Adoption in the Beloved
"4 According as He [the Father] hath chosen us in Him [the Son] before the foundation of the world, that we should be Holy and without blame [not abiding in sin] before Him in Love: 5 having predestinated us unto the Adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the Good Pleasure of His Will, 6 to the praise of the Glory of His Grace [Help], wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved [the Son]. 7 In Whom [the Son] we have Redemption through His Blood, the Forgiveness of sins, according to the Riches of His Grace [Help]... 11 in Whom also we have obtained an Inheritance, being predestinated according to the Purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the Counsel of His Own Will"
by Katie Stewart
o belong to a family is to bear the family name. "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). If it is a good name, then it is an honor and a privilege to bear that name, and to be a family member. "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold" (Proverbs 22:1). To be called "the children of God" ("For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" [Galatians 3:26]) is to be called by the Best Name, for "there is none Good but One, that is, God" (Matthew 19:17). The God of Heaven, Who "appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the Name of God Almighty" (Exodus 6:3), was not early known to His people by His "Name JEHOVAH" (6:3), "the LORD" (6:2). But His true children today know that He is JEHOVAH, the One Who is "Self-subsisting." "I will cause them to know Mine hand and My might; and they shall know that My Name is The LORD" (Jeremiah 16:21).
To know God-- to truly know Him-- is to be known of God, "because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them" (Romans 1:19). The Almighty reveals Himself to His Own. "22 LORD, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. 24 He that loveth Me not keepeth not My Sayings: and the Word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father's which sent Me" (John 14:22-24). To have the Almighty One reveal Himself to you is to be blessed beyond measure. "The memory of the Just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot" (Proverbs 10:7). To know the LORD's "Good Name", and to know Him as the One Who actually keeps us doing right is to know Jehovah-tsidkenu, the LORD our Righteousness, and there simply is no higher calling to be desired. "That men may know that Thou, Whose Name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the Earth" (Psalm 83:18).
eing a member of a family is meant to be a good thing. The first family was created by God in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. "And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living" (Genesis 3:20). A family is the most basic group-unit of man established by God, which explains why the Devil goes after families. "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2Corinthians 2:11). Scripture is given to us, "that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2Timothy 3:17), and the Scriptural Example of Family Perfection is firstly demonstrated in the Father/Son Relationship of Heaven. The Son of the Father is One with His Father. His goals and motives are in perfect Unity with His Father.
"21 That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. 22 And the Glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are One: 23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My Glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O Righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. 26 And I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it: that the Love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:21-26).
This Divine Desire of Oneness interceded for us by the Son was authored and honored by the Father. He is Jehovah-shalom, the One Who "Sends Peace." "For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life" (John 3:16). Unity with the Father was secured for us by the Son. "As Thou hast given Him Power over all flesh, that He should give Eternal Life to as many as Thou hast given Him" (John 17:2). This Unity was physically manifested to us, in us, and with us. "Behold, a virgin shall be with Child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:23). Jesus' life on Earth is our Life Example. "And the Child grew, and waxed strong in Spirit, filled with Wisdom: and the Grace of God was upon Him" (Luke 2:40). To refuse to love and live His Example is to refuse Him. "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein" (Mark 10:15). "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward" (Hebrews 10:35).
To have oneness with the LORD is to be blessed by Him, enjoying His Favour in every aspect of human endeavor. "They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them" (Isaiah 65:23). And to be blessed in your families takes the Wisdom of God. "13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the Peace of thy children. 14 In Righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee" (Isaiah 54:13-14).
Scriptural Blueprints for all families.
But when a man's purpose is to please the Father of Love, the purest bond in Heaven or Earth is born in the Name of Jesus. "Jesus answered and said... If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our Abode with him" (John 14:23). Love is certainly that Eternal Tie that unites us. "For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God" (John 16:27). This Heavenly Example is the Blueprint for our physical families. The Father's Love of His Son is the Open Example that all fathers should have for their sons. "And lo a Voice from Heaven, saying, This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). "This is My Beloved Son: hear Him" (Luke 9:35). The Father gave Credibility and Support to His Son when He recognized Him before men. "The Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me... For [Jesus] received from God the Father Honour and Glory, when there came such a Voice to Him from the Excellent Glory, This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased" (John 5:37; 2Peter 1:17). How many fathers are pleased with their sons and how many say so openly? "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel" (John 5:20). How many sons try to please their fathers? "5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto Death, even the Death of the Cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: 10 that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the Earth; 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the Glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:5-11).
