by Walter Giddings
July 26, 2020
Greetings kindred and fellow sheep. We are on a first name basis here. My name is Walter. I am not your real Teacher. The Holy Ghost whose name is Jesus Christ is your real Teacher. In Bible Biology I yearned to understand How we transact from Bios, Life, mortality in the image of the earthy, to Everlasting Life in the Image of the Heavenly.
1 John 3:2 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.
To whom is verse 2 addressed? To whom is the Beloved Disciple John writing? Does every good question contain part of the answer? What is the first word?
Who are the Beloved? Look at the third and fourth words of verse 2 : are we! Beloved are we! Is that you and me? Are we used to thinking of Jesus Christ as The Beloved? From where do we get that?
16 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:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, Now and Then saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
Beloved what? Jesus gathered the Apostles Peter, James and John and led them up into an high mountain. The three fishermen witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and his meeting with Moses and Elijah:
2 Peter 1:17: For he 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.
Beloved what? We have two witnesses that Jesus Christ is the Beloved! He is the beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased.
These two verses (10-11) talk about Jesus who “by the Grace of God should taste death for every man”:
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.
Did verse 11 just tell us the Sanctifier and the sanctified are one? Did verse 11 instruct us that every member of the sanctified is included? Did this verse say “all of one”? Does this verse call our attention to wanting to make our sanctification sure? If the Sanctifier is The Beloved, are we also the beloved? What does “bringing many sons unto glory” mean?
“We know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” Who is he? Who is he that shall appear? Is He that shall appear The Beloved in whom we are beloved? What is this Appearance? Is this Appearance the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
Look at the second word in 1 John 3:2. Why does the composer John, the beloved disciple, say “now”? Was there ever a time, then, when the sons and daughters of Adam were not the sons and daughters of God? Was there a time then, a time past, when we did not have sonship and were not family? The title of this lesson is Now and Then. Why was Now not true then? The long title of this Lesson is Why Now was not True Then.
Do we have a second witness that in Jesus Christ we are now the sons and daughters of God? Just prior to His arrest, Jesus’ soul was “exceedingly sorrowful unto death.” He urgently prayed, the hour, “if it were possible”, might pass from him. Luke’s Gospel, in addition, tells us, in agony “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Shall we read part of His Prayer in Mark?
Mark 14:36 And he said, Abba Father, all things are possible unto thee: take away this cup from me; nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
What does “Abba Father” mean? Abba comes into the Koine Greek language from the Hebrew. It is a word of intense intimacy similar to our English word “daddy”. Does a lawful son or daughter alone have right to address a man as Abba Father, as Daddy? Should our grandchildren address a man other than their father as Daddy?
John 1:14; 18
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.
18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Is it the Father who declared the Son? Is it the Son who declared the Father? Do we have another witness that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of the Father?
1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us: because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
How was the love of God toward us manifested or revealed? Anybody? If your Spirit and Soul are still in this fallen flesh, and you are not the Pastor or the elders, you are eligible to answer. Is someone, either side of you sleeping? Wake him up, show him 1 John 4:9, and ask him, How was the love of God toward us manifested or revealed?! I did that once. I woke up the guy next to me in the pew, and he had the answer. If we are viewing verse 9, the answer is right there. After the two words “because that” what does verse 9 say? “God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” How is that for Love?!
In this Lesson have we now had our 3rd witness that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of the Father? The Only One! Wait a minute. We got an uh-oh. A short time ago, did we read in the same Book, 1 John, prior to chapter 4, in chapter 3, verse 2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God”? If we are now the sons of God, how is Jesus Christ, the Righteous, the “Only Begotten Son” of God?
Houston we have a problem. What do we do at a time like this? When we encounter Scriptures that seem or appear to equivocate, oppose, or downright contradict, even annul other Scriptures, what do we do? Does God have a problem with His Word? No! Do we have a problem with His Word? Yes! God has no problem with His Word; we do! God does not have a fallen mind; we do.
Every child old enough to converse freely knows the answer to this question:
What is the opposite of “tell a lie”? “Tell the Truth”! “Sanctify them through Thy Word; Thy Word is Truth,” John 17:17. In a situation such as this, if we do not know what to do, can we still follow God’s Instructions? Can we find Comfort and Solace from the God of our Fathers in The Laws of Bible Study? Can three of The Laws of Bible Study, Truth, Harmony, and Interpretation possibly help us? Can Truth “Thy Word is Truth”, Harmony “The Scripture cannot be broken”, and Interpretation, "Scripture Interprets Scripture", we are not stuck with man’s interpretation, possibly help us?
In obedience to the 1st listed law, Truth, to avoid transgressing “Thy Word is Truth”, we must confess, even in our failure to understand, that both are true! Now are we the Sons of God is just as true as Jesus Christ is the only Begotten Son of God. Have we avoided transgressing the first Law of Bible Study, Thy Word is Truth? Is that a good thing?
In obedience to the second listed law, Harmony, to avoid transgressing “The Scripture cannot be broken,” we must confess, even if we fail to understand, that both are in Harmony! Now are we the Sons of God is as much in Harmony with Jesus Christ is the only Begotten Son of God, as Jesus Christ is the only Begotten Son of God is as much in Harmony with Now are we the Sons of God. Have we avoided transgressing the second Law of Bible Study, The Scripture cannot be broken? Is that a good thing?
In obedience to the 3rd listed Law of Bible Study, Interpretation, "Scripture interprets Scripture", we are not stuck with man’s interpretation, we must confess God’s Interpretation of Now are we the Sons of God and Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God is much better than ours! Could it be that we do not yet possess the Whole Counsel of God on this matter? Should we do what the Berean Christians did? Shall we search the Scriptures daily whether these things be so? Has the thought occurred to us that we might not have studied enough Scriptures on this matter?
Uh oh! I heard that. Is this The Test? Does God want to know that His Word means everything to us? If we love His Word, do we love Him? Does God know that we crave Salvation and Eternal Life, and The Inheritance in Jesus Christ with every fibroelastin of our being? Have our faces hit the pages of Scripture from sleep deprivation?
If we are clueless, we need clues. This one is a Big Clue.
1 Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thou sand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.
Did Paul say, “I have begotten you”? [No!] Did Paul say, “For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you”? [No!] Did Paul say, “For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel”? How is it possible that Paul in Christ Jesus can begat us through the Gospel? Did we say we are seeking to possess the Whole Counsel of God on this matter? In the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue invited Paul’s party to say “any word of exhortation for the people”. Paul stood, beckoned with his hand and addressed the only people he knew who could hear and obey, “Men of Israel, and ye that fear God”. He preached a history lesson for a sermon, from the Exodus to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, THOU ART MY SON, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE.
“God hath ... raised up Jesus again.” Why does Paul connect being begotten with The Resurrection? Why does Paul connect being begotten with The Resurrection of “The Firstfruits of them that slept”?
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
Could it be that we, being begotten unto a lively hope, is connected with our becoming the resurrected sons and daughters of God? Verses 22 and 23.
I Corinthians 15:22-23
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made a live.
23 But every man in his own or der: Christ the firstfruits; after ward they that are Christ’s at His Coming.
Does verse 22 hint at what is required for us to be made eternally alive? Does The Holy Spirit say we must be “in Christ”? What happens if we are not Christ’s at His Coming? How helpless do we feel about making something that huge sure? Must Israel’s God do the big part? What is the small part we do? How do we be “in Christ” ? Does verse 23 tell us our Resurrection is at Christ’s Coming? Can we rise at Christ’s Coming if we are not “they that are Christ’s” and not begotten? By what agency or means can we be begotten?
1 Peter 1:3-4
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.
Can we see in verse 4 we are raised incorruptible to an Inheritance incorruptible? Is Resurrection to an Inheritance? Does verse 3 tell us by what agency or means we can be begotten? “Begotten us again.” Is that “Born Again”? Do we need Hope? Does this world make us feel we walk the cliff edge between Salvation and Damnation with one foot waving over the air and the other with a wet banana peel plastered to the sole of the other foot on land? What blessed assurance do we have that God has begotten us “unto a lively Hope”? Are we sure we are “in Christ”? Does the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead give us hope we too will rise from the dead unto Life, and not unto Damnation?
Are there Scriptures that can give us Hope? Who among us sheep does not need lots of blessed assurance? What can assure our hearts?
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren.
Does verse 29 say the only begotten Son of God is “the firstborn among many brethren”? Did God predestinate us to be conformed to the image of his Son? What does predestinate mean? Is predestinate like predestination? What is our pre-destiny? Will we choose between two destinations? Do we choose between Resurrection unto Life or Resurrection unto Damnation? Do we see people all around us choosing, heedless of consequences? Does it grieve our hearts? Do those choosing heedless of consequences, blame us for the consequences they harvested?
Have we learned from family and friends that OPC is the plague most common among us all? Is our first mission field, family and friends, our most difficult mission field? Is OPC a brutal plague? Is one of the several pathognomonic signs of OPC enabling by others, or us? If we step into the snare, if we fall into that pit, if we spring the trap of Partaking, how hard is it to extricate ourselves? If we love family and friends more than we love God, have we, like the woman in The Garden switched Trees? Have we left Remembrance of the First and Greatest Commandment?How could such a thing sneak up on us like that?! What is this brutal, pestilential plague called OPC? We know it all too well:other people’s choices.
