THE INHERITANCE OF THE SONS OF GOD
he that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his
God, and he shall be my son” (Rev.
young men were enjoying a hearty meal together.
One boy was the son of a wealthy rancher; the other was a very likable
and reliable hired hand. Both men worked
together. Their dress was similar and
they frequented the same recreation spots, played on the same local team, and
even attended the same place of worship.
In many respects there was very little difference between them. However, one morning all this similarity
vanished instantly when the solemn faced ranch foreman came to the rancher’s
son bearing the news, “Sam, your father died in his sleep last night. I found him just a while ago. You are in charge now, you are the sole heir
to his estate.” Immediately a vast chasm
of difference separates these two young men.
The heir becomes the owner and proprietor while the hired man remains
the same as before. The son inherits the
provisions of the Will in which the hired man has no claim. Heirship
is what made the difference! And his
heirship was rooted in his sonship!
to God is glorious beyond anything our eyes have seen or ears have
heard. Jesus Christ is the firstborn Son
of God. He is what sonship is! And now all His
brothers are empowered to follow Him to maturity and into the power of His
resurrection. All will follow His steps,
becoming what He is. The spiritual life
of every son has the same origin as the firstborn, for all are born of
God. We are being perfected by the same
process, and will ultimately achieve the same result. Jesus Christ was and is the personification
of the Father, and so shall we be. The
holy and divine nature of Jesus Christ is ours
to be raised up within us. The
works He did we shall do as well. The
authority of Jesus Christ, the power of His throne, even the dominion over the
ages and all things, He will share with those who grow up into Him in all
things, coming to the measure of the stature of His fullness (Eph. 4:13; Heb. 2:5-11). Jesus possesses the totality of God’s essence
and substance, and this is the heritage of every manifest son of God. The present resurrection, ascension, and
enthronement of Jesus Christ is the portrait of our very own destiny!
Oh, the wonder of it!
ministry all creation is waiting for, longing for, groaning and travailing for,
is the ministry of sonship (Rom.
8:19-23). Only Jesus has demonstrated
what it is! The ministry of Jesus was
not in the gift realm of Pentecost, it
was not a “firstfruits of the Spirit,” it was not “in part,” nor was it “by
measure,” but His ministry was the ministry of a MANIFEST SON OF GOD in all the
nature, power, authority, wisdom,
and glory of the Father! Some tell us
that the ministry Jesus demonstrated on
earth is not what manifest sonship
is. If sonship ministry is not what
Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, revealed
on earth, including His resurrection, then pray tell me, what is it? I never
thought I would see what I see today,
brethren who received the revelation of manifest sonship now “watering it down”
to something far less than what Jesus has shown us, in order to make the
message more “palatable” and more easily “attainable” by brethren who have never been sovereignly
called to it by God. Let me tell you —
the great secret of the ministry of Jesus was that it was not in limitation but
in fullness. Jesus Himself said that the
Father did not give Him the Spirit by measure.
He also said that the works the Father did through Him were the
proof and evidence of His sonship! And
yet Paul tells
the saints that we have at this present
time received the Spirit by measure, that
is, the firstfruits of the Spirit, and
that we now groan within ourselves for our placement as full grown manifest
sons of God by which we will receive the Spirit without measure as well as the redemption of our body
(resurrection). Jesus did not receive a
“gift” in the church realm, but He was
the incarnation, the embodiment, the personification of the FULLNESS OF THE
FATHER! That is the realm of sonship. Thus Paul tells us plainly,
“Now I say, That the heir, as long as
he is a child, differeth nothing from
a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and
governors until the time appointed of the
Father” (Gal. 4:1-2). Even though
everyone is dear to God, and all will eventually live willingly under His
sovereignty, the inheritance of all
things is for none but the mature
sons — the overcomers. Everyone will
enjoy the blessings and benefits of this great kingdom of God,
but professions, confessions, beliefs, doctrines, church attendance, good works,
or any other religious activity does not make a mature son, an heir. In
God’s economy the heirs are not irresponsible little children who wouldn’t know
what to do with the inheritance, or how to handle it should they receive it,
but mature ones in the full stature of Christ.