Obedience requires humility. "Children" must "obey your parents in the LORD: for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1). "Wives" must "submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the LORD" (Ephesians 5:22). This means that the father/husband is to be obeyed as if you, the child or wife, would obey God. If the father/husband requires obedience in a matter that is CLEARLY not allowed in Scripture (i.e., "thou shalt not" [Genesis 2:17]), then God's Own Word would not allow your obedience to it. You would obey "as unto the LORD" (5:22). And parents, especially fathers (for they are the heads of the families, i.e., "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the church" [5:23]) must not abuse their power. "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged" (Colossians 3:21). "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD" (Proverbs 18:22).
Power, used correctly, brings honour.
And humility and power, if both demonstrated in love, brings unity.
These Scriptural Rules are Blueprints for all Christian families. "But Christ as a Son over His Own house; W=hose house are we, if we hold fast the Confidence and the rejoicing of the Hope firm unto the end" (Hebrews 3:6).
Because the Son pleased the Father, He was given complete Authority over all things. "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand." (John 3:35).
And Jesus was given oversight of His Father's children. "Behold, I [Jesus] and the children whom the LORD hath given Me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD OF HOSTS" (Isaiah 8:18). "And again, I will put My trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given Me" (Hebrews 2:13).
Jesus' Authority over us is Absolute. "He is the Head of the body, the church: Who is The Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the Preeminence" (Colossians 1:18).
The life of a human father is mirrored and magnified by the lives of his children-- for thus was the Example set by the Divine Son to His Heavenly Father. "I will declare Thy Name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee" (Psalm 22:22).
And it is His Only Begotten Son, through Whom Abba looks, that
He sees us, for we are "elect according
to the Foreknowledge of God the Father, through Sanctification of the Spirit, unto
obedience and sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ"
(1Peter 1:2). Our unity in the Divine Family is Blood Bought,
for Jesus presents us Sanctified that Abba Father can see us Justified. "And by Him all that believe are justified from all
things" (Acts 13:39). First, the
Father gives to His Son that which is inherit in Himself, and then the Son works
that Knowledge in us. "In Whom also we
have obtained an Inheritance, being predestinated according to the Purpose of Him
Who worketh all things after the Counsel of His Own Will"
(Ephesians 1:11). We, then, pass that Knowledge of the Father
on to our brethren "For this cause also
thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye
heard of us, ye received it not as the Word of men, but as it is in Truth, the Word
of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe"
(1Thessalonians 2:13). "The
same Works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me" (John 5:36)
The Father loves His Son and gives to His Son of Himself. "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him Greater Works than these, that ye may marvel" (John 5:20). In Jesus, our Elder Brother, we have "Greater Witness" and "Greater Works". For, it is "unto Him [the Father] be Glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages" (Ephesians 3:21). Therefore, it is our Elder Brother, Jesus, Who shares with us, and in us, His Ability and Joy in mirroring and magnifying the Wonderful Character and Moral Traits of our Heavenly Father. "He that believeth on Me, the Works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father" (John 14:12). Our "greater works" are the continuation of Jesus' Works in us, "according to the Power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20), which is the Holy Spirit. This is Family Unity! The Work wrought in us through Jesus, causes us to see and to know our Heavenly Father. "To make all men see what is the Fellowship of the Mystery, which from The Beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 3:9).