What about our choices? In verse 29, does predestination preclude choosing? If predestination precludes all choosing, should the last of this verse say, the firstborn among all brethren? Why does God say many brethren? What does God predestinate? Does it say God predestinates us to be conformed to the image of His Son? Is that a mandate, or a bountiful provision? Can the Devil and all his unholy Horde prevent God from being bountiful, merciful, or omnipotent? Does Predestination assure us, and preserve to us, God’s bountiful, merciful, omnipotent provision for us to be conformed to the image of His Son ?! God has a preordained provision for us to return to The Fold, The Family! Does Verse 29 tell us God wants His Family to return to Him ?! Can Satan do anything to withstand God wanting His Family back? Who then does Satan withstand? Us! Is that our Test? Who among us remembers the Chant of the Vietnam War Draft Resistance? Hell No! We won’t Go!(3). When was the Prodigal Son totally dedicated to coming Home? Was it when he was Party Hearty? Was it when he landed the job of feeding swine? Or was it when he began to prefer the wages of God to the wages of the world? Are the wages of sin Death? Does the Prodigal Son tell us what we are like?
One more thing on verse 29: If God is conforming us to the image of His Son Jesus Christ, does that mean we are Family? Do children, sons and daughters, conform to the image of their Father and Mother? One more view, verse 28: If we love the god of this world instead of the God of the Bible, are we coming home? If we are not the called according to His purpose, is God conforming us to the image of His dear Son?
What happens if we are not Christ’s at His Coming? Is there any Remedy past that point?
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
What is Enmity? Does that word seem familiar? English is historically one of the most synonymous languages on the face of the earth. We have tens of ways of saying almost the same thing in shades of meaning. Some key synonyms of Enmity are hatred, hostility, malice. The dictionary I consulted totals 11. Hatred, hostility, malice, and all the others, perfect the description of relations between Enemies! Does Genesis 3:15 speak of a war that ends only when one side is, without mercy, annihilated? Are there Scriptures that describe that annihilation? But that Lesson is for another Time. (Previews of coming attractions).
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Does the brother of Jesus, the Apostle James, tell us, “the twelve tribes of Israel scattered abroad”, we have a common problem in God’s relationship with us? And it is not God’s problem. It is our problem! Are we all adulterers who need to walk in Repentance? See how James addresses us? Does his Authority to address us in this manner spring from his struggle common to all of us?Does it take one to know one?
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Proverbs instructs us, “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” Can we be as much an Enemy of God as Satan is?
Romans 8:7: “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” Who among us in their right mind? Who among us spiritually minded want to make an enemy of The God of Israel, The God of The Bible, The Omnipotent God Who encompasses All of Creation, The Great I Am Author of Life, The capital G God of All The Small g gods? Talk about unsound fallen organic Brains! Talk about insane minds steeped in carnality! Or as 100 comedians, hungry and out of work, have said, We’ve gotta be Nuts! Does the singing of the second Psalm put us in remembrance, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little”? Did Judas kiss Him? How will we kiss Him?
“Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” What has to happen for our minds to be subject to the law of God? Does Paul write that our minds cannot be subject to the law of God? No! Did Paul write that the carnal mind cannot be subject to the law of God? Do our carnal minds need to become Spiritual? (Verses 8-9). What happens if we are not Christ’s at His Coming? Is there any Remedy past that point?
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
“If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” None of His! What happens to us if we are not Christ’s at His Coming? What happens to us if we are Christ’s at His Coming?
Can we be sure The Holy Spirit indwells us? Here in the Epistle to the Colossians Paul talks about the Church and his role in Her:
Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Did Paul write that God gave him a ministry, a stewardship to fill up The Word of God?
Among the Books commonly called The New Testament do we find the greater part of the Epistles composed by Paul under the Authorship of Jesus Christ? (Verse 26).
Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
What is a mystery ? If we hide a mystery, are we keeping a secret? How long has this Secret been hidden? From Ages?! From whom has this Secret been hidden? From Generations? Did Jesus show Abraham that he was His Friend? Did Jesus show King David that he was a man after His own Heart? Did Adam know this Secret? Was that Then? Is this Now? Are we His Saints? Are we allowed to know this Secret? (Verse 27).
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Is this Mystery, is this Secret “Christ in you, the hope of glory”? Is this Secret even broadcast to “the dispersed among the Gentiles” whom James addressed as “scattered abroad”? Why did Paul write the word “glory” twice? He did not write the riches of this mystery. He wrote “the riches of the glory of this mystery”. To what does glory refer? Is glory a reference to the 1st Resurrection? Are we Christ’s at His Coming?
