The Birthright and Sonship--Part 2
Jul 22, 2009
When it comes down to nitty-gritty, the biblical idea of being "chosen" is centered around the calling (and the right) to fulfill the Fruitfulness Mandate. In the days of Abraham it was expressed as his seed being as the sand of the sea and as the stars of heaven.
Certainly, this prophecy has a natural fulfillment in terms of physical descendants, but that is not the main purpose of this Mandate. If Adam and Eve had brought forth children before they sinned, their children would have been in the image of God, because that is how their parents were made (Gen. 1:26). Like begets like. But sin made it possible for them only to bring forth children after their fallen image--mere physical children.
This necessitated a further work of God to transform physical children into the Sons of God who are in the image of God as originally intended. The way to accomplish this is ONLY through Jesus Christ, as we see in John 1:12 and 13,
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood [natural childbirth], nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
Speaking of the glory that was seen in the face of Moses on the original 8th day of Tabernacles, Paul says in 2 Cor. 3:18,
"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit."
When we look at the law of the cleansing of lepers in Lev. 14, along with its counterpart in Lev. 16, we see that it takes two doves to cleanse us from mortality ("leprosy"), and it takes two goats to deal fully with the problem of sin. In step one, the first dove and the first goat were to be killed, prophesying of Jesus' death in His first coming. The second dove was dipped in the blood of the first and let loose into the open field (Lev. 14:7). The second work was a LIVING work.
Hence, when we read the prophecy of the second coming of Christ, Rev. 19:13 says, "and He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood." So the law not only prophesies of two comings of Christ, but also tells us that the second work is based upon the first work.
The point is that no one can partake of the second blessing without participating in the first. No one can be transformed into the Image of God apart from believing in the first work of Christ. Genealogy is not the issue. It does not matter if a person is a full-blooded Israelite or Judahite. Apart from faith in the mission of the first dove/goat, Jesus Christ, no one can attain to the blessing of the second dove/goat.
NO ONE can say in that day, "Well, I was tricked into rejecting Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but my genealogy says that I am one of the chosen people, so I am now laying claim to my birthright, the right to immortality as a son of God."
If a person has not qualified by the time of the Great White Throne judgment, he will have to bow his knee to Jesus Christ at that time, confess Him as Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10, 11), and then go through the proper procedures in the age to come. No one gets in without going through Jesus Christ, who alone fulfilled the law of sin and death (i.e., goats and doves).
The path to Sonship is through the cross, even as the way to arrive at the feast of Tabernacles is to go through Passover first. Passover makes us citizens of the Kingdom; Tabernacles makes us sons of God, who are called to rule with Him in the Kingdom (Rev. 5:10).
Christian Zionism today attempts to make non-Christians "chosen." They have decided that "chosen" status has nothing to do with their relationship with Jesus Christ, but has only to do with a genealogical connection to Abraham. They simply do not have much understanding of the prophecy in the law or its fulfillment in Christ. They think that somehow a Jew will rule the earth in the age to come, whether he believes in Jesus Christ or not. Or, if pressed, they will say that the Jews will accept Him at the last minute and that this will qualify them to rule in the age to come.
But shall they qualify for rulership merely by accepting Jesus in a Passover experience? Are they exempt from learning obedience and the testing of their faith through the feast of Pentecost? One cannot go directly from Egypt to the Promised Land. The route takes us all through the wilderness, where our faith in the Passover Lamb is tested. In the story of Moses, most of the Israelites were disqualified and died in the wilderness. Is not the same true today?
And what about non-Jews who have gone through the wilderness and have passed the required tests of Pentecost? Will they be disqualified as sons of God on account of their genealogy? Is God partial in His judgments?
Sonship is not a matter of genealogy. Sonship is based upon one's relationship with Jesus Christ. No one can be "chosen" (i.e., "elected" to rule) apart from Jesus Christ. The cross was the great equalizer, which broke down that "dividing wall" in Herod's temple (Eph. 2:14), which had been erected in opposition to the law of God, and which had unjustly kept non-Jews afar from God.
So if a Jew or an Israelite (by genealogy) desires to be chosen, he must go through Jesus Christ. It is the same route as anyone else. There is only one way (Acts 4:12). Zionism seeks a path to chosenness apart from Jesus Christ. Christian Zionism gives Jews a free pass, bypassing the lawful requirement on the basis of genealogy.
What Christian Zionists have not fully understood is that they sold their Birthright for a mess of pottage. They were induced to despise their Birthright, even as Esau (Gen. 25:34).
Christian Zionism insists that Jews will rule the Kingdom in the age to come, and that non-Jewish Christians will be their servants/slaves. Hence, it is hard to escape the conclusion that Christian Zionists disqualify themselves from ruling the Kingdom in the age to come. They are judged by their own words.
Looking at it from a different perspective, Christian Zionists have become as Ahithophel and have joined Absalom's conspiracy in the attempt to overthrow David. In thinking that Absalom is called to rule the Kingdom, they back him and betray David (that is, Jesus Christ). And that conspiracy for the throne did not go well in the end.
Faith requires obedience, and in each age, the requirement is a little different. In Moses' day, the Israelites were required to enter Canaan in Num. 13, 14. Their lack of faith was manifested by their lack of obedience.
In David's day, the requirement was to remain loyal to David and not join Absalom's army or his support group. In Jesus' day, the people were required to be "good figs" and submit to the authority of the iron beast, following the example of the true Messiah. Once again, most refused to do so and usurped His throne instead.
In our time, the requirement is to support Jesus Christ in His claim to the Birthright. This is the primary form of true obedience that is required at the present time, along with the character issues that I have discussed many times in the past. Even as the disciples had to follow Jesus' example in His first coming (by submitting to divine judgment as a good fig), so also must we follow Jesus' example today.
This is the second part of a series titled "The Birthright and Sonship." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones