divine plan, in order to bring about the salvation of mankind by a different path. The glory of God left Israel in the days of Eli, when the glory departed from Shiloh. God’s glory then was given to Judah in Jerusalem for about two centuries, until that priesthood was found to be as corrupted as the previous one in Shiloh. Then God left that place as Shiloh (Jer. 7:12-15), ultimately coming upon the Pentecostal believers in Acts 2.

Yet even the Church under Pentecost failed to bring righteousness to the earth, and the glory departed from it as well. The type and shadow of the Church under Pentecost is King Saul, and after he was disqualified, the Spirit of God was removed from him and placed upon David. 1 Sam. 16:13 says,

13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him [David] in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.

So also has the glory of God departed from the Saul Church and has rested upon the David company, who are the overcomers with the vision of and anointing of the feast of Tabernacles.

The Church under Pentecost was given 40 Jubilees in which to fulfill its calling, but it failed as much as Saul failed. Yet this was all in the divine plan as well, for these centuries have proven the fact that righteousness cannot be brought into the world by the power of a mere earnest of the Spirit.

Only the fullness of the Spirit can bring success, and this comes through the feast of Tabernacles, not Pentecost. Thus, all flesh has failed, including Pentecost, which is a mixture of wheat and leaven. Success cannot be attained by a mixture, where the Spirit is thought to need a little help from the flesh to “prime the pump.”

It must be ALL of God, or it will ultimately fail. Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification come only through Christ and His works. Any confidence in the flesh constitutes leaven that must be consumed by the fire.

This is the lesson of Scripture throughout history.

The Household of God

The “Household of God” that consists of one-time “aliens” and “foreigners” is also the “Household of Faith” (Gal. 6:10), because membership is based upon Faith, not upon genealogy.

All men died in Adam and were in need of redemption and reconciliation through Christ. Christ died for all, and has purchased the whole world by His blood. All will thus come to Him in time, and peace will reign in His House.