The Family Unity offered to us in the "Adoption in the Beloved" is surpassed only by the Foundational Love our Heavenly Father has reserved for us through the Beloved. "For He [the Father] hath put all things under His feet [the Son's feet]. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He [the Father] is Excepted, which did put all things under Him [the Son]" (1Corinthians 15:27).
he purpose for physical adoption (and the purpose as well for giving birth to one's own blood kin), is to raise godly seed to the Glory of the Almighty Life Giver. "And did not He [the LORD] make one?...And wherefore one? That He might seek a godly seed" (Malachi 2:15). To know, love, and live for the LORD, is the Great "High Calling" of every human being. "10 That I may KNOW Him, and the Power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His Sufferings... 12 I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:10,12-14). To "know Him"-- that He is Jehovah-shammah, the One Who "is there"-- is to "apprehend" Him. And, to establish this relationship as early as possible in the life of a child, is a parents' responsibility, whether the children are by adoption or natural birth. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). This is a Command, surely, but not without Promise: "he will not depart from it". For "they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the Promise are counted for the seed" (Romans 9:8).
One Scriptural example for physical adoption is found in the story of Moses ---New Window. "5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children." (Exodus 2:5-6). "Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son" (Acts 7:21). Divine Providence allowed the godly mother of Baby Moses to be the baby nurse chosen by Pharaoh's daughter to nurture Moses in his formative years. The sister of Moses, Miriam, watched her baby brother's ark float in the water until it rested in the reeds near the royal adoptive mother-to-be. "7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? 8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. 9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water" (Exodus 2:7-10). It was this early training that set the path Moses was to take in knowing the Great LORD God of his people. "17 And the LORD said unto Moses... thou hast found Grace in My sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech Thee, show me Thy Glory. 19 And He said, I will make all My Goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the Name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show Mercy on whom I will show Mercy. 20 And He said, Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live. 21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 and it shall come to pass, while My Glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by: 23 and I will take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen" (Exodus 33:17-23).
Spiritual Adoption of the Church by Abba Father
he LORD is Jehovah-nissi, the One Who is "the LORD my Banner." "He brought me to the Banqueting House, and His Banner over me was Love" (Song 2:4). The Banner of Love is held over us by the LORD Himself, and is a symbol of our Heavenly Adoption Papers. "Abba" means "father," and is of Aramaic origin. It is the tenderest, sincerest, form of address-- as the purest importunings from a trusting child to his father. "Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt" (Mark 14:36). The Almighty had a plan whereby He would be called "Abba" by His children in the Dispensation of the Church.
"4 But when the fulness of the time was come,
God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, 5 to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the Adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ"
While the Israelites of the Old Testament were called "the children of Israel" almost 600 times, the relationship between the Divine Father of Heaven and His "children" on Earth, in the New Testament, became a much more intimate one. The Death of the Beloved Son on the Cross made it possible for mankind to be brought into this Closer Union when the veil of the Temple, which kept men from entering the Inner Sanctuary, was torn in two. "37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, which stood over against Him, saw that He so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this Man was the Son of God... 47 Certainly this was a Righteous Man" (Mark 15:37-39; Luke 23:47). This tearing of the veil symbolized the tearing of Jesus' flesh upon the Cross. "19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus, 20 by a New and Living Way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh" (Hebrews 10:19-20). We became a family, "brethren", and we were given "boldness" to enter into Oneness with the "Holiest" of the holy, our "Abba, Father". And thus began the Oneness that God's children would forever have with Him. "That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me" (John 17:21). The Terrible Death suffered by the Son of God paid the Everlasting Debt we owed for our hateful sin, and allowed Christ Jesus to tenderly usher us, by "His Name through faith in His Name" (Acts 3:16), into the Inner Sanctuary. There, we can bask in the warmth of the Wonderful Presence of the Father "that spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Romans 8:32). We would not only enter into the Sanctuary, but we would, henceforward and forever, to YAHWEH, the Almighty JEHOVAH God, call Him our Blessed and Eternal "ABBA, Father"! It is a Name used with the heart attitude of a very small child-- pure, genuine, complete. "Abba" is our "DaDa" or "Daddy." And we are His "Little children", a name that did not refer to the saints until the New Testament.
This Wonderful Name of "Abba", is a Name of kinship and of belonging-- not just belonging to someone, but, of belonging to the Almighty Someone by the strongest of Blood Ties-- even as by the unity and agreement of the Godhead. "Elect according to the Foreknowledge of God the Father, through Sanctification of the Spirit, UNTO OBEDIENCE and sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ" (1Peter 1:2). With the Power of the Trinity are we to be desired, favoured, and drawn to His side, as the Heavenly Father Above draws us to Him with His Love. "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him" (John 6:44). Without such a Love as His we would be "of all men most miserable" (1Corinthians 15:19).