Even the noblest ministries of the church age are still merely “in part”
ministries (I Cor. 13:9-11). And that is
why creation is not groaning for another gift-ministry, another apostle,
another prophet, another bishop, another evangelist, another pastor,
another teacher, another healing crusade, or another revival!
is in pain and travail waiting for the manifestation
of the sons of God! Oh, yes! Only the sons of God will possess within
themselves the fullness of the power of
the kingdom of God
as did Jesus! They will have all
that He had as He ministered to the multitudes plus the power of His
resurrection! Only the sons of God,
in the power of Christ’s resurrection, can deliver creation from the bondage of corruption. Jesus
is not the firstborn among many Christians, or among many evangelists, or many
teachers, or even many apostles and prophets.
Oh, no! He is the firstborn among
MANY BRETHREN! The brethren are like Him.
They are completely like
Him! That is what makes them brethren, and that is what
makes them sons. They are not His brethren in the stable
in Bethlehem, nor in the temple at twelve years
of age, nor in the carpenter shop of Nazareth. They are His brethren in His maturity, in His
total victory over the adversary, in His purity and sinlessness, in His
consciousness of the indwelling
Father, in His sensitivity to the voice of the Father, and in His yieldedness
to allow the Father to speak and move and work mightily through Him! Oh, that all God’s elect would realize that
God is not bringing many gifted and talented Christians to glory, He is not bringing
many musicians to glory, He is not bringing many deacons to glory, He is not
bringing many Sunday School teachers to glory, He is not bringing many apostles
and prophets to glory, but He is bringing
many SONS to glory! (Heb. 2:10).
Aren’t you glad!
sons of God are destined to inherit all things; they are selected by the Father
to become the dispensers of the blessings and benefits of the kingdom of God
to all created realms. Thus creation
groans in sympathetic birth pangs, longing for their arrival! From
powerful angels in heaven, to worlds in the farthest galaxy, the
universe resonates with anticipation of the glorious unveiling of the sons of
God. The sons will share the fullness of
the glory of their Father. They will
grow up into the attributes of God as a
permanent state of being. The sons of
God will partake of Godlikeness, and a spiritual inheritance that is
incomprehensible to natural men, even religious men, saved men, and
Spirit-baptized men! This celestial race
of beings shall be endowed with all the authority and capacity of God. Immortal omnipotence will flow from them as
the light rays from the sun. In the
heaven blest days before us, those who have attained to sonship will be displayed
in the blazing glory of immortality.
This climatic finale is a fast approaching certainty.
From the difficulties, struggles, testings, and
processings of this present time the son company will burst into everlasting
splendor, streaming glory, wisdom,
and power as a shower of stars. With
Jesus as the Captain, this reigning government of God shall invade the bastions
of darkness and by war, yea, by spiritual
warfare shall they take the rule from the kings of the earth. They will not “glean” the little truth out of
all the vaunted religions of the world, for their swords will be the sword of
the Spirit, which is the living Word of God, and when their warfare is
accomplished all the false religions of earth will have been cast down, destroyed, demolished, and obliterated
from the face of the earth. There will
be no more Islam, no more Moslem extremists, no more Hinduism, no more
Buddhism, no more Confucianism, no more Shinto, no more Roman Catholicism, no
more Protestantism, no more Judaism — all these and hundreds more will have
vanished from the earth in the blazing glory of God’s truth and power through
His manifest sons. These are celestial
kings and priests, the army of God, trained and tested in conquest. They are invincible in the nature and power
of the Father. Nothing shall confound
them; no one will be able to kill them; all will succumb to their sway. This company of sons will establish the final
world government — the new order of the kingdom of Christ
— it will never be overthrown! They will subdue every enemy, deliver every soul,
transform every life, renew every mind, and be the fountainhead of every
blessing! They are the solution that God
has ordained for the travail of earth’s teeming
billions. This is the destiny of God’s Christ, Head and body!
has put His hand to the task; He is ready to grasp the whole world and, through the sonship ministry, switch it on to
another track, changing its course and destination. I tell you, dear ones, as sons of God we are
laborers together with God in inaugurating the next stage of the kingdom which shall impact every living nation of
earth. We are now called to “come up hither”
to His throne! We shall work and work, minister and
minister, deliver and deliver, heal and heal, reign and reconcile
and bless and transform all nations and all men and all realms and all worlds
and all ages until we accomplish the
end. “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom
to God, even the Father, when He shall have put down all rule and all authority
and power. For He must reign, until He
hath put all enemies under His feet. The
last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (I Cor. 15:24-26). If it takes a week, a month, a year, a decade, a century, a millennium,
or a billion years or a trillion years, it matters not one whit — the kingdom
of God shall increase and expand and triumph until that blessed day when from
pole to pole and from sea to sea and throughout all the vastnesses of infinity
everywhere God shall be ALL IN ALL!
the mountains reverberate with the sound of the message, let the hills shout
aloud for joy, and all the trees of the forest clap their hands! For we now stand on the threshold of a new dimension
of the kingdom of
and we must be prepared to receive HIM in fullness. As we earnestly look for His appearing, we
are to receive ALL
THAT HE IS, for when He appears in His glory in His manifest sons, all the
traditions of yesterday will be swept away and the realms of limitation
swallowed up in His surpassing glory. I
cannot overemphasize this great and important truth: When Christ appears in the
fullness of Himself in His many brethren, we must be prepared to receive Him
on a higher plane than we have known Him
hitherto. We cannot tell Him what
portion of Him we will receive and what portion we will not receive. WE WILL RECEIVE AND MANIFEST HIM IN FULLNESS,
and without any reservations or preconceived ideas, or we will not receive Him
at all. Either we will walk in the power
and glory of His sonship, or we will miss the glory. We will not bring into that new order of life
and power the old ways and traditions of the church systems of man, nor the
deceitful and greedy ways of the religious
hucksters sometimes called “healing evangelists.” Should we cling to the ministries and methods
of the past, we will not be manifest sons.
Vast multitudes of Christians will not stand in this new glory because
of their tradition — but their time of visitation will come later. But for those who are willing to pay the
price, to be thoroughly purged of all that is of the flesh, and disposed to
turn loose of the past religious traditions, the old forms and ceremonies, the
former means and methods, the pulpit theatrics, the carnal fund-raising
promotionalism, the stagnant remains of yesterday’s visitations, there awaits
great glory and heavenly wealth, and a world-shaking ministry beyond the
comprehension of mortal mind. It is indeed wonderful!
is not my wish to press the truth of the
inheritance of God’s sons beyond reason, yet because of our limited
understanding on the matter, we must pursue it a little further.
There are a number of scriptures which express the truth that the sons
of God are the inheritors of “all things.”
Our present text says the same in the
King James Bible, however that is not exactly how it is stated in the Greek text. The Greek text reads, “He who overcomes shall inherit these
things…” The question follows —
What are “these things” which we inherit?
It’s the very things that are listed in the previous verses, the very
things John describes for us in his vision!
They are — a new heaven, a new
earth, no more sea, the holy city — New Jerusalem
bride, the tabernacle of God with men, no more tears, no more death, no more
sorrow, no more crying, no more pain, all things new, all that is included in
the Alpha and Omega, and the fountain of
the water of life. Now, since “all
things new” includes “all things,” it
is still true that the sons of God INHERIT ALL THINGS! And it’s not saying that the sons will just
be a part of all this, or blessed to enjoy its wonders, but that all is their
“inheritance,” that is, they are the OWNERS AND LORDS OF IT ALL! Why is this important to us? What does it mean to inherit “all things”? One of the questions I ask myself is just
this: When I get “all things” what will I do with them? You might be asking the question, What has
this got to do with me today, NOW? Will
knowing this help either you or me in our daily lives? You had better believe it will — if we
truly HEAR IT IN THE SPIRIT AND BY THE SPIRIT!
than fifty years ago, standing in the darkness of a jungle in South
America, many miles from the nearest road or town, and further yet from anything that could be called a city, it
seemed that every star and galaxy in the heavens adorned the night with its
scintillating brilliance of diamonds.
Looking up I could see the immensity of God. On some dark night take a look at the heavens,
consider this infinite universe, contemplate the immensity, the complexity, the
majesty of it, examine the balance of it, reflect upon the order of it, give
attention to the symmetry of it, observe the way everything works by divine law
and purpose — in the light of all this consider the deep probings of the Psalmist when he asks, “When I consider Thy
heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou has
ordained: what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that
thou visiteth him?” (Ps. 8:3-4). Yes,
indeed, what IS man, that God cares for him and visits him — do you want to see
it? Continuing this divine assessment of
man the inspired Psalmist says, “Thou crownest him with glory and honor” (Ps.