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Why did Paul write if in each verse? For such a two letter dipthong, "if" is an enormous word.
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Would God prohibit that which is impossible to commit?
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
If God prohibits that which is possible to do, is this one of the most terrifying Scriptures in our Bibles?
Did Adam lose Sonship in The Fall? Is that why John the Beloved calls us Beloved and writes, “Now are we the sons of God”? Did Adam lose Dominion, immortality, God’s Image, and fall under Time, and he also lost Sonship? Where are the Scriptures to show us Adam lost his Place in God’s Family? In Luke chapter 3 we have one genealogy of Jesus Christ tracing back to Adam.
Luke 3:23; 38
23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph which was the son of Heli,
38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
Notice the repeated verb “was”. It is in the past tense. Notice the repeated phrase:“the son”. It is everywhere (with one exception) in italics. Italics indicate the son is added where it translates no Greek word. The one exception is verse 23 (which is why we read it also). The son in verse 23 translates a Greek word. That one Greek word for son sets up its understood use in the rest of the verses. The Greek does not repeat the expression “the son” in every verse. The English repeats the expression “the son” in every verse to indicate the correct understanding from the Greek. Could it be Adam was the son of God?
Is there a second witness? We share our earthly fathers last names, a fact of patriarchal society meeting increasing resistance. The seed of Cain is necessarily matriarchal. They do not claim Adam as their earthly father. If Adamkind was Godkind would Adamkind have borne their Father’s last name. “Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed by Thy Name”!
Psalms 82:1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty: he judgeth among the gods.
Who are the Mighty? Who are these small g gods? View down to verse 6:
6 I have said Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like Adam and fall like one of the princes.
Did Adam lose sonship? Do we die? Do we fall like one of the princes? Are Adamkind and the small g gods identified as one and the same?
Would our Oldest Brother Jesus Christ say what Psalms 82 declares? When the Jews who were not of His sheep heard Jesus say, “I and my Father are one”, they took up stones again to stone Him for blasphemy for being a man, fallen Adam, making himself God. How did Jesus answer that accusation?
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I SAID YE ARE GODS?
What were the unbelieving Jews going to do? Say no, not true?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken,
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest: because I said I am the Son of God?
Did Jesus trap them in their own trap? Look at verse 38. Did Jesus say all of these things to the Jews that they might “know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him”? Verse 36: Did Jesus blaspheme saying, “I am the Son of God”? Verses 34 and 35: Did Jesus say the Psalms are our law? To whom did the Word of God come?
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created Adam, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam in the day when they were created.
If The Word of God came to Adam, “Where are you?” and “the scripture cannot be broken”, do we blaspheme as the sons of God when we pray “Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name”?!
Paul preached this Sermon in Athens about the “Unknown God”:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, ...
“The offspring of God”. With Jesus in the Father and the Father in Jesus what will He give to them who receive Him?
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he authority to be come the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
13 Which were born , not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The truth of Verse 13 is startling. We are born of the Will of God! We are born again. Why do some want to tell us God is out of the Miracle business? God wants His Family back and He is already succeeding! The wicked angels and the seed of the Serpent are nothing but a filter!
Why would we need to be born again, if we never lost sonship?
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
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.
Is The History of God, wanting His Family back, in our Scriptures? When did our Heavenly Father begin getting His Family back? “Where are you?” At what place in The Bible do we find “Where are you?” Was that back at Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve were hiding from God? Do we hide from God? Shall we jump forward to Galatians?
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.
What a beautiful capsule History of God’s Salvation Work bringing us all back Home! But until we rise in His Likeness and see Him as He is, we are being ferociously withstood. Ecclesiastes keeps us in remembrance, “There is no discharge in that war”, only victory. And that can only be Victory in Jesus!
Galatians 4:8: Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto themwhich by nature are no gods.
Who are “them”? Who are “them which by nature are” no small g gods? To whom did we service when we knew not God? Does Nature abhor a vacuum? If every thing rushes in to fill a vacuum, how much more in a power vacuum? Did we lose Dominion in Adam’s Fall?
Is Satan the small g god of this world? Do Satan and the wicked angels exercise Dominion in this Fallen World? Does our Heavenly Father use them, and The Serpent’s Seed, to filter out any who prefer “this present evil world”? Who has Dominion?
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
If (there is that 2-letter dipthong again) we do not prefer Eternal Life and Inheritance in The Most Royal Family in the Whole Creation with every fiber of our Being, will our Oldest Brother Jesus, copiously weeping, allow us to be filtered out? Will the Bridegroom come for a Bride that does not want to be with Him with all her heart? Will we allow a bunch of impersonators and counterfeiters to filter us out?! Shall there be wailing and gnashing of teeth?
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.