"Love divine, all loves excelling,
Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Come, Almighty to deliver,
This Divine Blood Tie of Love binds us to the LORD, "Who hath also sealed us, and given the Earnest [the Down-Payment] of the Spirit in our hearts" (2Corinthians 1:22). We are "bought with a Price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1Corinthians 6:20). We are bound to Him with "bands of Love" (Hosea 11:4), "for the Love of Christ constraineth us" (2Corinthians 5:14). His Holy Spirit seals us and testifies to us that this Love is Real and Eternal.
"15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together... 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God... 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it"
"4 According as He [the Father] hath chosen us in Him [the Son] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame [not abiding in sin] before Him in love: 5 having predestinated us unto the Adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the Good Pleasure of His Will, 6 to the praise of the Glory of His Grace [Grace is Help], wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved [the Son]. 7 In Whom [the Son] we have Redemption through His Blood, the Forgiveness of sins, according to the Riches of His Grace [His Help]; 8 wherein He hath abounded toward us in all Wisdom and Prudence; 9 having made known unto us the Mystery of His Will, according to His Good Pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: 10 that in the Dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on Earth; even in Him [Christ]: 11 in Whom also we have obtained an Inheritance, being predestinated according to the Purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the Counsel of His Own Will: 12 that we should be to the praise of His Glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise, 14 which is the Earnest [the Down-Payment] of our Inheritance until the Redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His Glory"
[NOTE: If love is not the motive then true obedience cannot be the means. If a person obeys with the wrong motive (e.g., ONLY out of fear, or fear of Hell), then that is not true obedience. "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Charity [Love], it profiteth me nothing" (1Corinthians 13:3). True obedience is impossible if love is not the motive. Read "Christian Character" ---New Window, from the Oberlin Evangelist ---New Window, 1843, by Charles G. Finney ---New Window.]
"Abba Father" says that He "will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the LORD Almighty" (2Corinthians 6:18). We are His little children and He is our Heavenly Daddy, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His Dear Son" (Colossians 1:13). One day very soon, King Jesus, our Saviour, shall come for us. "Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).
The Children of God-- The Children of the Promise
romises are secured by Faith. "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through Faith and Patience inherit the Promises" (Hebrews 6:12). Children of Faith in "Abba, Father" "walk by Faith, not by sight" (2Corinthians 5:7). Just like their Elder Brother, Jesus, children of Faith "must work the works" (John 9:4) of their "Abba, Father". The LORD can provide Himself with children to adopt, "for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His Good Pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). He is Jehovah-jireh, "the LORD will provide." But we are to follow Jesus' Example, when He tells us, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17). "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own Salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12).
Don't live today in past justifications or professions. "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham" (Luke 3:8). But rather, live each moment in Christ. "Now are ye Light in the LORD: walk as children of Light" (Ephesians 5:8). Remember, "they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the Promise are counted for the seed" (Romans 9:8). The "children of Israel", in bondage to Egypt, did "serve with rigour" (Exodus 1:13), until their deliverance from Pharaoh walking through the wilderness after their escape from Egypt, they were a forty-year-thorn in the LORD's side. "And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed" (Numbers 32:13).
"It is asserted in the text, that they could not enter into Canaan, because of unbelief. The Jews had arrived upon the borders of the promised land. And Moses deputed a number of individuals as spies, and sent them to spy out the land. They went up and surveyed the land, and returned bringing some of the fruits of the land, and represented to the children of Israel, that it was an exceeding good land, but that it was impossible for them to take possession of it--that the towns and cities were walled up to heaven--that the country was inhabited by giants--and that therefore they were utterly unable to take possession of the land.
In this testimony all the spies agreed except Caleb and Joshua. This discouraged the people and produced a rebellion that prevented that generation from taking possession of Canaan. Their confidence in divine assistance was utterly shaken, and their unbelief prevented any such attempt to take possession of the land, as would otherwise have been made with complete success. The bringing up of the evil report, by those who were sent out to reconnoiter, and their failing to encourage and lead forward the people, were the means of that generation being turned back, and utterly wasted in the wilderness. God was so incensed against them for their want of confidence in his help, and of his ability, and willingness to give them possession, that he 'swore in his wrath, that they should not enter into his rest.'" ["The Rest of Faith" ---New Window, from the Oberlin Evangelist ---New Window, 1839, by Charles G. Finney ---New Window.]