8:5) He’s showing how mindful God is of
man, the greatness of His purpose for man.
“Thou didst set him over the works of Thy hands” (Ps. 8:6). Do you want to see how great man is in the
universal scheme of things? Consider
just what are the “works of God’s hands” over which man, crowned with glory and
honor, is set: “When I consider Thy heavens,
the work of Thy fingers, the moon and
the stars, which Thou has ordained: what
“Thou has put all things under his feet” (Ps.
8:6). Now “his feet” in this case is not
Jesus, his feet are the feet of
MAN. It’s not talking about Jesus,
though it is ultimately fulfilled in and through Jesus, but it’s talking about
MAN. Quoting this very passage and
speaking again of man, not Jesus, the
writer to the Hebrews says, “Thou hast put all
things in subjection under his feet.
For in that He put all in
subjection under him, He left nothing that
is not put under him!” (Heb.
2:8). How broad and all-inclusive that
statement is! Can we not see by this
that man was created to be king of the universe! Man was designed by God to rule and reign
over all things everywhere! Man was
destined to have dominion both on earth and
throughout the heavens above! Man
was to have authority in all realms! Man
was appointed to be sovereign — not merely over the earth, but over all the
unbounded heavens! Did you know
that? Did your preacher ever tell you
that? From the very beginning it was the
divine intent that man should be lord of all with all created things under
submission to him, that man would explore, conquer, control, harness, utilize,
bless, rule, and direct all the earth, the elements, the heavens, and all
worlds and realms, visible and invisible, and all creatures, visible and
invisible — the whole creation of God!
there is a problem. Although man is
destined for universal rule and dominion, the apostle continues: “But now we see
not yet all things put under him” (Heb. 2:8). Does any wish to debate that? Take a look at the world in which we live! Man was made to reign over the earth, but man
broke his covenant with God. When man
sinned he brought ruin to the earth, the
ruin of sin, strife, the curse, and death. Before sin man’s hair was not turning gray,
his teeth were not decaying, his heart was not giving out, his skin was not
wrinkled, his bones were not brittle or his body weak and stooped. There
was no cancer, no stroke, no disease of any kind. There was no famine. There were no weeds. There was no rust. There were no floods, no plagues. There were no storms — no frightening
hurricanes, no devastating tornados.
There was no hatred, no greed, no lust, no cheating, no lying, no
deceit, no murders, no crime, no wars. God
created man in His own image, He placed him in a perfect environment, and he
told man that he was to rule and have
dominion, and that all things were
in subjection under his feet. But
man violated his union with God. Every
broken body, every disturbed mind, every lack and weakness and sorrow of the
human race throughout the ages can be traced to man’s violation of his contract
with God. Therefore, we see not
yet all things put under man!
Look at the terrors of our world and it is plain to see that not yet has even the earth been subjected to
man, much less the celestial realms above!
— the apostle continues, “WE SEE JESUS!” (Heb. 2:9). It is interesting to note, there are two
prominent words used in Greek for “see” — horao
and blepo — and the writer uses
both in one sentence. He says, “We see not yet all things put under man,”
that is, take an in-depth, studied, wide-angled look, examine carefully — we
see not yet all things put under man.
That is horao — in-depth
scrutiny. “But we see Jesus” — it’s a fleeting glance, one look is enough to settle
the issue — that is blepo. Ah, we see not yet all things put under man,
but we see Jesus “made for a little while even lower than the angels for the
suffering of death, NOW CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOR…” (Heb. 2:9). Jesus was lowered for a season that He by the
grace of God might “taste death for every
man,” that through His redemption He might restore all men to the
righteousness, joy, peace, wisdom,
authority, power, and dominion that was theirs in the beginning.
world is filled with hopelessness today only because men do not see Jesus!
All is despair and futility and lack if we don’t see Jesus!
He is the great Captain of our salvation and the Firstborn among
many brethren. He is the Firstborn from
the dead, and the first manifest son of God who “inherits all things.”
