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STUDY SIXTEEN

Incorruptible Seed

A Study in Scriptural Integrity:

Beloved Now Are We the Sons of God

The difficult verses in light of the clear, according to Biblical usage.


It is vital in studying the depth of any Scriptural subject, should one desire an accurate understanding, to remember two things.

One, the "heavy spiritual" truths that can be traced through Scripture only with much effort have to be consistent with the clear foundational truths that are so simple even a fool need not err. Two, the Bible was written in other languages, using rules of language perhaps unfamiliar to us today.

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not."

I John 3:1

First John chapter three says clearly, that we shall be called the sons.

We should be careful here, as this is important and we want to understand it correctly. To claim family affinity with God is no light matter.

Furthermore, the Bible was originally written in other languages, such as Greek. Another might be Syriac Hebrew, otherwise known as the Syriac form of Aramaic, although many scholars debate this to this day. Another is an older Hebrew related to the Canaanite tongue, which Abraham, Moses and David would have spoken, and which would have been the language of Israel prior to the Babylonian captivity.

Indeed, it remained the language of Jewish religion to the time of Christ and has been spoken by Jewish priests, rabbis and scholars to this very day.

In Scripture, and in these languages, grammatical usages called "figures of speech" were often used. Often, when two or more aspects of Scripture seem to collide, one of these aspects might be a "figure of speech."

"Called the sons of God" may be a figure of speech.

"But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel."

Phil. 2:22

You can see here one usage of familial relationship that is figurative. Here is a simile, comparing two separate things (here, someone not a son with a son,) which emphasizes the love and dedication Timothy has for Paul.

Israel was called "children of God," yet were servants.

"Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth."

Duet. 14:1-2

The children of Israel were called children of God. However, they were children by the "choosing" of God: adoption.

Now, this in itself is no light thing. Christians, sons of God, often disparage Israel as being "lessors." That is not right, as Israel is also of God and if our election is of grace, which it is, then we have no room for boasting against Brother Israel.

Yet they were still referred to as children by adoption. Indeed, often the placement of one who is not family as family in the Scriptures is figurative.

Figures of speech are often used in Scripture, but not haphazardly or by chance. They are clear once one knows the rules of language which apply, and are by design, not to be picked and chosen.

If one does not know about figures of speech and how to tell when they are used, one should not guess. There are specific patterns of language and usage which have to apply.

One should thus take the many clear verses as doctrine. Then, the cloudy verses may either be interpreted according to the clear doctrine, or else simply put "on hold" until the student of scripture has adequate information. I myself have put much on hold over the years until a convincing and substantiated explanation that fits with the great body of clear subjects came my way.

Some things I likely will not understand clearly until Christ comes back.

As Andrew S. Kulikovsky says in his essay, "The Interpretation of Parables, Allegories, and Types,":

"Figurative language is used in various ways in both testaments and is an integral part of Biblical literature. The most common and most important forms of figurative language are parables, allegories and types...

"Types have one point of comparison that serves to illustrate something about the antitype (Kuske 1995, p. 100). Therefore an interpreter must be extremely careful not to 'stretch' the type too far. They are not perfect pictures of the real thing, only rough sketches. For this reason it is unwise to use types as a basis for a doctrinal position... (Emphasis mine.)

"The diversity of language and literary styles used in the Bible shows it to be a wonderful peace of literature, full of meaning and inspiration. If we approach figurative parts of the Bible, like parables, allegories and types, with caution and treat their context with full respect then we will avoid making many interpretive errors."

It may be entirely possible that this reference to us being "called the sons of God" is a figure.

Mr. Kulikovsky pointed out the main groups of the three most commonly known types of figures, but E. W. Bullinger listed dozens of figures of speech used in Scripture. Some others refer to as many as over two hundred types of figures of speech used in Scripture.

Let us read the next verses of I John. We need for the majority of doctrine that we will investigate to be abundantly clear on this important issue.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

I John 3:2-3

When are we the sons of God? Now, this very instant. Right at this moment the Christian is a child of God, man or woman ("son" in this case is an all inclusive noun) and not only now, but we will be changed when Jesus comes back for us, for we shall see him as he is.

I have to say I do not know how this works.

Why seeing Jesus face to face will change us is a mystery to me.

But I know that it is those who keep this hope in them that "purify themselves," i.e., that strive to be Christ-like now.

You want to be like Christ? Don't struggle, don't strive, don't moan and whine about it.

Simply remind yourselves always that you are a son and will be like Christ. This will motivate you, you will then have a hope that will motivate you to purify yourself, to find out who Christ was and is, and mimic him.

That is what will help keep your Christian walk together.

If this concept of sonship is so important that it will motivate us to put the Word of God on in our lives, we should explore it further, and make certain we have an accurate basic understanding of the subject.

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Rom. 8:13-14

Those that are led by the spirit of God are the sons of God.