"17 But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into His Rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a Promise being left us of entering into His Rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with Faith in them that heard it"
(Hebrews 3:17-19; 4:1-2).
The adults that left Egypt, "all
the generation, that had done evil" were "consumed" in the wilderness--
all except Joshua and Caleb. "11 Surely none of the men that came
up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware
unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed Me:
12 save Caleb the son
of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed
the LORD" (32:11-12). It was the
children of the "children of Israel" that inherited the Promised Land. "Moreover
your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that
day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them
will I give it, and they shall possess it" (Deuteronomy
Only God's children are given God's Promise. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son" (Revelation 21:7). Only Spiritual birth inherits Spiritual privileged "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God" (1Corinthians 15:50). But flesh that has been "quickened by the Spirit" (1Peter3:18) has been "born" of the Spirit. "5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:5-6).
The Apostle Paul understood that just being born an Israelite (or, one of the nation to whom God gave His chosen attention) didn't mean you were automatically adopted into God's family. He grieved that so many of his national brethren weren't his Spiritual brethren. "3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the Adoption, and the Glory, and the Covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the Promises; 5 whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, Who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. 6 Not as though the Word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel [the true and Spiritual Israel], which are of Israel: 7 neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac [who was Promised] shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the Promise are counted for the seed" (Romans 9:3-8). Remember the verse above, the Apostle John said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:5-6). To be a child of His Promise is to be born by His Spirit.
The Proof of the Children of God
gain, the LORD is Jehovah-tsidkenu, "the LORD our Righteousness." "He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me [Jesus]: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21). The world says, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." The LORD says, "9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His Seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the Devil: whosoever doeth not Righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother" (1John 3:9-10).
For the LORD to say, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His Seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God" (1John 3:9) can be such a tremendously great mystery! Christians prone to casual sin think surely the LORD doesn't mean "cannot sin". Surely their Loving Jesus can't mean what it sounds like when they read that verse over and over again. I assure you, my brother or sister, He does! "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the Devil: whosoever doeth not Righteousness is not of God" (3:10). The Statement of Truth is clear and straightforward. The surrounding verses only illuminate brighter the simple Truth of God's Standard for Righteousness. "5 And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH Righteousness is Righteous, even as He is Righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from The Beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested [for what purpose? why did He die?], that He might destroy the works of the Devil... 11 For this is the Message that ye heard from The Beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's Righteous" (1John 3:5-8,11-12). Jesus came and died to destroy evil works! Yes, of course God sent His Son because He loves us. What Professing Christian doesn't know John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son..." But Love destroys evil works! "There is no fear in Love; but Perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love" (1John 4:18). If the LORD Jesus says that, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin" (1John 3:9), then "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin". If Jesus said it, and He did, then I believe it. If Jesus says, "whosoever doeth not Righteousness is not of God", then it doesn't matter who claims to be His "little children"-- even if it is I, myself-- the description of one who belongs to the family of God is that they don't sin and they do Righteousness. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7). You cannot be Righteous and wicked at the same time. It is not possible. "For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit" (Luke 6:43).
"16 Ye shall KNOW them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall KNOW them. 21 Not every one that saith unto Me, LORD, LORD, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the Will of My Father which is in Heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these Sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a Rock. 26 And every one that heareth these Sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it" (Matthew 7:16-27). [See "The Unity of Moral Action" ---New Window by Charles G. Finney ---New Window]
So, what it boils down to is this. "Either
make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit
corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit" (Matthew
12:33). Jesus is our Example. "Herein
is our Love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because
as He is, so are we in this world" (1John
4:17). This is foundational Christian Truth! "The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The
LORD knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the Name of
Christ depart from iniquity" (2Timothy 2:19).