He is the proto-type of God’s ordained destiny for all men who become
the sons of God! Oh yes, we who have
been quickened by His Spirit, infused with His life, and imbued with His mind —
we SEE JESUS! We see Him overcoming sin,
self, the curse, and death. We see Him
risen, ascended, crowned with glory and honor, exalted to the throne of the
Majesty of high, heir of all things, with all power in heaven and in earth,
having obtained a name above every name, Lord of all, King of the universe,
higher than angels and principalities and powers, the image and likeness and
dominion of the Father over all things restored
in man. That is what we see! We see
Jesus and in Him we see our very own sonship, calling, destiny, and
Bible clearly teaches that God’s sons shall inherit all things. The whole
universe shall be theirs! Every world
that floats in space shall be subject to their word and at their disposal, as
they range the broad fields of the endless vastnesses of infinity. Here and now we are a people in whom there is
sons of the almighty God, heirs to His throne (Rev. 3:21). We are born to rule
over all things, and God is preparing us for that dominion. The rule of one little world is not enough for
a man born of the omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent God of the universe! It may be for a chipmunk. It is not for a son of the Highest, for one
born from above is too big in his
spirit, which is his real divine self.
To be a spiritual man, a heavenly
man, he must reach out to the future, to eternity, to infinity, and grapple
with the powers of the ages to come, and compel them to gird him with strength
to fulfill the ultimate intention of our heavenly
the wonder of it! Our Lord Jesus Christ,
the man Christ Jesus, has been
exalted to the right hand of God. He has
been given the kingdom and the dominion.
The whole universe has been delivered
into His mighty hands, and now He tells us that it belongs to us, for we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. He
tells us that we have been raised to sit together with Him in the heavenly
places, at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers being made
subject unto us (I Pet. 3:22). We are to
sit with Him on His throne, which is the Father’s throne (Rev. 3:21). We are not only raised up to sit with Him on
His throne, but He has been given a name that is above every name, and we are
also to share that wonderful Name. Do you think I am making these things
up? Listen to this: “To him that
overcometh…I will write upon him (inscribe in his nature) the name of my God, and the name of the city (government) of my God, which
is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God…and I will write
upon him MY NEW NAME” (Rev. 2:12).
present time is but a proving ground for those who through grace will reign
with their Lord over all the unbounded heavens.
They have been proven faithful over few things. Now
they shall be made rulers over many things…over ALL HIS POSSESSIONS (Mat. 24:45-47). He has given us His glory because we are His
brethren, bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh, spirit of His spirit, life of
His life, mind of His mind. We are of
common parentage, brothers by the new birth, becoming like Him in name, nature,
and being. We are all “out of one” for
which reason He is not ashamed to call us brethren. He has raised us up to sit with Him in the
higher than heavenlies, hence we belong on His throne. And the place which He has been preparing for
each one is not only a world to come, and a kingdom of life, and light, and
love, but a position, a place of eminence at His side, ruling with Him over all things! People get all excited about some “alien” who
they imagine steps off a space ship, coming from some advanced civilization in
some distant galaxy, coming to teach us wonderful things that we know not. Oh, no, my brother, my sister, that is but a
fantasy. It’s the other way around. Whoever they may be, wherever they may be in
the myriad worlds scattered throughout God’s great universe, the sons of God
are coming to teach them, to deliver them, and reveal the almighty
Creator unto them, and subject them
to His righteous rule! That is the inheritance of the sons of
inheritance is in the Son of God, for we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ! Why is this?
Because it was “in Christ” that we had our existence and identity from eternity! We were “in Him” before we came “out” of Him.
HE IS THE HEIR OF GOD! Only
through our return into Him can we claim the inheritance. How
beautifully this is illustrated in the following story.
wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from
Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit
together and admire the great works of art.
When the Viet Nam
conflict broke out, the son went to
war. He was very courageous and died in
battle while rescuing another soldier.
The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large
package in his hands. He said, “Sir, you
don’t know me, but I am the soldier for
whom your son gave his life. He
saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet
struck him in the heart and he died instantly.
He often talked about you, and your love for art.” The young man held out his package. “I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think
your son would have wanted you to have this.”
The father opened the package.
It was a portrait of his son,
painted by the young man. He stared in
awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the
painting. The father was so drawn to the
eyes that his own eyes welled up in tears.
He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. “Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.”
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every
time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his
son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
man died a few months
later. There was to be a great auction
of his paintings. Many influential
excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase
one for their collection. On the
platform sat the painting of the son.
The auctioneer pounded his gavel.
“We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?” There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted,
“We want to see the famous paintings.