How does this come about?

"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."

Rom. 8:15

We receive a spirit of adoption.

It would appear that, as is Israel, we are adopted children.

But the texts read that we have received "pnuema huiothesia."

This is not a "spirit (pnuema) of adoption," but a "spirit of sonship." New International Version actually translates it this way, as follows:

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

Rom. 8:15, NIV

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

"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."

Rom.8:16-17

We are not adopted sons, but sons who have received from God spirit, new spirit which makes us children. Spiritual DNA. The seed from God.

Look at Acts chapter one:

"And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

"For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."

Acts 1:4-5

The last hour Jesus was with the twelve apostles and those who remained with them shortly after his resurrection, he said "wait for the promise of the Father,... ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."

The words "Holy Ghost" in the text are "pnuema hagion." We assume because of tradition that this reference to a "Holy Ghost" is to God or to a part of God.

But "pnuema" literally means "spirit" and "hagion" literally means "holy" or "set apart."

We have assumed this meant that those who waited would "receive the promise of the Father when they were baptized in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."

But this makes a point of contrasting the baptism of John, who "verily (literally) baptized in water," with a "baptism in pnuema hagion."

"Baptism" is in the texts "baptismo," and simply means "cleansing, a bath."

"John cleansed, bathed you in water, but now you will be cleansed, bathed in pnuema hagion, in holy spirit."

What is "holy spirit?"

Spirit is used for something outside of the natural realm. Molecules, atoms, neutrons, electrons, and the various particles thereof all make up the natural realm. Scientists refer to all this as "baryonic material."

Spirit therefore is made up of something inhabiting the spaces in between, which we being natural have no means of detecting.

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

"But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

I Cor. 2:9-14

See? The things of the Spirit of God, spiritual things, cannot be known to the man of molecules and atoms. These spiritual things revealed to us by the spirit (pnuema) which is of God.

This spirit which reveals is one we have received of God, verse eleven. We did not have it, we received it.

It coincides with the fact that we have "received the spirit of sonship," and "the promise of the Father" we receive when "cleansed, bathed, in holy spirit."\

What does all this mean?

"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

"Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

John 4:21-24

Jesus was talking to a Samaritan woman, who considered herself a worshipper of Israel's Jehovah, but who actually practiced a non-Judaic hybrid faith developed by the peoples that displace Israel after the Assyrian conquest of the Northern Kingdom.

They acknowledged Jehovah, but did not really know in a real way who they worshipped.

Why? Because, God is Spirit.

Spirit exists on a different plane, a "non-baryonic" plane, and natural men cannot know the details thereof.

They can acknowledge the existence of an obvious creator.

But the second they try to discern the specifics of God's character via natural means, they err. God is embodied in spirit, as much as we are embodied in flesh and blood, and those who would know Him must find out directly from Him as to His nature.

"No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

John 1:18

Why has no man seen God? Because He is spirit.

Furthermore He is Holy. In the Old Testament He is called "holy" over a dozen times, as is His name, His Temple, and as is anything He chooses as His own, including His people.

"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

"Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

"And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."

Isa. 6:1-3

Not merely is God holy, He is Holy Holy Holy.

What does "holy" mean? It means "sanctified," "set apart." Special. God is so special He is "set apart" into a higher category. That is holy.

"For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.

"In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

"But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

"Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?"

Isa. 63:8-11

In old Testament times, God associates His dealing with His people through His Holy Spirit. It is in a way saying, "the body or power of God," for God is spirit, He is holy Spirit, He is The Holy Spirit.

It is not a "separate personality" of God any more than your body is a separate personality of you. Your body is an integral part of you.

Holy Spirit is an integral part of God the Father.

God is Holy. God is Spirit. God is THE Holy Spirit.

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Matt. 3:16-17

"And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased."

Luke 3:22

There you have it. The Holy Ghost IS the Spirit of God. Pnuema hagion. One and the same. Whenever one reads of the mention of God as "the Holy Spirit," or "the Holy Ghost," it is in reference to the workings of God. It is the reference of an ASPECT of Godís work and His being, not to a distinct persona or separate individual within a "Godhead."

Again, God is Holy, and God is Spirit.

God IS the Holy Spirit.

"And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

"And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

"I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

"And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

"And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Mark 1:6-11

As the Spirit descended on Jesus, the Son of God, so shall the Son of God baptize others in "pnuema." After the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God, descended upon Jesus, God said, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."

What makes an earthly father the father of his children? Seed. Genetic material.

"But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."

Matt. 1:20-21

Jesus is the Son of God because his DNA, the seed that would normally come from a human father, has been created in Mary by God. Later, the spirit of God came upon Jesus as well. After that, he set the stage for believers to be baptized in holy spirit.