In this Laodicean Age of the Church, there is so much sin. There is so much lying to God-- and so much lying in His Name. "22 Many will say to Me in that day, LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? and in Thy Name have cast out devils? and in Thy Name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever [even if you have been a professing Christian for 100 years-- "whosoever"] heareth these Sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a Rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a Rock. 26 And every one that heareth these Sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it" (Matthew 7:22-27). Obedience is the proof of a Christian, of whether he or she really is a Christian. "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God Whom he hath not seen?" (1John 4:20).
If you do not "walk, even as He walked" ("For I have given you an Example, that ye should do as I have done to you" [John 13:15]), then you cannot have His assurance that you are who you say you are. "6 If we say that we have Fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the Truth: 7 But if we walk IN the Light, as He is IN the Light, we have Fellowship One with another, and the Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1John 1:6-7). Obedience is the proof of your profession. "If ye love Me, keep My Commandments" (John 14:15). If you love Jesus, you WILL obey Him. "For this is the Love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous [hard]" (1John 5:3). Jesus is our Example. "If ye keep My Commandments, ye shall abide in My Love; even as I have kept My Father's Commandments, and abide in His Love" (John 15:10). Many have their own definition of love, but True Love is only what God says it is. "This is Love, that we walk after His Commandments. This is the Commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it" (2John 1:6). If you want the LORD to Love you, then you must meet His definition of Love, for "God is Love" (1John 4:8). "I Love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me" (Proverbs 8:17). You cannot love Jesus and sin at the SAME time. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me" (John 15:4). If you're sinning--repent-- "13 while it is called To day... 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end... 15 To day if ye will hear His Voice, harden not your hearts" (Hebrews 3:13-15). Those who say they are Christ's, but do not obey Him, also prove by their actions who they belong to. "Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from The Beginning, and abode not in the Truth, because there is no Truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44). If you belong to the LORD, your life will prove it by obedience. "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an Example, that ye should follow His steps" (1Peter 2:21). And what was the Example Jesus left? "54 Jesus answered, If I honour Myself, My honour is nothing: it is My Father that honoureth Me; of Whom ye say, that He is your God: 55 yet ye have NOT known Him; but I know Him: and if I should say, I know Him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know Him, and keep His Saying" (John 8:54-55).0
he God of Heaven was not first known as "JEHOVAH"-- to His people. "I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the Name of God Almighty, but by My Name JEHOVAH was I not known to them" (Exodus 6:3). But His true children today know that He is JEHOVAH, the One Who is "Self-subsisting." "I will cause them to know Mine Hand and My Might; and they shall know that My Name is The LORD" (Jeremiah 16:21). And, Jesus' Message to us, His brethren, is a Sober One-- "As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My Love" (John 15:9). To "abide" in God's Love is to "continue"-- to subsist in Him -- in God's Family. "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. IF that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father" (1John 2:24). If you claim to be a member of God's Family, you must demonstrate your obedience, by love, to your Heavenly Father. "2 By this we KNOW that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His Commandments. 3 For THIS IS THE LOVE OF GOD, THAT WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS... 4 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth NOT His Commandments, is a LIAR, and the Truth is NOT in him. 5 But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the Love of God perfected: hereby KNOW we that we are in Him. 6 He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1John 5:2-6).
"1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the Truth... 2:28 And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His Coming... 3:6 Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him"
(1John 1:6, 2:28, 3:6).
And this "Glorious Liberty" (Romans 8:21) to obey now and ascend soon into our
Abba's Presence is the "manifestation
of the sons of God" (8:18). We are
His children now, and it is manifestly so, by faith. "18 For I reckon that the sufferings
of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which shall be
revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation
of the sons of God... 21 Because the creature 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" (Romans 8:18-19,21-23).
The "Heavenly Places" belong to us. Heaven is, even now, our Home. We are now, by faith, Abba's adopted children. "Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all Spiritual blessings in Heavenly Places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). Our Adoption is "in Christ" and Abba has worked this out through Christ. "Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His Own Right Hand in the Heavenly Places" (1:20). And our Abba Father will manifest the Adoption soon by sight when our Elder Brother is sent by Him to bring us Home, "and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together [now, by faith, and soon, by sight] in Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus" (2:6).
"To the intent that now unto the Principalities and Powers in Heavenly Places might be known by the church the manifold Wisdom of God"
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