Skip this one.” But the
auctioneer persisted. “Will someone bid
for this painting? Who will start
the bidding? $100, $200?”
Another voice shouted angrily, “We didn’t come to see this
painting. We came to see the Van Goghs,
the Rembrandts. Get on with the real
bids!” But still the auctioneer
continued. “The son! The son!
Who’ll take the son?” Finally, a
voice came from the very back of the room.
It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. “I’ll give $10 for the painting.” Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
“We have $10, who will bid $20?”
“Give it to him for $10,” a voice responded, “let’s see the masters.” “$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?” The crowd was becoming restless and
angry. They didn’t want the picture of
the son. They wanted the more worthy investments
for their collections. The auctioneer
pounded the gavel. “Going once, twice,
SOLD for $10!” A man sitting on the
second row shouted, “Now let’s get on with the collection!”
auctioneer laid down his gavel. “I’m
sorry, the auction is over.” “What about
the paintings?” “I’m sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I
was informed of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be
auctioned. Whoever bought that painting
would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets
everything!” — author unknown.
message is clear — The Son! The Son! The inheritance is IN THE SON, so you see, whoever gets
the Son gets everything!
who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers
by the prophets, hath in the last of these days spoken unto us in the person of a Son. Whom
He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of ALL THINGS, by whom also He made
the worlds and framed the ages” (Heb.
the fullness of time was come, God sent
forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that
were under the law, that we might receive the
adoption — placement as — sons. And
because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your
hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore
thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through
“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times
He might gather
together in one all things in Christ…IN
WHOM we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to
the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:10-11).
this is the record, that God has given unto us the life of the ages, and this life is in His Son” (I Jn. 5:11).
“He that has the Son has life; he that has not the Son of God has not
life.” Ah, yes! The whole inheritance is in the Son — he who
(fully) gets the Son — gets everything!
TO BE A FATHER — TO BE A SON
that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be
my son” (Rev. 21:7).
come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the
unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Cor.
and mothers want their children to have “the best of everything.” But sometimes that comes when certain things children want are withheld from them. Ann Landers, the newspaper columnist of a
previous generation, shared a letter sent in by someone who wrote about what
her parents did not do for her. They didn’t let her do whatever she wanted,
whenever she wanted, and they didn’t shower her with things, things, and more
things. They also did not pass up the opportunity
to teach her the value of money and the benefits of hard work; they never failed to listen to her when she had a problem;
they never refused to give her advice when she
asked; and they never
left any doubt about their love for her.
Whoever wrote that letter understands that parents try to do for their
children what will help them grow into responsible adults. The Bible, too, teaches that the relationship
between parents and children is based on a natural love that God established
when He made them. God even requires
this love in one of His commandments.
Parents and children must love each other in the Lord. The best expression of this is when loving
parents ask for their children’s obedience and children respond by obeying in
love. As children honor their parents
and parents conduct themselves as worthy of their children’s honor, both
parents and children benefit immeasurably.
principle is just as true in the family of God!
There is responsibility on
both sides — the parent and the child. God
has a responsibility to each of His sons, and every son has a responsibility to
his Father. This responsibility is
powerfully expressed by the Holy Spirit in these words: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And I will BE a Father unto you, and ye shall
BE my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” God can never actively BE a Father to you until you
receive and walk out the revelation of your sonship. Millions of Christians today call God Father,
and pray to the Father. Yet their
sonship to God is totally meaningless to them.
Not understanding the biblical term “adoption” (placement as mature
sons) they view themselves as the “little adopted children of God.” It’s as though God sees them as His little children, and they see God as their
heavenly benefactor to supply all their wants and needs, but they have no
concept of what sonship is all about, what its ultimate purpose is, what it
really means to be a son of God!
They see themselves as Christians, believers, forgiven, saved,
justified, redeemed, sanctified, etc., but they walk not in the consciousness
or experience of SONSHIP to God. They
live out their lives as believers in Jesus, Christians, church members,
teachers, preachers, etc. But God is not their Father! He is their Saviour, their Healer, their Deliverer, their Comforter,
their Blesser, their Baptizer, and their “soon coming King” — but He is not
their Father. They have not been sons to Him, and therefore He has
not been a Father to them.
let me explain what I mean by this. “I
will BE a Father to you, and ye shall BE my sons…” There are two levels of Fatherhood. The first is biological, the second practical
and experiential. On the first level one
hears the title “father” merely because he has biologically generated an
offspring. His name will appear on the
birth certificate as the father of the child, even if he has never been seen again since the night of
conception or the hour of birth. On the
second level, however, one is respected and loved as a father because he
fulfills all the responsibilities, privileges, and potentials of
fatherhood. He is there when the child
is born. He is there after the child is born.