"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

"And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:"

"...And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

John 20:21-22, 30-31

Once again, Jesus is instructing those he is to leave behind on what to do to carry on. He, the Son of God, will leave, but they will continue ministering. They will receive 'pnuema hagion," which as verse thirty-one says, means they will have life through his name, through the tremendous name of Jesus.

"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."

Luke 24:49

Here, receiving this promise of the Father is equated with power from on high. They will wait in Jerusalem, but after they receive holy spirit, after they receive power from on high, they will never be told to wait again to receive.

After they receive it, it is freely given.

"And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

"For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

"And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."

Acts 1:4-9

Now it is all coming together. Upon receiving holy spirit, they will have power, they will be witnesses of Jesus. This power will be a witness.

It was so important, this baptism in holy spirit, that it was the very last thing Jesus talked about before being taken up into Heaven.

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

"And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

"And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Acts 2:1-4

Yes, filled with the holy spirit, as you are when you receive the gift of God.

God does not change. We now have the promise, it is ours; we need merely to accept.

What did they do? They spoke in tongues, which was prayer and praise in a language unlearned by them.

They were filled with power.

They were baptized in pnuema hagion.

Not the spirit of bondage, but of power, of love, of sanity.

They were given the sonship spirit, spiritual DNA, holy spirit.

They became true sons of God.

"This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

"Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear."

2-3Acts 2:33

Yes, this outpouring on that day was the promise.

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

"For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call."

Acts 2:36-39

Men and brethren, and women and sisters, what do we do today?

Repent, which means to have a change of heart about the way you have been thinking, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

Not in water, nor in any other name, but the name of Jesus.

Confess the risen Jesus as Lord.

Then you too will receive the gift of "the Holy Ghost."

Of the Holy Ghost? The text reads "the gift the holy spirit." The holy spirit is the gift.

Are we to receive God? No. We receive "the spirit of sonship," spiritual DNA.

What is God? Holy Spirit. What is the spirit of sonship? Holy spirit.

God is THE Holy Spirit, capitalized. Our gift from God is also holy spirit, seed, not capitalized.

To be "bathed" in pnuema hagion, holy spirit, is what it means to be fully cleansed, baptized, in the name of Jesus.

And specifically what do we do to accept him?

"Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Rom. 10:7-13

We simply accept the truth of God's Word by believing God raised Jesus from the dead, and we accept the truth of God's dominion by confessing His chosen King, Jesus Christ, as Lord, as Boss of our life.

It is that simple.

The salvation of God, the reception of sonship, is truly that easy, because it is a gift of grace.

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

"But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Gal. 3:24-28

It does not matter if you are Jew or Gentile, nor does your gender matter, nor your station in life.

To be "baptized into Christ" is to receive that word of faith and confess Jesus as Lord, believing God raised him from the dead.

Then we are children, not figuratively or by adoption.

We have pnuema hagion, holy spirit, God's spiritual DNA.

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

"Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"

Phil. 2:13-15

Once we have this gift, yes, we should walk in the light of scripture, obedient to God and to Christ.

Will there be consequence if we do not walk rightly? Of course.

"According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

"Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

"If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

"If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

I Cor. 3:10-15

Yes, there is terrible consequence to disobedience. Certain scriptures testify that we cut ourselves off from many of God's blessings in this life if we reject a godly life. This section in I Corinthians testifies that we will suffer the loss of blessings the faithful will get for all eternity. Such a man suffers loss, so know that God is not mocked.

But once a man or woman is saved, and is baptized into Christ, and has received the spirit of sonship, they will be saved. Such a oneís fate is not ultimate destruction, but ultimate life.

That is the hope you have in you, and in knowing this, I John makes sense:

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

I John 3:2-3

We are not saved because we do good, we do good because we believe in the details of our salvation.

As Christians, we are not motivated by fear of torment or death, but by guarantees of reward and life, and even more so by thankfulness and a love responsive to such great grace.

Have you had trouble living as a Christian? Put on the truth regarding your sonship, and that will change.

Walk, talk, breath, and live like you are a son of God, endued with power, saved with a new life, and then you will see faithfulness in your life.

Commit your acts unto the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.

You are the children of God, born with incorruptible holy spirit seed, which cannot be taken out of you by any enemy, or driven out of you by any failure of your flesh!

Look at I Peter:

"Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

"Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

I Pet.1:20-23

Yes, born again of incorruptible seed, God's spiritual DNA. It is the very way we can love the way we were meant to.

These and many other verses are clear on this.

Beloved, now, right now, we are the sons of God. This is the clear evidence of the great body of Scripture, and following the rules of language the Scriptures were written in help to clarify the details.

Let us remember, and we will then strive to live accordingly.

The last few studies in Scripture Integrity, to our very last in Study 21, will attempt to unfold for you what it means to be a son of God with power, filled with holy spirit, brethren of Christ and children of the Most High.

God bless all who walk in the truth God has shed forth even to this day and age, that these things are through Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

 

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