He provides, cares for, loves, nurtures, disciplines, guides, trains,
and counsels that child through all the years of his growth and development
into adulthood. His purpose in
fatherhood is to produce an end result — a loving, knowledgeable, capable,
responsible ADULT! In that process he is
reproducing himself in the son or
daughter. He is not just giving them a
roof over their head, food to eat, and some “goodies” along the way. Oh, no!
Can we not see by this that there are fathers who are not fathers — they have merely
contributed the sperm to generate an offspring, but have never had a father’s heart, have never
understood or taken seriously the true purpose of fatherhood, nor have they
fulfilled the responsibilities of fatherhood.
They have not actively, truly, caringly BEEN a father! With what wonder and understanding do we now
receive the promise of the Lord: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord…and I will BE a Father to you!”
like manner there are children who are not
children, sons who are not sons. Oh, yes, their name, too, is on the birth
certificate as the child of the one who gave them life. They are biologically the offspring of their
parents, but they do not relate to the parents in a functional way. Rather than submitting to, obeying,
respecting, honoring, and loving their parents, they are rebellious,
self-willed, disrespectful, uncaring, and hateful. On the one hand they are legally the children
of their parents, but on the other hand they have never BEEN sons and daughters. They have refused to fulfill the
responsibilities of sonship. They have refused
to walk in the relationship of sonship.
They have spurned the spirit of sonship.
Can we not understand by this the deep, profound cry of the Father’s heart
when He says, “Wherefore come out from among them (the religious idols, the
false gods and false ideas concerning the true God, the carnal church systems
of man, the childishness of man-made religion — Mystery Babylon), and be ye
separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing…and ye shall BE my
sons and daughters!” Ah, that is just
it! There’s something to do, a
responsibility to fulfill, a walk and relationship to enter into in order to BE
sons to the Father! Often in my prayers,
meditations, and consecration I say to my Father, “I want to BE a son to you,
so that you may truly BE a Father to me!”
That is the deepest desire of my heart.
Carl Schwing once wrote, “There is no greater communion than that of a
son losing himself in the depths of the Father.
There is no greater love than the Father giving and being all to His
son. There is no greater testimony
than this: ‘I and the Father are one.’”
have seen that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only One who could have revealed
the Fatherhood of God to us, in fact, that is the very thing He came to do. Truly God is a Father, as far as He is
concerned. His whole attitude toward all
men is that of a Father; but the trouble is that our attitude is often not that
of sons. Men see themselves as human
beings, as sinners saved by grace, as Christians, Methodists, Baptists,
Catholics, Charismatics, or Pentecostals. They see the forgiveness of their sins as the
ticket to a beautiful heaven somewhere where they will sing, dance, and shout
their way through eternity. They have no concept that God is after sons, mature sons, the reproduction of Himself in love,
power, authority, and glory to bless, govern, and establish His kingdom
throughout all realms of His great universe. They are stuck on being little children to get
to heaven — they’re just interested in playing forever in God’s celestial
park! They neglect, or dismiss, or
reject, or rebel against any parental guidance that would steer them into
upon the understanding of most believers that the terms “children,” “son,” “sons,” “daughters,”
and “Father,” appear multiplied hundreds of times in scripture, whereas
“Christian” appears only twice and
Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, and nearly all the other names
churches call themselves do not appear at
all! The apostles of our Lord knew absolutely
nothing of Roman Catholicism, Baptist, Lutheran, Charismatic,
or any of the hundreds of other denominations — but they certainly knew a lot
about sonship! Sonship is
God’s revelation in Christ Jesus.
Through Him God spoke to us “in Son,” is how the Greek text puts it (Heb.
1:1-2). Sonship is the central
issue of God’s great and eternal purpose.
Sonship is the longing and the hope of creation. Sonship is our calling and destiny
in God! Let us all truly BE sons to our
Father, that He may BE a Father unto us!
This is the heritage of the overcomer!
be continued… J. PRESTON EBY